Creating conditions for non-attached immersion: can it be done?

  Grids and Consistency,  John Dilworth

Grids and Consistency, John Dilworth

I was recently reading Zen in the Art of Archery: Training the Body and the Mind to become one by Eugen Herrigel and it made me contemplate the idea that the design journey, the creative journey and business journey could also be a task of personal evolution and ideally a facilitator to evolve others. Is the creative journey a chisel for the human spirit? It made me inquire as to how others experience the act of creativity and whether or not context shifts ones personal experience. Where does the stress of attachment to an outcome come from? I postulate it is different for different people but perhaps the conditions for non- attached blissful work are perhaps the same? Even books that are perhaps less metaphysical in nature, books like the incredibly popular Flow by Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi suggest conditions for happiness comes from an non attached immersion in an activity. What I enjoyed the most about Flow was the fact that the end of the book talks about purpose, that life can be given one and that it is helpful if that purpose is in flow with that of community, culture and environment. One of the lines of “... the Master's warning that we should not practice anything except self-detaching immersion,” is a condition talked about extensively in Csikszentmihalyi work. I’ll end this exploration with a beautifully expressed paragraph from Eugen Herrigel “...the preparations for working put him simultaneously in the right frame of mind for creating... that collectedness and presence of mind...the right frame of mind for the artist is only reached when the preparing and the creating, the technical and the artistic, the material and the spiritual, the project and the object, flow together without a break.” Can we create conditions for non attached immersion in the workplace? Can we create conditions for joy? And if we did, would that impact the work that we produce? I’m intrigued as to where this inquiry may lead…

Words by Natasha J. Hussein