flow nondual scott ford zone

By Scott Ford

On September 1st, 2022, Greg Warburton and I will be presenting at the Flow Conference being hosted on Zoom by the Flow Centre from Perth, Australia. Our friend and Sports, Energy, and Consciousness Co-Founder, Dr. Rick Leskowitz will also be one of the 30+ presenters at the Flow Conference, so EVO Sports and its lineage will be well represented.

I’ll be talking about the heightened state of awareness we experience when we’re playing in the zone or playing in a state of performance flow. Its technical name is Nondual Awareness, and it is said to be the ground of all being, pure consciousness, unqualifiable emptiness, Godhead, Buddha Mind, Christ Consciousness, and that’s just for starters.

The scholarly model sees nondual awareness as the necessary condition for all conscious experiences. The athletic model sees nondual awareness as the necessary condition for flow. It’s all very interesting. You can Google it, and dive in.

In the end, what we find are different descriptions of nondual awareness, different interpretations, different perspectives and practices, as if nonduality is not only a subject of rigorous academic pursuit but also a pathway of conscious self-discovery. It’s impossible to study nondual awareness without discovering more about ourselves. Nor can we generate nondual performance experiences without changing who we are.

As flow coaches and practitioners, we’ve all experienced flow. We’ve all been in the zone, which means we’ve all had first-person experiences of nondual flowing presence. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure we all know there is something more to flow than human peak performance. Something more expansive, something more fulfilling and complete, something deeper in us that awakens whenever we’re in flow, and whatever it is we awaken keeps calling us back for more.

Question: what is it that calls us back to nondual flowing presence? We’ve all got our reasons for exploring the ultimate experience of flow. Some of our reasons are scientific, some are psychological, some academic, and some philosophical. Some of our reasons are even spiritual, as playing in the zone has also been called “the Spiritual Dimensions of Sport.”

All-in-all, the nondual experience of flow covers a lot of coaching territory, and so do the presenters at the upcoming Flow Conference. The minds we see in the flow coaching collective, mine included, are diverse, multifaceted, and familiar with high-level competition. Mostly, however, we are all pointed in the same direction, and together we are collectively expanding the consciousness of coaching by subjectively exploring the vastness of nondual performance potential.

I started exploring this novel coaching territory in 1978 when a conscious coincidence turned an imaginary, childlike game I was playing into a journey of nondual awareness whose starting point was conscious flow, or in my case, playing tennis in the zone by choice and not by chance. By coincidence, the imaginary game I was consciously playing was a nondual version of tennis that put me in the zone every time I played it. But here’s the kicker…every time my students consciously played this same nondual tennis game, they also, coincidentally, started playing tennis in the zone.

Go figure.

Through a conscious choice in how I played the game, I had chanced upon the Holy Grail of human performance experience. In 1978, we called it playing in the zone, and it was considered New Age woo-woo. Today we call it performance flow, and it’s trending in Silicon Valley.

My, oh my – how times have changed, and so have our coaching models. Human performance development is expanding into nondual performance territory, and with that nondual expansion, comes more and greater nondual awareness, which is where this essay got started, and where nondual human potential begins.

I look forward to seeing you at the Flow Conference from 8/31 to 9/1 2022.


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