+Holistic Health Studies Program, Georgian Court University
First written: June 24, 2010, Last revised: July 27, 2010
Both of the notions of “mindfulness” (as discussed in the Buddhist literature) and “flow” (as discussed in positive psychology) have been quite popular for some time. While some people casually use them synonymously, others disagree. For example, Ronald Siegel (2010, pp. 321-322) describes flow as “mindfulness while accomplishing something.” LeeAnn Cardaciotto (2005, p. 35) views flow as “low present-moment awareness, high acceptance” compared to mindfulness. Daniel Siegel (2007, pp. 78-79) states that flow, being “non-self-consciously immersed in the sensations of an experience,” lacks mindful awareness. Bryant and Veroff (2007, p. 22) points out that “intense [mindful] self-awareness disrupts the process of flow,” citing Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi (2002). Thus, it would be useful to clarify this confusing situation. As seen above, while there must be some connections, there must be some differences. With better understanding, we can use these terms more accurately and appropriately in our discussions.
Note: The rest of the document can be read at https://archive.org/details/Komagata10MindfulnessFlow and is also available in the PDF format: https://archive.org/download/Komagata10MindfulnessFlow/Komagata+10-MindfulnessFlow.pdf