I love this time of year. People slow down and spend time with each other. We like to get together with family in different places every year and enjoy good food, conversation and sports. This year we spent our time in Newport Beach, hanging out right on the beach. It is fantastic. We have a volleyball court right in front of us, a pretty good surf break, and beautiful sunsets every night.
I watched the kids play with their cousins, learning quickly, and creating joy. It is a beautiful thing to see. They are in flow states when playing on the sand, wheeling around, running, throwing, and diving. Kind of like a kite in the wind. I have been reading "Mapping Cloud Nine" which brings together psychology (back to William James) to neuroscience, psychedelics, and meditation. The book describes how humans have described "flow" states throughout history. He references "Altered Traits" regarding meditation and neuro-plasticity. Meditation produces permanent changes to the brain. Even a small number of hours of compassion meditation are enough to change emotional response and focus. There is a cool concept in there about flow states reducing pre-frontal lobe activity, which contributes to a loss of self. This is similar to the loss of self that meditation and psychedelics can cause and brings together a couple hundred years of research into a cohesive journey.
Eric is a traveller, hacker, and experimenter who is currently researching how to become a happier, calmer, and more compassionate human being.