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Abstract

This paper studies the role of mindful creativity in life and at work. It explores the relationship between mindfulness as a creative process and the concept of flow, suggesting that the Buddhist meditative practice of mindfulness contributes to the successful attainment of both of these experiences. It utilizes the Buddhist construct of mindfulness as a framework to approach the works of Langer, a Harvard psychologist, and Csikszentmihalyi, who popularized the concept of flow. This author had the privilege of interviewing Csikszentmihalyi and Langer recently. For Langer, total engagement and immersion in everything done is the key to mindful creativity, which is very similar to Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow as a state of effortless concentration and rapt enjoyment in an activity in which one loses any sense of space, time, and self. Both of these experiences, namely, mindfulness as a cognitive state and being in a state of flow, are characterized by energized engagement with the activity at hand with all of one’s mind and attention, which is not dissimilar to how Theravada Buddhism understands and employs mindfulness.

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