“Open” is how I feel when I am “in the zone” which is a phrase used a lot by jazz artists who improvise. Both terms are used by practitioners of meditation and free diving as well and it turns out they are talking about the same thing. When free diving the experience is closer to removing inhibition as you lose your fear of being submerged underwater when you are an air breathing mammal doing an activity that is directly defying death, and blatantly going against your innate nature of self preservation. As soon as the fear is gone, you can free dive to your max potential. I remember taking college classes in jazz improvisation (4 semesters worth) and in class, people did some of their worst improvising since they were under pressure, being graded, being watched by their fellow students and their professor during a morning class to make it that much worse. The very same people on the band stand at a live gig at 3AM after some drinks and dancing on their breaks could improvise like Coltrane. This is because they were blocked by their fear, stress and racing thoughts rather than letting go. What do all these disparate things have in common you ask? All of them and several more activities have been measured by EEG to create alpha waves in the brain. This neurological state is what artists of all stripes would call “in the zone” and it requires that you are “open” and that your racing rational thoughts are turned off. Another name for this state of mind is a “flow state” of consciousness.