I have recently been reading about Buddhism and the concept of mindfulness. The author mentions always being aware of all of the stimuli around you (breathing, footsteps, etc) and all of the little things we normally do on "autopilot".
This seems like a great practice and I can understand its appeal. Yet, previous to this I was reading about Taoism in Chuang-Tzu. There, he mentioned the centipede speaking with the walrus. The walrus asks the centipede how he handles so many legs. The centipede responds that he doesn't try to think about it, but lets it flow naturally. If he actually stopped to think about it, he'd trip.
This sort of automatic "flow" as it might be called, also seems to me to be an approach with good potential and application.
But how can I reconcile these two concepts, which seem directly at odds with one another? I know they both come from different traditions, but might there be some philosophy by which we can know when mindfulness is proper and when flow is proper? Both of these traditions seem to be encouraging them exclusively, but this doesn't seem like truth to me.