Great Peace of Mind

Recently at work I was writing up instructions for doing a tricky task (the assembly of complex class notebooks for student-managers). From Chapter One of Robert Pirsig's Zen in the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance I quoted the advice: "Assembly of Japanese bicycle require great peace of mind." Not the commonest allusion in an internal government memorandum! But it fit, and in doing a quick search to confirm that I had it right I ran across Passion for Learning, a blog entry last year by Michael Hopkinson which observes:

You know the voices you hear in your head, sometimes doubting, sometimes encouraging but rarely shutting up. They can get in the way of pure enjoyment of life. They can also get in the way of pure control of a machine like an Airplane.

You can take these concepts a bit further reading which is an excellent resource for taking your airmanship to the next level. This is not beginner "Stick and Rudder" type of stuff so be warned, it's a how-to of a completely different sort.

And at the cited site Dave English in turn begins with the thought:

Ever experienced the blinding brightness of near-perfection in the cockpit? Would you like to learn the hard-won techniques that define elite aviators? Modern psychology and neuroscience research has found that experts are truly different from average performers. The profound differences are not always easy to see, for they are found inside the mind. It is not talent or luck. But it can be learned. It is the Inner Art of Airmanship.

This website will not teach you how to fly. But if you are a pilot maybe it will move you a little closer to touching personal aeronautical excellence. This is a practical guide to peak experience flying, where some proven techniques and esoteric sounding ideas from psychology research and elite sports are translated into concrete cockpit terms. It's all about the perpetual pursuit of piloting perfecton.

Intriguingly alliterative — and perhaps relevant to other areas of life besides flying a plane (e.g., ultrarunning, mindfulness, ...?). I must read, and think, more ...

(cf. MotorcycleMaintenance (2003-06-06)), Theory of Flight (2008-02-26), Lost in Translation (2009-08-15), Inner Art of Airmanship (2016-05-16), ...) - 2011-02-20