Zen And The Art Of Body Maintenance

Hi folks,

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a great book. When I used to lecture to students interested in a research career, I would recommend reading this book, in addition to ‘Arrowsmith‘ and ‘Winning Games Scientists Play,’ amongst others. There was a quote from Robert M. Pirsig’s great book that I kept over my desk in my messy office at The Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology where I worked happily for about 16 years on the nose, of all things. I tried to use Pirsig’s maxim as a guiding principle during my research career. It goes like this:

“Any effort that has self-glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster”

About 30 years later I still try to follow this advice. Life is too brief for ego, just ask Ozymandias‘ ghost! That said, the real reason I wanted to mention this book is that it makes the case for a quality relationship, one based on understanding and awareness, with your motorbike. The same can be recommended for your relationship with your body.

Generally when people train or work out they become aware of their body in response to pain. But that is not a good approach! Why not get to know this remarkable machine by simply listening to it from time to time. You (whoever that is, mind or observer, etc.) can hear messages from all over the place inside if you just listen. That is why, every day early in the morning while everyone else is still asleep I sit, generally with my cat, I listen inside, I quiet my mind using lessons learned in The Power of Now (they REALLY work!), and look for issues that need to be addressed. A tight tendon here, an abdominal pulse there, tension in my neck, breathing patterns that indicate some self-induced stress, and so forth. Then I work, alone or with assistance, to fix problems before they become problems.

It keeps me training for the Ironman at the age of 67, so I have got something right – maybe genetics, who knows?

– k Your Medical Mind

P.S. Dear readers, I was kindly invited to post articles at Heartosaurus by my esteemed colleague Benjamin Carey, so my first one can be found at this URL. This site is interesting and worth a gander, folks!




  1. nice post and congrats on being asked to write at another site Kevin. just checking in, glad the site is still coming along!

  2. Hi Rob!
    Nearly deleted you as spam, sorry about that! It has been a while and I get a lot of spam. How is your business going? Well I hope? I am getting my first product ready, but it is taking longer than I expected. Guess that is the way life is!

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.