Footnotes to On Quality: An Inquiry into Excellence

On the interior panel of the dust jacket cover of On Quality: An Inquiry into Excellence, there is a brief proclamation attributed to Robert M. Pirsig that “The ultimate goal in the pursuit of excellence is enlightenment.” This was, apparently, Pirsig’s opinion in 1962 – well before either of Pirsig’s more famous books Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance or Lila, were published. On … Continue reading Footnotes to On Quality: An Inquiry into Excellence

Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Five)

You may have noticed that this essay (or episode if you’re listening) is titled Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Part Five. It’s part of an as-yet-indeterminate series of examinations of Robert Pirsig’s books. You may wish to go back to earlier parts of the series before taking this one in, but it isn’t obligatory in any way. You may also want to listen … Continue reading Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Five)

Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Two)

We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with the emphasis on “good” rather than “time”….and when you make that shift in emphasis the whole approach changes. –  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Chapter 1 I’d like to begin by commenting that my Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance essays are probably best appreciated by … Continue reading Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Two)

Learning

Several months after my forty-fourth birthday, I purchased a battered and abused 1982 Yamaha XJ Five-fifty Maxim. While I had previously owned and enjoyed many different cars and trucks, the Maxim was my first motorcycle. So far, it has been my only motorcycle. In part, I acquired the Maxim to fulfill a long-deferred curiosity and ambition. That being, of course, to learn how to ride … Continue reading Learning

Footnotes to Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part One)

I’m no longer completely certain when or how I first became aware of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance By Robert Pirsig. I do know that it was never on the reading list for any high-school or university courses that I took during my academic days in the 1980’s and early 90’s. It seems probable that I came across references to it in some … Continue reading Footnotes to Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part One)

Footnotes To Buddhism’s Four Seals

This essay was originally drafted as a reaction to Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse’s 2008 book What Makes You Not a Buddhist. I did not enjoy the book the first time I read it. Probably, I wanted it to be something other than it is. Now, a few years later, I appreciate it significantly more by taking an altered perspective. While I still don’t agree with or … Continue reading Footnotes To Buddhism’s Four Seals

Footnotes to Being Water: An Inquiry into The Lee Family Philosophy

As a happy coincidence to my decision to practice of Tai Chi, I stumbled-upon Shannon Lee’s Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee at my local public library. The book clearly acts as much as a bridge to Shannon Lee’s podcast as it does the Lee family’s legacy and philosophy. Naturally, all of these things are interconnected. This broader connectedness led me to … Continue reading Footnotes to Being Water: An Inquiry into The Lee Family Philosophy