Thoughts on: ”Eat & Run” by Scott Jurek

Scott Jurek runs and eats! By running I

mean 100 mile runs (that’s 160km!) and 24 hour races. By eating I mean only plant based foods.

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Endurance has been a theme in my reading for a while and this is the latest latest entry. I was led to this ultra marathon legends autobiography because Jurek was mentioned in “Born to Run”. But unlike “Born to Run” which I would recommend to anyone, this is better suited for running enthusiasts only.

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The most interesting aspects of the book is his search for the link between endurance sports and altered states of consciousness. I also enjoyed the more practical sections with training and dietary advice.

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πŸ“ A common mistake for beginners is to have too long strides. Count the times you right foot skrikes the ground In 20 seconds. Multiple by 3 and you get your stride rate per minute. Speed up til you reach 85-95 strides per minutes.

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πŸ“ Later in his career he started a more holistic view on his training:

– Yoga for body awareness, flexibility & centered focus.

– Body posture & stabilization.

– Conscious breathing.

– Upper body strength.

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πŸ“ “The more I measure the more sure I was on my instincts” Jureks book has a more open attitude towards technology than the “back to basics” attitude of “Born to Run”.

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πŸ“Jurek Book Recommendations:

“Running Wild” – John anorino “Running and Being”

“The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei”

“The Power of Now”

“Bone Games”

“The Way of the Peaceful Warrior”

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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:

Every runner knows it is a hassle to time meals and workouts. Free up more time for actual training (instead of digesting) by replacing heavy meaty meals with plant based ones!

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4/5

 

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Thoughts on: β€œWalk Like a Buddha” by Lodro Rinzler

“All of you are perfect as you are, and you can use a little improvement”

Zen Master Suzuki Roshi


This is a very practical and accessible book about how to apply the teachings of the buddha to different aspects modern life. It has a question/answer format like: What would the buddha do in this and that situation or what would his stance be on one thing or another.


The book is good, but I feel that most of the value I got from it comes from cited sources rather than from the authors own experiences and insights.


πŸ“ An elderly man teaches his grandson about peace. He said that he has two wolves that lives within his heart. One is fueled by anger and aggression and the other by kindness. They are always at war with each other for his heart.. The grandson asked: “who will ultimately win?”. The man answers:

“The one that wins will be the one I choose to feed”.


πŸ“ Everyone think they are busy all the time. It’s easy to be busy! Get a dedicated time for meditation.


πŸ“ Impermanence is a bitch. Going through Hell is not punishment, it’s training. We have to learn to deal with. A big part of life is pain and if you don’t learn to relate to it you are missing out on big aspects of life.


πŸ“ At work: if you feel boredom. Drop it like a meditator drops an intrusive thought. The present moment is a perfect point from which to start anew.


πŸ“ “Always don’t know”. Keep an inquisitive mind.


πŸ“ There are so many things that can make an office environment toxic, but Mindless speech seems to be is chief among them.

The Four Gates of Speech:

1. Is what I’m about to say true?

2. Is what I’m saying necessary?

3. Is what I’m saying kind?

4. Is it a good time?


πŸ“ From “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying” by author Bronnie Ware:

“I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself and not the life others expected from me.”


πŸ’‘ Takeaway. “Live your life as an experiment”. Nothing new here! BUT I’m a big proponent doing experiments. Going forward I will post about concluded and ongoing experiments I’m conducting. Stay tuned!What are you experimenting with in your life?

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Thoughts on: β€œHardcore Zen” by Brad Warner

Brad Warner is punk rocker turned Zen master. He is “controversial” because he is not part of either of the two dominating fractions of Zen in the west; the overly intellectualized one or the woo-woo New age version. ——————————————

He wants to make Zen available and practical for to regular people with normal lives and jobs. Not having rules for the sake of rules. In the end, zen is all about silent sitting. No more, no less.

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When his publisher was slow to take action on turning the book into and audiobook, he recorded the it himself with GarageBand in his kitchen.

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This recording style definitively adds to the punk vibe. Cats interrupting the recording by walking on the laptop keyboard is quite charming. The book being a bit unstructured is also punk, but it makes the message less powerful and takes away more than it adds.

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The book also has autobiographical parts about his bands and how he got is dream job. To work with Japanese monster movies. He realizied that reaching that goal didn’t made him happier and deepened his journey into zen. ——————————————

πŸ“ “You may find that having is not as pleasing a thing as wanting. This is not logical but it is often true” – Mr spook

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πŸ“ The origin of suffering is desire

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πŸ“ Instead of accepting reality for what it is, we often compare reality to our ideal version of it. Suffering comes from the comparison between our ideal and what is.

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πŸ“ The most poisonous lie that religion spreads is that truly moral people never have immoral thought. The truth is that they have. They just only act on the moral ones.

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πŸ“ Reaction to anger is a habit. It takes more energy resisting than to go with it.

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πŸ“ Do what you do as well as you can. How you approach thing matters.

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3/5

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Best Books of the Year – #4

#4 β€œSteve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson

β€”-β€”

The gripping biography of the most prominent innovator of out time.

β€”β€”- WHY THIS BOOK? β€”β€”β€”

Parts goes to Isaacson for being able to write a 600 page book without any real low points, and parts goes to Steve for being such an interesting fella! Anyhow – it’s just an excellent biography!

β€”β€”β€”β€”β€” IMPACT β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”

These is something with the intensity and focus with which Steve engaged with the world that I find truly fascinating. That’s what I’m taking away from this book.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

⁃ Steve Jobs

β€”β€”β€” πŸ€”QUESTIONSπŸ€”β€”β€”-

What’s your favorite biography you read last year??

Find more over here: Favorite Books of 2017

Top Books of the Year – #7

#7 β€œThe Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei” by John Stevens

β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”

The “1000-Day Marathon”, a big part of their practice, takes 7 years to complete. For the first 5 years they run a marathon a day for 100 days straight. This is repeated 7 times. For the last 2 years the distance is increased to two Marathon distances a day (84km!). They also throw in a 9-day fast into their practice, with continuous meditation, without water and sleep, to keep things interesting.

β€”β€”- WHY THIS BOOK? β€”β€”β€”

This books in not for everyone – It’s poorly written at times and weirdly edited, but if you are a fan of running, endurance or just fascinating by incredible human achievements – then look no further!

β€”β€”β€”β€”β€” IMPACT β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”

It has has impaired my ability to complain about monotonous and repetitive tasks. It also pushed me to train harder for the 20km trail race I ran with (against?) my brother this November. Unfortunately for me he finished faster 🀬 πŸƒ

β€”β€”β€” πŸ€”QUESTIONSπŸ€”β€”β€”-

Do you run?

Find more over here: Favorite Books of 2017

Thoughts on: “Zen Mind, Beginners Mind”

zenmindbeginnersmind

I feel like some book are meant to be studied rather just being read. There are some book that I decided not to review for this reason. Reading them ones just don’t do the trick, usually this is the case with esoteric writings like today’s book.
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So I read the book two more times after finishing it. Not because the book was fantastic in any way but to see if there was any value in repeating the information. Maybe it would reveal new insights?
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It kinda worked! like peeling an union – each round exposed a new layer of understanding and more concepts made sense. Unfortunately re-reading didn’t turn it in to a “must read” recommendation. 😜
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πŸ“ When you are a beginner it’s easy to learn. The challenge is to keep this mindset – the beginners mind – when you get to an advanced level.
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πŸ“ “Real calmness should be found in activity itself. We say: it’s easy to have calmness in inactivity. It’s hard to have calmness in activity. Calmness in activity is true calmness.”
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πŸ“ Zazen: “If you continue to this simple practice everyday you will attain a wonderful power. before you attain it it’s something wonderful but after you attain it it’s nothing special.”
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It’s a cool book about Zen practice and you should probably pick it up if you are into meditation and feel like you need some inspiration to spice things up. ———————
Which books did I end up not writing reviews for, you ask? So far it’s “Power vs. Force” and “The Kybalion”. Did you ever run into books where you not sure how you feel about them? πŸ€”
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3/5

 

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I don’t know if this makes (Z)ense?


When I read books on very esoteric/unusual topics it feels like its pretty hard to review them after just one read. These books are usually pretty condensed and each sentence by itself needs some reflection. 

In an attempt to remedy this I’m reading (in this case listening) the book several times before I review it. Now I’m on my third round of “Zen mind, Beginners mind” which filled with complex ideas and zen paradoxes. Let’s see how that works! 

My first finding from doing this is that it feels like peeling an onion. With every rereading I find another layer of understanding. I wonder how many layers there are!