Mindfulness is a word often used, well, mindlessly. But it’s a state that can be described with some precision. The most accepted definition is in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s 1994 book Wherever You Go, There You Are. And it makes the connection to flying very apparent: Here’s a good online article with 19 other definitions: https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/what-is-mindfulness-definition/
If you don’t pay attention when you are flying, you miss the things you can do better next time, you miss the things you are doing good, and forget to enjoy the whole thing. Photo is by me, Dave English, on an LAX overnight. Quick Uber ride to Dockweiler Beach and the California home of hang gliding. Perfect geography for learning to soar, to be connected to the wind and the wing.
Let your mind wander in simplicity, blend your spirit with the vastness. (circa 300 BC) Keep your situational awareness high, trim the plane. (2017)
This is what great pilots share with artists, and monks and mystics. The heightened perception, the fascination with flight, eventually turns into an aeronautical superpower. The great pilot sees things and corrects before the average pilot ever knows anything is amiss. The desire of monks and mystics is not unlike that of artists: to perceive the extraordinary within the ordinary by changing not the world but the eyes that look. Within a summoned and hybrid awareness, the inner reaches out to transform the outer, and the outer reaches back to transform the one who sees. Catherine of Sienna wrote in … Continue reading Changing not the world
There’s lots of reasons I tell myself why I like being a pilot. But it might just be the joy of a dog in a car, sticking his head out the window. Oh, and if you’re not fully focused on only landing when landing — you’re doing it wrong!