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The Inner Art of Airmanship

Further Reading


Zen and the Art of …
Archery, Motorcycle Maintenance, Flying



Stick and Rudder
Hands on throttle and stick

Human Factors
Take your brain flying



Real Tests
Learn from others

Flying Stories
Just good reading



Real Zen

Academic References
 Original source information



Sam read and recommended many books. Only a few of them were directly about flying. He would remind me that Bruce Lee had over 3000 books in his collection, most of which started by saying that martial arts can not be taught by words. When a new student heard about inner airmanship and art of flying, Sam's favorite trick was to suggest three movies:

Rudy, the true story of a short guy wanting to play football for Notre Dame.
Rocky, the Oscar-winning Stallone boxing movie about an bum underdog.
And Forrest Gump, where a low IQ man floats through an amazing life.

When the student said none of them had anything to do with either art, airmanship, or flying Sam would say, "Heart of Rudy, Guts of Rocky, Way of Gump." And laugh uncontrollably.

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

— Elvis Costello

We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is Moonshine.

— H. L. Mencken

What one has not experienced, one will never understand in print.

— Isadora Duncan

Not limited by language, it is ceaselessly expressed; so, too the way of letters can display but not exhaust it.

— Dogen

However deep your knowledge of the scriptures, it is no more than a strand of hair in the vastness of space. However important seeming your worldly experience, it is but a drop of water in a deep ravine.

— Tokusan

How long it has been since the teaching of the pure essence was swept away? Students are caught up with the written word and Buddhist priests are stubbornly obsessed with doctrine.
It's a shame that for a thousand years no one has spoken seriously of this essence. Better to follow the children and bounce a ball on these spring days.

— Ryokan

How can you even hope to approach the truth through words? … full understanding can come to you only through an inexpressible mystery. The approach to it is called the Gateway of the Stillness beyond all Activity. If you wish to understand, know that a sudden comprehension comes when the mind has been purged of all the clutter of conceptual and discriminatory thought-activity. Those who seek the truth by means of intellect and learning only get further and further away from it. Not — til you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not — til your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.

— Huang-po

Look for knowledge not in books but in things themselves.

— William Gilbert

You seek knowledge from books. What a shame!
You are an ocean of knowledge hidden in a dew drop.

— Jalaluddin Rum

A book should serve as the axe for the frozen sea within us.

— Franz Kafka


Inner Airmanship  |  Twelve Flights  |  Sam

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