Top positive review
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Genius on a bike
on 24 February 2013
This little book is a veritable breath of fresh air in a stifled category.
Many books are written and marketed on a 'this will change your life' ticket. Dr Irvine's 'Mindful Cycling' makes no such trite promises, but conveys some much-needed simple and practical wisdom for refining one's lifestyle.
Taking Einstein as his role model, Irvine reveals to us the man behind the myth and shows, with references both scientific and personal, how such a remarkable human being's way of thinking was deeply connected and motivated by the everyday phenomenal world. Through playing his violin, talking with all people as equals, and riding his bicycle, Einstein maintained a state of equanimity in which his extraordinary mind could function at its optimum capacity. We may not all have Einstein's IQ, but taking a leaf or two from his exemplary life book can, Irvine suggests, assist us in cutting out a lot of the mental and emotional 'clutter' that preoccupies so much of our waking time. The benefits of this are obvious: clearer thinking, calmer feeling, a sense of place, belonging and purpose and, above all, lower fuel emissions!
I love the lack of pretension that pervades this book, both its subject matter and in its writing. When Irvine, himself a doctor of philosophy, describes his own experiences, and shows how too much analysis and lazy thinking can negatively affect even the brightest of individuals, there is an honesty and clarity of purpose sorely missing from many so-called 'wellbeing' type books. The simple observations he shares from the saddle are ones with which we can all identify, probably remember from childhood, even - but how often do we actively remember? If we did, would we not all jump back on our bikes, disengage our complex modes of pursuing endless fantastic desires and pleasures, and 're-mind' ourselves of where the balance lies? This book is full of down-to-earth and manageable suggestions for getting back on your bike - metaphorically and literally. For, as Einstein showed us, both theoretically and in his behaviour, aren't the mental and the physical intimately connected?
An uplifting and no-nonsense read. No crazy goals, techniques or practices - just inspiration.