Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Table of Contents



You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. (Location 119)

Note: Revert from being a passive observer to being in the scene

We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with emphasis on ‘good’ rather than ‘time’ and when you make that shift in emphasis the whole approach changes. (Location 128)

Tags: time

Note: .time focus on good rather than time

The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth,’ and so it goes away. Puzzling. (Location 141)

Tags: quote

Note: .quote sometimes we ignore the obvious, too busy looking for the obvious

We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone. (Location 169)

Tags: slow, life

Note: .life .slow we need to slow down, talk and take it all in

‘What’s new?’ is an interesting and broadening eternal question, but one which, if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion, the silt of tomorrow. I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question ‘What is best?’, a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream. (Location 178)

Tags: question

Note: .question focus on whats best rather than merely whats new


Caring about what you are doing is considered either unimportant or taken for granted. (Location 485)

When you want to hurry something, that means you no longer care about it and want to get on to other things. (Location 488)

Tags: patience

Note: .patience hurrying something shows a lack of care



They’ve got a memory of their own. They cost only three dollars and have been restitched so many times it is getting impossible to repair them, yet I take a lot of time and pains to do it anywhere because I can’t imagine any new pair taking their place. That is impractical, but practicality isn’t the whole thing with gloves or with anything else. (Location 726)

Note: Practicality isnt always the most important thing



A classical understanding sees the world primarily as underlying form itself. A romantic understanding sees it primarily in terms of immediate appearance. (Location 1133)

much of his writing at the time indicates that what was driving him insane was this hostile opinion of him. Unusual behavior tends to produce estrangement in others which tends to further the unusual behavior and thus the estrangement in self-stoking cycles until some sort of climax is reached. In Phaedrus’ case there was a court-ordered police arrest and permanent removal from society. (Location 1162)


We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world. (Location 1277)

Tags: favorite, perspective

Note: .perspective we have a very small view of the world