Body Mind Mastery

This is a really good book by Dan Millman- he’s a trampoline world champion, teacher and coach etc. etc. The book was previously called the Inner Athlete but was revised in 1999 and given a new title. I originally bought it because Phil Jackson has it on his required reading list for all his players- pretty decent endorsement I think.
Lots of great wisdom and insight about the links between mind, body, and emotions. I’m rereading it at the moment after coming across is it while moving. He makes some golf references that could be taken with a grain of salt, but the overall content is top notch in my opinion. Well worth a read if you haven’t already…

Can you offer any more specific nuggets for those who don’t have the time to find and read it?

I am reading Slow Practice Will Get You There Faster by Ernest Dras. This morning , within an hour of reading your post, I came to page 89 where Dras references the book you speak of …Millman’s Inner Athlete( Body Mind Mastery). It gets my attention when that happens.

So I’ll order that book for sure.

Dras’ book seems good also…lot’s of learning principles, very congruent with the ABS philosophy IMO, as well as The Talent Code.

I loved the Dan Millman movie too, ‘The Peaceful Warrior’.

I love that kind of stuff, Eagle… can’t be ignored as far as I’m concerned. Timing is fascinating…
I’ll look into the books you mentioned too…

If I get the chance i’ll type up some stuff from the book- I’m a constant underliner and margin writer when I read books so I’ll go through it and see what’s there…

To those who live in the moment of truth, who confront their fears and never stop dreaming, who strive for body mind mastery whether or not they make the varsity team…

From a good beginning, all else flows.

I noticed that my young daughter’s approach to play was as relaxed and mindless as the cat’s, and I realized that the essence of talent is not so much a presence of certain qualities but rather the absence of the mental, physical, and emotional obstructions most adults experience.

Nonresistance- the forces of life-
Use them and blend with nature. Like the birds that ride the wind, fish that swim with the current, or bamboo that bends to absorb the weight of fallen snow, you can make use of natural forces.

Demand takes the form of progressive overload. By persistently asking yourself to do more than you’re comfortable with, slightly more than you are capable of, you improve. Progressive overload occurs in small increments within your comfort zone. You need to stretch your comfort zone, not ignore it. Most athletes constantly work outside their zone, and they experience extremes of fatigue, strain and pain. By staying within(but near the top of) their comfort zone, masters take a little longer to improve, but their improvement lasts longer.

Trust the process of your training and trust the process of your life.

A more useful question than “can I do it?”, is “how can I do it?”

Learning is more than knowing something new; rather, it involves doing something new. The process of learning naturally involves errors. Masters make as many mistakes as anyone, but they learn from them. To correct and learn from an error, you need to become aware of it.

Body mind masters are willing to make fools of themselves, to accept their feelings of embarrassment or awkwardness, to begin anew and continue practicing.

Then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

  • Anais Nin.

I learned to speak as I learned to skate or cycle: by doggedly making a fool of myself until I got used to it.

  • George Bernard Shaw.

Intellectual awareness alone isn’t enough.

Although we can indirectly influence our mind and emotions, we have little or no direct control over thoughts or feelings, which rise and pass like weather fronts. We have significantly more control over our behaviour- despite what we are, or are not, thinking or feeling. In fact, our behaviour (how we move our arms, legs, and mouth) is the only thing we can directly control. This is a great secret of success.

If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.

  • Abraham Lincoln.

Champions form the habit of doing what most people find boring or uncomfortable… world-class and professional athletes regularly return to basics and strengthen their foundation…

When in a hurry, take the long, sure way.

Do what you can, with what you have, and where you are.

Everything is difficult until it becomes easy.

An overnight success usually takes about 10 years.

I’ve had many troubles in my life, most of which never happened.

  • Mark Twain.

In order to achieve all that is demanded of us we must regard ourselves as greater than we are.

  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

A gymnast’s mind falls off the beam before she does.

You’re involved in the action and vaguely aware of it- your focus is not on the commotion, but on the opportunity ahead. I’d liken it to a sense of reverie… the insulated state a musician achieves in a great performance… not just mechanical, not only spiritual; something of both, on a different plane and a more remote one.

  • Arnold Palmer… (btw, who knew Arnie was such a spiritual sage?!)

Etc., etc… this is just a few blurbs and quotes from the first 50 or so pages- it’s 170 pages total, so you guys can probably see a bit of it’s focus and direction- It’s a good book. It’s got a lot of practical information in it too, with some exercises and thoughts on eating and general care for your body. He’s also got some interesting thoughts on non-competition- when playing tennis, see how long you can keep the rally going for instead of trying to beat your opponent, or see how slow you can run 100 yards(maybe I made up the running one, I can’t remember as I haven’t gotten that far in the re-read)
A lot of the focus is about aligning the mind and body as well as emotions to find peace and correct function. What I like about it overall is that he deals with reality, and he sees everyone and thing as part of nature and that there are natural ways to do things. He sees that everyone has potential, not just the supposedly gifted people, and his approach is very much based in action, the things you can do.
The crux of it is that, much like martial arts(he’s an aikido instructor as far as I know) training the body is training the mind, and training the mind is training the body and/or vice versa- there’s no real divide. The body being the physical embodiment of the mind, it tends to take on the shape of your thoughts over time, or in the moment- intentions for action(which I like), eating bad food because you feel like crap ends up making you feel even crappier and ruining your body, or eating good food and exercising ends up with you having a functional body that can transport your mind through life- dysfunctional mind tends to become dysfunctional body, spiral on and on. I may be bleeding in some of my own thoughts at this point, I can’t remember :confused:
That’s some of that. Hopefully for those who don’t get the book this is somewhat helpful- if anyone is desperate maybe I can add more of it as I continue the re-read… let me know…


Thanks Bom,

A very nice sampler. Getting on " that different remote plane" must have been one of Arnie’s secrets, as well as any other great performers.

Nice find this book can help people in all walks of life!

Cheers, guys… no worries…
sixpack… interestingly enough the book’s subtitle is “Creating success in sports and life”

I recently read this book and I agree it is an excellent resource. Dan Millman can speak from authority…he is a “former world trampoline champion, martial arts instructor, and faculty member at Stanford” an other universities.

The book is full of insight and advice , as Bom’s quotes indicate.

For instance…he has a section on learning to learn, he discusses how blazing neurological pathways is like one would blaze a path in a field of fresh fallen snow.

Millman discusses learning techniques such as :
1 Overcompensation…“may be the single most valuable aid to rapid skill learning”…work both sides of a movement. When learning, our changes are often too small…because they feel uncomfortable. ( I thought of Corey Pavin doing his exaggerated swings.)
2 Ideomotor action and Mental practice
3 Slow Motion Practice
4 Beginning and End Method ( hold a position to get the feel)
5 Part -Whole Method ( modules!)
6 Imitaion: The Ultimate Technique…“make sure you have good role models”, “imitaion is the master technique of learning because it works at the subconscious level”.

While it is not specifically about golf, I was constantly thinking "this is like ABS " as I read it. In discussing physical/ mental/ emotional learning, the book either explains ABS principles or advocates much of what we are doing.