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Tree-Climbing Snacks

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

I love climbing trees. One of my favorite pastimes during my Parkour walk [<link; short read] is what I call tree-climbing snacks.

What are those?

It’s a little game I invented for myself. The rules are simple:

Pick a tree.

Pick a branch at height. The goal is to climb and touch that branch.

Bonus points if…

– you don’t take the same route if you’ve climbed the tree before

– you don’t take the easiest route

– you spend a few breaths at height until your heart normalizes – expand your awareness for a beautiful little Zen moment

– you come down on a different route

Parkour Vision

The world is your playground.


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is parkour vision?”

“One of the (many) things I love about Parkour is how it changes your perception of the environment. Among practitioners, this phenomenon is called parkour vision.

Parkour vision allows you to see possibility within the ordinary.

With parkour vision, the environment becomes magical: every rail is an opportunity to balance on, jump on, or vault over, lines on the ground are virtual rails, parking poles (bollards) are literal stepping stones, light poles and walls are vertical walkways… Children’s playgrounds are exquisite bundles of joy with beautiful echoes of childhood. The limit is your skill level (the more proficient you are, the more possibilities you see) and your creativity.

What’s beautiful about parkour vision is that it’s always on. It becomes a part of you, the default lens through which you see the world. It enriches your perception of reality, and, by extension, your life.”

The Art of Anchoring 5

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is the best Memento Mori reminder?”

Your breath, because it’s always with you. Imagine the last breath you’ll ever take, and savor this breath as if it was your last.”

“What is the second-best reminder?”

People. Acknowledge your common humanity. Imagine the last breath they’ll ever take, and revel in the shared moment as if it was their last.”

Moving Meditation 2

Meditation in activity is a thousand times superior to meditation in stillness. (Hakuin Ekaku)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Why is meditation in activity superior to meditation in stillness?”

“I call them moving meditation and still meditation.

Both are beautiful, and both have the same end: practicing concentration, achieving and maintaining inner stillness.

The difference is, still meditation requires preparation, whereas moving meditation does not. 

You can practice moving meditation anywhere, at any time

Wherever you are, you can choose to turn the next 5 minutes into meditation. (Time Focus)

Whatever you’re doing, you can choose to engage in it as meditation. (Activity Focus)”

Life Patterns

What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits. (Carl Jung)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What current aspects of your life are an evolution of previous ones?”

“I’ve identified three major aspects:

Moving as a child

I love moving.

I used to love moving as a child. Running, jumping, climbing, creative physical challenges… I realize I was doing Parkour long before I knew Parkour existed. Discovering Parkour was actually a rediscovery. Parkour is an evolution of my playful childhood adventures, and something I see myself doing forever. As I like to say, ‘Traceur forever’.

Soul Quest: Parkour Mastery
Identity: MoverTraceurAthlete
Mantra: Move beautiful.

My gaming years

I love playing.

Video games have been an addiction for me for many years. Many people play games as a temporary distraction from the real world. For me, they were my reality. I lived in imaginary fantastic worlds, and the real world was a temporary distraction.

I left video games behind and finally discovered the game of my life: my own life. I call it The Beautiful Game [<link; medium read]. The game is a meta-game, which is made up of a myriad lower-order games. I engage in it as both a Player and a Designer.

Soul Quest: Playful Living – Life as Play
Identity: Dani, the Ever-Playful
Mantra: Play is destiny.

Thinking as passion

I love thinking.

I lived in my head most of my life. At some point, I jokingly remarked that if I were to visually represent what the world looked like for me, it would have been mostly empty space and curves of attractive women.

I’ve been playing with ideas for a long time – one of my favorite pastimes. I disregarded other areas of my life, but in the process I got pretty good at it.

The next level in my evolution as a Thinker is meta-thinking, a concept I created to describe the (practical) process of creating conceptual tools and deconstructing meaning. It also involves balancing Thinking with Awareness. I realized that in order to master Thinking I also need to master Non-Thinking, disengaging the mind.

Soul Quests: Thinking Mastery – becoming a Super ThinkerArtful Living – Life as Art
Identity: ThinkerLife-Artist, Explorer and Creator of Meaning
Mantra: Think beautiful.”

The Parkour Walk 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“The tube (underground train) in Bucharest is beautiful.”

“What do you like about it?”

“It forms a continuous moving path littered with human-obstacles. It’s a beautiful movement challenge.

Whenever I go by tube, I walk back and forth from one end to the other for the entire duration of the journey.

Fun!”

“You must be getting quite a few stares.”

“This is an integral part of the practice. It’s also a beautiful emotional challenge.”

The Movement Game 4

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I move more?”

Play with building little challenges into everyday activities.

Take putting on your socks for instance. The default is doing it by sitting. You can do better.

Put on your socks while standing.
Put on your socks while standing on a balancing board.

You thus turn an everyday activity into a little movement snack [<link; medium read]. 

When people think of movement, they usually think of infrequent relatively large sessions.

I’ve inverted the paradigm: frequent short sessions throughout the day.

Taken individually, they may not look like much. But over the course of a day, all these little snacks compound [<link; medium read].”

On cold showers

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is the most important aspect of cold showers?”

The breathing.

Cold water, especially when very cold, produces a stress response. This manifests in increased heart rate and irregular breathing. By taking control of your breathing and slowing it down (conscious breathing), you slow down your heart rate, which has a calming effect.

The skill you’re practicing with cold showers is calmness in discomfort. This is an essential transferable life skill.”

Perpetual Motion Machine 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I want to never be sedentary for more than half an hour if I can help it. Every half an hour, I have a movement snack [<link; medium read].”

“What if you miss a break?”

Then I move more, proportionally to how much time I spent without moving.

One Rep

Learn the macro from the micro. (Josh Waitzkin)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I internalize quality?”

Always focus on one quality rep.

Internalize that every rep is the most important rep.

If you think ‘I’m doing 5 reps’, you’re focusing on the outcome.
Shift focus to the process.

‘I’m doing one quality rep.’

If you’re not successful, try again,
and again, and again,
until you get one.

If you’re successful, do another quality rep.
Then another. Then another.

You may reach 5, or not.
It doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you’re prioritizing quality over quantity.

You’re learning the macro – the Quality principle – from the micro – every little rep.”