The intellect is a sword, and its use is to prevent identification with any particular phenomenon encountered. The most powerful minds cling to the fewest fixed principles. The only clear view is from atop the mountain of your dead selves. — Peter Carroll


Insaning is the deliberate cultivation of qualities that might ordinarily be considered “crazy” qualities to cultivate. These include disagreeableness, inflexibility, lack of neurotic concern for what people will think of you, and a stubborn refusal to engage in niceness at the cost of kindness. If you find small talk unpalatable, but care about people, you get the idea.

A key aspect of Insaning is the externalisation of internal and semi-conscious behaviours such as self-criticism, self-aggrandisement, paranoia, judgement and storytelling. In the privacy of our own idiotic minds we can get away with pretty much anything without attracting unwanted attention from others or even from ourselves. Thus we jump from thought to thought, judgement to judgement without noticing how disconnected our thoughts and judgements are from each other. What meditators call “monkey mind” is more than just mental agitation; it is the conscious experience of our mental chaos, and should be considered an attainment in itself. For most people most of the time, even the chaos itself is hard to notice.

What’s needed is a commitment to full-bodied pursuit of non–mechanical thinking. This is slow, boring, upsetting and unsatisfying work, which I have the arrogance to charge people for. It leads to deep and lasting changes, but not necessarily those you might want. The end goal, however, is always freedom.

A freedom that can be felt deep in one’s bones, and scares the neighbours.


All Dharma-related appointments are free of charge, but are only available to people in Daicho’s Zen community.