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  • smshige3

Learning through Experience

When I explain to students that I want them to engage in exercises that take them beyond the limitations of their cognitive, rational, logical, analytical, critical brains some are uncomfortable, others are fearful. That's all they're used to in an academic setting and are afraid of the unknown and what might happen if drawn out of their comfort zones. I assure them that what we are doing has meaning by quoting Einstein.

“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience. You need experience to gain wisdom. . . . Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world; all knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it.”

They want to change their lives, but opening themselves to this way of learning is hard for people who seek information and are stuck in their thinking brains. In their world, information is abundant and easily accessible, and helps solve problems, make good decisions, or convince them that something is real. But to learn and discover genuinely creative ways of living

they have to do something with the knowledge they gather, actively and practically applying that information to make their lives better.

And so they begin to experience, letting go of their obsessive, compulsive thinking and just being there as present as possible in that moment. They engage in the process of liberation from the chains and boundaries of their egos and look inside themselves, and see and listen to others. By practicing being a better person they become better people. They sense that well being goes beyond the pursuit of knowledge to the realm of surrendering to the experience of being in the world with beginner's mind open to what comes to them.

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