Thursday, September 09, 2010

How Do You Learn?

As my summer came to a close this year, I rounded out my reading with the Training of the Zen Buddhist Monk. While an excellent read on the trial and tribulations that one must undergo to become a Zen Buddhist Monk, the statement that stuck with me the most was this:
"For this is the only way to study Zen. Nothing can ever really be learned until it works through the nerves and muscles. "
Running for me has proven to be my learning ground. More than hours spent in the universities and libraries earning a degree to obtain a job, it is out on the roads where I have learned the most. Don't get me wrong, I love listening to lectures, working in groups, reading, writing, etc. Sitting is not the way in which I learn.
However, I have learned more about my limits, my passions, my desires, my wants and needs when everything else is just stripped away and it is me and the road ahead. It is in motion, that my mind and body can catch up at the same speed and can work through the internal chatter of my mind, listen to body, and make sense of the world around me. It is in motion, that those thoughts, opinions, etc can work through the entire body rather than just through my head.
How is it that you learn best?


KovasP said...

I find the best way to learn is to try something brand new. Either muddle through on your own or find a true pro to guide you.

Pamela McGowan said...

Very true. We do learn a lot about ourselves while we're out there training to our limits.

Colin Hayes said...

I also learn by doing. I've never been good at doing something just because someone tells me I should (within reason, of course). I need to experience things for myself. Aside from the physical benefits, running also does a great job and stimulating my brain. I get some of my best ideas while running. I'm sure that's common.

Amy C said...

Well said. :)

I often find my mind more active, engaged and full of ideas when I'm on the trail.

Shelly said...

I learn best by seeing, doing and making mistakes. I've certainly made a lot of running mistakes (i.e. injuries), but I never give up. I love the solitude of mind on a run.