Many people say that they have learned, but not many studies hard. Wait a minute, what’s the difference? In this article, we will go through a lesson that teaches you how to learn and study in life, and also how to learn and study as a Taoist. I can tell you that MANY disciples don’t know and is very wrong from the beginning, especially when the American school system don’t even teach kids how to learn and study properly from the beginning. I really do think school should teach this in grade 1, or even before that, hope one of the important leaders can see this article one day and make the changes.
When you enter the lineage here, you need to learn before practice, just like in school you have teachers teaching you a new word, then you practice the word by writing it many times. You cannot practice before learning new things. The goal of learning is to intake something new, to accept new things into your system, which means you should be open to accept. How can you close your door to accept any packages from the outside?
Learning should be done with the heart, that means you DO NOT think or process when learning. Just like kids in school, they learn well because they have no resistance to the teacher. They just believe, accept and intake whatever the teacher tells them. Good kids learn well because they accept anything that is taught to them. The “smartass” doesn’t learn well because they think they knew already and always try to judge and compare when learning, end up they wasted all that time and cannot intake a thing at all, because their heart doesn’t even want to learn at the first place.
In my experience, most of the disciples coming in from the western side are in the bad learner type. They think they have seen a lot already; they think they have researched enough, they think they knew already; when I start teaching, they are not learning but comparing. Oh why is this different from what I knew and heard out there. Why is this not the clicking with what I knew before? Why is this so strange? When I see these disciples acting like that, I knew they are already not going to learn well. They are not even ready to learn, because they aren’t open to accept at all. Going forward is just a non-stop loop of wasting time debating and struggling. Guys, you need to learn how to learn before you can actually learn!
To learn, you need to shut your brain, don’t process, don’t compare, don’t think. ACCEPT 100% first and don’t put up your doubt, don’t be skeptic, don’t try to be a smartass. Be naïve, be a piece of white paper, be a blank, then you can learn. Use your eyes to see, ears to listen, and heart to LOVE what you are learning. When you can do this, you will learn very well.
After learning, you need to practice, because practice allows you to be able to take what you have learned out from your heart. Just like you have learned your new password to access your bank account, now you need to practice the password by copying it or reciting it many times so you don’t forget it when you need it.
Studying comes when you are done learning. Studying is to seek for advancement in the subject, to get better at something, and to improve on what you have learned. Just like we all learned how to cook a simple breakfast at home, some bacon and egg on the pan etc. Studying it is to analyze into the cooking process in details, and see why you cook egg that way, why the bacon should be like that, what details are you missing and not understanding, can you come up with questions to ask the teachers? Questions will be there when you studied something, because you must have things that you don’t fully understand or know yet, and questions are born to seek for answers, the answers are what makes your knowledge more full and complete. Studying makes one improve on the quality of their knowledge and skills.
Studying does not involve the heart, it is all about the brain or your soul. You need to keep thinking, searching for details, analyzing what you have learned, practice and analyze from your own practice, find out what you need to polish up everything, to make it better, to improve on the overall quality and understanding of the subject. Many people know how to practice writing, they write over and over again. However, the good calligraphy artist will study the things they practiced and then look for ways to do better, and then practice again with the tweaks to improve furthermore. Overtime, their practice brings them MUCH more positive results than those who just practice non-stop with ultra-speed. Why you practice 300 hours and don’t see improvement, while the other guy did 30 hours and improved a lot? Because you never studied during practice, you only practiced for speed and not studied for quality improvements.
I have a bunch of disciples who might practice, but not many of them studied at all. I can see it clearly, because they don’t have questions. When a disciple don’t ask questions, it means they never studied, because they have no desire for knowledge, for improvements, for answers, and that is why they end up without any fruits at the end, and that is why they are staying at the same level for many years. It doesn’t matter you are smart or dumb, even the smartest guy in the world need to study and find out more questions to ask. You see how many famous scientists are very smart but all they do is coming up with MORE questions to figure out more answers to things they don’t know, and that is what makes them a great scientist. You as a Taoist, have you done that to figure out MORE things you don’t know YET? Study more, then you will have question.
To cultivate the Tao, you need to study because that is what brings you to the next level of advancement and finding out more things you don’t know before. Studying is done with the brain, you need to process, analyze, and have the desire for knowledge. Lazy people don’t study, because they feel like its too much brain work to do, and that is why lazy people never have great achievement in life. They can only be doing work for people like being a labor worker, being a line cook in a store doing the same cooking everyday like a robot, or maybe working in a warehouse packing boxes and stapling things etc. However, those who are different in this world, they study everything they do, like how you see the big guys who invented tech for us – they ALWAYS look for ways to improve and upgrade the tech every year. Like how computer and cellphone upgrade every year. If there is no studying, how can they find out what to improve or upgrade on?
Successful people STUDY, and that is why they have achievements in life. Be a good learner and a good Taoist who study, and you will see the fruit all the time. When you study and see results, joy will be there. You cannot enjoy something because you don’t have the actual fruit yet. You don’t have the fruits yet, because you never studied.
Oh right, you do not "read books to study" or "make notes to study". There are many ways for different people to study too. Studying can be done in many ways, not just by reading books! For example, you can study programming by going to work in a company as a programmer. Your experience will teach you more than books too!
Most importantly, if you are a new guy here, ORDAIN today to get started, and don’t study yet! You need to LEARN first!