After the articles on “Practicing and Cultivating” and “Learning vs Studying”, it is already expected to see an article on note taking. Many people are so into this habit these days, but why some people can have great results, and some really just end up “taking notes” and not getting better? Should you take notes or not? If you are to take notes, how should it be done? Here goes some Taoist’s wisdom for you! Apply it to everything in life!
When we learn, we are supposed to NOT use the brain/soul, and only use the heart. You see, hear, and accept it fully without resistance. So why should you be taking notes if you are learning? That is right, no one should be taking notes when you are learning. Note taking is a kind of output, you are “making” things with your hands. Learning is a form of accepting, you need to look, hear, and accept, not to write or make anything. One of the worse things they teach you in school is to take notes during learning time, it totally kills the whole learning session, because you cannot accept things when you are outputting with your hand. It’s like trying to breathe in air and exhaling at the same time, that’s just not right to do.
During learning time, you should focus on ONLY accepting with your eyes, ears and heart. That’s it. Don’t move, don’t speak, don’t do anything. Just like the Tai Chi symbol, the black and white. You are learning then you are the negative, the black, which means you need to stay NEGATIVE, intaking, and not outputting.
When should note taking be done then?
Things goes into your HEART when you accept and learn properly, they are supposed to be memorized because you “get it”, because you understood them. However, your heart might not have enough capacity at the moment, or maybe your condition is not as good at the moment, there are things you don’t get yet. Your try to accept it, but there are confusions and maybe you need clarifications. That is when you should be taking notes, because your heart cannot accept it yet, then you let the paper or computer accept it first. It’s like in a buffet where you have food in your plate and your plate is too full to accept more food, then you put it into another plate first, so you can eat it later. Note taking should be for jotting down things that you are not clear about, or things that you cannot accept fully yet, or things that you are confused about. If you have understood 100% what the teacher taught, there is no need for a single word to be noted down at all, because the note should be in your heart and not the stupid paper.
A lot of kids are having fun doing note taking, like they are making art, hi-lighter mode, drawing and designing borders, and even doing so many details and such – it is totally a waste of time and not even doing what note taking is about. You spent all that effort to craft your art, but it is not even for you to get better at the subject, not for you to learn better, it’s like your art-game or entertainment only. It’s totally just wrong.
Notes are taken so you can go back to those points that you are not clear about later, then you can see if you can accept them 100% yet. If you are still stuck, then you can take the notes and ask your teacher about it, let them clarify it for you. Once you get it, you can throw the notes out already, because it should be already learned into your heart, and there is no need to have a piece of paper around. You learned to walk home from school with a little map, but once you learned how to walk that route, do you need the map anymore for everyday walking? Simple as that!
I hate it when I see disciples are on their note-taking-mode during learning time, and I hate it even more when I see them going note-mode during a ceremony. It shows me they have not learned a thing at all, or else why do you need notes? No real chef cook with a note book beside them, only those who have not learned and understand cooking need the cookbook. Same to Taoist, you know the ceremony and learned everything that it takes to do it, then you don’t need notes! No notes required for ceremonies and magic, please!
Notes are only a temporary storage for your heart, because your heart cannot take it 100% yet at the moment, the paper help your heart to take it for the time being. When your heart can store them in, then you can let go of the notes. It’s just a temporary thing, don’t be so bonded to notes! In fact, I have seen some smartass disciple try to be so smart on their note-work, end up she cannot even last 2 weeks in the lineage. These note-nerds only look smart, they are actually not smart but very stupid. If you have learned everything for real, there is no need for a note at all.
Hope you can learn well in our lineage, and if you are not in here yet, welcome to ordain today!