Learning is simple and easy in our lineage, but the virtue of learning is most often overlooked. What happen if you do not pay attention to the virtue of learning? You will be losing interest in learning, your heart will be fading away, and you will be soon not wanting to learn. We can always imagine a parent scolding the kid, telling them to “study harder” and “do your homework”, but that is what most people assumed to be the “key to get better grade”. The reality is that it doesn’t, and it might only make the person hate studying because it is just purely outputting more for nothing in return. In this article we will talk about the virtue of learning, which applies to Taoists in our lineage mostly, but you can apply it to any situation like school or even learning from other hobby classes etc.
Virtue for Yourself
The word virtue here is “Duck” 德 (Cantonese) which means that you are putting things back into the heart, which is where you took the energy from. Think about it, if you keep doing something and spending all that effort (drawing energy from the heart to do it), and end up your heart is not feeling happy at all, will you want to continue?
Of course not!
To give back to the heart, it is all about physical matters. The physical matters giving your soul an experience, and then it will be felt back into you.
There are smart parents who use incentives to encourage the children to learn. For example, you finish this homework nicely then you get this candy. (It needs to be something the kid likes). Then the kid will be happy for getting the candy, and there goes something felt in the heart. This is a form of virtue, which cannot be overlooked. Once you dull the heart, it will be no longer wanting to give you energy, and you will give up or surrender!
For adults, most of them have forgotten this, and they think they just need to be a workhorse to be good, anything “kiddo” is just stupid. No, that is not the case! Try this next time. Make yourself do something, such as learning a spell and achieving something, maybe memorize the first 4 lines of it, then you will make something to award yourself. Maybe you want to make some food that is tasty, or you can buy yourself a small thing that you like. Do that a few times and you will see the result. Awarding your heart back is a way to communicate with it, and make your HEART likes you, want to help you, and want to GIVE YOU again. Don’t kill your heart please, be good to it, and make sure you are using something you can SEE and use to FEEL. It must be something physical, and something that makes you happy or smile. Something you won’t want to even get or do on normal days.
A wrong way to do this is to say – ok if I am not done with this then I will not get dinner tonight. That’s call self-torturing and THREATENING which is totally the opposite of what I said. You cannot THREATEN the heart, or else it will just quit and snap! Dinner is a must, you cannot ignore that or use it to threaten yourself.
However, how about maybe a fancy chocolate egg, you know, those with a little toy inside? You won’t buy that for sure on your normal days, but you could get one to make yourself smile for awarding. Or how about making a desert that is EXTRA on top of the dinner? That can be done too. It should be AWARDING and not THREATENING.
You can set small, medium and big award too.
A small award is something that you can touch or see then it makes you smile or happy, a medium award is something you can interact with but not keep and still keep you smile or happy, a big award is something you can consume and/or keep and make you happy!
Small award - let’s watch a funny video to make myself happy!
Medium award - let’s play a fun 5-10 mins game on the PC!
Big award - let’s eat a special a snack!
Extra big award – let’s buy myself a new thing I wanted!
Virtue for the Teacher
Now you understand how to do better with the virtue toward yourself, that’s a good start! Next is the virtue that you need to have for the teacher side. The one teaching you GAVE you, then you need to care about what you are GIVING BACK. If you give back too little, or wrongly, the teacher will not FEEL it, and slowly they will not want to teach again, because their heart doesn’t want to!
As a teacher myself, I can tell you that this is VERY true.
Giving back to the teacher, 3 levels again!
Small – it starts from the heart, you need to be truthfully thankful and appreciating the teacher for his teachings, time, and effort etc.
Medium – by telling the teacher HOW you appreciate verbally or by messages etc. A lot of people really just say “thanks!” and gone. Some even say “noted” and gone… that’s very sad. When I just see a “thanks” from the disciples, I instantly lost feeling already, it’s so F-king cold and meaningless. Thank what?! Thank for showing up? Thank for the time? Thank for not kicking your butt? I don’t even know what that Thank is for. Also, look at how much I have output, is your “thanking” equal to or about the amount I have given? Compare and you know how ridiculous that “thank” is. This factor also has a “time” element, you don’t keep getting teachings from me and thank me 2 hours later and make me wait, right?
Big – When you have received something and “got it”, then that means you have “got” something, it’s time to upgrade your “thank” to something BIG which is something I can also keep. You can respond back with a video that I can keep, showing me what you have learned! Or maybe repeat what I have taught and let me see you can do it too. A lot of disciples just know to learn but not to show, and end up I don’t even know what the heck they are doing on their own time. After 2 months, end up they did everything wrong and kept doing it for 2 months. Oh mine.
Extra big – when you have really got it and got it correctly, you should think about doing extra big give back, such as doing a contribution to the lineage or something like that to show your appreciation. It’s not like just you learning then it’s all good, you are contributing to the lineage to hope for the others in the lineage to be able to keep learning and learn even better. Therefore, you support the lineage, to help others learn better!
Here is something to think about – when you are giving back, such as making a video or something, think about your quality too. Just making a video but the whole picture is blurry, sound is muffled or quiet like a ghost, do I feel happy watching? Do you feel proud of yourself sending that “video”? If you don’t even have pride in it, why do you send it to me? Is that the respect you have for me? If you cared, you should have realized that you need to also upgrade your stuff to get better quality video and such when “giving back” too. I care for my disciples, so I upgrade my gears to get them better video and audio etc. As disciples, you should think like that for me too. When both party is doing the same, the whole experience will level up so much more, and we would love the communication so much more.
Digest this information, start applying it, and you would be getting much more progress in your Tao journey!