Friday, July 2, 2010

Experience

I read something today about experiencing life fully. It talked abut jumping into water and not thinking about oneself or the water... only swimming. This appears to be so contrary to "education." That is, education defined as thinking about one does.

I'm reminded about a man called Slim in Garibaldi Oregon (I expect that he is long gone). Every night he'd go to the tavern and drink. Every morning he'd be at the dock to meet the fisherman coming back with catches. I would watch him for hours cleaning the fish and throwing their remains to the seagulls.

Is this what the zen teachers are talking about when they say to experience whatever you are doing fully? Is zen training a process of uneducating? I understand in ancient times most people were peasant farmers who were involved with farming. Were they doing what the Zen masters preached?

One of my art teachers told me about teaching in a mental institution. He said that at first the patients had lots of fun, but then they started thinking about what they were doing and they started getting so disturbed that they had to stop offering the art classes.

If what I'm saying (that education keeps us from experiencing things fully) has any truth then why do we do it? And how could schools be changed so that students would be more capable of experiencing life fully rather than less? Ideas?

3 comments:

sheila said...

How about both/and? maybe education can include meditation at every age (plus interactive, participatory processes) so that "experience" includes "awareness" or "mindfulness" more than it would without education?

Anonymous said...

Education should teach us how to evaluate, without this element we are subject to constant distructive occurances reducing the quality of our lives. H.

Kim Mosley said...

At that moment of evaluation we cease to be experiencing. Imagine passionate lovemaking being interrupted with the question, "how would you rate me, on a scale of ..." Deadly. We evaluate too much. Evaluate is to assign a value to something... different than interpretation, which is to give something a meaning or context.