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March 31, 2007


Steli Efti

Hi Joshua, thankx for your participation :) I love the title of your post! Did you ever had a "zen moment of learning"?

Joshua Hwang

Thanks for having me, Steli!

Although I can't say I know exactly what zen is, I would like to think I have had several zen moments of learning.

A little while ago I was researching for a Philosophy of Medicine project, and I was in a very calm and productive mindset. I didn't seem to notice how much work I was doing until I stepped back.

And I know a lot of people don't like math, but I think it is very easy to get absorbed into the now when you are solving a challenging problem.


I would expand by saying that every goal or vision requires "studying" both inner and outer world aspects. The exam is whether they are still going in the right direction. (mini quiz). And yes there is intrinsic studying. Anything that broadens your tolerance level by improving your ability to see different perspectives or simply to satisfy curiosity. :)

Steli Efti

What about the "feelings" of learning. Learning used to feel like hard work to me as a pupil. Then - after reframing learning to me from something that causes pain to something that gives me freedom - I literally LOVE learning. I am a learning lunatic :) How do you FEEL about the feeling that most students have while learning?


Zen of Studying...I have to remember this: ooohhhmmm.... :) cool info! Cheers

Joshua Hwang

About direction, sometimes I find that it is easy to get distracted from one's original goal (pure learning, for example) in the light of a world of external pressures (competition especially). It is a careful balance, as Peter noted, to keep both in mind.

Are their certain environments (internal or external) that help us remember our paths?

Joshua Hwang

Wow this is crazy, you type something, and then there's already another comment. But I digress...

I think the love of learning is the most natural state for all of us learners. (So Steli, I do not think you are a lunatic.) I really believe that deep inside everyone, even those who say they hate learning, that they yearn for the satisfaction that comes with new knowledge.

It's sort of funny because there are so many factors that can make one adore or abhor learning. The trick is finding your groove.


Cool post to find out how and why I learn. I think I´m one of these guys: Others may study to develop their ability to learn. The process of learning is what interests them more than the content itself. Here the focus lies in the skills required.

Joshua Hwang

You know what Halil, I think I'm one of those guys too.

The marks grab only came about because of utility and asian parenting. The pure interestingness of the content is not always there. But the process is always, hopefully, something to be cultivated.

I think finding zen in learning is just an extention of how to dive deeper into the process.

Finding the mind is the mind.... Ooh, trippy.

Steli Efti

Well said Joshua! Do you think there is a way for schools to show their students the GROOVE? I believe schools should become a little more groovy anywayz don´t cha? ;)

Joshua Hwang

I like your post Steli, now I'm thinking of that Pussycat Dolls song.

The trick, one of them at least, is differentiation (a more technical way of saying cater to the students needs). Frankly, I wouldn't know how to bring this about practically in a school setting (without a lot more money); however, there are a lot of people smarter than me posting today. In fact, Jon Bennett replied to this question when I posed it earlier today:


That's some nice work.


The use of blogs and wiki's where there is interaction. Teacher posts what to find out then steps out of the way until the end and recaps to the idea of the lesson would be 1 possibility

Joshua Hwang

Ah Peter, sweet sweet self-directed learning. Right after I read your post, I knew you were the one that posted about it. I am sorry to say I was doing biochemistry at the time the discussion was flourishing.

I know this mode of learning works for older students, do you know if it works for younger ones as well? Or is it appropriate for them?


If they can write I think it is applicable. Closer monitoring and individual discussions might be required but the idea is to make it fun. The topics should initially be about geography, cartoons, what's for lunch exchange program, what's the highest mountain that have people living on it....

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This is an excellent question why we study so much. What do we hope to gain through studying? because I think that's perfect because we should be prepared for different issues and situations we can face during life, I think it's a source to overcome troubles.m10m

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