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Zen & the Art of Education

July 04, 2022

I’m not a Buddhist - but I AM fascinated by the concepts of Eastern philosophy and how these can be applied to everyday living - in fact that is one of the things I love about the Eastern approach - it's very holistic, very practical - kind of like my approach to education!

In this episode we are going to be looking at 'Zen' and how this can be applied to the experience of education.

'Zen' is not a religion in the traditional sense. It is not a set of principles or dogmas that you adhere to, but its focus is on what the Zen Studies Society calls 'an ultimate reality' - it is life in its fullest sense - the maximised life we seek out here on the Blueprint.

When we think of 'education' we usually think of the structures. The building, or at least the formalised social framework where learning is supposed to take place. Teachers. Students. Classrooms... But not a lot of thought is given to those divine moments of connection when all of that external structure 'disappears' and a student becomes one with the content they are studying. It's a magical experience, that unfortunately is all too rare in the traditional educational setting.

Due to the mass-production style of education we have adopted, the focus has shifted from transforming young people - to managing young people. The underlying premise is that structured learning cannot happen in a chaotic environment, therefore structures are put in place to ensure that the learning environment is as controlled as possible - unfortunately this also squeezes out individuality, which in turn reduces engagement! The very structures that we put in place to help young people to learn - stop them from owning the experience.

In this episode we are going to explore the vital importance of 'leaving spaces' for learning to happen - sure we can have structures that promote positive behaviours BUT how can we do this without 'sterilising' and destroying the natural curiosity that students inherently carry?

Find out more about how we leave space for learning...


"Zen is not effort. Effort is tension, effort is work, effort is to achieve something. Zen is not something to achieve. You are already that. Just relax, relax so deeply that you become a revelation to yourself."

- Zenful Spirit Quotes


Links mentioned in this episode:

>> Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

>> Zen Studies Society - what is Zen

>> Zenful Spirit Quotes


You can now enjoy this episode on your favourite podcast site!

Listen on itunes
Watch The Blueprint with slides on YouTube




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