Thursday, October 21, 2010

Learning is Like a Sun Tan

When I get out in the sunshine, I like to stand with my face directly in the sun. I like to feel the heat and light changing my blood and my mood. I don’t have to work at feeling the good vibes or producing vitamin D, or getting color. It’s natural, and it just happens. The process of learning is very much like this. You open up to your environment, you give yourself time for exposure, and the knowledge effortlessly soaks in. You tap into “big mind,” the space where creativity, possibility, and beingness are present and interdependent.

If you want to learn something new, you just need to point yourself in the direction of that learning. You will receive the teaching just like you receive the sunlight. You get hot. You feel better. You’re drawn to the subject like a plant always turning toward the sun. There is no “small mind” reaction, no question about whether or not you can learn, what your capacity might be, or whether or not you can retain knowledge or regurgitate it. Like a sunflower, your system is heliotropic, constantly turning toward new knowledge for the purpose of being alive.

For me, Pilates and yoga, really any kind of physical activity is like getting into the sunshine. I am automatically thrust into learning mode because I am using “big mind” through observing, experiencing and acting and abandoning “small mind” with its punitive or critical agenda. Although that might seem complicated, it’s so very simple, and so very straightforward. The secret to having a great movement practice, a great life, and a great tan is exactly the same--repeated exposure in a sunny state of mind.

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