Today i would like to tell you about Wisdom. There are 3 different types of wisdom.
- The wisdom we hear from others perhaps in a conversation where someone imparts a truth
- Then there is intellectual wisdom when we go further into intellectual understanding perhaps by reading a book or taking a course
- Finally there is the third type of wisdom when we experience insight and truth first hand for ourselves. This is experiential wisdom.
I will share you an example where Sri S N Goenka describes the three types of wisdom from the perspective of being in a restaurant environment.
1st wisdom heard – this is when a friend or coworker recommends a restaurant and we read positive reviews. We have a favorable impression and decide to make a reservation.
The next level of wisdom is deeper where we gain intellectual understanding. We show up, get seated and browse the menu. As a server passes by we see delectable dishes. Our mouth waters and our tummy growls.
Last the third type of wisdom occurs when we receive our food. We taste and know it is good for ourselves . This is experiential learning / applied wisdom. This third type of wisdom is the most powerful , the one that leads to transformation and liberation.
Wisdom that arrives through our own experience .
The Sanskrit verse to attain knowledge is:
असतो मा सद्गमय । Asatō mā sadgamaya
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय । tamasō mā jyōtirgamaya
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय । mr̥tyōrmā amr̥taṁ gamaya
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥ Om śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ
– Br̥hadāraṇyakopaniṣat 1.3.28
“O Lord Lead me from the unreal to the real.Lead me from darkness to light.Lead me from death to immortality.May there be peace, peace, and perfect peace”.Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28.
I share this because this is common for people who are interested in meditation to be drawn to intellectual understanding . This is how we learnt in school. We read, absorb, memorize and take a test.
Meditation is int like that. Sure it can helpful to read books and take proper courses to learn the correct technique but the deeper understanding can only come from Doing. With time and patience, through experiential learning we witness and realize the benefits for ourselves.
So read about mindfulness, have conversations about it and take courses by all means, but expect the deepest insights, the most everlasting wisdom to come from sitting down, closing your eyes, and discovering this practice for your selves.
As Conficuious said :
I hear and I forget,
I see and I remember,
I do and I understand.