Feel-trips and our senses

12/10/2008 14:40

When asked by Guoyong if everything can be taught by framing it around big ideas, I launched into a long discourse on how big ideas can generally help us frame "What to teach". I cautioned that an over-dependence may not really be a good idea though. The conversation drifted to my strong encouragement to include all the five senses when conducting fieldtrips for students and Guoyong said instantaneously that "Oh so the big idea of fieldtrips is really 'feel-trips'". How brilliant... I told him I will quote him forever on that.


Today, I went for a Buddhist Seminar on Positive Psychology by Ajahn Brahm. And on story he told inspired me.

One day Ajahn Brahm decided that instead of taking a ride in the car up the hill to his monastery 60 km south of Perth, he would like to take a nice stroll. As he walked he realised to his amazement that there were many beautiful things on the path which he had traveled so often, that he has not noticed over the last 9 years since the monastery was set up. He could see the colours vividly, sights with a new perspective and even grains on the rocks.

Moral of the story, slow down and truly see the world as it is. Do not lock yourself in a fast travelling vehicle, for you will certainly lose a great deal of detail in what you perceive.

Of course Ajahn Brahm said this to inspire us all to meditate, for when you meditate that you can slow down enough to gain perspective. But as Geographers, isn't that what we want to do in the field; we would like to take in the field and experience it to the fullest?
Just a thought.


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