I'm a bit high on finally getting the paper version of my book out. All week I've been getting texts and emails from people showing me their copy of the book and sending kind words. It's a bit hard to rest. I have so much more to do. In the process of writing the book, at some point I had to stop and do the hard work of editing and working out the final details. That took more than a year. And in that time new ideas and new evidence kept pouring in. It has been coming in faster than ever before. So I now have two more books to write. I also have endless ideas for videos. But I want to produce higher quality videos than I have in the past. That means collaborators and funding.
I'm also inspired to teach more. I have been working on a simple idea I got from Rory Miller. There are four types of teaching: cognitive, training, conditioning, and play. Training takes a long time and only kicks in after multiple (3-5 depending on complexity) adrenalized experiences. Conditioning is part of play and fast. And cognitive learning is essential for any type of deep learning or change, but it has to be paired with experience. At the same time intensity is often mistaken for truth. So games can lead to massive blind spots.
Conditioning is always happening and there are four basic types: The first two are positive reinforcement, and negative reinforcement, which require immediate feedback. The second two are also positive and negative but involve the absence of feedback or feedback in which something is removed from the learning environment. Understanding and observing conditioning is a huge responsibility. But thinking about it, I realized that as a teacher I am being conditioned by my students at the same time. I have to be aware of that too.
Thinking about this, and experimenting with it has changed me. Keith Johnstone's work on improvisation in the theater was all about conditioning. I realize that now. I'm calling this project Jedi and Sith training. There are bad, evil and sneaky ways to teach, and there are honest, kind and empowering ways to teach. And then there are the grey areas. I'm getting students to think about this because once you realize that your teachers might be unconsciously evil, you have a powerful tool to solve problems. More on that later.
Meanwhile check this out. Paul U. Unschuld, a leading translator and thinker about Traditional Chinese Medicine admits he has never tried it. I recommend his books. He has influenced my thinking in a positive way. But, man oh man, what kind of person dedicates themselves to studying something and never actually tries it? (More)
And then there is Tai Chi as a punishment! (Hat Tip to Ben Judkins)
Ben Judkins also gets a hat tip for getting me thinking about Jedi and Sith, his talk at the Martial Arts Studies Conference was inspiring.