The Twelve Life Lesson: Learn how to balance

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Dear Bella,

You are learning new things every day from different people and your surroundings. I am thinking of a way to guide you how to learn anything effectively.

I think the teachings of one of the greatest teachers, Buddha, may be useful for this matter. He talked about how to balance the five faculties during the mindfulness practice. But I think this skill can be applied to learning anything too.

The five faculties are faith, wisdom, perseverance, concentration and mindfulness. First, we need to set a goal and have faith in it. After finding a way to achieve it, we need to stick to the path. We also need to have faith in ourselves to achieve the goal.

Second, we need to balance faith with wisdom. Wisdom comes from our prior experiences, knowledge and reasoning. We should not have blind faith in a path. We need to reflect constantly to find the right way to learn.

Third, we need to learn with perseverance. There will be challenges in any path. But we need to put enough effort every day to face them so that the goal can be realized.

Fourth, we need to balance perseverance with concentration. We cannot force the mind to concentrate. This will put too much stress on it and cultivate resistance. We need to make learning fun and light so that we can persevere. Just relax and the right concentration will arise.

Finally, mindfulness helps balancing the previous four faculties. It helps us to observe the learning process from a distance and stops us from becoming extreme. But we cannot force mindfulness to happen as it is not controllable. It arises when we have the right concentration and be at the present moment fully.

I hope this will help you learn anything happily in the future.

Love,
Mom

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