School of the 80’s: Learning from Stillness and Suspending

How fortunate I am to have such a forum as this GLP blog to share my new learning! In School of the 80s: Learning from Leisure, Experience and Vulnerability, I said I was learning apace as I turn 88! I realized that there were four factors at play in this learning: I have leisure, I have a wide set of experience, I have incredible vulnerability, and I have stillness in my life (I’ve sold my car!).

Leisure gives me so many options – some days I read one page of a book and linger there for the whole day! Wide experience allows any new item to find a hook to catch onto – I’ve probably been there and have the t-shirt! So, I can build new learning on what I have already learned.

My newly recognized vulnerability opens the doors of asking for help: a ride to the dentist, a grocery list, and “carry me” to the physical therapy center! I have been opened at my core – about time! The stillness opens me to the power of listening, of suspending, of looking into the quiet.

I wrote books on all of this; now I get to do it.

My new learning has shocked me! I am actually learning anew all that I have been teaching over the years. Aha! I see what suspending means! Aha! That’s what happens when the sequence is unattended! Accountability to Self – hmmmm!

For example, just yesterday I was reading Abraham Heschel’s book The Prophets (recommended to me by Walter Brueggemann). I learned the Hebrew word for learning which is ZD (Zada). This word in the Old Testament means learning with the mind, heart and body: cognitive, affective, psychomotor. It means much more than receiving information! Aha! Sound familiar?

I have realized that in this delightful School of the 80s I am learning, daily, all that I have taught over the previous years. Thank God!

So, I hope all who read this blog and who might have heard me teach or read my books realize: You ain’t heard but the half of it! Welcome the surprises in store!

What is life teaching you?


 Dr. Jane Vella is a celebrated author, educator and founder of Global Learning Partners.