I was having a discussion with my daughter about spirituality. I explained that it was difficult to describe something well enough that people know exactly what you experienced. I used the example of music. We have a language for recording musical notes on paper. We also have ways to record and replay music. We can describe it as upbeat, or somber, but none of these descriptions would be exact enough to duplicate the music without recording it and playing it back.
According to Goenkaji a central tenet of the Vipassana teaching is learning occurs in three levels. The first is when someone tells you something or you read something. The second level is when you take what you have learned, think about it and incorporate it into what you already know. This is when you decide if you agree with it or not and whether or not it will be useful to keep the information. Finally, there is experience. Once you experience something first hand you know it from your own senses. This is the same idea as, “people learn by doing”.
Music, as I was describing above, can only be taught through experiential learning. The ONLY song that I can play on the piano was taught to me that way. It is used in the song, “Play That Song” by TrainVEVO. It was short and easy to teach in a few minutes. I guess I’m not surprised to learn that many, many individuals learned to play this song on the piano. I know I taught it to a few people and likely it spread like a music virus through the children of my generation.