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      If you want to read this article in Italian, go here: https://goo.gl/Xc5Mo4 As you are reading the following text, from any device you’re doing it, and regardless of your background, I invite you to do a little experiment with me. Imagine for a moment that you are in a beautiful place. What is it? Think about it [...]
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What has Siddharta to do with the learning of Italian?

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 8 novembre 2014

“You know, my dear, that I already as a young man, in those days when we lived with the penitents in the forest, started to distrust teachers and teachings and to turn my back to them. I have stuck with this. Nevertheless, I have had many teachers since then. A beautiful courtesan has been my teacher for a long time, and a rich merchant was my teacher, and some gamblers with dice. Once, even a follower of Buddha, travelling on foot, has been my teacher (…)”

Which in Italian has been translated as follows:

“Tu sai, amico, che già da giovane, allora, quando vivevamo tra gli asceti del bosco, io ero pervenuto a diffidare delle dottrine e dei maestri e ad allontanarmi da loro. Sono rimasto allo stesso punto. Tuttavia ho avuto dopo d’allora molti maestri. Una bella cortigiana è stata per lungo tempo mia maestra, e un ricco mercante fu mio maestro, nonché alcuni giocatori d’azzardo. Una volta anche un discepolo del Buddha in pellegrinaggio fu mio maestro (…)”

Hermann Hesse

A little time ago I finished reading aloud the book (where from the previous excerpt was taken) to my wife… Yes, I admit it: I read books aloud to my wife! I consider it, along all other things I do with her, something pleasant that I share with the person I love, and besides - depending on the books we read - it makes both of us grow and improve.

Exactly this excerpt inspired me write what follows and you can read it till the end to find out what Siddhartha and the Italian language may have in common. Do you know the Siddhartha’s story? If so, good; if not, relax, by reading till the end you’ll manage to understand where I want to get at!;-)

As you may know, if you follow this blog, sometimes I get passionate about something and I want to learn it, many times on my own, some other times (less, actually) with a live course. And I try and learn from the best (or at least the ones I believe are the best!), just like I suggest you do in the book Risveglia il tuo italiano! Sometimes I manage to single the best teachers out, sometimes I don’t, but even when I am wrong (and it happens!) the question I ask myself is: what’s there that, despite everything, can be useful for me to learn from this person and situation?

You should know that - perhaps it depends on the mind maps that I love doing - I love seeing things from different perspectives and get my own conclusions, keeping in mind one of the values that for me are fundamental.

My goal - in my small way and with due proportion - has always been to empower people, to make them self reliant… After all we know that it’s better teach someone to fish, instead of giving him a fish. It’s better that you learn how to learn on your own, instead of depending on someone else, isn’t it? What do you think about what I’ve just written? (Let me know on the Facebook page or on the Google+ page if you want and it’s a pleasure for you!)

I’ve already written and in all possible ways that you can acquire Italian on your own, also by keeping in consideration the social side of all this: language is a means to communicate with other people! So, after learning it, after training yourself mentally to use it, just… use italian and enjoy!

When I find someone sharing this same value (that of empowering people!) I am happy, especially if this person is up to date with
the latest research in neuroscience (the person you are about to read below is also author, along with Shawn Carson, of the book “Keeping the brain in mind”, of which I talked about in a previous post of mine).

Lately this thing has happened a few times…

It happened once with Melissa Tiers, as I am attending the course “Coaching the Unconscious Mind” and, to integrate/absorb/remember the content of it, I am using Tony Buzan’s Mind Maps. The course is in English and this allows me to keep my English in shape, as well as to improve it, while attending something that’s really interesting for me!


The same thing happened with another wonderful course (also in English!) where two great university professors (Dr. Barbara Oakley e Dr. Terrence Sejnowski) taught me again to learn how to learn (the title of the course was right “learning how to learn“). The course was free, but it was really worth a lot, because it taught how to… fish;-), uhm… to become self-reliant while studying an learning and everything was sparkled with humor and a pinch of neuroscience.

I love saying “knowledge is power and can also be fun if you know how to learn” (“la conoscenza è potere e può essere anche divertente se sai come imparare“), but I have to admit that acting upon what you learn is much better! So, I advise you, who are reading this page, what follows: learn and act!

Now, there’s a very simple technique that Melissa Tiers teaches and suggests that you use it also as a pattern interrupt, when you have bad habits you want to change, cravings, or even in the case of anxiety (she’s the author of the booklet “The Anti-anxiety Toolkit) and she calls this technique bilateral stimulation… A very simple action that allows you to activate both your brain hemispheres - and you can see her with your own eyes as she shows you how you can practice it, unfortunately in English and not in Italian!

The youtube link is: http://youtu.be/3Sy9YGeNjCI

From the big picture I have on several subjects, it seems to me bilateral stimulation is based - more or less - on the same principles other exercises are based: such as Brain Gym (More here: http://goo.gl/vYIeTR ) , or another ancient exercise called Super Brain Yoga (http://goo.gl/9C8Srl). The main difference is that bilateral stimulation is used by Melissa as a way to stop an urge, Brain Gym and Super brain Yoga may be used in a generative way (I mean: content free and toward your real potential).

When I find something interesting and useful, even if a bit weird, I love experimenting it on my own! I did it, so perhaps you can do it too and notice the differences between times when you practice these exercises before speaking Italian and times when you don’t.

You may be thinking that all these exercises aren’t helpful at all, that they are rubbish, that they are based on suggestion, but anyway… does it really matter? If these exercises work for you, very good! If they don’t, then you can laugh because you practiced them… And we all known that laughing is good! ;-)

So, remember that you can learn Italian - and many other things! - from a lot of people (speaking Italian, of course) and from everything that surrounds you, by experiencing it, because, by saying it Siddhartha’s way, wisdom can’t be transferred…And at the same way, you can have all teachers you want to improve your Italian, but no one can do it for you. It’s you the one who can act constantly and relentlessly toward your goal of speaking Italian very well, also by relaxing while enjoying your journey.

You can have all teachers you want so that you too can grow and discover what Siddhartha found out;-)

Relax and enjoy the journey!


P.s.: I adapted this article from a former article of mine in Italian… You can read it from here: http://goo.gl/i9qFZO

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