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The classic definition of a student is one who goes to “school” for the purpose of learning. However, haven’t we have been students all our lives? From the time we were born, we have been on a voyage of trying to learn about the world around us. A lot of the skills we have developed from a very young age have been motivated by the desire to function well in the world.

As we graduated from school to (perhaps) college and beyond, formal education imparted by our systems taught us the skills we needed to (hopefully) get good jobs or be good entrepreneurs. Maybe, some of this education also taught us some social skills of how to engage with others and how to develop ad maintain good relationships. For those (like me) who went to school (in India and the USA) for a relatively long time, it was almost a relief to be able to say – yay, I’m finally done. I have learnt everything I needed to learn.

How much more wrong could I have been! I very quickly learnt that a little bit of technical knowledge is a dangerous thing – particularly when you are surrounded by world-class experts in your field. In addition, technical knowledge (in any area) does not equal on-the-job skills. They are called on-the-job skills for a reason – you learn them by stubbing your toe a few times after putting into practice what you learnt during your formal education.

But what does all this have to do with the education of the spirit? It is my proposition that our spiritual education sometimes follows a pattern that is similar to our “classic” education. We have our educators and influencers at all stages – from our spiritual infancy to adulthood. There may be certain “graduation” milestones along our journey that serve as growth markers in our spiritual growth and understanding.

However, there may be big gaps between our spiritual education and what actually works in practice for spiritual growth. What do you think? Is a formal system of spiritual education necessary (or useful)? Who have been your influencers so far on your spiritual journey? What lessons have they taught you? What is our role as students in spiritual education?

I invite you to join us in our weekly #SpiritChat discussion to share your thoughts on “Education and the Spirit”. Sunday, April 22nd at 9am ET / 1pm GMT. Thank you.

Kumud Ajmani

P.S. A follow-on chat will further expand this topic with a discussion about “The role of teachers” in spiritual growth. Thank you @authenticpower for your excellent suggestion about this topic!

Update: Here is the transcript http://bit.ly/sc-tr-0422 and questions – thank you to all who shared their wisdom!

Q1. What do the words "education" or "schooling" signify to you?
Q2. What are some important life lessons that you learnt in "school"?
Q3. How is our education connected to learning and wisdom?
Q4. Which is more important for spiritual growth - formal or self-education? Why?
Q5. Who are/were some of your most impactful teachers from a spiritual perspective?
Q6. What can nature (the earth) teach us that can help us grow spiritually? 
Q6. What can nature (the earth) teach us that can help us grow spiritually?
Q7. If nature is a great teacher, what can we give back to nature (earth)?
Q8. How do our acts of giving back what we learn affect our communities - offline and online?