I’m reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Not finished yet. I’m halfway through the book.
So in the book, he says that one way (the only way?) to be happy is to be in the Now, to be present, right here right now. He also says the reason some people choose dangerous activities or sports as favorite pastime is because they have to become very alert, very aware, and be “present” while they are doing the activity.
I can’t help but thinking… maybe that’s why I like studying Korean so much. Because I get to be alert, present, aware of my own thoughts and feelings, and just be in the Now? Many learners think they study in order to be fluent someday in the future, but I study to enjoy my “now”. When I’m studying Korean, I become completely freed of my thoughts of resentments and problems during the day. And without problems, right here, right now, I am happy.
He also says about practicing to be in the Now by becoming aware of our own thoughts. I think studying Korean has become my way to train myself to do just that. I always consciously do a mental self-talk while studying about a word or grammar. I don’t just read and absorb like I did when I was studying for school. I also consciously have a mental discussion with myself every time something feels wrong or I have a negative thought about learning Korean on my own. Like “you’re not smart enough to learn Korean”, “Korean is too difficult”, “you’re handicapped because you don’t go to school”, “you will get nowhere because you don’t live in Korea”, etc. By becoming aware of it, I find my solution, eventually I stop believing my negative thoughts, and I always return to my peaceful mental state and continue studying Korean again, happily.
Learning Korean is good for my spiritual growth. I wouldn’t have guessed that. A little embarrassing to admit this, I might sound crazy, but yes, that’s really how I feel about learning Korean. ###