This immediately brought to mind one of the teachings of a local Zen school I have spent some time with, which is: “Don’t know.” Here is a short explanation of the concept:
We have this radical teaching …
admitting the truth that we don’t know and go from there.
If we really live that, it changes everything.
Don’t-Know doesn't mean stupid. It means What Is It? Suddenly our eyes are open, we’re vibrating with energy because we wonder,
“What?”… rather than, “Oh yeah, I know that!”
- Empty Gate Zen Center
This place of not knowing seems to me to be very much in alignment with Unconditional Education ideal of Curiosity.
“Since every student, family, teacher and school is unique, sometimes even the tried and true tricks of the trade will fall short. In these instances, Unconditional Education is the process of engaging in relentless CURIOSITY, the willingness to revise previous notions of what a student needs and ingenuity to develop out-of-the box solutions when initial efforts have not produced the desired results.”
This relentless curiosity is certainly an element I try to bring into my work every day, and as an intern, it’s a natural part of my experience.
Practically speaking, there is a lot that I don’t know. Academically, I have hardly scratched the surface of the world of information that will make me the therapist and social worker I want to be. Professionally, I’m at the beginning of this part of my career and most days feel like being on a bike with no training wheels for the first time; wobbly but rewarding. I am continuously learning and developing new skills, and with this I am increasing my confidence and always striving to be better today than yesterday.
That being said, not knowing is an experience I hope to continue to cultivate throughout my career. Not knowing creates space for creativity and compassion and can be a remarkable platform for healing.
I’m grateful to be a part of a program that incorporates this into our work with students. By making the commitment of Unconditional Education to our students, I believe we are also making a commitment to ourselves, which will allow each of us to contribute in the most effective and authentic way possible. I’m proud to be on this team!
Brittany Allinger, Clinical Intern