What is Wisdom Cultivation?

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Insight is a necessary ingredient

Knowledge is the accumulation of facts that you have learned or information you have gained through experience. Knowledge is about study, research, investigation, observation- about taking in new things. As a culture, we are focused on obtaining knowledge, and fact-based, left-brained, intellectual information is revered.

The Wise Mind

The space within the mind where one’s knowledge and insight come together can be referred to as the Wise Mind. The phrase comes from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), where the Wise Mind is conceptualized as the sweet spot between the rational (fact-based) part of our minds and the emotional (feeling-based) part. DBT is a mindfulness-based behavioral therapy that focuses on balancing the tension between acceptance and change, which can enable the synthesis of opposing thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Cultivating wisdom requires practice

As with any new skill, getting into a state of wise mind (or cultivating wisdom) requires practice. Sadly, many of us humans can gain a lifetime of knowledge but never derive insights from it, and never move towards practicing wisdom. In modern times, we look at knowledge as power; a resource that we can use to gain status, authority, and financial security. We are overwhelmingly rationally minded, and when we do leap over to our emotional mind, it is often so chaotic and foreign feeling that we can’t wait to jump back out.

How does one move from knowledge to insight to wisdom?

Wisdom Cultivators is one of the first organizations to focus on supporting the growth of wisdom by offering psycho-education and a community through which to practice living from the wise mind. Psycho-education is not enough to promote well-being because it primarily supports the growth of knowledge. Without a place to practice transforming knowledge into insight and then into wisdom, lasting personal well-being and positive social change are hard to achieve.

  1. Teachings that harmonize with the ancient wisdom found across varied cultures.
  2. Teachings that create well-being for all who embrace them, while also positively affecting those who don’t.

Characteristics of wise people:

Self-Awareness

Wisdom is a skill that requires practice

Wisdom is not just bestowed upon us. Although we may have moments of clarity and insight, being human means that we are continually challenged to use our wise mind to act in wise ways. So often part of us know the wisest way to proceed by our emotions, biases, and conditioning get in the way.

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