The emerging scientific discipline of bioenergetics—the study of energy flow through living systems—can serve as a useful framework to facilitate certain learning experiences that go beyond the mere acquisition of factual information. Featuring a holistic learning approach that converges on the intricate body-mind-spirit connection, embodied pedagogy promotes a transformative dimension to learning, mainly by engaging the learner in meaningful ways that bring about fundamental changes in perspective. Bioenergetics, as experienced through embodied/transformative learning paradigms, represents a whole new cosmology for the individual; one that transcends conventional ideas of learning as delimited by a traditional (Western) intellectual outlook. The literature on bioenergetics from an Asian perspective usually covers realms of consciousness development involving deep introspection, contemplation, and reflection, often encapsulated in a form of meditation. Over these past decades attempts have been made to link Western science, more specifically the principles of quantum physics, to traditional Asian concepts on bioenergetics. Rigorous research in the field of quantum mechanics has yielded evidence that strengthens the connection between the physics of energy at the sub-atomic level and the fundamental understanding of energy flow according to ancient Asian philosophical/mystical concepts of subtle energy, often referred to as ‘Prana’ or ‘Qi.’ This paper shares useful information on ‘embodied knowledge,’ its importance in the interpretation of the effects of subtle energies, particularly in terms their transformative capacities. Finally, it provides information on one form of transformative energy practice, Jiankang Qigong, which is conducive to promote vigor, health, enhanced mental activity and consciousness development in a way that humanizes the science of subtle energy and the technology being developed to try to measure its presence in humans. Examples are provided on how bioenergetics and embodied pedagogy are being integrated into various educational settings.
|Keywords:||Bioenergetics, Embodied Learning, Transformative Learning|
Professor, Asian Studies/Centre for Spirituality and the Workplace, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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