Tony Zampella – Unlearning: The challenge of cultivating deeper understanding, presence, and openness.

The way we think, act, and feel – our biases, perceptions, and judgments – are learned, often pre-cognition. Through our family, heritage, and society, we cultivate worldviews that shape our societal and cultural assumptions, and our beliefs about ourselves, others and the world.

This workshop introduces Western learning techniques and Eastern wisdom practices for cultivating unlearning – discovering and letting go of – outmoded views, beliefs, and assumptions. With greater understanding, practice, and inquiry, unlearning cultivates the openness to receive, accept, and re-learn as a beginner.

We will question our capacity for unlearning:

  1. How can I expand capacity to “suspend certainty,” and venture into the unknown, while experiencing guilt, doubt or insecurity?
  2. Can I acknowledge my beliefs, and discover the assumptions supporting them and then learn to question those assumptions to create openness?

Buddhist scholar, Thich Nhat Hanh speaks of letting go of knowledge to expand and evolve. “Guarding knowledge is not a good way to understand. Understanding means to throw away your knowledge. You have to be able to transcend your knowledge the way people climb ladders.”

Participants will achieve an appreciation of the learning-unlearning dynamic to practice and cultivate the openness to evolve views. We become available for new ideas.

Anthony V. Zampella, MSOL is an educator, activist, leadership coach, writer, and researcher in adult learning and leadership development. His firm, Bhavana Learning Group, integrates Western learning with Eastern practices, working with coaches, educators, and executives
to cultivate learning communities.

Coaching since 2000, Tony served as faculty at Mercy College until 2005, directing its graduate Leadership program, and taught part time at Rutgers University business school. In addition to B.A. in Sociology, M.S. in Journalism, and M.S. in Organizational Leadership, he’s
certified in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Nalanda Institute of Contemplative Science where he serves on faculty.

A Zen Buddhist practitioner since 2000, Tony holds certificates in Foundations of Ontological Design; Open Space Technology; Appreciative Inquiry; Spiral Dynamics Integral; and, Spiritual Intelligence.