Learning Technique

Dear All,

Would appreciate if anyone could share their learning technique here. After reading the notes, I was amazed with so much additional knowledge and things I never knew before. This lead to me reading more and more (thereby going in all direction), ultimately going astray in the wonderful material available in the e-library.

I guess the best way is to sit still, read the lecture notes over and over again? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Learning Technique

Dear Wong,

I personally finds the e-learning most helpful, beneficial and knowledgable and would like to encouranged everyone particularly those in working class and household members who can just spare a little time to do so. I used to work before in the commercial society and my work are extremely busy too with no fix working hours until the last two years whereby I decided to retired early and now doing voluntarily work in Pajam. Even though it is voluntarily but it involve seven days week.

Initially I wasn't sure how and what will I do as it has been like 30 years since my school days. I could not imagine how I am going to meet the study requirement. But after I took the first paper "Buddhism & Society" last July and sit for the examination with a 92 marks result I felt much confident and realized that I can study anyway. When signing up for the paper I told myself it was not the marks that I am concern it was the knowledge and experience in study again after so long. Having passed the first paper I was not hard at all as long as you just find a little time to do it and when studying just ensure that you "FOCUS" on what you are reading same time take immediate notes what you read is most important.

Today, I have completed my second paper of ECE on time and hope I will pass too.

As long as we are focusing and mindful whilst we are reading we will make it in little time. The knowledges gained is huge for both the papers I have taken many thinks we learnt through the notes provided. The notes are really useful to me and for me the make into teaching materials.


Learning Technique

Hi Wong,

There are many resources for your reading and you will not have time to read it all. Based on my experience you need to choose two or three books that you want to read the whole chapters.

For me, I read three books which are useful for my study:
(1) Peter Harvey, "An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices", Cambridge University Press.
(2) Narada, "The Buddha and His Teaching" (I think this book can represent Theravada Buddhism, doctrinal view).
(3) Akira Hirakawa, "A History of Indian Buddhism: From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana (P. Groner, Trans.)". Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Then I spend one month for writing an essay, I tried to find electronic journal articles from public library, I read them then started writing the essay. After having written the essay, it would be easier for me when I re-read the lecture notes for final exam.

Hope it works.


Learning Technique

Hi Wong,

I think I am having the exact same problem.

I have also tried to tell myself to stick to the lecture notes only but I still get overwhelmed by the amount of 'good-to-know' knowledge there is, especially when I like to read in Chinese as well. Almost everything written about Buddhism I come into contact with seems 'good-to-know'.

And I can only always conclude that there is so little time... There is so much to find out... It is just so intellectually satisfying and spiritually rewarding.

I have been trying to organise what I am learning by keeping notes according to topics like 'The Buddha's Life', 'The Four Noble Truths', 'The Noble Eightfold Path' and 'The Five Aggregates' etc in both English and Chinese. What I do is that I will gather the core information on a particular topic (although that is still a lot of information) and hopefully expand on it later. In doing this, I hope to restrict myself to the 'need-to-know' first.

However, I must say I am still having difficulties stopping myself from wanting to read everything.

Yes, some advice/reference would be helpful. :)


Gregory Hamilton Schmidt's picture

Start early, make a schedule, take good notes


My approach so far (1st year, 1st semester) has been to start early, stick to a schedule and take good notes.

As access was given to the course material about a month in advance of the course starting, I was able to read a majority of the required material and take notes on the points required for the weekly journal.

From here, I've gotten a sound basis and am now working to stick to the plan I set to review a set amount of material and complete the related notes to finish 2 weeks before finals.

It's been particularly helpful for me to download and print all of the handouts, underline the key points, transfer to written notes and then type them all up for future reference.
I'm taking a similar approach with the required reading (as well as some of the optional reading), without - of course - printing all of that out.

Finally, as I've been studying over my lunch hour at work, I've found using my office whiteboard so helpful that I've installed one in my home office.

By writing down, over and over, what I'm trying to remember, it's really beginning to stick.

This has, in turn, led me to creating multiple one page review sheets, grouped by topic, that I can fit on a whiteboard for practice.

Hopefully some of this can be helpful to someone else and I certainly welcome additional study and practice tips.