Learning, we might say, is the process of removing our resistance.
In performance terminology, the goal of learning is to reach unconscious competence, where an action is done effortlessly (and effectively) without conscious effort. We can call this the state of flow, being “in the zone,” or the released state.
Galileo noted that “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.” The peeling away of ignorance—of resistance—is the process of discovery, the art of learning.
Resistance is a consequence of the part of us that tries to control or change everything in its environment. When the self is trained to perform well, we call it conscious competence. But unconscious competence is a selfless state.
For most of us, it takes years of effort to reach the effortless and selfless state of unconscious competence. Few people, in fact, ever realize this potential outside of rare moments. But the adept in any field have learned how to eliminate their resistance on a continuous basis. Those who live in this space we call masters.
Learning still requires remembering and that we let go and surrender to the process—whether it’s playing sports, music, drawing, painting, writing, singing, strategizing, or anything else.
The more we surrender to the process—to allow the Way—the less resistance we create. And without resistance, learning becomes infinitely more enjoyable; it can become, in fact, effortless.