Transformative learning refers to a learning process that goes beyond the mere acquisition of factual information and focuses on the transformation of the learner in some meaningful way through fundamental changes in perspective. Transformative learning represents a whole new cosmology for the individual; one that transcends learning paradigms delimited by traditional (Western) intellectual perspectives. The literature on transformative learning from an Asian perspective usually covers realms of knowledge acquisition involving deep introspection, contemplation, and reflection – most often approached as a form of meditation. Over the past decades attempts have been made to link Western science, in the form of bioenergetics, to traditional Asian practices that facilitate transformative experiences. Rigorous research in the field bioenergetics has yielded evidence that strengthens the connection between the physics of energy and Asian philosophical/mystical concepts of subtle energy, often referred as ‘Prana’ or ‘Qi’. The strong link between bioenergetics and the effects of subtle energy on the human developmental experience can be approached as a form of transformative learning, featuring heightened consciousness and enhanced mental processes. This paper shares useful information on ‘embodied knowledge’ as one form of transformative learning, and its importance in the interpretation of the effects of subtle energies. Finally, it introduces one form of transformative energy practice, called Taiji Qigong, which is featured as a practical daily approach to promote vigor, health, intuitive thinking and spiritual development in a university setting.
|Keywords:||Transformative Learning, Bioenergetics, Embodied Learning|
Professor, Asian Studies, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada