The words of the post title is taken from the first line of page 277 of 'Poser, my life in twenty-three yoga poses'. Claire Dederer (2011), in my opinion, captured here what true learning-in-experience is about.
A colleague asked me today about terms in use for various kinds of learning from real-life experiences. People assign meaning to terms they embrace or they use terms as vessels to convey meaning they assign. Terms get politised. Terms belong to certain followings or communities of practice (I've used used such).
Imagine the medieval guilds. A master teaching apprentices.
Claire got an assignment to write a piece for The New York Times on the way the Naropa University 'integrated contemplative practice into its coursework' (p. 266). The PR office of the university arranged that she spent a week visiting classes experiencing. Claire took up yoga and meditation several years before. Her experiences at Naropa, however, made a deep impression on her. Synchronistically she enrolled for a beginning class at the Yoga Workshop by the ashtanga yoga master Richard Freeman. Claire watched him performing the jump-through and got so inspired she believed deep in her heart that she can do it (p. 276) and remark: "Yoga is the closest thing many of us will ever encounter to a pure oral tradition. No substitutions, so far, have even come close to approximating the experience of learning from a live person. As I discovered early in my practice, learning from a video doesn't quite work, nor does a book ..."
If a learning enviroment can be created to let students experience this kind of grasp and mastery, then true cooperative & work-integrated education (or whatever terminology is prefered) takes place. In Claire Dederer's words (277) "Many writers have talked about the mystery of transmission. ... Maybe it's simply seeing the [yoga] poses done in three dimensions. But it feels like something more than that. When your teacher [mentor/workplace supervisor] shows you how something is done, there is a feeling of possibility, a transmittal of something like faith. Yes, this can be done [or, oh that is how it is done correctly]. I'm seeing it right before my eyes."