How best to make use of os.me
Gratitude for the Grace of the teacher, the tradition and the teaching.
In ancient times people had to undergo lots of hardship to search for a guru and gain wisdom. Information about guru was scarce as communication was not advanced. There was no Youtube and other social media. Today YouTube algorithm itself will identify gurus for you. You can listen to their discourse and they decide if you want to meet them. Today the problem is not a dearth of information but a profusion of information.
We are consuming lots of content these days, but we remember less and apply even less
In this scenario it is important that we learn techniques of how to learn effectively through blogs and videos, tagging them to retrieve at a later stage and taking notes during retreats.
Let’s see one by one.
1-Active recall / Testing effect
The language Om Swami uses is very easy to understand and even a layperson can follow, even Hindi videos come with excellent English subtitles. Now understanding a particular video is different from remembering them. You can ask me why should one remember? This is not school or college and we are not going to write any exams.
Let me give an example – In a blog titled Six hurdles in meditation Om Swami lists six things that a mediator should avoid (Formulated by Tipola) I believe most you would have read this. Now can you recall it? Please write in comments as to how many you remember.
If you think this is a tough question let me ask another simpler one, very relevant for meditators like us. What are the 4 primary hurdles of meditation? The answer is also in the same blog. So how many you can recall. There are few lessons which are like “aha” type. Just reading is enough. There are few lessons which need to be memories or read many times. For the later kind of lessons, the concept called Active Recall is important.
Active recall is the best way to learn things. Instead of reading a book or lesson multiple times. At regular intervals stop reading and contemplate on the learning. Try to recall the learning. When you read a book for the first time you don’t have to stop because of the flow and interesting, so don’t recall then. But when you read it second time go slow and use active recall methods.
When you get to take up Virtual retreat of Vedic astrology, understanding them will not be enough. This is where active recall will be highly effective. You can also use the app Anki(Flash Card).
2-Spaced Reading – It is important to read them again at specific intervals to strengthen the memory. You don’t need to read the whole book. Just the highlighted ones will be enough. In Kindle, it is super easy to highlight. This leads me to an app called Readwise.
3-Readwise – There is a paid service called readwise which will send you the mail with random highlights from kindle and many other services. So this will be very helpful for spaced reading. I am sharing a screenshot of how the mail looks like.
Now as I already mentioned about Kindle and Readwise let me also mention other apps to enhance your learnings.
This is an app that allows you to tag web pages, videos and many more. Although there is a filter in YouTube and webpages, here in this application we can bring everything into one place.
4-Notability / Notion
When you attend a retreat, we usually take notes in a paper. We can also alternatively take notes in apps like notability. In fact, these are very comfortable and you will not lose it easily. Most of the notes that I took in various classes are lost because I took them in paper and misplace them.
Every phone Android / Apple has native notes app. Although they are limited in features it is east to record in it. When you get an idea to write a blog native notes app will be easy to record. Keep recording them and slowly you will be having lots of material to write a blog. You will not be forgetting any you will never need to start with a blank page.
Second brain – The concept of the second brain is gaining popularity. All the information that you hear from Books, Podcast, Tweet, Facebook post, Blog and YouTube videos can be systematically stored, tagged, and accessed by using the above-said apps. This concept works like a second brain. Spending a few bucks a year for these services is worth it.
So by smartly using these apps and reading techniques, you can enhance your learning.
If you find these techniques useful and if you would like to add a few more reading methods or apps also please comment below.