I find that many learning and development experiences are like baking with filo dough. Filo is a very thin unleavened dough used for making pastries such as baklava. These pastries are made by layering many sheets of filo brushed with melted butter.
While one sheet of filo is easily torn, unable to support any filling, using six or more sheets (Alton Brown says to use ten) provides a strong base of support.
It’s the same with many learning experiences – discussions, workshops, articles, books. While each may present a field rich with knowledge, what I glean may only be what I need at that moment. I’ll receive my thin filo-like layer of new insight or inspiration for that time, and then move on. The next time I encounter the book or teacher, I may receive another layer – what I’m prepared to learn at that moment.
It doesn’t just happen: we must prepare. To take the analogy a bit further, filo dries out and becomes useless unless brushed with butter and prepared to receive the next layer. Similarly, we take time for discussion and reflection to make sense of the recent experience or insight, to gain understanding and assimilate the new knowledge into our own accumulated wisdom.
As we walk the path to healthier, happier living there will be few major breakthroughs or sudden bursts of insight. Rather, it’s step by step, this way then that way, stopping here then moving there.
Sifting through the noise and clutter to receive what is good for that day.
Know that it’s possible to leave the circle with whatever it was that you needed when you arrived, and that the seeds planted here can keep growing in the days ahead. Center for Courage and Renewal
Here’s an excerpt from Jack Kornfield’s A Path with Heart in which he recounts gleaning what was good from one of his teachers (read now)