- BOOKS »
- Teachers »
- Blog »
Zen and English, Part 4: Wind
The Post of Wind
Wind represents not only the flow of air, but the sky itself; that which is real, which we can feel, but which cannot be held by the hand. We know it is there, we see it by its works, but we cannot see it in and of itself.
Wind represents reading between the lines to discover the implied, or hidden, meaning.
The meaning of a sentence is often more than the sum of its parts. Knowing the literal meanings of each and every word does not tell us what is implied by an idiomatic expression, or by the sentence when taken as a whole.
For vocabulary, there is the dictionary. For idioms, there is English Idioms on Facebook and its companion blog. Yet ultimately, an instinctive and intuitive knowledge of implied meanings can only be obtained through personal experience.
Provided that you have a solid foundation, an open and flexible mind, and an ear for the emotional content in a sentence, you will have few problems mastering implied meanings simply through reading, hearing, and most importantly, using more English.
Even though a person can explain what a sentence implies, understanding how and why this is true is something each person must learn for himself or herself. At this advanced stage of progress, there are no shortcuts. There is only discovery.
But discovery is fun.
Let us meditate upon this, for it is important.