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The implicit "no pain, no gain" understanding of traditional education is contrasted with a view of education that encourages mindfulness. The former relies on a static conception of information typically communicated in absolute language. Here, "facts" are given as truth, free of context or perspective. The latter relies on variability, communicated through conditional instruction. Here, facts are perspective dependent. Evidence is presented that suggests that mindfulness is not only more effective, but is also more enjoyable.

Mindfulness, achieved without meditation, is discussed with particular reference to learning. Being mindful is the simple act of drawing novel distinctions. It leads us to greater sensitivity to context and perspective, and ultimately to greater control over our lives. When we engage in mindful learning, we avoid forming mind-sets that unnecessarily limit us. Many of our beliefs about learning are mind-sets that have been mindlessly accepted to be true. Consideration is given to some of the consequences that result from a mindful reconsideration of these myths of learning.