A cup of tea


For those of you who may not know, zen is a common type of Buddhism practised by many people in Japan.


This short video is 'a timely reminder' (= something that reminds us of something important) for all students of English, especially my students.


I often encourage you to think critically (= to ask why and to form opinions about certain topics). Critical thinking is important, especially to be successful in the IELTS exam.. This means that you have developed the skill to be able to quickly form ideas and opinions on (usually both for and against) a range of topics (e.g. in writing an IELTS Part 2 essay or answering Part 3 of the speaking test).


But, this video reminds us, that we must not become attached to those opinions and ideas. That not only do we need to be able to form opinions but we must also be able to let them go (to let go = to release).


Critical thinking is a skill, like any other skill, that you use when it is appropriate and that you do not use when it is not appropriate. Sometimes it is better to accept a situation and be open to what happens rather than to spend time asking questions and thinking critically.


As with the story of the Buddha and the lake, there are many times when we should not think about things, especially things that trouble us. We should not think critically and stir up the thoughts in our minds. Rather, we should be still and quiet and let go of our thoughts. In this way, when we clear our minds, we can understand clearly.


Vocabulary: zen, a timely reminder, think critically, to let go

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