So, you’ve been told you have to learn a chunk of text in a little blue book, easy, uh?
And then you try… After numerous attempts at forcing it in you start thinking that perhaps there is some sort of system that can be applied, afterall, everyone else has learnt it. The first two questions you’re likely to ask are:
- Where is a good place to learn Masonic Ritual?
- When is the best time to learn Masonic Ritual?
Let’s tackle these in reverse, starting with…
When is the best time to learn Masonic Ritual?
Many have said to me that first thing in the morning is the best time because the brain is fresh and ready to absorb. Maybe I’m not a morning person, but I need a little time to wake up first.
Generally, you want to learn when your mind is awake and open. Personally I find this is about half an hour after I’ve woken. I’ll wake up, do what I need to do, have a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea. When having my breakfast I’ll read something that isn’t so taxing, then hit the blue book for a quick session once I’m half way through the cup of tea.
Due to time constraints this is normally quite a short session, but then I can revisit it again around lunchtime and though it won’t be fresh in my mind, it will at least be familiar. I’ll try again in the evening, possibly a little either before or after dinner. After that my brain is too tired to learn effectively. Sure, if you’ve a lot to learn in a short time then you have to grab what opportunity you can!
Once you have managed to commit it to memory then you can take advantages of over times in the day to practice, for example when driving or walking the dogs. These times aren’t good for learning when you are constantly looking at the book, but perfect for reciting, perhaps having the odd sneaky peek on a bit you’re stuck on whilst waiting at traffic lights.
It’s important to put in these sessions of reciting and rehearsing out loud. This isn’t a written exam you are preparing for, and getting the flow of the piece out loud helps to get familiarity with it.
Where is the best place to learn Masonic Ritual?
Well, the places go hand in hand with the times.
When learning find yourself somewhere quiet, without distractions and well lit. You don’t want to be a room with someone who wants to fill the silence by talking, neither do you want to be a in room with a TV or radio, even music with lyrics can be off putting because your ears will naturally focus on the words, and now your brain is trying to process the words on the page, as well as the words it’s listening to.
Don’t just put your phone on silent, leave it in another room so you don’t find yourself going to it. You only need a 15 minute session, it’ll wait!
Try and read in a well lit room. If it’s dark your eyes will get tired quicker, and you’ll lose focus and concentration.
As mentioned before, whilst driving or out walking dogs is great for once you have learnt the ritual and moving to the stage of reciting and rehearsing it. I say rehearsal because you aren’t just spouting it out word for word, you are performing it. You need to get used to saying it loud, and it also aids the learning process.
Also, you don’t have to feel self-conscious when speaking out loud when driving as no one can hear you, and if anyone catches a glimpse of you they will assume you are talking on a hands-free phone.
Find what times and places work for you, try out different times and places and see what sessions give you the best result. You may find that evening work better for you, and remember that the best place to learn the ritual may not be the best place to rehearse the ritual.