You gain experience through watching an experienced person, or even through being near that person. His way of doing things, and even his knowledge, can be passed on to someone else, especially if the learner really wants to get it and does not expect to be first taught theoretically.
I would go so far as to say that everyone knows this, privately, within himself. This, in fact, is what often gives rise to the way people seek out, surround, and try to spend their time with respected or powerful figures, even emulating them down to matters of detail. It is this reason why the Sufis practice the exercise of ‘sobhat’ (companionship) with admirable individuals.
The logical and scholastic methods of learning, excellent though they are, when employed on their own or as a matter of habit from which an individual cannot detach, interrupt this way of study or prevent it just as surely and as much as they contribute usefully in they own sphere.
The wise man, because of this, often has to seek ‘innocents’ to teach, because those who are intensely trying to learn can use only the ways they have been taught, mostly at school and in the home – ways that interfere with a path of possible learning for which we are almost all equipped.
This is one meaning of the phrase ‘learn how to learn’ and similar pieces of advice given to students in ancient traditional schools.
The Diffusion of Sufi Ideas in the West