RSS Feed

Contagious Disorder: Spread the Love

ivonprefontaine:

Yesterday my car was parked out front and it was run into. The damage is to one door and the car still runs. What was impressive was the fellow who ran into came to the door and told me about it. He took responsibility for what had happened. I thanked him and today, when I spoke to his boss, I shared my appreciation for his gesture. It is in the simple daily acts that we meet each other face-to-face. Ideologies and theologies are set aside. The word journey comes from the French journée meaning the events and activities during the day (jour). These are spaces we see and greet the other as human, being responsible for them. There is no government, no media, no agenda. It is just us in each other’s presence.

Originally posted on SwittersB & Exploring:

Have you noticed of late, the reaching out by others to spread the love? Perhaps it is the chaotic tempo of world affairs. It could be we realize part of us, as a culture, as an individual, is going numb with the overload of depressing events. Couple that with an inner sense that we are being played on many levels and we are reverting toward, digging back down toward basic truths and values.

One of those is reaching out to help those around you. I see a sincere sharing of positive energy. Not the flower child, glassy eyed mantras of the 60′s (yes I was alive then) but rather mature, seasoned, real love. Shared for the betterment of those we touch…for no other purpose than we know, now, at our core that we must do this at a one on one level to stay human, to stay at inner peace…

View original 35 more words

Axe Handles

I mentioned in The Wild Rose I am reading Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry. I read this poem several times over the last few months trying to make sense of it. At first, I thought it was a personal and it begins that way. Gary Snyder describes his work teaching his son to throw an axe and shaping the axe handle to fit the work.

As I reflected on the poem, I realized it is about important traditions passed from parents to children. We hone and polish what we wish to retain forming the axe handle. It is a handle for us and our children which provides security as we polish and remove the unwanted.

Most of the time, we are unaware of the work we do without taking time and reflecting. In those moments, we realize what changes, what remains, and what is added knowing each generation makes its own adjustments.

To do it well, we mindfully and attentively approach the work remaining fully present.

One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head
Without a handle, in the shop
And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door
Is long enough for a hatchet,
We cut it to length and take it
With the hatchet head
And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle
With the hatchet, and the phrase
First learned from Ezra Pound
Rings in my ears!
“When making an axe handle
the pattern is not far off.”
And I say this to Kai
“Look: We’ll shape the handle
By checking the handle
Of the axe we cut with-”
And he sees. And I hear it again:
It’s in Lu Ji’s Wen Fu, fourth century
A.D. “Essay on Literature”-in the
Preface: “In making the handle Of an axe
By cutting wood with an axe
The model is indeed near at hand.-
My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen
Translated that and taught it years ago
And I see: Pound was an axe,
Chen was an axe, I am an axe
And my son a handle, soon
To be shaping again, model
And tool, craft of culture,
How we go on.

Love Letters to Malaysia Airlines

ivonprefontaine:

When I did my undergrad degree, I took a special education course. The major take away from the class was humans have more that binds them together, more in common than what makes us different. We lose track of this in our rush to hold onto ideologies and belief systems that deny our similarities. When we see the other as a neighbour, we can sustain breaths in an atmosphere without borders.

Originally posted on LUGGAGE Lady:

.

I wrote these words some time ago (http://luggagelady.net/2012/12/16/we-are-one/) but reposted the piece on my facebook page after last week’s heartbreaking airline tragedy. What happened from there was magical. A dear high school friend contacted me, asking to embed my poem onto her exquisite jewelry website. I replied with a resounding “YES!” and promptly added her lovely creation to a flight attendant networking site:  https://www.facebook.com/aflyguyslounge under “Love Letters to Malaysia Airlines.” (Please take a peek if you’re able as I believe the gracious sentiments from airlines worldwide will put a smile in your heart.)

Whether united by wings, artistic endeavors, or sheer compassion — we traverse this globe together — hearts overlapping… 💞

View original

the thingness of things

ivonprefontaine:

The “thingness of things” caught my attention. Despite the language and words we use, there is always something hidden that is unknowable and unspeakable. Ted Aoki referred to it as the “isness” of a particular phenomenon. With humans we might call it their “whoness.” It is what captures our hearts in the work we do when we slow down enough to be in each ensuing moment. We never have the words to describe fully what that thing or person is. Usually, it is the part we love the most.

Originally posted on dhamma footsteps:

photo-8_Harnham

POSTCARD #81: NewcastleFive days in a Buddhist monastery in Northumberland, sitting meditation in the early morning and last thing at night. The photo above was taken at 5.15am. I wanted a picture of the sunrise and didn’t see the sheep in their places next to the wall – slightly startled by a human being leaning over into their enclosure and the click sound of the phone camera. They wait to see if he comes back, forget about it and only the fragrant grass remains… early on a summer’s morning.

After that I’m in the Dhamma Hall, sunlight shining through the roof windows on the Buddha statue, benign and welcoming. Monks with shaven heads sitting on the floor, faded tangerine-brown robes, flowers, incense and candles. Focused on the silence, watching the inbreath/outbreath, seeing the thinking process coming and going. Fragments of a thought pieced together from associated thoughts, memories…

View original 412 more words

The Wild Rose

I am reading poetry and prose written by Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder. What links the writers, is a shared belief humans live in the world. This fits with my dissertation about pedagogy. Humans are relational and social. When we live relationally and socially, our senses and heart open up to the world differently than living as passive observers.

Relationships are risky. Sometimes it is tempting to step back at times and be outside relationships. In the analytic mind, there is more risk than we want. Literally and metaphorically there are rewards. Literally, when we are present in the world we see wild roses and other natural manifestations bloom. Metaphorically, we see relationships with spouses, children, friends, students, etc. unfold and blossom like wild roses Wendell Berry mentions.

When we are in relationships, there is pleasure and pain mixed. Thomas Merton said we call it falling in love, because it is hard work. When I think of the most wonderful (wonder-filled) occurrences in my life, it is the ones I worked hard at. I found comfort in the hard work even when it hurt. Being mindful and attentive to the blooming in our lives is an essential part of relationships we enter.

Sometimes hidden from me

in daily custom and in trust,

so that I live by you unaware

as by the beating of my heart,

Suddenly you flare in my sight,

a wild rose blooming at the edge

of thicket, grace and light

where yesterday was only shade,

and once I am blessed, choosing

again what I chose before.

 

* Lost – in the forest

ivonprefontaine:

Similar to Val, this is a poem that draws me back to think about it and its meaning. Parker Palmer used this poem in his work to help readers and participants turn inward finding their inner spirit and wisdom that is revealed in moments of quietness and stillness. When we look closely, are present and mindful in life, we see no two trees are the same. It breaks through a statistical malaise of sameness allowing us to see and celebrate the uniqueness that is right in front of us and within us.

Originally posted on Find Your Middle Ground:

Forests, tress and finding ourselves are themes that keep calling for my attention. The redwoods in California have a soulful impact <3

Redwood by Kevin Faber

Redwood photo by Kevin Faber

Lost – by David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

This is haunting and draws me back to it again and again…

View original 21 more words

Morning Mourning Thoughts

ivonprefontaine:

Humans have a tendency to place themselves at the top of the natural pedestal. We fail to see ourselves as part of something and place outside nature and the world. The result is we end up outside relationships with each other. Ways of life as outlined in the wisdom ways such as the Tao, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and many others point us in the direction we need to go in. We need to let go and want less. When we live in community and share, there is always enough.

Originally posted on Voices from the Margins:

“When people do no follow Tao,
Their horses are harnessed for war,
Their energies are used for destruction,
And many go hungry.
Great troubles come
From not knowing what is enough.
Great conflict arises from wanting too much.
When we know when enough is enough,
There will always be enough.”
(From Diane Dreher, 1990, The Tao of inner peace: A guide to inner and outer peace, p. 126)

1479311_10201863795773713_728798047_n

Photo Credit, Ava Hand Johnson – 2013, Photographer – Jnana Hand

“Oftentimes have I heard you speak of the one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower that the lowest which in you also.

View original 112 more words

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,218 other followers

%d bloggers like this: