Words do not mean the same thing to each person. We often use words interchangeably as if they are synonymous with each other. An example is school and education. Education is a process of leading children and eventually letting go. School is a place. It comes from an Italian word having to do with leisure. It is hard to find our way through the labyrinth and convey the meanings we want in our communication. Sometimes it is the unspoken, the body-language, and the tone which help immensely.
Author Archives: ivonprefontaine
We face an important challenge with mindful practice. The article linked above addresses this challenge with questions. Questions are fundamental to being challenged. When I am challenged, I ask questions. I question what is happening and what is making me feel a particular way.
When I read many articles about mindfulness, I find the articles miss the key underlying aspect of mindfulness, being present in the world in ways that improve one’s life and in that improvement the world is continuously becoming a better place. It is not about a corporate bottom line in the way we understand a corporate bottom line. I guess the bottom line is harder to measure. I cann0t apply a number to it, report it to shareholders, and make a banker satisfied. What I can do is ask, “Did I make the world a better place in some way by becoming a better person?”
Can you imagine if 7 billion plus people worked on making the world a better place through their living? That might be a number that is unmeasurable, but that is OK. It would be so big it would not need to be reported. Its quality would speak for itself.
At the heart of every good relationship, those that endure, is trust. There is always something about that person or this group that makes us feel wanted and supported. This sense is evident early in the relationship and don’t seem to falter over time. Without real trust based on knowing that person or these people, eventually the relationship falters and we are left with dust.
Originally posted on Otrazhenie:
At different times in our lives and in different situations, most of us tend to look at our personal relationships, our teams, our organizations, and our governments through one of two sets of glasses: “blind trust” (naivete) or “distrust” (suspicion). At times, we may even go back and forth between the two.
These glasses have been created by a number of factors, including the way our parents and grandparents may have seen the world, the experiences we’ve had in our personal and professional lives, the people we interact with, the things we read, the things we watch, and the things we listen to. However, most of us don’t even realize that we have these glasses on.
Only as we understand how we’re seeing the world now can we truly appreciate the difference a new pair of glasses can make.
The reality is that there is a…
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This is a beautiful sentiment. Mindfulness is becoming the next big corporate thing. It is important that it does and does so in making the world a better place with more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and form. When we measure success with these qualities, rather than making money and the material things we can own, the world becomes a better place. James Hillman suggested we put numbers on things that can only be described incompletely.
Originally posted on Radiating Blossom ~ Flowers & Words:
The second stanza drew me into Kabir‘s poem. We search for homes throughout life. It is right there embedded in each moment. When I am awake in each moment, the search is easier. I become aware and attentive sensing each moment’s transience.
When we let go and stop grasping, we are released from slavery and tyranny chasing tails and tales. When we fail and chase, the feeling enslaves us and it is worse than death. Living each moment is the antidote to this feeling and is liberating.
O Slave, liberate yourself.
Where are you, and where’s your home,
find it in your lifetime, man.
If you fail to wake up now,
you’ll be helpless when the end comes.
Says Kabir, listen, O wise one,
the siege of Death is hard to withstand.
450. A flash of harmless lightning, a mist of rainbow dyes, the burnished sunbeams brightening from flower to flower he flies. ~John B. Tabb
I finished a book by David Geoffrey Smith yesterday. The last chapter is about giving gifts as pedagogic practice. When giving gifts without expectation of return, the return is the gift itself and the joy it brings in the giving. As a teacher, I was happiest when students tore into their learning with gusto. I felt best and the return was immediate and often unexpected when the students reveled in the work.
Originally posted on Sacred Touches:
a day of dreams
the garden and the hummingbird
float on my breath
~Haiku by Larry Gates
A day so happy.
Fog lifted early. I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over the honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I knew no one worth my envying him.
Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.
In my body I felt no pain.
When straightening up, I saw blue sea and sails.
~By Czeslaw Milosz
You (Lord) have put gladness in my heart… ~Psalm 4:7a ✝
Sweet Jesus, fill us with the mercy you bled on the cross and draw us back unto Yourself! Thank You for the gladness You put in our hearts. Help us to be aware of You in all that we see and hear in Creation’s…
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Last night, I pressed Our Grandmother from Eddie Two Hawks. In my comments, I mentioned Wendell Berry and the way I understand place in his writing. Wendell Berry’s work is used by the deep ecology movement which in many ways is not a movement. It is a way of life. For years, I critiqued the environmental movement as a corporate movement with many of the same characteristics of the business they criticized. Wendell Berry, similar to all good farmers, values the land. He speaks about as if it were living. It is not separate from us, but a part of us. When I think about this, it makes local and community environmental work incredibly important. It decries the corporate pillaging that goes on both sides of the equation.
Wendell Berry speaks of the land as a living and animate thing. This makes sense. The plants we grow happen in the healthy, which comes from the same root as whole, ecosystem. When we see ourselves embedded in this ecosystem and not overloads, it changes our relationship with nature. Alex commented the word nature comes from a word meaning birth. When certain parts of the ecosystem are damaged made, unwhole and unhealthy, the birth itself cannot be healthy.
Each contribution we make adds something to the world we live in. It is when we see ourselves as part of the world and nature that we make the greatest contributions to community. We are stewards, serving the world in loving ways. This is another analogy for the thinking of the world as grandmother. We treat our grandmothers with love.
Water, even in waterfalls, has a quieting and calming effect. I enjoy being near water for that reason. The Mark Twain quote summarizes how I end up feeling in that dream and even in the busiest moments alone.
This is a wonderful quote. When we think of our grandmothers, we think of someone we want to treat with respect, dignity, and integrity for their wisdom. Mother Earth is the same. She possesses so much wisdom that when we are open and see ourselves as being one with the world we receive that wisdom.
Today, Kathy and I talked about place the Wendell Berry speaks about it. When we feel we live in a place, it means something profound to us. We think of those places not as out there, but very much in us and us in that place. We find community in those places because we have much in common with the others who live, animate and inanimate.