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Author Archives: ivonprefontaine

Meditation on a Grapefruit

Craig Arnold wrote this poem that reminds us being awake is not just an early morning event. When we engage in ordinary, daily tasks we have opportunties to see them as extraordinary and sacred. Thich Nhat Hanh counsels this gives life fuller meaning. It is encountering the little things in each waking moment that bring deeper, richer living.

To wake when all is possible

before the agitations of the day

have gripped you

To come to the kitchen

and peel a little basketball

for breakfast

To tear the husk

like cotton padding        a cloud of oil

misting out of its pinprick pores

clean and sharp as pepper

To ease

each pale pink section out of its case

so carefully       without breaking

a single pearly cell

To slide each piece

into a cold blue china bowl

the juice pooling       until the whole

fruit is divided from its skin

and only then to eat

so sweet

a discipline

precisely pointless       a devout

involvement of the hands and senses

a pause     a little emptiness

 each year harder to live within

each year harder to live without

A child is like a tree.

ivonprefontaine:

This is one of those poems I would have loved to have had hanging beside my work area in the classroom where I could read it each day. Teachers and parents create settings where seeds are planted by children. The quality of the soil and the nurturing that is provided are important factors in the growth that occurs.

Originally posted on GC Himani's collection of quotes, notes & video's made by great people who have been sharing their enlightenment through their words and actions.:

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A child is like a tree. 
Parents can help them grow 
by preparing the soil 
and nurturing them with love.
The trees go on growing 
without anybody teaching them
how to grow.
The animals, the birds,
the whole existence,
needs no programming.
According to me,
the function of the parents
is not how to help the children grow –
they will grow without you.
Your function is to support, to nourish,
to help what is already growing.
Don’t give directions and don’t give ideals.
Don’t tell them what is right
and what is wrong:
let them find it by their own experience.
Only one thing you can do,
and that is share your own life.
Tell them that you have been conditioned
by your parents,
that you have lived within certain limits,
according to certain ideals,
and because of these limits and ideals
you have missed life completely,
and you…

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Paddling the River Back to Ask Why

Faith

Today, was the last full weekend of classes for me. I have one more class to go and I need to finish the preliminary document for my dissertation proposal which is this weekend’s job. There is a faith that comes with this latter effort. When I began, it seemed daunting, but with over 100 pages for the first three sections in place it is more manageable looking.

Along with finishing classes, I will go home and the bulk of my work will be done there. There are challenges in that, as at Gonzaga, I had a particular discipline which was not the case at home before I retired from the classroom. Working full-time and all the other things that life brings, did not always provide time to work at the necessary routine in a disciplined way. Having said this, the shadow of newly found discipline casts a shadow which gives life to it.

Czeslaw Milosz suggested a shadow is what gives something strength to live and I am thinking of discipline and routine that way today as I ready myself for my Sabbath.

The word Faith means when someone sees
A dew-drop or a floating leaf, and knows
That they are, because they have to be.
And even if you dreamed, or closed your eyes
And wished, the world would still be what it was,
And the leaf would still be carried down the river.

It means that when someone’s foot is hurt
By a sharp rock, he also knows that rocks
Are here so they can hurt our feet.
Look, see the long shadow cast by the trees;
And flowers and people throw shadows on the earth:
What has no shadow has no strength to live.

Love, intimacy and desire

ivonprefontaine:

We each need love in our lives. Even when we are not physically together, love flows across the time and space as waves and particles. You feel the sensations as immediately and with a powerful sense of being part of something not easily explained and put into words.

Originally posted on Otrazhenie:

Intimacy

What is intimacy?

The feeling of being in a close personal and affectionate association and belonging together… of a bond that is formed through knowledge and experience of the other…

Cuddle
From itisonlyacuddle

Recent research shows there are different areas of intimacy.

Intimacy 2Intimacy

Intellectual intimacy

On this level, you can converse with your partner about current events, share ideas and thoughts, even debate political and religious topics. Both of you are able to add to the conversation through exchange of thoughts and ideas.

Senior Couple at home. Part of a series
Intellectual intimacy

Recreational intimacy

This is about recreational activities that the two of you enjoy participating in, whether  individually, or together.

RecreationalRecreational Intimacy

Social intimacy

It’s totally okay for you to have your own friends, and he have his, as long as the two of you have some “common” friends. Couple friendships can be an added bonus to a relationship by being a sounding board, providing feedback and…

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Mindful

Mary Oliver is one of my favourite poets and this is likely my favourite poem that she wrote.

Whenever, I get stuck this is a poem I turn to and get unstuck. I had bogged down in my writing and it simply was not moving. This morning, as l listened, ideas flowed into my conscious view. Most of what I was looking for was waiting to be seen.

Interestingly, I did not rush and write things down. I took time, finished sitting, and by the time I wrote things down more appeared. I often look for things in places they are not and they appear as part of what is waiting to be seen.

Poetry’s beauty is it does not always speak directly to what I am looking for, but approaches me in different ways and I encounter it afresh in those moments.

Every day
I see or hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

Understanding Poetry

ivonprefontaine:

This is a fun way to begin the day. Do we really understand poetry? Or, do we encounter it in some particular way that changes with each new encounter?

Originally posted on Bound 4 Escape:

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ivonprefontaine:

I did not see any snowdrops this morning and it is a beautiful day. I did see flowers blooming suggesting that spring is here and won’t be denied. Enjoy your day.

Originally posted on purehaiku:

I watch the gentle
snowdrops nod their heads. Now Spring
will not be denied.
Elizabeth Leaper 2014

Elizabeth Leaper is a poet and has several blogs, one of which can be found at simply elfje

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136 Syllables at Rocky Mountain Dharma Center

Each morning, I sit in the little chapel that is on-site. It is a daily Sabbath I keep up. While in Spokane, I stay in a building that was once a convent and it retained some of convent-like features. I retreat each morning and try to quiet my mind in readiness for entry into the day.

It is interesting to notice what shares the space with me. Sounds come from outside. Crows are cawing and smaller birds cheep. The sunlight casts a finger through windows brightening the space.

Allen Ginsberg captured the essentialquiet and solitude where I am never alone. People visit as thoughts flow. It is a simultaneous opening up to what is around  and what is inside .

When I began sitting in the chapel, I brought my cell phone and checked time. Now, I leave it in the room and my practice suggests when it is appropriate to begin the day.

Tail turned to red sunset on a juniper crown a lone magpie cawks.

Mad at Oryoki in the shrine-room — Thistles blossomed late afternoon.

Put on my shirt and took it off in the sun walking the path to lunch.

A dandelion seed floats above the marsh grass with the mosquitoes.

At 4 A.M. the two middle-aged men sleeping together holding hands.

In the half-light of dawn a few birds warble under the Pleiades.

Sky reddens behind fir trees, larks twitter, sparrows cheep cheep cheep
cheep cheep.

Life

ivonprefontaine:

This is a great acrostic poem that starts my day thinking about what Life is. Whitehead and Dewey said Life and all its manifestations are the only necessary curricula for education.

Originally posted on memyselfandela:

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