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This is interesting after watching the Black Friday crowds and some of the lack of listening. This morning I watched a PBS show and was introduced to the work of Harvard neuroscientist, Rudolph Tanzi. His work is done under the rubric of contemplative mindfulness. Listening and being present, an essential component of mindfulness, work together.

Waiting for the Karma Truck

According to NPR, the day after Thanksgiving is the National Day Of Listening.  The concept stems from their highly successful StoryCorps Program, and the theory is that the most important way to honor someone is to listen to him/her.  To hear a story with full attention, so intent that you could integrate it into a memory worth saving.  Listening with your mind free of anticipated responses, shopping lists, wandering thoughts – can you quantify the value of such a gift?  Can you imagine how much it would be appreciated?

Ask someone to tell you a story.  If you are indulging in some quiet after the deluge of family and friends, listen to the silence.  It too has a tale to tell.  Our stories matter, they are our perspectives of personal history and seminal moments,  unfettered joy and unhealed wounds.  They define us far more than adjectives.  They shape us far…

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About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

6 responses »

  1. I watched the PBS special too..and yes, being present and listening are inextricably connected. I’m happy to say that all I saw of the crowds were the clips on the news and that was enough to male me happier still that it isn’t my kind of thing.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: How do I listen? « Teacher as Transformer

  3. This is really profound, Ivon, to have a day of listening. And the same letters in LISTEN and SILENT? There’s something magical in that.

    Reply
  4. Good observation. There is a saying that one gains a lot of knowledge by LISTENING with out causing hindrance in between.
    Probably for that reason the words LISTEN and SILENT just exchanged beautifully.

    Reply

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