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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

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

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.

  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.

  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.


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