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How do I listen?

I commented on a re-blog, Here’s an Idea that Mimi‘s post coincided a PBS show about a branch of neuroscience called Contemplative Mindfulness. Rudolph Tanzi is central in this work which has grown from other recent research by Richard Davidson, Ellen Langer, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Mindful practices have been with us for centuries and are found in Christ’s, the Buddha’s and Mohammed’s teachings. Mindful listening begins with me, moves outward, and is eloquently described by Hafiz, a Sufi poet. Mindful listening requires humility those teachers emulated in their lived practice as the servant as leader.


Do I

Listen to others?

As if everyone were my Master

Speaking to me





Stay human friends.

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.

25 responses »

  1. Really beautiful! One of the qualities that makes a good storyteller is good listening.

  2. wonderful! just wonderful … thank you.

  3. It is the reason I chose you for this award you are always teaching me even if you are never aware 🙂
    I had some horrible teachers
    I do hope when I go away for my 10 day silent retreat I can be mindful as well

  4. It is more complicated than it sounds. Where do we store the questions we have, interrupts from our brain. Or do we act differently: write a summary afterwards, and while doing so formulate the questions? Do we have the chance to let our summary be corrected by the speaker, and our questions answered hours or days later?
    For stories it is simpler, for acquiring skills interaction is needed …

    • Those are great questions Bert. I suspect some of the answers are at the heart of great listening. Interesting you bring up stories. I ran across a quote recently: “The shortest distance between two people is a story.” I cannot recall who to attribute it to, but stories are essential to listening.

  5. That little poem right there could change my life.

  6. That verse by Hafiz is one of my favourites too. And that sums up the essence of humility. Thank you Ivon. Sharon

  7. Pingback: Inspiring Blog Award « The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic

  8. Hi. Just want you to know how much I appreciate your blog and that I’ve awarded you with the Inspiring Blog Award
    Feel no obligation to join. The fab new logo and my warmest, sincerest gratitude is yours to keep.^^ xo – kz ^^

  9. I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Have a look

  10. Listening and listening with an open mind is so much different. Listening and recognizing words is easy. Babies can do it, the clearer the command, the better the understanding. But understanding the feelings, the background, the thoughts of the teller, is something, hardly anyone can do. There are so many people who call themselves passionate. Passionate dancers, painters, passionate workers, passionate lovers and fighters. Yet, add three letters to it and you create a mystery. Compassion is so essential to understand someone and something. A key to get you to the same level as the teller or the artist or the one who is trying to explain anything to you. Too bad, it can hardly be taught, too bad it hardly is encouraged. Thanks so much for the post, though. The words are wonderful.


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