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Daily Archives: February 8, 2014

Inviting Silence

Until yesterday, I had not heard of Gunilla Norris and her poetry. Parker Palmer sent a Facebook message with this beautiful poem embedded. It is a long poem, but is worth whiling and lingering over. Parker Palmer writes about the need for silence in life. This allows us turn inward and listen as our soul speaks to us.

As I move forward in the dissertation process, several things stood out in this poem. Sharing silence as a political act reminded me of how the polis consists of persons where exchanging anything suggests we act politically. In the early writing stages, I argue that teaching is a series of ongoing political actions as we choose the way we teach and what we teach.

Thich Nhat Hanh suggested we find the extraordinary in the ordinary. It is in the lives of each person that the extraordinary potentially emerges. It is in a thoughtful pedagogy that this can emerge in our self, our children, and their children. It is Sabbath’s silence we find space.

Within each of us there is a silence

–a silence as vast as a universe.

We are afraid of it…and we long for it.

When we experience that silence, we remember

who we are: creatures of the stars, created

from the cooling of this plant, created

from dust and gas, created

from the elements, created

from time and space…created

from silence.

The experience of silence is now so rare

that we must cultivate it and treasure it.

That is especially true for shared silence.

Sharing silence is, in fact, a political act.

When we can stand aside from the usual and

perceive the fundamental, change begins to happen.

Our lives align with deeper values

and the lives of others are touched and influenced.

Silence brings us to back to basics, to our senses,

to our selves. It locates us. Without that return

we can go so far away from our true natures

that we end up, quite literally, beside ourselves.

We live blindly and act thoughtlessly.

We endanger the delicate balance which sustains

our lives, our communities, and our planet.

Each of can make a difference.

Politicians and visionaries will not return us

to the sacredness of life.

That will be done by ordinary men and women

who together or alone can say,

“Remember to breathe, remember to feel,

remember to care,

let us do this for our children and ourselves

and our children’s children.

Let us practice for life’s sake.”


Do You Hate Your Job?

A year ago I heard Jon Kabat-Zinn present and he echoed this thought. He said. “Get a Job with a capital J and stop doing someone else’s work.” When you leave at the end of the day, it is nice to look forward to coming back the next day. For a couple of years, I lost the passion to be in the classroom with the children. I let others take that away from me. When I took back during my last year, I felt good and whole again. I enjoyed being in the classroom learning alongside and with the students.

Practical Practice Management A Division of Top Practices




Stuart Young has written a new book titled Do You Hate Your Job? The link will take you directly to his blog with information about his new book and how you can get it at a price that is to good to be true… Free!

I just received my copy and am looking forward to reading it.  I read Stu’s first book “How To Change Your Life One Day At a Time” which I feel is a must read.  Each day you are prompted to really think about how your life is, and what you want to do with the time you have here.

Have a great Thursday everyone!


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