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Practicing the Art of Zen

Susan Auld wrote this informative poem about life’s busyness in the digital age. Time challenges me daily and it is hard to keep pace and leave comments that are deep enough to celebrate the wonderful blogs I follow.

I try living in the moment as the poem suggests. This is a great challenge, but the idea is meditation is the practice we need for life to be lived fully. It is in life that we need to be present. As I rise from the meditation, I hope to do so with a clearer mind and catch a glimpse, now and then, of the rose opening. Even an occasional glimpse rewards me with the universe’s miracles.


how can I be in the present

when I need two hands to twitter and tweet

when world events are everywhere all the time

above   below   under   inside   outside

slithering through

ear buds   flat screens   cell phones

and I miss the exact second the rose

opens its red lips or the dramatic entrance

of the lilac’s perfume as it catches a ride

on the back of a spring breeze

and floats through my open window

how can I listen   to my breath

move    in   move   out   move   in   move out

through the rumbles of cement trucks

bells and whistles of garbage trucks

siren songs   ring tones   doorbells

computer music and twitches

how can I possibly be

in the moment

when the world is so

in my face

in my ears

in my rooms

in my yard

swallowing this

moment and

the next and next and next…

how in this world do I let go

of all the cacophonous chaos

practice     practice    practice


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.

25 responses »

  1. This reminds me, the honeysuckle buds are getting ready to pop open. I need to be outside on my back steps breathing in this aroma as I look up at the stars and dream. Thank you!

  2. Beautiful Ivon, thanks.

  3. I liked this very much, Ivon! Good reminder! Practice zen and try to put aside technology and the noises around you!

  4. Excellent Ivon, thanks a lot for this! Jenny

  5. Pingback: Practicing the Art of Zen | Mindful Leadership ...

  6. Pingback: Practicing the Art of Zen | Jenny Ebermann

  7. Reblogged this on aksharaalu – Best Collections and commented:
    cacophonous chaos

  8. cacophonous chaos…………….beautifully narrated plights of digital life
    with regards

  9. Professions for PEACE

    This is amazing, and I’ve saved it so I can print it off. It is worth remembering. Thank you for sharing this Ivon. It’s wonderful. Blessings, Gina

  10. Excellent poem! And makes such a good point! 🙂

  11. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

    *sigh* I’ve been working on my Zen also and this puts me in a good place. 😉

  12. I love this poem. I think I need to print it out and put it where I’ll read it daily!

  13. In the Stillness of Willow Hill

    Imagine how our students feel. They were born into this tweeting twittering world and know nothing else. I feel that our next movement needs to be toward teaching our young ones to slow down and appreciate nature and silence. The world would be a better place……. Love how the poem captures today’s culture!

    • I agree with the idea we need to find ways to help our children and grandchildren slow down and unshackle themselves. Thank you for great insight into the challenges our students face today, largely without knowing they exist.

  14. oh, this so captures how i feel! thank you for sharing. aleya


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