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Ask a Tree

Ask a Tree.

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about a large tree on the grounds at Plum Village a Zen monastery in France.  When people are feeling lonely, sad, angry, etc. he suggests they hug the tree for a few moments. It provides people with an opportunity to connect as they pause.

The druids lived in nature often living in trees. Nature was a cathedral and should still be today. As I drove home yesterday, I saw the changing colour in leaves and branches hanging over our street. Nature and trees have stories to tell. We only need to ask, pause of a moment, and listen attentively.


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.

26 responses »

  1. Dear Yvon, I am curious. As a teacher, would you screen this film for grade 12 students in order to promote frank conversation on the subject?

    If you want the gist of it, here’s a sample that basically states the ideology of the flic:

    BTW, what a devious way of finding out the true subversives, no?

    Lou Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:50:59 +0000 To:

    • The message is one that adults need to hear. I would have to think how I would deliver it to students. One of the obstacles to that is that many of our local politicians and bureaucrats are unwittingly in the pocket of the power brokers who control the neo-liberal agenda. The use of digital technologies in School is controlled by people who do not think about the underlying issues that Williamson points out early in the video.

      I used PBS videos to explore the role that advertising plays in the lives of children.Adolescent purchasing power is estimated at about $2 Billion per year. These are provocative issues which can be brought up, but it is a struggle.

      I am not sure how well I answered your questions.

  2. I agree with this completely.

  3. I often touch trees and occasionally I hug them. It always feels good.

  4. Isn’t that such a simple gift, and we all to often forget it! Thank you for the reminder.

  5. Agreed! 🙂 there are so many more layers and dimensions to trees!

  6. I always feel I’m in a cathedral when walking under a canopy of tree branches. I see I’m not alone! 😉 xoM

  7. “…and should still be today”
    Amen to that!
    i like where this takes me and how it lifts me. Thank you, Ivon, for sharing

  8. That’s very true. Nature can teach us a lot.

  9. In the Stillness of Willow Hill

    Thank you for including my poem in your post. I truly believe that trees are full of wisdom and grace, and the more time we spend with them, the lovelier life becomes.

  10. I love trees, find them fascinating, but I’ve never got round to hugging one though! 😉 I’m sure all living plants are far more relevant than we tend to give them credit for. I see everything on this planet as being connected, human, animal and plant. I’m sure plants can live without us humans, but we certainly can’t live without plants. 🙂


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