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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

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.

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. wonderful post ❤

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

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

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

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

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

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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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