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You Are the Only Student You Have

Rumi wrote poetry that resonates over centuries. When we take time to be thankful and silent, we are one with the universe. We sense the right time to speak.

When we become our student, it is important to be silent and patient with the student. Without patience and compassion, the student does not learn. The teacher cannot teach and wisdom cannot be received.

When we receive ourselves as both teacher and student, questions open up not to be answered as inviting spaces. We move beyond change and transform who we are.

You are the only faithful student you have.
All the others leave eventually.

Have you been making yourself shallow
with making others eminent?

Just remember, when you’re in union,
you don’t have to fear
that you’ll be drained.

The command comes to speak,
and you feel the ocean
moving through you.
Then comes, Be silent,
as when the rain stops,
and the trees in the orchard
begin to draw moisture
up into themselves.


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.

23 responses »

  1. That’s a beautiful poem and such a good lesson.

  2. Such a powerful insight!

  3. Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    How true.

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I hadn’t seen it before πŸ˜‰

  5. I love the way he can pull nature into his teachings. As I thought about his words it came to me to wonder about the tree that waits until the rain ceases before drawing moisture up. I wonder now if there is a reason for that or if It is just a simile, a comparison whereas the true wisdom is a metaphor, to help man grasp a principle. One learns from the speaking if there is also listening. Is it not true also that meditation leads to learning? I would suggest however that while change leads to transformation, transformation itself is a work of God. Thanks again for an interesting post.

    • I think great poets have the capacity to bring to life what they write about and nature reveals itself in and through their writing. I think of Rumi, Mary Oliver, Gary Snydner, Robert Frost, Gary Snyder, and many others. Thank you for a wonderful comment and you are most welcome Marie.

  6. very true, when it comes to true student, we are the only ones we have.

  7. Superb πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  8. Ivon, that you for putting Rumi’s words into this empowering perspective:
    When we receive ourselves as both teacher and student, questions open up not to be answered as inviting spaces. We move beyond change and transform who we are.

  9. Great words to embrace!

  10. teaching
    from the heart

  11. It is such an interesting site you have, ivonprefontaine! Because of lack of time, I haven’that the chance to read you thoroughly, but, whenever I take even a little piece of it, I see you are one of the people I have much in common, in terms of mindset! (I’ m so happy every time I meet such a person in this relatively new to me blogging world 😊)
    I’m a teacher myself and you have given me the flash to realize the power of storytelling which I use spontaneously (our psyche knows! πŸ˜‰). From now on I will use it more consciously…
    Thank you so much for this “interaction”!

    • Thank you for a wonderful comment and for stopping by. Storytelling is something that can be so intuitive and at the same time a conscious process unfolding who we are.

  12. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

    I can’t get the title out of my head: “You Are the Only Student You Have”

    That is so powerful!


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