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Forget about Enlightenment.

Occasionally, I read articles about mindfulness in the workplace. I am OK with the good practice, but I find that it is not about letting go of old habits. Instead, it is often about gaining some advantage over others.

I find, perhaps as a product of getting older, the harder I chase something the harder it is to find it. When I sit and wait and do not chase, what I need most comes to me. It finds me when I let go of the idealized past and fantastic future. Rather than something I turn on and off at will, mindfulness letting go and appreciating who I am and what I have.

John Welwood counsels us to listen to the wind singing in our veins and the longing in our bones as we open our hearts to who we are in each moment. Certainly, the ensuing conversation and questions we ask in are a monumental task, but the love and patience we show ourselves makes us whole and holy.

Forget about enlightenment.
Sit down wherever you are
And listen to the wind singing in your veins.
Feel the love, the longing, the fear in your bones.
Open your heart to who you are, right now,
Not who you would like to be,
Not the saint you are striving to become,
But the being right here before you, inside you, around you.
All of you is holy.
You are already more and less
Than whatever you can know.
Breathe out,
Touch in,
Let go.

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.

17 responses »

  1. Love, love, love it. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Reply
  2. That is such good advice. Thank you, Ivon.

    Reply
  3. Just so moving and beautiful. Definitely using this in my grief workshops. Thankyou Ivon. πŸ™πŸ»

    Reply
  4. Such a beautiful verse. And I so agree with you, things come to us in a gentle way, and most often, when we are not in pursuit. Thanks. πŸ’•

    Reply
  5. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    GOOD STUFF! πŸ˜€

    Reply
  6. Yup, agreed. Ivon, I really love reading your posts. So thoughtful.
    I, too find myself waiting rather than chasing. Have done so for at least a decade, maybe more. Forget about enlightenment, indeed. I think the word is overrated. If we are paying attention, we are already ‘seeing the light’ of things. Aloha.

    Reply
    • Thank you Bela. I think what you desribe is a product of age. Father Richard Rohr writes about how for the first half of our lives we chase. He says, if we are lucky, we figure out we are not getting anywhere and we stop chasing and things come to us unexpectedly.

      Reply

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