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High recognition . . . Learn from the lotus flower

Jonathan provides short, insightful quotes with complementary images. This particular post brings to mind Thich Nhat Hanh’s book No Mud, No Lotus.

Without the mud, there can be no lotus. Too often, we try to avoid the mud and challenges in life. The mud can help ground us in those moments as we take time to rest and reflect. Laozi offers this advice in to deal with life’s challenges: “Do you have the patience to wait/Till your mud settles and the water is clear?/Can you remain unmoving/Till the right action arises by itself?”

Too often, the busyness of life sweeps us away in the rush of its current instead of pausing in the midst of the storm to regain our footing and following the example of nature. There is a universal quality in remaining grounded in the present. Matthew 6:28 reminds us  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Even the most pressing issues of our time require us to think about what we can do in our little corner of the universe each day, each moment. We should each remember, if we do what we can in our corner of the universe, we are interconnected or, as Thich Nhat Hanh might say, inter-are with each other.

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.

51 responses »

  1. Indeed. Thanks, Ivon. I had never seen lotus flowers until I lived in Hawaii for about 12 years. There was a lotus pond, still is, planted by a big golf course up at the foot of Hualalai Mountain. They were spectacular, and indeed, grew in the most mucky soil imaginable! But what a beautiful flower. 🤗

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  2. Beautiful wisdom 🙏🏻

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  3. This was the perfect reminder for me today, let the mud settle, that’s what I’m going to do! Wonderful post Ivon, all my best, C

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  4. Awesome post! I struggle to sit still/do nothing, when those around me are screaming for action – nearly 10 years of me ‘feeling bad about dragging my feet on action’ data collected before I started not ramping up to ‘do quickly’ the moment someone else freaks out – a skill to be learned, for sure! 😀 But then, I may just be a ‘slow learner” – – LOL

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    • Thank you TamrahJo. I do too. I think we are caught up in the busyness of life and don’t stop to pause and take in life. Richard Rohr says we get better in the second half of our lives if we let go a bit. A little Franciscan wisdom mixed with Zen Buddhism.

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  5. Thanks for sharing Thick Nath’s wisdom. Happy New Year Smile It is a great day

    *ROY FANTHOME*

    On Fri, Jan 7, 2022 at 3:34 AM Teacher as Transformer wrote:

    > ivonprefontaine posted: ” Jonathan provides short, insightful quotes with > complementary images. This particular post brings to mind Thich Nhat Hanh’s > book No Mud, No Lotus. Without the mud, there can be no lotus. Too often, > we try to avoid the mud and challenges in life. The ” >

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  6. Very well written yes the mud of lotus is like challenge of life. Without challenge, we can’t do things properly. Thanks 🎉🤗

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  7. Thank you for this Ivon! There are lotus ponds in a garden near me. It’s the most beautiful thing to watch them rise out of the water and then fade away.

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  8. So very true. Wishing you all the best in 2022!

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  9. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    what about a godly body, eh?

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  10. This is so very true. Thank you for sharing. It is one of my themes I write a blog called Heartwings Love Notes. Bloom where you are planted is another way to say this. Blessings, Tasha. write about, in my blog Heartwings Love Notes. My website is heartwingsandfriends.com.

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  11. No mud no flowers, or hardly anything else! Since plants require from both, soil + water= mud in order to live and grow, life it’s made of such things, the beautiful like a flower, need of the gross, as dirt and water, and organic decomposing, creates food, and even worms fertilize, the soil, and produce new life, and it sustain us.

    Nice post.😊

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  12. Good advice. I’ve been trying to let the mud settle as my mind wanders to possibilities of ways I might be of use.

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  13. Hi Ivan,
    Your post was very timely. I was photographing lotus flowers today while my daughter had an appointment. She is 16 and gets eyelash extensions and it’s a 20 minute drive each way and so I go to the big parkland nearby for a walk and photograph the flowers. I have about an hour there and it’s so peaceful and the time just flies by. I also read a book for awhile too. I must admit I’m not too keen on driving her up there, but talking in the car is often very productive with teens and so I do it. Meanwhile, this time of waiting has been thrust on me and I’m ironically grateful for it.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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  14. This polar worldview also underlies Hegel’s idealistic philosophy of history. Or one could also say that without contradiction there is neither insight nor progress.
    Keep well
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  15. “Too often, the busyness of life sweeps us away in the rush of its current instead of pausing in the midst of the storm to regain our footing and following the example of nature…” Beautiful words… never thought of it that way, but describes well how those storms we try to avoid at all costs are often stop signs, that teach us to regain our footing. Blessings in a way. Lovely post.

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    • Yes, Jonathan provided me with a lovely foundation to build upon and expand. Taoism teaches us nature moves at its own pace and humans are incapable of accelerating that pace per se. Luke and Matthew suggest something similar in their biblical passages about lilies of the fields and bees.

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  16. Thanks for these reassuring reminders, Ivon. I hope you’re doing well.

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  17. Good to see your old posts back. I have a bad memory; I like to read the same thing more than once, especially good ones. So, I click “like” twice on the post I’ve read already.

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  18. For the past few years, with all the negative things going on in the world, I have definitely felt like I am slowly sinking in the mud. Sigh. I am very impatient and worried, because I can’t see the lotus flower in all of this yet! I need to learn how to stay in the present day and stop worrying about what is going to happen to me. I am having a hard time sleeping at night!

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    • I think, with all the mud, it can b hard to see the lotus flower and even more challenging to let the mud settle to let the water clear. I am finding stillness helps. Currently, I am re-reading Jack Kornfield’s A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times. It is insightful and full of reminders we can only change what is in our corner of the world.

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  19. We have a small corner, but we should use it to do good.

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  20. Now I want to go outside and take pictures all day 🙂

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  21. Beautiful and profound. ❤️🦋🌀

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  22. I agree with Cheryl, such a wonderful post! Everything in time! Yes, indeed.

    Pat

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  23. Thank you for the beautiful illustration and inspiration for life. Sometimes we do get busy and overlook the simple things. Have a beautiful day!

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    • You are welcome and thank you for stopping by Tammy. Yes, we do find ourselves overlooking the simple things in life even when they are right in front of us. I think, as we age, we begin to appreciate the rabbits visiting, the magpies hovering, and the squirrels playing hide-and-seek. At least, I hope we do. Take care and have a wonderful day.

      Reply

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