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Author Archives: ivonprefontaine

The Great Paradox

As a teacher, I wonder how we keep children safe from themselves and, at the same time, not curbing their innate curiosity and imagination.

Pablo Picasso said “Every child is born an artist. The challenge is to remain an artist after you grow up.”

Albert Einstein stated “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.

I am less concise, so I wrote a poem.

Born curious and imaginative,

Children do not have to be taught.

Yes, they can hurt themselves,

Ah, they need guides to walk with them,

Without inflicting greater harm.

The challenge lies in a question:

How do I guide them, without damaging them?

‘Tis a great paradox.

 

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Pointers to Non-Duality

I am back to post. I am reading and writing. I am working to intersect hermeneutic phenomenology, which I used as my research methodology for my dissertation and the method of currere. The latter is an autobiographical method, in part, based on existential philosophy to explore curriculum through one’s lived-experience. As well, it uses Freudian psychoanalytic theory as part of its foundations. It is this latter aspect I am contrasting with hermeneutic phenomenology as both are interpretive methods.

I moved to radical hermeneutics, linking it with my writing. What I found is there is an overlap with poetry and non-duality.

Bill Pinar developed the method of currere and used Zen philosophy as a third leg for the method. The voice in hermeneutics is poetic, seeking to understand the world in non-dualistic ways and subvert binary thinking.  As I looked for a poem, I found this one by Wu Hsin.

When I am mindful and present to the world in its past, present, and future moments the text I live comes to life with new meaning.

Just as the honey is not sweetness,

The words of Wu Hsin are not

The truth.

However, time spent with these words is like

The aftermath of rain.

In due course, a sprouting of

Understanding will occur and

Will bear fruit at a pace

Outside of one’s control.

Labyrinth

I enjoy walking in labyrinthes and meditating or just sitting beside them and meditating. This wonderful photo and comment is accompanied by a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh. His work is compelling as he writes in ways that make his deep spirituality understandable. There is a gentleness in the words.

Shobhna Wadhwa

20170630_144939I came across this Labyrinth recently and practiced walking meditation. Although walking meditations can be done anywhere, a labyrinth reflects  wholeness, balance and coming back to oneself.   Labyrinths invite a person to practice taking steps with gentle awareness.  

Walking Meditation by  Thich Nhat Hahn

Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully.
Walk happily.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.

 Then we learn
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.

 Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the…

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5 favourite quotes of the week (2/52)

Here are quotes from some favourite authors. We read Jane Austen as part of our undergrad English class and The Great Gatsby in high school.

Apricity All The Way

1. So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible. -NORTON JUSTER, The Phantom Tollbooth

2. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life. -F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, The Great Gatsby

3. There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature. -JANE AUSTEN, Northanger Abbey

4. Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life? -PAULO COELHO, Eleven Minutes

5. At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale…

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Depth of Feeling

Depth of Feeling

To sit and meditate, is to pray and study one’s self. It is exploring what lies beneath the surface that we take-for-granted. Once we see what lies beneath the surface, we have the opporunity to embrace it and understand it more fully.

Find Your Middle Ground

Image from Google

“We are so unused to emotion

that we mistake any depth of feeling for sadness,

any sense of the unknown for fear,

and any sense of peace, for boredom.

We are so schooled away from the life below, that anything beneath scares us.”

~ Mark Nepo from “The Book of Awakening”

It’s a scary place to start to look at ourselves beneath the surface. To face who we are when no one is looking.

We are afraid of what we might find and the depth of our feeling. Yet this is the place where the heart can truly open to all the experiences and feelings that have been denied.

I like how Mark Nepo reflects,  “When we bring up what we keep inside, it is sacred and scary, and the rest of us don’t know if we want to touch it or not, like reaching from a ladder into a nest…

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The Meeting

A couple of weeks ago I was out for one of my daily walks. We live in neighbourhood that is well inside the city, so what happened was a surprise. A deer was on one of the lawns. It saw me, but by the time I had my cell phone and camera out is was two blocks away. Just the same, it was an unexpected moment to bethoroughly enjoyed.

The deer’s unexpected appearance reminded me of what Thich Nhat Hanh says about the ordinary being part of the extraordinary. We just have to remain open.

When I am quiet,

When I just am,

Openings appear;

Something shows itself.

In those ordinary moments,

Miracles appear,

Making the moment (extra)ordinary,

The enjoyment exceeds itself.

We took this picture in Waterton Lakes National Park. I walked around a corner and one of the young ones was within arm’s length, but separated from the doe. I stayed still, until mother and child reunited.

11 Favorite Motivational Paulo Coelho Quotes To Live By

This is another post with several Paulo Coehlo quotes, most of which are from his first book The Alchemist.

Find A Way by JWP

flat-lay-2168171_1920Image Credit: Pixabay

Paulo Coelho is one of my favorites authors. I have read almost all of his book and, his best-seller “The Alchemist” more than once. Yesterday, my 6-year-old son declared that he knew all his books by heart and he wanted to hear something different before his sleep. So, he chose randomly a book from my library and it was “The Alchemist“. Fortunately, the beginning of the book doesn’t differ from a fairy tale about a shepherd who wants to travel all over the world with his herd of sheep. After a couple of pages, my son had slept, but this incident reminded me how many beautiful and inspiring quotes has Paulo Coelho.

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