Haiku are a healthy habit…a haiku sensibility, a haiku heart and mind can bring you a healthy incremental happiness by establishing relationships and meaning with the near infinite forms and life forms in our world.
~ Tom Clausen
In his essay, A Basic Human Approach to Happiness, Br. David Steindl-Rast writes: “the one basic condition of the human psyche that accounts for genuine happiness is living in the now.” He acknowledges the difficulty in putting this sense of awareness into words and thus quotes T.S. Eliot:
… happiness — not the sense of well-being,
Fruition, fulfilment, security or affection,
…but the sudden illumination—
It is this “sudden illumination” to which haiku opens us.
When we slow down enough to truly notice the distinctions in our moments, offer our attention to the intricacies of our lives, and make ourselves available to unexpected illumination, awareness, and appreciation — as readers and writers of haiku do — we are living gratefully. With this grateful orientation, we appreciate more of what is already in our lives and thereby open ourselves to ever-new sources of wonder and joy.
Tom Clausen offers the following advice:
If certain things bring you happiness, recognize that the more that you relate to and can find happiness the happier you may be. For instance if you had not considered clouds a source of happiness, think of how they are free to see, are there almost every day, and are varied, changing constantly, and something that could be a source of wonder, observation, and happiness.
Just as we can cultivate gratefulness through practice, we can cultivate a haiku sensibility (which, as we now see, can also inspire a grateful sensibility) through continual dedication and devotion.
Tom further advises us to:
Keep writing whether you think it is good or not… the practice and habit of writing is fairly important in the same way that physical health is linked to consistent physical exercise. Mental and emotional health are as much tied to finding what helps you achieve peace of mind, equilibrium, and stability. A regular writing practice is a wonderful way to engage yourself and work your way through the emotional landscape of your life especially the tough times and challenges.
Today we invite you to reflect on your experience over the past week and consider adding haiku as a regular practice to your life: How has haiku impacted you and the way you see the world? What might an intention to continue your practice look like?
As this is the final day of our time together we invite you also to share one haiku which has been particularly meaningful to you. If you haven’t shared in the reflection area yet, now is your opportunity to embrace vulnerability and step into the shared belonging of creativity. With true haiku sensibility — surprise us!
With a deep bow to you for your attention to and engagement with this practice. We are so grateful.
Enjoy the full eight-day Exploring Haiku practice.
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i look out my window at this northern climate ,look into the birch and pines an as i do i realized that all my threatening and fearfull issues are shelved for a moment.
Is pain a friend?
We do spend time together –
to remind me I’m alive?
Damp, fat, feathery
The infrequent snows of
My desert childhood
Bed and bow
Up and down
Wind and leaves
Clouds and raine
Peace be and be
I love this practice of brief bits of words that allow me to express myself, or create a scene. I’ve really enjoyed reading others words and art in all its forms. Thank you everyone. ?
Focusing on words
brings me to my inner self
I am truly present here
When the snow sparkles
with points of light I think of
those who gave me life
a place to embrace
fall into familiar arms
a refuge a home
Thankyou for this opportunity.. I hope to keep writing one a day!
And always grateful for gratefulness.org!
I notice my novice little haikus, upon reading them, were their own little surprise, gift back.
Thank you for introducing this practice. Beautiful.
Two young girls anointing –
The young bless us all.
Doorbell rings for surprise
Happy Easter floral gift
From thoughtful niece.
I loved Brother David’s playful and clever visit to the dentist, and all Haikus about nature draw me in. What a simple way to be. I’m feeling grateful for these few moments each day, and seeing this as a practice of gratitude.
# Tanka /waka
Travel and haiku
Wander lust and Wonder’s eyes
Two’s a company
And in perfect harmony
Search and found with Gratitude
Thank you for this wondrous 8 day haiku practice. It brought me to a new level of understanding why I love travelling and haiku so much as they go hand in hand.
Participating with like minded people who loves haiku was also an extended joy. I also like to repeat what one participant said with gratitude for the people who has put in tremendous efforts behind this project.
I have self taught myself haiku from reading what is available out there and is aware my skills is still raw and having this opportunity to connect to a community and resources is amazing. My heart is full. I look forward to learning and honing my poetry skills still.
Grateful and with deep appreciation.
1st day I liked the Haiku by HOSHA
Quieting the mind
deep in the forest
I wrote one just after helping our cat give birth to three kittens on 4/12/19
Black bundle of love
crying in the pain of labor
mewing — purring — ahhh
Soft birdsong, just noticed!
Sun pressing through clouds;
Mug is empty, the day begins.
Ocean waves beneath me
I am lifted by the wind
It’s time to rejoice!!!