And let yourself enter the world of the senses through the practice of haiku. “Haiku is not a shriek, a howl, a sigh, or a yawn; rather, it is the deep breath of life.” So breath deeply and for one small snippet of time untether yourself from the limitations of history, from your ‘to do’ and grocery and bucket lists. (Even the election results) Suspend time and forget about not knowing how, or having to do to right, about being better or less than, and just BE. Take 5 minutes all to yourself, and just notice both inner and outer, and then let your observations take the shape of 17 syllables, and become haiku!
Undertake your practice seriously but don’t be too serious.
Wait–let me back out!”
― Lee Wardlaw, Won-Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku
When you are alone
for solitude means
you won’t be looney.
taking the occasional
is ok. So if your haiku ends up being 7-5-5 and not 5-7-5
Don’t be too precious
It is better to haiku
then not to haiku
Just focus your attention and hold the compass of your senses toward the essence of Haiku, which “is the soul of poetry” and resides almost everywhere….especially, according to Haiku master, Santoka Taneda, within your heart. Be and be quietly, bold. For 17 syllables go beyond the “restrictions of your era, forget about purpose or meaning, separate yourself from historical limitations” and tenderly enter your own heart. Because “anything that is not actually present in one’s heart is not haiku….The moon glows, flowers bloom, insects cry, water flows. There is no place we cannot find flowers or think of the moon. This is the essence of haiku.” And if you are lucky you will find there “the essence of true art, religion, and science.” The essence of your true self.
“The same hot lightning that burns your blood with passion–– cools your fears with peace.”
― Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams
How to write an Engaging the Senses Haiku.
Materials- A pencil or pen, a piece of paper or notebook.
Your eyes, ears, fingers, and memory.
- One: Start by finding a peaceful comfortable place to lay or sit quietly for up to 5 minutes with your spine straight. Close your eyes and if you want let them roll up slightly as if you were looking inwardly through the place between your eyebrows.
- Two: Take a long breath in through you nose and then exhale it through you mouth sighing as you do
- Repeat this two more times. As you do consciously release any tension you are holding in your shoulders, belly, neck, jaw and face.
- Three: With your eyes still closed focus your attention on the sounds in the room and outside. Feel the saliva in your mouth notice its texture and taste. Now notice any smells or scents. Now begin to notice any feelings internal or external, the feeling of your body on the bed, the softness of the sheets against your skin, the cool or heat of the air.
- Four: Slowly open your eyes. Keep your gaze soft. Get your paper and pencil/pen and without worrying about grammar or punctuation or style write down what you just experienced/observed. Then get up and moving slowing,
- Begin to look around the room or place where you are. Notice the colors, shapes, and scents. Write these down as well.
- Five: With a sense of playfulness shape your observations, memories, experience into as many 3 line, 17 syllable haiku as come together without straining. You can count syllables on your fingers.
- Six: Read what you’ve written without judgement, take another deep breath of life, and go on with your day.
Your reward for this sojourn into simplicity will be a sense (pun intended) of peace and clarity, as well as an awareness and appreciation of the small beauties that make up the larger world.
Please lovely reader, if you have haikued and want to share send them to me( with or with out comments about your process), so others can enjoy the fruits of your practice.
With warmest Aloha,