Spring is in the air!….. But technically it IS still winter and feels a wee bit cold in my part of the world.
March’s theme is about mindfulness, haiku and how they are closely connected.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is simply becoming much more aware of your surroundings and your thoughts, letting them come and go. Mindfulness has been around for centuries and is clearly more known, talked about and necessary more than ever since we live in such a fast paced world. Slowing down, connecting with one another in person and unplugging from technology are things that can help make life better but we’ve become so addicted to our devices that we’re connected and disconnected all at the same time. By learning to pay attention to your surroundings you can be more present and in the moment. Negative habits are always hard to kick and a little self-motivation is sometimes needed. How many times do you find yourself going about your day but not remembering what you had for breakfast let alone knowing what it was and what it tasted like.
When was the last time you noticed how the texture of your clothes feels under your skin or how the light changes in the sky throughout the day? Do you eat fast or slow down to savour each mouthful and really taste and smell your food?
So, what does haiku poetry have to do with mindfulness?
There are so many things about haiku that makes it a powerful and useful tool to achieve mindfulness. First on the list is that haiku is always written in the present tense which gives it a connection to being mindful. When you read a haiku it should take you to a time and a place, a moment that the poet is expressing from a personal experience they have had.
Haiku has a beautiful way of connecting you to your own senses, enhancing your experiences, and making the world richer and more interesting. To actually be “in” the moment all the time can be somewhat daunting and is not always possible. Since I’ve been practicing my writing and learning more about haiku, I find I no longer dwell on the past or worry as much about the future. Haiku has given me the liberty and freedom to trust myself and where I’m headed in life. Taking time for yourself isn’t always easy. But when you do, it can bring you back to the moment and make you feel much more present. Noticing and taking note of mindful moments is simple once you gain more awareness and do it more often. Mindfulness is about taking everyday, ordinary moments in life and turning them into extraordinary insights into life. Creating a time and space for reflection can enhance the quality of your day.
The five senses are also a big part of how haiku is mindful. Sight, touch, sound, scent and taste are always a part of true to form haiku. When you read a well written haiku you should be able to feel at least one or more of these senses. What, where, and when is what keeps the haiku realistic by being in the moment. Mindfulness is the practice of being present and haiku is a creative way to achieve this so you can integrate it into your daily life.
I recently read an amazing and beautifully written book about mindfulness written by Keith Macpherson called “Making Sense of Mindfulness” Keith is clearly passionate about mindfulness and his love of sharing how the practice of mindfulness has changed his life and others that he has coached.
Here is a link to his site to find out more.
Here are 2 more links to amazing mindfulness practices that aren’t haiku based but they are inspiring, creative and insightful.
If you want to learn more about haiku and mindfulness you can take the “Haiku Just for You’ online Course shows you the joy in writing and creating haiku poetry. This course introduces you to haiku, some of the most famous early poets, and provides an easy to follow series of five lessons, companion workbooks, stunning graphic templates, a collection of evocative one-liners you can mix and match and a nicely illustrated journal in PDF.