Haiku for mindfulness
Mindfulness is simply becoming more aware of your surroundings and your thoughts, letting them come and go. Mindfulness has been around for centuries. It is clearly known and talked about, and it seems necessary more than ever since we live in such a fast-paced world. However, it does appear that people are finally slowing down and learning how to be less busy. What a gift!
Slowing down and connecting with one another in per- son are ways to be mindful of where you are and how you feel. When you unplug from technology and plug into nature, you’re more connected to yourself, and that can make life better. Spending time alone in a quiet place is good, it can help give you more balance and peace within, so that you won’t feel depleted.
How is haiku connected to mindfulness? Because haiku is written in the present tense, is based on awareness and the senses, the fact is that it’s inherently mindful. Mindfulness is the ability to be in the present moment without judgment, and having an awareness of thoughts, feelings and sensations as they arise. Everything about haiku is based on these principles.
A good haiku captures something that transcends the moment, while at the same time can only be expressed “in the moment.” It combines the internal mind of the poet and the external experience of the person reading the haiku. The poet is expressing a moment from his or her life, and the reader is experiencing the haiku through his or her own lens. Typically, each reader will have a thought, feeling or interpretation which is different from those of other people who are reading the same haiku.
When you practice mindfulness, it eventually becomes part of your everyday life. I used to constantly be worried about the future and was sometimes stuck in the past. Since I’ve not only become more aware of this and started writing haiku, I’m much more relaxed and present, and less worried, even during a global health crisis.
When we practice mindfulness, the world gradually begins to look and feel different. It is as if we are being awakened to the reality of the present moment that is constantly unfolding in a new way. Worries about the past and the future begin to fade away as you realize that you are only truly alive in this moment . . . right now.
There are many good haiku resources and websites available on-line for inspiration. Here are a few that I recommend.