Have a haiku momentwhen your mind stops and your heart moves.
Writing haiku offers the chance to honor, hold, and fully experience a fleeting moment that takes you out of yourself, a moment that hints at the deeper unity that lies beneath the surface of things.
from Chapter One
In this encouraging guide for both beginning and experienced haiku writers, Margaret D. McGee shows how writing haiku can be a consciously spiritual practice for seekers of any faith tradition or no tradition.
Drawing from her experience as a spiritual retreat leader and published haiku writer, McGee takes the mystery and intimidation out of beginning to write haiku. For those already on their way, she provides helpful hints and exercises to broaden and deepen both your haiku artistry and your appreciation of haiku as part of your spiritual life. With humor and encouragement, she offers step-by-step exercises for both individuals and writing groups, and shows how haiku can help you:
- Pay attention to the world around you to connect with sacred moments
- Overcome fear and self-doubt to access your innate creativity
- Explore and use haiku together with spiritual practices in your own faith tradition
- Make haiku a spiritual part of your daily routine
About the Author
Margaret D. McGee, a writer, teacher, and leader of spiritual workshops and retreats, is author of Sacred Attention: A Spiritual Practice for Finding God in the Moment (SkyLight Paths), and Stumbling Toward God: A Prodigal's Return. Her haiku have been published in journals such as The Heron’s Nest, bear creek haiku, and Wisteria. Her website, www.IntheCourtyard.com, hosts a forum to write and share haiku in response to the sacred writings of world religions.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Heart of a Moment 9
Chapter 2 A Simple Prayer 25
Chapter 3 A Companionable Form 41
Chapter 4 A Sense or Time and Place 61
Chapter 5 Inspired Conversations 83
Chapter 6 Haiku in Community 101
Chapter 7 Haiku with Pictures or Prose 123
Chapter 8 The Haiku Life 137
Haiku Resources 148
Suggestions for Further Reading 159
Index of PraCtices 167
Index of Poets 168
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Haiku with guts, February 18, 2010 By Mary E. Davies (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews This is haiku with guts. I love, "A haiku takes us down to the bones of a moment." And "...when it comes to learning something new, cluelessness turns out to be the perfect and only place to start." I like it that this is a book to READ, not just a bunch of instructions. It's the spiritual equivalent of From Julia Child's Kitchen, where you not only get the bread recipe, you travel to the bakeries in Nice and experience the 300 days of experimental baking. I love McGee's image of a first kiss in puffy parkas on a Midwest winter night. And I put the book to work, as you can read about at http://marysreallife.blogspot.com/2009/11/sunday-in-seattle-with-haiku.html. And it's going to be the book I use this year for a Lenten practice. Highly recommended.
This just looks like a book about how to write haiku. Actually it's a book about mindfulness and learning to see the sacred in everyday life, using haiku as a means to pay attention. That said, the author does provide a good introduction to how to write haiku, covering the basics of the form, a brief history of haiku and related poetic forms, season words, and so on. But the focus of the book is on writing haiku as a spiritual practice, and here McGee shines. She provides exercises on simply observing the world around you, finding personal meaning in haiku's seasonal words, writing haiku in reaction to devotional reading, integrating haiku with lectio divina (a form of contemplative prayer based on reading) and art, and writing haiku with others to celebrate community. She takes an interfaith approach to the topic: she herself is Episcopalian and mentions writing haiku as part of her Biblical study, but she also describes writing a series of linked haiku with others that was read aloud during a Passover Seder.If you only want to learn about writing haiku, there are excellent books out there that would probably be more along the lines of what you're looking for. But if you're interested in integrating writing haiku into your spiritual practice, try this book.