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#3157 - Monday, May 5, 2008 - Editor: Gloria Lee
Nonduality Highlights -   

[Note from editor: formatting for some poems is unlike the original; apologies to the authors. -jk]   

Gabriel Rosenstock has another outstanding excerpt from his book, Haiku, The Gentle Art of Disappearing,  in May's issue of World Haiku Review online.    

the geese fly off …

                        and now it comes to me

                        that I am still here

                                      H.F. Noyes

                                                (Parnassus Literary Journal, Fall 1988)


Just as I was reading this poem, some unseen passing geese honked at me from overhead. Thankfully the door was already open for listening to the other birds, or it would have been missed. You can't go looking for moments like this, they just happen. Haiku is that opening door. -Gloria


"In the haiku moment interpenetration occurs with the visible and the invisible, the near and the far, the temporal and the eternal:"

          summer evening

                             light that touched the moon

                             touching me

                                      Michael Ketchek

                                                (Acorn, No. 4, 2000)



ar an bhfrog ba dhigh leat -      

'an nach cuimhin leat?'  

the frog   

seems to grin -     

'do you not remember?'  




   the falling leaves

                            fall and pile up; the rain

                             beats on the rain


It is, of course, an event – one event –  that is described in a haiku but in it we discover layers of experience, an accumulation of happenings, a delicate concatenation of related, universal, timeless events. Haiku moments are in the eternal now. Silesius, as we have said before, intuits this valuable insight:

          Time is eternity, eternity is time,

          If you wish, you can make them rhyme

                                      (Version: GR)







Revolutionary symphony …The veil of Maya, illusion, is as impenetrable in Bulgaria as it is in Flanders or as it is in the Himalayas but haiku consciousness rends that veil, momentarily. No rituals are needed. We need not sit impassively like ascetic yogis until, as Kabir says, our matted locks make us look like goats. Meditative readings of the Haiku Masters is an apprenticeship in itself and initiates responsive readers to recognise and experience haiku moments in their ordinary, everyday lives. The result will be the birth of a revolutionary symphony.


William Henry Channing could have been talking about the haiku path when he said:

‘To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never, in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common – this is my symphony.’

It is much more than a symphony. It is a revolution! Engagement with haiku is a revolutionary act. And – so far - it’s legal! ‘Seeking elegance rather than luxury’ is a revolutionary statement in our grasping, selfish world; ‘to listen to stars and birds’ competes with the frivolity of mass media, the noisy might of corporate television and radio, the strident, gossipy entertainment industry; ‘to be content with small means’ flies in the face of rampant consumerism.

Haiku is a revolutionary symphony that can save the world from its own vapidity, selfishness, greed, cruelty … from all of its gross excesses. To disappear, in haiku, is the most revolutionary act of all! It is truly a mark of our daring, our freedom:

                   snow flurrying …

                   the deer look back, one by one

                   before they vanish

                             Tom Clausen

                                      (Standing Here, self-published 1998)


     In the Gydai haiku (above) we have noticed leaves upon leaves and rain on rain. Are these separate entities or are they one? If they were separate entities it would be impossible to disappear into one element and not into the other. One disappears into the whole. One cannot disappear into a fraction, because fractions do not really exist. This is the important point we find in Shunryu Suzuki’s enlightened text, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (Weatherhill, 197O): ‘Each existence depends on something else. Strictly speaking, there are no separate individual existences. There are just many names for one existence.’  

****             Suddenly one day everything is empty like space

          That has no inside or outside, no bottom or top,

          And you are aware of one principle

          Pervading all the ten thousand things.

          You know then that your heart

          Is so vast that it can never be measured.


Immeasurable heart …  When the haikuist experiences dissolving in the haiku moment, he learns that his heart ‘is so vast that it can never be measured’. Then all things, near and far, fall into the compass of fearless compassion and wonder. It is not that his heart has expanded overnight, or in an instant. It is a dawning, an awareness of a hidden potential, which haiku awakens.

          Haiku allows us to breathe, once freed of the fetters that cramp and limit our consciousness. Hitherto meaningless chores suddenly become rituals of surprise, beauty, awe and reverence. Every true haiku you read, every true haiku you write will sustain this insight and reflect it.



bn D   

orlach ar orlach     

ag taisteal na cruinne    


inch by  inch       

exploring the universe  


*The ladybird in Irish (and in Russian, I believe) is "God's little cow..."  





Gabriel Rosenstock, Ireland



foghorn at dusk ...

   little by little

      the world disappears



mountain sheep

   in mist

      chewing the universe





the universe expands:

wild geese honking





  The entire May issue with other articles may be read here. 

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