Sunday, February 6, 2011

Haiku - The Sacred Art

Yesterday I had the joy of joining my friend Margaret McGee at Seattle University's 3rd Annual "Search for Meaning Book Festival." Margaret provided a workshop on her book, "Haiku, A Spiritual Practice in Three Lines," and I spoke briefly on the use of Haiku in Spiritual Direction.  There's something about spending the night in the big city where people are actually eating dinner after 9pm that does a rural woman's soul some good.

There were 2 keynote speakers: Anne Lamott, author of fiction and non-fiction was excellent and funny, and Tariq Ramadan, professor of Islamic studies at Oxford, was intriguing to say the least.  It's also great to run into people you haven't seen in a few years, and to end the day engaged in great conversation with a dear friend during the 2 hour drive home.  Did I mention that this Book Festival is FREE.  Yep...So mark your calendars for next February. 

So I leave you with a couple of quotes from Margaret's book and several Haikus:  "A haiku expresses the heart of a moment in a few brief lines.  Using images and senses, a haiku brings feeling to life... A haiku is a form of instant communion.  A haiku involves an exchange of sensory experience: taste and touch, bread and wine.  In haiku, the experince is shared in a few brief words, offering both the feeling of the moment and the insight that we are not alone." (p.9 Haiku-the sacred art by Margaret McGee)  And here is one of my favorites: "Haiku is a way to let God know we are paying attention."

shown a flower
a small baby
opens its mouth
         -Seifu-ni (1731-1814

a bitter morning:
sparrows sitting together
without any necks
         -James W. Hackett

5 comments:

Sixty and Single in Seattle said...

Roberta, so good to see you at the book day. I wrote about it too, at my blog.

Philomena Ewing said...

Roberta, What a wonderful event and free too !
I agree that spending time with old friends,finding new ones, eating and listening to great speakers is hard to beat.
The books look really good too and the description of haiku is intriguing. Thanks for a treat !
Blessings

Margaret D. McGee said...

A great event -- and a great pleasure to share the podium with you, Roberta. Let's do it again sometime!

Jan said...

I wish I could have been there.

Ocean Girl said...

What a wonderful day. I've never heard of Haiku before but now I am rather impressed because the one you shared reflects the author's attention and so beautiful. I also googled Tariq Ramadan and now intrigue by the images and what I read about him. I will look for his book What I Believe.

Thank you Roberta.