Saturday, April 25, 2015

Carpe Diem #714, Universal Self

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The final goal of our journey, peace of mind, is almost there and today we do one of our final steps. The Bhagavad Gita is a wonderful and spiritual story and the final goal is that Arjuna finds the meaning of life and death ... his (Arjuna) goal is to become One with all and everything ... he will find it and reach his goal .... Universal Self. One with the Universe, becoming only One with all ... this is what the Bhagavad Gita has to tell us.

We are part of all and everything. We are all one with God (or Spirit, Light ...) and God is one with us. Finally we will be only spirit .... oneness .... In this journey we have seen that through the veils of the Bhagavad Gita and we have seen it ... we are all one. We are all one with nature, not only we are in nature, we are nature ... isn't that wonderful? We are all nature .... as every haiku poet/ess is.
Maybe you can read the Little Creatures episode of today once again ... because Chiyo-ni was also nature ...

What a joy that we are nature, we are ONE with nature and ONE with God .... isn't that what all the religions and life-philosophies are saying? Is this Universal Self the answer on our hypothetical question "Are all religions born from Hinduism, the oldest known religion?
Christians, Buddhists, Muslim, Pentecostals and more are all searching for becoming one with God ... it just can't be different .... Hinduism is the source of all religions. Of course this idea is hypothetical, because I am not a professor in religion and spirituality ... maybe there are scientists who are busy with this idea ... I don't know ...

Credits: Universal Self

no boundaries left
all one with nature, the universe
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille

Not a strong verse this time, but as I say it aloud it feels strong and like a mantra ... am I one with the Universe? Have I found (finally) my Universal Self?

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 28th at noon (CET).. I will (try to) post our new episode, our last haiku by Kala, our featured haiku poetess, later on

Carpe Diem Little Creatures #21, Chiyo-ni's "spider's thread"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to bring you a new episode of our Little Creatures feature in which I share haiku written by classical and non-classical haiku poets in which the little creatures of nature e.g ants, daisies, wren and as in today's episode, spiders are the theme of her haiku.

For this episode I have chosen a haiku written by Chiyo-ni (1703-1775). Maybe you know her. In my opinion she belongs to that group of greatest haiku poets ever, because she has written wonderful haiku ... she stood not only in nature, but was part of nature and that makes her haiku so strong in their images.

In her day it was said that Chiyo-ni's style was true to Basho's. Although Chiyo-ni acquired her own unique voice, eventually, she was surely influenced in her early period by the prevalence of Basho's teachings in the Kaga region.

Basho's style of haiku was formulated by others over the years. His well-known fundamentals usually include: sabi (detached loneliness), wabi (poverty of spirit), hosomi (slenderness, sparseness), shiori (tenderness), sokkyo (spontaneity), makoto (sincerity), fuga (elegance), karumi (simplicity), kyakkan byosha (objectivity), and shiZen to hitotsu ni naru (oneness with nature).

Chiyo-ni (1703-1775)

"Oneness with nature" seems especially resonant in Chiyo-ni's haiku. Basho's theory of oneness with nature was that the poet should make a faithful or honest sketch of nature. In the Sanzohi (1702), Basho's disciple, Doho, explains his teacher's theory: "Learn about the pine from the pine and the bamboo from the bamboo--the poet should detach his mind from self . . . and enter into the object . . . so the poem forms itself when poet and object become one." This experience is analogous to the Buddhist idea of satori, or enlightenment, what Kenneth Yasuda called the "haiku moment." When writing haiku, Chiyo-ni immersed herself in nature, honestly observing what she saw, as in the following
a single spider's thread
ties the duckweed
to the shore

© Chiyo-ni
Purity and clarity . . . are central to Chiyo-ni's poetry. The haiku poet, Shoin, who wrote the preface to Chiyo-ni Kushu, stated:

"Chiyo-ni's style is pure, like white jade, without ornament, without carving, natural. Both her life and writing style are clear/pure. She lives simply, as if with a stone for a pillow, and spring water to brush her teeth. She is like a small pine, embodying a female style that is subtle, fresh, and beautiful. Chiyo-ni knows the Way, is in harmony with Nature. One can better know the universe, through each thing in the Phenomena, as in Chiyo-ni's haiku, than through her books."

Her clear writing style went hand in hand with her Buddhist practice. In her haiku, water can be a symbol for clear perception. She saw the world clearly and expressed her words clearly, using the image of water, of her most frequently used images, to reflect nature.
The goal of this CD feature Little Creatures is to compose/write a haiku inspired on the given haiku following the classical rules (as you can find in Chapter 10 of Haiku Writing Techniques, above in the menu). This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until Saturday May 2nd at noon (CET).

For now .... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Carpe Diem #713, devotion

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I was starting to create this episode I realized that I have done an earlier post on devotion. So in a way this will be a kind of reprise prompt, but I think that's ok.
We are busy with reading and exploring the Bhagavad Gita, the story in which Arjuna and Krishna have a conversation about the goals of life, life and death and so on. There they are in the middle of two big armies. Families, friends and teachers who are willing to start a battle against eachother. As Arjuna sees the both armies he isn't sure to start the battle.

The Bhagavad Gita is about devotion. Devoted to Krishna to become a better man. Discovering Self and selflessness. Arjuna learns this right from Krishna himself and that makes him a kind of prophet or even similar to the human idea of Jesus.

In several of our episodes we asked our self the question, hypothetically seen, if all religions have derived from Hinduism, because of the fact that Hinduism is the oldest religion we know of. There are a lot of similarities as we have seen already, but still the questions stays on "Did all religions derive from Hinduism?" That's a great question, but it will not be easy to find the answer, because historians have "made" history to point the Western world to the Romans and Greek as being the base of our history. The Eastern world isn't seen as the base of our history .... In this time the 21st century there are historians who finally are giving the world the insight that there was an Eastern world, that maybe there is a connection with the Eastern world and their religions. That's a very big change of ideas and it will take time to accept that idea.

Back to our prompt for today, devotion. Every one is devoted to something (or someone). For example I am devoted to my patients, but also to haiku. I am not a devotee of some religion, but I belief that there has to be something, a strong spiritual power, that leads me on the path I am going. Devotion to God, Allah, Krishna or what name the gods have, isn't really what I am doing, but of course I respect others who are devoted to something or someone ... and they will respect me (at least that's what I think is the best way to find peace of mind, and maybe peace all over the globe).

That's also the main theme in the Bhagavad Gita, devotion, peace of mind and peace all around the globe. And that's what (again) gives me the idea that our hypothetical question is close to the truth.

chanting their mantra
broomstick and rake in hand
true meditation

(c) Chèvrefeuille

We are almost at the end of our journey through the Bhagavad Gita and we have read and found wonderful insights in this gorgeous story .... just a few days and than we will go "on the trail with Basho" .... I am excited ....

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 27th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, Universal Self, later on.

Carpe Diem Full Circle #1, Sunflower Reflection

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today not a Tan Renga Challenge but a “new” challenge which I have called ''Full Circle''. I have presented this feature on our Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Special weblog earlier. The goal is to write haiku with the twelve (12) words I will give. It's a kind of word-whirl and you have to use the words given in the clock-wise direction. So every word has to come in the line of it's place on the clock e.g. sunflower you have to use for line one (1) and rain storm for line two (2) and so on.

I will give you twelve (12) words (for every ''hour'') one word. The goal is to write haiku using the words as given in the clock wise way.
Here are the 12 (twelve) words for this new episode:

1. sunflower
2. rain storm
3. puddles
4. beach
5. waves
6. making love
7. seagulls
8. rain storm
9. lightning
10. mountain
11. peony
12. nightingale

If you follow the words clock wise than you can compose four new haiku. This new feature is just for fun and I hope you will as much enjoy it as I did have fun and joy to create it.

Sunflower Reflection

Here is an example of a new haiku written with the first three words:

broken sunflower
torn apart through a rain storm -
puddles on the path

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode of "Full Circle" is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and will remain open until May 1st  at noon (CET). Have fun! Just enjoy this "Full Circle" haiku-composing.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Carpe Diem #712, Lotus

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy this month gives me, of course it's a tough month to create the episodes, but I love doing it. It's a wonderful story this Bhagavad Gita and I think you all like this themed month too. For today I love to do it a little bit different.

Maybe you can recall our special feature "Carpe Diem Imagination" in which the goal was to create a haiku inspired on a given image (as I do e.g. in the Time Glass feature). As you can read in the title of this episode, Lotus, is our prompt for today and therefore I love to challenge you to create a haiku inspired on an image of the Lotus.

Credits: Lotus
A wonderful image I think and I hope it will inspire you to create an all new haiku. Feel free to use another image of a Lotus or to create a tanka or haiga instead of a haiku.

I have chosen to use a haiku from my archives, so no newly created haiku this time.

spirit grows -
from the bottom of the pond
into the light

into the light
the Lotus reaches from the deep -
spirit grows

© Chèvrefeuille

The stage of growth the lotus flower is in represents a different stage of enlightenment. A closed lotus flower represents the time before enlightenment. A lotus flower fully bloomed and open represents full enlightenment and self-awareness. And that's were it is all about in the Bhagavad Gita. This idea of the Lotus representing spiritual growth we also see in Buddhism.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 26th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, devotion, later on. For now .... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Carpe Diem #711, Harmony

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today our prompt is harmony and it is based on the following verse from the 6th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita:
18. When the perfectly controlled mind rests in the Self only, free from longing for the objects of desire, then it is said: “He is united”.

Without union with the Self neither harmony nor balance nor Samadhi is possible. This is quit the same as the Emptiness idea in Buddhism, but also in the idea of living as a hermit in a lot of other religions or life philosophies. Let us step outside the Bhagavad Gita for a moment and look at the Hermit (IX), one of the cards of the Major Arcana of Tarot. What do we see?

We see an old man, cloaked and hooded, who holds a lantern in his right hand in which a light shines in the shape of The Star of David, two superimposed triangles. In his left hand he has a staff. He stands in the snow somewhere in the mountains as we can see in the background.

He looks like The Fool (0), but is older than The Fool. He is similar with The Fool, but there is a big difference. The Fool gathered his knowledge and wisdom by walking / travelling through the world and to look around him. He saw the beauty of nature, the beauty of God's Creation. The Fool's knowledge is of a low, but lived, level, which I call external knowledge.. The Hermit (IX) gathered his knowledge and wisdom through meditation and contemplation on his own, maybe he used secret scriptures when he sat down to meditate and contemplate or he had spiritual revelations, because he was just alone with God's Spirit. His knowledge and wisdom I use to call internal knowledge on a high level.

contemplates on love
seeking knowledge

eeking knowledge
insight the Inner Self
the hermit's choice

© Chèvrefeuille

The Hermit (IX) closes the third trinity of the Major Arcanum and stands for the Holy Spirit. As The Hierophant represents God the Son, the Redeemer who walked among us, The Hermit represents God the Holy Spirit. It's through the Power of the Holy Spirit that we are in touch with our emotions to grow spiritually and physically.
The Light of the World, depicted in this card by the lantern in the right hand, is one of the names of Jesus Christ (Krishna?). His Light shines upon us and He said of that Light: [...] "No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so taht those who come in may see the light"[...] (Luke 11: 33)

There is a similar verse in the Bhagavad Gita 6th chapter verse 19:

As a lamp placed in a windless spot does not flicker—to such is compared the Yogi of controlled mind, practicing Yoga in the Self (or absorbed in the Yoga of the Self)"
let shine the light
don't hide it under a bowl -
share the Light of the World

© Chèvrefeuille

So The Hermit fulfills this task. He lets the light shine and through that light we can see the ancient knowledge and wisdom in the Tarot, the divine Tarot.
A Hermit lives alone in his cave, home, hut or something else. He lives in absolute isolation of mankind. All his days and nights are for becoming wiser through meditation and contemplation. Through his perseverance he comes in contact with his Inner Self, with the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit.
As we place The Hermit on the Tree of Life we will find him in Chochmah, the second sephira, right after Kether and before Binah. So he is placed in the same spot as Adam. Chochmah is the sephira of wisdom and it's also similar with the 'Third-Eye'. The Hermit is internal knowledge and wisdom and he knows all the ancient mystical secrets and as we all know so did Jesus.
I told earlier that The Hermit lives in complete isolation of the worldly things and manners. As I was preparing this episode through research, the first thought which came in mind was the Temptation of Christ (Matthew 4: 1-11). In which the devil tempted Him, but He succeeded and withstood the temptation.
Also The Hermit (IX) is tempted to leave his cave, but he didn't because he would learn all and everything about knowledge and wisdom.

Credits: Harmony (one with nature)

Another thing which came in mind as I was reading these verses in the Bhagavad Gita is the Prayer of Christ on the Mount of Olives (Luke 22: 39-46). He beseeches His Father to take the cup away. On that moment He was more human than ever, but He knew that He had to drink the cup.

This can point to open the Inner Self as is meant in the above verses of the Gita. Only when the heart, mind and soul are united than you become in harmony. Is this again part of our hypothetical idea that all religions are deriving from Hinduism?

Harmony in my opinion can reach through all boundaries and maybe we will once say “finally the World is united and in Peace”.
finding peace of mind
the soothing sound of rippling water
the rustling of leaves
the rustling of leaves
strengthens my tired mind
that's fortitude

that's fortitude
deep inner peace, the beating of my heart,
the music of life

the music of life
caught in the rippling stream -
finding peace of mind

© Chèvrefeuille

It wasn't really easy to create this episode on harmony, because it has so much different meanings and ideas ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 25th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Lotus, later on. For now .... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all.

Carpe Diem Extra #18 - 2015 update Kukai "Wisteria"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The voting for our first CDHK Kukai "Wisteria" has started and I love to give you all a little update.

The first CDHK Kukai "Wisteria" has 11 participants and they submitted 23 haiku all together. All wonderful and in my opinion really nice. The voting for the Kukai is as follows:

If you were a participant in the Kukai than you have gotten the list with all the entries, anonymous of course, and you could vote for three haiku following the rule: 3 points for the best haiku, 2 points for the second best and 1 point for the third best haiku, so everyone had 6 points to share. In total that makes 66 points (11 participants who could give 6 points each).

After gathering all the points I will count all the points given and than we will have a winner. The winner shall be our featured haiku poet/ess in upcoming June and will get the opportunity to compile a haiku e-book in which a maximum of 25 pages, or 50 haiku will be gathered  This e-book will be published on CDHK and will be made downloadable at CDHK.

Credits: Wisteria

At this moment I have almost all the judged haiku back. And there are two haiku with 7 points each, Will that mean that we will have two winners? We will see, but if there are multiple winners than I will ask an objective judge to decide finally who will be the winner.

Those participants who haven't send me back their points can do that until end of April 2015. I will announce the winner on May 7th 2015.


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

PS.: After announcing the winner I will start our second CDHK Kukai and this Kukai, say the summer-edition, will have the theme "SUMMERTIME" ...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu (former Ghost Writer) #44, N. Scott Momaday's "the Delight Song of Tsoai-talee" CD-Distillation

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you maybe know in the beginning of this month I changed the idea of the Ghost Writer posts, it's not longer a ghost writer, but mostly I will make the episodes myself, but I also want to give our family members the opportunity to share their ideas and posts. As I stated at the start of this month I love to bring back the special features which we had and I would like to use the GW-post for that. Because the Ghost Writer isn't longer what it was I have decided to change the name of the Ghost Writer post to Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu. Tokubetsudesu is the Japanese word for "special" and I think that's a better name. As we have now a new name for the Ghost Writer posts I have also changed the logo of this feature. On the logo you see a woodblock print of the holy mountain Fuji with blossoming cherry blossom in the front.

In this feature I will sometimes bring articles written by CDHK family members or several of the once used special features like e.g, Soliloquy no Renga or Carpe Diem Imagination or as in this episode a Carpe Diem Distillation in which the goal is to distill haiku (or tanka) from a longer poem. This CD Tokubetsudesu episode I have a CD Distillation for you opposed by Paloma of Blog It Or Lose It.

In this CD Tokubetsudesu episode Paloma wants to challenge you all to distill haiku from a poem by N.Scott Momaday.

Credits: N. Scott Momaday (1934 -)

Navarre Scott Momaday (born February 27, 1934) — known as N. Scott Momaday — is a Native American author of Kiowa descent. His work “House Made of Dawn” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969. Momaday received the National Medal of Arts in 2007 for his work that celebrated and preserved Native American oral and art tradition. He holds 20 honorary degrees from colleges and universities, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Momaday is considered the founding author in what critic Kenneth Lincoln has termed the Native American Renaissance.
“House Made of Dawn” is considered a classic in Native American Literature. (More about Momaday you can find by following the link under the photo).

Here is the poem which is chosen by Paloma of Blog It Or Lose It to distill a (or more) haiku from. It's a gorgeous poem, as I may say so, and I think it can inspire you a lot. It's a challenge of course to catch the essence of the poem in a haiku (or few), but it is also a way to look at haiku built from a longer poem ... 

The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee

I am a feather on the bright sky
I am the blue horse that runs in the plain
I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water
I am the shadow that follows a child
I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows
I am an eagle playing with the wind
I am a cluster of bright beads
I am the farthest star
I am the cold of dawn
I am the roaring of the rain
I am the glitter on the crust of the snow
I am the long track of the moon in a lake
I am a flame of four colors
I am a deer standing away in the dusk
I am a field of sumac and the pomme blanche
I am an angle of geese in the winter sky
I am the hunger of a young wolf
I am the whole dream of these things

You see, I am alive, I am alive
I stand in good relation to the earth
I stand in good relation to the gods
I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful
I stand in good relation to the daughter of Tsen-tainte
You see, I am alive, I am alive

© N. Scott Momaday

Credits: Pomme Blanche or Prairie Turnip
I think this will be a wonderful challenge and I hope to see wonderful haiku. Thank you Paloma for sharing this poem with us.

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 24th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, harmony, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #143, Kala Ramesh's "wild violets"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Time flies and so we have already our fourth CD-Special by our featured haiku poet Kala Ramesh. It's really a joy to read her haiku and they are all wonderful in my opinion. Today I have chosen a haiku which brought me a haiku in mind by Basho (1644-1694). Why? Because of the theme ... violets.

seek on high bare trails
sky-reflecting violets...
mountain-top jewels

© Basho (1644-1694)
It's also a nice haiku and it has the same theme as this beauty by Kala:
wild violets . . .
he finally agrees
to the path I took
© Kala Ramesh
Credits: Wild Violets
 Well ... as you all (maybe) know the goal of the CD-Specials is to write a haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the one given.

Here is my attempt to write a haiku in the spirit of Kala:

the roadside
covered with colorful violets
and horse droppings

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm .... not a strong haiku, but I like that little twist in it.

This CD-Special is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until April 23th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, a new Ghost Writer post, later on.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Carpe Diem Time Glass #29 waterfall

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

While Hamish takes care of our regular posts I have created a new episode of our time challenging feature Time Glass. This episode it is all about WATERFALL and I have a few haiku for your inspiration, which I love to share here with you all.

puzzle resolved
the sound of a waterfall
makes me happy

© Chèvrefeuille

sake nomi ni    katara n kakaru    taki no hana

drinking friends
to talk I'll hang over like this
a waterfall of flowers

© Basho

samidare wa   taki furi uzumu   mikasa kana

early summer rains
falling so much they covered up
the waterfall

© Basho

Aren't these great and full of inspiration? 

Try to catch your "waterfall" scene in an all new haiku and share it with us all within 24 hours. You have to use the prompt and the image if possible. I am looking forward to all of your responses.

This Time Glass episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until tomorrow April 20th 7.00 PM (CET). Have fun! Remember ... you have to respond within 24 hours !!