Meditation Haiku Poem Present Moment Practice

I’ve been watching an HBO show that’s been on AMAZON PRIME.  I view it on my TV set using my ROKU device.  It’s called IN TREATMENT.  In the moment of a recent episode, the shrink asked the young man, “What are you thinking?”  The youth replied, “White noise”.

I had to laugh at that one.  The laughter of recognition I suppose.  My own mind registered that.  Not thinking anything really.  Yet not being mindful either.  I ‘m most aware of that white noise when the decision is made to write.  Like now.  It’s a rain filled, raw, cold day here in North Carolina.  Write, I said.

All levels of me self-agreed to write something.  A blog.  Here I am.  What have I got? White noise just like the kid on the program.

Lately, I’ve thought to try my hand at writing short little Japanese Mindfulness Poems called Haiku which are Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.  Cutting written language, relatable to anyone and maybe paradoxical in some way.

Sounds easy.  Not so much.  You’d think the white noise would help but the instant that pressure is felt to come up with even one word, the mind is suddenly filled with nonsense and resistance. No no, not always, listen . . .

I really like the idea of clipping out a moment that is a pure now moment – a reflection of whatever catches the attention of the psyche.

The other day I sat down on the sidewalk in front of my apartment to experience a moment or two of sunshine.  Looking down at the ground before me, there is one pear tree flower all by itself in the dirt–alone and separated from the tree and other flowers on the branch from which it blossomed.

What struck me is that even though it was alone there, its center filaments seemed to still be reaching up toward the sun, the light.

Spring flower in dirt

Alone, apart from its branch, tree

Looks up to the light

My Haiku poem.  Is it legit?  Well, I guess they’re not really required to rhyme to qualify.  Here are a few from one of the supposed greatest Haiku Poets, Basho:

An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

Autumn moonlight—
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.

In the twilight rain
these brilliant-hued hibiscus –
A lovely sunset.

The translations from Japanese to English do not follow the 5, 7, 5 syllable rule.   Anyway, none of those rhyme but they do describe the moment in time, a now.  Seems a good use of spare time to use Haiku poem writing endeavors to help a person remain aware of their now, mindfulness.  I guess you know what I mean, reader, right?

The small flower all alone there just seemed to say to me, “Look, I know that I no longer am connected to the life force upon the earth that sustained me (the tree) and I’m aware that I will soon just become the earth itself, whithering away here.  And I know my family of flowers on the branch above me–they are all looking down upon me aware of my fate, but I can still be nourished by the light, the sun.  The filaments, the anther, the stamen of me are still reaching up to the light even in my death here and in my departure, the ground here before you where I lay is bringing you some joy and beauty before I disappear completely. ” Looking at the singular flower was my meditation.

After writing those last words my head turned toward the window where I see the tree with all their beautiful white blossoms knowing that soon they will all fall upon the ground as the green leaves push them off their branches.  They too will end up in the dirt and on the sidewalk.  But they will return next spring to do it all again.  There is no death, only transition into yet another phase.

 

 

Present Moment Proof – how you know you are there

on the edge

Energy.  That’s right.  You’ll know from the energy feel.  It’s the feel of being alive, vibrating, and we may even say its a feeling of excitement.  Life is taken to a higher level and sometimes only momentarily, longer if you’re lucky.  To understand it, we have to contrast it with the times that we are ‘not’ fully present in the moment.  And that is, for most of us, the majority of the time.  Anytime we are contemplating the past or future — try it out for yourself through simple self-awareness — the energy is dead or flat.  You’ll recognize that dead feel pretty dramatically as you compare it with moments of being fully present.  You know how it goes when you’re being fully in the “now”, right?

Time stops and a surreal feeling will likely come upon you as if you have been lifted up and out and set down somewhere else all of a sudden.  Everything feels different and appears different and maybe the heart quickens and chills happen.  And then you flow with it as if nothing else or no one else exists. 

We’ve all had those feelings.

And there are after effects. I think that it’s feeling in harmony and being in the flow of life that is an indicator that we have just been fully present and the residual of that remains with us and out-pictures as flowing with life for minutes, hours or day (s).

Then, we get shifted out of that flow by something that occurs and then our mind will attach, cling, fear, become angry or experience an aversion.  Then we’re dead in the water again or not functioning effectively,  have been pulled out of the flow and our vibe becomes dead again.  We’re not fully alive anymore.

These are my (blog) thoughts about it anyway.  I was recently reminded of this during a recent visit from my little (soon to be 2-year-old) granddaughter.  The entire time we were together was a peak experience.  She was fully present and brought me with her to that place of excitement.

I’m in that peak place during intense exercise workouts in which I am very focused as well as when I’m engaged in a creative project.  Moments of awakening that shake us out of our mundane, dead, and routine thoughts or activities, if used correctly, are gifts.

Being on the edge of life is being in the present moment and it comes with that feeling of being fully alive.

Personally,  at those times my soul, my psyche goes into a state, which in Zazen, is called shikantaza, a state of heightened concentration, patience, and alertness and this state throws me into a state of flow that lasts for hours or days.  Plans change or don’t enter into mind at all and one just becomes totally spontaneous.  In describing this recently someone replied, “Oh yes, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”  Yeah, alrighty then.  LOL

I hope this post is found to be, in some way, helpful to the reader.

Separating Self from Race Consciousness, a Meditation on Happiness

guitar in water imageI hope the guy downstairs doesn’t read my blog–chances are he doesn’t.  He sings you see.  And apparently he loves it because he does it often with his guitar accompaniment.  I love swimming and do that regularly too.  We both have a passion.  I don’t swim very well if I compare myself to many of the other swimmers–especially the triathlete types but I can’t not swim anymore than the guy downstairs can ‘not’ sing and play his guitar.

When you enjoy doing something, you simply must do it or unhappiness sets in.  I’m happy after my swim and I’d bet if we asked the guy downstairs that he’d say he’s happy when he sings and even when he isn’t singing, the song sustains him like my swim sustains me in between workouts.

Sometimes you do things simply for the joy of it and you don’t necessarily want to make a career of it.  Sometimes you ‘do’ make a career of it–some do, some don’t.  Everybody’s motivation is different.

I’m not trying to enter a triathlon and if you saw me in my bathing suit you’d see how far from that I was  anyway; it’s not my goal.  My goal for swimming is different than the guy in the next lane over–it’s an exercise in mindfulness for one thing.  Oh, there are other reasons why I swim too—I really love the water.

It separates me from race consciousness–from society, from the 3rd dimensional world.  Why? Its a present moment, time-altering thing.  Its my own path, my own inner truth.

Swim your swim, sing your song—

“Sing, sing your song and don’t worry if it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear, just sing.  Sing your song!”  Or swim your swim!  Got to go now, the pool is calling to me and I’m missing the water!