Sunday, September 22, 2019

Carpe Diem #1750 Señor de Huanca, Peru

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend full of inspiration. Today we are going on with our "act of devotion", pilgrimages around the world. Today I have chosen a not so well known pilgrimage route in Peru.

Every year thousands of pilgrims from all over South America visit the Chapel of Señor de Huanca, near Cusco, high above the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Its two water sources are believed to have miraculous healing powers. On September 14, the most important day of pilgrimage, a traditional hike is made overnight starting from just outside Cusco and taking around six hours.

Chapel of Señor de Huanca (Cusco, Peru)

A wonderful idea to read about this pilgrimage high in the mountains of Peru were once the Inca ruled.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 29th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #103 The Quest For A New Masterpiece Continues ... Start Of Autumn

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday September 22nd at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new weekend meditation, that special feature that gives you more time to contemplate and meditate before you post your responses. This weekend I love to challenge you to create a new masterpiece, so The Quest For A New Masterpiece Continues.

Maybe you know what I mean with this challenge. Go and find that gem, that beautiful diamond ... your masterpiece, your evergreen like Basho's "Old Pond". Go ... and create your masterpiece themed "start of autumn" and share it with us all here at our wonderful Haiku Kai ... where we are almost creating haiku together for seven years.

Start Of Autumn

nights become longer
while Mother Nature starts to color
loneliness grows

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions next Sunday, September 22nd, at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until September 29th at noon (CEST). Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Carpe Diem #1749 Aussie Camino

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Did you know that Australia hadn't a pilgrimage route until 2013? I didn't know that. I thought that Australia, with its rich history of Aboriginals would have a pilgrimage, but ... well there was no pilgrimage route until 2013.

This young pilgrimage is called "Aussie Camino" after the most famous pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Let me tell you a little bit more about this young pilgrimage route in Australia:

The Aussie Camino is a pilgrimage route running from Portland in Victoria to Penola in South Australia, inspired by the life and journeys of Australia’s Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop and her mentor Fr Julian Tenison Woods. Based on the traditions of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, pilgrims receive a guidebook, passport, scallop shell and stay in the local towns along the way.

Aussie Camino

But there is more ... the Aussie Camino is (I think) the youngest pilgrimage route on Earth. Ofcourse there is a story behind the Aussie Camino. Let me tell you a little background:

In April 2013, three workmates set out on a pilgrimage they called the ‘Aussie Camino’.  On the way they discussed the history, customs and traditions of the ancient pilgrim trails and asked ‘Why are there only caminos in Europe and the Holy Land? Why can’t  we have one here? Now that we have a saint of our own, St Mary MacKillop. Where would it begin and end?’

Mary MacKillop was a traveller. Her work took her all over Australia and New Zealand. It was decided it should be from Portland to Penola. Mary MacKillop traveled widely but her last teaching post as a lay teacher was in Portland. From there, she was called by her mentor and co-founder priest Fr Julian Tenison-Woods back to Penola, where they had met a few years before. Penola is widely accepted as the birthplace of St Mary MacKillop’s order, the Sisters of St Joseph. A town with a population of only 1300, it is 383 kilometres from Adelaide and 412 kilometres from Melbourne. It was when Mary was called from Portland to Penola on 19 March 1866 that she wore her black habit for the first time and declared herself Sr Mary. (More about St. Mary MacKillop)

St. Mary MacKillop

What a wonderful story this is ... I hope you did enjoy the read.

Aborignal country
finally their own pilgrimage
Aussie Camino

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 26th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now ... enjoy your Aussie Camino.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Carpe Diem #1748 Via Francigena, Umbria, Italy

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month we are on pilgrimage routes all around the world themed "an act of devotion". Pilgrimages are walking routes for believers of all kind ... it's a walk to a place that's important for them. We have seen several routes already and today I have another wonderful one for you. The pilgrimage we walk today is the "Via Francigena". It is believed that Francis of Assisi walked this route from Spoleto (Italy) to Farfa to offer his order of Franciscanes to the Pope.

Let me tell you a little bit more about this pilgrimage:

This is a seven-night pilgrimage down the spine of Italy that starts from Spoleto, just south of Assisi, and ends at the Abbey of Farfa from where the dome of Saint Peter’s in Rome, 40 miles away, is usually visible. The route follows long stretches of the Via Francigena with its many churches and shrines dedicated to St Francis including Greccio, where he is believed to have invented the first Christmas crib, and his cell near Cortona.

Spoleto Cathedral

I remember that I once made a series about Francis of Assisi with quotes by him back in 2014. I recall the following quote:

[...] "Remember that when you leave this earth you can taken nothing of what you have received, but only what you have a given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage". [...]

And here is the haiku I created inspired on this quote:

on her deathbed
she looks back on her life -
lotus flower blooms

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 25th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Carpe Diem Extra -- September 17th 2019 reduction of posts

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Good day to you all ... I have an annoucement to make. I have four weeks off from work, yes I have vacation, so to have the time I need to relax I have decided to reduce the posts for the next four weeks. I will not publish an episode of CDHK on Wednesdays starting today.

peace of mind
lotuses reach for the sun
growing from the dark

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you will understand this choice.


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Carpe Diem #1747 Medieval Notthinghamshire pilgrimage

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are on "an act of devotion" or pilgrimage around the world. Today I have chosen to take a trip back in time ... this day I will tell you a little bit more about the pilgrimages in medieval Notthinghamshire (UK).

The records of the pilgrimage activity of pre-reformation Nottinghashire is an interesting area of discussion and themes clearly arise.

Understandably the most common destination for the medieval pilgrim or palmer was Jerusalem or Hierusalem as it is written in the medieval records. However there is evidence of a wide range of pilgrimage locations ranging from the shrine of St James of Compostella  in Northern Spain to more great English shrines such as St. William of York to more local sites such as Our Lady of Doncaster.

Our Lady Of Doncaster (UK)

It is clear that to all able bodied and sometimes less able seeking a cure, Medieval Christians, were obliged to go on pilgrimage. Sometimes, this was enshrined in law.  In 1325, Archbishop Melton’s register records that a Sir Peter de Mauley was penalised for adultery having not to fast every Friday in Lent, Ember Days and Advent for seven years on bread, water and small beer and on Good Friday and the Vigils of All Saints on bread and water only and to make pilgrimages to the shrines of St. William at York, St Thomas at Hereford and the Blessed Virgin at Southwell and St. John of Beverley and St. Wilfrid at Ripon.

without permission
sparrows enter the chapel
visiting Their Lady

© Chèvrefeuille

I wasn't aware of the existence of pilgrimages for Christians, I always thought that only Catholics went on pilgrimages, but in the medieval times it was common for Christians to go on a pilgrimage too.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 23rd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... your "act of devotion" is to create Japanese poetry inspired on these medieval pilgrimages.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Carpe Diem #1746 Shikoku Island ... the Path of Enlightenment

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend full of inspiration ... and peace of the soul and heart. I hope you are all okay and into a new week of CDHK. This month we are pilgrims, our theme "an act of devotion" describes what pilgrims feel when they are on a pilgrimage.

A few days ago I told you a little bit about the "Hajj", the once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca for our muslim neighbors. A same once in a lifetime pilgrimage is the Shikoku pilgrimage, a pilgrimage on the Island Shikoku along 88 temples. This is a once in a lifetime pilgrimage for Buddhists.

Maybe you can remember that we walked this pilgrimage together back in February and March 2014 and it was really a wonderful (digital) pilgrimage.

Logo Shikoku Pilgrimage 2014

The Shikoku Pilgrimage or Shikoku Junrei is a multi-site pilgrimage of 88 temples associated with the Buddhist monk Kūkai (Kōbō Daishi) on the island of Shikoku, Japan. A popular and distinctive feature of the island's cultural landscape, and with a long history, large numbers of pilgrims (known as henro still undertake the journey for a variety of ascetic, pious, and tourism-related purposes.
In addition to the 88 "official" temples of the pilgrimage, there are over 200 bangai — temples not considered part of the official 88. To complete the pilgrimage, it is not necessary to visit the temples in order; in some cases it is even considered lucky to travel in reverse order. The pilgrimage is traditionally completed on foot, but modern pilgrims use cars, taxis, buses, bicycles, or motorcycles. The walking course is approximately 1,200 km long and can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days to complete. "Henro" is the Japanese word for pilgrim, and the inhabitants of Shikoku call the pilgrims o-henro-san, the o being an honorific and the san a title similar to "Mr." or "Mrs.". They are often recognizable by their white clothing, sedge hats, and kongō-tsue or walking sticks. Alms or osettai are frequently given. Many pilgrims begin and complete the journey by visiting Mount Kōya in Wakayama Prefecture, which was settled by Kūkai and remains the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. The 21 km walking trail up to Koya-san still exists, but most pilgrims use the train.

pilgrims chanting
the Heart Sutra to honor Kukai -
cry of a Vulture
breaks through the serene temple -
pilgrims chanting

© Chèvrefeuille

mysterious Island
dedicated to the Path of Enlightenment
four countries as one

© Chèvrefeuille

(note: Shikoku means "four countries")

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 22nd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #102 Renga With Basho ... ancient times

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday September 15th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a some what belated weekend meditation. I had other important things to do, so my apologies for being late with this weekend meditation. I hope your weekend started with a wonderful day ... here it was an awesome start of the weekend, because it's my first vacation day. The sun shines bright and we have a nice temperature ... a kind of Indian Summer feeling I should say.

This weekend I have chosen to challenge you (again) to create a Renga With Basho. I will give you a series of haiku by Basho to work with. You can decide which "line-up" you will follow, and add your two lined stanza towards the renga. It's a wonderful opportunity to create a renga with Basho, my sensei.

Here are the six haiku to work with (all translated by Jane Reichhold and taken from "Basho, The Complete Haiku"):

flood waters
stars too will go to sleep
on top of a rock

still summer
the harvest moon too hot
to enjoy the coolness

Japanese Morning Glory

morning glories
in the daytime a lock lowered
on the gate

chrysanthemum flowers
bloom at the stonemason's
between stones

the bitterness of pickles

in the talk

plum blossom scent
since ancient times the word
has been sorrowful

© Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Six beautiful haiku by the master of masters, Matsuo Basho, I hope you can create a wonderful Renga With Basho.

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday September 15th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until September 22nd at noon (CEST). Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Carpe Diem Sneak Preview September 13th 2019 CDHK's 7th birthday

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I love to bring you all a sneak preview for our upcoming anniversary month, October 2019. This year we will celebrate our 7th birthday. Seven years ago I started with Carpe Diem Haiku Kai (CDHK) with the intention to create a Kai (group) for poets that love to create and share Japanese poetry. As I started back in 2012 I hadn't a slight idea how this would be ... I thought "I try this for three months and than I will evaluate this daily prompt Kai about Japanese poetry. I really hadn't thought to be still alive and kicking after seven years, but (notwithstanding several chamges) CDHK is still here and I am glad that I decided to go on with this daily weblog.

the gentle breeze
refreshes my troubled mind -
finally peace within
my head completely empty
through the spring breeze

© Chèvrefeuille

We have had a lot of different prompts and we have all improved our haiku writing skills I think, not only through the daily prompts, but also through the series on Haiku Writing Skills. We have learned to appreciate the beauty of Japanese poetry through several months of classical seasonwords. Next to that we all have "walked" several pilgrimages and we have untertaken several trips around the world.

arigato (thank you)

As I look back ... I am a lucky guy who once had a goal ... "bringing Japanese poetry to the world" and I did it, together with you, my dear Haijin, my dear Haiku family members. Ofcourse we have had our differences and those differences fluctuated during our existence, but we all stayed together and I am grateful for that.

a new day rises
be grateful for what is given -
the meadow blossoms

© Chèvrefeuille

Next month we will celebrate our 7th anniversary with a wonderful theme I think. We will explore the Macro World of Nature, all those small creatures like flies and bugs. There are a lot of haiku written about those small creatures, so I think we can do that again in our modern times. During this month we will have no special guests like we have had in earlier years during our celebration month, bu I think we all can make this month a wonderful month together ... celebrating the love of Japanese poetry and friendship.


an evening shower:
the ants are running down
the bamboos

as the day ends in the west
the last sunbeams disappear

the cool summer night -
I have restless dreams next to you
the one I love

nightmares torturing me
attacked by mosquitos

the first sunbeams
cherishing my naked body
blankets have fallen

awakened by rustling bamboo
a new day rises for the ants

(In renga this closing verse is called ägeku")

© Chèvrefeuille (2014)

I am looking forward to this festive month in which we will celebrate our 7th birthday and I hope you all will celebrate it with me.


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Carpe Diem #1745 Kumbh Mela (Hindu pilgrimage India)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we are continuing our "act of devotion" with a Hindu pilgrimage, Kumbh Mela. Let me tell you a little background on this Hindu pilgrimage.

Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred or holy river. Traditionally, four fairs are widely recognized as the Kumbh Melas: the Prayagraj Kumbh Mela, Haridwar Kumbh Mela, the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha, and Ujjain Simhastha. These four fairs are held periodically at one of the following places by rotation: Allahabad (Prayagraj), Haridwar, Nashik district (Nashik and Trimbak), and Ujjain. The main festival site is located on the banks of a river: the Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar; the confluence (Sangam) of the Ganges and Yamuna and the invisible Sarasvati at Allahabad; the Godavari at Nashik; and the Shipra at Ujjain. Bathing in these rivers is thought to cleanse a person of all their sins.

Kumbh Mela at Haridwar

At any given place, the Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years. There is a difference of around 3 years between the Kumbh Melas at Haridwar and Nashik; the fairs at Nashik and Ujjain are celebrated in the same year or one year apart. The exact date is determined, following the Vikram Samvat calendar and the principles of Jyotisha, according to a combination of zodiac positions of Jupiter, the Sun and the Moon. At Nashik and Ujjain, the Mela may be held while a planet is in Leo (Simha in Hindu astrology); in this case, it is also known as Simhastha. At Haridwar and Allahabad, a Maha ("Great") Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years, with an Ardha ("Half") Kumbh Mela six years later. The priests at other places consider their local fairs to be Kumbh Melas; for example, the Mahamaham festival at Kumbakonam, held every 12 years, is described as a Kumbh Mela. Other places where fairs have been called Kumbh Mela include Kurukshetra and Sonipat.

The exact age of the festival is uncertain. According to medieval Hinduism, Lord Vishnu spilled drops of Amrita (the drink of immortality) at four places, while transporting it in a kumbha (pot). These four places are identified as the present-day sites of the Kumbh Mela.

Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj (postal stamp, India)

The festival is the largest peaceful gathering in the world, and considered as the "world's largest congregation of religious pilgrims". There is no precise method of ascertaining the number of pilgrims, and the estimates of the number of pilgrims bathing on the most auspicious day may vary. An estimated 120 million people visited Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013 in Allahabad over a two-month period. (Source: Wikipedia)

Wow ... what a wonderful pilgrimage this must be. 

evening prayers
while cleansing the sinners
the sound of water

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 19th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now ... take a nice bath, say your prayers and feel connected with the Kumbh Mela ... have fun!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Carpe Diem #1744 Pilgrimage to the Great Shrine of Ise (Japan): "There is nothing to see; and they won't let you see it."

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode in our wonderful "an act of devotion" month in whicj we are exploring pilgrimages around the world. Today I have chosen to bring an episode about the Great Ise Shrine, a Shinto traditional pilgrimage, that even once was walked by Basho. He wrote a short haibun about this pilgrimage. And maybe you remember Yozakura, our Unknown Haiku Poet, whom we have met in our story "Wandering Spirit", was once a monk in the Great Ise Shrine.

Grand Shrine of Ise (Shinto-religion)

While I was doing research for this episode I ran into a wonderful piece of prose about the Grand Ise Shrine written by Percival Lowell, I love to share a piece of this prose here to give you some inspiration.

[...] "My first meeting with the gods, upon the top of Ontaké, had been strangely unexpected; my last sign from them was destined to be no less so. It took place in an utterly dissimilar yet even more improbable place—the Shrines of Ise.

If, when buds first stir with dreams of blossom amid the forbidding April of our New England year, a man could quietly be spirited away from doubt, delay, and disappointment to a certain province of what is still old Japan, he would find himself in what he would take for fairyland. Over the whole countryside and far up its background of hills glow cloud-like masses of pink-white bloom, while upon all the country roads carnival crowds of men, women, and children journey gayly along, chanting as they go, beneath the canopy of blossom. It is the great Shintō pilgrimage to the Shrines of Ise that he is gazing on, made every spring by three hundred thousand folk at the time when the cherries blow.

Up the winding street of the town of Yamada, the house-eaves on either hand one long line of fluttering pilgrim flags, the gay throng wends its rollicking way, and, crossing a curved parapeted bridge, enters a strangely neat park in the centre of a little valley shut in by thickly wooded slopes. At the farther end of the open an odd sort of skeleton arch makes portal to a carefully kept primeval forest. Through this ghost of a gateway the pilgrims pass by a broad gravelly path into a natural nave of cryptomeria, the huge trunks straight as columns and so tall that distance itself seems to taper them to where their tops touch in arch far overhead. Down aisles of half light on the sides show here and there the shapes of plain unpainted buildings, with roofs feetdeep in thatch, and curiously curved projecting rafters; while under the great still trees the path winds solemnly on through a second portal, and then a third, to the foot of a flight of broad stone steps, up which it ascends to a gateway in the centre of one side of a plain wooden palisade. The gateway's doors stand open, but a white curtain, hanging from the lintel in their stead, hides all view beyond.

In front of the curtain lies a mat sprinkled with pennies. Before it each pilgrim pauses, lays aside his staff, takes off his travel robes, and tossing his mite to lie there beside its fellows, claps his hands, and bows his head in prayer. Then, his adoration done, he slowly turns, takes up again his robe and staff, and goes the way he came. For this is the goal to his long pilgrimage.

That curtain marks his bourne. Beyond the veil none but the Mikado and the special priests may ever go. Yet every now and then a gracious breeze gently wafts the curtain a little to one side, and for an instant gives the faithful glimpse of a pebbly court, a second gateway, and, screened by pale within pale of palisades, more plain wooden buildings with strangely raftered roofs, reputed counterparts of the primeval dwellings of the race. And this is all that man may ever see of the great Shrines of Ise, chief Mecca of the Shintō faith.

If with the mind's eye the pilgrim penetrate no farther than his feet may pass, he may well say with the disappointed tourist whom Chamberlain quotes in the guidebook, in warning to such as would visit these shrines: "There is nothing to see; and they won't let you see it." [...] (Source: Occult Japan)

Uji Bridge to go over to Ise Grand Shrine

Wouldn't it be wonderful to visit the Grand Ise Shrine in Spring? Look at the beautiful cherry blossoms ... and be silent ...

cherry blossoms bloom
fragile beauty goes with the gods
walking Uji bridge

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you all did like this episode. It was really a joy to create it, because it's about a wonderful pilgrimage in the land of the Rising Sun, the Mother Land of Haiku, Japan.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 18th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... be inspired and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Carpe Diem #1743 Lourdes

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all like the theme, an act of devotion, for this month. As I was preparing this month I was pleasantly surprised to see how many pilgrimages there are around the world. And today I have chosen a pilgrimage that's renown around the world I think ... Lourdes (France, Europe). What is the story behind Lourdes?

Our Lady of Lourdes (photo © Dennis Jarvis)

In the evening of February 11, 1858, a young Roman Catholic girl,. Bernadette, went to fetch some firewood with her sister and another companion when a Lady who was indescribably beautiful appeared to her at the Massabielle grotto. Although the Lady did not tell Bernadette her name when asked at first, she told her to return to the grotto. On subsequent visits, the Lady revealed herself to be the "Immaculate Conception". This was a reference to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception which had been defined only four years earlier in 1854 by Pope Pius IX, stating that the Virgin Mary herself had been conceived without sin. Bernadette, having only a rudimentary knowledge of the Catholic faith, did not understand what this meant but she reported it to her parish priest, Father Peyremale. He, though initially very skeptical of Bernadette's claims, became convinced when he heard this because he knew the young girl had no knowledge of the doctrine. The Lady also told Bernadette to dig in the ground at a certain spot and to drink from the small spring of water that began to bubble up. Almost immediately cures were reported from drinking the water. And yet the water has been shown through repeated testing not to have any special curative properties. Today thousands of gallons of water gush from the source of the spring, and pilgrims are able to bathe in it. Countless purported miracle cures have been documented there, from the healing of nervous disorders and cancers to cases of paralysis and even of blindness. During the Apparitions, Bernadette Soubirous prayed the Rosary. Pope John Paul II wrote: "The Rosary of the Virgin Mary [is] a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness". (Source: wikipedia)

Holy water
sunlight scattered on the wall
Ave Maria

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 17th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Carpe Diem #1742 Hajj ... the muslim trail to Mecca

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new "act of devotion", all different pilgrimages around the world. Today I have chosen for the once in a lifetime pilgrimage of our muslim citizens ... the Hajj. As I was preparing this episode something strange happened. As I read Hajj ... I thought immediately to the first word of my salutation ... Hajin. Both words look very similar and even the sound of the both words is almost the same. The next thought I had ... "Is there a connection between Islam and Haiku?" Isn't it a strange idea? Our beloved haiku, originaly from Japan, and Islam. So I thought maybe there are haiku themed "Islam".


I found a few haiku on Islam created by Ken Gaertner:

Sun glares on white sand.
Abayas flow with the wind,
Prayers float into thin clouds.

© Ken Gaertner

Or this one, also by Ken Gaertner:

Apple blossoms fall,
Sunlight in an empty cup.
Morning prayers chanted.

The ultimate goal of the Hajj is to walk around the Kaaba at Mecca in honor of Allah and as a tribute to The Prophet.

Kaaba Mecca

The Hajj ("pilgrimage") is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence.

The literal meaning of the word Hajj is heading to a place for the sake of visiting. In Islamic terminology, Hajj is a pilgrimage made to Kaaba, the "House of Allah", in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The rites of Hajj are performed over five or six days, beginning on the eighth and ending on the thirteenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the five pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah, Salat, Zakat and Sawm. The Hajj is the second largest annual gathering of Muslims in the world, after the Arba'een Pilgrimage in Karbala, Iraq.The state of being physically and financially capable of performing the Hajj is called istita'ah, and a Muslim who fulfils this condition is called a mustati. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God (Allah).The word Hajj means "to attend a journey", which connotes both the outward act of a journey and the inward act of intentions.

walking around
the house of the Creator
once in a lifetime

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 16th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... be inspired and have fun!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Carpe Diem #1741 Santiago de Compostela

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. I have had a nice weekend, relaxed and going with the flow. It was a weekend with a lot of activities, but I enjoyed it. This month our theme is "an act of devotion" and all the prompts are pilgrimages all around the world and today I have chosen for that one pilgrimage that we have done several times here at CDHK ... Santiago de Compostela.

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of northwest Spain’s Galicia region. It’s known as the culmination of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, and the alleged burial site of the Biblical apostle St. James. His remains reputedly lie within the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela, consecrated in 1211, whose elaborately carved stone facades open onto grand plazas within the medieval walls of the old town.

Pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela

We walked this pilgrims route back in 2014 (January / February) while we were visiting Shikoku Island, another pilgrims route we have walked together, and that will return this month too.

a whispered prayer -
pilgrims on their way to Santiago 
walking the Path of God
reaching out to their deepest thoughts
seeking the Light

seeking the Light
while chanting psalms or mantras
pilgrims on their way
enjoying Mother Earth's beauty -
a whispered prayer

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 15th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... be inspired and have fun!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #101 Photoshopping Haiku "Criket Silence"

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday September 8th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at our new (belated) weekend meditation. This weekend I love to challenge you to "photoshop" haiku. Let me give you all the "short" explanation of "photo-shopping haiku":

Photo-shopping sounds awfull but, I think it's possible to "photo-shop" haiku and tanka too. Just a little change can make the difference between a good haiku (or tanka) and an excellent haiku (or tanka).

I love to make photos, but I am not a photographer that likes color. I am more of the black and white and sepia photos, because in my opinion the photos are more beautiful ... more vintage.
Maybe it's because of my age (56 yrs) or of my melancholic mind I don't know, but I do know that we can re-make "photo-shop" a haiku (or tanka) into a vintage one just by retouching of a small part. So this new feature, that I first titled "vintage haiku", I have "re-titled" into "photo-shopping haiku".

Let me give you an example:

autumn has come
visiting my ear on
a pillow of wind

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

As I start "photo-shopping" this haiku by my master, Matsuo Basho, than I think 'I can bring more softness, tranquility, into it by changing a small part of this haiku into:

whispering into my ear
on a pillow of wind

In this example I only let the first line un-touched:

autumn has come
whispering into my ear
on a pillow of wind

© Chèvrefeuille

I think this "small" re-touch makes this haiku more soft, lovely and tranquil.

I think, no I know that you all understand the goal of this "photo-shopping haiku", try to create a "better" version of a given haiku. Maybe you only change a few words or maybe you think this haiku becomes "better" as "re-make" it into a tanka. You are free in the choices you make.

Autumn Silence

This weekend I love to challenge you to "photo-shop" an autumn haiku created by Jane Reichhold and taken from her online version of "A Dictionary of Haiku".

cricket silence
between scraping sounds
autumn begins

© Jane Reichhold (Source: A Dictionary of Haiku; Section Autumn, subsection Celestial)

A wonderful haiku by our beloved Jane, she is still missed. "Photo-shop" her haiku to honor her.

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday September 8th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until September 15th at noon (CEST). Have a great weekend full of inspiration.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Carpe Diem #1740 Munchner Jakobsweg

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Yesterday I told you that I hadn't time to create our new episode, so here it is. By the way I will not catch up the delayed post, but will give you this episode instead. (This week we have four regular episodes).

This month we are traveling around the world searching for pilgrimage-routes as an act of devotion. We have seen already a few beauties and today I hope to inspire you through a not so well know short pilgrims-route in Germany. Today we will take our walk on the so called "Munchner Jakobsweg".

The "Munchner Jakobsweg" is not just one route, but there are several, all starting in another place. The "real" "Munchner Jakobsweg however starts in Munchen (or if traveled back) from Lindau. The "Munchner Jakobsweg" is the german start to wander to Santiago De Compostela. Along the Munchner Jakobsweg you will also see the signs with St. Jakobs Shells as we (maybe) know from our pilgrimage to Santiago earlier here at CDHK.

Direction Sign somewhere along Munchner Jakobsweg

Thousands of travelers from the east of Europe had to travel through Germany to reach Spain. There are many “feeder” routes heading west through the country to get you towards France and Switzerland, then on to your final stop.

Unlike some other scenic routes in Germany, the St. James’ Way doesn’t follow one single but several routes taken by St. James. Legend tells that his remains were brought by ship and buried in Northern Spain — so, this route more follows the “followers.”

One of the most famous (and beautiful) routes travels through South Germany, through Swabia in Bavaria, ending at Lake Constance at the Swiss border (then continuing on through Austria, Swiss, and France).

Along this portion of the Way of St. James, you’ll find abbeys, monasteries, churches, castles, festivals, gorgeous natural countryside, other scenic routes, and the friendliest people. Jakobus, as he’s also called in German, would have been proud to travel along such a route; and you’re going to love it.

Sounds like a wonderful pilgrims route to me.

again on my way
walking to Santiago

to find myself

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 12th at noon (CEST). I hope to publish our new weekend-meditation later on. For now ... be inspired and have fun!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Delayed post

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

During circumstances i haven't time to publish our new episode. Sorry for the inconvenience.


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Carpe Diem #1739 St Cuthbert's Way (Scotland)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode in this month full of the diversity of pilgrimages around the world. Today I have chosen a pilgrimage in Scotland. This pilgrimage route was established in the late nineties.

St. Chuthbert's Way (Scotland):

Bridging the national border between Scotland and England, this inspiring 100km (62.5 miles) cross-border route links Melrose in the Scottish Borders, where St. Cuthbert started his religious life in 650AD, with Holy Island off the Northumberland Coast, his eventual resting place and his original pilgrimage shrine. Although inspired by St. Cuthbert, this is far more than a pilgrimage route.

St. Cuthbert's Way (Scotland)

Look at the above photo made somewhere along St. Cuthbert's Way ... isn't it wonderful? St. Cuthbert's Way ends on "Holy Island" and I remember that we have had a prompt about "Holy Island" at my personal weblog "Chèvrefeuille's Haiku blog". So I revisited that episode to share a redone cascading haiku into tanka:

painted on rocks
the devote Buddhist monk
Holy Isle
the Kagyan Tradition
painted on rocks

© Chèvrefeuille (2012)

Maybe a little bit strange but on "Holy Island" you can find a Buddhistic Monastery. To read the post on my personal weblog you can click HERE or HERE.

This episode is NOW OPEN and will remain open until September 10th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... be inspired and have fun!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Carpe Diem #1738 Camino de Fatima (Portugal)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are on our way ... a full month of all kinds of pilgrimages all around the world ... an act of devotion ...

A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into someone's own beliefs.

Many religions attach spiritual importance to particular places: the place of birth or death of founders or saints, or to the place of their "calling" or spiritual awakening, or of their connection (visual or verbal) with the divine, to locations where miracles were performed or witnessed, or locations where a deity is said to live or be "housed", or any site that is seen to have special spiritual powers. Such sites may be commemorated with shrines or temples that devotees are encouraged to visit for their own spiritual benefit: to be healed or have questions answered or to achieve some other spiritual benefit. (source)

Camino de Fatima (Portugal)

Today I have a not so well known pilgrimage ... Camino de Fatima, Portugal. The story has been told often, but I wasn't aware that there was also a pilgrimage named "Camino de Fatima". Let me tell you a little back ground on the story of Fatima.

The story of a famous miracle in Fátima, Portugal, began in May 1917, when three children (ages 7, 9, and 10) claimed to have encountered the Virgin Mary on their way home from tending a flock of sheep. The oldest girl, Lucia, was the only one to speak to her, and Mary told the children that she would reappear to them on the thirteenth day of the next six months. She then vanished.

The children soon told their parents, and while some in the village didn't believe their tale, others did — and told more people. As the weeks and months passed, more and more of the faithful made pilgrimages to Fátima, where the children claimed to receive Mary's visits. Still no one else saw the Virgin Mary; instead, the gathered adults would stand riveted as Lucia took the lead and began to describe her visions.

Camino de Fatima (Portugal)

It was Mary's final appearance, on Oct. 13, 1917, that became the most famous. In his book "Looking for a Miracle," Joe Nickell states that "an estimated 70,000 people were in attendance at the site, anticipating the Virgin's final visit and with many fully expecting that she would work a great miracle. As before, the figure appeared, and again only to the children. Identifying herself as 'the Lady of the Rosary,' she urged repentance and the building of a chapel at the site. After predicting an end to [World War I] and giving the children certain undisclosed visions, the lady lifted her hands to the sky. Thereupon Lucia exclaimed, 'The sun!' As everyone gazed upward, and saw that a silvery disc had emerged from behind clouds, they experienced what is known [as] a 'sun miracle'."

Not everyone reported the same thing; some present claimed they saw the sun dance around the heavens; others said the sun zoomed toward Earth in a zigzag motion that caused them to fear that it might collide with our planet (or, more likely, burn it up). Some people reported seeing brilliant colors spin out of the sun in a psychedelic, pinwheel pattern, and thousands of others present didn't see anything unusual at all.

This story was the mean reason that the Camino de Fatima was introduced to the world.

wonder, o wonder
Mother Mary shows her face
the sun rises

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 9th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... be inspired and have fun!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Carpe Diem #1737 Introduction to a month full of devotion ... Adam's Peak -- Sri Lanka

Adam’s Peak viewed from a distaance. Photograph by Rehman Abubakr, 

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful inspirational weekend. I had a busy weekend, because I had to work, but that didn't withhold me from creating this new episode, the first of September 2019.

A new month full of wonderful prompts titled "An Act Of Devotion" ... this title points towards the theme I have chosen for this month ... pilgrimages ... Here at CDHK we have walked several pilgramges and this month we will go on new pilgrimages ... not always long once but also short ones, like the pilgrimage of today: Adam's Peak -- Sri Lanka. (Our new logo shows Adam's Peak)

Pilgrimage is act of devotion. In many religions, these sacred walks are prescribed, even considered a must in one’s lifetime, and followers from all of world’s major faiths make holy pilgrimages.
For most, non-believers are accepted or even welcome. Pilgrimage travel can be a meaningful, moving experience in which travelers can enrich their understanding of a local culture and broaden their understanding of the wide range of spiritual beliefs in our beautiful world.

Adam's Peak -- Sri Lanka

Let me tell you a little bit more about Adam's Peak:

The 2243m conical mountain of Adam’s Peak, in Sri Lanka, is also known as Sri Pada, which translates as ‘Sacred Foot’. It has been a pilgrimage site for over 1000 years.

This name, and the mountain’s religious significance, derives from the foot shaped rock formation situated near the summit. Buddhists believe it’s the footprint of Buddha; Hindus that it’s the footprint of Shiva; Muslims and Christians that it’s the footprint of Adam (of Adam and Eve) as he descended to Earth from the Garden of Eden.

The route is beautiful, passing temples, shrines and monuments along the way, all the while walking through lush forest, with waterfalls cascading down mountain faces around you. The solitude of the experience adds a poignancy to it. The steps beneath your feet are worn from the footsteps of a thousand years of religious devotion; it is hard to ignore the spiritual significance of this fact. (source)

Adam's footprint
brings the Creator towards the Earth
Buddha as His companion

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 8th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now .... have fun!