Thursday, April 30, 2015

Carpe Diem #717, Weather beaten

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This month we will go "on the trail with Basho" and we will have only haiku by Basho (and a few of his disciples) to inspire you. I am excited and I hope you are excited too.

I love to tell you a little bit more about Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), whom I see as my master, of course I will not tell you everything in this episode, but here is an overview of his early years.

Basho & Sora (Oku No Hosomichi)

Bashō was born in 1644, near Ueno, in Iga Province. His father may have been a low-ranking samurai, which would have promised Bashō a career in the military, but not much chance of a notable life. His biographers traditionally claimed that he worked in the kitchens. However, as a child, Bashō became a servant to Tōdō Yoshitada together they shared a love for haikai no renga.
Both Bashō and Yoshitada gave themselves haigō or haikai pen names; Bashō's was Sōbō , which was simply the on'yomi (Sino-Japanese reading) of his adult name, "Munefusa".
In 1662, the first extant poem by Bashō was published. In 1664, two of Bashō's hokku were printed in a compilation. In 1665, Bashō and Yoshitada together with some acquaintances composed a hyakuin, or one-hundred-verse renku. In 1666, Yoshitada's sudden death brought Bashō's peaceful life as a servant to an end. No records of this time remain, but it is believed that Bashō gave up any possibility of samurai status and left home. He was uncertain whether to become a full-time poet; by his own account, "the alternatives battled in my mind and made my life restless". His indecision may have been influenced by the then still relatively low status of renga and haikai no renga as more social activities than serious artistic endeavors. In the spring of 1672 he moved to Edo, to further his study of poetry.

This month we will read a lot of his haiku and the translations I use are by Jane Reichhold. Jane gave me permission to use the translations of Basho's haiku in her book "Basho, The Complete Haiku". And I am grateful for that permission. Thank you Jane.

This month our central theme is "on the trail with Basho", because Basho was a traveling haiku poet as e.g. Santoka Taneda was in his time (1882-1940). This month we will (try) to follow Basho's journeys through Japan. And this first haiku which I will share here is from one of his earlier haibun (or travel-journals), "The Records of a Weather-Exposed Skeleton" (Nozarashi Kiko) in which he describes his journey together with his disciple Chiri along the places described by Saigyo, Basho's great role-model;

weather beaten
wind pierces my body
to my heart

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

This haiku was the first haiku in the above mentioned journal. At that time Basho's health wasn't very good. From his comments we can learn that he suffered from a chronic disease. This disease possibly is chronic colitis, but that we don't know for sure.

I will try to write/compose a haiku in the same spirit as the above given. For this episode I have used the Haiku Writing Technique baransu which I introduced in our Haiku Writing Techniques series. In this 'technique' is the goal to bring balance in the haiku through association.

cold spring breeze
makes the cherry blossom shiver
one heartbeat long

© Chèvrefeuille

As you all know cherry blossom is one of my favorite themes in my haiku, so I tried to compose a haiku in which the feeling in the haiku by Basho is translated into another feeling. I think this one is very strong ... a bit immodest maybe, but I even think this one is one of my best.

The goal this month is to try to compose haiku inspired on the given haiku by Basho ... not an easy task ... a real challenge ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until May 3rd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, Misty showers, later on.

Carpe Diem Extra #19 - 2015 Update Kukai "Wisteria"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

After gathering all the votes I ended up with two winners. Of course that's not possible ... so I have asked Jane Reichhold to help me out. Her vote was worth 2 points. Today (April 29th) she emailed her 'vote'.

I will announce the winner next week. I have decided to grant the second runner up also a kind of price. The second runner up will be given the opportunity to choose from his/her haiku two or three verses which I will use in the first episode of Tokubetsudesu in June.
Be patient ... next week you will know who has won our first Kukai.

I already announce today our theme for our new Kukai, however you cannot yet submit for our 2nd Kukai, but you can already give it a thought. Our new Kukai starts at May 7th and the theme is "summertime".

Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Carpe Diem #716, Joy

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we are at the end of our journey through the Bhagavad Gita. We have explored this wonderful "Veda" and maybe you have found the "peace of mind" which was our central theme this month. It's with a little bit of pain in my heart that I write this last episode for April, but at the other hand it's a joy, as is our prompt for today, that this month is over, because this month wasn't easy to make.

We have tried to come in contact with Arjuna, the Archer, and Krishna, the Charioteer, who had a conversation about the goal of life ... Enlightenment. We even dared to step into the hypothetical question "Do all religions and life-philosophies derive from Hinduism, the oldest known religion?" This question stays unanswered, but it was worth to think it over.

Today our prompt is joy and as I started this episode I first thought of an abbreviation which which I once heard, but than I realized that that abbreviation was more based on the Christian believe and I don't think that I can refer to Christianity in our last episode of this "peace of mind" month in which we have read the Bhagavad Gita.
So I decided to reproduce the last 20 verses of the Bhagavad Gita here ... those last verses are full of joy and are giving us a kind of summary of the whole Bhagavad Gita.

50. Learn from Me in brief, O Arjuna, how he who has attained perfection reaches Brahman, that supreme state of knowledge.
51. Endowed with a pure intellect, controlling the self by firmness, relinquishing sound and other objects and abandoning both hatred and attraction,
52. Dwelling in solitude, eating but little, with speech, body and mind subdued, always engaged in concentration and meditation, taking refuge in dispassion,
53. Having abandoned egoism, strength, arrogance, anger, desire, and covetousness, free from the notion of “mine” and peaceful,—he is fit for becoming Brahman.
54. Becoming Brahman, serene in the Self, he neither grieves nor desires; the same to all beings, he attains supreme devotion unto Me.
55. By devotion he knows Me in truth, what and who I am; and knowing Me in truth, he forthwith enters into the Supreme.
56. Doing all actions always, taking refuge in Me, by My Grace he obtains the eternal, indestructible state or abode.
57. Mentally renouncing all actions in Me, having Me as the highest goal, resorting to the Yoga of discrimination do thou ever fix thy mind on Me.
58. Fixing thy mind on Me, thou shalt by My Grace overcome all obstacles; but if from egoism thou wilt not hear Me, thou shalt perish.
59. If, filled with egoism, thou thinks: “I will not fight”, vain is this, thy resolve; Nature will compel thee.
60. O Arjuna, bound by thy own Karma (action) born of thy own nature, that which from delusion thou wishes not to do, even that thou shalt do helplessly!
61. The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna, causing all beings, by His illusive power, to revolve as if mounted on a machine!
62. Fly unto Him for refuge with all thy being, O Arjuna! By His Grace thou shalt obtain supreme peace and the eternal abode.
63. Thus has wisdom more secret than secrecy itself been declared unto thee by Me; having reflected over it fully, then act thou as thou wishes.
64. Hear thou again My supreme word, most secret of all; because thou art dearly beloved of Me, I will tell thee what is good. 65. Fix thy mind on Me, be devoted to Me, sacrifice to Me, bow down to Me. Thou shalt come even to Me; truly do I promise unto thee, (for) thou art dear to Me.
66. Abandoning all duties, take refuge in Me alone; I will liberate thee from all sins; grieve not.
67. This is never to be spoken by thee to one who is devoid of austerities, to one who is not devoted, nor to one who does not render service, nor who does not desire to listen, nor to one who cavils at Me.
68. He who with supreme devotion to Me will teach this supreme secret to My devotees, shall doubtless come to Me.
69. Nor is there any among men who does dearer service to Me, nor shall there be another on earth dearer to Me than he.
!! NB. For this month's quotes from the Bhagavad Gita I used the version as given by Sri Swami Sivananda, the founder of the Divine Life Society !!

high above Mother Earth
I feel like an Eagle watching
searching for new life
searching for new life
inside with my Inner Eye
flight of an Eagle

© Chèvrefeuille (published earlier at my personal weblog)

Well ... it wasn't an easy month, but I hope you all did like this month and I am glad that this story could be told here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai ... And now we are going "on the trail with Basho" next month .... I am looking forward to this new month of CDHK and I hope it will be a great success and a joy.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until May 2nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our first episode of our new month, Weather Beaten, later on.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Carpe Diem #715, Purity

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are counting down, we have just two episodes to go this month in which we were searching for "peace of mind" through reading the Bhagavad Gita and following the conversation between Arjuna and Krishna while they are standing between two armies ready for battle.
The Bhagavad Gita is the most important "veda" for Hinduism, because in the Bhagavad Gita they learn how to become in peace with their own heart, mind and soul. I can only hope that the Bhagavad Gita has given you all a little bit of the "peace of mind", our central theme this month.

Purity is our prompt for today, but what is purity? Is it like a newborn child? Is the purity described here that what we call pure ... as in dark chocolate? Is the purity of white or unconditional love? Purity can be explained in a lot of ways. To me purity is honesty, righteousness, unconditional love, to me purity is the beauty of nature in all her different shapes. To me purity is the most important thought to be your host here at Carpe Diem.
Purity of haiku, that impression of a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water caught in just three lines. In my response on a comment in our yesterday's post I said: "Without my readers I am nothing. I need my readers to be what I am ... a haiku poet ... that's purity to me.

What is said about purity in the Bhagavad Gita? Let us take a look.

There are a lot of verses about purity. They mostly exist in the last chapter (18) and I ran into a verse which says it all:

"Serenity, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness and also uprightness, knowledge, realization and belief in God are the duties of the Brahmanas, born of (their own) nature".

In my opinion, without propagandizing my ideas or those in the Bhagavad Gita or in Hinduism, the above verse says it all. Purity could be our savior to bring the world finally ultimate peace, not only peace in mind, but also peace between countries and religions. Purity is the energy which we can use to become better people.

Purity ... in this episode from the ideas and thoughts in the Bhagavad Gita, is also the purity which all religions and life philosophies are seeking for. It is all based on becoming good people. This is what is called "the first triad" in the glyph of the mystical wisdom of the Kabbalah in which the three most important Sephira are gathered "Kether, Binah and Chochma" in those three Sephira purity is all what there is ....

pure of heart
white roses start to bloom
one with the Cosmos

© Chèvrefeuille

Purity ... is a great idea, a great thought, a great feeling ... it is part of us ... we may be pure in everything we do ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 1st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, joy, later on. For now ... be inspired and share ....

Monday, April 27, 2015

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #45, The Beatitudes

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I created our prompt-list for April I made a mistake. As you all know CD-Tokubetsudesu (former Ghost Writer) is published on every Wednesday, but it's already time to publish it according to the prompt-list, so this episode is just for one week on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. And for this episode I have chosen to share The Beatitudes as described in Matthew 5: 1-12 with you all for your inspiration. It fits really our central theme for April, Peace of Mind, and it's based on several ideas from Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions or life-philosophies.

I love to challenge you to bring The Beatitudes back to haiku or tanka or into a haibun ... no need to copy The Beatitudes, they are only used here for your inspiration. For those who love to "learn" more about The Beatitudes? I will bring them as prompts on Haiku Shuukan at WP after the ending of the prompts based on G.R.A.C.E.

Credits: Mount Arbel
The Beatitudes

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

It's wonderful and I think The Beatitudes will inspire you to compose haiku, tanka or haibun to share with us.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 30th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, purity, later on. For now .... just have fun!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #144, Kala Ramesh's fifth haiku "thunderclap"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's almost over ... today I have the last haiku for this month composed by our featured haiku-poetess Kala Ramesh. It was really a pleasure to introduce Kala to you all. Kala is a very active haiku petess from India and I was given this opportunity by Jane Reichhold. Jane brought a specific project by Kala to my attention. In this project Kala cooperates with youngsters from India and I love to bring this project under your attention. Just to show what the possibilities are with haiku ...

I will reproduce Kala's email here in which she tells about her project:

[...] HaikuWall as part of the PUNE Biennale 2015!!

We have some seven haiku painted on COEP's compound wall. And five more were put up as posters at the Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre, throughout the 10 day celebrations, from 6th to 15th February. They were a mix of my students' work from CBSE schools to colleges, Symbiosis International University and Bharati Vidyapeeth Univeristy.Anyone walking down Pune University Road can see these haiku painted on the COEP Hostel wall, opp Sancheti Hospital.
It is one thing ​when ​a ​local ​haiku ​club/​group  decorates​ the city with haiku [which is big in its own way!!] But, it is quite another thing ​when an educational institute  ​along ​with Govt ​involvement​  ​orchestrate the painting of haiku  on street walls. [...]

I think this is a great project. Here is one of the haiku which she is talking about in her email:

Ok back to the main goal of the CD Specials writing an all new haiku inspired on a haiku by our featured haiku poet/ess ... so here is the haiku by Kala to inspire you.

the darkening sky splits
into liquid night

© Kala Ramesh

(Published in Haiku Presence, Britain’s leading independent haiku journal. Issue #37, Spring 2008)

The goal is to write an all new haiku inspired on the given haiku and trying to do that in the same tone, sense and spirit as the one given. Certainly not an easy task, but it's challenging .... Here is m attempt:

hot summer day
battle between thunder and lightning
ah! cool summer rain

© Chèvrefeuille

Next month as we go on the trail with Basho all our CD-specials will also be haiku by Basho. So May is ' Basho-month' and I am looking forward to it ... I think May will be a gorgeous month. Not an easy month, but for sure a great month.
!! PS. I will not publish a Time Glass episode today, so this week no time challenge !!

This CD-Special episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 29th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, another episode of Tokubetsudesu feature (former Ghost Writer post), later on. For now ... be inspired and share your haiku inspired on the haiku by Kala Ramesh with us all.

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 !!

Carpe Diem #710, Renunciation

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

After a wonderful weekend off in which Hamish Managua Gunn was your co-host at CDHK I am full of new energy. Thank you Hamish for being our co-host last weekend, you did a great job and I have enjoyed your posts. Maybe another time again? Next month (May 2015) Georgia will be your co-host as I take my weekend off, but that's in the near future. Now we are in the present and we are reading the Bhagavad Gita to (maybe) find peace of mind, as is the theme for this month.

Today it's all about renunciation ... a not so easy to use prompt I think, but maybe the definition for renunciation can help a little bit. This is the definition: an act or instance of relinquishing, abandoning, repudiating, or sacrificing something.

As I re-read this definition than it's obviously that renunciation is an act. An act to give up Self for the greater task in life. That's what Krishna tells Arjuna as they are standing in the middle of the two armies. Let us take a look at the Bhagavad Gita and what it tells us about renunciation.

without sadness
the birds in the sky

© Chèvrefeuille

song of a Nightingale

[...] Arjuna asking what is true Sannyasa and true Tyaga (renunciation). In reply to this important and crucial query, the blessed Lord makes it clear to us that real Sannyasa or renunciation lies in renunciation of selfish actions, and even more in the renunciation of the desire or greed for the fruits of any action. Very clearly we are told that selfless and virtuous actions, and actions conducive to the welfare of others should not be abandoned. You must engage yourself in performing such action but renouncing attachment and greed. The true and proper renunciation is giving up of selfishness and attachment while performing one’s legitimate duties. This is called Sattwic Tyaga. We neither hate unpleasant action nor are we attached to pleasurable action. As it is not possible for you to renounce all action, the renunciation of egoism, selfishness and attachment in your activity is declared as true renunciation. Karma does not accumulate and bind one who is thus established in such inner renunciation.

The divine injunction is that God must be made the sole object of one’s life. This is the heart of the Bhagavad Gita. This is the central message in its teaching. This is the one way to your welfare here. Now Sanjaya concludes his narrative by declaring that where there is such obedience as that of Arjuna, and such willing readiness to carry out the divine teachings, there surely prosperity, victory, glory and all blessedness will prevail. [...]

As follows a conversation between Arjuna and Krishna about "Selflessness" and part of this conversation I will reproduce here. (The following verses are from the 18th chapter)

10. The man of renunciation, pervaded by purity, intelligent and with his doubts cut asunder, does not hate a disagreeable work nor is he attached to an agreeable one.
11. Verily, it is not possible for an embodied being to abandon actions entirely; but he who relinquishes the rewards of actions is verily called a man of renunciation.

50. Learn from Me in brief, O Arjuna, how he who has attained perfection reaches Brahman, that supreme state of knowledge.
51. Endowed with a pure intellect, controlling the self by firmness, relinquishing sound and other objects and abandoning both hatred and attraction,
52. Dwelling in solitude, eating but little, with speech, body and mind subdued, always engaged in concentration and meditation, taking refuge in dispassion,
53. Having abandoned egoism, strength, arrogance, anger, desire, and covetousness, free from the notion of “mine” and peaceful,—he is fit for becoming Brahman.
54. Becoming Brahman, serene in the Self, he neither grieves nor desires; the same to all beings, he attains supreme devotion unto Me.
55. By devotion he knows Me in truth, what and who I am; and knowing Me in truth, he forthwith enters into the Supreme.

Arjuna has to let go Self and has to become selfless completely devoted to Krishna if he wants to go to "heaven". He has to become one with Brahman to enter Atman.

Credits: All Gods Are One God

Isn't that also what is said in so many other religions? Is this again a based on the idea that all religions derived from Hinduism? I think so hypothetically ... because there are so much connections to the sacred texts which we (maybe) all know. Is this not what is said in the proverb "All Gods Are One God" .... again a lot to think about, but how to catch this in a haiku?
As you read in the above haiku ... I think we can catch renunciation through nature and all that's living in it, including humans. Although ... humans can choose for renunciation, but nature it self, animals, birds and so on, don't have that choice, because they are all part of the greater .... part of the Creator (as we are too, as we could read in several episodes on the Tarot in 2013). We are all made from "god stuff" ... and that makes us, nature and humans, one.

lost in the forest
wind, sun, trees and birds
one with it all

© Chèvrefeuille

A though episode to write, but I think I have succeeded to make it ... I hope this episode will inspire you to look at nature without Self ... completely in tune with nature ... 

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 23th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, another wonderful haiku by Kala Ramesh, later on. For now, have fun!