Saturday, December 12, 2015

Next Meditation and Poetry Writing Group January 2, 2016 at the Shambhala Center in Shelburne Falls, MA

[from Shambhala Publications website haiku by Santoka]

The topic for our next writing group will be Haibun/Haiku, a traditional Japanese format that is defined usually as a prose poem followed by a Haiku "A haibun is a terse, relatively short prose poem in the haikai style, usually including both lightly humorous and more serious elements. A haibun usually ends with a haiku” [Haiku Society of America]

WHEN: Beginning Saturday, January 2, 2016 (ongoing)
Meeting every first Saturday of the month

TIME: 11:00 AM-2:00 PM

71B Ashfield St
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts 01370
United States

COST: By donation [Recommended $5-$20.00 per session]

11:00 AM Guided Sitting Meditation
11:30 AM Check-in/where we are with our writing
Noon - 1:00 PM: Brief Presentation by Jacqueline or guest
followed by writing prompt or exercise
Break for Lunch (McKuskers)
1:00-2:00 PM - Share our work
Some Online Resources

PDF Essay : More than Birds, Bees and Trees: A closer look at Haibun

Haiku Society of America for definitions of traditional forms.

List of American Haiku poets for some inspiration

Reginald Blyth’s 3 Volume Haiku Anthology check out on

Haiku according to Thich Nat Hahn’s “Interbeing"

Links to Allen Ginsberg Haiku

Robert Hass on You Tube reading from his translations of ISSAThere are many approaches to Haiku you are invited to explore on the internet.One need not follow the traditional schemes. I work with the version presented at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics following Chogyam Trungpa’s format and taught widely by Allen Ginsberg.

Recently the Ginsberg Project posted a transcript of one of Allen’s early classes at Naropa Institute (now University) when Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche visited his class. In this particular class, Trungpa introduces a three part logic to working with language. The Ginsberg Project is a treasure trove of Teachings direct from the horses mouth, as they say!

The notion of what’s called threefold logic - which applies to a general state of mind, how we experience our phenomenal world (and obviously poetry comes from an expression of one’s phenomenal world - in the written form - it could either be prose or poetry form). It’s not so much, from (the) Buddhist point of view, (is that) (if) you write good poetry, particularly, but how your thought-patterns become elegant, that you see (the) phenomenal world as a process, stages, as a review, from a state of mind - That, first, we have what’s known as the ground (which we perceive is the general sense or idea of how things work – like a bright, and heavy, sense of brightness, and then you begin to have some idea that it is sunshine, and then, because there is a sense of brightness, then you experience the sense of sunshine, and having experienced the second stage that way, then we have a conclusion, which is "(it) dispels (the) darkness”. So those (three stages) are what is known as the threefold logic, which actually does apply very much to thehaiku approach – that there is an idea, and then there is a complimentary remark with (the) idea, and then a final ending, (sometimes which is punctuated by humor, or sometimes punctuated by opinion, or (it) could be just an open ending). So that seems to be an interesting kind of training and it seems that's how one thinks when you look at the real world and then just write that down. And then by doing so, a person's approach begins to become very methodical and nothing is jumpy, and everything is somewhat organized in your mind, and therefore it creates a sort of chain-reaction, probably, to the reader of (the) poetry as well, those who read your work, their thought-patterns begin to have some sort of systematic situation rather than just things jumbled together. And , in turn, the theory is that having such (an) approach, you develop a…you’re helping the world to destroy chaos and you create order in the universe.

To read more go here.

Thanks to Peter Hale of the Ginsberg blog, you can now read the transcripts of Ginsberg’s course on Meditation and Poetics online--in this instance many classes on Haiku, Ginsberg’s unique style of erudition following his own interests combined with his genius literary mind created some great teaching.

Here is one transcript on a class in Haiku which relates to the meditation aspect. If you are interested you can find lots of teaching material.

For years I lost my Haiku journal but recently found it in storage. Here’s a couple of poems I wrote in Mexico.

The old man leans against doorway

First rays of sun

Eyes closed, mouth open--still breathing

My favorite:

Little girls chatter

Waiting for ice-cream

Armed Policia circle Plaza Chica

Three part logic

Line 1 -Ground/Observation

Line 2 -Path/Recognition further extension of original observation or what’s happening

Line 3 -Fruition surprise, twist

The possibilities are endless. My own experience is that Haiku in general is training in perception, unfiltered language which is characterized by a natural vividness. Recently I have been exploring combining the prose poem followed by a lyric.

Best Wishes--for the Holiday!!

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