What is it about haiku and meditation that both impart a like taste,
so strangely satisfying, so difficult to describe?
Inspired by this question, we first gathered in 1996, a fellowship of haiku poets who sought to express the great silence in words. Since then weâve met annually for retreats, and now invite others to join us in what we do, which is:
- to encourage each other to write and read those haiku which have a resonance beyond the descriptive, an existential aftertaste.
- to explore the contemplative dimension of haiku through personal practice, periodic workshops, group retreats and gatherings.
- to offer a liberative vision of haiku as an everyday spirituality beyond sectarian divides.
It could all be too pious, couldnât it? â which is where âredthreadâ comes in, the ancient Japanese term for the troublesome passions. They are part of us, and of our poetry. Even the enlightened, as Zen Master Songyan said, cannot, âsever the redthread.â He goes further, and challenges us to ask ourselves why we canât.
This website is a free space for uncovering haiku with vitality, haiku which connect us with universals through the perfect particular. We welcome you to it in the spirit of friendship. There are:-
- archives of our Retreat Reports
- an archive of Haiku Spirit journals
- talks given at our gatherings in the mountains
- a Forum section for workshopping new draft poems and for debate
- a haibun section of experimental writing in prose-and-poetry combinations
- pages for featured writers
I forget to buy daffodils
on mothers day
- Bill Wyatt
the frightened cat hides
inside a shadow
(Oiche Shamhna: Gaelic: Hallowe'en Night)
- Jim Norton
And we hope you will contribute letters and articles to the debate we have initiated on haiku practice as an inner-path spirituality. Please send them to the editors other email address Norton Andover PT, or post them directly to the Forum, which is the active part of the site for new poems and new voices. Check it out.
We hope you enjoy the site (Have you answered the question yet? Why cant the clear-eyed sever the redthread?).