Sunday, May 28, 2017

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge Month 2017 #17 wind in the pines (Candy)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This beautiful Tan Renga Challenge Month 2017 is almost over. We have only a few days left and than we will take the plane to Tibet, to explore this wonderful country in the Himalayans. But that's for later.

Today I have a new challenge for you a "hokku" by one of our Haiku Family members and one of the winners of our kukai. Today's Tan Renga Challenge starts with a "hokku" by Candy.

wind in the pines
swirls upward to heaven
whispered prayers

© Candy

A beauty I would say and I think I can remember that Candy wrote this one in response on a beautiful haiku by Jane Reichhold:

reaching for the sun
the great pine's shadow
shapes the tree

© Jane Reichhold

Well ... maybe I am mistaken on this but I don't know it for sure.

Here is my attempt to complete this Tan Renga:

wind in the pines
swirls upward to heaven
whispered prayers                                           © Candy

birds are singing their song
praising Mother Nature
                                  © Chèvrefeuille

Not as strong as I had hoped, but in a way I like the twist in my stanza, because "the wind" has been the messenger of the spirits and gods ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 2nd at noon (CET). Have fun!

PS. I have published our new prompt-list for June 2017. We are going to explore Tibet. You can find the prompt-list in the menu above.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Carpe Diem Namasté, The Spiritual Way #10 Ascension

!!! The submission for this "weekend-meditation" starts next Sunday May 28th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our CDHK "Namasté, The Spiritual Way". This week I love to challenge you to create haiku, tanka or an other Japanese poetery form, inspired on "Ascension". As I publish this episode "Ascension Day" (or in Dutch, Hemelvaartsdag) is almost over. You all will know that Ascension Day is a Christian holiday in which the Ascension of Jesus Christ is celebrated. But here at CDHK I do not pretend to promote the Christian belief or which other religion there is. So I have tried to make this "weekend-meditation" more common than Ascension Day will be.

I have chosen to tell you more about Ascension. Maybe you remember or Theme Week about "The Ascended Masters" in that theme -week I also told you about Ascension. Today however I love to watch to the more spiritual meaning of Ascension. (Source: Ascension Symptoms)

Many people are confused about what Ascension means when it is referred to in the spiritual sense. Ascension can mean different things to many people. The literal definition of the word ascension means: the act of ascending or ascent; to be risen up or to climb. The concept or idea of Ascension itself can be explained in several different contexts depending on the spiritual tradition or philosophy.

Ascension, in a simple and spiritual sense is very similar to the Eastern concept of Enlightenment found in Buddhism. To become Enlightened can simply mean to have "full comprehension of a situation". Enlightenment is a spiritual revelation or deep insight into the meaning and purpose of all things, communication with or understanding of the mind of God or Source, profound spiritual understanding or a fundamentally changed consciousness whereby everything is perceived as an interconnected unity.

Ascension in its basic spiritual or mystical sense can be thought of as the highest state of Man (humanity). It is the expansion of awareness. It involves the realization of being ONE with the Creator and all of creation. An individual is 'ascending' in the sense that something of a lower vibration is ascending; is is being 'raised up' or becoming higher in vibration. This is why many Spiritual traditions aim to achieve the dissolution of the human ego (lower self) in order to realize the true nature of their being, or Higher Self.

Ascension, in this spiritual sense of the word, does not mean that one's physical body is lifted off the ground and flies through the air, ascending up into or above the clouds towards a physical place called 'heaven', although some religious adherents still literally imagine this very scenario. But for the sake of understanding, If Ascension did actually involve entering heaven without dying, then it would be more accurate to say that Ascension is about 'bringing heaven to earth' by raising the 'lower vibrational aspect of your non-physical being to a higher vibrational state of being or realization.

Ascension can also be understood in a more metaphysical way by considering the concept of 'Dimensions' or 'planes of existence, or planes of conscious'. This would mean that Ascension is about shifting from one dimension, frequency, plane of existence or conscious (such as the 'lower' physical Earth plane) to another plane, dimension or state of consciousness that is of a 'higher frequency'.

The Ascension of Jesus Christ
Maybe you know about several Ascensions. There is of course the "Ascension of the Christ", but there are other ideas about Ascension. For example there is the Ascension of Buddha.

Ascension of Buddha
But there is also the Ascension of the Prophet, Muhammad.

The Ascension of Muhammad Miraj-Isra
In my opinion Ascension isn't something physical, but it is spiritual. In this time of Aquarius, we all will ascend to a higher state of spirituality. We will go into another dimension, another state of thinking.
Ascension is becoming more spiritual, maybe it is the moment that you choose to take another path to fulfillment, or spiritual growth. I think that we, haiku poets, are creating our own "ascension" through our haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form, because we are one with nature, with the cosmos.

What does Hinduism tells us about Ascension?

According to Hindu philosophy, by living a life of Truth governed by various forms of yoga, anyone can ascend to the ultimate state of moksa - release from the round and round cycle of birth and death. This is achieved by understanding the Inner Self (God), by overcoming ignorance and desire requires one to live constantly (every act, thought and breath) in the awareness of God. Paradoxically, moksa cannot be attained if it is one's goal. Ascension to moksa can only occur when one life of Truth transcends all desires (including the desire for moksa). The dynamics and liveliness of the Hindu belief system allows for use of ancient texts as well as continuous contemporary instruction on exactly how to live in Truth.

Atman, Ascension in Hinduism (image found on Pinterest)
As I re-read this (maybe to long) episode of Namasté, The Spiritual Way, than I think I am more a guy that fits in the idea of Ascension as taught by Hinduism, because I think that through living a good life full of truth I will ascend to a higher consciousness, another spiritual dimension.

For this "weekend-meditation" I have sought the Internet for haiku on Ascension. Here are a few examples that I encountered:

Morning fog lifts
the grayness of the still creek,
joy in ascension

© macandrew

ascension colors
ever changing from downfall 
grows stronger with time

© Marty King

the glorious light
touches my poetic soul
am I a witness

© Joyce Johnson

As I was searching the Internet I ran into "The Haiku Stairs", a steep hike on the island O'ahu Hawaii. This "Haiku Stairs", has nothing to do with our haiku, it has to do with a flower that grows on this island, but I was surprised as I read the other name "The Stairway to Heaven"; and that fits our theme for this "weekend-meditation" in a great way. So I just had to include it here.

"The Haiku Stairs" or  "The Stairway to Heaven"
To conclude this "weekend-meditation" on Ascension I have a few haiku that I wrote themed Ascension, these are all from my archives.

keeper of the flame
protects the world and its inhabitants
until they rise up

universal experience
walking on the path of wisdom
finding the truth

conquering the seven paths
into Christ Consciousness

dervishes whirling
seeking a higher consciousness -
third eye opens

© Chèvrefeuille

It has become a (to long)  episode, but I loved creating it for you all. And of course this is our "weekend-meditation", so you have all weekend to meditate and contemplate about Ascension.

This "weekend-meditation" is open for your submissions next Sunday May 28th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 2nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode around that time too. For now ... enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge Month 2017 #16 a drop of dew (Bosha)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to create another beautiful Tan Renga Challenge for you all. Yesterday we had a beautiful "afriku" by Adjei Agyei Baah as our "hokku" and today I have a beauty by a not so well known haiku poet, a contemporary of Shiki and a devotee to Basho, as we already can see in his haigo, Bosha.

Let me tell you first something about this not so well known haiku poet. Kawabata Bosha (1897-1941) was born on August 17 in Downtown Tokyo.His family name is Kawabata Nobukazu. His father had a great influence on his haiku career. His grandfather and his mother worked in a hospital and as a child it was his wish to become a doctor himself.
His stepbrother was Kawabata Ryush (Ryuushi), who later became a famous painter of traditional Japanese Paintings (Nihonga). Bosha himself was also a great painter.

At age 17 he started to use the haigo Bosha. He later became a most beloved student of Takahama Kyoshi and worked with the Aogiri Group. But his lung tuberculosis became worse and he died at a young age in 1941. On the evening of July 16 he died, this was his Jisei (death-poem).

ishi makura shite ware semi ka naki shigure

a stone for a pillow
me, just another cicada ...
so shrill, like crying

© Kawabata Bosha

Kawabata Bosha (1897-1941)
A beautiful Jisei (death-poem) I would say. As read this Jisei I immediately thought about a haiku written by my sensei Matsuo Basho. In a way the haiku by Bosha was I think inspired on a haiku by Basho.

That haiku was the following:

the deep stillness
seeping into the rocks
the voice of the cicadas

© Matsuo Basho

Did you know that the life-circle of a cicada is 17 years? Could it be that our 17 syllables counting haiku was inspired on the life circle of the cicada? As that is true than haiku is for sure the poetry of nature.

Well ... enough talking. Let me give you the "hokku" by Bosha to work with.

a drop of dew 
sits on a rock 
like a diamond

© Kawabata Bosha

a drop of dew
I hope I have inspired you to create the second stanza towards this "hokku" by Bosha. I am looking forward to your responses.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until May 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new "weekend-meditation" a new episode of Namasté, later on. For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge Month 2017 #15 ancient road (Adjei Agyei Baah)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode in our Carpe Diem TRC month 2017. Yesterday we had a classical haiku poet, Kikaku, and today we have a modern haiku poet to inspire us. Today I have chosen for a "hokku" written by Adjei Agyei Baah, a very talented haiku poet from Ghana. Adjei invented the "Afriku", the haiku from Africa and is the initiator of several haiku events in Ghana and other parts of Africa. Last year his first haiku compilation "Afriku, haiku and senryu from Ghana" was published by Red Moon Press. "Afriku" is a wonderful compilation of beautiful haiku and senryu and for sure worth to read and re-read.

Today's haiku is not from this "Afriku" compilation, but one of his haiku responses on a prompt by CDHK.

ancient road…
the trails of the masters
absorbed in fallen leaves

© Adjei Agyei-Baah

Ancient Road ...
The task is to create a Tan Renga through association on the scenes in the "hokku" and add two lines of approximately 7-7 syllables towards it.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 28th at noon (CET). Have fun!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge Month 2017 #14 Springtime (Kikaku)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Here is our new "hokku" to work with and create a Tan Renga. This "hokku" is by one of Basho's students, Kikaku.

Springtime in Edo,
Not a day passes without
A temple bell sold.

© Kikaku

Sorry for the delay and the short episode.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 27th at noon (CET).

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge Month 2017 #13 bamboo (Jane Reichhold)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. I had a great weekend on the nightshift (smiles), so I couldn't enjoy the beautiful weather we had here in The Netherlands. The upcoming days I will be free of work and the weather is gonna look great this week so I will enjoy it this week.

Last "regular" Tan Renga Challenge we had a nice haiku by Ogiwara Seisensui, a classical haiku poet who loved the "free-style" way of haiku-ing as we "enjoy" here in the Western world. And in a way that makes him one of my "heroes", because I love the "free-style" too (or as I call it Kanshicho, "in the way of the Chinese poetry").

Today I have another nice haiku in which we can see the Western way of haiku-ing. Our new "hokku" is by my beloved sensei and co-host who died last year, Jane Reichhold. This "hokku" is extracted from Jane's "A Dictionary of Haiku":

waving candlelight into the night

© Jane Reichhold (1937-2016)
A beauty I think. So I am looking forward to your continuations or completions of the Tan Renga starting with this "hokku".
Have fun!
This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 27th at noon (CET).

Friday, May 19, 2017

Carpe Diem Extra May 18th 2017 "sunflower" kukai

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Recently I reminded you to send your haiku themed "sunflower" to our emailaddress. Several of you, my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers, have emailed me immediately after that reminder, but there are not enough haiku to make this kukai a success, so I have decided to prolong the time you can submit for the "sunflower" kukai.

You can submit your haiku (maximum 3 and only haiku) until June 1st 2017 10:00 PM (CET). Send your submission to our emailaddress: please write sunflower kukai in the subject line.

Have a great weekend,


Chèvrefeuille, your host.