Haiku is all about the fleeting preciousness of experience, nature, and our seamless connection to everything.

~ Tom Clausen


Today we will explore how approaching life with a haiku “mindset” is essentially a gratefulness practice that can reveal a profound sense of belonging. Through inviting all of our senses to be awake to the revelatory possibility in each moment we are in touch with the “fleeting preciousness of experience” and of nature. Br. David Steindl-Rast has said “Most of the time we go around as if everybody else was in and we were out and why am I the orphan in the universe? But once in a while something breaks through, this universal love, that universal ‘yes’ to belonging touches us and all of a sudden we come alive.” Opening to “that universal ‘yes’ to belonging” can be a gift of haiku.


Haiku and calligraphy by Br. David Steindl-Rast


As we turn our attention to writing haiku, Tom Clausen encourages us to:

Start with major signifiers in our universe, the stars, our sun, our moon, the planets, our water, oceans, rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, puddles, rain drops, dew drops, our weather, our seasons, our mother earth, mountains, hills, trees, shrubs, plants, flowers, and little by little the seamless connection and relation of yourself will become ever more aware, linked, and suffused in everything around you.

Such engagement with our world will make it clear “that we are all part of an intricate miraculous web of belonging.”

The Practice

Today we invite you to connect with “major signifiers of our universe.” Gaze into a pond or up at the stars. Watch some ants or lean against a tree, feeling its strength, texture, and resilience. Contemplate the planets, seasons, or the wonder and miracle of the breath that animates your being. Allow yourself  a few minutes to feel what arises — noticing if and how you feel connected to the universe of which you are a part.

Experiment with writing a haiku (or more than one!) that expresses your experience. Feel free to share your reflections or poem(s) in the reflection area below.

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Enjoy the full eight-day Exploring Haiku practice