Haiku Doo, the Way of Haiku


。。。。。。。。 俳 句 道

Basho who, when asked for a death haiku by his friends (according to Harold Henderson) "refused, on the ground that

every poem in his last ten years had been composed
as if it were a death poem ..
source: translatinghaiku


My Archery teacher used to say:

Shoot every arrow with the intention that it is your last !
That way you get the necessary intensity and will never be
... just shooting!

Many Japanese DOO 道, ways, are ways of living and teach the same things, applied to different activities. The basics are the same...
This is where the influence of Zen can mostly be felt in many traditional DOO in Japan.

Just yesterday I was talking to two young German boys who started six weeks of a homestay with a Japanese friend on how to cope with all these things unknown to them ... starting with the unknown language, the unknown food items ...
and all the pre-conceptions of their own culture and what SHOULD BE Japanese !

Whow, talk about Euro-Centrism ...

To learn any of the Japanese doo, you have to throw all of your own concepts way out over board.
Get empty first, before you can be filled with the haiku spirit ...

Haiku-Doo ...
first lesson:
forget it all!

Haiku-Doo 俳句道

as we have
the way of the bow, kyuudoo 弓道
the way of tea, chadoo 茶道
the way of flowers, kadoo 花道 (ikebana)

The tanden, 丹田, (lit. the cinnabar field of the old alchimists) is the most important aspect of most of these DOO, ways of life.
Tanden dose not mean "stomach", do not mix the biological reality with the power spots of your body, which you have to cultivate on a daily basis.

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

finding haiku <>
the innermost heart
all out there

finding haiku <>
the whole universe
in my mind

If haiku leads you on the way inside to yourself, whilst enjoying your reflections of the outside world, or vice versa, then you are truly

on the way

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

kono michi ya yuku hito nashi ni aki no kure

this road
where no one travelles -
autumn dusk

Matsuo Basho

. MICHI - road - path - way .


Beginners Mind 初心 shoshin

To be open, eager ...

Most DOO 道 and the Zen-inspired teachings use this expression.
It is something to cultivate over many years, as my teacher told me with a smile in his gentle face.

Some things about haiku you can learn to a certain extend, for example

the best use of a kigo, to bring it alive in your haiku
the best use of a kireji, the right cutting word in the right place
the best use of 5 7 5, after all, MO and NO, YA and NI give different results

Other things, you can not really LEARN, you have to foster and apply each time anew

Do your best every time you sit down to write a haiku.
Ask youself:
Is this easy and simple to understand for the reader?
Could I say it in a better way?

Doing your best, this is the same condition for the student and the teacher every time.
But the result will be different, of course, since 30 years on the way give different results than 3 years on the way.

References : Zen Mind, Beginners' Mind


When a student loses track of his/her beginner’s mind, things such as ego, arrogance and stubbornness begin to show their characteristics; none of which are flattering; and, they are ineffective for stimulating fine poetry.

Haiku/hokku are seasonal poems centered around the activities of nature. In order for one to sense the activities of nature, the thoughts of dominating nature, commanding and controlling nature must settle down to nothingness – empty mind.

Meanwhile, becoming humble to nature and seeking to understand its ways becomes an incredible benefit to the haijin opting to write about it in an unbiased, all-seeing way. Ego creates unnecessary bias and blocks: humbleness inspires a beginner’s mind, a freshness and innocence not found in the arrogance of mankind. It’s this very special, refreshed beginner’s mind that releases to nature’s voice and activities and lets them tell their story without the interference of human dominance-culture reigning over nature and interfering in its story(stories).

An Interview With Don Baird
source : www.thehaikuguru.com


... Haiku and the Moment !!!!!

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My Haiku Theory Archives  


Tue Nov 23, 2004

Yesterday a friend of mine, Japanese and doing traditional Hula dance in Hawaii very successfully for many years now, was quoted in the Japan Times as saying:

<> Why does Japan have to take something deep and beautiful like hula,
and change it to be perfect, empty and cold?

I see it as my lifework here to restore spiritual content to hula, to help Japanese people appreciate and respect its roots.

。。。Keisuke Yasuda

When I read this, I immediately substituted HULA for HAIKU and Japan for America and found my lifework with the World Kigo Database to be very similar.


People who are “being” are fully present.
They are totally engaged in the moment.
This engagement includes
an easy appreciation and sense of connection
with whomever or whatever they are relating to at the time.

Sallirae Henderson

Life is a great and wondrous mystery,
the only thing we know that we have for sure is
what is right here right now.
Don't miss it.

Leo Buscaglia


In Japan, a number of time-honored everyday activities (such as making tea, arranging flowers, and writing) have traditionally been deeply examined by their proponents. Students study how to make tea, perform martial arts, or write with a brush in the most skillful way possible to express themselves with maximum efficiency and minimum strain.

Through this efficient, adroit, and creative performance, they arrive at art. But if they continue to delve even more deeply into their art, they discover principles that are truly universal, principles relating to life itself. Then, the art of brush writing becomes shodo — the “Way of the brush”— while the art of arranging flowers is elevated to the status of kado — the “Way of flowers.”

Through these Ways or Do forms, the Japanese have sought to realize the Way of living itself. They have approached the universal through the particular.”

Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation
H.E. Davey


A Dō (道) is any one of a number of spiritual, martial, or aesthetic disciplines that evolved in Japan and Korea. The term "Dō" is borrowed from the Chinese philosophical concept of Tao (道, Dao). The word means 'way', 'path', 'route', or sometimes more loosely, 'doctrine', 'principle' or 'lifestyle'. Within the context of traditional East Asian philosophy and religion, Dō is a metaphysical concept signifying the primordial essence or fundamental nature of the universe.

In Japanese, a Dō implies a body of knowledge and tradition with an ethic and an aesthetic, and having the characteristics of specialization (senmonsei), transmissivity (keishōsei), normativity (kihansei), universality (kihensei), and authoritativeness (ken'isei).

The same character,(道) can also be rendered as “path, way, way of life” which is a classical Japanese term used by initiates of the Old School (koryū- 古流) lineages, especially the Kashima Shin-ryū (鹿島神流), although its use in the greater martial arts community is much more widespread. The term serves to unifies both artistic and martial lineages, since both lead to the betterment of the individual. It is said someone is a person of this Way or that Way, depending on the particular physical expression of an individual discipline.

Michi, by the very nature of the term, speaks to a greater goal than a mere path or road. Therefore, all true michi point to the same place, leading to a sense of brotherhood between initiates, especially deep initiates, of widely disparate disciplines.

- Shared by Steve Weiss -
Joys of Japan, 2012


My Quotes with Haiku

My Favorite Quotes to Enjoy with Haiku


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My Haiku Theory Archives  

. World Kigo Database .
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