ARTS: How to Haiku 5: an exercise in creativity

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  • Kokuu
    Treeleaf Priest
    • Nov 2012
    • 6791

    ARTS: How to Haiku 5: an exercise in creativity

    This exercise, entitled Expressing Things for What Else They Are, is taken from the book The Zen of Creativity by the late abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery, John Daido Loori.

    I think that most artists and writers work like this intuitively, but I find it helpful to be reminded of it from time to time. This approach works well for me when writing haiku although that is not to say I don't also write spontaneously. It has much in common with just sitting meditation as we practice here.

    Go without any preconceived notions about what you’re looking for. Allow the subject to find you. Tune in to your feelings and let the quality of resonance guide you.

    When your subject has found you, sit with it and wait for your presence to be acknowledged. Continue to sit with the subject and allow it to reveal itself to you.

    At first, the familiar surface areas of the subject will become apparent. It may take some time for the subject to reveal its more subtle and mysterious dimensions. Be patient. Be willing to be with your subject without knowing what it is, without projecting your ideas onto it. When the subject shows what else it is, you will feel it in your hara. It’s not something for you to understand or name.

    When you have felt what else the subject is, stay in contact with the feeling and begin to express it in the medium of your choice. Don’t step back from your experience and judge it. Just let the subject be, however it presents itself, and allow your expression to come out as it will. Be intimate with the experience. When you’ve finished, thank your subject in whatever way seems appropriate to you [elsewhere he suggests a bow], and then let it go

    - The Zen of Creativity (Ballantine Books 2005), p95

    Last edited by Jundo; 01-24-2021, 02:39 AM.
  • Geika
    Treeleaf Unsui
    • Jan 2010
    • 4980

    I had copied that text into my notes some time ago. Thanks, Kokuu, for the reminder.

    Gassho, sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.