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Monday, December 31, 2012

The New Year Haiku Trio: A Commentary




During mindfulness practice, it’s often the case that I’m faced with thoughts and emotions that can’t be satisfactorily expressed using conventional language. During those times, I tended to rely on rhyming poetic verse - that is, until I discovered the Haiku which I found to allow me to open my awareness to a vaster array of interpretations - especially during times when I am faced with a lot of turbulent thoughts and emotions.


One such time is the new ear where we may find ourselves looking back at how we spent last year. And, as I felt I needed more clarity on what 2012 meant to me as a human being, I wrote a haiku to capture my state of mind. It’s actually a haiku trio and so, I’ll go through each haiku segment and share a few personal meditations on the words as they flow:


A New Year Haiku Trio

From: Haiku Flow, 



An other year is over,

Many days we have forgotten -

Dried up … like raindrops.




If you think about it, we only remember little of what has happened to us over the course of last year. Hopefully, we retain a sense of who we are - even if our sense of who we are (or our sense of self) is a transient one. Like all other things, we have changed as persons whether we are aware of it or not. e don’t realise it but even our bodies have literally been changed as old cells are replaced by new ones.


However, these changes happen so slowly and on such a minute scale that we just move on through life thinking that the only significant changes that occur are external to us. And, even then, our memories forget. This isn’t neither good nor bad. Yet, it’s sometimes the case that we take what we have for granted - even with a sense of pride and entitlement - without acknowledging or appreciating the source of all we have to keep on living as physical beings - the living world around us.  



Do we remember?

The tears shed, laughter shared… Do we?

Yet, this is our life….




These verses follow on the theme of time and impermanence. At the same time, it goes beyond that and compels us to ask ourselves what, exactly, have we learned from life during the course of this year. While we may have gained plenty of knowledge and experience. We may have had many experiences of suffering and joy, but if we didn’t take the time to reflect on what we have gone through, where these moments in our life worthwhile? 


While we cannot change our bodies and minds in radical ways, we have a choice whether we grow out of the experiences we encounter in life or give up and indulge in a life where we blame others (hate), believe our solutions are external (desire) or go on through life without being (ignorance). These three poisons often might lead us to pursue the same life and ineffectual strategies that we have grown used to. Unfortunately, growth that resists change and doesn’t allow change is no growth at all. On the other hand, change that is made for the sake of it can be equally toxic.



Another year is born.

Our chance to live again. Anew.

To be here. Fully.





This last verse of the haiku trio I wrote appears to be an invitation to accept life as it comes. At least, now that I read it again, it’s not just about a new year. For, in truth, given the different ways humankind has measured time, any day can be a new year. And, yes, in many ways, a new day is a new year. In truth, if you take away the fuss that we make out of adding a number to a calendar year and creating a day when we can take time off work, a new year’s day is just another day. It follows that it doesn’t have to be a new year to compel us to improve on our ways. Everyday offers us the possibility to grow and change. Everyday is the opportunity to experience our life in  its full potential.


And, perhaps, this is the main reflection underpinning the haiku trio. That, in order to live our full potential as human beings, we first need to recognise who we are in the world. We may dream to fly like birds, but our bodies are currently not equipped to fly. However, we can fly because some have considered the limitations imposed to us by nature and explored solutions around these apparent limitations. However, the reality of things had to be factored in so that we could, in some way, be able to fly.


Concluding Remarks


I don’t think I should add more commentary. I just hope this has provided you, the reader, with some food for thought. I remind you that the reflections I make in the haiku I wrote for Haiku Flow attempts to capture that sense of impermanence and transience. While below I provide my own interpretation of what the haiku verses appear to tell me, other ideas about its meaning to you might 


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