Prose poem “Haiku Hijiri” to be published in literary journal Lalitamba

300 Bodhidarma Hakuin Ekaku presit painter

This Japanese scroll calligraphy of Bodhidharma reads: “Zen points directly to the human heart, see into your nature and become Buddha”. It was created by poet, artist, sage Hakuin Ekaku (1685 to 1768).

I am pleased to announce that “Haiku Hijiri”, my prose poem about the acceptance of what is — to welcome all that comes, enjoy the now, enjoy aloneness — will debut in the 2014 issue of Lalitamba.

It is the story of an eccentric wandering Japanese priest whose existence serves as an example to the common people — how to live — what is important in life. The piece reminds us to have reverence for our sages, and that we don’t know when our last moment will arrive, so live in such a way as to elevate others, knowing all things pass, and offer the world what you have to give.

Hijiri: (Japanese: “holy man”), in Japanese religions, a person of great magnetism and spiritual power, as distinct from a leader of an institutionalized religion. Historically, hijiri has been used to refer to sages of various traditions, such as the shaman, Taoist magician, Shintō mountain ascetic, or Buddhist reciter. Most characteristically hijiri describes the wandering priest who operates outside the orthodox Buddhist tradition to meet the religious needs of the lay people.

 

Yoga Poetry

On 12.12.12 poet and editor Hawah released the second volume of The Poetry of Yoga, an anthology of contemporary poetry inspired by the practice of yoga.

Volume Two

Volume Two

I have volume one that was released 11.11.11 and I love it.  Words can be cherished and within this anthology’s pages are soul felt, wise, guiding poems.  I keep this book on hand, referring to it often: to inspire, to steer, and remind me of why I am here.  Here are a few of the amazing succinct pieces from volume one:

Compassion

Your shoes

Are on my feet

I know now

Why your socks are ripped

The draft moves my heart.

-Hawah

 

Love Poem

In order to describe

this thing to you, I’d need

the thousand beating wings

of wild flocks of words.

 

Rather, shall I show you

like this?

 

(Speechlessness) – Lisa Rosinsky

 

Bait

Praise is the rusted lure I rise to,

the old fishing line caught in my lip,

scars from rising out of my own current

toward bait that cannot nourish.

-Linda Caldwell Lee

 

To purchase the anthologies of The Poetry of Yoga visit: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Everlutionary

(I have volume two on order!)

Saraswati: Invoking Assistance to Write

As writers a moment arrives for most of us when we need to call upon something larger than ourselves, to intervene, to assist in our creative endeavor. Maybe the novel idea, characters, scenes have been visiting you for years but you just can’t seem to start writing, or you sit in front of your blank screen waiting for the words to burst forth but nothing comes. Or, life required you to take leave of your half-written manuscript, and now, months or years have passed but the work still begs to be completed, or perhaps you obediently shelved your first draft of your book for the recommended three to six months and now what?

How do you start writing when the thought of it seems daunting, or even impossible?

I encountered such a situation, a commonality amongst us writers. In an act of faith coupled with discipline, which I believe is the essence of writing, I set out on a 40 day pre-writing meditation practice, to invoke the Hindu goddess Saraswati to help me in my effort to write and revise. I sang this mantra “Om Eim Saraswatiyei Swaha 108 times, counting on my japa mala, a 109 beaded string like a rosary, before writing each day. Her name, “Saras” means to “flow” and “wati” woman. She is the goddess of hidden wisdom, the symbol of knowledge, music and the arts, and credited for making projects fruitful and successful. You don’t have to be Hindu to believe in the female creative spirit and she goes by many names around the world: “Yanchenma” in Tibetan Buddhism, “Brigid” a Celtic goddess, and “Ix Chel” by the Mayans, just to name a few. Energy is our universe. So, I made a concerted effort to align myself with this universal creative force. Come to my aid, please! Mother of Muses!

Daily chanting I found my brain being stimulated by the mantra’s words, my creativeness awakened, and that I had already accomplished something as I sat down before my computer to write. At first, my voice was shaky and unrefined like the first draft I was rewriting. As the days passed I noticed my voice becoming stronger, sure of itself, and clear, and I felt, so was my novel  – it was improving and going forward. My morning singing mirrored my writing and gave me a way to see that progress and inspired me to keep going. A mantra is a thread of words or one sound, like a quote or beautifully written fragment, sung from the heart, like our words we place on our pages. At the end of the 40 days, I was so pleased with my manuscript’s advancement, I committed myself to another twenty days of chanting. By the end, I felt empowered to continue on my own. Thank you Saraswati, for I am she and she is me. Please feel free to try this yourself and investigate — the power of mantra with writing.

Om Eim Saraswatiyei Swaha, “Om and salutations to the feminine Saraswati principle.”