The Art of Being Present: Incredible Happiness Lessons from Haiku

The haiku is the ideal ancient form for the Twitter age.

Traditional haiku poems contain no more than seventeen syllables, broken into three phrases of five, seven, and five syllables each.

This ancient poetry form is closely connected to Zen Buddhism. It emphasises mindfulness, communion with nature, its changing seasons, and an awareness of the fleeting nature of beauty.

Most haiku contain vivid images specific to Japan; and yet, they also contain timeless wisdom for the ages.

Here are the top eight lessons for modern life from this ancient Japanese poetic form.

1. Connect with nature: you might find you also connect with people.

In the city fields contemplating cherry-trees, strangers are like friends.
Issa

2. Experience each moment in its entirety — you’ll notice wonderful things.

In this warm spring rain, tiny leaves are sprouting from the eggplant seed.
Basho

3. Don’t fear loneliness; embrace it for its possibilities.

An autumn eve there is joy too in loneliness.
Buson

4. Stay steadfast through tough times.

Into fog, through the fog we rowed. then: the wide sea — so blue, so bright!
Shiki

5. Enlightenment rarely comes in a quick, noisy flash.

With lightning One is not enlightened How valuable
Basho

6. You might find beauty and joy when you least expect it.

No oil to read by… I am off to bed, but ah! my moonlit bed
Basho

7. Your spiritual awakening might take some breaking in.

Awakened as ice bursts the water jar
Basho

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