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Haiku - The Sacred Art: A Spiritual Practice in Three Lines

“Writing haiku offers the chance to honor, hold, and fully experience a fleeting moment that takes you out of yourself, a moment that hints at the deeper unity that lies beneath the surface of things.” -- from Chapter One

A guide to writing haiku as a spiritual practice.

Haiku - The Sacred Art introduces haiku as a simple and effective way of tapping into the sacred moments that permeate everyday living. Starting with examples and practices that lead to writing a first haiku, and then on to an overview of haiku conventions, the author invites us on a path to respond to the holiness that lives and breathes in the world around us. By capturing and writing down images of what makes us aware of holiness—particular moments of deep feeling, moments that make us feel alive and whole—writing haiku becomes a way of relating to the sacred through the “now” of this moment, just as is.

Praise for Haiku - The Sacred Art

"I was only going to sample [your] haiku book, and ended up reading it cover-to-cover, only getting up now and again for another cup of coffee. Pure delight! I really enjoy the way you write – your personal stories are perfect in each case – very like haibun."
Billie Wilson

"A superb exploration of this poetic form for beginners and experts alike." (Read complete review)
Chris Smith, Englewood Review of Books

"Provides a clear 'how-to' guide to getting started with writing haiku, and especially with approaching it as a contemplative, meditative art for self-discovery and spiritual enrichment." (Read complete review)
Dr. Randy M. Brooks, Modern Haiku

“Opens an important door wide ... instills a desire and ability to write what is essential and understand how it entwines with our individual spiritual practices…. It became irresistible not to try my hand at it.”
Sheila Bender, author, A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief

“Insightful and informative…. Enhances our awareness of our daily lives and the spirit that surrounds us.”
Stanford M. Forrester, editor, bottle rockets; author, the toddler’s chant

“Inviting and accessible ... beautifully breaks open the art of paying close attention to the world through the heightened language of poetry.”
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, author, Wind, Water, Earth, Fire: The Christian Spiritual Practice of Praying with the Elements

“With exceptional skill and elegance, Margaret guides us into the practice of haiku-making. As we awaken to the mystery of the moment, something splashes in our heart and we experience the Glow of Presence.”
Sheikh Jamal Rahman, Interfaith Community Church, Seattle; author, Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi and a Sheikh

“Shows us how we can each enjoy intimacy with the divine in our everyday lives. Partake with Margaret McGee as she partakes of Presence, available to us all by fully paying attention to what is marvelously present. As it is.”
Gary Gach, author, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buddhism and editor of What Book!? ~ Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop

“Simple, personal and profound.... A convincing call into this ancient way of honoring moments as Holy.”
Nancy Barrett Chickerneo, PhD, author, Woman Spirit Awakening in Nature: Growing into the Fullness of Who You Are; director, SPA Sisters

Table of Contents


1 The Heart of a Moment

2 A Simple Prayer

3 A Companionable Form

4 A Sense of Time and Place

5 Inspired Conversations

6 Haiku in Community

7 Haiku with Pictures or Prose

8 The Haiku Life

Haiku Resources
Suggestions for Further Reading
Index of Practices
Index of Poets