Sunday, January 15, 2017

Carpe Diem #1125 The Road to Santiago is part of the Tarot.

!!! The Spring Retreat 2017 "fragile beauty" has started !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a belated episode of our Haiku Kai. We are on our way to Santiago, on our virtual pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James. While we are on our way we are reading "The Pilgrimage" by Paulo Coelho.
At the beginning of our pilgrimage I told you about the miracles of the Tradition, you will remember the story about Paulo's sword that he lost. It's that sword which drives him to walk the Road to Santiago, one of the most known pilgrimages on our planet and one of the most spiritual paths we will ever encounter.

Today, as you can read in our title, I love to tell you a little bit more about the connection between the Road to Santiago and the Tarot. (To learn more about the Tarot, you can download the CDHK E-book about it in our library, or visit May 2013). Maybe you know that the Tarot works with 54 cards, it has a "major arcana" and a "minor arcana".

While Paulo and his guide are on their way to Santiago, they visit the cloister of Roncesvalles where they meet with Father Jordi. Father Jordi is not only a monk, but also a sorcerer, a strange combination, but Father Jordi is a sorcerer in the Tradition. He and Paulo have a conversation together which I will re-produce here:

[...] "Father Jordi sat at the table, leaving me standing. He took some herbs and lit them, filling the place with their perfume. More and more, the situation reminded me of my encounter with Mme Lourdes. ‘First, I want to tell you something,’ said Father Jordi. ‘The Jacobean route is only one of four roads. It is the Road of the Spades, and it may give you power, but that is not enough.’
‘What are the other three?’
‘You know at least two others: the Road to Jerusalem, which is the Road of the Hearts, or of the Grail, and which endows you with the ability to perform miracles; and the Road to Rome, which is the Road of the Clubs; it allows you to communicate with other worlds.’
‘So what’s missing is the Road of the Diamonds to complete the four suits of the deck,’ I joked. And the father laughed.  ‘Exactly. That’s the secret Road. If you take it someday, you won’t be helped by anybody. For now, let us leave that one aside.” [...]
(Source: The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho)
As you can read in this conversation Father Jordi tells Paulo about the four pilgrimages. Paulo knows three of them, but the fourth he didn't know and I didn't know about that one too. It's the so called secret road, this points more towards the Tradition and more to the spiritual growth. Maybe we will see more about this pilgrimage later on this month.

Those four roads are refering in their name to the Tarot and I hope to tell you more about that in episodes to come.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 20th at noon (CET).

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Carpe Diem #1124 time

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I love to challenge you (again) with the prompt "time". We have seen this prompt several times earlier here at CDHK, but today it seems different. As you know we are on the Road to Santiago and while we are walking this road we are reading "The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho". On his Road to Santiago Paulo has a guide named Petrus who teaches him how to become in tune with the cosmos so to say.
Every pilgrimage is meant to be for spiritual growth and that spiritual growth is also the hidden meaning of our wonderful Japanese poetry like haiku and tanka. Through looking closely to our surroundings we become one with our surroundings, with nature. We not only live with nature we are part of nature.
As you all know we have four seasons (in ancient Japan they have a fifth season too "New Year") and with the seasons time passes by. So today we will look at time and how to experience time, or maybe I have to say "how to not experience time".

Maybe you can remember that we had a month with quotes from Khalil Gibran's "Sand and Foam". In one of the episodes I spoke about "time". A nice piece of poetry by Khalil Gibran. I love to share here again with you all.

And an astronomer said, "Master, what of Time?"
And he answered:
You would measure time the measureless and the immeasurable.
You would adjust your conduct and even direct the course of your spirit according to hours and seasons.
Of time you would make a stream upon whose bank you would sit and watch its flowing.
Yet the timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness,
And knows that yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream.
And that that which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into space.
Who among you does not feel that his power to love is boundless?
And yet who does not feel that very love, though boundless, encompassed within the centre of his being, and moving not form love thought to love thought, nor from love deeds to other love deeds? And is not time even as love is, undivided and paceless?
But if in you thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons,
And let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.

© Khalil Gibran

Time. What is time? Do we need time? Yes we do I would say, but on the other hand I would say "No, we don't need time". Go with the flow, time is always on our side, we don't need to hurry. We will be on time always.
As you all know I have sometimes lack of time, but I always publish (if there are no technical problems of course) what I had planned to publish. And today that's no different.

Time ... In "The Pilgrimage" Petrus uses several exercises to learn Paulo. And today, that's why I titled this episode "time" we will look at an other exercise Paulo has to do.

the Road
Before the start of this exercise "The Speed Exercise" Petrus says the following:

[...] ‘It’s going to be worse that way,’ he said, ‘because time isn’t something that always proceeds at the same pace. It is we who determine how quickly time passes.” [...] (source: The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho)

In the Speed Exercise the goal is to really experience time by walking half as fast as you do normally. It's what sometimes is called "Saint Phitus-step". Let me try to explain that. The so called "Saint Phitus-step" means you have to do two steps forward and one back, two steps forward and one back. This will slow your walking speed. This way of walking makes you aware of time and as you start this you will think how to do it, but in a short time you don't have to think about it, it becomes an automatic way of walking.

Here is the description of the "Speed Excercise":

Walk for twenty minutes at half the speed at which you normally walk. Pay attention to the details,
people, and surroundings. The best time to do this is after lunch.

This exercise teaches us to be part of our surroundings paying attention to details and so on. Isn't that what we do as haijin?

wandering along the sea
in the footprints left an oyster
shimmering of a pearl

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until January 19th at noon (CET).

PS. Tomorrow January 15th 2017 at 10.00 PM (CET) our Carpe Diem Spring Retreat will start ... feel free to be part of it and invite others to be part of it too.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Carpe Diem #1123 the road is our teacher

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

To inspire you I have a quote for you from The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho.

[...] " When you are moving toward an objective, It is very important to pay attention to the road. It is the road that teaches us the best way to get there, and the road enriches us as we walk its length. You can compare it to a sexual relationship: the caresses of foreplay determine the intensity of the orgasm. Everyone knows that.
‘And it is the same thing when you have an objective in your life. It will turn out to be better or worse depending on the route you choose to reach it and the way you negotiate that route. That’s why the second RAM practice is so important; it extracts from what we are used to seeing every day the secrets that because of our routine, we never see." [...]
(Source: The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho.)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 18th at noon (CET).

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Carpe Diem #1122 leaving all behind

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to present to you our new episode of Carpe Diem. This month we are on the Road to Santiago guided by Petrus and the novel "The Pilgrmage" by Paulo Coelho. Yesterday I told you that the Road to Santiago has to do with growth and today I hope to inspire you through the "thought behind that growth and how to accomplish it".

After Paulo has learned the "Seed Exercise" they (he and Petrus) are walking seven days. And every day again Paulo does the "Seed Exercise". After those days he finally has become one with the "Seed Exercise" and he does it on the "automatic pilot", the "Seed Exercise" has become part of him. His spiritual growth starts.

While Paulo and Petrus are on their way they talk with each other. Paulo asks Petrus why he has left all his own projects behind to be his guide on the Road to Santiago, in the quest for his sword. Than Petrus answers:

Along the way to Santiago De Compostela

‘When you travel, you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passes more slowly, and on most journeys you don’t even understand the language the people speak. So you are like a child just out of the womb. You begin to be more accessible to others because they may be able to help you in difficult situations. And you accept any small favor from the gods with great delight, as if it were an episode you would remember for the rest of your life.
‘At the same time, since all things are new, you see only the beauty in them, and you feel happy to be alive. That’s why a religious pilgrimage has always been one of the most objective ways of achieving insight. The word peccadillo, which means a “small sin,” comes from pecus, which means “defective foot,” a foot that is incapable of walking a road. The way to correct the peccadillo is always to walk forward, adapting oneself to new situations and receiving in return all of the thousands of blessings that life generously offers to those who seek them.
‘So why would you think that I might be worried about a half-dozen projects that I left behind in order to be here with you?’ (Source: The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho)

reborn again leaving all behind first spring day

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't that what we do every day again? Every day is a new day, what is in the past doesn't exist anymore in the present, don't look forward ... be there right in the moment. Isn't that what we try to accomplish with our haiku or tanka? Isn't that what we tell in our haiku and tanka? Be part of the present, be in the moment, be one with the moment ... be the moment.

This is what (at least to me) this virtual pilgrimage is about ... to be the moment ....

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until January 17th at noon (CET). See you ...

Carpe Diem's Spring Retreat 2017 fragile beauty starts January 15th 10.00 PM (CET)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the Spring Retreat 2017. Last year we had two times a "retreat" one in summer and one in winter. This year I will do four (4) retreats following the seasons. Of course I am aware of the fact that the seasons are different on the Northern- and Southern Hemisphere, but because I am living on the Northern hemisphere I follow those seasons.

It's a wonderful way to give you the opportunity to create haiku, tanka, haiga or tank-art every day on a theme. For the Spring Retreat 2017 I have chosen the theme "fragile beauty" which refers to the fragile start of nature after the dark and cold winter. Every "retreat" will be organized around the middle of the season, so this Spring Retreat 2017 starts on January 15th (10.00 PM (CET)) and will run to February 15th (10.00 PM (CET)). It's a period of 30 days and I hope to inspire you to create every day of those 30 days a haiku or tanka themed "fragile beauty".

As I did at the announcement of our "winter retreat" I love to share a haiga to give you an idea od our new theme "fragile beauty".

first cherry blossom
so fragile, so beautiful
at least spring

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope this new retreat will inspire you an will give us the beauty we love so much.

You can link your haiku, tanka, haiga or tank-art to the linking widget as always, but please give your submissions, a number (e,g, day 1 than your submission is 1, day 2 is your submissions 2 ... and so on).

Try to catch the fragile beauty in your poetry, There is no need to use "fragile beauty" in your peotry you can also give a slight reference towards "fragile beauty".

The Spring Retreat 2017 "fragile beauty" starts January 15th 10.00 PM (CET). I hope to see you all here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai to celebrate spring 2017.