Haiku, Improvisation and Walking Meditation

Workshop with Sachiyo Ito at Dai Bosatsu Zen Monastery

Join Sachiyo Ito for composing haiku and walking meditation in the beautiful Zen monastery in Livingston Manor in the Catskills. Participants of every level will explore their creative and inner beings in this unique, communal experience. Based on the tradition of renga (linked verse), Sachiyo Ito will introduce to the art of linking haiku, and also haiku/dance through her demonstration. Participants will link haiku poems as a communal art, and also have an opportunity to experiment in linking haiku and movements and gestures, or other mediums of expressions. Linking haiku will be interspersed with walking meditation. Walking meditation is used for achieving awareness, single-pointedness of mind, being in the present — the here and the now. There will be a session for tea meditation, as well as optional sitting meditation at the monastery, which will provide Zen meals.

Workshop Topics

1. What is haiku and how is it composed in English?
2. What are Renga and Renku?
3. How to compose Renga
4. Improvisational movements and gestures inspired by haiku, and other mediums of expression
5. Haiku dance demonstration
6. The Japanese aesthetics and Zen culture
7. Japanese Tea Ceremony and tea meditation

Comments from participants

“Thanks again for such an inspiring workshop and weekend. The combination of poetry writing, dance, Zen studies, and a beautiful natural setting in the woods by a lake were gracefully integrated to make an enriching creative and spiritual experience.”
—Theresa Heron

“A unique cultural and creative experience . . . the walking meditation was very relaxing and a perfect first step for a beginner such as myself; the setting of the monastery, especially in autumn, was heavenly. It gave me renewed perspective on my life in the city.”
—Rose Cacioppo

“Thank you again for a very stimulating and enjoyable weekend. I think the balance between monastery activities and our own group work was very conducive to our mindfulness and receptivity to the entire experience.”
—Christopher Brunner

“I enjoyed Haiku and Meditation weekend very much. I learned to find joy in simple things and to live for the moment. It gave me a great feeling of peace, and the surroundings were so beautiful.”
—Martha Walker

Workshop Schedule

Friday

4:00 Arrival
5:30 Supper
6:30-7:30 Orientation to Zendo
7:30-9:00 Orientation to Workshop and introduction to haiku & renku

Saturday

5:00 Wake-up
5:20-7:00 Optional participation in thbe monastery’s service
7:15 Breakfast
7:45-8:15 Morning meeting
8:30-12:30 Session: relaxation, walking meditation, composing renku
1:00 Lunch
2:30-4:30 Session: Demonstration of haiku dance, video viewing on zenga, composing renku
5:15 Supper
6:30-8:30 Optional participation in the monastery’s service

Sunday

5:00 Wake-up
5:20-7:00 Optional participation in the monastery’s service
7:15 Breakfast
7:45-8:15 Morning meeting
8:30-11:00 Session: relaxation, walking meditation, composing renku
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Depart

 

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