Just before I fully acknowledged the necessity of closing Jala Yoga, I began a study and practice of the art of Haiku. As I journey into the heart of this simple form of poetry, I realize just how timely it was that I’d come to this now. It is not merely a form of poetry; it is a way of seeing, of living, that has called me to enter this season fully, with presence and simplicity, one breath at a time:
Natalie Goldberg writes in Three Simple Lines:
“What is the Way of haiku? Bare attention, no distractions, pure awareness, noticing only what is in the moment. Being connected to the seasons, unconnected to self-clinging. And then, out of that, composing your experience in three lines that go beyond logic, that make the mind leap. In the center, a taste of emptiness. A frog, a crow, a turnip—the ordinary right in front of you is the realm of awakening. Pure Zen but not Zen…the philosophy of wabi-sabi, finding beauty in the simple and elemental, in things imperfect, incomplete…the perfect sense of sabi, subtle, always-present impermanence, the passing of seasons, and its exquisite perception of longing, loneliness, and surrender.”
And so, I surrender to this changing season, to impermanence, to this incomplete and imperfect moment. It is a cracked cup. A deer on the edge of the forest with autumn leaves and drying grasses. A tiny drop of dew left as a tear on the grass.
I am not good at the art of haiku, nor the Way. So, I am practicing.
The mountain welcomes.
I quiver at stillness underfoot.
Inside, a new world.
My friends, the practice, the way, is in the stillness and presence and breath at the center of this very moment. This one, that is moving onward even as you read these words. You will not stop practicing. As long as you have breath, there is another moment to lean into the experience of yoga.
As sure as I know it is time to let go of this container, I know that the practice will go on.
—Christa Mastrangelo Joyce