Artist: Don Smith

Holy Man wearing dreadlocks covered in ash,
During the Hindu Festival of Shivaratri

On January 3rd, one in this Studio woke early in the morning. 4:20 am seems to be a time the winged monkeys from the Wizard of Oz like to appear bringing with them a sense of dread and displaced fear of the future. The Buddhist’s call it ‘Monkey Mind’; meaning thoughts are unsettled, restless, confused and uncontrollable. Monkey Mind (the uncontrolled thought) rampages through the forest (the mind) jumping from tree to tree and creating a sense of tension and upset. Taking simple deep, restorative breaths will often calm the monkey mind. Focus entirely on the inhale. Focus entirely on the exhale. Observe intruding thoughts but let them flow down the river without engaging them. Return your focus back to your breath. Inhale. Exhale. Slowly. Deliberately. Breathe. Just Breathe. That was my usual antidote but I had a very hard time keeping my focus on the breath so instead I picked up a new book, Jill Badonsky’s The AWE-manac. I opened it randomly to Page 13 where she introduces the possibility of having some fun with writing a Haiku. The Haiku comes from the Japanese tradition of poetry and is comprised of seventeen syllables in three unrhymed lines of five, seven and five syllables.

I reached for a scrap of paper and the pen I keep on my bedside table. The Monkey’s from Oz were already calming down in the trees. My focus had been diverted from their untamed tantrums to figuring out a Haiku. Here is what appeared on the page:

Haiku: Release Your Creative Dreadlocks

Dread imprisons Lust
Lust longs for AWE-some Passion
Passion destroys Dread

So next time the Monkey Mind takes you prisoner, give this a try.
Write a Haiku.
1st line = 5 syllables
2nd line = 7 syllables
3rd line = 5 syllables
Surprise yourself!
Allow the poet inside to swing from the trees in
the Forest of Imagination,
kissing the monkeys as you go!


pattie said...

Passion destroys dread indeed!!
Very good...very good!!
Be gone dreaded flying monkeys!!

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