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Haiku - the Sacred Art


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 CHAPTER ONE: The Heart of a Moment 9 CHAPTER TWO: A Simple Prayer 25 CHAPTER THREE: A Companionable Form 41 CHAPTER FOUR: A Sense of Time and Place 61 CHAPTER FIVE: Inspired Conversations 83 CHAPTER SIX: Haiku in Community 101 CHAPTER SEVEN: Haiku with Pictures or Prose 123 CHAPTER EIGHT: The Haiku Life 137 Acknowledgments 146 Haiku Resources 148 Notes 154 Suggestions for Further Reading 159 Credits 162 Index of Practices 167 Index of Poets 168

About the Author

Margaret D. McGee, a writer, teacher and leader of spiritual workshops and retreats, is author of Sacred Attention: A Spiritual Practice for Finding God in the Moment (SkyLight Paths), and Stumbling Toward God: A Prodigal's Return. Her haiku have been published in journals such as The Heron's Nest, bear creek haiku, and Wisteria. Her website,, hosts a forum to write and share haiku in response to the sacred writings of world religions.


"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." -Imam 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 an Imam "Captures the heart essence of a moment and the feelings it evokes by paying attention to small things and honoring the sacredness of everyday life." -Lucy Wynkoop, OSB, coauthor, Lectio Divina: Contemplative Awakening and Awareness "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 "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 "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 "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 "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

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