Bindii Meeting report for February 11 2023

Stella, Lynette, Steve, Maeve and I met for our usual Zoom meeting. We received apologies from Maureen, Kaarin and Subha. Steve had undertaken to give us a fascinating introduction to Zen Buddhist teachings, in the context of wabi sabi. As a trained Buddhist teacher himself, he is amply qualified to speak on the subject. We all said afterwards that it would be wonderful if he could produce a webinar on the subject that could be broadcast to other members of the Australian Haiku Society and/or to the general public.

Steve connected the Buddhist precepts of impermanence, suffering and removal of the concept of self with the principles of wabi sabi. He added that the reality modes in Buddhism: emptiness, fullness and interconnectedness, also directly relate to wabi sabi.

The moment of enlightenment, Steve said, can itself be a manifestation of wabi sabi, in the sense that it is not a dramatic experience; it is more like a moment of intimacy with an everyday natural event.

Steve gave us some visual examples of what might be considered to be ‘wabi sabi’, such as the image of a bonsai pine growing in a distorted pot, or just the idea of a weathered tea house, with its tiny entrance that induces humility.

We workshopped a few of our own haiku with these concepts in mind, and further discussion about the poetic, as opposed to the Zen, approach to wabi sabi provoked food for thought that might provide an interesting topic at a future meeting.

The next Zoom meeting will be on Saturday, April 15 at 3pm.

The topic will be Childhood. We will bring some haiku of our own as well as other examples that we admire on this theme, possibly in the form of a sequence.

Julia Wakefield

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