A week ago, I'd have been leading a workshop on gratitude haiku. Why gratitude haiku, you ask?
First of all, a disclaimer. I'm using the word "haiku" very loosely. I understand that there's much more to haiku than the syllables per line (5-7-5). But I was asked to talk about spiritual journaling, and the gratitude haiku was part of a list of ways to use your journal as a spiritual practice.
I also talked about regular gratitude journaling: at the end of the day, write down 5 things that fill you with gratitude. No doubt that it's a powerful practice. But I wanted to be honest. When I've kept this discipline for any length of time, my gratitude lists begin to seem quite similar. As always, cultivating a quality of mindfulness does not come naturally to me.
I've only been doing the gratitude haikus for a few weeks, and they short-circuit my tendency to keep the same list. I find myself paying attention and trying on subjects for haiku possibilities. I find myself more lighthearted than I sometimes am when I'm keeping a gratitude journal--it's fun to write haikus.
Will this practice turn into drudgery eventually? I have no idea. Truthfully, I'm not likely to do this practice year after year. But it's a good practice to take up occasionally.
We talked about other ways to turn an ordinary journal into a spiritual journal. I'd like to experiment with a prayer journal: to actually write down my prayers. I'd like to go back later to see how they were answered.
I also talked about the journal as lectio devina, a way to focus attention on a particular Bible passage, a hymn, or a spiritual reading.
I talked about channeling our spiritual mentors, a process which I describe in more length in this post.
In what may feel like the edgiest suggestion, I said it would be interesting to write in the voice of God. What is God saying to you right now?
Like I said, I don't do any of these spiritual journaling practices exclusively, and thus regularly. But they are practices to which I return. They are practices which I'm happy to share with others.
feeling the feelings…
5 months ago