Mindful of Haiku Poetry

Haiku is one of my favorite forms of poetry. I have tried my pen at writing my own Haiku. I fell in love with the poems of the Haiku masters such as Buson, Bashō, Issa. Buson was a poet and a painter (1715-83). He actually made a living as a painter as he produced haiga which combines haiku with pictures. His poetry is impressionistic  as he evokes nature.

For me Haiku evokes deep emotions and takes a snapshot of nature. The following is a poem by Buson I love and hope you enjoy.

Cherry petals scattered

In the water between seedlings of rice

moon and star light!

Buson

it is not difficult to practice mindfulness as you read this poem.

Challenge:

Write a Haiku poem about our crazy weather patterns lately.

Tip:

A Haiku poem is composed of three lines containing 17 syllables in the following pattern 5-7-5. You do not have to worry about rhyme. Please share your poems in the comments of this post. Hopefully other bloggers/poets will add to comments for a continued conversation during National History Month.

Happy wrining!

May your day be blessed with mindful moments!!!

 

 

 

 

Mindful Message

Dear Readers,

I was forced to take some time off from posting on a regular basis. I appreciate your support and hope to get back on a regular schedule of posts. You can expect to read posts three times a week. I will share my ideas and insights about becoming more mindful. I hope you join me on my journey to a more still, purposeful and mindful place.

Peace and Stillness,

Melba Christie

 

I found myself looking at this bookend I was dusting off as I was reorganizing my library. I thought about all the tragedy recently. I was hoping not to let negative feelings take over but we have had our share of crazy unstillness lately. I think I just made up a word. I realized that I needed to ease up and also figure out on how to help others regain ease and peace.

I sometimes have to talk myself into staying focused and on track with my goals. I remind myself that only I can simplify my commitments so I am not so overwhelmed. I have to work on being mindful of the daily distractions.

I looked at this jester type figure and focused on finding something comical or funny to get myself relaxed.  I picked up some joke books and had some hearty laughs. Afterwards I was able to fight off  the distractions and stay focused and still.

What do you do to stay focused and mindful? I would love to hear from you.

A Mindful Coffee Break

I think that most people would agree that there is something wonderful about the aroma of fresh coffee. This morning I decided I would pay more attention to my morning ritual of preparing the first cup of morning Joe or Java. I love language so I also looked up synonyms for coffee. Most of them are slang; I never knew that coffee could be “brain juice”. C8H10N4O2 is actually the representation of the coffee molecule. I delved a little more into the secret life of the coffee bean.

I learned so much about the fabulous “energy bean” and the information inspired me to be even more mindful of the process I go through every morning. I went to a local department store and counted at least 15 different kinds and types of coffee makers. It is truly mind-boggling. I remember when my father brought home a coffee pot for me to give my mom one Mother’s Day. It was blue enamel ware and my mother loved it. I actually bought one similar to that one a few years back at an antique shop. It brought back so many memories. But before that my mother would simply boil water, add a few tablespoons of ground Espresso coffee and use a cloth colander as a filter as she poured her dark morning juice over frothed whole milk. I have not tasted coffee like hers ever. Everyone loved her coffee. So I have been very mindful of trying to recreate her cup of early morning brew.

I ground the beans first and the aroma wakes me up a little. I froth the milk. Today I used a French press but I have two electric percolators, three different sized French presses, one Italian Espresso coffee pot and yes a white cone-shaped cloth colander like the one my mom used. It is brand new because I do not want it to get stained and because I know that at some point I will not be able to find another one like it.

I want to get a manual hand grinder. I use an electric one and it is loud. The milk frother is also a little loud but it is worth it because it does such a great job. Both the milk and the coffee have to be almost as hot. I pour the coffee over the frothed milk, add coconut palm sugar, and sprinkle cinnamon.

I try to sip slowly and I look out the bay window in my kitchen as I watch the birds frolic from tree limb to tree limb. The sun shines through that side of the house in the morning and I always find the shadow of something or other.

I watch as my husband dips his toast or crackers in his cup. He always exclaims that the coffee is perfect. I can almost hear my dad’s voice saying the same thing. Its was a very mindful morning coffee time.

 

Here are some links that might interest those of you who love coffee.

Coffee Pots and Makers

https://goo.gl/images/vgCs4W

The Origin of Coffee

https://www.africaresource.com/house/news/our-announcements/21-the-history-of-coffee

The Long History of the Espresso Machine

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-long-history-of-the-espresso-machine-126012814/

Happy Coffee Time!!!!

 

 

Eating Mindfully To Stay Healthy

I really do not believe in making resolutions for the New Year but my decision to change some eating habits coincided with the beginning of January 2018. I figured since I am developing a blog on mindfulness it would be good to include eating mindfully as one of the components of the blog.

I recently suffered from food poisoning after dining at a local restaurant. No one else became ill so I am almost positive that it was the food I ate that day.  I have been recuperating ever since Thanksgiving so this is why I have not posted much lately. But I am back and feeling a lot better and energetic.

I’ve been keeping a journal of what I eat and try to plan my meals a few days in advance. My daughter gave me the idea. Planning meals and shopping for the ingredients should all be done in a meaningful and mindful way. I find myself paying more attention to food labels and looking for expiration dates. I write down my own recipes now, something I never thought to do before. I experiment with new recipes more than I used to before and reflect on the outcomes. I write about how the meal made me feel and if my family enjoyed it.

It is said that when we take our time eating and focus on how the food will fulfill its task of keeping our bodies healthy and strong the food id better digested.

I have always loved to cook. I learned at a very early age. I was a latch key kid and my mother taught me to make rice and other side dishes so that when she got home dinner would be almost half way done. I always watched her carefully. She too had a kind of love affair with food. I learned that food makes everybody happy in one way or another. She taught me that the main and most important ingredient was love. Food is the best path to the heart. We tend to remember and reminisce about the aroma of grandma’s cookies or in my case mom’s soups. The aroma was comforting.

For the holidays I decided to try my luck at making fruit cake. I know you either love it or hate it. I just happen to know a few people who love it. I looked for different recipes and looked at YouTube videos to make sure I followed procedures and directions. I finally decided on this one recipe. I must say I am not one of the people who love fruitcake but the one I made was simply sumptuous. The true taste test was by a dear friend and a relative that let’s just say they have had their share of fruitcake. Well, I received five stars. I felt so accomplished and so proud.

During the confection of this cake I was mindful and very careful because I truly wanted it to be the best. I remember gathering all the fruit in a large bowl and slowly pouring orange juice over the mixture. The aroma was amazing. I purposely did not add any brandy or other alcoholic drink. I used lemon rind and vanilla.

Every day I try to focus on one part of the recipe and try to use as many of the five senses as I can. Since cooking has now become a mindful adventure I cannot tell you how much more content I am after I make a meal. My husband is also a very happy camper.

5 Steps to Follow:

  1. Free your mind. Concentrate on the aromas or the shapes of foods that you put together.
  2. Plan your meal ahead and make sure you have all the ingredients.
  3. Be willing to improvise and be creative
  4. When you taste something, think about where it came from. For example, when you are making a pineapple upside down cake, visualize the fields and how the fruit was picked.
  5. Write down people’s feedback and write down your critique. Take photos of the finished product and keep them in your diary.