R. H. Blyth says it well: The one thing that a haiku
poet is instinctively and consciously on guard against is
Vol.. I, p. 286, original edition.]
A genuine haiku poet is one who has not lost the heart of
by a passage by Mencius.]
Haiku place living above thinking.
The haiku poet finds perceptual reality supremely more important
than conceptual reality.
Haiku are oases in the desert of technology.
Haiku are about experiences and experiencing, the experiencer
exists only by implication.
Haiku are the infinite ways of expressing the finite.
Authentic haiku look into the nature of reality
not through intellective analysis but by deep absorption
so that awareness is not superficial but profoundly intuitive.
on words by Mu Soeng Sunim.]
In haiku we inter are.
Although simile occasionally occurs in Japanese masters
haiku, it is rather rare. Perhaps for us the main reason
that good haiku seldom use simile is exemplified by the
proverb Comparisons are odious. Haiku is the
comparison-less poetry of Suchness.
Genuine haiku poets generally accept the proposition that
they and their creations should not be self-centered. This
view is excellently expressed by Arnold Toynbee in his book
A Historians Approach to Religion (New York,
1956, pp. 4-5): Self-centeredness is an intellectual
error because no living creature is in truth the center
of the universe; and it is also a moral error, because no
living creature has a right to act as if it were the center
of the universe. It has no right to treat its fellow creatures,
the universe and God or Reality as if they existed simply
in order to minister to one self-centered living creatures
For haiku poets all entities have equal value, for every
entity has infinite or absolute value.
on words of R. H. Blyth.]
Haiku have a strong ally in the modern and influential process
philosophy, which holds that the processes of change and
relations between events are more basic than the concept
of enduring self-contained entities, that nature is a dynamic
web of interconnected events, characterized by both uniqueness
as well as order, and also that human life and non-human
life are not separated by any absolute demarcation.
in part by a passage of Ian G. Barbours.]
The study and practice of haiku encourage one to move from
a narrow, ego-centered venue to one that is limitlessly
open. It is an awakening to the dynamic suchness of the
in part by a passage of Taitetsu Onnos.]
A genuine haiku murmurs Just this, just this.
The haiku poet leaves everything in its own state and place,
and follows the natural order of existence.
Haiku poets should not allow their words, their mode of
expression, to exceed the suchness of the entities presented
in their haiku.