How Writing Three Lines of Poetry Can Open Your Heart

Poetry can be a kind of meditation, explains Rashid Hughes. He explores how the art of haiku can bring a sense of peaceful, awe-inspired expressiveness into your practice.

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Life has so much to offer, if we’d only listen. The evening was young and my body tired from being in motion all day. There was an intrinsic quietness in the air, with gray skies above and an unceasing but very tender rainfall. I sat at my desk, looking out of my back window as I often do after a long day of reading or writing. The usual sounds of insects and animals on a late summer evening seemed to be very few. The candle flame to my left on my ancestor altar reminded me of the sacredness of resting, so I allowed myself a moment to just be. I enjoy cracking my window a little to listen to the rain with the coincidental thunder on the horizon. As I feel on many rainy days, I felt like the rain was inviting me to listen deeply, so I obeyed.

As I sat enjoying the rain for a while, I began reflecting on a few words from mama Alice Walker’s poem “Be Nobody’s Darling.”

Be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast

Be an outcast;
Be pleased to walk alone

I felt alone, but not separate. I exhaled. Something sacred was in the midst: an…