Briars Haikus: A Meditative Exercise

By Glen Noble

This need arises
The demand for something new
Beyond where you stand

During the Summer Festival of 2018 at The Briars resort, one of my offerings was a collection of ten haikus that I created from the words of Dr. Mills’s Spontaneous Unfoldment™ entitled “The Living That Is New.”

I was first introduced to the concept of haiku poetry in high school and found it to be challenging, yet rewarding. The traditional form of a haiku is three lines: the first one made up of five syllables; the second, seven syllables; and the last, five syllables. One has to be able to distill and focus a limited number of words to offer something that is simple, intense, and direct, using phrases, sentences, and sometimes single words. The result, hopefully, brings sudden illumination or recognition.

One afternoon at The Briars found me on a tranquil veranda, looking out over the grounds to Lake Simcoe, as I extracted various five- and seven-syllable phrases from Dr. Mills’s profound Unfoldment. I came up with 74 five-syllable and 46 seven-syllable phrases (powerful in their own right) from which to choose. Upon finishing my list, I scanned the phrases until I found meaningful connections between them that reflected the Unfoldment in particular, and Dr. Mills’s teachings in general. It was a wonderful, meditative exercise to select the combinations and juxtapositions that create resonances and “aha!” moments. Here are some of the 120 phrases, not all of which were used.

5 Syllables:

the impelling force
fervor for meaning
redemptive power
Pentecostal fire
look at your own thoughts
a living Master

7 Syllables:

the drama of dynamics
to be a Great Light Artist
the evidence of Presence
the Wonder of the Glory
the demand for something new
you think you are an earthling
your tapestry, your carpet


Here are the rest of the haikus. Savour each, and pause between them.

Fervor for meaning
A Power of a Promise
Perceive the high point


Redemptive power
Wonder, Marvel, Miracle
The great Somethingness


Look at your own thoughts
To be a Great Light Artist
A living Master


And what is the need?
The evidence of Presence
Seek for a new Light


Meaning of the Quest
See the tale that each knot tells
Through the birds-eye view


You must bring meaning
The point of recognition
Reciting/sighting of Fact


Your impelling force
The door to higher feeling
Wonder and its might


In the name of need
You are searching and questing
Waiting to be Man


Accept the great Light
The Wonder of the Glory
Glory that is Man


I highly recommend the experience of composing a haiku, either from an Unfoldment or from life in general: it takes consideration, discipline, and intuition, and instills in the poet a heightened appreciation for language … and for life.


Portrait of Kenneth G. Mills, by Glen Noble, pencil on paper


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