Carpe Diem’s “Tackle It Tuesday” #3, Absence of Vanity



Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The Song of the 18 Ity’s is still going on like a babbling brook. Sri Swami Sivananda composed this song after he stopped working as a Medical Doctor and moved from Malaysia to Rishikesh (India) at the foot of the Himalayians. He became a yogi and composed The Song of the 18 Ity’s in which he shared his thoughts and insights after sveral years. He was an Enlightened being. 

Sri Swami Sivananda (1887-1963)

Sri Swami Sivananda (1887-1963)

As I started this WordPress weblog, as a new (spiritual) part of our Carpe Diem Haiku Family the thought was to bring a very important part of the classic haiku into the footlights … spirituality …
The classic haiku was (and still is) a way to express and honor the beauty and richness of nature based on the Zen Buddhistic spiritual thoughts. In every haiku, (as I try myself everytime again as I write/compose haiku) there has to be something deeper, a layer hidden in the scene, image of that short moment like the sound of a pebble thrown into water. I hope that Tackle It Tuesday can bring spirituality, honoring and celebrating the beauty of nature back into haiku.
Before we can bring that, spirituality, back into haiku, we have to be in balance and in close touch with nature ourselves. The 18 Ity’s can be very helpfull with that.

Japanese Garden

let us go on with the third Ity Absence of Vanity. Picture this (sorry I am a fan of the TV-show “The Golden Girls” in which Sophia uses that phrase often): You are in a wonderful Japanese Garden in which the most beautiful trees, bushes and flowers are blooming. In a little corner of the garden we find a gazebo for the tea-ceremony. The garden is neither a big one or a small one. To enter the gazebo we have to follow a path of stepping stones, 18 of course (smiles), every stone stands for one of the 18 Ity’s and we have already taken two of them (Serenity and Regularity). Now we are stepping on the third, Absence of Vanity. We pause a while, looking around us. We are silent and are listening. We hear the waterfall, that’s at our left side of us in a gorgeous pond with blooming Lotuses. We hear the song of birds and the rustling of the leaves of the Ginkgo Tree. It’s a meditative moment. We are enjoying the sounds of nature and become one with that beautiful nature. Here it is were we realize that only nature is beautiful. We have no idea of ourselves and we are one with our surroundings. One with nature.

I think that’s what Sivananda meant with Absence of Vanity. Vanity is not only about beauty or jealousy. Imagine that someone is telling you about how bad his life is by lack of money, bad health and so on. Our first response (basically and natural) is that we think that our life is even more bad than his life. STOP! Don’t compare yourself with the other. Give him the love of listening to him and think: “I am listening to you. I hear only the good things in your words”. It’s not about outer beauty or intrinsic feelings. If you are opening up to him without Vanity than you give him space to open up to you, to become in real contact. That gives you room for contact, for empathy and love.
It will make your life more beautiful and rich, than you have compassion with the other. Than you are open to connect with him. At the base of this step, this Ity, is the thought of “loving your neighbor as you are loving yourself”.

Isn’t it beautiful? Here in that last sentence we see how Eastern and Western religion and spirituality are connecting with eachother. There is a saying that says “All Gods Are One” and I think that’s so true and that’s what happens here in this third Ity Absence of Vanity.

lotus pond

in deep silence
I hear the beauty of nature –
Lotuses bloom

© Chèvrefeuille

This third episode is open for your submissions today at noon (CET) and will remain open until next Tuesday at noon (CET). Have fun, be inspired and share your haiku inspired on the third Ity Absence of Vanity with us all here at Carpe Diem’s Tackle It Tuesday.

photo 1: Japanese Garden
photo 2: Lotus Pond



9 thoughts on “Carpe Diem’s “Tackle It Tuesday” #3, Absence of Vanity

  1. Just reading this post is therapy in the making, Kristjaan. I often do visualization with youths on the phone and as they go to `their place`I visit mine as well many times and during those minutes of silence…we are one.

    Liked by 1 person

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