Zen found its way into the Japanese culture by way of the Shaolin monks, who learned Zen (Chan in Chinese) and Kung Fu from Bodhidharma.  In Zen Buddhism there are little glimpses of enlightenment (called kensho) that come to us from the seemingly mundane world. You’ve probably heard it expressed as a “zen moment” — though fleeting, an insight may come; it may reveal a truth; move us; or provide us with a sense of connection.

The Japanese poetic form Haiku communicates these little insightful “Zen” moments. In its simplicity, haiku conveys clean expression with few words. Content, meaning and color combine in compressed form as a clear mental image captures a feeling. It is the experience of fleeting things and change, like the seasons. Little life moments. Experienced and shared. Happening.

The social media microblogging site Twitter has a Zen quality. The premise of Twitter? Answer the question “what are you doing”? Each post, called a tweet is like a haiku – a fluid expression of a moment in time. Though Twitter doesn’t follow the formal haiku structure (3 lines; 5/7/5 syllables), here one is unburdened by verbosity (there is a 140 character limit on Twitter posts) as our human travails and observations are expressed. Little life moments. Experienced and shared. Happening.

Here’s our Zen moment (really), while writing this was posted on Twitter by fakelvis:

“A cup of tea in bed, antithetical, but I love it.”

Toni Josephson

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