Mercy Center



An East-West Meditation Program


Meeting Quarterly on Saturdays
Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter
11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Mercy Center




Summer: August 17, 2019 (theme: Golden Hills & Summer Fog)


Fall: November 16 (theme TBD)


Winter: Date TBD


About the Haiku Kai

Do you enjoy reading or writing poetry? Do you find yourself drawn to contemplation in nature? Have you ever read haiku and felt an interest in learning about this form of poetic expression?


If you would like to learn more about haiku as a contemplative practice, visit the Four Seasons Haiku Kai. Founded in 1999 by Father Thomas Hand, S.J. ("Hando"), the group meets on four Saturdays – once every season – in January/February (Winter), April/May (Spring), July/Aug (Summer), and October/Nov (Fall).

At each meeting, we share our own haiku, as well as classic and modern haiku. A collection of poems by group members, Haiku Realms, can be purchased at Mercy Center bookstore.

New participants are always welcome. There is no advance registration required to attend meetings. You may contact Mark Werlin at for more information about the group.


Most Recent Meeting Report

2019  Spring Meeting  



Learn More

If you would like to read about an approach to haiku that was developed by Fr. Hand, we have compiled a guide in an easy-to-print PDF format. Please click the link below to read or download the guide.

The Haiku Path—An Introduction

The haiku path can be an extension of meditative or contemplative practice. A haiku poet seeks union with nature, an experience of non-duality, from which the haiku poem arises naturally. Contemplate even ordinary things and events closely. Let yourself become one with that which you contemplate; then express your experience in three short lines.

the puddles on the pavement
carry the moon, the stars
and cherry blossoms


About Hando

Hando was the name given by his Japanese students to Fr. Thomas Hand, S.J. During the 29 years he lived and worked in Japan, Fr. Hand taught the writing of haiku in English. He led the Four Seasons Haiku Kai and the Mercy Center East-West Meditation Community until his passing in 2005.

CLICK HERE to watch videos about Fr. Thomas Hand, S.J.


Haiku Websites

Haiku is practiced and studied throughout the world. Of the many Haiku poetry sites on the Internet, these have been especially recommended by members of the Four Seasons Haiku Kai.

Haiku Society of America

Haiku Poets of Northern California

Modern Haiku

Simply Haiku

A Hundred Gourds


Contemporary Haibun