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Compassion Haiku: daily insights and practise for developing compassion for yourself and for others.

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Title: Compassion Haiku: daily insights and practise for developing compassion for yourself and for others.

Author: Karl Grass

Publisher: Amazon,co,uk, Great Britain. 2013.

Reviewer: Liz Lees, consultant nurse and senior research fellow, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham

What was it like?

The book is a collection of daily reflections (encompassing 365 days of a year) based on the impact of Haiku in considering Compassion. Haiku for those less familiar is Japanese poetry, which written in English represents three short sentences to consider a subject and aimed to spark ideas. I was not familiar with Haiku until I read through this book. The author uses Haiku to reflect upon and illustrate examples of how it is possible to develop compassion.  With the 6 C’s for nursing being current policy and topical – this book will assist the consideration of Compassion and perhaps how nurses can integrate this into care delivery.

I particularly enjoyed some of the reflections that made me think about my “perspective” on a particular topic and how this relates to Compassion.


What were the highlights? 

It is extremely difficult to pin down a highlight for this book,  as the book itself is intended to take you on a personal journey – incrementally building on your own exercises taken from the reflections given and images you may form. I had a few “aha” moments where I totally submerged myself in the pages.

Strengths & weaknesses:

Its strength is its difference. It is not an academic text but there is a natural convergence with caring/clinical topics and ultimately, care delivery. Its weakness is perhaps that individuals might not be able to translate and enact this work into practice in the clinical field. For example, the reflections have to “strike a chord” with the reader and when they do, they need to be applied. This book will challenge those who don’t reflect – it represents a reflection and action in statements for every day.

Who should read it?

This book will appeal to health care professionals, perhaps specifically those who are on leadership, coaching courses where they are the subjects of development. Those of us caring for older relatives or carers more generally may find support in reading this work.

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