When birdsong is loud in the trees
I vow with all beings
to put down my work and to listen,
recreated as song. - Robert Aiken from The Dragon Who Never Sleeps
A gatha is a Buddhist vow that expresses the interconnectedness and interdependence of an individual with nature. The first line sets up a situation in nature beginning with the word when or whenever.
When planting lilies in my garden
When I hear the sparrows sing
When I smell sea spray
The second line, "I vow with all beings" represents the basic commitment of the Buddhist gatha. You might substitute another commitment or promise.
I promise to myself
I make a commitment to the earth
I pledge myself
The last two lines tell of the promise and begin with to.
to put aside worries
to stay focused
to engage with . . .
Gathas focus on everyday aspects of life and express how all beings and things connect. The gatha form becomes meaningful way to express the interdependence felt when observing nature.
When I hear the Black Phoebe's call
I promise to us both
to remain in the moment
and sing of love