Friday, June 20, 2014

Writing Gathas

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

Arrange gathas to connect and express your interdependence with nature.

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