Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 199

Thread: Gathas

  1. #1

    Gathas

    I really like working with gathas. I wrote about them on my blog, and I love the ones written by Thich Nhat Hanh and Robert Aitken.

    I write a few of my own from time to time and I thought I would start a thread to share them. Hopefully you guys will share some also.

    Here's a few of my favorite's from Aitken to get started (same ones I posted on my blog):

    When someone offers a drink
    I vow with all beings
    to acknowledge the sorrow it causes
    as it warms and gladdens our hearts.

    When the outcome proves disappointing
    I vow with all beings
    to look again at my purpose-
    was it Dharma or something else?

    When I panic at losing my bearings
    I vow with all beings
    to acknowledge the error is panic,
    not losing familiar ground.

    When my efforts are clearly outclassed
    I vow with all beings
    to face my own limitations
    and bring forth my original self.

    Looking up at the sky
    I vow with all beings
    to remember this infinite ceiling
    in every room of my life.

    When a car goes by late at night
    I vow with all beings
    to remember the lonely bakers
    who secretly nourish us all.

    When a train rattles by at the crossing
    I vow with all beings
    to remember my mother and father
    and imagine their thoughts in the night.

  2. #2

    Re: Gathas

    Gathas....they are like Buddhist stickies. :mrgreen: :P

  3. #3

    Re: Gathas

    Gassho.

    Mandy

  4. #4

    Re: Gathas

    Hi,

    We will be reciting various Gatha during our upcoming 2-day Ango/Jukai/Rohatsu Retreat ... for going to the bathroom, brushing teeth, meals ... and I will have a talk up about that on the sit-a-long before the retreat.

    I think that they speak for themselves, and help us realize that our every little daily action is sacred in its way, is the basis for our life, and has effects.

    Gassho, J

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    4,693

    Re: Gathas

    Shinkai,

    Thank you for this; many bows.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  6. #6

    Re: Gathas

    I particularly like the encouragement by some teachers to create our own gathas . . . that way we are never without one.

    Gassho,
    Eika

  7. #7

    Re: Gathas

    Here is my work gatha for today:

    When sitting in my cubicle waiting for Christmas vacation
    I vow with all beings
    To turn and face my work and my officemates
    as if they're the gifts waiting for me.

  8. #8

    Re: Gathas

    And another for my biggest non-problem Zen problem, gossip:

    When I catch myself assigning reasons and motives
    I vow with all beings
    To find and expose all of my most private reasons and motives
    Before guessing anyone else's.

  9. #9

    Re: Gathas

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkai
    And another for my biggest non-problem Zen problem, gossip:

    When I catch myself assigning reasons and motives
    I vow with all beings
    To find and expose all of my most private reasons and motives
    Before guessing anyone else's.

    These are wonderful, Shinkai!

    Anyone else with some "homemade" Gatha?

  10. #10

    Re: Gathas

    Dealing with inlaws
    I vow with all beings
    to broaden my view of family
    and broaden my heart until it breaks open.

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    2,937

    Re: Gathas

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkai
    Here is my work gatha for today:

    When sitting in my cubicle waiting for Christmas vacation
    I vow with all beings
    To turn and face my work and my officemates
    as if they're the gifts waiting for me.
    All of these are wonderful Shinkai! Thank you for the gifts!! This one i will be using many times daily - Thank you!!


    Gassho
    Shohei

  12. #12

    Re: Gathas

    Thank you all for your nice comments!

    Here is my gatha for this afternoon:

    Grinding fresh afternoon coffee
    I vow with all beings
    to inhale each moment
    dropping likes and dislikes.

  13. #13

    Re: Gathas

    When receiving criticism for my work
    I vow with all beings
    that I will accept the marks
    and adjust the mark before I shoot again.

  14. #14

    Re: Gathas

    When committing to resolutions
    I vow with all beings
    to keep the Dharma in mind with each goal
    and to let all the goals drop from each mind.

  15. #15

    Re: Gathas

    Waiting for news
    I vow with all beings
    to stand solidly and wait patiently
    on the ground of not knowing.

  16. #16
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Gathas

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkai
    And another for my biggest non-problem Zen problem, gossip:

    When I catch myself assigning reasons and motives
    I vow with all beings
    To find and expose all of my most private reasons and motives
    Before guessing anyone else's.
    Ooh, that's a good one!

    Chet

  17. #17

    Re: Gathas

    Hearing my alarm
    I vow with all beings
    To wake up to this world
    Instead of remaining in deep slumber.

    These are much easier when one doesn't try to make them happen, this one came as I almost fell down the stairs :idea:

  18. #18

    Re: Gathas

    Unpacking boxes
    I vow with all beings
    To unpack my preconceptions and judgements
    And leave my mind open and free

  19. #19

    Re: Gathas

    I love these Gathas. I never knew you could make your own

  20. #20

    Re: Gathas

    Yeah. Neither did I.
    Guess I'll start writing my own soon.
    Are there any formal rules, like number of syllabes or something?

    Gassho

    Da5id

  21. #21

    Re: Gathas

    I think other types of practice actually use Gatha's during meditation as an object of mind. I assume that is not what is being recommended in this thread, correct?

    Thanks,

    Craig

  22. #22

    Re: Gathas

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz
    I think other types of practice actually use Gatha's during meditation as an object of mind. I assume that is not what is being recommended in this thread, correct?

    Thanks,

    Craig
    Correct!

    We do no think of Gatha when sitting Zazen.

    On the other hand, rising from the cushion (or before we sit), we may bring "Zazen mind" into reciting a Gatha ... a feeling of non-gaining wholeness in the recitation, and in the act described in the recitation (that when we brush our teeth it is all of time and space brushing, and there is not another thing that one had better be doing in that moment)!

    Gassho, J

  23. #23

    Re: Gathas

    I agree. Gathas help me to prepare myself to do a task more mindfully.
    There is a gatha from Thich Nhat Hanh which I like to recite before starting zazen:

    Entering the meditation hall,
    I see my true self.
    As I sit down,
    I vow to cut off all disturbances.

    And this one about washing teeth is also nice

    Brushing my teeth and rinsing my mouth,
    I vow to speak purely and lovingly.
    When my mouth is fragrant with right speech,
    a flower blooms in the garden of my heart.


    Gassho

    Da5id

  24. #24
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,049
    Blog Entries
    119

    Re: Gathas

    May this offering bring peace to all sentient beings;
    May our thoughts and meditations contribute to the harmony of the universe;
    And, may all hearts and minds be opened to the present.

  25. #25
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Midcoast Maine
    Posts
    1,749
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: Gathas

    Shinkai,
    A Gatha for coffee! Thank you! This is an altar at which I spend considerable amounts of time in reflection :wink:

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkai
    Grinding fresh afternoon coffee
    I vow with all beings
    to inhale each moment
    dropping likes and dislikes.
    Wonderful!

    Gassho,
    Yugen

  26. #26

    Re: Gathas

    The local Zen group by me adopted one of TNH's, and it's become the first part of my early morning practice upon waking up. I have a pinecone on my night table to remind me.

    "Waking up, I smile.
    Twenty-four brand new hours stretch out before me!
    I vow to live fully in each of them,
    And to view all beings with the eyes of compassion."

  27. #27

    Re: Gathas

    Here is one that I chant at work sometimes, especially when I'm feeling frustrated or catch myself starting to have a pity-party. It helps center me and remind myself that I am one of the lucky, miniscule few who are gainfully employed in this world:


    Master Baizhang imparts, "A day without work is a day without food"
    It is through this work that I sustain myself, my family, and all living beings
    It is through this work that I convey the Boddhisattva Vows
    I dedicate today's work to all those who have taught me
    And all those who I may teach in turn
    With great admiration and gratitude
    All Buddhas throughout space and time

  28. #28
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    996

    Re: Gathas

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkai
    When I panic at losing my bearings
    I vow with all beings
    to acknowledge the error is panic,
    not losing familiar ground.
    Man, do I need this one. A lot. Thank you.

    Gassho,

    Jen

  29. #29

    Re: Gathas

    What a great resource! Thanks to everyone thus far.

    Today, I'll be working on one that starts,

    "When my attention is disrupted by another
    I vow with all beings..."

    Feel free to suggest away!

  30. #30

    Re: Gathas

    Reviving this topic, I will be committing to writing a gatha every day for Ango. If anyone would like to join me, please do.

  31. #31

    Re: Gathas

    You already have so many good ones! I'm still working on my first...!

  32. #32
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    687

    Re: Gathas

    This is a great thread!
    Here is my favourite short meal gatha adapted from ZMM:

    We receive this food
    in gratitude to all beings who helped to bring it to our table
    and vow in turn to respond to those in need
    with wisdom and compassion.

  33. #33

    Re: Gathas

    Quote Originally Posted by Nindo
    This is a great thread!
    Here is my favourite short meal gatha adapted from ZMM:

    We receive this food
    in gratitude to all beings who helped to bring it to our table
    and vow in turn to respond to those in need
    with wisdom and compassion.
    Ditto! This is the one we say at dinner together...of course my 2 y/o just mumbles it...then again, I suppose all our utterances are just mumbles.

    G,

    s

  34. #34

    Re: Gathas

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    You already have so many good ones! I'm still working on my first...!
    And you'll never stop :wink:

    Biking around town
    I vow with all beings
    To always pass on the left
    Because we can never be sure what's right

    *ba dum chhhhhhhhhhh*

  35. #35

    Re: Gathas

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    You already have so many good ones! I'm still working on my first...!
    And you'll never stop :wink:

    Biking around town
    I vow with all beings
    To always pass on the left
    Because we can never be sure what's right

    *ba dum chhhhhhhhhhh*

    :mrgreen:

    Clever

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  36. #36

    Re: Gathas

    OK, #1, inspired by the latest Zen Seeds pieces on "We Are All Related" and "Selfless Religious Practice":

    When my attention is disrupted by another
    I vow with all beings
    To respond "Yes," selflessly and immediately
    Recognizing the water’s flow as life.

  37. #37

    Re: Gathas

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    OK, #1, inspired by the latest Zen Seeds pieces on "We Are All Related" and "Selfless Religious Practice":

    When my attention is disrupted by another
    I vow with all beings
    To respond "Yes," selflessly and immediately
    Recognizing the water’s flow as life.
    This is awesome Chris. _/_

  38. #38

    Re: Gathas

    Phew: two meetings today that could have degenerated into painful, messy conflicts. Instead of plunging into the abyss of everything that's bad about our racist, classist society, we managed to just talk. Got me thinking about another gatha:

    When conflict appears imminent and inevitable
    I vow with all beings
    To sit, be still, and listen,
    Because we're all near the edge of the roof.

    Apologies to Rumi.

  39. #39

    Re: Gathas

    in the midst of the storm
    when the eight winds buffet me
    i vow with all beings
    to stand firm
    one fart at a time

    Gassho,
    Engyo

  40. #40

    Re: Gathas

    :lol: Yeah, when you're keeping the buttocks firm, sometimes, well.....

  41. #41

    Re: Gathas

    Strumming the ukulele
    I vow with all beings
    to remember the hollow is just as important
    as the strings, the metal and the wood.

  42. #42

    Re: Gathas

    Signing onto Treeleaf today,
    I vow to see each poster as a teacher,
    Each member as a friend and brother or sister,
    Each difference as a new facet of a great jewel.

  43. #43
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    2,937

    Re: Gathas

    Quote Originally Posted by KvonNJ
    Signing onto Treeleaf today,
    I vow to see each poster as a teacher,
    Each member as a friend and brother or sister,
    Each difference as a new facet of a great jewel.
    YOINK!

    (thats the sound of me swiping this and some other goodies)

    I Vow to thank you all,
    However possible, when ever possible
    for the immeasurable benefit found with you all!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  44. #44
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Marcos, California
    Posts
    1,469

    Re: Gathas

    I vow with all beings
    To leave every room
    Cleaner than I found it

  45. #45
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,024

    Re: Gathas

    Hi All,

    This one was inspired by a recent family outing.....

    Eating my way through the State Fair
    I vow with all beings
    To always strive to maintain a fair state of mind by avoiding the hungers of delusion

  46. #46
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,024

    Re: Gathas

    Gatha on a stick!!

  47. #47
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Northeast Georgia
    Posts
    578

    Re: Gathas

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson
    Gatha on a stick!!
    :lol:

  48. #48
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,049
    Blog Entries
    119

    Re: Gathas

    As I bite down on each morsel to feel the food break and crumble as it mingles with the juices;
    I think of its taste and aroma and, how I am preparing this medicine to nourish my body.
    I think of every sentient being that contributed to allowing me to perform this operation;
    How I contribute in return to this mystical union.
    And I am thankful.

  49. #49
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Marcos, California
    Posts
    1,469

    Re: Gathas

    As I am met with seemingly impenetrable odds
    I vow with all beings
    To stay steady and true

  50. #50

    Ango Gatha 1

    Preparing my sitting space for the start of Ango zazenkai
    I vow with all beings
    to both accept the dust
    and clear it without regret

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •