Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Let's Gather Gathas! (& how-to)

  1. #1

    Let's Gather Gathas! (& how-to)

    hello,

    i did try researching this topic on my own -- in the forums and via search engines.

    i found links and posts with written gathas and member-submitted gathas, and articles about gathas by famous Zen monks.

    i have not found any resources about how to create a gatha, other than it has four lines (according to one website).

    but four lines of what? what is a gatha comprised of?

    Haiku has certain rules that must be followed. do gathas have rules also? a certain format?

    please forgive if i am over-thinking this (probably). but with rohatsu, i saw the additional verses and gathas, and became very interested in learning how to write more.

    any resources or guidance would be most appreciated. perhaps i just don't know the correct search terms.

    gassho
    kim
    st lh
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-20-2019 at 06:16 AM.
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  2. #2
    Hi Kim,

    Let's start a new "MAKE ONE'S OWN GATHA" thread here and now!


    We have done this in the past, and folks can just create and post the creative little Gathas they make. 'Gatha' are just short, meaningful little recitations which can be recited to accompany many 'ordinary' daily activities to remind us how sacred they are, and how all support our life and practice.

    Our Treeleaf Poet Laureates Kokuu, Tai Shi and friends may have some more formal instructions, but I think that a Gatha simply is 3 or 4 short lines which brings some small Buddhist lesson to some moment of our day or life. Themes can be helping others, impermanence, equanimity, connection, the wonder of the seemingly mundane ... any rather Buddhist theme ... often with a little wit and humor involved. We remember the specialness and sacredness of the small and ordinary events and connections of life that we tend to ordinarily overlook. Here are a few examples from a prior thread we had like this ... (thanks to our old member Al for most of these) ...

    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.

    ...


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

    ...


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

    ...

    Waiting for news
    I vow with all beings
    to stand solidly and wait patiently
    on the ground of not knowing.
    Like that. During our Rohatsu Retreat, we recited some Gatha to remind ourselves of the sacredness of washing the face and going to the toilet ...


    Using the toilet
    I vow with all beings
    to eliminate defilement,
    removing greed, anger and ignorance.

    ...


    Bathing the body,
    may all living beings
    be clean in body and mind,
    pure and shining within and without.


    Something like that. If I may, I am even going to adjust the name of this thread a bit to ... Let's Gather Gathas!

    Folks, keep your submissions coming, no limit on how many folks make or post.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-20-2019 at 06:23 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3

    Let's Gather Gathas! (& how-to)

    Wrapping gifts
    I vow with all beings
    to remember that giver, receiver and gift are one.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  4. #4
    As my thoughts turn toward chocolate,
    I vow, with all beings, to release them
    from that duty and to stick
    close to my skinbag here and now

    gassho
    doyu sat/lah today
    Last edited by Doyū; 01-15-2020 at 08:15 PM. Reason: constructive crit!
    自己を忘れ、他人のために生きる

  5. #5
    A little more information on the phrase that is commonly found in Gatha as "together with all sentient beings" or "l vow with/for all beings" or "may all living beings" or the like (当願衆生). This is a vital, really indispensable phrase in Gatha.

    The reason is to dedicate the merit to other sentient beings, hoping that they will gain insight and liberation from the doing of such acts. By doing so, a seeming neutral act which is neither particularly positive or negative in Karmic effect (such as sleeping, washing the face, drinking tea, unlike a particularly hateful or angry act, for example) is turned into a positive action because of that concern for the well-being of others. Suddenly, one is not merely drinking tea for oneself, but for all beings, and thus the good Karma happens.

    Most of our actions during the day are neutral or rather ignored and unnoticed as anything special, so the dedication within the Gatha creates a positive nature to the act, and the Gatha itself helps us notice how wondrous it is even to engage in the most ordinary behavior in our day. lt also reminds us that we are --never-- practicing simply for ourselves, but rather, for the benefit of all sentient being whom we have vowed to rescue and liberate in our Bodhisattva Vows.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    A little more information on the phrase that is commonly found in Gatha as "together with all sentient beings" or "l vow with/for all beings" or "may all living beings" or the like (当願衆生). This is a vital, really indispensable phrase in Gatha.

    The reason is to dedicate the merit to other sentient beings, hoping that they will gain insight and liberation from the doing of such acts. By doing so, a seeming neutral act which is neither particularly positive or negative in Karmic effect (such as sleeping, washing the face, drinking tea, unlike a particularly hateful or angry act, for example) is turned into a positive action because of that concern for the well-being of others. Suddenly, one is not merely drinking tea for oneself, but for all beings, and thus the good Karma happens.

    Most of our actions during the day are neutral or rather ignored and unnoticed as anything special, so the dedication within the Gatha creates a positive nature to the act, and the Gatha itself helps us notice how wondrous it is even to engage in the most ordinary behavior in our day. lt also reminds us that we are --never-- practicing simply for ourselves, but rather, for the benefit of all sentient being whom we have vowed to rescue and liberate in our Bodhisattva Vows.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Thank you Jundo

    Gassho
    Washin
    ST
    Kaido (有道) Every Way
    Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
    ----
    I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything what I say must not be considered as teaching
    and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    A little more information on the phrase that is commonly found in Gatha as "together with all sentient beings" or "l vow with/for all beings" or "may all living beings" or the like (当願衆生). This is a vital, really indispensable phrase in Gatha.

    The reason is to dedicate the merit to other sentient beings, hoping that they will gain insight and liberation from the doing of such acts. By doing so, a seeming neutral act which is neither particularly positive or negative in Karmic effect (such as sleeping, washing the face, drinking tea, unlike a particularly hateful or angry act, for example) is turned into a positive action because of that concern for the well-being of others. Suddenly, one is not merely drinking tea for oneself, but for all beings, and thus the good Karma happens.

    Most of our actions during the day are neutral or rather ignored and unnoticed as anything special, so the dedication within the Gatha creates a positive nature to the act, and the Gatha itself helps us notice how wondrous it is even to engage in the most ordinary behavior in our day. lt also reminds us that we are --never-- practicing simply for ourselves, but rather, for the benefit of all sentient being whom we have vowed to rescue and liberate in our Bodhisattva Vows.

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    Thank you very much for this instruction, and for the kanji.


    kim
    st lh
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  8. #8
    I'm not sure that the following counts as gatha, but it's something I have recently added to my daily (mostly) practice for deeply personal reasons. I can't claim altruism on this one. Close family friends have been impacted by certain events lately, and my borrowing from Treeleaf liturgy is my attempt to gain perspective and respond in an appropriate way to the continued violence in my city, in alignment with the vows I have just committed my life to.

    ________________________________

    "I am here from the efforts of all sentient beings of all space and time.
    I offer this meal of many virtues and tastes to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha,
    and to all life in every realm of existence. I also am a part of this meal.
    May all sentient beings in the universe be sufficiently nourished."


    "I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill,
    and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life."

    I cannot support any act of killing; no killing can be justified.
    But not to kill is not enough.
    I must also learn ways to prevent others from killing and committing acts of senseless violence,
    for the benefit of all sentient beings throughout all space and time."

    _________________________________

    this is just my perspective and based on my personal experience and background. not saying it is right or appropriate for everyone. probably not even gathas, but -- for now -- it's helping me to sift through some deeply challenging situations that have no good answers, and to be a calm presence for my family and others when they need it.

    gassho
    Meian (kim)
    st lh
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

Posting Permissions

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