Gathas are short verses that help us practice mindfulness in our daily activities.
A gatha can open and deepen our experience of simple acts which we often take for granted. When we focus our mind on a gatha, we return to ourselves and become more aware of each action. When the gatha ends, we continue our activity with heightened awareness.
As we turn on the water faucet we can look deeply and see how precious the water is. We remember not to waste a single drop because there are so many people in the world who don’t even have enough to drink. While brushing our teeth we can make a vow to use loving speech. Before turning on the engine of our car, we can prepare for a safe journey by reciting the gatha for starting the car:
Before starting the car
I know where I am going.
The car and I are one,
if the car goes fast, I go fast.
The gatha brings our mind and body together. With a calm and clear mind, fully aware of the activities of our body, we are less likely to get into a car accident. Gathas are nourishment for our mind, giving us peace, calmness and joy which we can share with others. They help us to bring the uninterrupted practice of meditation into every part of our day. There are many gathas available in our Chanting Book.
*Information taken from Plum Village
Gathas help us to get back to us, back to ourselves back to who we are. When the gatha is done, we generally go back to what we were doing, how we were acting and how we were being, but hopefully it changed at least a little something inside us. The gatha is meant to be a reset. Like that Reset Button, but for our lives.
Every action, every thought, every deed, everything we say, has an effect. “Even if I clap my hands, the effect is everywhere, even is far away galaxies. Every Sitting, Every walking, every smile, will have an effect on your own daily life, and the life of other people also….[your practice] must be based on that”~Being Peace Thich Nhat Hahn
A gatha is not quite like an affirmation, but close. It is something that resonates with you. It is a verse, a poem a song, something you see or something you have written. whatever it is with YOU, that resonates with YOU. Find your Gatha. keep it with you. Learn it. Know it. recite it. As you know one, know more. know different gathas for different things. But first, find one and learn and know that one. Say it daily, or hourly or whenever you need or or want tot say it. Let it be your peacekeeper. Let it calm your soul. Let it be your mindfulness. Be the ripple in your own life. AS this happens, people will say to you, “What is different about you?” “There is something different” They will notice. Even strangers will be happy when they see you because your gatha will make you more mindful and being more mindful will make you more peaceful, being more peaceful will make you more happy more at ease. It is all a chain reaction….
For something fun to leave you with…You may remember the VW commerical from 2015…Chain Reaction…One smile started it all….
Be fabulous my friends…be fabulous…