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Lions Roar : September 2018
in, we say or think, “Reflection,” and lastly, breathing out, we say or think, “Peace.” When we have truly internalized a gatha, just a few words will be enough to remind us of the whole. MANY WONDERFUL GATHAS have been created by Buddhist teachers, and we can benefit from their wisdom. Thich Nhat Hanh’s gatha for greeting someone is “A lotus for you, a Buddha-to-be.” His gatha for washing our hands is “Water flows over these hands. May I use them skillfully to preserve our precious planet.” More gathas by Thich Nhat Hanh can be found in his book Chanting from the Heart: Buddhist Ceremonies and Daily Practices. To personalize our practice with gathas and nourish the expression of our true nature, we can compose our own gathas inspired by our daily experiences and observations. To do this, we choose an activity that we regularly perform, create and memorize a gatha for it, and recite the gatha each time we do that particular activity. The personal nature of gathas created from our own insights deepens our practice and has the poten- tial not only to develop our mindfulness and compassion, but also to water the seeds of compassion and love in those with whom we come into contact. As meditation in motion, gathas loosen the tangle of our thoughts, open- ing us to experience the present moment. They help us deepen our understanding of our connection and belonging with all of life as we mindfully engage in the activity before us. When the mind drops into the heart and joins in communion with the breath and our actions, we see life as it is and ourselves as an integral part of it. Touching what’s real and alive in each moment ultimately returns us to our authentic self. Grounded in our essential nature, we can offer our joy, peace, and love to all beings around us. This gift, the gift of our self when expressed in this way, is perhaps the greatest gift ever. ♦ LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2018 25