New Gathas for a New Year

I’ve created some new gathas that I’d like to share. The first one goes like this:

            Body, mind and spirit one,
            A time of peace has now begun.

As usual, I “say” the first line silently on each in-breath and the second on each out-breath, repeating the gatha for about 20 minutes. I’ve discovered that it helps me to be fully aware of the unity of my body, mind and spirit; it also reinforces the feeling of inner peace that quiet meditation generates. Here’s one that can help you realize your connection to the cosmos and the earth:

            The sun, my beating heart,
            The trees, my breathing lungs.
            The earth, my body’s flesh,
            The sea, my flowing blood.
            The stars, my gazing eyes,
            Vast space, my soaring soul.

Without the sun, life on earth would not exist. Its vast nuclear explosions, too huge to conceive, provide the light and warmth that give life to the planet. Our very heartbeats are a result of the sun.

The trees provide oxygen for us to breathe; in a way, they are like our lungs outside our bodies. Saying “The trees, my breathing lungs” on an out-breath helps us to remember how dependent we are on vegetation for the very air we breathe.

Our connectedness to the earth is very important to remember as well. This planet and all it contains—including us—is the result of the same raw materials hurled into existence by the explosions of stars. The earth and our flesh are not that different. Damaging the earth harms our bodies. To nurture our bodies is to protect the earth.

Like the seas, our blood flows in a rhythm; it swells and diminishes according to all kinds of forces within and without. To realize the connectedness of our bloodstreams with the seas and all the life it gave birth to is a very deep and fulfilling practice.

When we gaze at the stars, our eyes blink in wonder; the stars themselves blink back, equally enthralled that we are gazing upon them. “The stars, my gazing eyes” connects our sense of sight with the very stars that gave birth to life on this planet. The space that surrounds the stars gives us a sense of endlessness, of vastness. When we say “Vast space, my soaring soul,” we foster a sense of connection with the furthest reaches of this amazing Universe.

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