Laura Lapinski recently asked me what a gatha is, as that verse form figures in both The Book of Mev and Dear Layla. That query led to me back to my shelves to peruse Robert Aitken’s book, The Dragon Never Sleeps: Verses for Zen Buddhist Practice. Thus inspired, I have decided to do a weekly practice of using a gatha from Aitken’s book, Nhat Hanh’s collection (Present Moment Wonderful Moment), or writing my own.
I selected the following gatha from Aitken because of being in many conversations the past month marked by much heaviness of heart:
Whenever I’m feeling discouraged
I vow with all beings
to remember how Ling-yun saw peach trees
bloom after thirty hard years.