PEACE AND TRANQUILITY FOR TODAY
GATHAS OF PEACE AND TRANQUILITY FROM THE NEW YORKER
AND WE DESPERATELY NEED SOME PEACE AND QUIET IN OUR FULSOME PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVE LIVES
BY JENNY ALLEN
Gathas are small verses or poems which we use to help us in our mindfulness practice. A great practice is to compose our own gathas to help ourselves and others to develop mindfulness in out daily lives.
--The Web site for Luminous Ground, a Buddhist organization.
Driving the Car
I vow that I will drive with
Mindful care and caution.
If, in fact, this is my vehicle,
For I often step into
Someone else’s car
If I have done so now, here in the
parking lot of Stop & Shop.
May I smile with self-compassion,
And not curse my cluelessness,
As the cars where I live are all
And all the same model, and all the
same “jasmine green,”
A bewildering forest of Foresters.
Going to the Movies
Taking my seat in the movie,
I am excited to be here,
And offer my heartfelt hope that it
A film like “Carol” =
I loved the period costumes
But wearied of the endless shots of
the movie stars gazing soulfully
At each other
Or staring into space,
Like mute people.
“I love talking to you,” one of the
women says to the other in
Which is strange,
Because they hardly talked at all.
May this be a movie with more
And fewer closeups,
And way better sex scenes.
Using the Phone
Breathing in, I call the operator to
A suspicious voice mail from a per-
son claiming to represent
My credit card company.
operators anymore, as there is
No “phone company.”
Breathing out, I use this moment
of agitation to reflect on how
And remind myself of other bygone
Things I used to complain about
but now sort of miss:
Rockefeller Republicans, airplane
Meals, Sonny Bono, Tom Carvel,
Times Square when it was
And men who leered at me on the
On second thought,
Maybe not Sonny.
Swiffering my floor, I offer thanks
to the Procter & Gamble
For a marvelous cleaning product,
although I know that
idea of electrostatic cleaning
cloths from a Japanese firm.
And that the Swiffer Sweeper is
Based on the “razors and blades”
model - that is: I must keep buy-
ing expensive new replacement
I love its silence, so unlike the
infernal noise of the vacuum
This silence has changed my life,
Allowing me to clean my house,
A chore I do not enjoy,
While talking to my friends on the
A win-win for me.
Doing the Dishes
Breathing in, I wash the dishes,
Aware of their usefulness in holding
Tained my family for many years.
I wonder why it is always, always, me doing the dishes
And whether, interconnected as all
Human beings are,
This may be the one exception.
Breathing out, I release my feelings
Into the universe, ever hopeful
That someone, somewhere,
Will sense my need,
And offer to help.
I open my heart to the possibility of this miracle.
At the Workplace
Loving kindness and without
The one, who appears not to bathe
And has a pungent odor,
That one, who leads the e-mail
Clique trash-talking the rest of us,
Are merely creatures caught in
Dukkha, or suffering.
May they one day be made whole
And not so messed up.
Or at lest be transferred to another
Shouts and Murmurs
The New Yorker
July 25, 2016