Waking Up in the Morning

As someone who never seems to be able to sleep enough, or wake rested, here’s what I say most mornings when I open my eyes.

Waking up this morning I smile
knowing there are 24 brand new hours before me.

I read it years ago, in one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books. I am still working on the second half of the verse as most days I hit snooze for an hour and then say the the first two lines and then get out of bed irritated I didn’t go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, hope no one starts talking to me and the cat does not start howling at me to get in the shower already (which she does). Even though the instructions for walking to the meditation hall pertain to life at Plum Village, I like to try and relax as I cycle to work and just enjoy the new day and the view of Amsterdam canals.

The full text of the gatha is:

Waking up this morning I smile
knowing there are 24 brand new hours before me.
I vow to live fully in each moment,
and look at beings with eyes of compassion.

As we wake up in the morning and open our eyes we may like to recite the above gatha. We can start our day with the happiness of a smile and the aspiration to dedicate ourselves to the path of love and understanding. We are aware that today is a fresh, new day, and we have 24 precious hours to live.

Let us try to get up from bed right away after following three deep breaths to bring ourselves into mindfulness. Let us not delay our waking. We may like to sit up and gently massage our head, neck, shoulders, and arms to get your blood circulating. We might like to do a few stretches to loosen our joints and wake up our body. Drinking a cup of warm water is also good for our system first thing in the morning.

Let us wash up or do what we need to before heading towards the meditation hall. Allow ourselves enough time so we will not have to rush. Enjoy the dark morning sky. Many stars are twinkling and greeting us. Take deep breaths and enjoy the cool, fresh air. As we walk slowly towards the hall, let the morning fill our being, awakening our body and mind to the joy of a new day. (from an article Art of Mindful Living)

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