Present Moment, Wonderful Moment

Present Moment, Wonderful Moment-
Mindfulness Verses for Daily Living

Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist Monk and Zen Master

Reciting familiar phrases (traditionally called gathas) during daily activities can help cultivate mindfulness anywhere, anytime. Practitioners are encouraged to develop their own verses to suit their personal preferences and particular activities.

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

Turning on the light/Lighting the candle
Forgetfulness is the darkness,
Mindfulness is the light.
I bring awareness to shine upon all life.

Taking the first steps of the day
Walking on the Earth is a miracle.
Each mindful step reveals the wonders of all creation.

Opening the window
Opening the window, I look out on the natural world.
How wondrous is life!
Attentive to each moment,
My mind is clear like a calm river.

Turning on the water
Water flows from high in the mountains.
Water runs deep in the Earth.
Miraculously, water comes to us, and sustains all life.

Washing your hands
Water flows over these hands.
May I use them skillfully to preserve our precious planet.

Brushing your teeth
Brushing my teeth and rinsing my mouth,
I vow to speak purely and lovingly.
When my mouth is fragrant with right speech,
A flower blooms in the garden of my heart.

Rinsing my body, my heart is cleansed,
The universe is perfumed with flowers.
Actions of body, speech and mind are calmed.

Getting dressed
Putting on these clothes, I am grateful to those who made them
And to the materials from which they were made.
I wish everyone could have enough to wear.

Serving food
In this food, I see clearly the presence of the entire universe supporting my existence.

Using the telephone
Words can travel thousands of miles.
May my words create mutual understanding and love.
May they be as beautiful as gems, as lovely as flowers.

Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment.

Ending the day
The day is ending, our life is one day shorter. Let us look carefully at what we have done.
Let us practice diligently, putting our whole heart into the practice of meditation.
Let us live deeply each moment in freedom, so time does not slip away meaninglessly.

Present Moment, Wonderful Moment (Mindfulness Verses for Daily Living
by Thich Nhat Hanh is available from Parallax Press, which publishes TNH’s work-