Morning Ritual

Morning Ritual

Dennis Bradford

389 Posts



Morning Ritual

It is important to establish an effective morning ritual.

There’s more than one psychological reason for this. A sufficient one is this: we are not blessed with a lot of will-power. Living well requires making the best use of the amount of will-power we have. Establishing automatic behaviors that are productive is the best way to do that.

Going through an excellent morning ritual is the best way to begin to have a terrific day. Starting the morning well is the best way to start a terrific morning.

Here is a stripped down version of how I begin. (It ignores drinking tea, eating breakfast, and exercising.) Modify it to suit yourself. Experiment with different routines until you find one that suits you well.

My Morning Ritual

(I recite this gatha by Thich Nhat Hanh even before getting out of bed.)

“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.”

[morning remembrances:]

I am aging, and there is no way to escape growing old.

I am subject to ill-health, and there is no way to escape getting sick.

I am mortal, and there is no way to escape death.

Nothing abides. All that I value and everyone I love are impermanent, and there is no way to escape separation from them.

My actions, my only true belongings, are what make my life, and I can neither escape their consequences nor apprehend in advance what those consequences will be.

Nothing is personal.


What am I grateful for?

What am I wholeheartedly committed to?

Who do I love?

How am I able to love them better?

What do I feel really good about?

What practices are required today to promote awakening and my other Projects?

[spiritual practices:]

Recitation of “Affirming Faith in Mind,” “Prajna Paramita Hridaya,” and “Master Hakuin’s Chant in Praise of Zazen.”

Morning zazen meditation.

That’s it! There’s no better way for me to get off to a good start.

Why not give yourself the important gift of a great start to each day? Why not establish an effective initial routine and use it every morning for the rest of your life?

2 thoughts on “Morning Ritual

  1. Sue

    An excellent way to start the day.

    Thank you, Dennis.

    06/12/2010 at 9:26 am
  2. Nancy

    very,very uplifting,would start your day with a definite positive attitude as well as valuing yourself!Wonderful advise Dennis.

    06/12/2010 at 4:47 pm

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