In a recent issue of Shambhala Sun, beloved Buddhist writer and teacher Sylvia Boorstein writes about a simple daily practice she has been doing for more than ten years. She recites two sentences to herself: "May I meet this moment fully" and "May I meet it as a friend."
In the article, she described how these sentences helped her through a stressful situation when her plane was delayed when she was traveling to visit a close friend who was very ill. She was able turn her anger, stress and irritation into insight about what was really bothering her and, ultimately, calm acceptance.
These sentences, while simple, are powerful. They can take you straight into the heart of mindfulness. Silently saying "May I meet this moment fully," not only brings you gently back to the present moment, but it reminds you to embrace the moment wholeheartedly, with your entire being.
Returning to the present moment, over and over again, is the essence of every meditation and mindfulness practice. Reminding yourself to meet the moment as a friend helps orient you to the moment in the most helpful way. It's a reminder to engage all of your experiences with curiosity and gentleness and with an expectation that goodness can be found there.
There are many ways to start to incorporate this practice into your life. You can recite, "May I meet this moment fully. May I meet it as a friend," every morning when you wake up. You can experiment with silently repeating the phrases as you go about your day whenever you notice that your attention has wandered away more the present moment. The sentences may be most useful in moments of stress, as an antidote to creating drama, ruminating, or otherwise getting lost inside your own head and missing the good that each moment holds.