When I attended my first meditation retreat, “The Seduction of Spirit,” in 1999, Deepak Chopra shared a line from A Course in Miracles that he uses at the end of his practice. I love the idea of sealing meditation practice with something that inspires me, so have included it ever since:

“Every decision I make is a choice between a miracle and a grievance. I choose the miracle and release the grievance. Love, knowingness, bliss, love.”

Over the years I have added other phrases that inspire me. At a holistic coaching retreat in Maui, Alan Cohen had us memorize another piece from A Course in Miracles. It has also become a touchstone for me:

“I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him who sent me. 
I do not have to worry about what to say or do
because He who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He
goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.”

If you find the patriarchal language off-putting, use something that resonates with you, perhaps The Universe.

My beloved sister in law Janie, shared something with me I use when I know I am entering a challenging situation. I put my hand over my heart as I say:

“Above and beneath no one
Immune to all criticism
Fearless in a situations
I am the Universe, I am the Universe, I am the Universe”

Dani Shaprio, an author I love, shared something she learned in a yoga class that I use to close my practice. It is a wonderful way to honor how we share our truth. Bring palms together, and begin by placing thumbs on forehead, then moving them to lips and finally to your heart while saying:

“Clarity in my thoughts
Clarity in my words
Clarity in my actions”

Deepak Chopra shared something I call on when I am anticipating, or in the midst of a difficult conversation. One of the gifts of meditation and mindfulness is learning to press the pause button so I can respond, rather than react:

“I am here to be the presence of peace
I am here to be the presence of love.
I am present and aware of the most healing way
to respond in this situation”

The trick is to get quiet for a moment and find the answer within.

When I settle into my practice I take a moment to set an intention. Often it is as simple as: may my day go smoothly, may I release the need to judge, and embrace acceptance. I love this one from Deepak:

“I am willing to let go of struggle. I am open to the answers within.”

One of my favorites is this thought from Sharon Salzberg:

“May the circumstances of my life not define the state of my hear