For years I did the salutations without directing my thoughts in any special way, but eventually I added an intention to each one of them. For the first one, I reflect on some of the blessings in my life to cultivate a deep sense of gratitude. Round two has an outward focus: I send blessings out to people I’m concerned about--a prayer for others, of a sort. During the third salutation I ask for clarity about the meaning and purpose of my life, and then I listen carefully. Sometimes I feel like I’m on track and other times I realize I need to make a course correction. For my final salutation I focus on letting go...of whatever I need to leave behind: Too often resentments. Sometimes identities. Other times expectations. And I remind myself that my time on earth is short and that I will die someday, but I don’t know when.
Taken together these four intentions and reflections keep me more grounded in what’s important in life and help me more of the person I want to be. All in less than two minutes a day! What a bargain.