Good Morning

If you’re anything like me, you like to greet every new day with a sense of wonder.

You might have some kind of ritual that focuses you and creates a good headspace for the day ahead – and if you don’t, I warmly recommend you give it a try.

I’m an early riser (brain switches on at 5am and goes straight into open-the-floodgates mode), and for me, the early morning really is a sacred time of day. There’s a stillness, a sense of brooding anticipation, as though the Earth herself is sitting in silence, about to give birth to a day that should be pure and unspoiled. The silence, the sense of calm, the half-light before the sunrise, are all magical – this is a time to plant seeds of creation.

After the fashion of Tim Ferriss, I start off with a glass of warm water infused with fresh lemon, and then it’s on to the green tea (my favourite coffee is a treat I save for a little later).

But the most important part of the morning’s ritual, for me, is a stilling of the mind. A meditation. And how I do it is nowhere near as important as the fact that I do it. Because, if like me, you find yourself yearning for the quiet of a forest in the midst of the urban bustle, you need to build yourself an inner sanctuary. Sometimes, this can take the form of a five-minute quiet time, where I simply chant a mantra to myself, or repeat my affirmations while visualizing (remembering the future!). Sometimes, it’s as simple as listening to quiet music and being present, or going into the garden and connecting with the trees, the grass underfoot, the dew, listening to the earth breathe.

And, very often, I enjoy listening to (and viewing) a guided meditation. There are dozens, if not hundreds, that I would readily recommend, but there’s one in particular that is a favourite of mine.

I’ve inserted the link below, and I want to share it with you. And when you experience it, you’ll understand why.

So, it’s simple:

  • Find a quiet, very quiet, space. Ensure you won’t be interrupted or disturbed for about 10 minutes.
  • Put on your headphones, breathe deeply, and enjoy. I have to tell you that the first time I ever heard this, it touched me on a very deep level, and I found myself weeping – not with sorrow, but with a sense of infinite gratitude and love for what was being conveyed.
  • In the clip below, there are some subtitles which have been done in English, and pretty obviously by a non-English speaker (I think he was Dutch). So, there are at least two amusing spelling errors, which would normally freak me out, but as you watch the meditation and listen to it, try not to focus on the pedantics of spelling and focus rather on the message being conveyed.

This meditation, The Great Bell Chant, is sung by a Buddhist monk (Phap Niem), and the English narrative is uttered by the incredibly humble and inspirational master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Listen to it. Listen carefully to the words, and understand their meaning. Allow this meditation to wash over you and gently suffuse your being.

And your day will be flooded with a different kind of light.

<p><a href=”″>The Great Bell Chant (The End of Suffering)</a> from <a href=””>R Smittenaar</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>




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