top of page

Setting the Right Intention with Morning Prayers - Part Three: Removing Sleep from My Eyes

After expressing gratitude for the gift of the soul and for the functioning of my physical body (see the previous post), immersed in a deep awareness of the unity of my body and soul, I am now ready to start reciting the Brachot, the blessings themselves. To me, these brachot echo the bodhisattva precepts I’d received at jukai, the lay Buddhist ordination ceremony: they both set the ethical foundations for how to “keep my life on target,” to borrow an expression from a fellow mindful Jew, Sylvia Boorstein.

Different movements within Judaism offer different wordings of morning blessings, some keeping to the age-old originals, others updating them to reflect the changes in the society.

The ones I’ve chosen to chant in Hebrew, and this is an ever-changing list, express my gratitude to the Creator for:

  • Liberating the bound

  • Clothing the naked

  • Unbending the bent

  • Strengthening the weary

  • Endowing Jewish people with strength and beauty

But also, on a more personal level, I bless the Creator for:

  • Removing sleep from my eyes and confusion from my mind

  • Expanding my understanding of life

  • Giving me freedom

  • Making me a Jew

  • Guiding my daily steps

  • Providing for all my needs, and

  • Making me whole just as I am.

Reciting these blessings, one at a time, steadies my mind. When I notice my concentration wander off into the plans for the day, or worries about my partner, my kids, or my work, I guide it gently back on the path by returning to the line I’d glazed over o