A few examples:
After getting up in the morning I pass this little altar on the way to the kitchen to make coffee. It's been nice to pause there, light the altar in the newly dark, pre-dawn morning and say:
Awakening in the morning
I arise with gift-bestowing hands
Ready to give my heart to myself,
and to anyone I can be helpful to.
So many of us work at home now. Here's a verse I'm trying on for after breakfast when I'm ready to sit down to work:
Sitting down to work
I vow with all beings
To apply energy, intelligence, and kindness to my tasks, co-workers, and students
May all of us benefit from today's work.
Going out to run errands is a big shift in focus to bring some deliberate energy to, I realized. Here's my draft of a verse to say before leaving for the store:
Re-entering the marketplace
I vow with all beings
To buy and sell with love
Holding bodhicitta as my only true possession
("bodhicitta" is a Buddhist term for the thought or intention of awakening)
I haven't decided whether to do another verse when I get home from errands. I know from past experience that if I get too ambitious with this it'll soon come tumbling down like a house of cards and I won't do it anymore. What's the balance? A little is a lot.
Sitting down to eat is a situation many of us say a blessing, or offer a verse, for. This fits into the idea of mindful eating very well. I have two choices. One is from a traditional Zen chant, the other a modern piece by my Buddhist teacher.
Innumerable labors brought us this food
We should know how it comes to us
Receiving this offering we should consider
Whether our virtue and practice deserve it
Desiring the natural order of mind
We should be free of greed, hate, and delusion
We eat to support life and practice the way of Buddha.
As we make ready to eat this food
we remember with gratitude
the many people, tools, animals and plants,
air and water, sky and earth,
turned in the wheel of living and dying,
whose joyful exertion
provide our sustenance this day.
May we with the blessing of this food
join our hearts
to the one heart of the world
in awareness and love,
and may we together with everyone
realize the path of awakening,
and never stop making effort
for the benefit of others.