The first thing to do is to make yourself available. Breathe in and out, and come back to the present moment, so you are really there. Then go to the person you want to hug and bow to them. If they have practiced mindfulness, then they will do their best to abandon the things that are possessing them and make themselves available to you. They will smile and bow, and you will know that they are available. Now hugging is possible.
Stand facing each other with your palms joined, breathing in and out three times. You can say silently:
Breathing in, I know that life is precious in this moment.
Breathing out, I cherish this moment of life.
Take the person in your arms. While hugging, breathe consciously and hug with all your body, spirit, and heart. While you hold the other person, they become real, and you also become real. You can say silently something like this:
Breathing in, my loved one is in my arms. Breathing out, I am so happy.
Breathing in, they are alive. Breathing out, it is so precious to be alive together.
Breathing in, it is so wonderful to have them in my arms. Breathing out, I am very happy.
You may then release the other person and bow to each other to show thanks.
This instruction is an edited excerpt from Thich Nhat Hanh’s dharma talks, and reposted from an article @ Lion’s Roar.