Stop, Breathe and Think
Change. Close your eyes and rest your hands on your knees. Bring your awareness to the touch of your body on your seat. Feel the weight of your body on your chair or cushion. Take a few deep breaths. While you are breathing deeply, relax your shoulders, your stomach muscles, the muscles in your face and your hands and your legs. Think of all the tension in your body. Now bring your attention back to your breath. Notice what it feels like as it enters through your nose, goes down your throat, through your lungs and back out through your nose. Notice your stomach and chest rise and fall with each inhale and exhale and allow your breathing to be natural and relaxed. Whenever you become distracted, gently bring your attention back to the sensation of your breath going in and out. Maintaining this mindful awareness, take a moment to think about change. Absolutely everybody and everything is changing all the time.
Take a look at the nature of time. See how quickly each day passes each morning each night, each minute constantly moving into the next. Think about the four seasons. Trees and plants are green in spring and summer. In Autumn it gets colder, and the leaves turn red and orange. When winter arrives, the temperatures drop and snow falls. Then it's time for spring and the cycle begins all over again. Think about the history of our planet. Dinosaurs used to roam the Earth, but are now extinct. The Earth's surface has changed significantly over time. Huge mountains have been levelled by glaciers, while new continents have been created by earthquakes. If we look carefully, we can see that the Earth is in a constant state of change.
Now, examine the universe. The planets and stars that appear in the sky change over time. Stars themselves are changing. Some are in the process of being born, while others are in the process of fading out. Everything from the tiniest cell in your body, to an entire universe and everything in between, is in a constant state of change. Think about your body as a whole. It is made of skin muscles, bones, and organs.
Think about how each part of the body is made of much smaller parts, like cells. While we can't see them, they are constantly moving, changing, and multiplying. On the cellular level, there is constant movement and change. How else does your body change? How often do your thoughts and emotions change? On average, we have between 50 to 70 thousand thoughts a day. Our thoughts are constantly changing. How have your likes and dislikes changed? Your taste in music and clothes. Your choice of friends.
If you can recognize this process of change, it can become a great opportunity. Every moment is a chance to determine your next step. You can turn right or left or move forward in whatever direction you choose. Now that all of your thoughts, images, and feelings dissolve like a cloud dissolving in the sky, and let your mind rest. And when you are ready, gently bring your attention back to the room and to the touch of your body on your seat.