An Exercise in Mindfulness – Cloud Shapes

Next time you are outside on a nice day, try out this 5 minute exercise in mindfulness:

Stop and stand still in a safe place, for example in your garden, or if you are out for a walk. Take some slow deep breaths. Deepen and slow your breathing generally. Become aware of your breathing and your feet planted firmly on the ground. For the next 5 minutes, you are going nowhere.  Look up into the sky. Make sure where you are looking is away from the sun, so it’s not too bright for your eyes. Spot a cloud or cloud formation and fix your gaze on it. Try not to think of anything but the cloud. Observe whether it is moving or not. If it is moving watch it move, concentrating on the way the cloud is continually changing itself. If it is not moving discernably, it doesn’t matter. Look at the cloud intently, whether it is moving or not. Does it remind you of anything? Look at its shape, its outline, the various shades of white, grey and other colours. Become aware of the fact that what you are looking at is completely unique. It has never been exactly like this before in the history of the earth, and it will never be so again. Doesn’t that make it a special moment? If you can concentrate solely on the vision of this unique skyscape right now, and appreciate it fully, while detaching your thoughts from anything that has happened in the past or anything that may happen in the future, you are at this present moment living life to the full. Do this moment by moment while still breathing calmly, deeply and slowly.

How do you feel?