When was the last time you went outside, laid down and watched the clouds?
Meditating is always an excellent activity. It has many forms. Cloud watching is, in my opinion, the most passive and easiest way to meditate. Previously, I hadn’t really done it since I was a young child. If like me it has been a very long time, then even better! The initial nostalgic physiological processes will begin to take effect, amping you up for the meditative state you will soon find yourself.
Find a comfortable position to lay down without worry. Cast aside your worries and stresses and look up. Spot the clouds. See faces. See figures dancing in and out of existence.
Remember the impermanence.
Time is fleeting and the world is in a constant state of motion. You aren’t looking up into the sky, you are looking out into the Universe – a body attached to the planet as it spins indefinitely around a pre-destined orbit.
As you look at the clouds, let thoughts come and go. Clouds are like waves, just like our thoughts. Some come barreling along, others barely showing against the pale blue backdrop. All morph and go back into the atmosphere one way or another. Much like us; energy. Not created nor destroyed. Impermanent in our physical form, but permanent forever in another variation of being.
Continue staring at the clouds. Watch how you can warp time. Unfocus your eyes and look at all the clouds and watch how fast they move. Now focus on one figure in a cloud, do you see how it slows down? Life is like this. Fast and slow. Slow when you’re working out, every minute can feel like an hour. Fast when you’re indulging in pleasure. Use this experience to be mindful; fast and slow.
We are not separate from being, we are being. Every great civilization, every powerful leader, every uplifting moment has occurred under the same sky, clouds, sun and moon. Every single person on this planet, notable or average has looked up at the same sky, clouds, sun and moon. Modern times, for me and probably for many of you, has a way of making our existence seem bland. The shallow interactions with a stranger, the work banter with a peer, the dismal task of paying bills.
But there is a deeper connection here.
Likely each stranger you’ve ever seen you will never see again. But for a momentary second, you and that person connected. You might’ve glanced at each other. Politely moved for them to get by. It’s an existential thought to ponder this. Life is so vast that you can see a person and never come across them again. How vast the Earth, yet how vast the galaxy and Universe.
If we think on these things and remind ourselves of how small we are in the infinite, it can really help push trivial things aside. After your cloud watching concludes, you should feel at least a little more peace. Although I enjoy cross-legged yoga meditating, it can sometimes feel more like a chore than something as simple as cloud watching. After you’ve done this, take some time at night to just look up at the stars. If you have binoculars or a telescope, look at the moon. Remind yourself of your perspective relative to the moon. The moon isn’t above you. You are attached to Earth staring at it sideways on Earth (relative to the moon). Nothing is relative yet everything is relative.
Break up the monotony of your days. Find your inner child. Find the True Self, before you were your job. Before you were your bills. Before you were your life story.
Just be, and remember the impermanence.