Updated: Feb 18, 2019
The essence of our experience is change. Change is incessant. Moment by moment life flows by, and it is never the same. Perpetual fluctuation is the essence of the perceptual universe. A thought springs up in your head and half a second later, it is gone. In comes another one, and then that is gone too. A sound strikes your ears, and then silence. Open your eyes and the world pours in, blink and it is gone. People come into your life and go. Friends leave, relatives die. Your fortunes go up, and they go down. Sometimes you win, and just as often, you lose. It is incessant: change, change, change; no two moments ever the same.
Bhante Gunaratana: Mindfulness in Plain English
Do you remember when someone told you that there are no two snowflakes that are exactly alike? When I first heard that, it seemed like a miracle. The idea that snowflakes were individually shaped opened up a mysterious world to me. Why is it, then, that we have so much trouble thinking that no two moments would be the same? If you take even just a few minutes to watch your breathing it will become so obvious to you that each breath is like a snowflake: fleeting, unique; and then gone. To watch just a few breaths - to just follow them without judging, thinking, liking or condemning - is the beginning of wisdom. Instead of demanding they be a certain way, we just see how they actually are. And soon enough we'll notice the truth about change. Every breath is different from the last. Try it out for yourself. Don't try to control your breathing; just watch each one and let the process of observation teach you about change.