Ebb and Flow

We all experience loss and gain. Our roles. Where we live. Our memories. Something leaves us and another comes in. A child moves to a distant city. A friend drifts away. With every breath we take we are changed. Something is gone. Something new comes in.

This meditation is about seeing the ebb and flow of life in a peaceful way.

How to Practice

Find a quiet spot somewhere where the ebb and flow of life is visible: on a beach where waves wash in and wash back out again, on the ground on your back where you can see the clouds change in the sky, even a busy intersection where you can see a streetcar get changed by people entering and people leaving. Wherever you can see how things come and they go. Wherever you can see how impermanent things are.

Get comfortable. Breathe easily. Relax any stiffness in your muscles. Let yourself become easy and settled. Let your attention lose its sharp, analytical focus. Get a sense of the broader sweep of energy in this place in and out, ebb and flow, forming and dissolving.

Just experience the ebb and flow.

Things flow in, things flow away. It’s not good. It’s not bad. It’s just the way things are. Form and dissolve. Form again and dissolve.

As you breathe easily, in and out, realize that even though these things are constantly changing, becoming and un-becoming, under all that change is a commitment and a harmony. Life’s rhythm.

Stay as long as you like.

See if you can bring some of that feeling into the rest of your day.


This meditation can be used any time. Done in a peaceful moment it can give us a deep sense of the pulse of life itself. Done when we feel a loss, it can help bring perspective.