When I first sit down, my breath is pretty short and quick, and my mind is swimming with too many thoughts to really grasp any one. The first thing that strikes me right away is how this automatic kind of thinking is always going on without me even noticing it. This is the same kind of thinking that influences my emotions and actions so having a practice in stopping to become aware of this constant loop of mental buzzing would make us all much more grounded and stable.
I know from experience in meditation not to try to control the breath or make it deeper or slower than it wants to be. So in the first couple minutes I just notice the in breath and out breath. “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.” My mind quiets a little as I become aware of the cool air hitting my nostrils and of my abdomen rising and falling. 
    During this initial period, thoughts are coming and going, but like my breath I don’t try to suppress them in anyway. I just watch them flow like a gentle stream. Each thought seems to come from nowhere and go nowhere and I begin to notice how each one has a feeling, or emotional context attached to it. As I have these different trains of thought and emotion, I see that I am still here, still stable regardless of the thought and feeling. Gradually, I lose the sense that I am a person who is thinking or feeling. There is just feeling present, or thinking present, and I am not attached to anything. This sort of awareness is especially profound in the space between thoughts. When my mind-consciousness, my thinking conceptualizing mind, seems to be inactive, I am still here, still aware. 
    After a time, I notice that my in breath has become deeper all by itself, and my out breath has become slower. “Breathing in, I am aware of my in breath becoming deeper. Breathing out, I am aware of my out breath becoming slower.” Also, between the in breath and out breath, there is a small period of latency, when there is no respiration. And then, all of a sudden, the next in breath comes. I lose the sense that I am breathing at all. There is just breathing, but no “me” doing it. 
    After a few deep breaths in this fashion my body feels completely relaxed. I can feel the weight of my body sinking into the floor. I sit in such away that I am supported by the frame of my skeleton, requiring little effort from the muscles. I can sense tiny movements and spasms under my skin that generally go unnoticed. Again, I start to feel that my body is a process of its own, and that I am not attached to it. Contemplating this observation with a discriminating mind sounds almost frightening, but with my body relaxed and my attention on my breath, I feel joy and ease. “Breathing in, my body and mind are calm. Breathing out, I am at ease.” 
    Now, I have a small smile on my lips. There are still sporadic streams of thought. Some are pleasant and some are unpleasant, but I let each one come and go the same. This is very profound for me. Meditation is not stopping thought and emotion. It just changes the way I relate to them. My normal relation to emotion is to cling on to every joyful feeling, so much so that the joy is lost in the anxiety of losing it. Now I just smile to it as it comes, and wave as it says goodbye. Unpleasant feelings are the same. When a feeling of anger or anxiety comes up, my usual attitude is that I have to do something to make it go away. But the more I do, the more it is fueled, and the more I try to suppress it, the more it demands to be recognized. Now I just smile as it comes, and wave as it says goodbye. “Breathing in, I am aware of a smile on my lips. Breathing out, I release all tension.” 
    The insight I gain from meditation is that though I sit still, and make my mind still, everything is always in motion, or flowing. My body, my thoughts and consciousness are always flowing and changing in relation to everything else, and not just my body and mind, but all the things I consider outside my self as well, everything I perceive through my five senses. All is part of a process of motion and fluidity and nowhere in it is there an “I” to be found. In this awareness, I can clearly see the wonder and uniqueness of each passing moment and there is nothing to be afraid of. 
    “Breathing in, I arrive in the present moment. Breathing out, I know it is a wonderful moment.”