Begin with a few moments of centering, allowing your body to soften and your mind to arrive as fully to the present moment as you can. Deepen your breath, and with each inhale, imagine calling in the presence of the Spirit, the Great Breath who breathed all life into being from the very first moment of creation. With every exhale, soften and release anything you are holding onto as much as possible.

Let your breath direct your attention from your mind and thoughts down into your body, coming to rest in your heart center. Breathe there for a few moments, connecting to the infinite Source of Compassion, the one who shaped our bodies out of the clay of the earth. Feel yourself held in this moment, without the need to do anything, and simply allow yourself to be.

Bring your attention back to your breath, and as you inhale and exhale, call to mind those argon molecules that travel in and out with every breath, the ones that have existed unchanged throughout time. [Argon is an inert gas we breathe in and out with each breath.] Imagine with each breath that you are connecting to all the other humans on this planet who are also breathing. Then widen out to the animals and other breathing creatures. Then out to the plant life that sustains you.

Then shift your view back across time, and as you breathe, see your ancestors breathing with you. Imagine the life breath that sustained the generations of grandparents and great-grandparents back through time. See the breath of life sustaining them and you in a great circle. Then widen out your view and imagine the way your breath connects you to all the other humans who have lived and the creatures breathing the same air.

Then turn your attention to your physical body with its skin, muscles, tendons, and bones. Become aware that you are made up of stardust, and in your imagination, visualize the way stardust comprises all of life on Earth now and back through time. Spend some time again specifically focusing on your ancestors. See your lineages shimmering with stardust back through thousands of years. Reach back to before your first human ancestor existed, and see the life forms that contributed to who you are and who your ancestors developed into. Imagine them shimmering with stardust.

Continue back in your imagination all the way to that original explosion of fire and light that brought everything into existence. Feel yourself connected to this primordial event in a very intimate and physical way. You might even make a physical connection with your body, massaging your arms and legs, feeling the solidity of your body in this moment and honoring the stardust that has created you, that is in your genes, as it made up the bodies of all those who walked this Earth before you.

Rest in this expansive, loving awareness for as long as you need. Then slowly and gently return your awareness back to this moment in time, back to your body here and now. Allow a few slow, deep breaths to anchor yourself back in the present moment and then gently return to the room.

Christine Valters Paintner in The Love of Thousands