Note: What follows is the latest relaxation exercise developed for the Happiness class.
Put down your pen, your pencil, your books and close your notebook.
Sit in a comfortable position, and close your eyes.
Take a long slow breath in, and let it out through your mouth.
Breathe normally. And now, with your eyes closed, see yourself sitting in the sun, on a soft blanket in the sand. You are staring out there onto the emerald green water, and the waves are cresting, and sparking and glinting in the rays of the sun.
You are there for the day, just to lay in the sun. Or to seek refuge in the shade of a palm or a pine tree or a cypress.
You breathe in the salty air and you breathe out all the winter fog and congestion. You breathe out all the stress that's been mounting in the last few weeks of the semester.
You just sit there -- there is absolutely nothing that you have to do except sit in the sun, inhaling the salty ocean air.
You feel the warmth of the sun on your face
You sink your toes into the warm sand and leave them there,
while you continue breathing and staring out at the green water.
With each breath in, maybe you want to name it.
Breathe in. Sun.
Breathe in. Ocean.
Breathe in. Sky.
Breathe in. Earth,
And keep going, repeating the names for each breath.
Over and over again. And when another thought enters your ocean refuge, just let it go sailing out over the waves, and return to your breathing,