Shane Wilson also brings our attention promptly to the breath. Instead of contemplating its composition, however, he asks us to see how quickly one breath is here and then disappears and is forgotten. We immediately see the similarities between the breath and thoughts. A thought, like a breath, comes and goes and is quickly forgotten. It is almost as if the previous breath (or the previous thought) never existed, even though it certainly did.
The more we meditate on this, the fleeting nature of a breath mirrors the fleeting nature of a thousand breaths. One passing second mirrors the passing years. The second that just passed is no more yours to hold than your first step or your first taste of ice cream. It existed, was as real as the screen you're reading this on, but is now gone forever.
Wilson says freedom from suffering and stress is only a deeper understanding of impermanence. After all, how can one suffer if one knows that suffering is unquestionably going to fade away? Meditating on impermanence, he suggests, can give us a sense of the freedom that comes when we let go of desire.