Staying steady as a mountain in unsteady times.
Meditation for May: Sitting like a mountain
I love hiking in the mountains, it makes me feel and be grateful for my body. It makes me feel small; I feel respect for the massiveness of the mountains, and I gain respect for all the people who were hiking here before me. Hiking helps me to see things from a higher perspective.
When we look at things from the higher perspective, we can see how everything moves around us and within us in the form of wave. Things which are far come closer, they stay with us for a while, they move through us, they recede, there is a silence, and stillness for a while until the next wave comes.
We may sometimes find ourselves being overwhelmed with the duration or intensity of the waves. We feel as if we are under the waves. We feel sad, unhappy, frustrated. Other times we feel we are riding on the wave, being happy and joyful.
Become the mountain
What is very important to remember: everything will pass away. Whenever you find yourself in narrow thinking, see if you can image a mountain. Imagine yourself sitting on the mountain and become solid and rooted. Become the mountain.
As you become the mountain, you become aware of the fact that as the sun travels across the sky, the light and shadows and colors are changing moment by moment in the mountain’s stillness, and the surface is full of life and activity… streams, melting snow, waterfalls, plants and wildlife. And the mountain sits, seeing and feeling how night follows day and day follows night. The bright warming sun, followed by the cool night, and the gradual dawning of a new day…
The mountain sits with change
Through it all, the mountain just sits, experiencing change in each moment, constantly changing, always just being itself. It remains still as the seasons flow into one another and as the weather changes moment by moment and day by day……. remaining its essential self, through the seasons, the changing weather, the activity flowing on its surface.
In the same way, as we sit in meditation, we can learn to experience the mountain, we can embody the same central, unwavering stillness and groundedness in the face of everything that changes in our own lives, over seconds, over hours, over years.
By becoming the mountain in our meditation practice, we can link up with its strength and stability and adopt them for our own. It may help us to see that our thoughts and feelings, our emotional storms and crises, even the things that happen to us are very much like the weather on the mountain. We tend to take it all personally, but its strongest characteristic is impersonal.
The weather of our own lives is not to be ignored or denied, it is to be encountered, honored, felt, known for what it is, and held in awareness… And in holding it in this way, we come to know a deeper silence and stillness and wisdom.
I share with you a beautiful mountain meditation adapted from Palouse Mindfulness, which helps me to stay grounded during unsteady times: https://youtu.be/lkiC_x7uD8c
Let us connect to our strength and stability by remaining firm in our practice.
With love and light and I hope to see you soon outside or via live streaming.