Monday, December 14, 2020

Another Spiritual Tool for Resilience: Mountain

 In those days Jesus went up a mountain to pray....Luke 6:12

Mountains are one of the more resilient creations on the planet.  Unless they are a volcano that erupts, they remain relatively steadfast.  Even when a volcano stirs and wipes out a large portion, like happened with Mt. St. Helens in 1980, (and as this photo taken last year shows) - they retain their steadfast stubborn existence.

If we consider all the extremes of weather and seasonal changes that take place on mountain peaks over months, years, and centuries, we might let our thoughts take flight to imagine.  Imagine yourself as a mountain.  This is a mountain meditation adapted from one created by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Mountain Meditation

Begin by envisioning one of your favorite mountains.  If you have a picture of it or can find a photo on the internet of it, this might help you "go there."  Put yourself on that mountain in your mind, or if you have climbed it, remember being there.  

Recall the sights, the silence or other nature sounds, the smells, and experience being there.  While remembering/envisioning, breathe deeper and more slowly.  Imagine the fresh air filling your lungs and settling your being.  Spend whatever time you desire connecting with that reality, which really does exist out there on that mountain's slopes right now. 

To move deeper and personalize this further, let yourself imagine you becoming the mountain.  Feel your feet become grounded in the very deep bedrock of the earth's core.  Imagine your body becoming that of the mountain - solid, unmoving, resistant to everything.  No matter what the stress - ice, snow, wind, rain, fire, flood - nothing substantially impacts who and what you are. You draw your strength from the core of the earth itself.  You have nothing of which you are afraid. People and creatures alike bless you for your beauty and constancy. Continue breathing while all stress, worry, and strains of life flow away from you in the streams that have their headwaters on your highest slopes. Stay here as long as you have time.

When you are ready to end this meditation, place yourself back on a large rock outcrop; perhaps kneeling or sitting as Jesus did when he had gone up the mountain to pray.  He climbed there to escape the stresses and anger being directed at him by the religious authorities.  Their words and actions had now drained away.  Silence and peace filled him as it now fills you as well.  As you breathe your way back to awareness, repeat these words from Julian of Norwich while breathing: 
All shall be well.
And all shall be well.
And all manner of thing shall be well.

Amen.  And may a blessing go with you wherever life may lead you this day.


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