“My mind is a mountain,” she said as we lay on our yoga mats, our bottom halves twisted to the left, our tops to the right. All these human corkscrews at a point of tension, a point of discomfort, an iota back from a point of pain.
My mind is a mountain; the largest structure ever built, deeply rooted, majestically towering with unmovable peace. It exerts no force, this being of grandeur, and inspires us to rise above ourselves to conquer it. Yet, when we conquer, it is no less. It remains unmoved by our conquering – no admiration, surprise or encouragement. Just there – still, steep and silent.
The blizzard may rage, the snows may blanket, the sun may bake and yet the mountain is just as it always was. As it ever will be.
My mind is a mountain … well, it seeks to be that mountain. While the dramas of the world swirl and buffet, I strive to hold it calm and rooted, unimpressed and supportive of a world in turmoil. The climber cannot climb a shaky mountain, a crumbling mountain.
While the world thrashes about in frantic pain, it is not served that I copy that thrashing. A thrashing, drowning man needs a firm hand-hold – a rock, branch or ship – to save him. He doesn’t need another thrashing, drowning man.
“My breath is a mountain lake,” she said as we sat in forward bend, holding ourselves in that still point of discomfort. The lake in the centre of the mountain is still and serene despite the howling winds, burning sun and frantic climbers on the outside of the mountain.
My breath is a mountain lake – still, deep and as blue as the sky it smiles up at.
When my mind begins to crumble – as it does in this frantic, pained world – I return to my breath; this single, simple, sacred moment. I witness the miracle of my breath as it fills and empties me, fills and empties me.
This deep blue lake, protected by the mountainsides, gives strength and permission for the mountain to remember its grandeur, its deeply rooted oneness with all that it stands among. As the crumbling mountain remembers itself, pulls itself together again, there is, again, greater support for all who need its foot-holds and solidness to rise above themselves.
The smooth and rugged, blue and grey, water and rock – they support and protect each other (when they remember) and, in that remembrance, remind the seething crowd that it, too, has a strength and peace inside.
This, today, is my aspiration.