Imagine that a mountain is not a mountain

November 6, 2009

“Imagine that a mountain is not a mountain. Not what we see as a mountain, what we call a mountain. Imagine that a mountain is a spirit being, without physical form. Imagine that this being is bigger than the mountain you see, bigger than the Earth, bigger than the Universe. Imagine that this being is boundless, endless. Now imagine that this endless being chose to manifest itself as a mountain here, on Earth. The being is not a mountain, it simply chooses to manifest a shape of the mountain as a way of relating, as a way of being present here, on Earth. This is how mountains are, this is how we are” , I said to my husband yesterday, as I was trying to explain to him how mountains teach me about being human. “The mountain relates to me the way it relates to itself, as who I really am. It holds space for me to be the being that I am, manifesting itself as a human woman. The mountain shows me how to be present this way, just like Brooks does.” I’ve needed the mountain’s teachings lately. After my family’s visit, which was long, heavy and intense, all the stress and reaction begun to surface and I found it hard to be here, to be in relationship with my husband, as stressed out as I was, to hold space for someone when I needed someone to hold space for me. I wanted to leave. I wanted to go deep into the mountains and stay there, I wanted to be alone. There is such peace when I wander up and down the mountain trails, there is such space and such presence when I sit on boulders, looking over the distant ocean. Late in the evening, after the sun sets and there is only enough light to see the trail, there is silence in the mountains. Human minds withdraw into homes, into brightly lit spaces, and the mountains become wild. It never takes long for my mind to choke on it’s own rapid thoughts and become silent. It never takes long for me to come back to myself, to be myself. It never takes long for me to see that all the problems, all the drama, all the feelings, emotions, pain, confusion, frustration, are only trauma. Trauma from my childhood, from when I was growing up, from where I wasn’t present, from where I got lost. It all comes up and my mind grabs onto it and starts spinning, and twirling, and twisting, faster and faster, to create more pain, more fear, more confusion. Spinning stories, constructing solutions and explanations, moving this pain here, explaining this fear there as this or that, taking an old story to create a whole new one … my mind calls it “solving the problem”. In the mountains there is no space for “solving problems”. There is no space for mind’s antics. There is only me, who I am, what I am. My mind is only a story. It has nothing to do with me. But then I have to go back. Back to where the darkness is chased away by lights. Back at home, late at night, Christopher and I sat in bed, talking. We haven’t said much to each other for the last few days … I didn’t say much. I didn’t see any point in having a conversation. We could have talked about what happened, analyze it, spin stories, construct solutions and come up with explanations. Move this pain here, explain this fear as this or that, take an old story to create a whole new one … it seemed pointless to me. “What will change?” I asked myself. ” I can take the pieces of my life and rearrange them, I can move somewhere else, do something else, with someone else, but what will change? Will I change? Will I be any different?”. There was nothing I could think of doing that would change anything, nothing that would make any difference at all, and yet something had to be done. We were tense, angry, resentful, and something had to be done. As I sat on the bed, saying little, looking inside, it came to me. It took me a moment to acknowledge what I saw because it was not the answer I would prefer, and yet I could not deny it. It came to me that there is nothing to do, to solve, to fix or to change. I don’t need to move, divorce, change my profession, read relationship books, attend workshops. All I need to do is relax and step into the situation. I need to come back to myself, be myself right in the middle of the anger, the frustration, right in a center of the trauma. And it will heal, open, transform, by itself, spontaneously. Right there, in my bedroom, it came to me that I can become as wild and present as I am in the mountains, and there will be no space for my mind’s antics.

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