Hello and welcome back to the Mindfulness-based Stress reduction series.
I am your Mindfulness teacher and guide through this journey.
In today’s practice called The Mountain Meditation, we will invite our imagination to help us draw parallels between the natural world and ourselves.
Allowing this to be a time in which we set aside the usual mode of doing, and switching to simply being with our body.
So this is not a typical MBSR meditation, because we are visualizing in our mind’s eye the image of a grand, breathtaking mountain.
Paying close attention to the senses, inside the body, the breath, and the connection with the ground, with the earth as we take a seat in today’s meditation.
Cultivating curiosity, patience, and kindness to the whole of our experience.
So we begin with coming to a comfortable seated position, on a chair, the floor, supported by cushions or a folded blanket, paying attention to the contact with whatever we are sitting on. Sensing how the hips are melting into the support.
With our spine straight and stacked. Head balanced on top. Tall and proud as a mountain. Hands resting on the lap, arms hanging by their weight, like heavy curtains, stable and relaxed.
The invitation now is to lift your feet one at a time and gently stomp them down, making contact with the floor.
Feeling the quality of the ground supporting us. Grounding with it.
Perhaps noticing the weight of the body at the feet.
And now, gathering onto the sensation of breathing, the life-giving in-breath and out-breath.
Allowing the breath to flow naturally.
No need to regulate or deepen it, or even try to relax.
Just tuning in and following the steady rhythm of the breath.
Allowing the body to become still, with a sense of wakefulness, dignity, a conscious decision to show up and be present to what is.
Whole and complete in this very moment.
As you sit here, inviting now into your mind’s eye an image of a magnificent, breathtaking mountain.
Real or imaginary.
Allowing it to come into focus, it does not have to be an image, it can also be a feeling, a concept, an idea.
So bringing now the focus on lofty peak or peaks high in the sky, the large base rooted in the bedrock of the earth’s crust.
Its steep or gently sloping sides.
Perhaps there is a cascade of waterfalls or a lake in front of the mountain
How does it see itself reflected in the water?
Observing what kind of season is it, maybe there is snow blanketing its tops and trees reaching down to the base, or rugged granite sides.
Perhaps noticing that the mind has wandered off to some past event or jumped into the future.
Again, bringing it back, just taking a breath and starting again, without judging.
If it feels right, perhaps congratulating ourselves for noticing that we had wandered away from the body.
So gathering onto the vision of the mountain. Noticing how massive it is, un-moving, how beautiful, glorious, this proud mountain is.
Whether night or day, spring or winter, rain or shine, the mountain stands there, unmoved by it all. And remaining at all times its essential self.
And now at a certain point allowing the image of the mountain into the entire body sitting here, in a sense unmovable, rooted in the stillness.
Breathing in, grounding. Breathing out, earthing ourselves.
The mountain is the place to pause, to return to, to embody, to feel the energy of the earth.
By becoming the mountain, we can practice with its strength and stability and adapt them for our own.
Teaching us to meet life’s constant changes with equanimity and clarity.
Maybe you notice the mind starts to wander. Thoughts of boredom, restlessness may arise. Simply notice the distractions. Gently, but firmly escorting the attention back to the body. Sitting here, massive as a mountain.
Whenever we need to ground ourselves in the present moment, this position is available to us.
Maybe noticing some of these qualities, how does it feel to sit tall as a mountain?
Very subtly moving as you breathe. Fully supported by our roots. Finding stability in our center. Growing tall and proud.
Supported by the ground beneath us even when things are cloudy.
Inviting now our attention to hold the entire body sitting here in the center stage of awareness. From the soles of the feet to the top of the head.
What is there to be noticed?
A sense of dignity in our posture. A lightness. A solidness.
Perhaps noticing the movement of the breath. Sensing the rise and fall of the stomach.
And if we choose to, perhaps placing our hands on the stomach.
Feeling into the constant flow of the breath. The rhythm of the breath rolling in and rolling out.
As we draw this meditation to a close, perhaps reflecting on the practice, avoiding the urge to label it, simply allow it to be as it is.
What qualities of the mountain can you embody in your day-to-day life?
How can you cultivate space to embody the same central, unwavering stillness and groundness in the face of everything that changes in our own lives.
And when you are ready, gently directing your awareness back to the sensations of the body sitting or lying here at this moment.
And gently stretching the body, embodying a subtle movement of a mountain.
The mountain meditation is now complete.
Thank you for meditating with me and congratulations on completing the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 10 Part Meditation series.
This is an invitation to sustain your practice, as best as you can, using this series as a guide, honoring what you need, so perhaps exploring also to stack different meditations together to create a longer daily routine.
And maybe, exploring, where can you make space to commit at least a few minutes daily to your mindfulness practice?
Cultivating the attitude of non-judgment of your practice as good or bad, patience – knowing that everything is unfolding in its divine order, trust in the process, kindness, and compassion as your companions, alongside your breath.
Trusting that taking the seat in conscious awareness through meditation, it is in itself an act of radical self love and kindness. And in a way, enough. Just as you are.
It was a true pleasure and honor guiding you throughout this series.
May you be happy, may you be safe, may you be well.
Until we meet again next time, thank you.
”Trusting that taking the seat in conscious awareness through meditation, it is in itself an act of radical self love and kindness. And in a way, enough. Just as you are.