The Mountain is Misty Today
And I’m so much a part of this mountain now that when the mood of the mountain changes — day to day, hour by hour — so does my desire to hike its trails change with it.
Today the mountain is misty, and so am I. So I’m going on a misty hike.
It’s all about being present. Staying present.
I was fortunate to find a way to study techniques of repeatedly bringing my attention back to whatever is right there in front of me. So much so that I feel I’m part of all that is around me, especially my mountains.
Let me share with you one of those strategies that works for me.
It is simple, but powerful.
It may even sound too simple. But try it for yourself. See what happens.
The Working Surfaces
I began using it first thing upon awaking this morning.
I sat up on the edge of my bed and stayed there a few minutes — brought the practice to mind — allowed all thoughts to wing their way out of mind — leaving the mind free of all ideas — including the idea of the practice I just brought to mind,
And remained there in stillness a moment or two before getting up out of bed.
Sounds so simple.
And it is.
But it set a tone for my next activities — showering, shampooing the hair, soaping the body, toweling dry, shaving, combing my hair, brushing my teeth, dressing, buttoning my shirt, pulling on my pants one leg at a time.
Bringing my attention back to each activity and always allowing any ideas that popped into mind to drift off on their way to wherever they go, but not remain in my mind.
The practice sentence that I brought to mind is very simple:
Allow the attention to rest where the working surfaces meet and let go of all ideas.
Maybe sounds too simple.
Try it. See what occurs.
When forgetting it, and you realize you have forgotten, then bring it to mind again, and again, and again, making it a habit.
Don’t try to analyze it. Just do it. It can’t possibly hurt you!
Stay with it through as many activities as possible — keep on bringing it back to mind when you see that it has gone. Don’t be discouraged.
Do it through all the mindless activities of the day — all day long, while driving, hiking, waiting in line at market, coffee shop, post office.
The Deeper Awareness
I can tell you what it has done for me. But that is not what it might do for you. Our experiences will be different — but only in details, not in overall affect.
There is a level of awareness that is beneath all ideas, even beneath all subconsciousness.
It is something that you cannot be rid of. It is who you are. It has no thoughts. No opinions. No imaging. No visions.
It is the subtle awareness that empowers all in your life and the world around you — even any ideas that perk up into mind. Yes, and those too, that might doubt and dismiss it as useless.
It is always there. And we rarely know anything about it.
You cannot deny it, for you cannot deny that you exist. No matter how hard you may try.
It’s like denying you are a man or a woman. You really can’t. But you never think about trying to find out whether you exist. Except perhaps in an intellectual way.
Don’t take my word for it. Try it. See if you can actually believe that you are not you.
As the Katha Upanishad says:
As rain upon a mountain ridge runs down the slope, the man that has seen the shapes of (his or her) Self runs after them everywhere.
I learned this practice at The School of Practical Philosophy in New York City. http://www.philosophyworks.org/distancelearning/
I learned dozens of other practices there as well, exercises that work their wonders upon the person I think I am, but helped me to find out instead, THAT which I truly AM.
You may want to check out that online course http://www.philosophyworks.org/distancelearning/
I do not have any connection with that school, its courses; nor do I earn any money from it. I offer this information entirely free.