Meditation Practice: Mountain Meditation for Beginners

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This is another article in a series for those who are beginning to meditate. It’s important to know what meditation is and what it isn’t, so please read the other articles first Buddhist Meditation: Mindful Breathing Practice and Meditation Practice: Preparation for Beginners.

Meditation is a relaxed state of heightened awareness.  It is not a zoned out state bordering on sleepiness; nor is a state of cogitation.  Mediators do experience thoughts passing through the mind like fluffy clouds passing through the sky, but they do not follow, nor attempt to  forcefully drive any arising thoughts from their mind; they pay them no mind.

The principle of meditation is you are what you think,  and when you choose to learn to meditate the door to your consciousness opens. When we are  fully present in the moment we are grounded.

mountain

photo credit

The mountain sat upon the plain
In his eternal chair,
His observation omnifold,
His inquest everywhere.

The seasons prayed around his knees,
Like children round a sire:
Grandfather of the days is he,
Of dawn the ancestor.

1. Choose a meditation time when you can sit for half an hour without interruption.

Some experts say that the early morning is the best time to choose; others   recommend choosing to meditate twice daily morning and night.  Neither recommendation is written in stone.

2. Choose a clean and quiet meditation environment, preferably one outdoors.

Once again this not written in stone but most  find it easier to focus outdoors than they do indoors. Make the choice that’s best for you.

3. Choose a comfortable erect position.

Choose a comfortable position to be in that allows your spine and head to be erect.  Try a straightbacked chair but other positions can be chosen if the chair does not suit you.  The aim is to have an erect and straight back and head, with the chin slightly tucked in towards the chest, both feet flat on the floor, and hands quietly resting on your thighs.

4. Choose to commence with a relaxation exercise.

Begin to progressively tense and release the muscles from your toes to your head until  they become relaxed and peaceful, as you learned in Meditation Practice: Preparation for Beginners.  Notice where there is tension and smooth and calm those muscles in your imagination.

5. Choose to commence following your breath and to continue following it until your meditation is complete.

Begin observing your breath as you learned in Buddhist Meditation: Mindful Breathing Practice. Follow your breath in and out without changing the inhalation – pause – exhalation – pause cycle  any way. Remain in tune with feeling air pass in and out of your nostrils as you inhale and exhale.

6. Visualize a mountain and then become that mountain.

Imagine yourself as being that majestic mountain with your summit in the clouds. Imagine how solid and strong and how connected to the earth you are, for you, the mountain, have stood for thousands of years.

Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain
Breathing out, I feel solid and strong.

The weather has always been in a state of flux around  you. The views  change from  blue sky views with gentle breezes and showers to mighty banks of storm clouds,  dispensing heavy downpours, to sleet and snow. Yet, you have stood firm and immovable, and the winds of change have whirled for centuries around you without any noticeable effects.

Breathing in makes me calm.
Breathing out helps me settle.

Just like changes in weather for you the mountain are whirling about outside of you  provoking no angst, the emotions, activities and situations that whirl around you in your every day life  shall not disturb you when your meditation ends. You shall remain tall and strong and connected.

Breathing in, I see feel secure.
Breathing out, I feel grounded.

You shall remain upright, firmly grounded and connected to the earth,  regardless of the weather whirling around you.  So now just sit and continue to follow your breath as you sink  deeply into your majestic mountain base without collasping your spine. Become one with the feelings of solidity, strength and connection.

Breathing in, I feel still and connected.
Breathing out, I reflect things as they are.

End your meditation when you feel it’s time to do so.

As  Mountain Meditation Practice leads to  a calm, strong and grounded state of mind, the benefit  is being able to use  it to cope with stress arising in every day life, and to improve relationships through conscious living.

12 thoughts on “Meditation Practice: Mountain Meditation for Beginners

  1. As a hiker and yoga person this meant a lot. I’m having trouble steadying my mind for any amount of time over 10 minutes but this visual really helped!

    I love your blog!
    Namaste

  2. Timethief, from the mountains in Japan, thanks for this post. I really like #2, because meditating outdoors reconnects us to our natural source – we remember we are our breath, especially when the wind brushes our cheek or we feel sunlight on our eyelids. And if you are outdoors then #6 can become actually being with a real mountain, not just visualizing it, so your breath is also the mountain you see and feel. Meditation outdoors reminds us that we are nature and nature is us. I live deep in the mountains here in Japan and am grateful every day for my reconnection with the greater web of life that supports and sustains me. I look forward to sharing perspectives with you and invite you to visit my bilingual website/blog. My latest, very short post has a lovely photo of one of the nearby mountain lakes and it may give you a moment of contemplative release from the stress you talk about. From the foot of Mount Fuji, I am delighted to have found your blog.
    .-= Catrien Ross´s last blog ..Catrien Ross on Stopping Yourself in 10 Ways to Simply Be More and Better Now =-.

    • “You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself.” — James Whittaker

      Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for your comment.

      I live in one of the most beautiful places in Canada. From one side of the small island I live on I can see the mountains behind Vancouver on the mainland. From the other side of the island I can see Mount Benson on Vancouver Island.

      I really appreciated your visit and look forward to visiting your blog and getting to know you.

      Namaste

  3. This is just what I needed this month, TT! In fact, I just wrote a new post about how I have been a little stressed out lately (just too busy–way too busy!). This is a great reminder for me to concentrate on those things that really do lighten the stress load.

    Well done!

    Melinda
    .-= Melinda´s last blog ..Stressed Out? De-Stress Yourself! =-.

    • Hi Melinda,
      I too have been under a lot of stress so much so that I haven’t had the time to blog here that I would have liked to have had. Thanks for waiting for a reply. I couldn’t get in but that’s all fine now.

  4. The biggest challenge I have is finding 30 minutes of uninterrupted time. I know that it is worth it to make the time, but it still remains a challenge in a busy lifestyle. Thanks for your encouraging and informative story.

  5. Hi… someone nominated me for a blog award, so I thought I should nominate someone as well, and I thought of you. It’s called The Canadian Weblog Awards — this one seems professional enough to mean something — and I thought this site fit the criteria perfectly. We’re both in the Health & Wellness category. Good luck.

    http://www.canadianweblogawards.com/
    .-= Gabriel…´s last blog ..Little Victor Is A Month Old Because After Four Weeks Two Months Old Would Be Showing Off =-.

  6. That sounds like a good one. Years ago I tried meditating outdoors, but with the deadly bee allergy, the occassional buzzing in my ears was just too much of a distraction. <:\
    .-= Lana´s last blog ..Yellow Leaf =-.

    • Hi Lana,
      I’m severely allergic to yellow jacket wasp stings. I can hear their buzzing before anyone else can. Luckily, they are rarely a problem for me. My awareness keeps me sting free. :)

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