A 12-Minute Meditation for Embracing Your Inner Mountain

This week, Elaine Smookler invites us to explore the Mountain Meditation, where we will embody the mountain's steadfast calm amidst the swirling winds and shifting clouds of life.

Adobe Stock/Asad

This week, we’re going to explore the Mountain Meditation, a practice aimed at grounding us in the present moment. With an upright and dignified posture, reminiscent of a mountain’s enduring presence, we will embody the mountain’s steadfast calm amidst the swirling winds and shifting clouds of life.

As you adopt a posture that mirrors the natural ease of a mountain, either sitting or standing, allow yourself to experience this deep grounding. Whether your eyes are closed to deepen internal awareness or open to absorb the surrounding environment, you will rest in a connection with your inner experience. Imagine your spine gently curving, your head elevated as though suspended by a golden cord, all tension dissolving away.

Visualize the life of the mountain: snow melting, streams flowing down its face, trees and flowers blooming and fading, wildlife returning and departing with the changing seasons.

In the stillness that envelops you, visualize the life of the mountain: snow melting, streams flowing down its face, trees and flowers blooming and fading, wildlife returning and departing with the changing seasons. Through this meditation, I want to help you embrace the mountain’s quiet witness to the passage of time, fostering a tranquility that sees you through life’s constant changes.

Alongside today’s practice, I’m also excited to highlight the relaunch of my video course, Get Started with Mindfulness. Perfect for beginners and those looking to deepen their practice, this lively course offers step-by-step guidance to help you love your life more, have more fun, and be more present in body and mind. I hope you’ll give it a try. 

Now, let’s begin our Mountain Meditation.

  1. Begin by sensing the support under you. Whether you’re sitting here, standing up or lying down, notice the sensations of contact—with the chair, the floor, or your bed. And bringing your attention to feeling your feet. Notice sensations in the legs, the hips, the lower body, the upper body, your arms, shoulders, neck, and head. 
  2. Allowing your eyes to close, bring extraordinary attention to your ordinary breath. Breathe in for a count of five, and out for a count of seven, just for three breaths. And with each outbreath, invite a sense of feeling more grounded and connected. Letting the shoulders drop. Relaxing the belly. Feeling present.
  3. Now bring to your mind’s eye the most majestic mountain that you can imagine. See its lofty peaks, its rolling green, its fragrant, loamy grandeur. Maybe your mountain has streams, waterfalls, snow-covered tops, meadows, or lakes. Observe it all, noticing its qualities.
  4. When you feel ready, see if you can bring the mountain into your own body. What we mean here is allowing yourself to feel its massiveness and its stillness as though it were a part of your own body. Your head becomes the lofty peak. Your shoulders and arms, the sides of the mountain. Your buttocks and legs, the solid base, rooted to your cushion or your chair or your bed. And so on. 
  5. With each breath, become a little more of a breathing mountain. You can even say these words to yourself. Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain. Breathing out, I feel calm and stable. Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain. Breathing out, I feel calm and stable. Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain. Breathing out, I feel calm and stable. 
  6. As a mountain, notice how thoughts and emotions come and go like weather. If you’re a mountain, it isn’t personal. Everything comes and goes. Breathing in, I see and feel myself as a mountain. Breathing out, I feel calm and stable. Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain. Breathing out, I feel calm and stable. Feel what it is to embody this grounding quality, the grandeur and presence of a mountain.
  7. Taking one more breath together, say again: Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain. Breathing out, I feel calm and stable. And on an outbreath, bring this sense of presence and grounding in connection to the next moments of our day. 

Thank you for your practice today. May you be calm, connected, and stable. 

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