Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sitting like a Mountain

I have been taking an online class at T. Thorn Coyle's Morningstar Mystery School, re-learning the discipline of daily meditation and spiritual practice. I used to be a whiz at this, but have neglected it for a time, or become hap-hazard with it. It really helps to sit every morning with a prescribed routine and do it every day, as unfailingly as possible. Good things happen, both mentally and physically, when you do that. 

 T. Thorn Coyle is a really fine teacher who pays close attention to physical as well as spiritual and psychological exercise. I have been reading her books for years and the chance to study with her is something I never expected to be able to do. We have worked up from candle-gazing and written conversation with our internal Seekers (what are we seeking in doing this exercise) and Resistors (what within us is trying to resist our doing so, and why) to sitting meditation and some dancing/yoga/exercise added into the quiet stuff. We always begin by centering and aligning, balancing our souls or psyches or whatever you would call it, through breath work. This is something I have been doing for a long time, even when I have neglected the rest of it. Back in the days when I was a Franciscan, we prayed the daily office, which did not suit me and always rankled. We also did daily self-examen of our consciences and attitudes and inner workings, which I found a really important tool for spiritual growth. This class is very much about learning about yourself and involves a lot of that.

And then there is the sitting meditation. From long habit, I used to be able to fall in and out of a deep meditative state at the blink of an eye, but have lost that skill through disuse.  Thorn gave us three suggestions about how to get into it and of these, I found the Sitting Like a Mountain meditation really worked for me. In it, using a guided meditation narrative, we become a mountain which nurtures and supports a variety of life on the surface and has a cavern inside with a deep pool at the bottom of it.  I enter the deep, still pool and stay there in silence with myself for 10 minutes. It is very peaceful in there. I am gradually learning to go deeper and deeper, as I used to do. 

The Jewish image of God has neither form nor gender. According to Torah, God's name is "I am what I will be" which is basically translated from a Hebrew word meaning existence. The word itself is so holy that no one ever speaks it, and it has been unspoken for so long that no one really knows how anymore. With this as background, here is the fruit of my mediation from a few days ago when I was Sitting Like a Mountain.

I am life itself.
I am the beating heart of the rain
I am a stone at the bottom of a pool
I am the moon, the wind and the sighing of the sea, the crash and bang of thunder
I am mountains, rivers, all
I am dancing
I am love
Where I am is all the earth the stars the universe and space beyond it all
I am life itself
I am.

Photo credit:, with thanks to Lady Moonraven for sharing it.


  1. I am MAJ's wife, and what I know about meditation has, in the past, come from various sources that seemed disjointed and only served to confuse me, bore me, and stress me more. My spiritual practice is traditional, even a little orthodox. I need rules and directions....a control freak raised and trained to military perfection. Along came my Beatnik wife with a free and rebellious spirit, a brilliant mind, and a thirst for exploring infinite possibilities in her own mind and soul. I would love to have been suspicious of this, but it has made her younger and healthier. Thank you, Thorn Coyle, fellow sojourners, and my partner in life for making your journey readable, doable, and exciting.