One of the reasons I love going to and being in the mountains is fond childhood memories of treks in the wintry forest in Germany with my brother, dad, cousin and uncle.
I remember how peaceful the quiet felt, not a single bird whisper, how our footfalls were muted, muffled by the snow blanketing everything. Occasionally you could hear our boots crunching in the snow if it was hard, but mostly I remember just this quiet stillness.
The sky--usually blanketed by gray clouds that seemed close enough to touch--made me feel very protected there, surrounded by peacefulness. I don't remember feeling the cold either, because just being there felt so good.
Now, sitting in my van at the American Fork Canyon I feel the blinding sun warming my arms. In the all-encompassing absence of city noise, my skin is absolutely tingling. This tingling sensation is running through my body, which I don't notice in the noisy distraction of home, at work, or driving to and fro in my busy life, even though it is probably happening there too.
I'm hearing birds, different kinds, high up in the trees making various bird calls. No singing like in late spring and summer. They just seem to be talking. And surrounding everything is this deep stillness, punctuated only by the intermittent bird chat. In the distance and up high, all around.
Occasionally a wind current sweeps the van but in here I feel sheltered.
When I look up at Mt. Timpanogos, ringed by clouds against a blue sky, I can see the climbing trees, which always remind me of the Lord-of-the-Rings questing Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Aragorn and the rest on their way to Mordor through the snowy mountains. And I'm noticing the sunlight beaming off the snow--glistening like eye-piercing diamonds and giving me a headache in the process (sigh).
So why I'm really up here, what I'm really doing, is continuing a passage I read earlier today, which excited me so much I had to come all the way up here to be immersed in perfect still awareness to absorb the words undisturbed.
This passage is from The End of Your World by Adyashanti, and I gotta tell you, his book ranks higher than my other favorites, including Wake Up Now by Stephen Bodian and Beyond Awakening by Jeff Foster. This book of Adya's, affects me as much as Eckhart's A New Earth. I'm continually blown away by what I'm reading.
Right now he talks about coming out of hiding;
...most people have a fear of being truthful, of really being honest--not only with others, but with themselves as well. Of course, the core of this fear is that most people know intuitively that if they were actually totally truthful and totally sincere and honest, they would no longer be able to control anybody.
Most people are protecting themselves. They are holding a lot of things in. They are not living honest, truthful, and sincere lives, because if they were to do so, they would have no control. Of course, they don't have control anyway, but they would have no illusion of control either.
...the place to start is with yourself--can you be totally sincere with yourself? Can you go to that place that is beyond blame, beyond judgment, beyond should and shouldn't? Can you go to that place that is so sincere you won't shy away from any part of yourself that is still in conflict; you won't use the perception of truth to hide from something that feels less than liberating?
...You feel your heart opening, your mind opening, you feel yourself opening on levels that you never dreamed possible. These levels are not just transcendent of humanness, but also right within your humanness, because there is no separation between your human being and your divine being.
His words just blow me away.
And that is how I ended up enjoying the mountains today.
Loving it. And you.