Yogi Warrior: Sit Like a Mountain

“All of man’s difficulties are caused by his inability to sit, quietly, in a room by himself.” –  Blaise Pascal

In the field of meditation a popular practice is one of meditating upon the body as a Mountain. Some practices facilitate the use if visualization and imagery and others more of a sense of just resting deeply and allowing the qualities of body_mountain-WEB‘mountain-like’ presence to arise. As always there is no right or wrong, but understanding the practice you are doing can help to set you up in a more positive way and quietens the need to keep thinking about what your meant to be doing during your practice.

Left – Mountain Like: The human body represented as a mountain. Depicted here are the Cinnabar Fields (dantian), the Three Barriers (sanguan), and the palaces of the inner deities.

“As I sit and forget my form (xing), all the mountains, the rivers, and the ten thousand things are within my body”

 

 Tneijing_tu_large-WEB-2he body has long been seen as a mountain particularly in ancient Taoist  texts in relation to the practice of Internal Alchemy (Neidan) and practices for Nourishing Life(yangsheng).Visual depictions of the body as a mountain, and its specific loci, are related to the best-known Taoist image of the inner body, called the Chart of the Inner Warp (Neijing tu) – Left, which maps the body as a landscape whose features have symbolic meanings in Neidan.

Right Japanese Internajapanese_chart_1a-WEBl Alchemy Chart – The Ageless and Deathless Body: Taoism and the Idea of the “Embryo”

From top to bottom along the vertical axis, the chart shows the upper Cinnabar Field; the eyes; the tongue; the trachea; the middle Cinnabar Field; the lower Cinnabar Field; and the Caudal Funnel at the base of the body.

As with Taoist texts and Indian Yogic texts and illustrations, we come to understand there are certain points within the body that require opening. These points can be found more towards the back of the body and starting at the base of the body around the coccyx. In the ascending path along the Control vessel [a channel running along the back of the body], three points are arduous to overcome. The alchemical texts call them “barriers” (or “passes,”)

Chakra_18th_Century_Painting-WEBIn the Yogic tradition they talk of awakening the Kundalini from its seat at the base of the spine, and smoothly up to the crown of the head via the central channel and chakras.

Success may not depend upon sheer will or force alone. If you have been meditating for a while you will have probably come to the place where you realise that resting and concentrating within your body doesn’t happen just because you want it to or just because you’re doing some practice now and again. So we use the sitting like a mountain as the laying of the foundation for our meditation practice. We simply take rest from the noise of the mind for a while and rest within the body.

Over time this foundation can become the starting point for the practices of the Taoist Alchemy or the rising of the Kundalini also known as Raja Yoga. It makes sense that for energy to rise smoothly it does not want to meet obstructions or restrictions be they physical or psychic. So we learn to rest deep down within the body until our restlessness and physical body settles down, our energy becomes smooth and our mind is stable and settled and our concentration can then begin to grow. At last the body, heart, mind and energy come to a more settled state – and we relax deeper and deeper and build upon this foundation practice.

As you sit like a mountain no matter what occurs – whether thoughts, sounds, feelings, and sensations – let them come and go. As the mountain is not disturbed by anything around it neither are you. But not through tension or strain, but by being effortless and relaxed. Don’t grab onto anything, just leave it all alone and be fully present. Let it all drop away and just sit like a mountain. Nothing to do, nowhere to go, being no-one.

Meditation teacher Burgs says, “Rest effortlessly like a mountain”. That says it all.

Thankyou Burgs

Happy Practice

 

Sources:

Japanese Alchemy Chart, Taishūkan shoten, 2002

Duren shangpin miaojing neiyi (Inner Meaning of the Wondrous Scripture of the Upper Chapters on Salvation; CT 90), 8a-b.

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