The Mountain Spirit

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18 Nov 2017 11:31 #306257 by Streen
Streen created the topic: The Mountain Spirit
I'd like to share an excerpt from the book Everyday Tao. You may wonder why I'd put that here and not in the Eastern religions forum. Well, I personally believe that the way of the Tao is the Jedi way's ancient counterpart. I realize that not everyone agrees with that, and that Taoism can be seen from various points of view. My experience has been that it can be far more universal than people generally think. The book I'm quoting from is one such example. It has little to do with religion, and more to do with spirituality. Anyway, you can be the judge.

This excerpt gave me a feeling I haven't had in a very long time, which is why I'm sharing it with you. Hopefully, you'll see what I mean...

The ancient teachers took their students to the mountains, so that they could find inspiration in the high, sweeping vistas.
Each of them could take pleasure in the fresh air scented with pine and herbs. None of them could fail to clear the mind of the toil and considerations of daily life. From ancient times to present, the mountains have been the best places to learn from Tao.

The ancients believed that there was something called the mountain spirit. They took pains to emphasize to their students that they should not confuse this spirit with the demons and hobgoblins of childhood stories. The mountain spirit was one of purity and isolation. Even though Tao was everywhere, spiritual wisdom was too easily lost in the cares and considerations of the plains. In the isolation of the mountains, with the voices of the throng stilled, the whispers of Tao could finally be heard.
This was what the ancients called the mountain spirit.

Sometimes certain students wanted to study Tao longer. They became so enthralled with the whispers of the mountain spirit that they stayed there and learned of Tao without any of the distractions of society. These were the great people of Tao,
for they became imbued with the mountain spirit.



One might say that the word "Tao" could be easily replaced with "the Force" in this instance. You think? ;)

§†®éèñ
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18 Nov 2017 16:52 #306271 by Arisaig
Arisaig replied the topic: The Mountain Spirit
I know that my greatest distraction, yet the only way I can contact other Jedi... is technology. I have far too much tech. I have a laptop, desktop, TV with a PS4 and DVD player, two cells phones (one for actual use, the other is my old one and is just an expensive alarm clock)... well, you get the picture.

A few months ago I went on a camping trip to a family-friend's cabin. It rained the whole time, but I love that cabin for a simple reason. Its cosy, quaint, and completely tech free. There isn't even any heaters besides a single radiator that isn't powerful enough to reach most of the few rooms. Its far enough from any major road to not hear any cars. All you can hear is the woosh woosh of the waves (from the water that surrounds the cabin on three sides) hitting the shore.

You know that feeling when the power goes out? You suddenly become so aware of how much electronic buzzing is always filling your ears, distracting you. It was like that, but for a whole weekend. I go out of my way to try to recreate that experience regularly with noise cancelling headphones and nature music ( www.asoftmurmur.com is great for that btw).

My point being, we get caught up in society, tech, our own pasts and futures. It is good to pull yourself from that once in a while.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Force speaks to us all, always. It takes a quiet mind to hear it, and a willing mind to listen.


Teaching Master: Knight Zenchi
Holocrons ~ IP I AP I Personal ~
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18 Nov 2017 16:54 #306272 by vladucard
vladucard replied the topic: The Mountain Spirit
very much so! This was a fantastic passage! I definitely agree that we are so distracted by everything, everywhere.....this is why a nice walk in a quite forest, a swim in a calm lake, and even fishing in a desolate river is the best! IT's just you and the Force around you.

Thanks you for sharing, this was lovely!

"Breathe deep....and live it" - Arisaig
Teaching Master: Senan
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18 Nov 2017 18:18 #306280 by JLSpinner
JLSpinner replied the topic: The Mountain Spirit
More than just the Tao talk about this aspect of reconnecting with Mother Earth and leaving the noise of society behind. You can find this in Native American, European, and African traditions.
I find this a very truthful tradition to be used regularly. However I feel we must always return to the noise and try to hold on to our center in order to share the strength of that peace.


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19 Nov 2017 11:02 #306320 by Streen
Streen replied the topic: The Mountain Spirit

JLSpinner wrote: You can find this in Native American, European, and African traditions.


That's what I meant by "universal" ;)

As for "always returning to the noise", I think that's a generalization. Not everyone can live in the noise. Some people need to stay on the mountain.

I've had fleeting moments of the experience described in the book. One of which happened one Winter when I was at the top of a hill, sledding with my brother, probably 15 or more years ago. It was snowing, and there wasn't a single sound to be heard. I live in a rural area and we were far from any roads or houses. I watched the snow fall in complete silence, and I felt something I still can't describe to this day. So I sat down in the snow, crossed my legs, and closed my eyes. I felt a complete peace. A powerful stillness.

This was as close to the mountain spirit I've ever been, and I'll never forget it. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back. I am, and always will be, in awe of that moment.

§†®éèñ
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19 Nov 2017 14:29 #306331 by Kobos
Kobos replied the topic: The Mountain Spirit
Streen,

I agree with you, I spent a lot of time in the high desert of northern Arizona and there this a clarity to that surrounding. I also try to get an annual trip to CO and spend time in the rural areas between the Ski towns. I find the meditation there a set above some of the meditation I get here in the suburbs. On this note though as my Master commented we must bring it back to the noise of the reality of our human society, believe you me I have had many a thought of moving back to the mountains and spending much time there. After all the view of the valleys below from a mile above is a great perspective to see how in the world that is so huge I am still part of the nature of it all. In times here I go there in my mind, One place in particular place outside of Sedona. Atop a small isolated mesa slightly south of Cathedral Rock and to the east of Courthouse Rock. It was the most dangerous climb I have made without gear, and in fact the most reckless, however, I will never forget the scene and the view below. This view was the mountain speaking to me as you would put it. To see the town I worked in, to the town I lived in, all the way to the ridge which lead to prescott, AZ left me speechless. To this day I carry that vision for times I fall into the trap of the modern pull and break from the Force it can often cause.

Another place I cannot forget one which spoke and still speaks to me was the crater near Mt. Pauaoa (that probably spelled wrong. On the big Island of Hawaii, the walk across this volcanic rock where nature is ever busy recycling itself is a reminder to me that like this process we spiritually and mentally are always under going this transformation. There are often times I revisit this memory to bring me to my center. My Father took me to the Big Island of Hawaii after the break up with the girl I assumed would be my wife (8 years) and I will never forget the peace it brought me. I will post a picture my father took while I was down there, his age stopped him from following me, he took it from the rim, it puts the size of a human in perspective ;)

Much love and respect,
Kobos

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19 Nov 2017 16:29 #306341 by JLSpinner
JLSpinner replied the topic: The Mountain Spirit

Streen wrote:

JLSpinner wrote: You can find this in Native American, European, and African traditions.


That's what I meant by "universal" ;)

As for "always returning to the noise", I think that's a generalization. Not everyone can live in the noise. Some people need to stay on the mountain.

I've had fleeting moments of the experience described in the book. One of which happened one Winter when I was at the top of a hill, sledding with my brother, probably 15 or more years ago. It was snowing, and there wasn't a single sound to be heard. I live in a rural area and we were far from any roads or houses. I watched the snow fall in complete silence, and I felt something I still can't describe to this day. So I sat down in the snow, crossed my legs, and closed my eyes. I felt a complete peace. A powerful stillness.

This was as close to the mountain spirit I've ever been, and I'll never forget it. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back. I am, and always will be, in awe of that moment.


When I say that, I mean for our type of people(peaceful warriors). The Mountain can be addictive and become a temptation. Although you find peace you deprive the world of servant leadership who can make an impact. If we hide away from the daily buzz what kind of service do we provide? This was all I meant.


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21 Nov 2017 17:24 #306518 by Streen
Streen replied the topic: The Mountain Spirit

JLSpinner wrote: When I say that, I mean for our type of people(peaceful warriors). The Mountain can be addictive and become a temptation. Although you find peace you deprive the world of servant leadership who can make an impact. If we hide away from the daily buzz what kind of service do we provide? This was all I meant.


I know. And you're right when it comes to being a Jedi. For Taoists, for which the book was written, I can imagine it's a different matter, but I agree that we can't stay on the mountain forever :)

§†®éèñ
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22 Nov 2017 01:08 #306560 by Adder
Adder replied the topic: The Mountain Spirit
I think its a blend of a few things around transforming ones environment to shepherd a transformation in perception. Another example might be seafaring, though entirely different it might impact and function in a similar way. Space travel will probably need the same mental refinement afforded by such practices. I wouldn't say they are necessarily ascetic, but lend towards it, and might benefit from an element of, or familiarity with hermitism to some extent. Instead of just some simple translocation it would work nicely if it served to empower ones role back in community. Good timing thread for me, as I have been reading around online for the last few weeks about Shugendō.


'The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed.' ~ William Gibson
Training Master: Mark Anjuu

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22 Nov 2017 10:51 #306576 by Cyan Sarden
Cyan Sarden replied the topic: The Mountain Spirit
I believe this directly corresponds to what Joseph Campbell meant when he said: „You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.“

I believe teaching masters should have this in their lesson plans for the apprentices - it‘s an essential concept. Deliberately creating a place, be it physical or in our minds - where there‘s no distraction, where there‘s no worry, where there‘s no regret. A place that is there solely to listen to what the Force is whispering.

Do not look for happiness outside yourself. The awakened seek happiness inside.
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