by Charles Curtis
I was in the mountains yesterday on retreat at my favorite place, a wildlife sanctuary. It was a rainy day so the place was deserted. At the first overlook, I could see for miles and the cloud cover was hanging low, and there were little tendrils of cloud extending down the mountain slopes in the distance.
I’ve been doing meditation for many years. So I am well acquainted with that timeless state of inner awareness when the normal flow of conscious thought is stopped and there is nothing there but a state of peace. In this state of mind, the normal perception of oneself as a limited being is dissolved and replaced by an expanded awareness that life is a sacred experience. In this awareness, time stands still, and it is obvious that each moment presents us with the opportunity to find something sacred frozen in that little drop of time.
Yesterday as I walked on the mountain, and then stopped to pause at an outlook, it became one of those timeless moments. I felt like I could gaze out onto that beautiful mountain vista forever, that my whole life was represented in the fragile beauty of the wisps of cloud as they slowly twisted and turned in the breeze. In that awareness, there was no sense of separation between me and my experience. There was “no inside and no outside”. There was just “the mountain and the air and the mist and the stillness and a peace that went on forever”.
As I walked further up the trail, I felt like I could walk forever, that life just went on forever in this blissful walking experience. No matter where I went on the mountain, I felt the presence of peace. In that peace, there was nothing to judge, nothing to fear, nothing to push against, nothing to be upset about. And I experienced once again what I experience every time I go there, that “the mountain doesn’t care, the mountain just IS, yesterday, day, and tomorrow”.
And I noticed once again, what I notice every time I’m there, that the mountain is oblivious to what happens around it. That the frantic confusion of humanity, as human beings scurry around living out their individual dramas, doesn’t affect this mass of rock and plants.
The mountain doesn’t care about what may have been on my mind. The mountain doesn’t care about “he done me wrong”. The mountain doesn’t care about the quality of one’s relationships. The mountain doesn’t care about oil changes and computer glitches and grocery lists.
The mountain doesn’t care if I mess up my life, or if I magnificently succeed. It doesn’t care about my client load. It doesn’t care about malpractice insurance, or whether hypnosis is recognized as a separate profession, or whether the people in the world become more aware of what NLP is.
The mountain doesn’t care. The mountain simply is.
And nature everywhere is sublimely impervious to man’s erratic behavior. Whenever one of man’s creations is abandoned, like an old factory, instantly nature starts to take control. Within a short time, the roof has fallen in, plants are growing through cracks in the floor, and in a few years, the planet has taken back its own.
Even in areas where man has caused destruction, the moment the hand of man ceases to exert its influence, nature begins to reclaim and regrow. Even in the trashiest empty lots in the most burned out parts of our cities, plants start to grow unbidden, birds nest, animals dig burrows, and insects live out their lives as nature begins to recreate.
I stopped at the bookstore in the wildlife sanctuary and purchased a copy of “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau. I already had numerous copies stashed at other locations, but it seemed like a “Walden” day and I wanted to ponder sections of it here on this mountain on this day.
I feel a kinship with Thoreau because he was a philosopher who lived close to the earth and I love nothing more than time spent in nature deep in philosophical thought.
Philosophy is good for the soul. A philosophical approach to life makes us more conscious about how we live the moments of our lives, more careful in the choices that we make.
It’s good to realize that we are residents of this living earth. We are part of this organism called the planet. We are intimately connected to the atmosphere, water, food, and energy. We need to remember this so that we can be good stewards of the resources with which we have been entrusted.
You can’t draw water from an empty well. As NLP Practitioners, we need to take time to do something like this, to fill the well and get ourselves back into a peaceful place, connected to All-That-Is.
If we take the time to do that, later on when we meet with our clients, we are feeling so good that just being with us is uplifting for them. And then, from that place of peace, we can induce peace in our clients.
That’s why my internet signature is “World Peace Through Inner Peace”. Because to me, being in the place of inner peace, and then teaching other people how to do that, is an answer to the world’s problems.
When you get a client out of fear and anger and into that place of inner peace, which is what we strive for in our hypnosis practice, it heals them, because all of a sudden their frantic headlong rush through life comes to a stop.
And they realize, perhaps for the first time, that peace is possible, that it doesn’t have to take a long time, and that when you START with peace, then the actions you take FROM that peaceful place are peaceful harmonious actions that create MORE peace.
To create outer peace, you have to have inner peace. And especially in this chaotic time, where every headline seems to indicate that life on this planet seems to be in a headlong rush towards ever more confusion and destruction, it’s vitally important to periodically separate from all of that, to find a way to go inward into a state of meditation, to find that place of inner peace, and in your own way, to re-remember that sacred truth that “the mountain doesn’t care.”