Finding meditative moments outside of yoga class, where someone is reminding you to focus, can be quite difficult. Here are some ways that I find my meditative moments high above the trees, almost in the clouds, and surrounded by deer, bunnies, and birds.
How I Find My Meditative Moments
- In the intensity of the trail run itself. The more difficult a particular form of exercise is, the more you are thinking about it; the more you are actually IN the moment. Why? It can be uncomfortable and you are focused on one thing – getting it done with! Not “getting it done with” as you wish you hadn’t started. No, “getting it done with” as you know how you feel afterward, tackling such a mountain with your own two feet and making it to the top..which brings me my next point: The Views.
- The magnificent views. Maybe I should have clarified the kind of trail running I enjoy – the climbing kind. There are flat pieces of trail woven in these most of the time, but the types of trails I enjoy are the ones that weave over rocks, trees, rivers, and brush. The types of trails that have switchbacks and once you are high enough, you can start to see views of the cities below and, in the case of where I live, the San Francisco Bay area. I start to be able to breathe better, despite the intense aerobic activity of running, because I am re-igniting perspective. The physical places, where I will typically dwell on a problem or challenge, are now just tiny dots on the growing map. Those problems seem smaller and smaller…bringing me to my next item: Perspective.
- Perspective. Once you are at the top of the mountain, wherever it may be, you know it’s worth it. Sure, you could have driven up to the top, but where would the sense of accomplishment be? Not only the sense of accomplishment but the satisfaction of knowing your body and mind are capable of such a feat. Given the choice between driving the windy road or running to the top, I’d pick running every time.
- The quietness. The further you get away from noisy traffic and busy shopping plazas, the more you can hear the birds and rustling of the deer in the forest. A quietness begins to surround you. You can hear yourself think and find your natural rhythm and thought patterns.
When I reached the top, the sun was gently setting over the mountains and when I looked out to the left I saw a view above the clouds, the Pacific Ocean over the horizon. To the right, I observed the many glittering cities by the bay.
People may frustrate you, your job may stress you out, you may feel you are falling behind or moving ahead too quickly, but there is no shortage of mountains and other ways to give you perspective on life. They don’t need to be 2,000 feet tall. You just need to get high enough to make your challenges look like little dots below.
Originally posted 2018-07-03 12:24:48.