The Peace of the Mountains

Long vistas of ridges beyond ridges and deep, steep roadless canyons. A hot, sunny, still and cloudless day under a seemingly endless blue sky. I was traveling along a dry, rocky and rough dirt track through the mountains.

Somewhere past halfway to the destination I came across a spring-fed pool. Water sheeted down a short rock wall and collected in an old clawfoot tub before spilling over and trickling onto the dusty trail.

A few oak trees shaded this spot and so it was an ideal place to stop. I cupped my hands into the pool and splashed water on my face and arms. Then I dipped my hat in to wet it before putting it back on my head. I sat and rested.

My awareness softened as my body relaxed. The water glistened in the light, but flowed with barely a sound. The water in the tub was clear with some green algae growing from the bottom and there were many small water boatmen (a small water-loving insect). There was not even the hint of a breeze so the plants were still.

The tub itself had broken apart over time. Some of this from rust, but likely also due to falling rocks or tree limbs. Other visitors before me had plugged some of the larger cracks in the tub with stones and moss so that it was mostly full of life-giving water.

I sat and felt the energy of this place. I stopped thinking and just felt the rocks, the trees and the light. There was a palpable and profound sense that all is well. The tub was busted up, old and rusted, but it was holding water and occupying this spot just as it should. (There is a lesson there regarding contribution despite the wear and tear of experience.)

I felt contentment absorb into my body and mind. I felt that even though there are aches and mistakes in my history, all is truly well. I could feel the supreme balance of this place and of this moment inside me. Nothing to do or improve. Nowhere to go. No searching or striving needed.

I named this place the ‘Tub of Contentment’ and the feeling of being there lives inside me still. I sometimes visit this place in meditation when I want to slow down and just be. Remembering helps me to feel my ‘enough-ness’.

Can you remember the most serene spot that you ever came across? Can you recall the feeling of being there? Can you allow yourself a measure of that peace to inhabit your body now?

Take as much time as you need.