There’s something about being on top of a mountain, or even just a rise. The views can be eyecatching, if not stunning. There’s something even more about being high enough to be in the clouds, it’s an ethereal experience. The air is cooler, the mist turns to rain, the clouds swirl as the wind pushes against the mountain, apart from the birds, the wind and rain, there is no noise, no unnatural noise. And, if there’s a gap in the cloud, you can see for miles. It’s a totally different perspective to the ground level view.
The ancients liked to think that mountains were close to their deity, the mountains reached up to the heavens, so they must be sacred places of meeting between gods and people. The people of Israel had a special affinity with Mt. Sinai where Moses received the content of the ten commands. For the ancient Greeks Mt. Olympus was the home of the Greek Gods, and Mt. Athos was the holy mountain. In Tibet Mt. Kaillash is sacred, for the Incas it was Macchu Picchu, in Japan Koya-san is sacred, in Australia Uluru is sacred, and in New Zealand it is Mt. Taranaki. There are many more, and there isn’t a geographical region that doesn’t have a sacred mountain, such that it would suggest that the ancients felt a deep spiritual connection with certain mountains, and the fact that this crosses over every culture and continent is significant.
Mountains are places for reflection, meditation, you can also clear your head. So for me there is a mindfulness about being up a mountain, or a rock or a rise. And it speaks to perespective, how we see something in overview, as oposed to ground level view where everything is foreshortened and not so visisble. Being above ourselves in a mindful observing way, might give us perspective on our growth, our goals, behaviour and so on. Being above community in a mindful observing way might give us a better perspective on our relationships, what might be really happening, we might see potential, possibility, and gain a sense of hope.
There is also the opportunity to put ourselves in perspective simply by the sheer disparity in our own smallness in comparison to the height of the rise, and the vast plains below. So in that sense, we can prevent ourselves from literally getting above ourselves in a negative sense, and maintain a balanced perspective of self and life. Take an overview from above, and get a different perspective.