Winter Mountain Meditation (With Pug)

posted in: Fitness, Mindfulness 0


My beautiful boy

Back in the spring, I shared my favourite spot to meditate: on the mountain behind my home, sitting on a cliff overlooking Okanagan Lake with my meditating dog side-kick, Fernando. These few precious peaceful moments are some of my favourite moments of the day. I am determined not to give up my mountain meditations despite the weather. I’m not one  to disrupt a good routine! Hence, as the mornings turn dark, cold and snowy, I continue to tromp through the forest to my cliff. Fernando’s little feet get chilly quickly (and he struggles to escape if I pick him up) so I squat for a few minutes (a short meditation) and then we are on our way.

I am happy that I am able to continue these quiet moments in nature and even though our meditations are shorter, I am satisfied. It is amazing how many birds stay in the forest all winter long. They call out from the pine trees and fill my morning with their cheerful voices.

View across the lake from my cliff.
This year, my mountain meditations have helped motivate me to embrace the season:

I love the summer. I forever want to be in the sunshine. It’s difficult for me to accept winter each year. The first alpine ski of the season is always hard. I feel like I should still be lying on the beach…to load up the ski gear and head out to the mountain tops requires a lot of fortitude. On the chilly mornings, as I look across at the tops of the mountains, their sparkling white tips against the brilliant blue sky, I think, “It’s implausibly beautiful on those alpine peaks and yeah, I’d really like to be up there in the sun right now.”

The beauty of the mountains is something that never stops inspiring me. The other morning, it was still dark when I arrived at my meditation spot with Fernando (@ 6 AM). The full moon was partially hidden behind an ominous, slate coloured, opaque cloud. The top half of the moon was hidden behind the dark cloud but the bottom half was peeking out above the mountain top across the lake, shining a wide strip of gold across the water towards me. It was truly one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen. The natural earth/universe is so aesthetic that I am humbled.

View to the north of my cliff meditation spot.

This morning, it was very dark out (moon hidden behind cloud) and I suddenly discovered that Pablo and I had unknowingly walked smack into the middle of a large herd of deer in the forest. Usually I can make out shadows of the deer just before I am surrounded by them; but a few times a year, I am deep in thought (and Pablo is calm) so I don’t see the deer until I am in the middle of their morning meeting in the woods. At times like this, there is nothing to do but keep on walking. Luckily for me, I have only ever been attacked by deer in the spring (when the does have just given birth). The winter deer are usually calm.

I realized on this morning’s walk, just how much the forest/deer have taught me about what it means to be a mammal on earth, to be a human amongst other species, what it means to share the earth. It’s about respect and space, if we give each other that, everyone is okay. This is why preserving vast amount of wild spaces is vital. Other creatures need space on this earth to simply exist.

I hope my morning meditations inspire you to never let a little snow and cold weather get in the way of doing the things you love.

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