You’d fallen into a scene of unsurpassed beauty. The mind had melted into the scene and become homogeneous with it. The mind became the belonging itself and the belonging permeated the scene as naturally as the vibrant greens of the firs permeated the early spring meadow. This only occurs when the mind becomes totally still. Still, yet incomparably alert and alive, melted into the beginning and into the scene itself. Borders disintegrate when the mind no longer accepts the hardened boundaries of thought as final. When the mind becomes still, it quickly forgets its acquired smallness, which permeates and encompasses everything.
Just ahead towered the sheer walls of an ancient volcano, which seemed to have fallen into itself. It was a stunningly rugged mountain, a bizarre distortion out of a Chinese landscape, fluted with organ pipes and rocky towers. Small forests of ancient firs clung to random outcroppings of rock on the sheer north face. It was an extinct volcano now or maybe just sleeping for a while.
The face was a complex mass of snowy medieval towers and needlelike pinnacles. The topmost edge of summits resembled the spine of a colossal stegosaurus with rows of vertical armored plates. It was mostly rust red, dripping everywhere with fresh white snow. Every crevice and hollow was caulked, each ancient cirque was filled with snow like bowls of thick white cream. The whole fantastic structure shot up vertically and abruptly from the meadow floor like an immense headboard. At its base was an intricate system of interconnected meadows and small rushing mountain streams, tiny glacial lakes separated by elegant stands of firs. The meadows were mostly covered with snow, which surrounded random islands, green oases of spring. It was something out of a rare dream, so lovely it could have made your heart ache if you could not enter it. But with a mind that’s still and mixed with its surroundings, there was no ache at all, just a serene sense of belonging.
The mind of readiness is like the emptiness of the sky. Both the stimulus and response arise and vanish within it; both encompassed by something that is not a thing at all. Within that readiness, the sounds are held softly, as are actions and every thought. There is no way to do it at all, no method for you. Just rouse the mind, let its own energy flow back to itself. Live in that readiness; not ready for something in particular to happen, but simply ready – ready even for nothing to happen. And ready to return to the readiness immediately when you find that you’ve become lost in complacency. Let the readiness inundate everything, including the legendary you and the mountains, streams, and stars. Watch them all arise and pass away.
An unfolding mystery continually emerges: a perpetually fresh and clear mountain stream flowing by a serene observer sitting on the bank; a perpetually clear mountain stream flowing on past itself, watching itself flow by. A motionless observer watching itself flow down the mountain stream; an observer confronting its own essence wherever it turns, yet just taking everything just as it is and creating no problems where none exist. A mystery continually emerging like a spring.
- from Journeys on Mind Mountain