Meditation has become something that is quite significant within my life. It’s not something I practice as often as I feel I should and I find I am at my best when I’m at a centre with a dedicated time and space for meditation. But last Sunday, I created a bit of a ‘revelation’ for myself in being able to meditate high on top of one of the Mendip Hills.
This post is supplemented with photographs courtesy of my Instagram account.
I think it was only on the previous weekend where I made my way to the centre and met up with a friend. With the Bank Holiday weekend last week and glorious sunshine throughout, I felt inclined to make an effort to get myself out of the house, away from the workshop and to try and allow myself some breathing space between my thoughts.
That’s what meditation is really about, as I understand. It’s not about sitting cross-legged and going ‘ohmmmmmmm’. You don’t have to wear a robe or dress like a Monk. You don’t even have to sit on the floor. Instead of forcing yourself to become ‘blank’ and responsive; you learn to just notice things and to let them go.
Crook Peak – my destination for the day.
That first photo was taken near Crook Peak, close to the village of Winscombe and a stone’s throw from Cheddar. Backpacks can make excellent tripods but I must confess that I’m actually sat on another hill there… It might have been Barton Hill. Crook Peak was still a good walk away from here and, with a full car park outside of King’s Wood, I was right to anticipate a gathering at the destination.
View from Crook Peak, towards Axbridge and Cheddar (sorry about the dust on my camera’s lens).
As I reach the peak, it was more windy than any other part of the surrounding hills but the views are always worth it. I sat alone and ate my lunch for a while as others came and went. After a while sat in contemplation, I decide to try and, for a good ten minutes (my best guess), it certainly did work. Another walker/hill climber came huffing and puffing along before stopping right next to where I was sat. Yet, I resisted the temptation to open my eyes and to see who it was. I gave myself some space from that thought and the questions, with an open backpack sat infront of me. A father was busy taking photos of his family and, again, I held back from the temptation to check whether I was going to end up in their shot.
Brean Down and Steep Holm – as viewed from Crook Peak.
In some ways, the sound and feel of the wind does help as you can focus on the breeze as it passes your ears and notice the effects that it has on your body (I was wearing a T-shirt a well). Opening my eyes and returning to the hill was quite a moment. Before gradually awakening, I tried to imagine the scale of the world around me and yet, it was all so much smaller and distant than my mind’s eye could conceive. I was starting to feel the chill of the wind having sat there for a while but I felt calmer, almost at peace, as I descended back down the hill and towards my van.
King’s Wood – from the car park, on the way towards Crook Peak.
As I said, it’s not essential to be ‘grounded’. I think that’s an approach that’s commonly taught to beginners because it allows you to notice change within the positioning and weighted feel of your body. There are many guided meditations available to download from the internet but I somehow managed without one on this occasion; instead practising a technique I was taught a week earlier. I’m only sorry I didn’t get out to do anything like this during the past weekend but I do aim to change that for this coming week.
I say that you don’t need a stool to meditate but, as a woodworker, the temptation to make something is always there…! 😀