The famous Zen parable about the master for whom, before his studies, mountains were only mountains, but during his studies mountains were no longer mountains, and afterward mountains were again mountains could be interpreted as an alleory about [the perpetual paradox that when one is closest to a destination one is also the farthest).
Before I had studied Chan for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.
Before I had studied Zen for thirty years,I saw mountains as mountains,and waters as waters.When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains,and waters are not waters.But now that I have got its very substanceI am at rest.For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains,and waters once again as waters.
There was a windstorm in L.A., and the morning after there was no smog, and I could see the mountains. And I was like... 'There's mountains? Snowcap mountains?' That's insane; I've been there for thirteen years, and I've never seen that view before, seeing the mountains in the distance.
A. J. Buckley
The secret of the mountain is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no "meaning, " they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day.
The secret of the mountain is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no "meaning," they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day.
I sit in meditation... and soon all sounds, and all one sees and feels, take on imminence, an immanence, as if the Universe were coming to attention, a Universe of which one is the center, a Universe that is not the same yet not different from oneself: within man as within mountains there are many parts of hydrogen and oxygen, of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and other elements. 'You never enjoy the world aright, till the Sea itself flows in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars... '(Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditation) The secret of the mountains is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no 'meaning, ' they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share.
God is in the mountains. Impassive, immovable, jagged giants, separating the celestial from the terrestrial with eternal diagonal certainty. As if silently monitoring the beating heart of the creator from the universe's perfect birth. Stood in the thin air and the awe, one inhales God, involuntarily acknowledging that we are but fragments of a whole, a higher thing. The mountains remind me of my place, as a servant to truth and wonder. Yes, God is in the mountains. Perhaps the pulpit too and even in the piety of an atheist's sigh. I don't know; but I feel him in the mountains.
Forest restoration is a challenging and complex undertaking of raising young trees, transplanting them, and then cultivating them year in, year out in the face of harsh challenges of nature; it is a gigantic nature transformation project to turn all the mountains of the country into 'treasure mountains,' into 'gold mountains.'
It isn't so much that God is the unified state of consciousness that each of us came from and will return to, but more so that God is the creative energy flowing between all states of consciousness. God is in the land beyond the mountains, but God is also in the mountains and in the valley of illusions cradled within the mountains. God is not one thing or another, rather God flows between and through all things.
The landscape was snow and green ice on broken mountains. These weren't old mountains, worn down by time and weather and full of gentle ski slopes, but young, sulky, adolescent mountains. They held secret ravines and merciless crevices. One yodel out of place would attract, not the jolly echo of a lonely goatherd, but fifty tons of express-delivery snow.
MOUNTAINS OF MIGHT THE STORM IS GETTING COLDER IN A PLACE OF THE FROZEN SUN ALONE ON THE MOUNTAINSIDE BREATHING THE CLEAREST WINDS THE WINDS ARE EVERBLOWING BLOWING OFF THE GLACIERS SNOW DESCEND OF THE VALLEY INTO THE HIGH IMPASSABLE DRIFTS SO RIGHTLY I AM WATCHING THESE MOUNTAINS THAT I KNOW FOREVER STANDING HERE THESE MOUNTAINS NORTHERN FACE MOUNTAINS OF MIGHT ICICLED PEEKS AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE I WILL REIGN THIS PLACE ALONE COLD WINDS BLEW INTO THE VALLEY WALL SNOW WAS DEEPER THERE THE STORM IS GETTING COLDER IN A PLACE OF THE FROZEN SUN ALONE ON THE MOUNTAINSIDE BREATHING THE CLEAREST WINDS MOUNTAINS OF MIGHT
Human beings are not comparable. You can't compare us any more than you can compare roses and oranges, or mountains and the sea. You might prefer living by the sea to living in the mountains. You certainly like some people better than you like others. Preferences are perfectly valid...they're just your style asserting itself again. But you'd feel pretty silly saying 'The sea is better than the mountains.' It's every bit as silly to go around saying 'I'm better than Mary, but Joe is better than me.'
Mountains could be what happens when Father Earth eats something that doesn't agree with him. When he burps, mountains pop up." "That's absurd, " Keselo said, trying not to laugh. "If you've got a better theory, I'd be happy to hear it, " Red-Beard said mildly. "Anyway, a burp isn't anything but air that boils up out of a man's stomach, so Father Earth's mountains have chunks of empty air in the middle of them-burps that didn't quite manage to make it to the surface, you understand.
Mountains like these and travelers in the mountains and events that happen to them here are found not only in Zen literature but in the tales of every major religion. This allegory of a physical mountain for the spiritual one that stands between each soul and its goal is an easy and natural one to make. Like those in the valley behind us, most people stand in sight of the spiritual mountains all their lives and never enter them, being content to listen to others who have been there and thus avoid the hardships. Some travel into the mountains accompanied by experienced guides who know the best and least dangerous routes by which they arrive at their destination. Still others, inexperienced and untrusting, attempt to make their own routes. Few of these are successful, but occasionally some, by sheer will and luck and grace, do make it. Once there they become more aware than any of the others that there's no single or fixed number of routes. There are as many routes as there are individual souls.
Robert M. Pirsig
If one tries to think about history, it seems to me - it's like looking at a range of mountains. And the first time you see them, they look one way. But then time changes, the pattern of light shifts. Maybe you've moved slightly, your perspective has changed. The mountains are the same, but they look very different.
Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction - so easy to lapse into - that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.
The cosmic humor is that if you desire to move mountains and you continue to purify yourself, ultimately you will arrive at the place where you are able to move mountains. But in order to arrive at this position of power you will have had to give up being he-who-wanted-to-move-mountains so that you can be he-who-put-the-mountain-there-in-the-first-place. The humor is that finally when you have the power to move the mountain, you are the person who placed it there--so there the mountain stays.
The mountains seem to have conquered us long before we set foot on them, and they will remain long after our brief existence. This indomitable force of the mountains gives us humans a blank canvas on which to paint the drive of discovery and, in the process, test the limits of human performance.
The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains - mountain dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in Nature's workshops.
Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street. -William Blake This admirable couplet should be posted in conspicuous places all over England. The truth it embodies is threatened by two parties of opinion: on the one hand by those who hold it as a sin against nature to try and control the increase of population in any way and on the other by those who believe in 'growth', the pursuit at all costs of a standard of living which entails more and more industrialization and urbanization. If the believers in nature have their way, England will in the end be so full of people that they will be jostling each other even on mountains: if the believers in 'growth' have their way, the whole country will be covered with streets and we shall hardly be aware that mountains exist.
Mountains are cathedrals: grand and pure, the houses of my religion. I go to them as humans go to worship...From their lofty summits, I view my past, dream of the future, and with unusual acuity I am allowed to experience the present moment. My strength renewed, my vision cleared, in the mountains I celebrate creation. On each journey I am reborn.
And if these mountains had eyes, they would wake to find two strangers in their fences, standing in admiration as a breathing red pours its tinge upon earth's shore. These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent, silent so that man's weak praise should be given God's attention.
At last he said, "Did you come out of the big mountains?" Gitano shook his head slowly. "No, I walked down the Salinas Valley." The afternoon thought would not let Joey go. "Did you ever go into the big mountains back there?" The old dark eyes grew fixed, and their light turned inward on the years that were living in Gitano's head.
I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes. Petals are bone marrow; pearls come from oysters. The dragon lives in the sky, ocean, marshes, and mountains; and the mountains are also its cranium. Its voice thunders and jingles like copper pans. It breathes fire and water; and sometimes the dragon is one, sometimes many.
Maxine Hong Kingston
I have a low opinion of books; they are but piles of stones set up to show coming travelers where other minds have been, or at best signal smokes to call attention. No amount of word-making will ever make a single soul to know these mountains. As well seek to warm the naked and frostbitten by lectures on caloric and pictures of flame. One day's exposure to mountains is better than cartloads of books.
Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you're no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn't just a means to an end but a unique event in itself.To live only for some future goal is shallow. It's the sides of the mountains which sustain life, not the top.
Robert M. Pirsig
The tops of mountains are among the unfinished parts of the globe, whither it is a slight insult to the gods to climb and pry intotheir secrets, and try their effect on our humanity. Only daring and insolent men, perchance, go there. Simple races, as savages, do not climb mountains,--their tops are sacred and mysterious tracts never visited by them. Pomola is always angry with those who climb the summit of Ktaadn.
Henry David Thoreau
Before Girls on Ice, mountains were just mountains. Valleys were just valleys. Now when I see them they're full of questions and stories. Girls on Ice encouraged a new kind of curiosity in me about things I would have thought boring before. Now I'm considering to pursue Geology after high school. Girls on Ice opened a door to new thoughts and interests for me to consider for my future.
You give me fresh life and vigour. Adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are men to rocks and mountains? Oh! what hours of transport we shall spend! And when we do return, it shall not be like other travelers, without being able to give one accurate idea of any thing. We will know where we have gone - we will recollect what we have seen. Lakes, mountains, and rivers shall not be jumbled together in our imaginations; nor when we attempt to describe any particular scene, will we begin quarrelling about its relative situation. Let our first effusions be less insupportable than those of the generality of travelers.
The title of this Chautauqua is "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, " not "Zen and the Art of Mountain Climbing, " and there are no motorcycles on the tops of mountains, and in my opinion very little Zen. Zen is the "spirit of the valley, " not the mountaintop. The only Zen you fin on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
Robert M. Pirsig
There were mountains; there were valleys; there were streams. She climbed the mountains; roamed the valleys; sat on the banks of streams...when, from the mountain-top, she beheld, far off, across the Sea of Marmara the plains of Greece, and made out (her eyes were admirable) the Acropolis with a white streak or two which must, she thought, be the Parthenon, her soul expanded with her eyeballs, and she prayed she might share the majesty of the hills, know the serenity of the plains, etc. etc., as all such believers do.
The Gaelic League is founded not upon hatred of England, but upon love of Ireland. Hatred is a negative passion; it is powerful - a very powerful destroyer; but it is useless for building up. Love, on the other hand, is like faith; it can move mountains, and faith, we have mountains to move.
I sat against one of the house's clay walls. The kinship I felt suddenly for the old land... it surprised me. I'd been gone long enough to forget and be forgotten. I had a home in a land that might as well be in another galaxy to the people sleeping on the other side of the wall I leaned against. I thought I had forgotten about this land. But I hadn't. And, under the bony glow of a halfmoon, I sensed Afghanistan humming under my feet. Maybe Afghanistan hadn't forgotten me either. I looked westward and marveled that, somewhere over those mountains, Kabul still existed. It really existed, not just as an old memory, or as the heading of an AP story on page 15 of the San Francisco Chronicle. Somewhere over those mountains in the west slept the city where my harelipped brother and I had run kites. Somewhere over there, the blindfolded man from my dream had died a needless death. Once, over those mountains, I had made a choice. And now, a quarter of a century later, that choice had landed me right back on this soil.
To lovers of the wild, these mountains are not a hundred miles away. Their spiritual power and the goodness of the sky make them near, as a circle of friends. ... You cannot feel yourself out of doors; plain, sky, and mountains ray beauty which you feel. You bathe in these spirit-beams, turning round and round, as if warming at a camp-fire. Presently you lose consciousness of your own separate existence: you blend with the landscape, and become part and parcel of nature.
MULTITUDE, n. A crowd; the source of political wisdom and virtue. In a republic, the object of the statesman's adoration. "In a multitude of consellors there is wisdom," saith the proverb. If many men of equal individual wisdom are wiser than any one of them, it must be that they acquire the excess of wisdom by the mere act of getting together. Whence comes it? Obviously from nowhere --as well say that a range of mountains is higher than the single mountains composing it. A multitude is as wise as its wisest member if it obey him; if not, it is no wiser than its most foolish.