Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Non-duality

Coming Down From the Mountain Top


A few weeks ago I had a session with my long time therapist and mentor.  At one point during our conversation he relayed the story in the Bible of Jesus’ transfiguration (Mark 9:2-8).  The story, in brief, describes how Jesus journeyed to the top of Mount Tabor with disciples John, James and Peter.  Here, these discples, and holy witnesses Elijah and Moses, witnessed the transformation of Jesus into a physical expression of his Divinity.  His face shone like the sun, his clothes glowed whiter than anything they had ever seen.  The voice of God echoed from the sky “this is my Beloved son.  Hear Him!”.  Peter, James and John were gifted a transcendent experience of Jesus in his radiant glory.  Even God the Father showed up.  At one point Peter said to Jesus “it is good for us to be here” and suggested that the disciples build shelters for Jesus, Elijah and Moses and that they stay.  Who can blame him for suggesting that they stay there?  This mountain top was the sacred space where he came to experience the radiant Divinity of his saviour in a way that could tangibly penetrate his senses.  Who wouldn’t want to dwell there for as long as possible in the bliss of this holy occurrence?  But Jesus instructed that they must come down from the mountain top.  They must once again enter the realm of “sin” and selfishness.As yoga practitioners we are often privy to experiences that are beyond the every day.  Whether that is the bliss of samadhi (oneness), deep relaxation or a long awaited release of those stubborn spinal muscles.   I recognized a while back, even before learning of this biblical story, that I was struggling with the transition from my yoga practice back into the every day activities of my life.  I wanted only the deep comfort and connection that I experience on my mat, forever.  And, once I had felt the bliss of my practice the mundane tasks of everyday life seemed even more difficult.  Ultimately,  I didn’t want to come down from the mountaintop.  And the resistance to the descent into the realm of sin and selfishness caused me significant suffering and resentment.  But I must – we all must – descend into our lives.  We must fall into the chaos, inspired and renewed by our experiences at the mountain tops of our practices.  We must allow ourselves walk passionately toward the suffering of humanity, dwell there and become impacted by life and others. Then, begin the ascent to spirit once again.  The mountain top does not exist without the ground, and just as importantly, the ground does not exist without the mountain top.  We are often reminded of our inherent Divinity by gurus and spiritual teachers around the globe.  Sometimes, those of us who spend a great deal of time exploring our spiritual natures must also be reminded of our inherent humanity.  We can’t get away from it, if we do we are once again living in the realm of duality where spirit reigns supreme over our humanness.  Can we instead feel the wholeness that is revealed when we recognize both?  I have had such a wonderful time in the flat prairies and deep valleys of my life lately.  Today, as I prepare to spend time with beloved friends, I feel myself digging my toes deeply into the soil of my life while upstretching my hands to the radiant, eternal sky.  I take a deep breath and swear I can feel my face shining like the sun.