Mindfulness is easy, mindfulness is hard

There was a beautiful village on the foot of a large beautiful mountain.  The mountain went as high as the eye could see and was inspiring and inviting.


Two boys loved the mountain.  They went there every day.  They knew that the view was beautiful and wide and one felt humble seeing everything from above.


One of the boys was a shepherd and he enjoyed walking up the slopes with his sheep.  And in his spare time, he enjoyed it too.  Sometimes he would have a gentle walk and would make out the village paths and the houses below.  When there was barking he could notice where the sound came from and occasionally recognise the dog.


Sometimes he would venture higher where it was more of a climb than a walk.  From there he could see the whole village and even its surroundings.  It gave him a good understanding of how everything had its place, the houses, the paths, the stream, the fields and the forest.  It gave him more wisdom and he was happy.


And very high up he could see the whole land below and around him was the deep blue sky with planets and stars and sometimes comets would pass by.  There he could gaze down and straight and up and it was all special.


Depending on the day he would travel different heights and lengths of time.  Sometimes he would find himself very high and stay there admiring the planets.  Sometimes he would get a glimpse and go straight back down.  Sometimes he would be at the slopes wandering around.  Wherever his body took him.  It was always simple and interesting.  It was always easy.


The second boy loved analysing things, making interesting tools and always looking for ways to improve them.  He too had been going up the mountain.  He knew that very high up one could see everything.   When he went up the slopes for the first time, he could see the roofs of the houses, some thatched, and some with tiles of different colours.  But he knew the view would be better above so he directed his energy to climb higher.


When he could see the whole land it was also interesting but he knew it could get better so he didn’t give it much attention.  It took him a few weeks to reach the top and there he marvelled.  The reality exceeded the descriptions he had been given.  It had to be experienced to be understood.  He now knew what going to the mountain was all about.


Next day he went up again.  He climbed and climbed but could not make the summit.  It was not his day.  He glanced down at the village and the streams, and thought of the amazing experience he had the previous day.  Maybe tomorrow.


And from then on he went up the mountain so that he could reach the top.   Sometimes he would make it.  It was hard but every now and then he got a taste and felt the effort was worthwhile.  Sometimes when it was weeks without success he considered giving up.  But discipline and effort and the desire to experience the view kept him going.


One day when he was at the top taking in the wonders, he noticed that what appeared to be a plume of smoke in the distance was in fact another mountain which went even higher than the one he was on.  So high, he could not comprehend it was possible.


Oh my god, what views laid from up there.  When he went home he was no longer thinking of the planets but of the new mountain.  And from then on whenever he climbed the top of his, he thought the same:  what more is there to see?  How can I get up there?  Going up a mountain was hard indeed.


Author: JD