Nan Shepherd

‘Well, I have discovered my mountain – its weathers, its airs and lights, its singing burns, its haunted dells, its pinnacles and tarns, its birds and flowers, its snows, its long blue distances. Year by year I have grown in familiarity with them all. But if the whole truth of them is to be told as I have found it, I too am involved. I have been the instrument of my own discovering; and to govern the stops of the instrument needs learning too. Thus the senses must be trained and disciplined, the eye to look, the ear to listen, the body must be trained to move with the right harmonies. I can teach my body many skills by which to learn the nature of the mountain. One of the most compelling is quiescence.

No one knows the mountain completely who has not slept on it. As one slips over into sleep, the mind grows limpid; the body melts; perception alone remains. Once neither thinks, nor desires, nor remembers, but dwells in pure intimacy with the tangible world.’ (The Living Mountain)

The writing of this book is so limpid, and I have been reading it aloud to my partner over the last year. I regret not knowing especially well the Scottish mountains that she writes about, but this evokes Tassajara for me, and zazen.

Looking down the Tony Trail – a view currently under threat of fire.

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