Monadhliath Misty Mountains

Distant ridges, Monadhliath mountains, Strathspey

‘Distant Misty Ridges’, Monadhliath Mountains

The day had been mostly cloudy with a damp start, but around mid-afternoon it started to clear.  Although I could see blue sky above, everywhere was a thick, warm, haze.  After an hour’s (hard) climb I was on the summit of Craigellachie, taking in the atmosphere.  I have rarely experienced such a calm day up there – normally there is a substantial breeze and it is not a place to hang about – so it was a luxury to be able to sit there without a jacket for over an hour, just breathing in the space and unaccustomed silence (normally the wind creates a constant buffeting, but this day there was just an incredible depth of silence, all the distant sounds of the valley were completely lost in the atmosphere.  It was not at all stifling or heavy though, just a sense of peace and space to be. An expansive, top of the world silence. Breathing in the magic of space and place.

The haze blurred out all detail, and made visible contours in the land which aren’t normally seen.  I love this particular meeting of different ridges, with the two lonely distant trees.

Craigellachie summit

The summit cairn

I stayed until after sunset, to see if the haze would clear for a more distant view.  If anything it grew thicker, but the thick atmosphere turned pink and red as the sun set, leaving me to negotiate the descent in the growing dusk.  Coming down into the woods above the village was eerie, as familiar landmarks shape-shifted in the dusky mist, resolving into their familiar shapes only close-up.

Since this was such a meditation on the feeling of space, I’m quoting here from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.  The Tibetan Bon tradition has many meditations on internalising and realising the qualities of the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and space) and their use in healing.

The following meditation can be done as a viusalisation, if you don’t have a hill available 🙂

“Everything arises from space, exists in space, and dissolves into space.  When the space element is balanced in us, there is room in lilfe, whatever arises can be accommodated.

Sky gazing is a very important practice.  Go up on the top of a hill where there is a big, unobstructed view of the sky.  In front of you is vast space.  Your eyes should be open, your body relaxed, your breath free and easy.  Breath in the open, clear sky, and allow yourself to dissolve in it when you exhale.  Let pure, infinite space pervade your body, your energy, your mind.  Integrate your awareness with space.  Merge with space,

When you integrate with space, healing occurs.  The tight, constricted knots of anger and fear, of desire and worry, dissolve.  Tensions dissolve, thoughts dissolve.  Your many identities start to dissolve.  The more you integrate with the space element, the clearer and more expansive your awareness becomes.  Space accommodates everything without effort.  Don’t let this practice be merely a conceptual exercise; internalise the experience of empty space, find it in you and as you.  At this level of practice, it isn’t so much about realising the nature of mind as it is about dissolving daily problems, making space for positive experiences, and developing the capacity to release what is negative.”

– Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, ‘Healing with Form, Energy and Light’




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One thought on “Monadhliath Misty Mountains

  1. Thank you for your wonderful images Neil and for sharing the beautiful quote by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. I really needed to hear this today. Allowing space to enter our busy lives and often numb existences, must surely provide a gateway to awareness and with it, healing. Thank you again. 🙂

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