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Longing for the Mountains of Solitude

Kathy and I enjoy driving to and through the mountains. Where Kathy grew up, the Rockies are visible in the distance. We try to make a trip once a year, but have not this past year, with my finishing the dissertation. I say “a trip” as we have access to several routes.

Today, I came across this poem by Za Paltrül Rinpoche. I could not find a link to the poet, but the words spoke to me. Although I am terrified of heights, mountains invite me to find ways to safely explore them, finding peace and solitude in safe ways.

Kathy took this picture on the Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier National Park in Montana.

This is Mount Robson, BC. It is the highest point in the Canadian Rockies at almost 4, 000 metres (almost 13, 000). Due to its height, the top is not always visible. I took this picture on one of our many trips past Mount Robson. It is one of those views that never disappoints. One year we walked along Robson River for several kilometres.

Fooled in samsara town—

the endless cycle of countless chores,

preoccupations of a delusory world—

this boy’s mind longs for mountains of solitude.

Hassled by monastery life—

the hustle of duties and communal dues,

pursuits of pointless distraction—

This boy’s mind longs for mountains of solitude.

Whomever I look at, I see at death’s threshold;

whatever I think on, I sense denial of dying,

grasping at the deathless; in this courtyard of death,

this boy’s mind longs for mountains of solitude.

Whomever I meet with manifests clinging and repulsion;

whomever I talk to brings deception and lies;

faced by companions without virtuous conduct,

this boy’s mind longs for mountains of solitude.

Behold, beings in the three realms are fooled by afflictions;

the beings of the six realms are led astray;

delusion engenders the birth of suffering for all;

this boy’s mind longs for mountains of solitude.

By the blessings of the undeceiving guru and the [Three] Jewels,

may I attain and persevere in solitude;

by the force of a place of seclusion,

may I attain a mystic’s isolation

of body, speech, and mind.

May I be blessed by the mountains of solitude.

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

12 responses »

  1. A very lovely poem, Ivon, and beautiful photos. There is truly nothing so peaceful as solitude in the mountains….

    Reply
  2. Lovely and beautiful photographs.

    Reply
  3. i wish you a wonderful trip.
    Hugs

    Reply
  4. Beautiful poem with sensational images.

    Reply
  5. Lovely poem, and fabulous photographs. Having the luxury to live at the base of a big mountain, everyday I try to remember my blessings and feel that place of solitude they offer . . . for we are so small next to their magnificence. Thank you for this sweet reminder.

    Reply

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