There is a wonderful old Irish proverb that says Maith an mustárd an sliabh – The mountain is good mustard.
On one level it is about how work (climbing the real mountain or the work load mountain) works up an appetite. An appetite is no bad thing.
It is often said that food tastes better when you are hungry rather than when your just eating because it is designated lunchtime. We often shovel food in as fuel, like coal to old steam trains. We should stop and experience it. Mindfully enjoy each meal.
But beyond that there is also the wisdom here of appreciation for endeavour and gratitude for its own rewards.
The mindful takeaways are – Effort is rewarded. Know that. The task of climbing the mountain gives you an appetite, stimulates, enlivens. Understand that. Engaging with nature can bring you into mindfulness. Experience that.
If you want to explore this proverb further why not try a simple Exercise – to practice mindful participation with the outdoors: If you can go somewhere scenic – the mountains, the hills, a forest, the sea – someplace to stimulate you – go. If you can’t get to the great outdoors then just get outdoors – a local park, your own garden, campus grounds, a walk around the block.
Being outside is a great and pleasurable way of coming into the present, feeling the temperature on the skin, awareness of your breath, awareness of your footing. Encountering the sights, sounds and fragrances – all good mustard to relishing the now.
some other contemplations on mountains
“The blue mountains are of themselves blue mountains, the white clouds are of themselves white clouds.”
– Zen saying .
“To rule the mountains is to rule the river”
– French proverb
“When there’s love, mountains seem like plains”
– Sicilian proverb
“Even the loftiest of mountains begins on the ground”
– Moroccan proverb
“There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same”
– Chinese proverb