Searching For a Handhold

Kasia climbing in Yorkshire, just take a moment to take a close look. I went first to the expression on her face, to her eyes clearly directed towards here next good move. One good move, and then the next. Then there are her limbs coordinated; arms and hands and fingers and legs and feet and toes moving at the bidding of her intention to move, upwards. The whole of her enlivened with intention. Energized. Her hand, her fingertips glued to the rock, there is just a whisper of a handhold in what is probably Gritstone, this being the Peak District.

But see, she isn’t in danger so close to the ground and with a guide close by too.  Yet she is going, intent on getting up that rock face. Maybe she will be in danger of falling from a height later on. For now, it is just a matter of the next move. Here’s the embodiment of commitment, mentally and physically.

It is quite common for people to get stuck, tread water, walk in circles not knowing which way to go, what to do. People in this state wonder and question themselves, ‘what is my purpose in life’ while wishing and wanting to move, to move out of the impasse they are stuck in. Which foot to move first where is the next handhold. In order to move, to make a decision I need to know why, first! My experience is that purpose emerges out of action.

Our young climber is searching for a handhold, her left hand connected to her arm seems to be impossibly long. (I missed that extending arm when I first saw this image.) As with climbing so with life in general. One needs directed intention, not so much for a goal out in front more to keep moving. Move a hand, move a foot, keep moving and sometimes one has to make a seemingly impossible reach, or traverse and find a new line in the rock. That can feel dangerous, risky, feels like putting ones very life on the line. Yes.

The life of the Buddha Shakyamuni is a great example to follow. He was clear, he intended to find the cause of suffering – and he did. Then he taught the Four Noble Truths so we can do the same. Living life feels like climbing up a cliff face, even tackling a perilous overhang or two is called for.

So do reach for that impossible handhold, we are designed to do that.

This is for a young man who is circling a cliff face, he knows it. I trust he will extend himself and climb.











Print Friendly, PDF & Email

10 thoughts on “Searching For a Handhold”

  1. An interesting article that takes me back to early,and modest,attempts at rock climbing. (I soon realised that I was a fell walker rather than a climber).
    There is a term in climbing called ‘gripped out’ which is a situation where one becomes paralysed with fear and uncertainty.Usually brought about by a realisation that the next move is not apparent and that you’re stuck and that going backwards is not an option !(I remember it well !)
    Definitely a time to breathe deeply and logically assess the situation,swallow hard and convince yourself that there is a solution but you just haven’t seen it yet. And a belief that your current situation is not permanent !

    1. Quite so Ian. That last paragraph of yours says it. I left a comment on FB to a comment somebody left saying that the solution is often closer than we think. And the so called solution may not look like one at the time. Love that you have given us ‘gripped out’ from rock climbing times.

  2. Love how you managed to grasp all my life struggle just by seeing image of me climbing. Feels like your message comes to me in the right moment. Thank you.

    1. Dear Kasia, what I saw in looking at the image of you in the rock was a body moving well and a focused mind, body and mind working together. I saw that at that moment the photograph was taken a person who is awake, alert and intent on making the next good move. Then I used that example to talk about how in life one can get stuck ‘gripped out’ i.e. stuck or confused and how being as you were on the rock is an example of how to get ‘unstuck’. I didn’t see a person with an inner life struggle, I don’t think I have that kind of insight. What can happen though is that while doing some kind of skilled activity, such as rock climbing, playing an instrument, gymnastics etc. one can function fabulously and then when that activity is over….lifes troubles come into focus and intention flies out the window. So, if this post has helped you I am happy. Several people have identified with the message of the post.

      For those who might be interested, I tend not to know what the message of a post is when I start typing. The message or ‘teaching’ emerges as I write and I’m frequently surprised at what the message is!

      1. You are absolutely right. At that moment I was focused my body, mind and heart was as one. Nothing was distracting me and I know what I was going for. The question is, yes how to move this into everyday life, then we not get distracted and stay in that pure consciousness.

        1. Dear Kasia, I really don’t think we are trying to achieve a certain state of mind or consciousness in either daily life living or through some kind of focused activity. Not in formal meditation for sure. As I said in yesterdays post ‘Anicha is our friend’. Everything changes, all is impermanent especially ‘states of mind’. I’ll not say more now but it is so good to be having this conversation with you. May it continue.
          Bows, Mugo

  3. Words that struck me,, given the way I’m feeling today. “My experience is that purpose emerges out of action”.

    I was feeling groundless this morning, in mobile almost. What was my goal, I must have something in front of me, I am lost.
    Then I found another bit that clear my fog…” one needs directed intentions not so much for a goal out in front, more to keep moving”

    By action and movement I am freeing my ” gripped out” state.

    1. Happy, happy to hear from you Gay. Happy, happy to hear that the words you quote helped you move. I am just amazed at how ideas/thoughts come into my head from ‘nowhere’ I type them out and think ‘wow, that sounds interesting I’ll remember that for myself!

      Stay safe Gay. Happy days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.