“If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top”…. a Zen saying… ideas and materials for setting motivation

I saw this quote, “If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top” in a post titled  “Begin at the Top,”  on Thomas Craig’s blog Zen Revolution…I highly recommend linking to that post and reading those ideas…. here are a few of the ideas that I directly quote, but presented as a bulleted list,  in different format… and put onto a “page”…to help myself think and reflect more clearly….

Well, after reading and reflecting upon those ideas,
I came up with a few additional ideas of my own…
for learning how to develop more awareness of the benefits of a goal
and to use the awareness of the benefits
to help empower the effort

this is an “awareness”  that I really want to develop and learn….

And then continuing…. reflecting…getting more specific….

Tying in with these ideas….
I’ve been attending a 4 weekend meditation class…
about learning to develop more focus on an object of meditation….
whether the “object” is  the breath, a symbol, an image….
And the ideas in the class tie in closely with this “begin at the top”  idea….
starting with the aspiration and intention

The teacher of the class emphasizes
that it’s so important for people to look very carefully
at the positive qualities or results
that might come out of being able to achieve any goal

Although these steps were about improving at focus and meditation,
I think they will be very effective
for supporting working toward  any goal….

So…the steps…

to identify what those positive qualities of the results might be…

to reflect again and again on those qualities

to develop confidence or “faith”
in how important those qualities would be in one’s life….
and how much those qualities could support the lives of others

to develop a deep “yearning” and  “aspiration” for those qualities…..

to use that aspiration to provide the energy
to put in the needed effort to work toward those qualities….

and the result that will come out of that effort….

….because invariably….
…causes lead to effects…

Starting at the bottom of the following page and working one’s way up….

A more concise version of that page…

And a single reminder or  bookmark,
to help me to remember and to use these steps
with any goal I’m hoping to achieve…
to add that power of faith, yearning, aspiration,intention and motivation
to the sustained “joyful effort”
that will come out of those qualities
and lead to results

and so….

whew…this was an ambitious post…
but the process of creating it really shows me
that when we find an idea that we care about and think is important,
the creative and sustained energy for creating “pages” and posts
comes out of that sense of deep caring…
and is supported and powered by
: )
!    I did it   !


Updated post on Pocket Perspectives, October 1, 2013: “If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top”

About Pocket Perspectives

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25 Responses to “If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top”…. a Zen saying… ideas and materials for setting motivation

  1. Interesting perspective – thanks!


  2. zendictive says:

    wow, I like this sayng (~_~)


  3. you are assembling some wonderful tools for teaching workshops – or writing a book – or both!


  4. nrhatch says:

    Here’s to being on the top of the world . . . looking out on creation. 😀


    • Isn’t that simply an exquisite thought ?!?!?! …top of the world…looking out on creation! (aren’t those also words from a song?…I can hear it but can’t remember what song…)
      Ah ha…achieving “calm abiding” is supposed to be like that…guess I’d better get ready and be on my way… : )


      • EliseOnLife says:

        Karen Carpenter sang those words “I’m on the top of the world, looking down on creation…” Thanks for a reflective post today!


        • Ah yes…thank you…Karen Carpenter… thank goodness progress has been made treating the “disease” she had.
          I’m continuing to use this “climb a mountain” sequence of ideas…hope it might be helpful for some others too.


  5. I have taught many times, proceed with the end in mind. This is certainly an interesting perspective from a climber’s point of view. I agree with another commenter. You have an amazing set of tools here.


  6. So many questions and couldn’t come at a better time for me/us. I’ll need to set goals for all the spare time I’ll have. Good post, Kathy.


    • thanks…yes….many questions…I’ve been trying to imagine the way I’d like to feel once I’m not in this teaching job…not the specific activities I might do….so imagining feeling happily engaged, steady energy, curious, contributing in some way…now to see if activities emerge out of that…time will tell..


  7. sufilight says:

    As I was reading your post, a thought came to me, that you would be great as workshop leader. Just read the comments and got confirmation! 🙂 This definitely was motivating for me.


    • thanks Marie….I never thought of being a workshop leader… yes,I see other people are leaving similar thoughts…I love making/creating materials that might help support leading to positive shifts, but not sure how I’d do at presenting them… I’m also using the pages and finding the materials helpful…so happy that you find them motivating, too.


  8. Robin says:

    Interesting idea. More than interesting, actually. I bet it’s a whole lot easier climbing a mountain if you’re holding the great view and feeling of achievement in your mind on the way up rather than concentrating on the difficulties of getting there. See the goal rather than the obstacles. 🙂


    • I like this idea too….and I like the way you put that…”holding the great view and feeling of achievement” in one’s mind…ah ha…that sounds wonderful!…and as you write..”see the goal, rather than the obstacles.”


  9. granbee says:

    Floating right down on the top of that mountain of my publishing goals, am I!


  10. Ah ha…now THAT is a wonderful “quality” to yearn and aspire for….mmmm…mmmmm….nice image!


  11. cuhome says:

    Beautifully done post, love the photos and graphics that illustrate the information you’ve written!!


  12. I was wondering what this quote meant. Thank you for the great and inspiring explanation!


    • I try to remember to live this way…aligned with my aspirations.
      You might like the many lovely quotes and ideas on another blog I have… Reflections from a friend, mostly encouragement I received when I was have a hard time, from a Buddhist monk who is a good friend. reflectionsfromafriend.wordpress.com


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