Mountain

Mountain

Trigram
Chinese
English
Gèn
Yin/Yang
Yin
Element
Physical
Lumbar pain and stiffness weak knees dryness thyroid conditions metabolic problems lack of vitality adrenal fatigue waking up at night to go to the toilet urinary infections kidney disease
Motivators
Fear safety loneliness longing to feel close to and connected to others withdraw closeness connected stillness/peace
Associations
Mountain relates to late winter rest rejuvenation stillness calmness inner wisdom cautious security immobility height eminence retreat Kidney yin water predominantly but also has earth characteristics.
In disharmony
withdrawal controlling internal self controlling emotions escape avoidance of action constantly moving afraid of being still stubborn
In disease
Diseases of the head skull upper back neck and shoulders joints male genitals stubborn obstructions blocks in circulation tumours and growths
Key Issue
Connection to and trust of internal wisdom, inner knowing
Table of Contents

Behaviour

Mountain types want to be close to others, and generally try to reach out to people by giving to them. They equate giving to connecting and find it harder to receive. They assume that if they are selfish others won’t want to connect with them.

The focus on others drives their minds to be overactive and can prompt digestive issues. It also makes their interactions with others draining and requires them to have quiet time/ alone time to recuperate.

Under pressure they also have a tendency to withdraw, not just from others but also from their own feelings. In imbalance they become numb to their feelings. They can even withdraw from their feelings of being withdrawn because they are uncomfortable with feeling lonely. Recognising this deep sense of loneliness is an important first step towards making change.

What drives the loneliness is their disconnection from their own core self. This comes in part because of their focus on others, also in part from their tendency to be numb to their own feelings.

They may also use constant movement and activity as a way of distracting themselves or running away from difficult feelings. They can fear stillness – the lack of motion actually brings to their attention their underlying sense of fear.

Fear is ever present. They are vigilant and can be anxious, looking for signs of danger. They have a distrust of their own feelings as the anxiety tends to create physical sensations that don't accurately reflect danger. It is very important that they understand that the anxiety is coming because of excessive thinking, and the anxious feelings are the result of this.

They can be confused about intuition and instincts. They may have equated the anxious feelings with instincts and thus have a distrust of them.

Their predominant response to fear is to withdraw. For example they usually control their feeling of fear by withdrawing from it – ignoring it or numbing themselves to it. This can make them appear to handle difficult situations well, as they go ahead without seemingly any fear (at least on the outside).

Their internal numbness can prompt them to do adrenaline pumping or dangerous activities (like parachuting, rock climbing, bungy jumping) as a way of evoking some excitement.

While they can respond to fear by trying to control their environment they are more prone to try to control their internal environment to limit their perception of fear. They can very tightly control themselves.

This entire pattern is one of using the head to try to control what is inside. This comes at the cost of internal connection. The irony is that because they are not internally connected they find it very difficult genuinely be close to others, which is one of their core motivations. This is the root of their feelings of loneliness – it comes from their own disconnection from themselves.

One of the core themes of mountain is movement. Their constant movement and activity keeps their mind continuously active. This makes it very difficult for them to connect with their wisdom.

Solutions

A person has thoughts, feelings and knowing. Knowing is something that is known inherently, and for which the person is dead certain about. An example is the love for a child or animal. You can ‘know’ them – their unique character/ spirit when you connect and bond with them. When you connect on that level you gain a certainty about them. Wisdom and instincts are on this level – they are known and certain.

The feeling of safety can only be experienced when a person connects with their knowing and trusts it. We have instincts that tell us when we are safe or not. Trusting these instincts allows our mind to calm and be at peace when we are safe.

This enables us to connect with ourselves and others. Stillness is the key. When our mind is still we are connected with ourselves, and by being connected with ourselves we feel connected to all things.

Pattern

Mountain is comprised of a yang line above two yin lines. The yang line symbolises the summit above the earth. The two yin lines are significant for it shows that the mountain is made up of lots of earth but it reaches high towards the heavens.

A mountain is seen as a place of stillness and rejuvenation. It is a place where people come to contemplate, to survey the world around them from their lofty height as well as the heavens above. Thus it is symbolic of achieving the stillness necessary in life to connect with our inner wisdom and original self.

The original self is related in Chinese Medicine to the Kidneys and the water element. In imbalance mountain types tend to respond to fear by either withdrawing (running away – trying to be invisible) or controlling (particularly their internal self and emotions). Either way they tend to be constantly moving and never rest. Mountain relates particularly to transforming that aspect of the water element – finding stillness within instead of being constantly restless.

Sometimes they can withdraw from their feeling of being withdrawn. They don’t like to feel lonely and this withdrawal numbs them to this loneliness. When they are like this it may be difficult for them to connect with their loneliness at first. However, this loneliness is important because it is one of the drivers their behaviour.

The key pattern for mountain is that they want to be close to and connected with others. In order to have this closeness they tend to give in order to feel close to others. This giving often leads them to overthink as they try to understand what others needs. This focus on others leads to even greater disconnection from themselves. The irony of this is that it's the disconnection from themselves that makes them feel alone.

If our life is all activity and no rest it is difficult to connect with our inner wisdom – our heaven within. Connection to our wisdom happens when we are still and openly receptive.

It is easy to feel anxious and unsafe when they are disconnected from their inner wisdom. Because these anxious feelings don't often correlate with reality they are often distrustful of their feelings and instincts. They don't know what to trust. They are confused about instincts and feelings not realising that they are different.

Instincts are certain – they are ‘known’. Like when you bond with a child for the first time and get a sense of who they are. At that moment you just ‘know’ them. Similarly instincts are a type of knowing. You can just know that you are safe. Feelings are different. Where

they are generated by anxiety they are not certain but rather reflect the constant thinking about what is not certain.

Lesson

The key lesson for mountain is to connect with and trust their wisdom and instincts. This requires them to create times for stillness and rest. These periods of stillness allow them to connect more deeply with their core self, to that deep sense of wisdom and inner knowledge. Stillness also allows them to rejuvenate their mind and body in preparation for their next period of action. It is possible to be still and to act.

Those that develop stillness within are not readily influenced by the strife around them. Stillness within provides a solution to constant fear because it enables them to connect with their wisdom and discern when they are safe or not safe.