In my lectures and workshops, I frequently talk about how we are all connected, how what one does affects everybody else. The bonds that connect us are ones of loving spirituality. If we are of the same energy, composed of particle and wave and not blood and bone, then what we do affects one another—and not just human beings. Our thoughts and actions have consequences, all the more reason to be loving and compassionate and not fearful or harmful. They create our destiny and our future.

Long-ago a message from a Master arrived, conveyed through my patient Catherine, recorded on tape, and written in my first book Many Lives, Many Masters. It is one that has nourished and motivated me ever since:

You were correct in assuming this is the proper treatment for those in the physical state. You must eradicate the fears from their minds. It is a waste of energy when fear is present. It stifles them from fulfilling what they were sent here to fulfill. . . . Energy . . . everything is energy. So much is wasted. Inside the mountain it is quiet; it is calm at the center. But on the outside is where the trouble lies. Humans can only see the outside. . . . You have to go deep inside. . . . You must get rid of the fear. That will be the greatest weapon you have.

The great teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn taught me a meditation about a mountain. I think of this often, for it helps me to understand how to stay grounded no matter what happens on the outside. I believe that it has been such a powerful image for me precisely because the Masters had mentioned it so long ago in the above quote.

Picture a beautiful mountain, perhaps with a peak covered in snow. As you look at it, you can see that it has an inner core of constant peace and constant temperature, so that no matter what happens on the outside, the inside remains unchanged.

Now imagine that the seasons come and go. Summer comes with lightning, with storms, with flooding and fires, yet inside the mountain remains completely still, tranquil, and calm. The summer becomes fall, with howling winds and leaves falling off the trees; then winter arrives with snows and freezing temperatures; and this too turns to spring, as the snows melt and avalanches occur. Yet the inner core, the beautiful space deep within the mountain, is unaffected by any of these changing seasons.

We are like the mountain. We do not have to let outside events rob us of our joy and harmony, no matter how strongly the storms rage, no matter how loudly the winds howl. We all have that inner core of calm and quiet. It is there whenever we want or need it. By going inward, we can access its powerful healing presence. The mountain, inside, is perfect—and so are we.

Envision, now, that tourists come to the mountain. They arrive by train, airplane, car, boat, and other ways. And they all have opinions: This mountain is not as beautiful as one that I have seen elsewhere. It is too small, or too tall, or too narrow, or too wide. But the mountain does not care, because it knows that it is the ideal essence of mountain. We, once again, are like that mountain.

No matter what people say about us, no matter what criticisms or judgments they may offer up and call mirrors, we are already ideal and divine. We do not have to be affected by their opinions, even those of people who are close to us, such as our family, our bosses, or our loved ones. In that sense, we are solid and grounded in the earth like the mountain. We know, deep within our hearts, that we are the perfect essence of a spiritual being. The words of others cannot rob us of our inner peace and joy unless we give them the power to do so. I often use this meditation to remind myself and others of our magnificence and nobility, just like the beautiful mountain. Although we have merely forgotten this, we are already perfect. We have always been so.

Brian L. Weiss, M.D., is a psychiatrist who lives and practices in Miami, Florida. He’s a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Medical School, and is the former Chairman of Psychiatry at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami.