By: Forrest Rivers (originally published by the themindfulword.org)
It was a beautiful day outside. The birds were singing, the sun was shining brightly and a cool autumn breeze swept across the countryside
I was hiking with my dear friend Jamie, back down the forested service road 316, a gorgeous trail in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. We’d walked about six miles (about 9.6 kilometres) and were 20 minutes from my car when the Divine fully presented itself.
We’d stopped to smoke a bit of herb and to reflect on our inspiring journey. To commemorate the moment, I expressed to Jamie that I wished to recite a few prayers I’d compiled over the past week.
The collection included sacred Buddhist, Sioux Indian, Hindu, Sufi and Christian invocations to the Absolute. I opened my journal and began to read the first lines from the Buddhist-Loving Kindness selection:
“May all beings be free from danger
May all beings be free from mental suffering…”
At the exact moment I recited these lines, a pack of wolves began howling in unison with the prayer. The tone of their soulful expressions was both haunting and awesome. The hairs on our necks stood at full attention. It felt as though the wolves were inside our souls, playing their heart-stringed instruments.
Because it was nearing sunset, I immediately placed my beloved canine companion, Abbie, on leash and finished reciting the Buddhist prayer. I then listened … mesmerized. After a minute or two, the primal sounds of howling stopped.
Jamie and I glanced at one another in silent recognition of this divine moment. Chills went down our spines, as it became evident to us that the Infinite was speaking through the wolves.
What were these loyal beings trying to convey? Oneness. Unity. Stillness. Sacred Earth Connection.
As we continued our walk back down to the car, the energy of the forest felt particularly heightened and pure. Soon, the glorious sun began to set over majestic blue mountains and I knew deep within that my home was heaven on Earth.