Mindful Musings

“Cycle of Birth and Death”

The Prince of Birth and the Prince of Death

Contended in the darkness

The Prince of Death announced:

“I am the culmination and window into the beyond. Therefore, I am more important!”

The Prince of Birth retorted:

“You may be the window into the beyond, but I am the inception point and the rite of passage back into the wisdom of form. Therefore, I am more important!”

In response, Brahman broke into laughter at the audacious claims of his two devotees

And playfully declared:

“Birth is such. Death is such. Birth or death what’s the fuss?”Death is Sure as Birth

“Merging into Oneness”

True Oneness - N-lightenment -By: Forrest Rivers

Though I never met him in person (I do feel I know him in the spirit), Baba Ram Dass, the inspiring hippie (in the truest sense) pioneer of consciousness has been among my greatest and most inspiring teachers. Unlike many self-described “gurus”, Ram Dass truly “walked the walk”. Without the slightest hint of putting on a show, his actions were a genuine reflection of all the inspiring themes he lectured and wrote about: love, compassion, humility, peace, suffering, the pitfalls on the spiritual path and Karma Yoga(the spirit of service). The following is one of my favorite quotes from him:

“As we grow in our consciousness, there will be more compassion and more love, and then the barriers between people, between religions, between nations will begin to fall. Yes, we have to beat down the separateness.”

 

In the earliest days of the COVID-19 outbreak it appeared that Ram Dass’s words were becoming a reality. War between nations seemed to no longer matter anymore as the virus, itself, became the common enemy of mankind. And, for a hopeful moment it appeared like division along the lines of sex, class, race, religion and politics would dissolve over night as the pandemic did not discriminate in choosing its victims. For the first time in our lives, the attainment of a collective higher consciousness was a real possibility. Of course, one of the chief aims of all spiritual traditions is to directly experience this connection that all beings share. Call this mystical life force energy that connects all things God. Call it the TAO. Call it the One. Or, call it the Great Mystery. In the end, whatever name you call IT doesn’t matter. What matters is the knowledge that such a state of divine unity is possible for humanity to achieve. The early days of the pandemic brought us infinitely closer to recognizing the heavenly state of such oneness.

Everywhere, people began to acknowledge their universal humanity. The ranks of volunteers grew to serve at food banks, younger people came to the aid of their elderly neighbors, groups organized to provide shelter to the homeless and many began honoring over-looked “essential workers” like grocery store clerks and food delivery drivers. However, as the period of social distancing wore on, the world gradually fell back into the old programmed patterns of fear and separation along lines of associations…. especially in America. Barely three months into the pandemic the following events took place:  armed protests against the shutdowns emerged, massive urban demonstrations and riots broke out in response to the latest police killing of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota; military rule at home supplanted any notions of democracy and the very rich continued to peddle their political influence to extract what little wealth remained among the very desperate poor and working classes coping with unprecedented unemployment

. How could the achievement of world peace feel so close yet also so far away? After all, for many, COVID-19 was perceived as a watershed event that revealed mankind’s potential to transcend the illusion of separateness. But, as they say, old habits die hard. The oneness that we all know is possible deep within our souls is still unfulfilled. However, this pandemic has already had the effect of helping us grow in our consciousness…. just as Ram Dass said. Just weeks before the outbreak of the virus, little on the surface appeared to unite us. But following its emergence, we have begun to awaken to see our common humanity.

No matter our differences on the surface, we have all gone through this period of hardship and suffering together. And, because of that we will grow stronger together.  In this moment, most of us know someone who has been severely impacted. Some of us have a friend or loved one who has fallen ill to the virus. Others of us know someone who has lost their job during the pandemic. Whether we want to admit it or not, all of our politicians and news medias’ attention to our supposed lines of divisions are intended to deliberately stoke fear of each other.  Why? So, we turn a blind eye to the very serious abuses of power that are taking place. What’s more, if we can still our minds and go beyond the egoistic mindset of our own leaders we will see that we are not all that different anyways.

Such demarcations like the color of our skin, the region of the world we happened to be born in and the religious traditions we were exposed to growing up were all out of our control. They were left up to fate and destiny. When we meet a cat or dog do we discriminate against it based on the color of its fur? Do we decide whether to pet it or not based on the location where it was born and in what manner it connects to living spirit? Of course, we don’t! So, why do we do so with humans? In the end, it is my hope that this experience we have all shared with COVID-19 will allow us to see past all the divisions and acknowledge the inherent soul connection we all have as beings of loving awareness. Maybe, once we recognize this connection with each other we will also see it reflected in humanity’s most important and sacred relationship of all: the Earth.

Mindful Musings

“Sub Ek” (All One) June - Global Heart for Oneness Meditation & Invocation | Children ...
The form and the formless
The senses emerging and then withdrawing again
The breath rising and falling
The Earth’s transcendence ends where it begins
No mind but inside and outside all emotions
The union of energy and matter undefined
Without an origin before the act and nameless when it sleeps
Beyond the range of all perceptions and limits
Pure creation

You are:

Pure creation
Beyond the range of all perceptions and limits
Without an origin before the act and nameless when it sleeps
The union of energy and matter undefined
No mind but inside and outside all emotions
The Earth’s transcendence ends where it begins
The breath rising and falling
The senses emerging and then withdrawing again
The form and the formless.

Mindful Musings

“Some Thoughts on Zen”Zen Buddhism | Classification Wiki | Fandom

By: Forrest Rivers

Zen appears to have everything to do with being in tune to “What is”. It seems, that “what is” can only be understood through intuitive direct experience.  Immersed within one’s deeply personal and profound spiritual exploration, is the unspoken acknowledgement that we are all but flowing waves in an eternal ocean of being. There is no this or that…no concept of the creator or created. We are all already THAT. From the mystic’s vantage point, dualistic language is merely a conceptual tool we use to try and give expression to the clearly conscious and in graspable flow of life force energy that is at the source of everything in this universe.

True divinity, or awareness of the underlying reality, is found not though intellectual reasoning but through our own harmonic flow with the mysterious oneness that defines our essence. What Zen appears to strive for in practice, if it can even be said to strive after anything at all, is the abandonment of all rational approaches in knowing that supreme state of being. In learning to be present with “what is”, one transcends all concepts of “reality” and just knows like a wolf knows to howl, that they are a part of the indescribable and conscious whole.

Mindful Musings

LSD Guru Tim Leary Interview

“An Ode to Leary”

By: Forrest Rivers

Slow down,

Breathe

Quiet your mind

And Meditate

The world is consumed

By madness….

But you don’t have to

Participate

In the senseless drama

That originates

From our worship of ego

For a wise man once said:

TURN ON

TUNE IN

DROP OUT!

But turn on to what?

Tune in to who

And drop out from Where?

TURN ON:

To living spirit

And the most high

TUNE IN:

To Mother Nature

And heed her signs

DROP OUT:

From this illusion that hides

The Unity of Creation.