Mindful Musings: March 29

“luminous Essence”

“Luminous Essence”

Having too little faith will turn one into a hopeless nihilist

But having an abundance of faith will attract others to your light

Don’t be like a dog chasing its tail

Or an office worker complaining day in and day out

Doing nothing to improve their lot—-

For behind all the world’s illusions lies the ultimate reality

At once transcendent and imminent

Filled to the brim with love

Beyond birth

Beyond death

Omnipresent

Within everything

But like an old lamp

You have to first remove the layers of dust

To see its luminous essence.

Forrest Rivers is a writer and teacher who lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. His new book, COVID-19 and Humanity’s Spiritual Awakening is now available on Amazon HERE.

Mindful Musings: Dec 31

“Eight Soulful New Year’s Resolutions Everyone can Achieve”

By: Forrest Rivers

monks beside green trees
  1. Start a daily meditation practice-Besides reducing anxiety and stress, meditation helps us deeply connect to our inner most spirit. It also helps break down the walls of separation that keeps us mired in illusion. There is no “correct” way to meditate but the best times to do so are either in the morning when you wake up or sometime in the evening after your day’s work is done.
  2. Volunteer in your community-Mystics of every faith have long celebrated the spirit of service as one of the surest paths to awakening. There are numerous opportunities to serve in this period of pandemic-related suffering. Volunteer at your local food bank, deliver groceries to the elderly, or enlist as a mentor.
  3. Set the intention to engage in at least one act of kindness each day-the benefit of this one is obvious. The world simply needs more kind people!
  4. Keep a daily gratitude journal-Each night before you go to bed write at least two to three things that you were grateful for in that day. You will immediately notice how this practice helps you adopt a more positive mindset
  5. Get out into nature at least 3-4 times per week—nature is the light that fills all darkness. In nature we can’t help but feel connected to the supreme source of living truth and wisdom. Go take a walk in your local city park, go hiking in the woods (if you have woods near to you) go swimming or paddling in the river or ocean.
  6. Find a creative outlet-Creative expression is the soul’s natural expression of joy and spiritual release. Learn an instrument, pick up a paintbrush or write some poetry while on a walk-in nature!
  7. Plant a Garden-Nothing says soulful like growing your own food and vegetables. Plus, gardening gets you outside and fosters a state of communion with the Earth like no other.
  8. Join a community(sangha or satsang) of spiritual seekers-The benefits of joining a spiritual community (even virtually) are many. The great and late spiritual teacher, Baba Ram Dass, said it best in his delightful book Be Love Now, when describing the beauty of his own sangha centered around the great Indian saint Neem Karoli Baba(also known as Mararajii:) “It’s as if Maharajji has been my father or mother forever, and the satsang, the circle of devotees, is a family of the heart that keeps coming and going, having reunions and going away. Over many lifetimes, we all have different guises and costumes and appear on stage in different scenes playing different characters. We’re all parts of the jigsaw puzzle of each other’s karma.”

Mindful Musings

“A Ballad of Hope Amid a time of Crisis”

 

By: Forrest Rivers

 

The year was 2020

The world was plagued by a pandemic

that inflicted mass casualties across the land

Countless millions watched in horror

As loved ones fell victim to the virus

Many more struggled to find work and food

As the world’s exploitative economy

Suffered a catastrophic collapse….

Meanwhile, corrupt and greedy politicians

Stood callously by

As the number of homeless multiplied and starved around them

With little assistance coming from their maniacal rulers

Some people resorted to looting and organized crime

To get their needs met….

But set against this backdrop of death, fear and deprivation

A movement of higher consciousness was well underway

Driven into isolation to control the deadly virus

Citizens of the world came to have gratitude

For all the little things they had taken for granted:

Smiles from passing strangers,

Sentimental hugs,

Uplifting time spent with dear friends and family

And the sweet joys of live song and dance

Were all things sorely missed and remembered

Nostalgically….

Such expressions of gratitude

So intrinsic to what it means to be human

Triggered cosmic waves

Of beautiful but unintended consequences

For humanity’s awakening amid this age of crisis….

Sequestered in their homes for months

Some discovered a love for art and creativity

While others found God in books and through online talks

From enlightened teachers….

Souls fortunate enough to have nature out their front door

Planted a garden or communed with the Earth

Through walking, swimming and biking

And, inner reflection became a powerful tool

to confront despair for many more….

The ancient practice of meditation underwent a resurgence

As did faithful prayer and mindful attention

To each passing moment

And, the spirit of service

That was heartlessly neglected by society for far too long

Began bubbling within the hearts of each man, woman and child

once more….

FINALLY,

The day came

When it was safe for all to emerge from their houses

But when they re-entered the storm of form

What they found was not the same world as before….

A revolution had been born

And seeds planted

As all showed a genuine love for one another

And displayed reverence for the Earth

Consuming less and communing with Her more

Everywhere,

The Renaissance in art was felt

As Creative expression flourished

Like rivers flowing into the infinite blue ocean

For the first time in half a century

Young people everywhere

Chose to find meaningful work

Rather than chase the almighty dollar….

Of course,

Many day to day things remained the same….

Grocery stores were still frequented

Children still attended schools

And people still drove long distances

To see kindred spirits in kind—-

But inwardly,

Humanity had awakened from its stupor

Of vanity, greed and self-absorption

Upon entering this new world

Every step felt lighter

And the sun seemed to shine

With a greater luminosity

To herald the coming

Of mankind’s arrival

And to celebrate

Its most profound realization yet:

All things in life are ONE

And filled with the eternal bliss of the Universe

The age of crisis had given way

To mankind’s enlightenment

And the old adage that darkness gives way to light

Assumed a new and precious meaning

In this sacred season of spiritual revival.