Mindful Musings: Mar 5

“The Secret of Emptiness”

By: Forrest Rivers

cougar on brown rock formation

A disciple approached his master and asked:

“Venerable One, what is Emptiness?”

The master smiled warmly and pointed his finger

At jagged snowcapped peaks, off in the distance

The disciple bowed and began walking

In the direction of the glorious mountains

Then, suddenly, he froze in terror as a mighty cougar

Crossed his path

The disciple shot a frightful look at his master

Who now calmly stood pointing his finger at the wild being

After a few tense moments, the cougar slowly walked away

And the master lowered his finger

Bewildered, the disciple inquired of the sage once more:

“But I thought you said the mountains were emptiness?

 How can the cougar be it too?”

The master smiled and again pointed his finger

But this time at his disciple’s feet

The disciple looked down and then back up

Only to see the same cougar cross his path again

He turned in horror and ran as fast as his feet would carry him!

When the cougar was finally out of sight,

the disciple stopped to catch his breath

And he attained instant enlightenment!

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: Jan 7

“The Greatest Miracle: A Parable for Today”

By: Forrest Rivers

Peace neon signage

A large protest in the middle of town erupted as contending masses of people gathered. Those for and against the theme of protest quickly began engaging in a war of words as extremists on one side of the conflict began readying their home-made explosives for combat. Extremists from the other side also began loading their automatic rifles with ammunition and let out a loud and terrifying battle call. The air grew thicker with tension as women and children from both camps retreated to the rear of their respective groups in anticipation of an all-out war between the dueling partisans.

But in the final seconds just before the first explosives were thrown and the first shots were fired, a monk in a red robe suddenly appeared standing on the frontline right between the two groups. The monk sat down on the hot pavement, closed his eyes and fell into a deep meditation. Then, to everyone’s total surprise, the monk began to levitate before all gathered. After floating five feet above the ground for at least three minutes the monk then opened his eyes and said the following:

             “I believe miracles are a part of our daily existence. In fact, I predict that one will happen today and you will all bare witnesses to it!”

            In response to the levitating monk, the extremists on both sides quickly disarmed their explosives and guns and then locked arms as they formed a circle of peace around the mysterious teacher. On that fateful day, it has been said that the greatest miracle occurred.

Mindful Musings: Jan 6

“The Journey: A Parable”

By: Forrest Rivers

silhouette of man walking along field leading to mountain

A seeker of truth journeyed two hundred miles (322 Kilometers) by foot deep through lush green forests to have the darshan of a great and celebrated holy man who lived an aesthetic life high in the mountains. After two long weeks of trekking through the wilderness, this seeker of truth at last arrived at an old hermitage that sat on the edge of a breathtaking cliff overlooking the vast and fertile valleys below. The pilgrim knocked on the door three times and a tall old man answered. He then motioned for the young seeker to come inside and sit on the floor before him. The old man closed the door behind him and then took a seat on a small wooden bench. Both beings sat in the lotus position. The pilgrim who had traveled such a long distance then broke the awe filled silence and said:

            “Oh, dear and venerable sage, I have come all this way to ask you but one question: What is life’s greatest secret?”

            The old man smiled, then unfolded his hands and said the following with a hint of irony in his voice:

            “Life’s greatest secret is that there is no destination. It is your journey that holds the one within all. Now tell me, young pilgrim, does this statement live as truth to you?

            The seeker smiled real wide and the twinkle in her eyes made the old sage absolutely certain that she had just attained enlightenment in that moment!

Mindful Musings

Oneness: the need of the hour - Deepika Bengali - Medium

“Faithful Promise”

If I knew, I would
Share the secrets of this Universe
With you

If I could, I would
Voyage with you
To the depths
Of inner wisdom

If I heard that you
Had entered the cave of enlightenment
I would drop to my knees and exalt
This sacred green Earth we walk on

If I saw the light
Of illumination in your eyes
I would sit beneath the Bodhi tree and pray:
For all souls’ deliverance
Into your world
Of seeing One.

 

 

 

Mindful Musings

“Creation Song”

By: Forrest Rivers

****Originally published on themindfulword.org

The many emerged from the One
As a divine demonstration
Of love, beauty, spirit and truth
Yet, this infinite presence
That was at once the spark and the flame
Sought to fully know IT’s perfect self
Through the wonders of form

And so, IT began to sculpt
IT’s own cosmic clay
Into various expressions of IT’s own divine being

As the great laws of the Universe
Began to take hold
A boundless array of realities
Came to pass
Before finally bursting open
Like spring flowers in bloom

It was set against this glorious backdrop
When the Supreme Soul
Molded the Earth out of IT’s own formless essence
And unveiled the most spectacular event
Of past, present and future
Merging into form
As ONE

A glorious work of art
This magnificent sculptor of the Cosmos
Imbued each of IT’s own mystical qualities
Into the Earth’s sacred elements
As water, air, fire and soil
Became manifestations
Of IT’s own vital life force and purified center

Immersed in the sheer joy
Of IT’s own power of Creation
This Godhead of Wisdom planted the magical seeds
That were to blossom
Into trees, mountains, rivers and oceans

As planetary forms continued to sprout
Mysterious patterns of the unfolding
Could be intuitively felt
As evolution became the vehicle
By which the One came to know the multitude of the many
And itself…

Soon, reptiles, mammals and the great-winged pilots of the sky
Joined in on this airy dance of eternal peace
But just as the cosmic void seemed to swallow whole
The illusionary folds of both time and space
A peculiar being was born that gradually multiplied in numbers…

The human race appeared upon the celestial mosaic
Neither separate from nor superior to the rest of creation
These strange two-legged creatures
Were merely one among an infinite number of life forms
To emerge on this blue sphere of wonder
And, like a leopard’s blazing speed
Or an eagle’s godly soar above
The Great Mystery also bestowed a unique and special power
Upon mankind:
The ability to reason

So long as their scheming minds were only harnessed
To satisfy their basic needs of survival
Humankind found eternal truth and meaning
Through the higher planes of spiritual reality
And a delicate balance was achieved:
Between the rational and intuitive intellect

From the very start of humanity’s epic journey
Through the wisdom of form
Wise indigenous souls
Of the Earth
Held this fragile balance of mind and heart
With astonishing ease

For countless generations, these native ancestors of the land
The Original dwellers…
Maintained this precious equilibrium
Through the unwavering love and devotion
Of Grandmother Earth and all HER divine manifestations

The Sun and the moon
All of the diverse plant and animal life
The majestic forests and deserts
The ancient flowing lakes and rivers
And even the silent passing of the seasons
Were venerated as holy expressions
Of Absolute Being

The enlightened ways of these native souls
Continued to thrive for countless millennia
Until, for reasons only known by the Creator
A brutal culture rooted in hubris began its long and steady ascent
Into prominence
Through inflicting unimaginable cruelty
Upon the Earth’s well-being

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As tiny cabals of these “two-leggeds” extended their influence
Through using the mind to sequester truth and knowledge
They unknowingly lost that inborn spark of wild
That bore the fruits of intuitive wisdom

With the harmonious ways of the original peoples
Now being subjected before the forces of blind belief and logic
First Religion, and then Science
Came to replace the authentic connection of spirit
Found through the Earth and within…

Though appearing to stand in direct opposition
To one another
These twin forces of the mind
Pursued in common life’s answers to existential questions
That could only be arrived at
Through the intuitive heart space
Of focused contemplation

As the ego’s yearning to “know” grew ever stronger
The Indigenous path of inner communion
With the Earth and self—
Gradually gave way to an exterior search
That produced only conditioned faith and grandeur

As the path of ego fully enveloped the purity of soul
Patterns of structured doctrine emerged
That coalesced into the formations
Of institutions that blinded and deceived

As hungry aspirants claimed what they thought
Were their rightful seats to power
The human race moved ever further
From its exalted state of intimacy with the Earth

Bloodshed, genocide, slavery and the devastation of the natural world
Were the shameful outcomes of unchecked egos
As this era of reason multiplied through three “great revolutions”
Known as the crops, machines and computers

But finally, one day
The time came when the Omnipresent One
The Supreme Mover and Shaker of the Cosmos—
Willed for the ways of the original Earth Dwellers
To make a long and heralded return
And they savoured the opportunity to lead humanity back into the light

Emboldened by the strength of their own awakening
Humankind embraced its brethren once more
In the forests, lakes, oceans and mountains
And forged a new covenant with Creation

Overjoyed with tears of elation
The Lord of Love shined IT’s light brightly
And merged again with ITS own boundless potential.