Mindful Musings: Jan 17

“The Day a Magician Learned Real Magic”

By: Forrest Rivers

woman holding sparklers bokeh photography

One day a popular local magician performed his act in front of a large group of people on the town square. The magician pulled all of his best tricks out of his hat to entertain the grateful audience. Everyone in attendance cheered wildly for the magician and his feats of illusion except for one young woman in the crowd who stood unimpressed with her arms folded. After he finished up his act, the magician immediately approached the woman, politely introduced himself and then asked if she enjoyed his act.

                The woman replied:

“I thought your tricks were very good. Certainly, you know how to entertain an audience. However, did I hear correctly that you said you could perform magic?”

The magician took a few nervous steps backwards and then said in a defensive tone:

                “I stand by what I told the audience. I am a magician; therefore, I can perform magic.”

A warm smile broke out across the woman’s face as she replied:

                “I mean you absolutely no offense. In fact, in my humble judgement you are a very talented street magician. What I question is your claim that you can perform magic.”

                The magician scowled and grew more defensive:

                “I am afraid I have no idea what you are getting it. I am a great and revered magician.”

                The smile on the woman’s face grew even warmer and more inviting.  Remarkably, the magician then saw a heavenly white aura emerge around the woman. In a gentle and soothing voice, she then said:

                “Can you love your neighbor as you love yourself? Can you perform the glorious act of serving the poor without seeking any praise or honor from others? Can you see within yourself all the earth’s forests, mountains, rivers, plants, animals and all the people too? Can you live in this world but not be up of it? Can you embrace death as your friend so you may live this life to the fullest? If you can accomplish all of these things, then indeed my kind magician, you can perform magic.”

                The magician froze in silent reflection and then he suddenly placed his magic cap before the feet of the mysterious woman and handed her his wand. For the first time in his life, he humbled himself before another person, bowed, and then said:

                “In truth, all I am is an entertainer. In my heart, I believe it is you who might be able to truly perform magic. Please, teach me your ways of wisdom. Please, teach me your magic.”

                An angelic smile swept across her face as the beautiful goddess like woman waved the magician’s wand and out of thin air a radiant ball of swirling golden and purple light appeared that washed over the magician with overwhelming love. In that moment, it has been said that that the magician achieved cosmic understanding and learned how to truly practice magic for the first time.

Mindful Musings: 1/2

“A Short Message to Creative Souls Everywhere”

By: Forrest Rivers

mixed paints in a plate

The pull between one’s false and true sense of self is a defining feature of the human experience. This existential conflict is particularly magnified in the creative arts, where one’s expression can reach a wide audience. The artists, musicians, writers, and teachers must be ever watchful for the subtle but seductive trappings of the ego. Attracting followers can quickly produce the illusion that it is “you” who people are coming to view, listen to, read, or learn from. The truth is that it is the message of awakening that people are drawn to. As such, one must relate to their chosen forms of expression as conduits of God’s eternal message. However, it does require humility to arrive at this perspective. To practice it means to sacrifice your ego.

Learning to be mindful of one’s narcissistic impulses is just the beginning.  The creative soul should also make every effort to practice what they preach. For what could be more insincere than a self-righteous expressionist?  Every thought, intention, and action should reflect the divinity of the Infinite. Each swipe of the paint brush, musical note played, word written, and lesson conveyed; should reflect the same message of universal love that one finds in their own connection to creation and through all interactions with earthly beings.