Mindful Musings

Mysterious TAO

Everything in nature is fleeting
Leaves turn color and fall away
Trees grow old and some decay
Caterpillars undergo a glorious metamorphosis
Into butterflies….
While the mountain winds
And ocean tides
They come and go

Yet,
Beneath its seeming impermanence
The Earth moves in cycles
Guided by a divine hand
Whose intentions are
Pure
Wise
And knowing

From the sunrise and sunset
To the cycles of the seasons
The TAO gives breath to
Both the seen and unseen
In the wild.

 

Mindful Musings

THE POWER OF THE MANTRA

For 13 years, a great monk prayed, meditated and fasted in the mountains in order to see more clearly into the nature of things. One morning, this wise man decided to climb a high peak, where it was believed that great spiritual power dwelled. The monk filled his canteen full of water and ascended the five labourious miles (about eight kilometres), barefoot, to the mountaintop’s 13,000-foot (or approximately 3962-metre) summit.Upon arrival, he soaked in the transcendent beauty of the streams and valleys below. Tears rolled down his face as he felt the spirit of the mountain rush through him. Overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude, the monk dropped to his knees in exaltation and paid reverence to the Earth.After a few moments of deep contemplation upon the wonder of it all, the monk jumped to his feet and was immediately struck by what he saw. Standing there before him was the most beautiful, radiant woman he’d ever seen. She was tall and slender, with skin that seemed to glow in the afternoon’s high-altitude sun.The woman smiled warmly, and then seductively motioned for the monk to walk the 10 paces to where she stood, running her fingers through her long, flowing dark hair. The entranced monk stared at the woman for a long moment, and felt the desires of years past pulsate through his being with the intensity of deep ocean currents.To still his mind, the monk began reciting the vows that he’d made when he joined the monastic order. Of course, celibacy was one of those vows. He then began repeating the following mantra in his head:

“Desire breeds attachment
Attachment breeds suffering
Suffering breeds delusion
of who we truly are.”

As the monk continued to repeat his mantra, he felt the torrent of desire gradually fall away. The deluge of deep ocean currents was being transformed into nothing more than passing waves on a sea of change.

With an even more inviting smile, the mysterious woman motioned once more for the monk to approach her. The holy sage took two steps forward in her direction, and then bowed and said:

“My fellow soul traveller, it’s a great honour to be in your presence upon this mountaintop of bliss and wonder. It’s twice the honour that you’ve welcomed me with such a warm smile and kind spirit. But it’s spiritual wealth, nothing of the physical, that I seek upon this rarefied peak of truth.

“The Indwelling One commands that my mind surrender to IT’s pursuit of the highest kind of knowledge. Now, I must wish you farewell and much fortune on your journey.”

The monk then bowed to the woman one last time, and turned to walk back down the mountain. However, just before he took his first descending steps, the mysterious woman transformed into the brilliant colours of a rainbow and then vanished into the heavens.

In awe, the monk looked up at the sky, and saw a glorious double rainbow form out of the mist above the dazzling blue mountains.

The noble monk attained his spiritual power and went on to inspire and teach many disciples for 50 years, until he dropped his body to complete his cycle of birth and death.

****Originally published on the mindfulword.org

Forrest Rivers is a lover of the Earth and author of the book The Hippie Revival and Collected Writings. He lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Feel free to reach out to Forrest through email: forrestrivers4@gmail.com or leave a message on his website: forrestrivers.com.

Mindful Musings

       Two ranges, one teacher


Two people partway up a mountain with a snow-capped peak

Two mountain ranges evolve over time. Both arise from the same spark of creation, but represent different qualities of their Creator.

The taller, vaster, younger and more rugged of the two ranges speaks to the spirit of adventure and youthful exuberance. With its tall, snow-capped peaks, jagged terrain and cold winters, this range draws in those youthful spirits who see in these mountains the metaphorical challenge to conquer their fears and achieve their hopes and dreams.

Due to this range’s imposing landscapes, many of its inhabitants choose to reside along the periphery rather than within the cradle of these great and inspiring mountains. Captivated by its majestic summits, many young people migrate here to fulfill their quest for adventure and to achieve personal transformation.

The smaller, homier, ancient and less rugged of the two ranges speaks to the spirit of deep-rootedness and refined wisdom. With its lush green forests, soft rolling hills and warmth-inviting climate; this range attracts those reflective souls who find, in these densely-wooded mountains, the solitude needed for meditation upon the eternal self.

Due to this range’s gentler sliding slopes and ridges, many of its inhabitants live within the heart of these exquisite blue mountains. While less young people may migrate here than to the former range, those who do lay down deep and permanent roots like the rhododendrons and mountain laurels that provide the range’s humble grounding.

The spirit of adventure, youthful exuberance, deep-rootedness and refined wisdom are all core facets of our inner journey along the path to self-realization. The qualities of each of these two great mountain ranges, then, serve as natural contemplative reflections of our own states of being.

Each also reminds us that we must always heed the call of our inner child to ascend the rarefied peaks of wisdom that comes with experience and age.

****Originally published on the mindfulword.org

Forrest Rivers is a lover of the Earth and author of the book The Hippie Revival and Collected Writings. He lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Feel free to reach out to Forrest through email: forrestrivers4@gmail.com or leave a message on his website: forrestrivers.com.

 

An Ode to One

An Ode to One

One day, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords
Turned to IT’s beloved disciple, the Great Seer, and asked:
“Is it clear not to all who meditate upon me
That I am called by many different names?”
To which the Great Seer replied:
“Why, of course, Noble One!
To some, you are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords
Yet, others would know you as the Supreme Controller,
The Sublime Originator and the Eternal One—
Still, others would say you are the Divine Mother
Or the Wise Knower….”
Satisfied with the Great Seer’s response
The Cosmic Godhead inquired of IT’s loyal disciple once more:
“And is it clear not, dear seeker of Incomparable faith and devotion
That I, too, assume many different forms and appearances
For those tuned in to my form transcending essence?”
“That is indeed so, Oh Master Sculptor and Grand Architect
Of ALL planes of luminous awareness,
You are the sunrise at dawn and the sunset at dusk
The rain and lightning of an afternoon storm
And the majestic rainbow that appears to awe all those blessed
To view your breathtaking beauty….
You are the lush green forests teeming with life drawn
From the eternal fountainhead of divine knowledge.”
Beaming with delight
The Omnipresent Source transformed IT’s body
Of radiant orange light
Into wondrous Blue Mountains and replied:
“Great Seer, Noble Companion and Inner Voice of Timeless Odes to Love
Join me as the dirt-laden trails that guide aspiring seekers in pilgrimage
To my hallowed peaks of awakening.”
The Great Seer bowed before the enormous blue altars
And was instantly transformed
Into the rich soiled paths for all beings to travel
In their quests to achieve
Enlightenment upon the mountaintop!

Originally published on the Mindfulword.org

                    Mountain Heaven

By: Forrest Rivers (originally published by the themindfulword.org)


Sunset at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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.