Mindful Musings: Mar 1

gold and brown building ceiling

Awaken”

Still mind

Calm breath

Buddha is realized

Open heart

Pure soul

Brahman is attained

Simple life

Quiet home

The Self will be recognized

Humble speech

Illumined eyes

Peace will be achieved.

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 29

“Earth Gratitude”

By: Forrest Rivers

man in white t-shirt and blue denim jeans walking on green grass field during daytime

Divine Forest,

Goddess of eternal wisdom

Your spirit is strong

Like the roots

Of your ancient trees

Whispering into the void

To the One with many names

Who is unimaginable in her glory

And beyond all conceptions and reason….

If you should be so lucky

To saunter through she who gives you life

Be still and honor your mother

With these affirming words of gratitude:

“Thank you for the gift of Earth.”

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

Bryant McGill Quote: “Rejection is merely a redirection; a course ...

“Rejection Serves as a Guide to One’s Destiny”

By: Forrest Rivers

One day, I received a depressing (and snarky) email from a small publishing house. This letter was in response to an inquiry to publish a book I had finished writing, the Hippie Revival and Collected Writings.

A representative of the company wrote me the following message based off a brief questionnaire and not having actually read my book:

“I hate to rain on your parade but as presented your book has limited marketability. The word “Hippie” is “loaded” and retrograde. Using it in the title severely limits the market. Essays and poems on any issue are a hard sell. Interest in reviving hippies is a small pool. And I doubt that hippies are big book buyers. You say your book is “about [the resurgence of] the spiritual ideals of peace, unity and love” (I’d drop “resurgence” which is, again, backward focused) This is a broad market populated by people who buy books. You need to do your homework and that involves learning about what a publisher is looking for – something that SELLS!”

Some things to ponder,

-Publisher-

I have to admit that it hurt to read this critique. However, this response did serve as a reminder of sorts. The reminder was that all creative souls encounter rejection in their desire to share their expressions of the divine. Inspiring persons (to me) like Albert Einstein, Henry David Thoreau and Pablo Coelho all met rejection along their paths of exploring the Infinite. Einstein’s fascination with the laws of the Universe drove him to explore the depths of what he called a “cosmic religion.” Likewise, it was Thoreau’s awe for the sacredness of nature, which pushed him to move to the woods and (eventually) achieve transcendental states of awareness. Coelho, too, was so enthralled by a desire to share his faith in personal destiny that it led him to create one of the most inspiring and celebrated characters(Santiago) in modern literature. Crucially, each of these men experienced rejection for pushing the parameters of conventional thought at the time. The world was not yet prepared to receive their visionary takes on reality.

Primary school teachers and peers famously ridiculed Einstein for his unique powers of perception. Thoreau died in a state of destitution, never enjoying the wide literary reception he receives today. Coelho, the Brazilian born novelist, also experienced his fair share of rejection. A publisher once dropped his future international best-selling novel, The Alchemist, for poor book sales. From these three inspiring stories, one might gather that rejection is a crucial experience toward the fulfillment of one’s destiny.

One’s encounter with rejection provides an important check on their ego. Through humbling us, it is a reminder that we are not God’s gift to the world. The Universe does not spare any soul from enduring life’s trials and tribulations. Therefore, when we finally do somehow align with our cosmic destinies, we remain humble and gracious for our good fortune. We remember how challenging it was to achieve our dreams.  In the end, all that we are left with is heartfelt gratitude for that omnipresent source of inspiration….Oneness.