“The Humble Pilgrim”

woman in red jacket and brown shorts standing on pathway near green trees and mountain during

Three pilgrims set off by foot on a 90-mile (about 145 km) pilgrimage down a well-traveled path in the mountains. In a bid to impress the other two pilgrims, the first trekker attempted to hike thirty 30 miles (about 48 km) his first day…. far past any reasonable mileage. Consequently, he blew out one of his knees on the 28th (45th km) mile. Badly injured, the first pilgrim was forced to abandon his journey. The second pilgrim, in a vain attempt to impress his friends back home, tried to record his entire pilgrimage on his phone. However, on the first day, he covered only two miles (3 km) before falling off a small cliff trying to capture a dramatic “selfie”. He, too, was forced to abandon his journey due to breaking his arm in the fall. Meanwhile, the third pilgrim went humbly upon her way at a moderate pace.  She stopped along the trail for brief intervals to give thanks to the spirit of the mountains that guided her feet and soul in tandem. After 7 days and 90 miles (about 145 km) of walking, the third pilgrim at last arrived at the destination: a glorious mountain top where soaring eagles greeted her with blessings of acknowledgment for a pilgrimage traveled without hubris or vanity.

“A Miracle in the Town Square”

man in orange robe standing on gray concrete floor during daytime

One day an arrogant and wealthy politician encountered a monk at the center of the town square. The monk, clad in a flowing orange robe with a begging cup in hand, did not pay the politician any notice. He just strolled slowly by the prominent man with eyes staring straight ahead absorbed in a walking meditation.  Enraged at having not been acknowledged, the politician ran up behind the monk and aggressively grabbed him by the arm and said:

“Don’t you know who I am? Everyone bows down before me!”

The monk locked eyes with the politician for a few seconds and then suddenly began laughing hysterically out loud. Growing even more enraged, the powerful and famous man raised his fists in the air and threatened the monk with violence. He then demanded to know what was so funny. Still laughing, the monk pointed down at the politician’s feet. The politician looked embarrassingly down at his feet and saw that he was standing in a pile of fresh cow dung! As the politician bent down to clean the dung off his shoes, the monk stood over him and said:

“I think I remember who you are now. You are that former politician turned humble servant of his people. Now allow me to help you clean the cow dung off your shoes.”

 At that moment it has been said that a great miracle took place. An arrogant and wealthy politician was transformed into a kind and humble servant for the poorest and most oppressed among his people.

“Into The Void”

white and yellow fireworks during night time

Today I will see my original face

And all will be well

For soon I shall dwell

As something more than this body

Gone, Gone

Gone beyond

Into the void I’ve gone….

What makes you think you were ever born?

And what makes you think you will ever die?

“You are Loving Awareness”

The stars and galaxy as seen from Rocky Mountain National Park.

You are the stars and the moon

And you are the sun rising and setting

You are the eagles soaring

And you are the seasons passing

Open and present

To whatever greets you

Nothing can ever prevent you

From being everything

And nothing

Loving awareness is who you are.

“What was Your Original Face?”

white clouds during daytime

One variation of a Zen koan asks: “What was your original face before you were born?” Today, I have the audacity to try(key word) and answer this question!

What face?

Emptiness.

No form.

A dog chasing its tail?

Sublime perfection.

Too many words?

The blind leading the blind!

The bardos between birth.

Your Buddha Nature.

Something not quite human but the essence of it.

Beyond space and time.

The past, present and future merging.

Fingers pointing at the moon.

Pure awareness.

Oneness.

Too clever?

Meditate more.

Think less!

“Lifting All Illusions”

silhouette of person standing on rock surrounded by body of water

In the Darkness

I see

That what surrounds me

Is so wild and free….

So, what does it mean

To be the one

Dancing in the breeze

with the people I believe

Who are filled

With the love of pure intentions?

Listen and receive

The message

From the spirit of God

Within you.

Mindful Musings: May 11

“What Force Wills It?”

By: Forrest Rivers

shade of sun and clear blue sky

The eye blinks

But what force wills it to blink?

The ear hears

But what force wills it to hear?

The nose smells

But what force wills it to smell?

The tongue tastes

But what force wills it to taste?

The mind thinks

But what force wills it to think?

The sages say that at the moment of death

When the eternal indwelling light

Drops the body

The senses then cease to exist

Center your awareness

On that eternal indwelling light

And discover the answer to what wills

Your eyes to blink

Your ears to hear

Your tongue to taste

Your nose to smell

And your mind to think.

Mindful Musings: May 10

By: Forrest Rivers

“Prayer to a Guru”

green tree under blue sky during daytime

Great Tree:

Each day

I come to you

To revel in your wisdom

And to receive your blessings

Channeled through time….

So sacred are your teachings

Filled with the boundless grace

Befitting of a guru

As cherished and divine as you….

I bow my head in reverence.

Mindful Musings: May 5

“The Earth is My Church”

By: Forrest Rivers

three multicolored birds in close-up photography

Chirping birds

Sing their heavenly song

Early in the morning

The rising sun greets

Hungry seekers

Gathered in worship

And the cool air brings

Levity to a new day….

In this church, you see,

There is no priest

Other then the rocks and trees

The mountains and the breeze.

Mindful Musings: May 4

“Inspiration for the Soul”

By: Forrest Rivers

(Abbie taking in the view atop a 12,000 FT peak)

In her eleven plus years on this Earth, my beautiful and inspiring dog Abbie has been speared by a buck(very nearly ending her life), survived two vicious attacks from other dogs(one of which left her with over 50 stitches), consumed an iron packet at the bottom of a dog treat bag that also almost killed her, badly cut her side open on a briar patch(also requiring stitches), cut her paws open twice on glass at the park and even ate a batch of pot edible cookies(Yup another trip to the Pet ER!). Yet, despite enduring so many dramatic and life-threatening events in her journey, after every incident she has bounced back even stronger and more resilient then before. Like the glorious mountains that she hikes nearly each day alongside me, Abbie’s life is a testament to the power of will, courage and faith in the face of adversity. My gratitude could never be expressed in words for the infinite blessings and profound teachings that she has shared with me. Truly, Abbie is the essence of living spirit.