Be love and be free
Beyond this veil of separation is an eternal truth that we’re all one. For all the ‘isms’ that divide are nothing more than illusions that blind our souls from the infinite web of being.
If you doubt that we’re all one, take a stroll through majestic green forests or have your breath swept away atop sacred mountains that command your soul to follow the way into a conscious stream of awareness.
Tune your inner voice to the vastness of that space within the depths of your prayers and meditations. Come to know that, in the end, it makes little difference whom you pray to or meditate upon. For Christ, Buddha, Ram, Shiva, Muhammad and The Great Mystery are all just names for enlightened states of consciousness that take us beyond the folds of separation and into the timeless flow of now.
All our talk about finding world peace is just talk—if we fail to find that peace within ourselves. Now is the time for each of us to rise above petty conflicts of ego and embrace in full our common humanity. Only then may we assume our humble place in the cosmos as a unified collective of spiritual beings.
Now is also the time to cease our careless disregard for the Earth and honour our Mother as that omnipresent source of beauty and divine wisdom. For all good things in this world aren’t possible without her guidance, love and sustenance.
Finally, now is the time to look within and see that you contain the entire universe within you, and that you reflect its inborn seeds of illuminated light and peace. Now is the time to be love and be free.
Two ranges, one teacher
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.
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.