The emergence of COVID-19 turned the world upside down, ushering in mass casualties, sickness, and economic hardship, and social unrest. However, despite the pandemic's tragic and chaotic nature, the virus has also been catalyst for the spiritual awakening of humanity, according to one man calling us to continue leaning into the opportunity it has created.
In his new book COVID 19 and Humanity's Spiritual Awakening, Forrest Rivers explores the myriad ways in which the virus served to awaken the seeds of truth, wisdom and the acknowledgement of our common roots as one human family.
According to Rivers, something altogether beautiful has bubbled up from beneath the surface. That something is unity and compassion. He sees signs of it everywhere: the thousands of volunteers who risked their lives to help others, the retired doctors who unretired to relieve the load of overworked hospital staffs, the food pouring into food banks, people supporting each other individually or collectively. He sees this as indicative of a positive move in the direction of a kinder and gentler society.
"Despite the heavy and tragic loss of life left in its wake, COVID-19 may soon become to be regarded as one of our light posts on the path of humanity's spiritual awakening," says Rivers. Hastening our move to oneness from dualism.
Forrest River s is a writer, philosophy teacher and speaker who lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina His personal journey of awakening began at the age of 30 on a trip to Maui. It was there that the profound healing power of nature spoke to his soul and helped him overcome a dark period of alcohol abuse. After returning home from that transformative experience, Forrest became interested in the spiritual traditions of the Far East and began to immerse himself in Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist teachings. He has been a keen observer of the human condition ever since.
"For the sake of humanity, it would be much more constructive for us all to make ourselves instruments of service and lead from our hearts. This is the essence of radical love, treating the suffering of others as if it were your own AND having the courage to relieve another's suffering even if it comes at a great personal cost to you. The courageous display of such a spirit of selflessness is what imbues the expression of love with its truly radical component. In the end, COVID-19 represents a rare opportunity for us to undergo a paradigm shift in consciousness from one focused on self-serving ends to one grounded in the spirit of loving kindness," he says.
Furthermore, he points to how this "pause" enabled people to really think about what mattered to them--taking more time with family, choosing a new career path that fulfills a heart-calling, stepping off the grid to live a life in nature, creating more healthy habits of meditating, walking, hiking, cycling, de-stressing in nature. All of these lead to people who are more centered in a life of peace, service and spiritual/emotional fulfillment.
Says Rivers: "In the end, this much is certain: our collective healing will bring us exponentially closer toward arriving at a greater understanding of both self and others...one day soon, the peaceful and loving world that we all know is possible will become a reality."
If you would like to interview Forrest Rivers for an uplifting perspective on the consequences of our worldwide pandemic, then please send an email with the name of the show, your contact information, a proposed date and time, and the call-in details.
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Forrest Rivers is a writer, teacher, and speaker who splits his time between the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina and the Colorado Rockies. His personal journey of awakening began at the age of 30 on an awe-inspiring trip to Maui, Hawaii. It was there on that enchanted island where the profound healing power of the Earth spoke through to his heart and helped him overcome a difficult period of alcohol abuse.
After returning home from that transformative experience, Forrest became interested in the spiritual traditions of the Far East and began to immerse himself in the teachings of Buddhist, Hindu, and Taoist mystics and took the pen name Forrest Rivers in honor of the Earth and her profound healing power. Today, Forrest is a teacher of meditation and has started meditation gatherings at each of the schools that he has taught at during his over decade long run as a community college professor. Today, Forrest spends a great deal of his time guiding others to look within and become the best versions of themselves. In the very near future, it is his dream to start a wilderness retreat center that focuses on the spirit of service and inner work. He is the author of two books: The Hippie Revival and Collected Writings as well as COVID-19 and Humanity’s Spiritual Awakening.