The Spirituality of Rivers
Have you ever ever questioned why a number of the nice books of literature similar to Siddhartha and Huck Finn are tales approximately rivers? Or why a few of the nice towns of the arena are located subsequent to rivers? Have you ever spotted that the cost of a space with a flow operating during the assets is all the time costlier than a space and not using a movement? Why is that? Are rivers that mystical? Do they occur a non secular drive that pulls our souls to them? A few other folks assume so.
I first turned into acutely aware of the non secular energy of rivers at the same time as touring thru our western states. As I started to discover the wonders of the nice State and Nationwide parks, the fantastic vistas of the Rocky Mountain levels, the wonderful thing about the deserts, it wasn’t lengthy ahead of my consciousness of rivers started to develop. I become acutely aware of how so much of the historical past of our usa is orientated round rivers. As an example, some of the nice wagon trains began west from St. Louis at the Mississippi, the Oregon Path meandered alongside the Virgin River, and a number of the adventures and journals of Lewis and Clark have been tales approximately rivers.
The extra I traveled, the extra I tended to orient myself relative to the rivers round me…such because the Colorado River, the Snake River, or the Virgin River. I started to be aware of whether or not the close to-through rivers have been north or south or west of my present place. I searched the maps to peer the place they started and the place they ended. I discovered concerning the historical past and geology of rivers such because the Columbia and skim concerning the nice ice age floods that placed partitions of ice and water 1000 ft top in the course of the Columbia River Gorge an expected ten to 12 occasions. I used to be surprised to be informed that probably the most up to date large flood came about best 10,000 years in the past. They are saying the water used to be now not just a thousand ft top, it traveled over eighty to one hundred miles an hour in the course of the Gorge! The magic and spirituality of rivers have been slowly easing their method into my soul.
Touring thru Salt Lake Town just lately, I discovered how, 15,000 years in the past, Bonneville Lake, a deep prehistoric pluvial lake the dimensions of Lake Michigan that coated so much of North The united states’s Nice Basin area, all of sudden broke thru its earthen dam draining it inside of a couple of days into the Snake River. Like the nice floods of the ice age, the ensuing flood of Bonneville Lake additionally ended up within the Columbia River Gorge. I could not lend a hand however marvel how top the ones flood waters would possibly were as they too raced during the Gorge…what wouldn’t it were like to face at the cliffs overlooking the Gorge because the thundering floods raced by way of beneath.
As a volunteer host for a summer time at Oregon’s Chicken Rock State Park within the scenic Columbia River Gorge I lately had the chance to spend time each and every morning at daybreak staring at the solar arise over the river. Daybreak within the Gorge used to be impressive. As I watched the solar burn the mist off the river on a daily basis I might mirror on the well-known Buddhist tale concerning the historic non secular grasp who contemplated on a daily basis at the fringe of any such river. In the future he used to be approached via a scholar who requested him how meditating at the financial institution of a river may just result in enlightenment.
The grasp smiled and advised the scholar that sitting at the financial institution of a river is equal to being attentive to one’s lifestyles. Like a river, lifestyles merely flows. It could deliver us excitement but when we attempt to seize or grasp onto the excitement too onerous we will be able to lead to ourselves struggling, as a result of like a river, lifestyles will sooner or later take the excitement away.
Every so often lifestyles will convey issues that lead to us ache and struggling. If we attempt to deny them or attempt to push them clear of us, we will be able to best lead to ourselves extra struggling as a result of we now have nearly no energy to regulate what rivers or lifestyles select convey to us. However, simply because it did with excitement, lifestyles will sooner or later take ache and struggling away too.
Sitting with the grasp at the financial institution of a river taught the scholar that each greedy and aversion will in the end result in struggling. Lifestyles brings all issues into our lives and it takes all issues away. That may be a fact that we can not steer clear of. All we will be able to do is take a seat with what the river of lifestyles brings us, and be informed the teachings that we’re intended to be informed. After a while had handed, the scholar bowed to the instructor and endured on his adventure towards enlightenment.
Each and every morning that summer time, I watched issues floating at the river…barges, leaves, logs, insects, lifeless fish, row boats with made up our minds fishermen. I watched them come towards me…I watched them flow on via. It quietly jogged my memory to not seize too tightly to these issues that convey excitement, or push too onerous towards the ones issues that deliver ache and struggling. Just like the river, lifestyles will ultimately take all of them away. Within the interim, all of them have classes to show me.
I have no idea if I left the river that summer time any longer enlightened than once I arrived, however I did in finding that sitting via the river for a couple of mins each and every morning lightened my day. While it used to be time to transport on, I used to be mindful that my soul might omit observing a brand new day start each and every morning at the river.
Dick is retired from 25 years in personal apply as a pastoral psychotherapist, an authorized Fellow within the American Affiliation of Pastoral Counselors, an ordained Elder within the United Methodist Church, a New York State authorized Psychological Well being Counselor, Nationally Counseled for Counseling through the United Methodist Department of Chaplains and the Board of Upper Training, a author and writer of the Stonyhill Non secular Expansion Publication, and the writer of many different articles revealed at the Stonyhill and different web web sites at the topics of original non secular expansion, The Primitive Ego Idea of Human Construction, and the intentional evolution of human awareness.