Covid 19 brings Oneness from Duality: A Spiritual Awakening
Welcome to Healing From Within with your host Sheryl Glick RMT Reiki Master Energy Teacher medium and author of the newest book in a trilogy A New Life Awaits: Spirit Guided Insights to Support Global Awakening which shares stories and spiritual messages that show us our challenges are not and economic political or societal but a disconnection from our inner soul wisdom. I am delighted to welcome Forrest Rivers, author of Covid 19 Humanity’s Spiritual Awakening which shows us that there is good to come out of the pandemic’s tragic and chaotic nature and that Unity and Compassion are on the rise as a result of what the world has lived through.
As listeners of Healing From Within are well aware Sheryl and her guests share intimate insightful stories of finding out more about our dual nature as both physical and energetic beings who when they merge the wisdom of their intuition and connection to Spiritual or Universal Energy with ego based mind decisions are better equipped to create the best version of themselves and offer through this awareness of higher consciousness more to their families and communities. We explore life both in the physical realm and beyond, becoming aware of the eternal nature of life and the interconnection to “All that is.”
In today’s episode of Healing From Within Forrest Rivers an author and inspirational speaker shows us that though Covid 19 has been a harbinger of mass chaos and unspeakable tragedy for many people if we are able to still our minds and quiet our fears we can start to see a different narrative emerging: one of hope personal empowerment and spiritual awakening.
When asked to think back to his childhood and remember a person place event that may have signaled to him what lifestyle interests and work he might pursue as an adult Forrest immediately tells us that when his Grandfather who was Greek was in the hospital and sleeping Forrest felt the need to place his hands on him and ask for his grandfather to be healed. Perhaps his spiritual quest or need to serve and help others was a strong part of his life plan and destiny.
Forrest goes on to tell us of a more powerful spiritual awakening that he was now able to understand beginning at the age of 30 while on an awe-inspiring trip to Maui Hawaii where the enchanted island and the profound healing power of the Earth spoke through to his heart and helped him overcome a difficult period of alcohol abuse. After the 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. In the future Forrest hopes to start a wilderness retreat center that focuses on the spirit of service and inner work.
This story reminds Sheryl of an author Dr. Vernon Sylvest, founder of the Institute of Higher Healing and Healing Waters and author of The End of Fear; The Path to Freedom who had such a place in the mountains of Charlottesville North Carolina before his passing. Sheryl took two planes including one smaller plane that bounced in the air over the mountains before reaching the hidden mountain lodge and once there Sheryl enjoyed the simple mountain air while learning about nutrition, quiet walks on mountain trails, yoga with a master teacher and experiencing Healing Touch which is slightly different than the Reiki energy healing Sheryl .practices.
Forrest began to write this book Covid 19 and Humanity’s Spiritual Awakening when the outbreak began Forrest like Sheryl thought how bad can this virus really be? It was apparently worse than we imagined and then again it was handled politically before a presidential election to score points against President Trump who had to work with the many ramifications of a plague never before experienced by the world. Hospitalization and fatality rates reached alarming levels, businesses were forced to shut down and record numbers of people filed for unemployment benefits. Meanwhile shoppers fearing a breakdown in the national food supply resorted to panic shopping. The economy went into a complete free fall as American state governments tightened shutdown orders to suppress the outbreak. THEN the murder of George Floyd an unarmed black man was the catalyst to tip the scales of justice as this horrific event coincided with the peak of the first surge of Covid-19 setting off a wave of destruction and violent protests in most major US cities. Together it seemed like the apocalypse had arrived.
Forrest remembered the words of the wise and late spiritual teacher Ram Dass who wrote, “Suffering is the sandpaper that awakens people.” Some myself included might go as far as to say that this pandemic appeared in part to awaken us from our collective delirium of mindless conformity and separation so we might remember the values of love innocence and beauty of our childhood and return to values that nurture the soul as well as the physical body
Forrest might like to convey the thought that we have a choice how we respond to the challenges of Covid 19 and other problems facing our world now. Either that these unsettling times can make us feel more divided alone and afraid or they can empower us to look within, and realize our common ties with all of humanity. Never, have we been so united in our mutual experience of suffering. And at no other time have we all been deeply called upon to transcend all that separates us. Amid all the fearful media coverage and chaos surrounding the pandemic lies a truth now revealing itself. That something is the greater need for unity and compassion. For the first time possibly since World War 11 the whole of humanity has been forced to confront the painful truth that a collective mindset of ignorance, intolerance, hatred and greed only winds up producing negative consequences for us all. Covid-19 has had the effect of exposing long standing societal injustices that have left many questioning the values guiding humanity. In America the crisis has made it clear that the needs of living and breathing people should come before the pursuit of profit for a wealthy and connected few.
Many Hindus have long believed that the Cosmos moves in a perpetual cycle between the dark ages those defined by (ego discord and contention) and ages of enlightenment in which awareness of our divine nature prevails. We may be in the opening stages of a planetary shift in consciousness from such a dark age to one of enlightenment. The Hindus believe we are still in the dark age they call Kali Yuga.
Sheryl tells of becoming ill with the Covid Plague as she likes to call it at the end of March 2020 with what she thought was her yearly bout of bronchitis. As she watched on television and saw more symptoms being revealed she realized that this was different from past infections. Her neck swelled, her throat was so sore and her ears hurt and she simply had no energy to get out of the chair. Something was very different. Then her chest hurt and breathing was difficult and she practiced expanding it to get some relief. AS she sat there meditating, she did self- healing Reiki as Sheryl is a Reiki Master Energy Healer and asked Spirit why as a healer she was experiencing this toxic illness. After recovering and returning to hosting this radio show Healing From Within, Sheryl had a guest who told her she had been unable to help Covid patients with Distant Healing as the energy was so strong in the chest in most people infected, that it was too hard to stay with the connection. After she herself had Covid, it seemed that resistance to the worst of the symptoms was achieved, and she was able to help many others after she had conquered the disease as well. There was as there always is, a reason for everything that occurs. Life is not random and the experiences we are having are part of our life plan or destiny. and leaning into challenges, instead of resisting, helps to handle any issue more effectively with better results.
Forrest observes that the hallmark of any spiritual awakening is to confront fears of death. This is important for it allows us to live our lives with a greater sense of freedom and equanimity. Many seekers of eastern faiths believe that making peace with the inevitability of our death is among the highest spiritual practices we can pursue. When we transcend our fear we unlock a gate to live more fully in the present moment so we can follow our Dharma, our cosmic destiny and all of humanity benefits. Covid 19 has provided us with a unique change to engage in such spirited reflection on our mortality. And to serve as a dramatic reminder that one day, sooner or later we are all going to die
For many like the story Forrest tells of his soul brother Alex, this pandemic and the ensuing economic collapse has only confirmed that we all need to return to a simpler more loving life, perhaps live a job or a toxic relationship and follow a dream that we may have not thought about in a while.
It is fully within our power to shift the negative aspects of Covid from one of fear and hopelessness to that of seeing this moment as a rare opportunity to follow our true life path and dreams through the grace of suffering. Flip the dial of pessimism to hope and everyone in your circle of life will be miraculously illuminated to a higher plane of consciousness.
People embrace suffering in a positive way. In the earliest days of the pandemic many recall experiencing a string of negative emotions that have been shared by people around the world. Shutdowns began in the United States and we all had initial feelings of anxiety, fear and paranoia. Seeing people with masks and social distancing separated people from their normal need to be close to those they love and interact with joy, smiles and laughter.
Sheryl says that driving through her town to get supplies and seeing the streets empty and many stores closed made her cry. It was like Death Valley and watching the news, seeing people intubated and dying, and seeing how little was known about this deadly virus while so called specialists make flip flop decisions did not inspire confidence in our institutions. Would rather have heard the truth. We simply don’t know what we are dealing with yet. Forest writes a telling poem aimed at uplifting himself and shoring up his feelings of doubt and being unable to perhaps measure up during these unprecedented times. It is called A Ballard Of Hope Amid a Time of Crisis and he writes,
The year was 2020
The world was plagued by a pandemic that inflicted
mass casualties across the land
Countless millions watched in horror
As loved ones fell victim to the virus
Many more struggled to find work and food
As the world’s economy
Suffered a catastrophic collapse….
Meanwhile corrupt and greedy politicians
Stood callously by
As the number of homeless multiplied and starved around them.
With little assistance coming from their maniacal rulers
Some people resorted to looting and organized crime to meet their basic needs…
But set against this backdrop of death fear and deprivation
A movement of higher consciousness was well underway
Driven into isolation to control the deadly virus
Citizens of the world came to have gratitude
For all the little things they had taken for granted
Smiles from passing strangers
Uplifting time spent with dear friends and family
And the sweet joys of live song and dance
Were all things sorely missed and remembered
The poem goes on in all its lovely soulful beauty and truth on page 50 of his book. .
Forrest mentions Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr who once said,
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
In the early days of the Covid outbreak it appeared that Ram Dass’s words may have been coming to fruition. The wars between nations seemed to no longer matter as the deadly virus became the common enemy throughout the world. For a hopeful moment it appeared like division along the lines of class, race, religion and politics would dissolve overnight. For the first time in many people’s lives the attainment and realization of many spiritual truths and of a higher consciousness was a real possibility. Call it this mystical energy that connects all things to God or the One or the Great Mystery. By whatever name you call it all that matters is the knowledge that such a state of connectedness for humanity to achieve is possible. As we met this crisis with universal compassion and the ranks of volunteers grew to serve food at food banks and younger people came to the aid of their elderly neighbor’s shelter was given to the homeless and many began to honor overlooked essential workers like grocery clerks and food delivery drivers as well as medical and hospital workers. While other circumstances like the unarmed man in Minneapolis Minnesota was killed and protests against the shutdowns and destruction of small businesses, still much has shifted in the thinking and actions of many, and hopefully, much good will in time come out of this plague that perhaps the Universe needed man to experience.
If the Earth could speak to us as all our beloved guardians or messengers like Jesus and Buddha, they have shared these three things in common beyond space and time:
- A deep and lived inborn belief that the earth is sacred and is the supreme source of all revelatory wisdom.
- Established lifestyles in which humans take only the bare minimum of resources they need from me to survive
- A long and hallowed commitment to defend Earth from the onslaughts of society’s plunderers.
At this moment and as a result of the Covid plague you desperately need the wisdom of the indigenous peoples but you have destroyed the very foundation of their cultures. Time to look back in history and ourselves to remember the truth of our soul being and begin again to restore life, health and well being to its original state.
Forrest goes on to share how the practice of meditation positively impacted his life. Forrest suggests anxiety especially now during a pandemic can be channeled to promote lasting and meaningful spiritual growth. These times are perfect for us to establish a daily meditation practice through stilling our minds, opening our hearts and surrendering to the present moment. Two of the primary purposes of meditation is to learn to let go and to recognize one’s relationship with all things. Metta practice roughly translates to benevolence and Loving Kindness and comes to us from the Buddhist tradition. The purpose of this practice is to focus on cultivating and sending feelings of goodwill to all sentient beings. Through the ages, it has been said by more than a few sages that meditation is the highest form of prayer because it breaks down the separation between the external world and our vast inner world. Remarkably, too, it could also heal the whole world in a time when we are in desperate need of healing.
Scientific researchers found convincing evidence of a direct link between the practice of mass metta (loving kindness) circles, and lower incidences of war. If metta practice can bring peace to war-torn people imagine what it could accomplish in alleviating all suffering related to Covid-19.
Forrest suggests overcoming our fear of death which is so important for spiritual growth. Eastern and Native American influences are important in overcoming this fear and recognizing our true essence as spiritual beings having a physical life
This pandemic has shown us that as we draw closer to death there are two paths to follow. The first is the heavily conditioned road of denying the inevitable passing of our physical bodies and blindly grasping the fleeting nature of the physical world. But this choice will only wind up creating more needless suffering. Just as the Buddha taught, we cannot hold on to any physical forms including our bodies.
Fortunately, the presence of Covid-19 has helped people realize there is a second path. We have the choice to embrace our death by surrendering to the wondrous passage of form back to the “Formless” the “Void”, or the “One”. Instead of running from death’s shadow, we have the power to meet it at its doorstep, with our hearts fully open to what IS and will soon become. Death does not have to be a painful frightening experience. We can use this transition for our healing and personal growth.
Covid has shown us there is no better way to overcome our fear of Death than through formal spiritual practices like work with the dying and meditation. Stephen Levine, a spiritual teacher spent countless hours working with people who as the Hindus say were close to dropping their bodies“. His experience led him to write a book titled, “A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as if It were Your Last.”
Sheryl agrees with Baba Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now who was a friend of Levine and also spent considerable time working with the Living/Dying Project. Ram Dass credited his many decades of work with the dying as the deepest spiritual work that he had ever done on himself. He was fond of teaching that if you can learn to keep your heart open in hell, through embracing the painful emotions that watching another die engenders, then the opportunity to transcend your fears becomes possible. Once the heart breaks, you can fall back into the wisdom of your deathless self. (Your Eternal Soul Being)
Many years from now when we look back on Covid-19 do you think society will see it as a turning point for humanity’s evolution? Forrest and Sheryl believe it will be seen as a turning point in humanity’s evolution where many people had the chance to reflect on the meaning of freedom both in the United States and other nations and an opportunity to return to the values of loving Self and others protecting our environment reasonably and not fanatically and moving beyond the materialist world we have manifested which is affecting our health and human dignity to learn to cooperate share and values our natural resources and protect those in need. Many came to see freedom as the right to work and operate one’s own business without the undue interference by the government.
For others freedom meant the right to make one’s own personal decisions as it related to public health. Still others thought freedom to be seen as the right to be protected from the threats by others which they saw as irresponsible decisions. (Some shoppers insist on not wearing masks in crowded public places but that began after people had vaccines and should have been able to discard masks giving unvaccinated people a chance to wear masks for their own protection.)
Thankfully like the mystics, in these times more people are beginning to comprehend that true freedom springs from an awareness that we are all connected. Indeed, we have the power to shift our perspectives of freedom from what is good for me, to what is also good for all of us. In the end nothing is good or bad, just experience which allows us to refine our thinking and actions and rise above human nature to find divine connections and greater love.
What might be said to those who don’t believe that Covid -19 is real? Forrest writes “When the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2020 marking the start of a new decade no one knew then as everyone well knows now, the Coronavirus (Covid-19) began its silent march across the world infecting and claiming the lives of many people. From the very beginning, it was resoundingly clear that this pandemic would drastically alter the course of humanity for the foreseeable future. Phrases and practices like social distancing, essential and non-essential workers, flattening the curve, stay at home orders, the mass wearing of face coverings in public places and curbside food and retail pick up came to form a new Covid-19 consciousness.
The far reach of the virus into every facet of our lives also forced us to confront our deepest existential anxieties and fears. For example, the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions had to quickly come to terms with the fact that they could succumb to the virus at any moment. And millions of workers laid off from their jobs because of the shut downs of businesses had to navigate the waters of extreme financial hardship. For medical professionals on the frontlines, death and dying in the age of Covid has become a highly tragic yet valuable reminder of the impermanent nature of life. And seekers on the path of higher consciousness have discovered an important opportunity to work with suffering. In essence, Covid -19 has the great potential to spiritually awaken all of humanity.
Sheryl says, “So Covid is real and will probably be around forever like colds flu Autoimmune disease cancer etc. We do our best to keep our immune system healthy by getting plenty of rest, reducing stress as much as we can, eating a healthy diet, drinking lots of water and not continuously focusing on this disease or any other. Our thoughts create our reality so thinking you are in a fit and healthy body each day helps to make that a reality. Discard negative thoughts as much as possible. Be hopeful as much as possible. Follow your own inner guidance system and intuition as much as possible and accept life as it unfolds without judgment or fear simply as experiences all humans have at one time or another in the physical world of change.”
Forrest tells us his message to all those looking for some kind of meaning within this period of mass suffering is In the end becoming self-sufficient in action requires that we first become it in thought. To this point G.I. Gurdjieff, the Greek-Armenian spiritual teacher said the following:
“If you wish to get out of prison the first thing you must do is realize that you are in prison. If you think you are free, you can’t escape.”
If we continue to think we need the mass corporate machine to feed and supply us with our life necessities, then we will remain locked in our own prison of dependency believing we are free. The same idea applies to our relationship with our governments. The more we think we need their financial assistance the more reliant we will be on manipulative rulers who want us to remain dependent.
Sheryl says that at no time has this statement been more evident in what is happening in America. I speak with young people who are so afraid they can find a job to support themselves buy homes have families that they must survive with socialism free college healthcare and other holds that the present administration is offering, that they are willing to give up the Constitution and be a conquered nation: a nation led by those who have little regard for empowering humanity, but, more need to control and undermine freedom.
Sheryl believes this ideology needs to release its grip on our nation and writes in her new book A New Life Awaits: Spirit Guided Insights to Support Global Awakening the following, “The American people are ardently demanding changes to present corrupt, political, elitist, ruling-class practices that do not allow simple, kind, good values to be honored. As we question what we want in life and what is truly a just criteria for success, we are discovering that people embroiled in only a materialistic approach to life—either forgetting or never having considered their equally important spiritual needs for love, for compassion, to be of service to others, and to be free from greed— have become disconnected and dissatisfied. The quote by Shakespeare’s Polonius, “[t]o thine own self be true/And it must follow, as the night the day/Thou cannot then be false to any man,” is still a rightful way to approach and remember our deepest personal needs as well as the reason we incarnated into this life. I have observed people who are not only happy and fulfilled, but often courageous and dynamic and bold leaders much needed in today’s world of conflict and confusion. Their general mindset reflects virtues including empathy, the acceptance of others with genuine regard for their differences, and respect for what we all can contribute to the world. In other words, these successful people are the antithesis to the competitive, unrelenting, and controlling drives of many of our politicians, corporate leaders, educators, and media who display a dog-eat-dog mentality.”
We thank Forrest Rivers author of Covid 19 and Humanity’s Spiritual Awakening for providing a way for those to see Covid-19 realistically, as the complicated disease and international disruption of society and financial well being, but. also as a means to spiritually grow and evolve in order to know ourselves as the duality of a physical and energetic essence, or body and spirit which has unlimited potential to create out of the dust of time and universes healing grace and love.
In summarizing today’s episode of Healing From Within we have taken a two sided view of the recent Covid -19 worldwide plague to see how while it has been like something out of the Twilight Zone in strangeness and negative effects, it also offers a way for humanity to unify and remember who they are as spiritual beings having a physical life with the capacity to make choices, and renew the best values of love prosperity hope healing and kindness which must never be lost, no matter how difficult times are.
We have seen how combining a terrifying health crisis with a catastrophic economic collapse is the recipe for social conflict. The world which has been sadly divided by identity politics, religion, social class, geographic location culture and race, as well as liberal vs. conservatives, religious fundamentalists vs atheists, rich vs. poor, urban dwellers vs. rural farmers, and the white race vs all other groups must allow accept and surrender to peoples’ individual rights to follow their own destinies.
Two groups quickly emerged in response to the pandemic. On one “side” were those who thought the virus represented a grave existential threat and ascribed to the belief that governments should take control and do everything to protect citizens from the disease even if it meant resigning countless millions to grinding poverty through mandated lockdowns
On the other “side” were those who believed that Covid-19 was deliberately overblown by media outlets and governments who had a financial incentive to engineer a climate of fear and serve a political agenda. Individuals with this belief felt lockdowns and mask now vaccine mandates were a breach of Federal and local government power and should have been avoided. Though many died as we had little understanding of the virus at the beginning, we now have many therapeutic vaccines and most people are surviving the disease which is not nearly as deadly as originally projected.
Both views came from the different problems people in urban or rural areas faced. Regardless of our political opinions on Covid-19 collectively, we are all having to cope with its fall out. And must find common ground past our ego conditioning that sees things in terms of black and white. Now we have an opportunity to move to “radical love.
What is clear is that both anger and frustration have boiled over among large sections of the population. We find there are many acts of radical love that we can engage in at this very moment to relieve suffering and hardship. Some examples include: feeding the hungry, providing clothing for the poor, caring for the sick, attending to those who have lost a love one due to Covid-19, uplifting elderly neighbors who may continue to live in extreme conditions of social isolation. In the end Covid represents a rare opportunity to undergo a paradigm shift in consciousness from being focused on self-serving ends to one grounded in the spirit of service and loving -kindness.
Forrest and Sheryl will have you know that faith, not belief, is the key to bring us to peace and oneness. Belief is found in thoughts, while faith is within the soul and simply knows what is right. Belief is fragile, and faith helps conquer fear through intuition and inner surrender. We must give up our attachment to extreme belief, let go, and allow God or a view of Universal Divine Source to lead us to find purpose and healing beyond this pandemic. Trust the plan for yourself and the world. There is a way forward!
Your host Sheryl Glick Reiki Master Energy Teacher and author of a trilogy A New Life Awaits Spirit Guided Insights to Support Global Awakening which shares stories and spiritual messages that show us our challenges are not economic political or societal but a disconnect from our alignment to our true nature of inner soul wisdom and eternal source welcomes you to visit her website www.sherylglick.com to read about and listen to leaders in the metaphysical scientific spiritual educational medical and arts and music fields explore the duality of life and ways to go beyond human limitations. Shows may also be heard on www.webtalkradio.net and www.dreamvisions7radio.com