Briggs Brook Falls – A Minute Meditation

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Briggs Brook Falls was flowing very lightly on Memorial Day 2016, perhaps underrepresenting the potential beauty and awe that a waterfall typically offers. But the short hike and (unnecessary) bushwhack offered its own insights and foibles.  The Saturday afternoon I visited was the first 90 degree day as well as the first real buggy hike of the year.  I quickly regretted forgetting to bring bug spray.  It’s remarkable that the video I shot wasn’t overly filled with the hundreds of mosquitos that filled the air in my immediate vicinity.

Poor judgement didn’t end there.  Once I arrived at the first hint of the falls, I began moving off trail to get a better view.  I first tried to climb the rocky terrain to the left of the falls.  This proved fruitless, so I returned to the trail and began a similar ascent on the right side.  After a good deal of sweat, mosquito bites, minor scrapes, and so on, I arrived at the top of the falls to discover the blazed trail had simply looped a little further on and back giving the patient climber a well groomed logical ascent to the top.

As I close in on nearly 50 waterfall visits and meditations, there are an abundance of lessons learned (and in this case unlearned).  The first that comes to mind is the observation that human behavior can be highly unregulated and undisciplined. The delusion that we tend to act consistent with a particular set of values and principles is a prevalent misunderstanding of human nature and a source of suffering. Wisdom and contentment are not the product of a perfectly executed sequence of good intentions and decisions. It’s a messy process of mistakes and mishaps punctuated by moments of insight, offering us a practical view of what its like to live a full and happy life.

Briggs Brook Falls, Erving, MA

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Minute Meditations is an ongoing series of short videos, poems, and commentary intended as a meditation.  Offered as an opportunity to step back from your cyber routine and settle into a more natural rhythm, if only for a minute.

Dialectic Two Step, Modern Koans, Verse Us, Say What?, and Minute Meditations all copyright Andrew Furst

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These videos are produced for those of us who spend an inordinately large amount of time in the cyber-world.  They are not a substitute for unplugging from your devices and taking a stroll near trees, water, or a patch of unkempt grass.  Getting out into the world – touching, smelling, hearing, and seeing nature is the best way to reconnect with our prime purpose.  

What is our prime purpose? We are feeling and sensing machines.  We are the universe looking back on itself. We are witness to the wonders and dangers of living in this corner of the cosmos.  We are the seekers looking for connection a little further beyond yesterday’s borders and boundaries.

But sitting and staring at the screen robs us of the sustenance that we rely upon for wonder and sanity.  These videos are an opportunity to bring the sensations of nature to you, while you’re in the cyber-world. Its an opportunity to relax your gaze, resettle your posture,  and regain some depth in your breath.  Listen and watch the video and allow your self to open up and recharge.

Andrew Furst
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Andrew Furst

Author of two books, Poet, Meditation Teacher, Buddhist blogger, backup guitarist for his teenage boys, lucky husband and technologist
Andrew Furst
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