Jim Riley


In college I was the Editor of the literary magazine, and received a national award for young writers. For a while I was as a folk, rock, and jazz musician. My interests are enlightenment, health and fitness, and composing and recording Scottish and Irish music.

My spiritual journey started slowly, like a locomotive drawing heavy freight. But gradually I picked up steam. Finally I reached my destination, a rustic country station. On the platform, a kind but stern Stationmaster forever greets all who get off there:

"Please realize, however our travels differ, we are all on similar routes. We give our wanderings different names, depending on our faith or lack of faith. But they are never more than names.

"The greatest joy is open to every heart, a moment of diamond-like clarity, like a glimpse of the Divine. The finest music and art may evoke this experience. Yet even they cannot represent it. Only good lives do."

Throughout the universe, countess beings ponder their purpose. Whatever their shapes or forms, the lucky ones come to this: "Love is who I am. Love is why I am. And conscience is the lamp that lights love's way."

This may not be the traditional view of enlightenment. My work does not lean on historical figures or their lives. We need no greater examples than our own hearts and minds. We need not look to Heaven or Nirvana for the light of truth. Those lands have no want of lamps. But this world, right here, right now, begs for the light. And each of us can aid provide it. If you have a heart and a mind you already hold the keys that open the door to enlightenment. There is nothing more to search your pockets for.

Jim Riley

What readers say:

"...reminds me of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali... While the author recognizes limits to the written word, his use of the medium is beautiful."

"...seamless and intelligent...perspectives I've never thought of before."

"...flows like poetry...breathtaking."

"…a book to keep by your bedside...more wisdom and common sense than Solomon."

"This author writes in prose but brings out thoughts and feelings typically only found in poetry. I will be reading this book many times."

Smashwords Interview

What are your interests, besides writing?
Piano, composing, yoga, health and fitness, landscaping, and bicycling.
Any fears?
Realizing later I've been dishonest with someone.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Jim Riley online

Facebook: Facebook profile

Where to buy in print


By Jim Riley
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,190. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2010. Category: Nonfiction
(4.00 from 1 review)
Enlightenment does not belong in Heaven or Nirvana. Brilliant lands have no need of lamps. This often-dark world does. We each have a heart. Thus, we each hold a key that opens the door to enlightenment. There is no other key to search our pockets for.

Jim Riley’s tag cloud

buddhism    enlightenment    happiness    health    heaven    karma    nirvana    philosophy    tao    zen