The Cosmic Abyss


A few years ago, I took an executive team to the Green Gulch Zen Center in Mill Valley, California for a three-day retreat. Our agenda was to review corporate goals, renew commitments, and strengthen relationships. Well after the first day’s session, somewhere around 1:30 a.m., one of the division vice presidents and I began speaking about his recent vacation. He had been an Air Force fighter pilot after graduating from the Air Force Academy, and later went on to win an advanced degree from Stanford. He was a very bright guy, very energetic and confident, but sad and unhappy in his soul. During the preceding months, he and I had touched briefly on this and on some of the deeper stirrings in his heart that he would from time to time admit.


The others had gone to sleep. He and I were sitting on a futon, and our faces were barely visible in the light of the fire’s last embers. He told me how one morning he had roused his wife and three sons and how they went together, before the sun was yet up, to sit on the edge of the rim of the Grand Canyon. He said they sat together holding hands in silence, their feet dangling in the abyss, and watched the sun come up. He tried to say more about that moment but he couldn’t.


Instead, his breathing elongated and his eyes narrowed, as though he were seeing into a distance that was indescribable. I could feel the presence within him and surround him. He spread giant wings and yet remained seated and still.


After many silent moments of incredible depth of feeling, he said, simply, “I love my family more than anything. I want to live in that love.”


Yes. If there is an answer to the question of relevance people often ask, it is reflected within this statement: I want to live in that love.


Haven’t you ever sat with your feet dangling in the cosmic abyss and been consumed by a presence, a force, an encompassing state of being? Here, in the early morning as the sun comes upon the unutterable canyons, we are able to see without stop, across boundaries into the distance that cannot be spoken. Something is revealed here, some form of wordless knowing that transcends ambiguity and relativity. The word my client used to represent this experience was love. Love is the discovery we make as we engage in spiritual inquiry.


Haven’t you ever sat with your feet dangling in the cosmic abyss and been consumed by a presence, a force, an encompassing state of being? Here, in the early morning as the sun comes upon the unutterable canyons, we are able to see without stop, across boundaries into the distance that cannot be spoken. Something is revealed here, some form of wordless knowing that transcends ambiguity and relativity. The word my client used to represent this experience was love. Love is the discovery we make as we engage in spiritual inquiry.


As we open to and embrace this power, this presence of love, we forge a new alliance with life and with work. We can depend upon that power to take us forward, one step at a time, into clear and impeccable decisions.


One will be carried as pollen is carried by bees and gusts from one place to another, leaving fertile trails. Our trail of actions will likewise be fertile and will be a blessing to one and all.


May everyone be at peace, in love, and know their most perfect Self.


Robert Rabbin is an author, speaker, and advisor. He can be reached via e-mail at robrabbin@infoasis.com, or by writing: 2629 Manhattan Ave., Ste. 192, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. His new book, The Sacred Hub (The Crossing Press, ISBN: 0-89594-837-0), is available in bookstores or from the publisher at (800) 777-1048.




“Echoes in Silence” is a bi-weekly column by Robert Rabbin–author, speaker, and advisor–who has spend thirty years using self-inquiry as a means to explore the true nature of self, mind, reality, and consciousness.


His new book, The Sacred Hub (The Crossing Press, ISBN: 0-89594-837-0), is available through the bookstores nationwide.

Robert Rabbin Written by Robert Rabbin

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