Woman on beach listening

Deep Listening

I want to talk about awakening. I want to talk about the kind of awakening that is all around us, that doesn’t require any special effort or activity, the kind of awakening that exists as the inner truth of all living things…of all things everywhere. I want to talk about awakening as a fact of existence, the kind of awakening in which that Silence that created the whole universe out of its own joy, suddenly remembers itself in the midst of life, in the midst of turmoil and confusion, in the midst of joy and prosperity, sadness and grief, in the midst of cities and forests, in the midst of sirens and traffic, in the midst of birth and death, in the midst multitudes and stark solitude.

There is such an awakening. The kind of awakening that occurs in parking lots and bus stations, in Disneyland and homeless shelters. This awakening is waiting for us in our offices and cars, as much as in a cave or meditation center. This awakening doesn’t need any particular conditions. We don’t have to become ripe through years of effort and toil. We don’t have to climb into the high and rare atmosphere of mountains hiding like myths in exotic countries. This awakening is here, now.

Why wait? Are we not tired enough of sadness and separation, of carrying ideas and beliefs about Reality, when Reality itself, pure and shining, is but a glance away? Awakening means to awaken, to rise up, whole body and whole mind, whole spirit and whole heart, to awaken from sleep, from the slumber of past and future, from the deep sleep of thoughts, concepts, and beliefs, from the tragic burden of me, me, me…always me…awakening from all of this into the timeless beauty that is here, now, here, now…the beauty that can be seen, can be felt, can be known now, without any further preparation.

Whether you look inward or outward, left or right, above or below, there is only one thing to see, one thing that sees….it is that Silence, the true Self, the one in the many. How hard can it be to wake up and live in this joy, in this lightness, in this freedom, in this clarity, in this kindness, in this friendliness of the one Self?

How hard can it be, to see what is Real? It isn’t hard at all. We are doing it now, together, as we listen, as we speak, as we hear, as we breathe, as we release our hold on thoughts, as we enter the Silence between them, between thoughts, as we enter the Silence from where thoughts come, from where questions come, from where the breath itself comes. Together we are awakening into the fulfillment of our truest dreams, finally fulfilling what our hearts long for, our souls cry for…and in this fulfillment, we become truly alive.

To be truly alive is to listen very, very deeply—not with our ears, but with our whole being. Not just with our whole being, but with the whole being of creation. Listening like this, we have no center, we have no beginning, we have no ending. Our center is everywhere, and so we begin and end here, and there, and here again. Listening with the enormous ear of creation itself, we hear life breathing…listen to this miracle…listen to your heart…also breathing…to your whole body, also breathing….what is next to you? Can you hear it breathing?

To be truly alive is to be deeply in love with this moment. Not the moment that we imagine, not the moment of our thoughts and beliefs about this moment, but this moment, as it is, the original moment, the unclouded moment.

This moment of suddenness and energy and surprise. This moment of wonder and awe. This moment of beauty and Silence. This moment of light and stillness.

The sound of things breathing is the sound of Silence coming awake…opening its eyes….smiling…can you hear it? The one primordial Silence shaking off dreams and nightmares, awakening to the morning of its own glory…

Listening like this is magic. The deeper we listen, the more we become awake…not listening to our own mind, to our own thoughts, to our own compulsions, but deeper listening…listening to cells speak their ancient secrets, to what is deep within all of life…the very force of life, the very breath of life…can we hear this now? It is here….between our own thoughts…between our breaths…in the vast spaces between….Can we hear the deep movement of life now, in this moment? Can we give our full attention to that Silence coming awake within us…taking us…holding us….rousing us from our trances of self-interest into something more magical…beyond words…beyond imagination…the simple present…the awakened present?

Yes, it is like heat, like a current…a presence….listening to the breath within the breath, we feel this…and this feeling, this presence…this is Silence…creator of the universe…coming awake within us, as us….giving truth to our lies…giving life to our death…giving joy to our sadness….giving freedom to our bondage…giving ease to our pain…giving love to our hate…giving peace to our conflict.

Can you feel this awakening of pure Silence now, where it lives, in this moment? Nowhere else….just here, and now, within and without…

Don’t be afraid of depth, of stillness, of Silence, of beauty…don’t turn away…don’t be too busy, too agitated, too distracted….listen…deeply…with your whole being….listen to what is moving in the still and silent places where we can’t see with our eyes, where we can’t know with our mind, where we can’t control with our fear, where we can’t even speak…so still….so silent…as though love itself were speaking in a whisper, softly, from the deepest part of our own being…speaking…are we listening?

And when we hear it, when we hear this awakening of truth within us, will we give ourselves to it, fully, completely, wanting never again to sleep, but to remain awake, to become the awakened Silence that is our true beauty, our true body, our true mind, our true purpose, our true path, our true heart?

It is here, within. And seeing it within, it is everywhere. Only that. Only that one reality, radiant, shining, beyond words, beyond thought, beyond all concepts, dreams, and wishes. It is the simple, uncluttered eternal present awakening within us, as us. Do not betray your own truth, the deepening truth of this moment, the deepening truth of your listening, the deepening truth of your loving. All within this moment. All within your pure soul.

Listen to your own Silence. Love your own Silence. Share your Silence. Let your Silence consume all doubt, all fear, all vanity, all pain. Love what comes from within you, silently, to orbit the world, and you, orbiting the world, re-enter the world as a shower of sparks in the unbroken soul of Silence.

This is the true Silence. The Silence of our true being which lives beyond words and concepts. It is so true, so real that everything falls silent before this Silence. Silence is simply giving ourselves to our true Self, and never looking back, never having a second thought, never having a doubt, ever again.

To realize the highest truth, we have nothing more to do than what we are doing now—loving Silence and allowing what is within us to reveal itself, allowing what is true within to reveal itself, allowing what is real within to reveal itself. We have only to get used to this feeling of Silence, as the feeling of our true Self. The feeling of a burden, the feeling of disappointment, of pain, of loneliness, of unfulfilled desire, of one problem or another…this is not the feeling of the true Self. This feeling now—this one of peace and depth and beauty and joy and simplicity—is what we feel like, what we look like, what we sound like when we simply allow the truth that is within us to emerge.

This moment is the beginning of the true fulfillment. This moment is the beginning of truth. This is Silence, simplicity, and clarity, which have the power to consume doubt, self-rejection, judgement, all of the lesser and false faces that we often think we are, when in actual fact those are the false faces. Sitting silently and simply, neither leaning to the left nor leaning to the right, neither looking into the past nor anticipating the future, but simply sitting here, being present, listening deeply reveals our true face.

If we can learn to recognize this feeling as truth, when the onslaught of thoughts comes back, when the busyness of our lives returns, when the demands and pressures of living come back, we will never mistake those for our truth, because this simple truth of Silence is larger than any condition, any circumstance, any demand or pressure of living. Those are passing clouds in the sky of this Silence, this truth, this glory.

© 2002 Robert Rabbin All rights reserved

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Written by Robert Rabbin

Explore Wellness in 2021