Hymn to Silence - Monk walking on path silent

Hymn to Silence and Surrender

There are not many truths, there is one truth, and that truth is Silence. All truths come from Silence. All truths exist as Silence. All truths return to Silence. So there is only one truth, and it is Silence. Silence is behind every holy thought, behind every holy word, behind every holy act. All holiness is Silent.

Enter Silence, and you will see the world that God created. Enter Silence, and you will see that you are that God, the creator. Enter Silence, and you will see that you are that world, the created. God, the world, and you are one and the same in Silence.

This is what all sages know and say: enter Silence, and leave yourself behind in the rubble of thoughts, and time, and death. Enter Silence, and become the creator and the created. Enter Silence, and life is suddenly real—beautiful and perfect in each curve and angle.

This is called awakening, awakening into truth.

How does one awaken into truth and Silence? Surrender. And how does one surrender? By giving everything away. Everything.

Giving everything away, we enter the world of Silence, the temple of truth, and know that the creator and the created are one, and we are that one. But we must give everything away, everything must be given away. We have to give away our huge inventory of unreleased thoughts and beliefs, our undigested experiences, our past and our future—even our present must be given away. We give away our disappointments and sorrows. We give away our joys. Yes, even our joys. Nothing can remain. Everything must be given away. We must empty our storehouses and warehouses of past, present, and future, of self and no-self, of cherished beliefs, of fears and anxieties—and then burn them down so nothing can ever accumulate again.

By giving everything away, by letting everything go as soon as it occurs, we return to clarity, to freedom, to eternal openness. This is called living in Silence. We give everything away that can be given away, and then we give more. We can’t understand this rationally, can we? Nonetheless, it can be done. It does happen. It is a miracle.

Give away meaning and purpose, give away happiness. Give away morality, ethics, commandments…dogma, rhetoric, churches and temples, give everything back to Silence. Give all to Silence. For it is in Silence that God is working, in Silence God is playing, in Silence God is loving. In Silence, it is we who become that God, working, playing, loving. This is called awakening to truth. This is called living in form as the formless one, the Silent one.

And the hands, the ones that have been giving everything away? Give them away. With what? It doesn’t matter. Don’t think, just give the hands away. And then the giving…give that away…let it all go. This body? Let it go. Give it away. This mind? Away. These eyes…away…become blind. These ears…gone…now deaf. Without eyes, there is only Silence. Without ears, there is only Silence. This is what we see and hear when all is given away.

What about our very life, the one we so believe in, the one we so love, the one we so try to improve and perfect? Give it away. And our will, the one we use to make things happen, to have our way, to get what we want? Give it away. But then how will things happen, without us? In Silence, things happen. How do they happen? I don’t know. Who initiates the action? I don’t know. What are the reasons for the action? I don’t know. What are the outcomes of the action? I don’t know. In Silence, there is no one to know. Only Silence knows. But this Silent knowing is perfect, this Silent action is perfect. Everything happens perfectly, coming from beyond time into time, from beyond space into space, from beyond words into words.

People come with problems…they say, “this bad thing is happening to me.” I say, “Good. Wonderful. You can use this to surrender more deeply. Don’t try to solve the problem, fix the problem, or get what you want…give it all away. You will become a miracle.”

If what you want is freedom, if you want is to be awake, then surrender all. Surrender your arrogance, and your humility. Surrender your self, and what is not yourself. Surrender your ignorance and your knowledge, surrender even surrender. When you cannot give anymore, when you are at the very end, the absolute end, when all has been given up, given away, surrendered, even then, take one more step towards Silence.

When there is only emptiness, give away the emptiness. When you have given away so much there is only death, give death away. Give everything away. Hold nothing. Hold nothing. Do not accumulate anything. Give it away. Desires? Nothing but thoughts. Let them go. Insults? Give away the righteous burning of pride and vanity. Anything that remains is in the way, so give it away. Let it go. It wants to go. Everything wants to go on its way. Don’t hold them back. Let them go.

Hear a mallet on a drumhead. Hear it? There is the initial thud, and then a moment or two of reverberation. Then it is gone. The sound must go. Do not hold it in your mind. Let it go. If you don’t, you won’t hear the next rhythmic beat. You will only hear what has already happened. If what has already happened is not released, you will only hear the echoes of concepts, of memory. You will not hear the music of Silence, of life. And without this music, we become sad and lonely.

Let everything go. Please. Let it go. When everything has been given away, only Silence remains. Not even a self remains, for that has been given away. The giver is given away. The self is given away. Thoughts are given away. Words are given away. Resistance is given away. Will is given away. Nothing remains. Nothing remains. Only Silence.

In Silence, we transform, we become reborn, we are resurrected from darkness to light. From confusion to clarity. From suffering to ease. From anxiety to freedom. Let everything go, so it may return, as Silence.

From within this surrender, from within this emptiness, from within this constant return to openness is a new life, a whole life, a joyous life. It is miraculous and cannot be explained. It cannot be anticipated. It cannot be controlled. It cannot be fathomed. It can only be lived, and in this living we become real, we live in reality. Within reality, there is more joy, more pleasure, more peace, more contentment than we can ever hope for. How does all of this happen? I don’t know. But it does. Within Silence, letting all things go, our truest life happens, our highest purpose is fulfilled, our greatest longing is realized. How does this happen? I don’t know. No one knows. But it does.

You will become nothing, and thus become everything. You will need nothing, and thus have everything. You will be open, and thus all things can happen. You will be without pretense, and thus sincere; without masks, and thus authentic; without cleverness, and thus honest; without guile, and thus trustworthy. All because you become nothing, by giving everything away. With nothing to protect, only peace remains. This is what we love about the holy ones, the sages. How does this happen? No one knows. But it does.

If you can’t give it away, throw it away, fling it away, kick it away. Just don’t let it stay. Let nothing stay. Hold nothing. Keep nothing: neither the sadness nor the joy, neither the fear nor the courage, not even realization, not even insight, not even enlightenment. Let everything go. And then the hands that hold, and the hands that release. And the thought of surrender, and surrender. All of it goes. From Silence to Silence. Just that.

How long can you hold your breath? If you hold it too long, you will die. So it is with everything else. If you hold it too long, you will die. How long is too long? Even one second is too long, for in the first second of holding you are dying, and in the second second of holding you are dead. Even one second is too long. Breathe out, let it go. Breathe out, let it go. Hold nothing.

Then, in Silence, you will be moved by that which moves all else. You will move with everything, as everything, without knowing how, or why, or when. But you will move. And you will be free. And you will be love. This is freedom. This is truth.

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Written by Robert Rabbin

Explore Wellness in 2021