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Sound Bites from Silence
by Robert Rabbin

I experienced my first awakening when I was eleven years old. As an echo of that awakening, two questions took root in me and began to slowly grow from the secret soil of my deep mind into the deeper soil of my soul: Who am I? And What is real?

A few years later I began wandering throughout the world in search of answers. I traveled for years, often quite far from the well-worn paths of convention. I read many books. I met many people. I had many experiences. After all of this I was still restless and unfulfilled. Nothing had satisfied me. So I kept traveling, exploring, searching. Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, and finally India. It was there in India that I met my teacher, Swami Muktananda. I stayed with him for ten years.

Echoes of Silence by Robert Rabbin

In a place beyond reason and time, he ignited an inner firestorm of awakenings. That is what I had been searching for. When the wild intensity of those awakenings abated, there was nothing but stillness—the stillness that is the echo of Silence. As with all echoes this one evaporated back into its source, into Silence, and took me with it. In the world of Silence, my twin questions—the ones that had grown within me as renegade cells—dissolved and disappeared. I experienced a freedom, clarity, and joy that I recognized as my true Self and as the very essence of reality.

This world of Silence begins where everything else ends, where all ideas fail and where words fade like a memory that has slipped into oblivion. All that remains is stillness. In this stillness are wonder and beauty and peace. Like a jewel with infinite facets and faces, Silence enchants without end.

What I have just said is true, but there is something truer that must be said, and in saying this truer thing I must pause and point to the great irony of Silence: none of the above is true, nor did it ever actually happen. This is the irony, the paradox, of Silence: no sooner do we say something than Silence comes roaring in like gale-force winds to smash and scatter the words all over creation. And yet that creation includes words and truth, events and occurrences, time and place—as much as it includes firestorms of awakening, eternity, dimensions utterly unfathomable to us, oceans teeming with creatures like bliss, ecstasy, and disappearance-of-self. Such is the realm of Silence that it spans distances and dimensions too numerous and weird to mention. Nonetheless, like Tibetan lamas pouring their sand paintings, we must bring our whole heart and attention and care and love and diligence to our lives, becoming impeccable and breathtaking, even as we are whipped by Silence into the vast nothingness from which we come and towards which we go and in which we live. And so I tell my true story in the midst of the greater truth of Silence.

The Spiritual Wisdom of Kids

About a year ago I began writing "sound bites," brief statements reflecting life as I now know it, a life lived in Silence. Silence itself imposed a discipline on me: each sound bite must be no more than 200 words. One could argue that is too few words, that more words are needed to answer all our questions and to fully explain the nature of Self and reality. But within Silence even one word is risking much, let alone 200. Silence uses words to invoke Silence, not to provide the answers and explanations our minds crave. We have become used to the way the mind uses words to stimulate thinking, to create concepts, and to build imaginary worlds of noise and clamor, but in those clamorous worlds we cannot touch truth, we cannot touch life, we cannot feel love. Only in Silence can truth and life and love come into us as the real owners of theses bodies and minds and souls.

These words come from that Silence, and they have the power to ignite the Silence within each cell of your body. Whether you understand the words or not, whether you agree or not, whether you believe or not is completely beside the point. Let these words and the Silence surrounding them enter you fully, let them roam freely wherever they will, and the Silence will spread like a fire cell to cell until nothing remains but that white-hot Silence—which is your own Self. As Silence, you exist as all of existence, and all of existence exists as you—multitudes of beings in your one being, and your one being in multitudes of beings.

In Silence you can live in perfect ease and joy, which is your natural state of being. It is who you are before you begin thinking you are something else.

Read these words slowly, with soft eyes and steady breath. Read with your whole being. The words are a façade. Don’t stop at the walls of my words, go through and beyond them, where you will be met by something marvelous. It—that marvelous something—will take you farther than my words can. It will take you into the very heart of what they mean.

Within Silence you will enjoy perfect clarity, serenity, and wisdom. Silence will give you many gifts of fulfillment. From within the eternity of Silence, you will know how to live and what to do. Silence will take you from this world, and return you to this world. It is a journey we all must take. Upon returning, we will know that we and the world are one, and we will work to restore harmony and beauty in all the dark places of our human forgetting.

Igniting the Soul at Work by Robert Rabbin

Here is a selection of Sound Bites. May you enjoy them and experience the peace that exists within you. And may you then become a beacon of peace for others.

beaches at twilight and dusk
We walk along a beach in that beautiful time of twilight and dusk. As we walk, our thoughts and concerns leave us one by one. We walk further and we become still without even noticing it, until we step out of time. We are no longer walking on the beach. We are no longer looking at the sky or sinking sun. We are no longer watching the birds or running away from the surf. In our walking, something has happened: we have walked out of ourselves into everything. We have become everything. We don’t know if the birds are circling and diving out there, or in here. We are the birds. We are the waves, the sand, the cool air, the fading light, the setting sun. We are the animating presence within everything. We are all of this, without so much as a single thought or word to confirm it. There is no center, no boundary, no self-consciousness. There is no effort, no concern, no problem, no intention, no ambition—and yet everything is happening: walking, breathing, flying. Something is aware. Someone is aware. What? Who? No one can say. There is too much Silence for thoughts and words.

to be truly alive
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. This moment of suddenness and energy and surprise; this moment of wonder and awe; this moment of light and stillness; this moment of beauty and Silence. To be truly alive is to listen very, very deeply, not with our ears but with our whole being, and not just with our whole being but with the whole being of creation. Listening like this, we have no center, no beginning, no ending—our center is everywhere—so we begin and end here, and there, and here again. Listening with the enormous ear of creation itself, we hear life breathing. To be truly alive is to be open—just that: open as the sky, even more so. As open as the heavens, even more so. In this openness there is no fear, no hiding, no secrets, nothing to protect. Why would there be? To be alive is to be an openness in which everything lives without prejudice, without hatred, without violence towards anything. This moment is Silence.

one truth
There are not many truths, there is one truth , and that truth is Silence. All other truths come from Silence. All other truths exist as Silence. All other truths return to Silence. There is only one truth, and that truth is Silence. 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 also that world, the created. God, the world, and you are one and the same in Silence. God, the world, and you are refracted colors of the one light of Silence. When you enter Silence, you 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 of its curves and angles. This is called awakening into truth. This is the perfect world of Silence, the one truth: the mind, heart, and soul of the creator of all worlds.

the view from Silence
In Silence we can see the whole of existence. But this view from Silence cannot be recorded by camera or camcorder. It cannot be captured by mind or memory.

It cannot be pictured by sign or symbol. That is because Silence is both seer and seen, both eye and object—and everything in between. In Silence there is just one thing everywhere, and that one thing has no name or form, and yet it is all names and all forms. Silence knows that manifest and unmanifest are not separate or different, form and formlessness are not separate or different, that worldly life and spiritual life are not separate or different, that small self and big Self are not separate or different. Silence is both the creator and the creation. This is the view from Silence.

forgetting Silence
How do we forget Silence? How do we neglect, forget, and betray our own soul? We love lesser things, flat things without depth. We give ourselves to superficial loves and lovers. We turn away from the deep well-water of this moment. What is this moment? It is the intersection of time and eternity, a collision in which no thoughts concepts and beliefs survive. This moment is the pure state of the heart opened wide towards all, filling us with wonder and awe, freeing us from self-obsession, worry, anger, and doubt, where the Silence of our soul lives without break or bend. This is all we need: to find the true and unbroken soul within us, within this moment, and love it all the time. Do not give yourself to lesser loves. Do not betray your own pure soul. Do not betray this moment. Love your own Silence. Let your Silence consume all loving of lesser things. Love what comes from within you Silently to orbit the world and you, orbiting the world, will re-enter the world as a shower of sparks in the unbroken soul of Silence.

pairs of opposites
In the realm of the mind, everything is known in relation to its opposite. We understand "tall" in relation to "short"; "smooth" in relation to "coarse." The mind cannot account for anything without its implied opposite. Nothing can stand alone. Except Silence. Silence is beyond the pairs of opposites. Silence is not intuitive, for that is part of a pair. The other part is rational. Silence is not sacred, for that is part of a pair. The other part is secular. Silence is not transcendent, for that is part of a pair. The other part is manifest. Silence is not eternal, for that is part of a pair. The other part is ephemeral. Silence is not even absolute, for that too is but part of a pair. The other part is relative. Silence is beyond the pairs of opposites.

Epiphanies are sudden intuitive perceptions of the nature of reality, an experience impossible to describe, though such words as oneness, love, and perfection come to mind. Over time—like water wearing away granite—epiphanies dissolve the hard shell of our separate self, they make smooth and soft our rough edges and hard exteriors until there is nothing left: no epiphanies, no self, no water or granite. Nothing. Nothing except Silence. And within this Silence we come to life again, but in a new world, one of soft shells and deep waters and Silence and more Silence. Wave upon wave of Silence, each wave drowning the one before it, dying in the one after it, just waves and waves of Silence. This is the new world, the world of Silence and perfect beauty.

Our essence is a glowing presence, a shimmering light around everything.

It is indescribably beautiful, and in the midst of this beauty we fall in love with all things. whether we see it nor not, the light of this presence shines within us. If we would just sit quietly by the open window of our heart for a few minutes each day, soon that light would be evident to us, and soon that awesome and awakened light would heal, inspire, and enlighten us. We would see reality and become lovers and servants of reality, of love. The love of our essence is not possessive love. It is not dependent love. It is not fearful or jealous love. It is not demanding love. It is simply the magical soma of Silence, which nourishes all of creation

In Silence one sees that beliefs are melodies of thought sung over and over again within the mind until one is completely entranced by the circular chants. In this trance we dream. We dream ourselves. We dream others. We dream the world. We dream life and death. We dream past, present, and future. There is no end to our dreaming. We even dream that we awaken from dreaming. But that is also a dream. This is why we must return the mind to Silence, so that we may awaken from these delusional dreams. When the mind is given back to Silence, we awaken into life as when we awaken from night to day and from sleep to waking. When we return the mind to Silence, we awaken into a dream-free life. And then, on that morning, we know life for the first time.

friends with Silence
We should become friends with Silence because Silence is the heart of all things. To become friends with Silence is to become Silence itself. As Silence, we alternate like a well-timed current between being and non-being, between fullness and emptiness, between knowing and not knowing. As Silence, we realize that coming and going happen each moment, that each moment is a full lunar cycle of birth and death. And we also realize that behind each moment’s cycle of birth and death is neither birth nor death. As Silence, we realize we live in time and eternity in equal measure and all at once. As Silence, we realize there is no beginning and no ending to what we are. We should become friends with Silence.

before words
Words are made deep within us. Have we seen this place , this kiln that fires the clay and dries the glaze on the words we use? To see this place is the essential meaning of "enlightenment" and other such words. To see this place within us where words are made, where words come from, is to experience things as they are, not as we name them. The world that we name with words is not the real world. Our name is not our real self. All the words that have ever been spoken added to all the books that have ever been written do not equal one second of truth. Truth exists, but before words are fired and glazed in the kiln of Silence.

the wind
we can create trouble for ourselves by thinking that Silence looks a certain way

With this idea in mind we might judge ourselves and reject ourselves if our "experience" doesn’t conform to our idea. Silence doesn’t look a certain way.

In fact it can’t ever even be seen, only its effects can be seen, felt, and known.

Have you ever seen the wind? No, of course not. We know that wind is present because leaves run around in circles, or flags strain at their tethers, or your hat flies from your head. So it is with Silence. We only know its presence by its effects in our life, and those effects include joy, spontaneity, and peace. But these are the changing colors of freedom within the kaleidoscope of Silence. Keep your attention on the one invisible light of Silence, not on one or another of its many colors. In this way you will remain free to enjoy whatever aspect of Silence might manifest in any given moment. And when no wind is blowing, when all is still and nothing moves, when no colors can be seen, we know that Silence is resting, and we simply rest with it.

Just beyond the thinking mind is an unending field of love and quiet beauty. One can lie down there and live in eternity. This field cannot be seen by the eyes, it cannot be known by the mind, it can only be felt and found with the heart. The thinking mind cannot know this kind of beauty and wonder. The thinking mind has no feeling, it has no soul. It can only calculate distance and weight and price. The thinking mind does not love, it does not laugh, it does not cry. The thinking mind only argues and defends; it justifies its soulless existence with violence. That is why we must live in the heart, not in the thinking mind. That is why we must learn what that life is like lived within the heart, lying in the fields of beauty where we can feel the soul and Silence of existence. And now we can cry and laugh and love. And now we live in this field of eternity where the thinking mind is just a single flower barely visible in the midst of tall grasses under blue skies and hundreds of suns whirling and spinning within and without.

© Copyright 2003 Robert Rabbin.  All Rights Reserved

Robert Rabbin
Robert Rabbin is a contemporary mystic and catalyst for clarity. He began practicing meditation and self-inquiry in 1969 and subsequently spent ten years studying with meditation master Swami Muktananda.

Since 1985, Robert has been leading Truth Talks, lecturing, and advising professionals and corporate executives. He has written three books, coauthored three others, and published over fifty articles. He was also interviewed for The Awakening West, a collection of conversations with contemporary spiritual teachers.

For additional information, please visit Robert’s web site: www.robrabbin.com.


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