Listening for the Silence in the choir
Swami J's Newsletter
August 6, 2001
There is a 14th century text, Pancadasi in which Sri Vidyaranya Swami
describes listening for your child singing in a choir as being like
finding Bliss within.
Imagine that your child is singing in a choir and that you are in the
audience. You want to hear your child sing, but it is difficult to
isolate that one voice. If the auditorium were empty, aside from you
and your child, then there would be no problem; it would be easy to
hear the one voice you came to hear.
The spiritual journey can be like that too. Sometimes we think that
we can learn something, get something, be given something, or
otherwise attain something in our spiritual quest. But it's like
wanting to hear your child in the choir. It is not that we need to
add something new to what is already there, but rather that the other
voices are obstacles, covering over that for which we are listening.
All of our longing to learn, to receive or attain is to no avail. We
cannot attain that which is already there, but not seen or heard.
The solution is different than it sometimes seems. Rather than trying
to add something new, we can listen more closely. It is as if by
being very still, we can hear the voice of our child in the choir,
right in the midst of the beauty of the whole of the choir.
Sit quietly with your eyes closed. Direct your attention to the space
between the breasts, the heart center. Breathe smoothly. For a few
minutes, maybe only 2 or 3 (or even 1 minute), while you direct your
attention to that space, just listen. Literally listen, as if by
listening very intently and minutely you will hear, and feel the
deepest sound, the source of all sounds arise from within. Other
sounds, pictures, images, impressions, thoughts, emotions, or
sensations may arise. Let all of those other "voices" be
there; don't push them away. Stay focused on listening for the
deepest sound, the sound of Silence.
In your meditation today, may you hear that song which is being sung
by your own True Self, amidst the many other voices, and in the sure
knowledge that they are all being sung by the same One. May you know
In loving service,