A sangha member recently expressed he enjoyed satsang and felt glimpses as silence, but was not sure he would ever really get into Self-realization. When asked why, he related because he enjoys listening to music, the radio, nature, etc., and he would find living in silence stifling.
This is a common, but seldom expressed, view. It is the mind’s attempt to hold on to identification with all that changes. Living ‘in’ silence and living ‘as’ silence is more different than night and day. We can remove all external sound sources and still be identified with the continuous flow of thoughts and narration of the mind. Often people add external noises to be less aware of the mind’s chatter. Living ‘in’ silence as an individual is essentially impossible. Living “as” silence is altogether different.
We often point people to the silence between breaths, or encourage them to follow their thoughts, then stop and notice the temporary silence before the next thought begins. These pointings are not really to silence, but rather to awake awareness without an object of awareness. Awareness is always awake, but usually we are focused outward, so we are aware of a thought rather than Awareness aware of itself.
Self-realization is waking up as eternally awake, silent awareness. This awareness is not threatened or disturbed by external noise or internal mind chatter. There is no need to turn off your music or live in a cave. It does not matter if your mind is quiet or loud. You are unchanging awareness. This is how we live “as” silence.
Try it now! Go to our post ‘A Direct Path’ and see for yourself.
In Truth, Steve and Bec