Listening to the
by Christopher Foster
If you want the truth, I'll
tell you the truth:
Listen to the secret sound, the real sound, which is
The one no one talks of speaks the secret sound to
and he is the one who has made it all.
--Kabir (From a translation by
Robert Bly appearing in The Enlightened Heart, edited by
Is there something else happening in my world besides
the madness that is spewed out night and day concerning
wars and rumors of wars, famine, illness, bloodshed,
fear and death? Yes, there is. There is the presence of
what Kabir, the 15th century Indian mystic, called the
For me, soulful living, especially in these drastic
times, is listening in each and every moment to the
sweet sound that this universal presence makes as it
vibrates within all things. Specifically, though, in
this moment, as it vibrates within this little
flesh-and-blood creation my parents called Christopher.
It's going on all the time. This sweet sound, sound
of the Divine, never changes. It was the same, I realize
now, when I was two years old. It was the same when I
was 20. And it is the same now that I am 70.
This sweet sound was happening before
"Chris" was born and it will be speaking
happily to itself when "Chris" is no longer
"Before Abraham was, I am," said Jesus. He
knew this presence. He WAS It-just as you and I may be.
I accept that the entire universe was made by this
presence that I feel vibrating in each moment in my
Of course, it doesn't only vibrate in this little
corner of the universe I think of as myself, but it is
present everywhere else, in you, in the ant, in the
bear, the fish, the river, and in the mountains and
seas. There isn't anywhere where it is not.
It's all there is. But now here's the best part.
To be aware of this presence, I have discovered I
don't have to do anything special in an external sense.
I don't have to go someplace special. And I don't even
have to wait for some future (more special) time.
The secret one is present right here and now where I
am. All I need to do is to be still and listen, and I
hear it speaking to itself, as Kabir puts it. Not only
that, I hear it speaking to ME! I hear the universe
gently crooning to itself in me and I begin to touch,
and taste, the wonder of true fulfillment.
The secret one swallows me up, so to speak, like a
robin swallowing a worm (sorry it's not the greatest
It takes a lot of practice, I find. I see old
throwaway moments like brushing my teeth, washing the
dishes, or going to the mailbox, in a new light. Here is
another chance to stop and realize the miracle that is
present with me. "Be still, and know that I am
God"--what beautiful words.
Oh yes, my consciousness still spews out a stream of
mostly useless, repetitive thoughts, just as it has
since I was small. But something has changed. Something
is different. I have begun to see these thoughts. I
realize I never really saw them before. I see them for
what they are, a veil, a block, a hindrance that hides
the light of my own true presence, my own true peace,
I let these repetitive thoughts, urges, judgments,
criticisms, and desires, drop off, so to speak, moment
by moment like a piece of old skin or a withered
I believe many people in the world are touching the
presence of the secret one in these days. In a way, the
more terrifying things get, the closer despair looms,
the more incentive there is for each of us to scurry
after truth quick like a real fast bunny.
I also believe that when two or more people come
together in whom the secret one is beginning to yawn and
stretch and do its waking up thing, they will recognize
each other, regardless of the color of their skin or
Here is friendship. Here is something new emerging in
the earth. I think of it as a new nation, not bound by
geography, nationality, religion, or any of the old
divisive boundaries that have kept us splintered and in
constant conflict. It's a sisterhood, or brotherhood, of
the heart, made possible by our soulful living.
© Copyright 2002 Christopher Foster.
All Rights Reserved.
Christopher Foster. Born in 1932 in London, England,
Christopher Foster started work as a reporter on a South
London weekly newspaper at age 17, following in the
steps of his father, a longtime British journalist. At
age 18 he left home to see the world. He lived for two
years in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and worked as
a laborer and reporter in New Zealand before returning
home to the UK.
After a two year spell as a
reporter with the London Daily Express, Foster emigrated
to Canada in 1955. A longtime spiritual search led him
to a spiritual community in 100 Mile House, British
Columbia, known as The Emissaries, where he lived for
over 30 years. During this time he was editor of the
local weekly newspaper and later initiated a worldwide
newsletter named Integrity which took him and his first
wife, Joy, on travels all over the world.
In 1984 Foster wrote his first
book, a novel entitled Bearers of the Sun. He followed
this with a biography, two books of poems, and a second
novel, Winds Across the Sky. His latest book, The Raven
Who Spoke With God, was published in September 2001. It
is a story of a young raven who overcomes grief and fear
as he pursues his dream to be a friend and ally to
humankind. "Buoyant as the air through which the
birds soar, the story lifts the heart and carries it,
dancing lightly, all the way through to the end,"
said NAPRA ReView. "This is a book you will read
and then instantly think of ten friends to whom it must
be lent." Bob Spear, at Heartland Reviews, has
recommended The Raven for Booksense, saying, "It
reminded me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull in the
Phone: (970) 461-0632. Email: Chris@SingingSpiritBooks.com.
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