By Susan Scharfman
You can never not exist, but you have to stop existing as what you are not.
You Are The Silence, Not The Noise
Though the distance from the head to the heart is only a few inches, it can take a lifetime, or many, to make the journey. But it is only when living in the heart we experience oneness with all there is, a connection to the universe, to our earth, to each other.
Step into an elevator and we’re serenaded with canned footlight favorites. In restaurants, shopping malls, department stores—some unseen corporate entity has decided that in order to be happy, there must be mind-numbing background noise. Even my dentist thinks I can’t live without CNN. Can’t turn it down; can’t turn it off. A remote Saharan safari was once reliably soundproof. Today we’re apt hear unwanted party noise from the other side of that 400 foot sand dune. In the interminable babel of a burgeoning population, it is a joy to discover the fundamental essence of our species, which is the silence within.
In a hot air balloon, even with the sound of the wind in your ears, there are moments of silence. At sea, when you cut the engine, even with the waves lapping at the sides of the boat there are moments of silence. Seekers go to the ends of the earth to have that experience of oneness with the eternal silence. But today those very places can be crowded noisy places. There’s no place to hide, no place to go—but in. Because the silence between musical notes allows them to resonate and reach their full measure of expression, French composer Claude Debussy regarded music as “the space between the notes.” Peace and harmony flourish in emptiness—the space that lies at our center.
Our minds are full of the noise of otherness.
The subject of novelists, film makers and romantics, India is replete with gurus and orange robed swamis. Although these enlightened beings do exist, most prefer to remain secluded; we have to seek them out. Those we meet on the streets of Mumbai are illusionists. Very good at what they do, they even have us believe we’ve experienced miracles. Yet mystical phenomena, of which I’ve had many, are meaningless. Ephemeral as thoughts written on the wind, they made no difference in the quality of my life. But authentic masters speak the same truth: “Universal silence is in every human being. You will never find what you are looking for on the outside.”
A cool, refreshing breeze from the Caribbean island of Jamaica, Anthony Paul Moo-Young, known as “Mooji” has opened the portal to my heart and the river of Grace flows in. After meeting Sri Mooji I began to notice a subtle shift—away from the cynical, judgmental mind to the peaceful realm of the heart. Not a dramatic aha! experience, mine is a subtle adjustment that feels natural. There is less of me the person as doer; more the observer of the doing with an awareness of spaciousness.
He is You and You Are Him
An informal straight talking master of truth and wisdom, Mooji is a disciple of a succession of two renowned Indian spiritual masters: Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Papaji. With candor, passion and humor, as Mooji consistently reminds us of our own Divinity, life becomes quieter, happier, freer. Recognizing that life simply happens is my key to relaxing and letting it happen. Instead of worrying about what might never transpire, experiencing the ‘what is’ of the moment requires less energy, less effort. Falling in love with the Beloved cannot be described in words. Even the Sufi mystic Rumi can only point to it. Like all great masters, as Mooji points the way in, you are not below him and he is not above you. He is you and you are him
The underlying stillness is underneath and between all of your thoughts. In fact, it surrounds all of the content in your life.
About the author
Susan Scharfman worked for CBS News, New York before being recruited into the foreign service by the U.S. State Department. She studied languages at the Foreign Service Institute, and television production at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs. Her foreign service assignments include Europe, East Asia, the Far East and Africa. In Washington Susan wrote and produced educational documentaries for the Agency For International Development press office. Now a freelance writer, she lives in Asheville, North Carolina. www.susanscharfman.com