From the time I was 11 years old, I needed to know one thing above and before all else: Who am I? I traveled for a long time and throughout the world in search of answers.
One day, as if I had lived alone for many years in the deep desert, I was taken by a stunning stillness, and without resistance I disappeared into Silence. It was more than an epiphany, more than grace, more than mystical union: It was my soul's homecoming, my heart's overflowing love, and my mind's eternal peace.
In Silence, I felt my core identity, my essential nature, as a unity-in-love with all creation. I experienced freedom, clarity, and joy as my true Self. I realized I was of time and eternity in equal measure. I was composed of physical matter and spiritual energy in equal measure. I was born in New York City at the same instant I appeared 20 billion years ago, unfathomably and impossibly far away, as a sibling to trillions of suns.
This Self, this Silence, belongs to all of us -- it is who we are; it is what we are. If we are to experience and embody authentic peace and love, if we are going to bring true healing to our wildly violent and endangered world, we are going to have to learn to live within this essence which joins us together as brothers and sisters.
Please remember the Silence beyond words, the Silence of mystery and magic, the Silence of the soul, of the heart, the Silence in which lovers give themselves to a greater loving, a selfless loving, the Silence which knows only this moment, this present moment, this incredible instant of pure life when time suddenly stops, when we breathe the high-altitude air we call love. I want to remind you of these ways of Silence, knowing and being, which you know, which you are.
Silence is within our very genes. It winds around and binds together the strands of our DNA. It is the essence of who we are. It is within our breath. It is there like music between our thoughts. It is the light within our eyes. It is the high arc of birds we long to follow home to their secret nests. It is in the rhythm of waves, the innocence of children, the deep feelings within the heart that have no cause, when the heart is pierced without warning and our eyes fill with tears. It is within the kindness of one person to another. It is within the stillness of nights, and peace of early mornings. It is there when you see the one you love coming towards you, and your pulse pounds and races with delight and you move with her in a twilight not of this world, but of the spirit world, the world of our deeper knowing.
In Silence, we open to life and life opens to us, life reaches towards us and touches us in the center of our heart. Our heart breaks open and another heart is revealed. This is the true heart, the one that knows how to meet life with open arms. Silence knows that thoughts about life are not life itself. If we touch life through Silence, life touches us back, intimately, sensually, erotically. We become one with life itself, abandoning all thoughts about life. And then the mystery of life, the wonder of life, the beauty of life, the sanctity of life, become our life. Everything but wonderment falls away; the anger and fear and violence disappear as if they never existed.
Knowing Silence is knowing ourselves for the first time; we see the world for the first time. We only have to be still, to be still, until that Silence comes forth from within us, to surround us, to illuminate us. This Silence is the real teacher, the real teaching, the real path. This Silence is what we seek above all else, for it is who we are. It is our own Self. It restores us to love and redeems us in love.
Knowing Silence is knowing your Self. Knowing your Self is freedom. In Silence, you are the very embodiment of joy, the very expression of love. All this is true right now, in this moment. Just enter your Self fully and deeply. You will find this Silence, and in Silence you will know your own beauty, your own power, your own magnificence -- it is the same for all! As the embodiment of Silence you are perfection itself. You are a treasure to the world, a treasure to the world which the world needs now, right now, right now, not later or tomorrow, but right now the world needs you to be your true Self, the world needs the healing power of your heart, and of your Silence.