Prior to teaching A Course in Miracles, Tara Singh undertook a three year silent retreat. He gave three years of his life to silence! Can you imagine that? The discipline it took, the commitment . . .
People ask me sometimes why I read Tara Singh so closely, and listen to him on tape and video, and say he is my teacher even though he is deceased, even though we never met. I give my attention to him because he had an intensity of devotion and a willingness to do what was required without questioning it. Most of us have so many reasons not to study today or not to pray. Christ is right here and we are so casual! We don’t want to know what is real and we are always going to get around to changing tomorrow. We think we are serious but could we be silent for three years? Do we have the resources internally?
To say “no” is not to beat ourselves up but rather to be honest, and to see what is going on with us without bringing ideals and evasion into it. So we are not serious yet, so what? If we can see it, then we can make a decision to do it differently, to end our casualness and come to clarity. Honesty is a gift because it always allows what is essential to be revealed. It has no secrets. It respects the truth too much.
He did not make silence an ideal. Rather, he made it a gift. It was not about him but about others! And so the need of his brothers and sisters could not be excluded, or it was no longer a gift.
One of the aspect of Tara Singh’s retreat into silence was that he sometimes spoke! Perhaps you think that makes him a hypocrite. But he talks about it briefly in Dialogues on A Course in Miracles. He says that when we would go out walking, people who needed directions would always find him – how do I get to this street? How do I find that park? He was amazed by this – that people with that need would always turn to him. He could walk down the beach surrounded by people playing and relaxing and recreating and not one of them would reach out, but as soon as somebody had a need then they would find him and ask him for help.
And he helped them. He gave what was asked. He did not see this as a compromise or hypocrisy.
But I never felt like I was “talking” in directing them because I was meeting a need. The need and the silence became one (265).
He goes on to say that at the relative level – at the level of the world at which most of us are engaged – there is always going to be contradiction. We can’t avoid it and shouldn’t expect to.
You see, Tara Singh is pointing us in a new direction. He is intimating a space that the wise always ask that we seek out and make our home. He did not make silence an ideal. Rather, he made it a gift. It was not about him but about others! And so the need of his brothers and sisters could not be excluded, or it was no longer a gift. Does that make sense? It won’t at the level of relative thought – where right and wrong are the law. But it is very clear at the level of love where our brothers and sisters are the means of salvation.
The clarity and love inherent in this brings me to tears. It is so simple and clear.
So the more I read and study Tara Singh, the more beautiful and helpful his example becomes. He is not admirable because he could stop talking for three years. He is admirable and helpful because the silence was at such a level it could include words that were offered in love. He could sustain the silence while helping those who were lost.
This is why I call him “Teacher.”
Beautiful, Sean! You stir “my” receptivity in regard to Tara Singh, which is always there. I love you for it.
Rob (from Holland)
Thank you, Rob. Love to you as well!
Hi Sean! Good Evening!
Thank you for sharing about the two subjects that are relevant to me presently.
For the lessons of my soul I need a Teacher who is at a much higher vibration than I am. I don’t think one really understands the significance of having a true spiritual teacher until one has one! Thank you for sharing about Tara Ji. The more I hear about his life, the more inspired I feel. I think in this world of form we tend to put everything in a box with limited vision. To me a teacher is important in my life not for just his physical presence only, but more because of what I am being taught by him. He may pass on but his/her words will be as alive as ever.
Silence – I have started a ritual of morning silence from the time I wake up till 12 noon. This is a new practice for me and I am sure it will get better and better because I forget a lot of the times and break the silence. Then I try to make it up during the day. But with this experience, I am beginning to understand two things – there is silence and then there is the spirit of silence. Sometimes I need to speak out of necessity because I am a householder after all, but then I remember the spirit of silence and keep my words to bare minimum.
God Bless & thank you.
Thank you, Lavina. I appreciate your words about the importance of teachers outside of merely physical form. For a long time I felt sad that I did not meet Tara Singh “in person,” and could not learn from him that way. A lot of my friends are very close to their living teachers; I wonder sometimes what it was like to spend time with Taraji – to talk with him and so forth. But I trust that I met him is the only way for me to meet him, if that makes any sense. In a way, it is hard to imagine how he could have a bigger presence in my life than now, through his writing and recorded talks.
I remember your blog post about silence – I read it and thought, this person is interesting! You wrote “there is silence and then there is the spirit of silence.” That is an important distinction, kind of like finding a line the sea with your eyes closed!
Thank you for sharing & being here!
Thank you Sean for responding! I love how you create a space for sacred connections and communication. The fact that you pay attention to details shows how much of of depth you have and how deeply you are listening to another. Yeah … Deep Listener. Love that about you.
Namaste, Bro Sean! :))
Tara Singh is my teacher as well. I was fortunate to have attended his retreats .
I still listen to his words as they have provided me the ‘ears to hear’ what I could not, years ago. He continues to inspire me and has brought my life to one of deep gratitude, fulfillment and peace. He has been/is, the greatest blessing.
Thank you for sharing, Lori 🙂 I’m happy to meet you even in this odd technological way. Tara Singh – who I know through his written words – continues to be a dynamic and challenging teacher in my ACIM practice.
Thank you, Sean, for bringing me to Tara Singh. He is such an inspiration.
You’re welcome, Donna. He is a joy and a challenge, truly kaleidoscopic in informing my ACIM practice.
Hope all is well!