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Listening to the Eternal

I’ve been listening to the Eternal since one evening long ago when for some reason I decided to go to a classical music concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London. I was 18 at the time, working as a junior reporter on a weekly newspaper called the South London Press.

The orchestra had worked its way through the program, and was finishing up the last number when without warning I experienced a shift in consciousness. One moment I was enjoying the music, the next moment I drifted into a kind of trance. I was scarcely aware of the music anymore, and the audience faded from my consciousness.

For a few blissful moments, I was wrapped in a sense of peace and happiness unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was a peace that was limitless and that enfolded every part of my being with its love.

As the music ended, and the applause died down, I looked around at the audience. I was wondering if they too had experienced some kind of deep, perhaps life-changing event, but they were all behaving quite normally, chatting with friends, picking up their coats.

As I joined the throng moving toward the exit I did my best to appear “normal” too. But I knew that something important had happened in my life and I would never be the same again.

I had heard the voice of the Eternal and I would do my best to listen to that voice no matter where it took me or what it asked of me.

Editor’s note: Please share if you have any thoughts on the above. With love and blessings.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

peter September 20, 2016 at 6:04 pm

I have had one of these moments once in my life. I was simply digging Pipi’s out of the sand on a small beach in New Zealand when I felt a complete cessation of the sense of time and an absolute cessation of any feeling of Anxiety or even thought. I was a no thing but I was conscious. As soon as I tried to grasp what it was or pursue it to prolong it, I lost it. But I have never forgotten it. It was the most peaceful, blissful state I have ever experienced and I cant really put words to it.

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2016 at 11:21 am

Thanks for your beautiful comment Peter. I just love your story. Such a simple moment, and yet that simple moment capable of revealing such profundity of peace and happiness. I do have to ask you one question please. What’s a Pipi? (Only if you have a moment.)
Thanks again for sharing and I wish you all the very best.

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Peter September 21, 2016 at 6:44 pm

It is a small shellfish that you can either eat or use for fishing bait.

Neil Salka September 20, 2016 at 8:21 pm

Wow! Music can be transcendent and must have transported you to another realm; it is incredibly wonderful to have these moments. I believe there are not enough of them in a lifetime. Quite frankly, most of the time my consciousness is not abiding in this heavenly space. But thank goodness we are fortunate to have them so we know what the mystics and poets speak of; we are very appreciative and grateful. Thank you Eternal One! And thank you Chris for sharing this.

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2016 at 11:28 am

Hi Neil, as always, it’s great to hear from you.How right you are, these moments of “greater seeing” are a blessing and greatly to be treasured. Who knows. Perhaps if we slow down a bit and take time to appreciate the quietness back of the noise, we will experience more of these moments? Love to you Neil.

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Maureen Waller September 20, 2016 at 8:47 pm

Thank you, Christopher, for this beautiful story, I could feel the experience you described. I grew up in Bermondsey and I knew the Royal Festival Hall. My Dad was a regular contributor to the South London Press, by the way. He was very much into politics and had a feud going on with the then MP Bob Mellish. Dad could have done with some of the peace that you so eloquently described in this article.
Blessings …………Maureen

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2016 at 11:40 am

I was so happy to get your comment Maureen. Wow. I didn’t realize you grew up in Bermondsey. I was there often working with the SLP. And how cool to hear your Dad was a contributor to the SLP. It was where my Dad started his reporting career.
It does seem that politics and peace are a bit like oil and water, they don’t mix well, do they. I like keeping an eye on the election here in the US and I probably have a bias as a matter of fact. But…peace flies out the window if I start taking it too seriously…
Blessings

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Maria Regina September 20, 2016 at 9:57 pm

On this 21st day of September sending you sincere Greetings on the occasion of the U.N. International Day of PEACE
with deeply felt Gratitude for the Inspiration and the Practical Example your Life demonstrates, dear Christopher,
Lots of Love & Good Wishes,
Maria Regina
Firenze, Toscana
(ITAlia, EUropa)

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2016 at 11:44 am

Bless you and thank you for your lovely comment Maria, and especially for your reminder re Sep 21 being the UN Day of Peace. I really am delighted to make this connection with you. Lots of love to you too.

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Bill Perkins September 21, 2016 at 3:50 am

Good Morning Christopher

Thank you for this touching story.

I just turned 80. I began this calendar year with a commitment to myself to go to the quiet room in our home and pray/meditate for at least a short period of time each evening. So far, I’ve kept my commitment. Some times lately, after ten or so minutes, I can feel a downshifting into a calm place somewhat like you describe. When I get there everything external evaporates and I clearly sense that I am in eternity.

Thank you for all you do in this world.

Bill Perkins
Austin, Texas

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Your comment is beautiful, Bill. Thanks so much for your words and for sharing about your practise, taking a little time every evening to meditate and pray. I do the same thing, and like you, I too feel a shift occur in which the external simply drops away and you are face to face with a reality it’s hard to portray in words.
Keep up the good work Bill. Blessings.

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Elke September 21, 2016 at 5:51 am

Hello again!
I have similar experiences most Sundays when I attend the church I have been going to recently. Years ago a cousin took me to the then derelict Maria Radschitz Mission outside Dundee, South Africa. That was when I realised, we all have our own bit of Heaven in unsuspected places! This mission has since been restored and I really want to visit it again!
Have a grand Wednesday 😉
Elke

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2016 at 12:09 pm

That’s so cool Elke. It’s true, isn’t it, Heaven can show up anytime, anywhere, sometimes in the most unexpected moment or place. You have a great day too. Please say Hi for me when you get to see the Mission again:-) Blessings.

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Kathleen September 21, 2016 at 11:30 am

Thank you for your post , Christopher . I’ve been having trouble hearing the voice of the Eternal. Any tips on how to “dial it in better”? R

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Hi Kathleen,

Thank you for writing, and sharing. The only door that actually works, in my experience, is stillness. To deliberately carve out a little space in our life where we can take a little time on a consistent basis in a safe place to let everything go and simply be still.

But as a race, as a culture, we’ve gotten to a place where we distrust stillness, perhaps even fear it. It takes time, and persistence, and practise, in my experience, to go against our conditioning and open our heart to the stillness in which our salvation lies.

I like what Bill was saying in his comment about making a commitment at the beginning of this year to take a little time every evening to meditate and pray. I think this is what it takes. I’m not a fisherman, and I don’t know if this is a good analogy, but maybe actually opening ourselves up to stillness is a bit like fishing. We won’t necessarily catch the fish we’re after the first time. But if we’re patient, and humble, and sincere, “stillness” (AKA God) will take pity on us and gradually–or maybe very quickly–it will reveal its true nature and quality to us.

There’s a whole new world waiting for all of us as we do learn to stop the noise, and open our heart to the stillness that beckons us always from the heart of God.

Lots of love. Hang in there Kathleen.

It’s like we’ve gotten numbed by the noise of this busy world and put up a shield to keep out the noise, but As a race, we have kind of banished stillness d,, I

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Kathleen September 21, 2016 at 9:17 pm

Thanks Christopher. That helps. I’ll carve out time every day for stillness.

Don B Carmichael September 21, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Hi Christopher–

Thanks once again for gently advocating being aware of and/or experiencing still (calm) amidst the apparent muchness of living… The divine presencing her/his/itself life changing indeed; ) One of the more helpful ‘practices’ that I came across from a long time Aikdo practitioner, simply be mindful of breathing in to the belly region at base of inhale… Best to all.
In gratitude ; )
Blessings,
Don

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Christopher Foster September 23, 2016 at 10:12 am

Thank you Don. It’s always good hearing from you. Thank you especially for your advice re belly breathing, your words are golden. It’s such a simple practice, isn’t it, has a wonderfully calming effect, and doesn’t cost us a penny:-)

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Michel Vaillancourt September 22, 2016 at 11:28 am

Dear Christopher,
Moment of grace often happen when our rational mind is busy with following some event but not fully in the moment and our creative mind butt in to make us realise that we are living a magical moment. That is my understanding and experience of such events.
It is great to read you after what seems to be a long time. I trust that you are doing well.
Blessing to you and yours,
One with You,
Michel

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Christopher Foster September 23, 2016 at 10:16 am

Thanks for your beautiful comment Michel. It’s good to read you too. Blessings.

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Lucille September 24, 2016 at 6:42 am

What a beautiful story and experience at a young age, Chris. I enjoyed reading about your magical moment. ..it was a special one indeed. Thank you for sharing that experience with us. Love and blessings to you.

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Christopher Foster September 26, 2016 at 11:44 am

Thank you for your kind words and for your friendship Lucille. I’m always so happy to hear from you. Take care.

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Christopher Foster September 23, 2016 at 10:13 am

Thank you Peter. Blessings.

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Christopher Foster September 23, 2016 at 10:14 am

Best of luck Kathleen.

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