The 5 Principles of Authentic Living

by Robert Rabbin – 

I would like to share with you The 5 Principles of Authentic Living, which represent nearly 50 years of self-study and self-expression.

The first led to self-realization based on direct experience; the second led to unfettered forms of actualizing that realization in the world. These five principles comprise 10 simple words: two words per principle. They are my scripture, the profoundly holy and profusely practical book I use to guide me along the pathless path of an authentic life. The value of this book isn’t so much in the reading of it (10 words, after all, doesn’t take long), but in the doing of it.
Embodiment. The value of these 10 words is in direct proportion to the degree we embody them.
At the age of 11, I began questioning things, especially myself. Who the hell was I? What is truly going on here? What should I do, and how should I live? So, I began to wander in search of credible answers.
When I was 23, I found myself in India, where I walked into the ashram of Swami Muktananda to visit a friend—I thought for a few days. A few days became more than 10 years. Muktananda’s basic message and teaching was simply this: Meditate on your own Self. God dwells within you as you.
Easy enough, I thought. Find the truthful core of my own Self, speak to that inner God, and I’d know all the answers to all my questions. I began to meditate on my own Self. It wasn’t that easy. There was this little thing called “mind” which seemed to wreak all kinds of havoc with my simple plan of meditating on my Self and chatting with God.
Nonetheless, I persevered as best I could. 10 years went by. More years. Then and I don’t know exactly when it happened, I was taken by silence. My mind was no longer an impediment. Everything just settled. I can’t say how or why, because I truly do not know how or why.
I suddenly had my answers, but they were different from what I thought they would be. Instead of planting my flag on the summit of absolute truth and certainty, I found no mountain and non-answers, or anti-answers. My questions dissolved and then disappeared—and so did my confusion and anxiety about life. So did I, in a certain way.
I can’t write more about what I found. I’m not that brave or foolish. I can, however, tell you where I found everything I was looking for: The five Principles of Authentic Living. You see, over the years, my teacher’s simple “Meditate on your own Self” became these five principles and God and Self became an authentic life. The principles reflect how I continued to explore the inside while expressing on the outside.
With these five principles I found the fulfillment of my search for self-knowledge, for meaning and truth, for my place in the world. These five principles revealed the answers and they continue to illuminate my path, moment by moment, effortlessly and flawlessly. 
I am never lost or confused. I always know where to go and what to do, just as I know when to be still and do nothing.
With these five principles as my mentors, I know how to live authentically. I am able to remain awake and alert and keenly aware of life from the inside out, and from the outside in. I know how to tap into and touch the very core of my inner creative consciousness and power, and I know how to express the many facets of that core in unique and enlivening ways.
Today, I live within the nuclear emptiness of these principles; they are my default posture in life.
I am convinced that we each have within our own self the blueprint for living authentically, for discovering from within our self our own deeply personal and truthful responses to Who am I? and How shall I live? These 10 words are not a prescription for what, but how. I cannot tell you who you are, what to want or what to believe, where to go and what to do, or what is real.
Even if I could, I’d say that for the sake of authenticity you ought to find out for yourself. I will, however, tell you that my own search for “self-realization,” for a truthful and heartfelt life, came to fruition in these 10 words.
Over the years, I have been told that my spoken and written words have touched the lives of many people, and that many are the better for it. And I will tell you that all my words and actions have come from within the creative and expressive hub of these five principles set out in 10 words. The contributions I’ve made to people in my professional roles—as author, organizational consultant, leadership adviser, self-awareness teacher, public speaking guru, spiritual activist, and life mentor—flow from these 10 words.
Virtually every issue I’ve helped clarify, every problem I’ve helped solve, every condition I’ve helped improve, every insight I’ve helped generate—whether for myself or with individuals, couples, groups, teams, companies—has originated in one or more of these 10 words. These 10 words, these five principles, serve me well. They are the source of my knowing, feeling, and acting.
If you live with any doubt, confusion, or conflict about who you are and how you should live, these ten words may likewise be a gateway for you to live authentically, to live the life that only you can live. In this regard, I feel that we all share a common purpose: to tell the truth of our authentic self without fear, and to live this truth with as much energy as we might like to muster. This is how we become a blessing to our self, and to others: to tell the truth that only we can tell. This is living authentically, and in this we are each best suited to know what to say, what to do, how to live.
We know. We come in knowing. We can never completely forget, though sometimes we might need a reminder. I certainly did. 
The 5 Principles of Authentic Living
1. Be Present
Be Present means to not be defined or determined by the thoughtstream—the constant flow of thoughts, images, beliefs, and emotions. Be Present is the blessing we need in order to experience our self and the world directly, unmediated by the content of the thoughtstream.
2. Pay Attention
Pay Attention means to notice what we’re doing in real time. It means to notice the effects we produce. It means to notice everything that’s happening—inside and out—while it’s happening, in real time.
3. Listen Deeply
Listen Deeply means to hear the constant stream of wordless clarity that comes from beneath the surface of the thoughtstream. The silence beneath the thoughtstream is a language of insight.
Speak Truthfully is how we bring what is inside, outside; how we mark the world with our presence. This is how we announce and represent our authentic self to others and how we are heard and known by them. Speak Truthfully reveals, rather than conceals, our authentic self, purpose, intentions, and motives; it shows the strength of our spine and quality of our character.
5. Act Creatively
Insight without action is delusion. When the great Sir Lawrence Olivier was asked where he learned his acting technique, he laughed and said it wasn’t learned but developed and refined over countless moments of inspiration, experimentation, risk, and creativity.
Authentic acting, as in action, and authentic living are one and the same. Many, if not most, people on various paths of self-knowledge neglect this; they discount action. I don’t. It’s where and how we demonstrate the truth of our insight and attainment. Speaking about bullfighting is very different from being in the ring with the bull!

Soul Perspective in the Workplace

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by Robert Rabbin

We all want to enhance our experience of work and enrich our work environments with meaning and purpose, vision and values, creativity and inspiration, joy and deep human connection. How do we do this? Let’s look inside our own self, into our own soul, for guidance.

If we’re going to use the word soul in a business context, we’d better define it, we’d better understand it’s meaning clearly. Otherwise, this single word–so often thought of as abstract, esoteric, and impractical–will probably create much confusion, doubt, and maybe even cynicism. Let me tell you what I mean by soul, and how I think it relates to our work lives in very practical and useful ways.

There are many definitions of soul, some more precise than others, according to various religious, spiritual, and metaphysical belief systems, varying from culture to culture. I use the words spirit and soul in the same way and to mean the vital principle or animating force within living beings.

I use the word soul poetically and metaphorically, to evoke a dimension of living which opens before us from time to time with such compelling force that we fall to our knees in silence and awe and gratitude. Soul refers to those gorgeous moments of self-transcendence, of love, of joy, of communion with the whole of existence in which we find ourselves intimately connected to everything and everyone.

When these disruptions to our conventional way of living occur, the mask of appearances falls away, and we see something profound about life. We experience something that is timeless. It’s beyond words, and the mind hardly grasps it. In these moments, a new perspective appears.

Let’s go into this a bit deeper and see what this soul perspective implies for us. Take a moment to please remember a time when you experienced an awakening to the fuller and deeper meaning of being alive. Try to remember a time in which you were lifted by the hand of grace into a feeling of unconditional joy, abundance, and generosity. In this remembrance and from this perspective, what does soulful living mean in the context of our work? What are the implications of soul?

The soul implies a real and living connection to others. Recognizing this connection with others means that we must treat others with respect, kindness, compassion, and dignity. Who would not like to be treated in this manner?

Soul implies beauty. This means that our actions must preserve the natural beauty of life in all its manifestations. Recognizing the natural beauty of life, we will not destroy, pollute, defile, or degrade anything. This is certainly a sound principle to guide us in our business strategies and decisions, isn’t it?

Soul implies truth. This means we must speak the truth, we must be accountable for our actions, and we must be straightforward in our dealings with each other and with the communities of which we are a part. Recognizing this, we are bound to be honest and transparent in our actions and intentions. This is how business organizations can claim an honorable place in society.

Soul implies balance and harmony. This means we must keep our priorities in order and give equal time to our own personal growth, to our families, to our communities–to those pursuits and activities that enrich our whole life. Recognizing the need for balance, we will not be compulsive or greedy, we will not sacrifice the integrity of this moment for a future promise. This will keep us sane and healthy.

Soul implies universality. This means that we are all shareholders in certain basic values. What do we all want? We all want to be appreciated, to be accepted, to make a positive contribution to others. We want to feel that our lives and our labors make a positive difference. We want to give, to serve, to be the reason for someone else’s happiness and well-being. A popular bumper sticker reminds us to serve others in these words: Practice random acts of kindness.

Soul implies inspiration and deep passion. This means that we live and work from our hearts, from what we truly love. If we follow our hearts to work, we will not need to be motivated by some cheap management trick to give our best effort. Our heart will always ask us to give our best, for the sake of love and passion. We will not need to be bribed. Enthusiasm, cooperation, and commitment are the hallmarks of a heartfelt life. Is there anything we could not accomplish, together, working from and with our hearts?

Soul implies joy. This means that we work from joy, with joy, and towards joy. This is not a Pollyanna principle, because I think that everything we do in life is for the sake of joy. Let’s be honest about it: no one likes to work in an environment of tedium, depression, and sadness. Let joy be our standard: if joy is present, we are doing things right, and doing things well. If not, we are doing things wrong, and we should stop and figure out how to get back on track. Can you imagine a performance review whose only question was: Please rate the amount of joy you experienced on the job, on a scale of one to 10.

Soul implies going beyond conventional boundaries. This means we should always feel free to risk new ideas, new approaches to old problems. This means we should develop our minds and bodies and spirits so that they shine with creativity and innovation. Recognizing this, we would welcome boldness, diversity, and initiative. We would be open to continuous learning and growth; and not just for the sake of profit, but for the sake of being human beings. I hope that we are all growing in self-awareness each day.

Soul implies clarity and awareness This means that we speak and act mindfully. Mindfulness is the moment-to-moment awareness of our true motives and intentions. It is a balanced alignment among thought, word, and action. Mindfulness means to be deeply in touch with our thoughts and emotions every moment. Mindfulness means that we are able to see what is actually happening around us, and to not be confused or misled by our own projected fantasies and ideas of what is happening. Being mindful implies a commitment to an ongoing process of self-inquiry, of discovery, of illuminating the unlit aspects of our subconscious that often drive us without our knowing it.

These are some of the things I mean by soul, and some of the implications of soul in the workplace. I do not presume to be the authority in this; I do not want you to think I am laying down an exact formula. But if we continue this line of inquiry in our respective work places, I believe we will open up great and wonderful possibilities. I believe any organization that encourages such a dialogue will stand at the very forefront of meaningful change and progress. I believe that such organizations will be known as much for what they do as how they do it; such organizations will be known as much for their products and services as for their ethics, values, and principles.

Liberating and nourishing the human soul within the workplace is a gift the world sorely needs at this time. Please be generous in your giving.

I’d like to leave you with a few questions to ponder, perhaps to discuss with others: What is your definition of “soul”? Is this definition based on what others have told you, on what you have read, or from your own direct experience? Does your awareness of soul guide your choices and decisions in life? Have you ever had a conversation about soul with colleagues in the workplace? How do you feel when you are required by your job to say or do something that runs counter to the knowing of your soul? How do you reconcile this? What fears come up when you consider being truly authentic and congruent with your soul’s wisdom? How do you deal with them?

The Healing Power of Silence

by Robert Rabbin –

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 wind 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 teas. 

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.

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 is restores us to love and redeems us in love.

Knowing Silence is… knowing your Self.

Knowing our 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!

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