Founder’s Corner: The Story of Once Chris Hebard
This is the story of Stillness Speaks’ original founder: Chris Hebard.
Prior to the birth of Stillness Speaks (this website), it had been a passion of mine, for some time, to aggregate, and distribute, the teachings of authentic, self realized, western teachers. This passion grew from the difficulties I personally encountered trying to identify and learn from authentic teachers in North America.
What struck me was the difficulty discovering who could help me and, once discovered, locating well produced material of their teachings.
I had experienced a “dark night of the soul” (scroll down to see “The Search For a Teacher“) that resulted in my “egg getting cracked.” It was a profound epiphany, which left me with many more questions than answers.
But what I discovered was that there was no central resource for information on self inquiry and realization. I scoured hundreds of websites and bookstores, sifting through Channelers, Psychic Astrologers and past live regression experts to find authentic teachers of Truth.
With the loving help of friends, I found these realized souls but, then was surprised to discover that their audio, video and published material was poorly produced and distributed.
Part of this phenomena is explainable: it seems the more authentic the self realized teacher is, the less interest they have in fame, glory or money; the better the teacher, the more difficult it is to locate them. And in the past, true seekers were perhaps as rare as true teachers, so the teacher’s obscurity was a necessary part of the manifestation, in a world where few understand their message.
But what struck me on my search was how many people I met who were looking for the Truth.
I believe, this is an unprecedented time in the human dream, a time when Reality is waking up to itself at an unprecedented scale.
It is Stillness Speaks’ joy to help others on the path of awakening to one’s True Nature. Stillness Speaks serves to help them, by professionally filming teachers, and developing more effective ways to distribute these teachings to seekers.
The work is dedicated to seekers, those compelled to discover of truth.
Many cannot experience the teachers firsthand due to distance or budget. We do this work out of gratitude to the teachers. To this end, we created Atma Vichara (or Atma Vicara) – a non-profit organization that offers this “work” through its web-portal : StillnessSpeaks.com. We do this work out of love for the seeker, who like myself has a burning desire for liberation.
This project is envisioned as a service, bringing Truth seekers and authentic teachers together.
How it plays out is not in our hands. We are only responsible for making the offering; the rest is, as they say, up to Ishwara.
In Loving Service,
Here is Chris’ radio interview with John Troy, a.k.a. Wizard Baldour, and Trip Overholt, called The Wizard’s Whisper on WCOM-FM on the show Wisdom’s Soft Whisper. Explore the Wizard’s book by clicking here.
Chris’ Posts or Recommendations
“You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.” ~ Eric Hoffer
In its efforts to consolidate and distribute authentic resources for those deeply interested in self inquiry, Stillness Speaks has created a nine part series that focuses on a central question: What was the secret promise held by the East that the West craved so deeply? This nine part series surveys the spiritual revolution, rooted in profound dissatisfaction with the “getting and spending” focus of western culture, that propelled many westerners to travel to the far east for solutions to the emptiness of materialistic culture.
The Red Book: Liber Novus combines both art and intimate descriptions of Jung’s personal spiritual journey. If your self inquiry encountered autonomous archetypes then you might be interested in what Jung’s deep inquiry yielded in wisdom, I encourage you to read just a single note from the Red Book: his inscription on the reverse of one of his paintings, Untitled work, 1917, referring to The Cabiri. Here’s a video on The Red Book plus a downloadable PDF of the color copy.
The Search For A Teacher
My interest in self inquiry was sudden and unexpected: during an extreme “dark night of the soul” experience, I had a massive, catastrophic collapse which left me spent and speechless, praying fervently to a God I did not believe in, the only honest prayer there is: “Please help me!”
This collapse was sudden, left me completely empty, with not even one ounce of resistance left in me, with no more answers of any sort, in a sort of cathartic and limp state.
Pulling myself up from the floor, where I had been curled in fetal position, still sobbing, I poured what was left of me into a wing back chair.
While I sat in this darkened, private library in the middle of the night, mentally and spiritually exhausted, in final despair, with absolutely no clue as to what to do with my next breath, much less the rest of my life, a most peculiar phenomena occurred: sitting in absolute silence, I noticed my thoughts arising to me.
Mind you: these were no longer “my thoughts”.
For some peculiar reason, in this stillness, it was spectacularly clear to me that these thoughts, which were arising in the stillness of “me”, were not me at all, or, more specifically, that what I was; had to be something quite separate from these thoughts. For, it was clear that, if I observed these thoughts arising, then, who was observing them, if not me? And, if it was what I call “me” that was observing these thoughts, then, what exactly was this “me” which so clearly did not include these thoughts?
This was a profoundly unsettling awareness; in fact, it completely shattered my world. Everything that I had taken for granted up to this point came roaring back into question: my career, my marriage, every decision supporting the entire direction of “my” life. The only thing I was certain about was that I was uncertain about everything.
In this space of not knowing, of complete uncertainty about everything, I began to reach out for help. Desperately, I searched for any clue as to what I was experiencing. For better than a year, I locked myself in an apartment, meditating, journalling, reading everything I could locate, leaving my residence only when I uncovered authentic teachers who might offer me direction.
This journey was exceptionally lonely and frustrating, and I vowed to leave a trail which might make the journey easier for any who might follow me.
The listings of teachers on this site is merely one guide for those on the lonely journey of self inquiry. It is not meant to be comprehensive, for as difficult as discovering authentic teachings and teachers was for me, the longer I have been on this path, the more bona fide material continues to be revealed to me.
I offer this incomplete guide to the seeker. To it, I offer the greatest mystery of all: as this inquiry proceeds, you will discover that there truly is only one teacher and that teacher can ultimately be found within.
I humbly pray you find that teacher now.
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I bow in honor and gratitude to those who have selflessly nurtured my awakening, whose power of presence has bathed and literally released me, whose guidance has nudged me towards abidance, and whose honesty has helped me uncover my limitations and return home. I offer my heart in gratitude for their sharing of time and, more importantly, unfolding the nothing that embraces everything. As a channel marker in an ocean navigating through apparent reality, I point to their selfless love and kindness in celebration and service to others in search for The Truth.