Author: DSC Webmaster

Evenings with Aaron – March 15, 2017

An open session with Aaron channeled by Barbara Brodsky

For the complete archives go to archives.deepspring.org

Transcript:

(Barbara begins by reading the following text, which was dictated to her by Aaron earlier. The recording began after several paragraphs.)

Aaron:  All aware of what we call physical and emotional distortions. We try to “fix” them.

Let’s begin with, “What is a distortion?” To know “distortion”, we must ask, distorted from what?

It’s hard for most humans to visualize the “ever-perfect”. What is perfect weather for you? Warm sun, fresh snow, breeze for your sailboat, stillness. Perhaps the ever-perfect in terms of weather is the infinite possibility. What is the perfect place for you? Seashore, garden, mountains, river, desert, rainforest. Would you want any one place forever with no change? Again, perhaps the ever-perfect expresses in infinite possibilities.

There is Ground of Being, Source, Divine, God, Goddess, Unconditioned. In Buddhism, we have the term Dharmakaya, with “kaya” meaning “body.” Dharma is that which is, so we have the expression of that which is, Divine Body.

This Divine Body expresses in myriad ways. Think of the fresh, underground spring. It is pure from deep in the earth. There is no outer soil in it, no pollution of it. The moment it expresses out of the underground source, it is touched by a thousand things: air, soil, life forms of all sizes brought directly or by the breeze, and more. That ever-perfect pure spring is now changed. Does the sun upon it distort it? If we consider change as distortion, then yes, the sun distorts it., The freezing temperature that creates ice distorts it. The soil of the earth 10 feet from the entrance changes it. The child’s hand reaching in to scoop a drink changes it.

Is the pure water still there? Of course, and also something has been added or changed.

Let us call that change a distortion. It is not good or bad; it simply is changed in some surface ways, while still retaining its innate perfection. That innate perfection cannot be lost.

But 100 yards downstream, where cattle wade into the stream to drink, there are impurities mixed with the water from the spring, so you would not choose to drink there without first filtering the water, to return to the pure spring water. We would say that water is distorted, while remembering that the pure spring water is still there. You do not run around in a frenzy screaming at the cattle. You simply reach for your water filter.

Let us return to the Dharmakaya, as there are two other terms here that will aid your understanding.

Nirmanakaya means form body. It can be considered as the outer expressions of Dharmakaya. This Divine essence is constantly expressing in infinite ways.

“Let there be Light.”

“Let there be water.”

“Let there be earth.”

“Let there be man…”

Light, water, earth, human are all nirmanakaya expressions of the Divine. The rainbow as distortion of light; the wave growing out of the sea as distortion of water; the plant growing from the earth as expression of, or distortion of earth, sun and water; the thought expressing from the human; all are nirmanakaya expressions of the Divine.

Everything is expression of the One; everything.

Your Bible offers the idea that first came “the Word”.

In the beginning was the Word, and the

Word was with God, and the Word was God.

What is this Word? What is the first breath, the first expression of the Divine?

Buddhism offers us the term Sambhogakaya or “wealth body”. Everything expressing from The One is wealth, is riches beyond belief.

What about deadly tornadoes? What about cancer? What about the viper and other poisonous life forms? What about toxic hatred and prejudice?

Everything arises from conditions and passes away when the conditions cease. If these objects have arisen, it is because the conditions exist for them. When the conditions are purified, they will cease to arise.

Right now you think of these not only as distortions but as negative distortions, to be gotten rid of or fixed.

Watch a toddler attempt to build a tower of blocks. It is unbalanced and quickly topples. She tries again, and again. By trial and error, she learns what allows her to build higher, how to center the blocks. But if she has a tantrum and throws the blocks, weeps herself into exhaustion believing she is deficient in some way and cannot do it, then she cannot do it.

Watch the ballerina attempt a difficult move and stumble. She perseveres and learns what balance allows her to gracefully complete the movement. If she becomes angry, says “What’s wrong with me?” or “I must do this.”, tenses the body and exhausts herself, she cannot master the move.

Are these distortions – the toppling blocks, the temporary imbalance – negative, or are they teachers?  The blocks and ballerina fall because of conditions. When the conditions change, the falling ceases. If it were not so, no learning would be possible.

So we return to the question, what is a distortion? Yes, sometimes it leads to real discomfort, but can we relate to it as an expression of conditions of which we are a part, and aim our efforts to understand, balance, and release the conditions while giving thanks for the learning, rather than as something imposed from without that is terrible and must be fixed.

I promised a talk tonight on healing. All that I have said is background.

(end of reading)

Barbara: Thank you for your patience. And with that I’m going to give you Aaron directly. What was remarkable about what I read was that he said, “Please simply sit at your computer and type.” There was absolutely no editing in that. He just said it and I typed it. I corrected typos, but that’s it. Thank you, Aaron. I will be glad to email that bit out to everybody who’s listening tonight.

Aaron will incorporate.

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. Thank you for your patience, as Barbara read those introductory words. I simply wanted to be in her body a shorter amount of time, to spare her body from too much high energy in it. And all of you out there, there’s nobody out there listening who is less than 8 days from their latest surgery (referring to surgery at the Casa in Brazil), am I correct? All right. So my energy is safe to let out yet I would still quiet my energy.

It’s a joy to be with you, and after a month of being muzzled at the Casa, so to speak— it’s not that they disrespect me or my energy or my thoughts, it’s simply that my energy can interfere with the energy of the Casa entities. The healing that you are doing down there is profound, and it is important for me not to interfere with that energy, for any of you, and also for Barbara.

In our group together we spent a lot of time with Barbara, not with me, talking about “what is healing?” What heals? Who heals? Emotional and physical distortions do arise. These have a relative reality, and yet we also recognize the ever-perfect.

We come back to that clear spring. The pure water is there, and the distortions are there. We don’t throw out the water; we filter it. When emotional and physical distortions arise in the human or on the earth, in terms of the environment, for example, we need to take care of the distortions. But so often the response to distortion is a held contraction.

Let me explain what I mean by “held contraction”. When I open the hand in response to something offered, the hand closes around it and brings it in; it has to contract to do this. But it doesn’t squeeze and tense up. It simply brings it in. It lays it back down. The hand opens again. When you breathe, the lungs contract and expand, contract and expand. This balanced contraction is part of living. Even your earth contracts and expands, contracts and expands.

But if you contract and then hold a contraction around that contraction, what happens? (Demonstrating, throwing balls of socks) Q, tell me what happens for you. (inaudible) And where is the contraction now? Is it still in your body or is it released? (inaudible) Wonderful. Is it still there or is it released? Released. Can you feel, both of you, the slight reverberations of it even though it’s mostly released? Q is saying she feels it even though she’s not had a ball of socks thrown at her. Released… reverberating.

My original intention was to throw it at the camera so pour internet friends could have the same experience, but I’m told it would damage the camera, so I’m going to ask you to run at the camera with this. Just run at the camera with it… (she does so). Again.  I don’t think they can see you running so much as… come right up at the camera. You don’t have to come with a ball of socks. But run right up so you’re filling the camera… Friends on the internet, can you feel that?

I remember some years ago at Deep Spring when we had a glass window going directly to the outside. We had some people go outside and throw snowballs at the window while others stood right inside with their faces against the glass. What happens when somebody throws a snowball and your face is right here? You know it’s not going to hit you. We’re not talking about ice balls. The snow is soft. It hits the glass and it dissolves. But you startle. You contract. Does it release?

Contraction is a normal human experience. When we hold a contraction around the contraction, building stories, “What if it was something solid? What if it hit me? What if it damaged me?”, then we create stories and contraction around the contraction. (demonstration with socks)

Can you feel that? Now hold the intention for spaciousness. These contractions are part of the human experience. There are constantly things coming into your energy field. Physical objects, energy objects, emotional objects, they’re constantly coming and going. What are the stories that you hold about these?

I’d like you to try something, here. Throw some socks at me… Do you see any contraction in me at all? No. Throw some hard at me… There’s no contraction because there’s no self. There are no stories. The socks and I are one, I could put it that way. Nothing external to me is hitting me, so I don’t have to create any history or stories. These are just socks, or they’re just bacteria, or they’re just angry words, or whatever it may be that’s striking me. On the one level I am a separate, unique entity, and on another level, nothing is ever separate. How could anything be separate? So how could there be anything outside of me that would hurt me? If I believe there is something that can damage me, then I’m going to react and try to push it away, fix it, change it.

I do need to attend to it. If instead of socks there was rain dripping on my head, I would put up an umbrella. This is kindness to myself. I am not armoring myself with the umbrella, I am shielding myself temporarily. There are no fear-based stories. I am taking care of myself. But there’s no contraction to it, I simply put up the umbrella. No harm in the rain.

Can you feel the difference between armoring and shielding? Armoring carries multiple layers of contraction, and because it carries contraction and repetitive contraction, it becomes a karmic movement that literally embeds itself in the cells of the physical, emotional and energetic bodies.

When there is this kind of repetitive reaction to contraction held in the body, the body forms what we call dis-ease, that is, a lack of ease with the experience. When there is such lack of ease and it’s repeated over and over, well, what happens if I were to do this (squeezing  the hand)? Eventually I’d injure the fingers, yes? Could I do that for hours without creating bruising? Would there be changes in the cellular tissue? Of course.

If I recognize that this is happening and say, “Ah, I do not intend to cause damage. I release it.”… (demonstrating)  So the socks come. They hit me on the forehead. “Oh, socks!” Maybe it’s rocks instead of socks. Then I will want to shield. But there are no stories.

I want to be careful, here. You do not create disease in yourself, so don’t get caught up in a story, “Oh, look what I’ve done. I’ve created cancer,” or depression or whatever else. Any physical, emotional, or other ailment has a multitude of causes— genetic, biological, environmental. You did not create that ailment. However, whatever you are given, you respond to it in certain ways that either compound it or invite it to not stick.

If I covered myself in Velcro and you threw these socks at me, I’d be covered with socks. When you are Teflon, it all falls off. So how do we become Teflon? By mindfulness of the accumulation of stories. A familiar one: I’m unworthy, or I should be more loving, or I should be more capable. Another kind of familiar story: My immune system is weak, I am prone to sickness. These are stories. They can become self-fulfilling prophecy.

Why would you want to that to happen? So much of this is simply karma. You’ve built up these stories repeatedly through eons, and built up a self-identity with them. Who are you without them? Who is Barbara without her deafness? Well, she’s worked for years with this question and has completely released the stories, but it was not easy. Who are you without your feelings of unworthiness? If you were truly not unworthy, what might be asked of you? If you were truly strong and vibrant, what might be asked of you? If you were whole, what might be asked of you? What might you ask of yourself? What impossible things beyond what a human can do? To be perfect. You are perfect. And yet in the human form you can never be completely perfect, except that the imperfection is perfect. You don’t realize that. You are beautiful just as you are. So many of you move into stories of unworthiness because you see yourselves as imperfect!

We look at the seeming distortions, the physical, the emotional, and we either contract around them, creating ripples and more ripples and still more ripples, or we notice the ripples and let them go. A favorite image of mine is this. If I had a big bowl of water sitting on the table, filled to the top; if I shake the table a bit, the water will slosh over the side. “Oh, it’s spilling! Stop it!” And I put my hand down on the top to try to still the water. Can I still the water in that way? Of course not. Let it be and it will become still, because stillness and movement are the nature of everything. Everything has the nature of fluidity and movement, even a rock, and everything has the possibility of stillness.

When anger arises in you and you say, “No, I won’t be angry,” can you feel how those ripples create more anger? “Ah, anger has arisen in this mind and body. Try this: Breathing in, I am aware of the anger. Breathing out, I hold space for the anger.” It grew out of conditions, and it will pass. I don’t have to be afraid of it, and I don’t have to enact it. It’s just energy. An itch has arisen. “What bit me? What am I going to do about it?” I can scratch it until I bleed. Or I can just note, “Here is an itching sensation. Ahh, this is part of the human experience, that there may be some kind of itching. This is how the skin is. If necessary I’ll wash it off with something appropriate.” Or simply remember the perfect skin that is free of itching right there with the itching. There’s nothing to fix. When I release the idea that I must fix something because something is wrong, distorted, or bad, I can come back to the ever-perfect. It still may feel better with some treatment though, and that is fine; the relative experience right there with the ultimate.

Barbara has been working a lot the past 6 months, with skin cancer in the face. There were 2 surgeries here in the United States, both fairly extensive, maybe 40 stitches with each surgery, pulling the face back together, and after each one they felt all the cancer was removed. She went down to the Casa asking, what is the nature of the ever-perfect skin and what is this distortion we call cancer?

The distortion arose because of endless hours  through decades, sitting on her sailboat in the sun with no skin protection. This is how the skin is. It will react. Human skin is like that. She did nothing bad; simply, this is how the skin is. But as long as she was tensing around it, she was blocking the possibility of the skin’s completely releasing all the cancer tissue.

At the Casa they did two fairly extensive invisible surgeries on her face. Lying in bed after the first surgery, Barbara asked me, “What do I do?” And I said, why do you feel you must do anything? Trust it is gone. But there was more than one surgery. With the second surgery, she said, “if it was gone, what brought it back?” I said, there was more they were not able to get out the first time. Trust it is gone. There is nothing you need to do to fix it. Trust the ever-perfect nature of the cells here. Her primary work with the skin cancer now was to simply relax and know the ever-perfect skin; to see the perfect skin, free of any malignant tissue in it. I asked her to invite the body to release anything that was not needed, and to know it was already so. Also to thank the Casa entities for the surgeries they did to remove any remaining malignancies.

As soon as you believe, “I’m doing something wrong. I need to fix this.”, you’re returning energy to the “distortion”. If you say, oh, there’s no distortion, there’s no cancer, there’s no sadness or grief or fear, likewise you’re giving energy to it because you are denying it, and that denial is a form of giving energy. But when you can recognize this distortion has arisen out of conditions, it’s impermanent, it’s not of the nature of a separate self (that means it’s not me, it’s simply something that has touched me temporarily and I release it). I will not even think about it again, I release it. But if it’s necessary to take care of it, I’ll take care of it, which is putting up the umbrella to shield from the rain. I release it. Can you feel how there’s no energy contraction in that? There’s no fear in that. There are no stories, “What if it doesn’t get better? How do I fix it?” There is just, “Ahhh, I release.”

In some ways it’s easier to see this with emotions. I’d like you all to think of something that has happened to you in the past week and out of which anger has arisen. Think of the incident and how it felt. Perhaps you were afraid or sad or felt vulnerable or hopeless. How did the anger feel? Can you feel the tension of it in the body?

Now think the compounding thought, “I shouldn’t be angry.” Can you feel how that escalates the anger? “I won’t be angry.” Can you feel the continuation of the tension? Or let’s try denial. “No, I am not angry. I am assuredly not angry.” Can you feel the tension in that? It’s like a thousand little bits of energy bouncing around inside of you. Let us call this experience of anger a “distortion”.

That which is aware of anger is not angry. What is this awareness? Right there with that denial of the anger, can you re-open to that which is not angry? Think of the situation in which anger arose, perhaps an encounter with another person. Think of the person around whom that anger arose, and what you love about that person. Say, “Thank you,” to the other person. “Thank you even for being in my face and awakening the feeling of anger in me. Thank you for reminding me of what an open heart I have, the possibility of joy and forgiveness. Thank you for being you, who sometimes shakes me to anger.”

When you offer real gratitude— bring your hands together this way— can you maintain the anger when the hands are together? Say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Can you feel yourself coming back to the true self, back to love? For love is the true self. Feel yourself returning to that truth. Thank you, thank you. Where is the anger now? Where did it go? There may still be reverberations of it, but it’s not sticky anymore. You’ve made yourself Teflon. The anger is pouring off.

Because the emotional body is a bit more fluid than the physical body, it’s easier to see it and do it with emotions. But the same principle applies with the physical body. Certain things seem to attack the physical body, and we see it as a solid distortion and take it into ourselves with the idea, “I must fix this. I must change this. This is bad.” Rather than, “Oh, thank you. Here is a teacher.”

We don’t want the broken bone, the cancer, the deafness. We don’t want these things; of course not. And I’m not saying that you have created or are holding onto them. But what happens when you relax and begin to go to the place where the cancer is not? Where the broken bone is not?

T had an experience at the Casa that some of you heard directly from her. She had arrived at the Casa with a broken toe, and it seems that it healed within a week, not the 6 weeks that were determined it would need to heal. How does this happen? There were no stories about it. There was nothing to perpetuate it.

Picture the cells, the ends of the broken bone. They want to merge back together. But your doubt, your fear, keep them shaking. They can’t really meet each other. They can’t really merge because they’re bouncing around. But when you say, “Thank you. I feel the wholeness.” and allow them, then they will heal. When Barbara relaxed and said, “This release of cancer cells is complete; the skin is whole.”, then it can heal. Nobody can heal you without your permission. Actually nobody can heal you, you heal yourself. But nobody can support that healing for you without your permission. And if there is somebody inside trying to fix, you’re giving energy to the distortion rather than knowing the perfection.

There is so much more to this. It relates both to the emotional, mental, and also the physical “distortions”. There is no such thing as a distortion. Let me rephrase that. There is no such thing as a bad distortion. Yes, there are distortions. But what is a distortion? If I am walking and I want to go from A to B, a distance of a few miles, and there’s a trail that goes straight; a boring road, just through grasslands, straight from Point A to Point B. Somebody says to me, “Do you know there’s a high peak over here. We can climb this mountain, have a beautiful view, and then come back to Point B. And there’s a river over here that’s beautiful. We can go down by the river.” You might say, “Oh, but that’s a distortion of the path.” Well, what is a distortion? If I choose to climb the hill, if I choose to see and wade in the river, is that a distortion? I am simply following a different path.

The body moves into what we think of as physical distortions because at some level you’ve chosen to climb the mountain or to wade in the river, to have the experience of that. Once you have the experience of it, you can come back to the original path. Are you going to stay on that high hill or with your feet in the river forever? Let it go. You still want to get to Point B. And what is Point B? Point B is the knowing of your wholeness, fullest expression of that wholeness, the knowing of you power, of your radiance, of your beauty. It is the knowing of your truth, that you are divine and have never been apart from that divine for even a moment. The illusion that you were separate from it is simply illusion held in the mind and has no ultimate reality. Awakening to this truth of your being is the fullest healing, to awaken to knowing who and what you are. To awaken to your innate perfection. Simply to awaken.

A favorite sutra of mine: the Buddha is addressing a group of monks. He says, “Abandon the unwholesome. If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it. If such abandoning led to pain, to suffering, I would not ask you to abandon the unwholesome. But it leads to goodness, to joy. Abandon the unwholesome. Cultivate the wholesome. If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it. If such cultivation led to suffering, I would not ask you to cultivate the wholesome. But it leads to joy, to peace. Cultivate the wholesome.”

Why would you do anything but that? To cultivate the wholesome is not to contract. Such cultivation comes from the place in the heart that aspires to. “I choose.” You as humans have been given free will. “I choose.” I choose love, or I choose fear. Which one will you choose? Will you continue to immerse yourself repeatedly in the stories of fear, or are you ready to choose love?

Barbara read from my notes at the beginning. I spoke of the child building with blocks. What if there was a parent sitting next to the child and each time the child put a block on a bit out of center, the parent quickly adjusted it? The child would never experience the frustration of the blocks toppling. The child would never have the opportunity to learn how to balance things. How about the dancer? If somehow she was on puppet strings and a master hand was adjusting her every move so she did a perfect pirouette and perfect balance, she would never learn how to adjust to imbalance.

This takes the whole picture one step bigger. Why are you here in incarnation? I tell you, you are perfect, you are already perfect. Are you here simply to enact that perfection and never make a slip? You might say, “Oh yes, I’d like to do that.” Are you here to learn compassion? When challenging mind and body states arise, they can help you to learn compassion, compassion for the human in whom these have arisen. That does not mean we want to perpetuate the challenging mind and body states. Rather, we want to learn the compassion so that the challenging mind and body states become unnecessary because the innate compassion is shining through.

You are compassion. You are love. You are light. You are beauty. You are perfection. You continue to doubt it, and you keep the cycle going. Doubt, fear, anger, all creating  more and more challenges, like the child building with the blocks who finally slaps the whole thing across the room. But the child has courage. After a while she goes and picks up the blocks and she starts to build again.

Most of you do that. If the child believed, “I can never build a pile of blocks,” would she try to build again? And yet some of you believe, “I will never learn to love. I will never truly shine out my radiance. I can’t do it.” If you believe you can’t do it, you can’t do it. Are you ready, I will not say to believe, but to know otherwise? To know if it were not possible you would not be invited to do it? If you were not already love, you would not be asked to be love. It would be impossible. But you are already love. You are simply letting it come forth. You plant the little seeds for flowers in your garden in the spring. Do you say it’s impossible that a rose or a zinnia will grow out of the seed? It’s just a tiny little seed— how could a flower grow out of it? You trust, “Inherent in this little seed is that radiant beauty, and if I water it, give it sunshine and fertile soil, it will grow.” Why do you think less of yourselves? Your innate perfection is already there.

So what, then, is healing? I’m not sure I can answer that for you. As soon as we talk about healing we are caught in the distortion rather than the innate perfection. So maybe we need to change the terminology. How about if instead of saying, “I choose to heal”, we say, “I choose to open to the ever-healed. I trust the ever-healed. This is my free will choice. I choose to express my innate perfection because this is the gift that has been given me. And as I express that perfection and model it in the world, I make the possibility of such expression possible for others. I pass on the gift. To know that within me which is love, even when anger or fear arise. To know that which is strong and healthy, even when the body seems broken or damaged.

I choose to express the ever-healed. I choose to know that that seed is what I am.” You’re not surprised when you plant the rose seed and it grows into a rose. Why should you be surprised when you water this radiance that you are and self expresses as a radiant and beautiful being? You are whole.

I want to leave us plenty of time for questions. There is so much more I could talk about here, perhaps to be saved for another time. Let me add one thought here. We talked about the three kayas, and the sambhogakaya which emerges from the Dharmakaya. That very first expression, the Word, could be known as the first expression of the Dharmakaya. Sometimes when you’re caught way out in left field, as it were, spinning in circles around the seeming distortions, the first step is to come back to the ever-perfect. To know that which is not distorted in the self right there with the seeming distortions. It may be hard to find that ever-perfect within the Ever-Perfect, within the Unconditioned, within God, because you feel you cannot get there. But can you see yourself shining out from this ever-perfect? Here is a poem that Barbara shared in class 10 days ago:

I am the place where God shines through

For God and I are one, not two.

I need not fret nor will nor plan,

God wants me where and as I am.

If I’ll just be relaxed and free,

She’ll carry out her plan through me.

You are the place where God shines through. Trust that so that you don’t become so lost in the idea of brokenness.

So what do we need to do now to allow people to ask questions?

the Q & A section is only very lightly reviewed.

(question not taped)

So the question, if I am understanding it correctly: an illness will be in part karmic, environment, physical, mental, emotional. How do we know what part it is, what it is?

Why do you need to know?

Q: I think some of it is maybe to release the guilt that we feel, that maybe we caused it. So that when we’re healing, it may be when releasing the karma— this is a difficult question. I hope that Aaron can sort through this.

Aaron: Let me use an illustration here. We have a very pure stream, water pouring out from an underground spring, and from various mountain streams pouring into a wider stream. The water still is clear and pure. As it moves downstream, it goes through a city in which there are sewers dropping cleansed but still distorted water into the river. There are factories putting water into the river. The end result is that 20 miles beyond the city the water is quite toxic.

We want pure water. Several things are necessary. To identify the sources of the toxin, and here, using Barbara,  we need to know there were certain causes that resulted in skin cancer. There was certain karma that resulted in certain changes. There were certain beliefs. It’s helpful to understand the various things that have a part of the distortion. And yet, if we approach it with, “I’ll fix this one, and I’ll fix that one, and I’ll fix that one,” can you feel the contraction, the tension?

What if we start with knowing the ever-perfect water, or the ever-perfect healthy body, is here? I choose to know and magnify this ever-perfect body, to appreciate it. If you picture a dark stream with much pollution coming into it, water darkened; how can you know what comes from where? Look instead at the innate radiance of the water; then you see a little bit of darkness coming in. Against the radiance you can see the darkness and you can attend to it. Oh, here is a place where this factory is sending pollution into the river. We’ll attend to that. We’ll have the factory clean up what it sends into the river. It cannot send pollution in. Here is a place where farmers are treating the soil with various chemicals and it’s running off the banks and into the river. We need to attend to that. Can you feel the difference between knowing the perfect river and then attending to the sources of distortion, vs. thinking of the whole river as damaged, and that only if we repair all the damage can we get the river back in good form again? There’s more tension in that mode. You’re starting with the darkness rather than the light.

When you know the body as perfect then you begin to experience the causes of the distortion. I want to use Barbara’s back as an example. I think a personal example is helpful, and I don’t want to use anybody else here as example. Barbara was in a severe accident 13 years ago and there was bad damage to the spine. Whatever karma, it helped create that accident, but we don’t have to address that right away. Where is the perfect spine?

If we think of the various physical or emotional distortions as a problem, become immersed in them and start to think about what’s causing the damage, and how do I fix it, we become more and more contracted into it, giving actually negative energy into it. Using Barbara’s back as example, there’s no denying that there were severe spinal problems. They were causing a lot of pain. It was increasingly hard, almost impossible, for her to walk. The doctors at the university wanted to do some very serious surgery, which might or might not cure the problem.

I asked Barbara to start with knowing the ever-perfect spine. The spine had been perfect before the accident. For a period of 10 years it kept getting worse and worse after the accident. But if the spine was perfect 15 years ago, it was still perfect at one level. I asked her to imagine walking, climbing mountains. I asked her to watch the places where fear contracted in her spine, the places where when there was contraction, the lower spine closed in, pressing more on the nerves. I asked her, every time she felt that, to expand with mind and breath.

At the same time, in meditation she reflected on karma, different kinds of karma. Ancient karma in which there were injuries to the spine, and the anger she held. Just offering forgiveness. Knowing that she also had injured others, and asking forgiveness. Doing the things that help release the karma. So, addressing it on that level not as a fix-it but openheartedly. To attend to the karma. To attend to the physical causes. And third, simply to know this back is perfect. To know, really know and feel the place that’s free of distortion in the back, where she can dance, where she can move freely, where there’s no pain. Not to stand up and say, “What if it hurts?”, but, “Of course the spine is perfect.” To say it even if there was pain.,

She had to take these pieces together, to attend to the karma and to be willing to look. She didn’t see all the specific areas of karma, but each of you has injured others and been injured. Forgiveness heals karma. “Whoever has harmed me in these ways, I offer forgiveness. Whoever I have harmed, I ask forgiveness.” Really feeling that forgiveness coming to you is powerful. Also, watching the subtle karmic tendencies with imbalance. For Barbara, when the body felt imbalanced, she would close in like that and then hold tension in that part of the spine. So she spent 2 years learning how, when she felt imbalanced, to breathe and open the back. And again, when she walked and there was imbalance, feeling the body close in, do it again. Mindfulness. Opening the back.

Because of her deafness she has no inner ear balance, so she walks without balance. For 45 years she has had no inner ear balance. When you don’t have balance, you tense up. The body doesn’t trust itself. Part of the karma for her was needing to learn, “I am balanced. I am perfectly balanced. Right here with the imbalance is perfect balance, and thus I don’t have to hunch the body over, bringing pressure in the places in the spine that are damaged.” And certainly those 50 years of hunching also added to the spinal problems.

She needed to release those distortions, attending to the karma, knowing the ever-perfect back. Then at the Casa they were able to literally repair the places where the spine was closing in and pinching the nerves. But they could not do that, let’s say they could not expect to hold it in place, until she did her own work. At the Casa they say, “We’ll do 50%; you do 50%.” Her 50% was to recognize the karma, although in this case not specifically in detail, and to recognize the habitual tendency.

For Barbara, this work involved coming back to imbalance. Standing erect, trusting the body. In her book Cosmic Healing, she speaks about a part of this exploration with me during a retreat 20 years ago. I sent her out into a snowstorm. I asked her to close her eyes. She said, “I’ll fall.” I said, “That’s fine, fall. The snow is 2 feet deep.” It was midnight. She went out in the snow. She fell. She got up, closed her eyes, and fell again. Falling, landing, was not hard; the snow was soft. Letting herself fall. What does it mean to be the one who must be upright?

So the karma, being upright, the lifelong habit of being the one who is upright. Can you feel the tension, “I must be upright.”, both in the physical meaning of that and the broader meaning? The one who takes care of others, the one who must stand tall. The one who takes care of everything. Upright. What does it mean to let yourself fall?

This was a beginning of the healing. Each step of the healing was necessary to the further steps. The important thing was to hold the intention, “I come to know myself, the wholeness of myself, and to express this wholeness in the broadest sense I can. I choose to express the wholeness of myself. I choose to release whatever negates that knowing of wholeness.” If you work with it in this way, knowing of the karma will come genuinely, a little at a time, as is necessary and useful to see it. Not, “I need to fix it,” but insight, and then a new insight, and a new insight. And trusting the insights. Knowing the wholeness of the body and trusting the wholeness of the body so that the body can walk, can dance, can do whatever you wish it to do.

I’m not sure if that answers your question.

Q: It helps a lot.

Aaron: Let us go on, then, and hear other questions.

(They pause for technical issues.)

Aaron: The wonder for me is most of the time it works. So we can be patient. Do we have another question?

Q: I’d like to know how to protect one’s body from EMF (electromagnetic frequency) radiation.

Aaron: I would suggest, I cannot say you can absolutely protect, but envision a shield— not an armor. Armor will not allow loving energy in. Armor blocks everything. Envision that which you do not want to penetrate the body, whether it’s electromagnetic radiation or somebody’s anger or anything, just imagine a gentle shield saying, “No, not that. Not that.” It’s pouring rain; put up the umbrella. Do it with love, with spaciousness. Hold the intention, “I bring into this body all that is wholesome, and I say no to that which is not wholesome,” whether it is electromagnetic radiation or anything else. Simply that.

If you hold this intention, you’ll find ways that you can do this. You know how to do it, many of you, when there’s angry energy around you. It’s the same thing. Thank you. Other questions?

Q: What is our role for or with others? Does seeing the ever-perfect in another help this?

Aaron: Absolutely. And if you see only evil in another, that is a way of harming another. When you recognize the ever-perfect in the other, it’s very supportive. Many of you have had darshan with the Mother. You know how the experience of her unconditional opens your heart and changes you and allows you to be what she sees in you. But if somebody looks at you with hatred, despises you, it closes you in and you cannot trust that you are radiant and beautiful. When you see the beauty in others, it helps them.

Part of your work is to understand what blocks you from seeing that innate perfection in others. Perhaps it is partially because you are afraid to see it in yourselves? And this doesn’t mean everything the other does is wholesome. Sometimes another may attack you, throw anger at you, throw socks at you. You learn how to say no with compassion and still find that which is beautiful in others.

This to me is perhaps the most important thing that I learned from Jeshua, and it’s a whole different talk. But for Jeshua, what was so inspiring was that no matter how negatively a person acted, he knew how to get past the negativity and open into that which is beautiful. Because he saw that which was beautiful in the other, the other would often bring forth that which was beautiful, dropping away the negativity. Whereas if he had attacked that person, they would have brought up more negativity as defense.

Other questions?

Q: When I feel light and love pouring through me, it is much easier to relate with catalyst. I’m paying attention to certain kinds of fear that arise and I shut down. The perspective shifts into a more contracted state. I reflect on my intention and feel the heaviness, and it’s hard to know the ever-perfect. What is resting in the ever-perfect? Do you experience the energy in the body? Because in that moment my predominant experience….

Aaron: …I am trying to understand your meaning:  “It’s hard to rest in that ever-perfect.”

Q: Or Barbara. When you say, “rest in the ever-perfect or know it”, what is the experience of knowing, when I am so strongly feeling fear?

Aaron: This is the fruit of meditation. You do practice, all of you do, but with repeated practice, it’s like, I spoke of Barbara’s balance. With repeated practice you become more balanced. One doesn’t climb up on a tightrope and immediately walk across. One must practice.

In meditation one finds oneself at times in a spaciousness, a light openness, uncontracted. The Casa is especially helpful because the energy is so high, and you’ve all experienced the transformation of that high energy. You really feel the ever-perfect when you’re there. But you don’t have to be there to feel it.

In meditation, objects arise and pass away. What remains? We keep coming back to, what remains? What is the center from which objects arise and into which they pass away? What remains?

It’s experienced as sound, as light, as energy, as joy. For each of you there may be a different predominant piece of it, but each of you will find something into which you can tune to remember, “This is it. I come home. I come home.” Chanting, OM…. Bringing the hands together and helping to bring up that energy. Feel yourself in a cylinder of light. Simply hold something that’s deeply loved in the heart. These are all ways of bringing yourself home. Whenever you’re pulled out of that space by anger, by fear, when there is mindfulness that says, “I choose to come home.”— not “I must come home,” but “I choose, I invite,”— reach out your hands and find the guides who will support you, whatever speaks to you of love. Hold a lovely crystal. Look at a beautiful picture. Look at a picture of a great Master; look in those eyes. Whatever will help to lead you home. Begin to find the devices that do help to bring you home. And it will differ for each of you.

Remember it is possible to come home. Not being home is a matter of habit. Like Barbara’s contracting her spine, it’s a place where you go because it’s habit. “I choose to come back, again and again, until it becomes stable.” If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it.

Q: With the vipassana practice, when I am feeling fear, and I feel some right now, and I want to run away from it, in that moment, do I come home or sit with that experience of contraction?

Aaron: That which is aware of fear is not afraid. You rest in the simultaneity, knowing, and with compassion and so much tenderness for this human that is afraid. No trying to get rid of the fear, no denial of the fear. “Breathing in, I am aware of the fear. Breathing out, I hold space for the fear.” Right there with fear, where is love? In this moment, where is love? Invite yourself into something that speaks of the heart of love. The mother’s embrace, the Mother or your human mother. The love of a friend. Some generous thought or act. Something that opens the heart. Right there with fear, so that without trying to get rid of the fear you say, “I choose not to be focused into fear; not to give so much energy to the fear, not even by trying to get rid of the fear, which is another way of giving energy to it. I choose to rest more in that spaciousness and light.”

And this is really the heart of my talk tonight: resting in that ever-perfect which is accessible to all of you. Each of you knows how to find that space. If you are not there, simply be mindful: I am not there. I feel locked out of it. I choose not to feel locked out of it. Help me. OM…. What do I love? Look at a flower. Look at a picture of a beloved face. What do I love? What in this moment will bring me home? Practice the Tonglen or Metta with the self to gently draw yourself back.

Know that you have a choice. Don’t force it. In other words, don’t try to force away the fear, the negativity, the contraction, but right there with contraction, where is spaciousness? Breathe, right now… Feel the spaciousness. Can you feel the potential for spaciousness?

Q: Yes. My habit is to breathe in fear!

Aaron: Look in my eyes. Right here, looking in each other’s eyes… I am fully accepting of your fear. I am not afraid of your fear. I have space for your fear. Join me in that space…

We are not getting rid of the fear. We are breaking through the fear to the space beyond. The fear is just fear…

Can you feel that? Can you feel that? Look into my eyes. Feel my love. We could try to bring me up closer so you can look into my eyes…

Can you feel how much I love you? (yes) Even if there is fear, even if there is contraction, allow yourself to feel how much I love you. And let that love become a resting space wherein all healing can happen…

You are so beautiful, and I love you…

Let that be the greater reality without trying to fix or get rid of anything. You are love. That’s all you need to know. You are love.

This is the only reality; all the rest is illusion. You are love. But the illusion comes as a teacher. We’re not trying to destroy the illusion, only not to be so caught up in it. To trust the greater reality. You are love…

Thank you all for your presence tonight.

Q, I see you are limping. You were limping a bit when you walked in.

Q: If you say so. I don’t feel like I am limping.

Aaron: May Father John look at you a moment? Will you like to come up? We can continue this and others can watch or not. Father John is going to incorporate.

You are welcome to stay online and watch. Father John is going to incorporate and look at something that he sees askew with Q. I believe a month or two ago there was some pain and he attended to it, am I correct?

Q: Yes.

Father John: Blessings to you, son. Come, please stand up, let me see. Turn around, turn sideways a bit, turn this way, come this way to the side please. Just letting the curious out there see what I’m doing.

Son, I want you to bend the body, keep the back straight and simply shift the body that way, now the other way. Can you feel the tension in here, as you shift? Do you feel that? Do it again, please. This side of the body is longer than this side. The hip is tightening up on this side.

Q: There is an artificial hip.

Father John: On that side. Your body is reacting to the artificial hip, I think favoring it, afraid of trusting it.

Q: I dislocated it right after the surgery.

Father John: I am taking care of you, but what I want you to do is this. Stand on this leg, lift the other leg. Now put your foot down again. Now the other way. Can you feel how much surer you feel? (yes) So I want you to practice at home holding on to something, a counter or whatever. Simply putting weight on the leg that feels stronger, then shifting to the other leg. And remembering that this hip is strong. Don’t try to bend your leg or push in any way, just let it bear your weight. And watch the trusting or not trusting of it. And then let me take care of it physically.

Anyone else who needs some help here before I leave the body? Please come.

Several more people come up to Father John. Then Aaron returns to the body, says good night, and the session ends.

(recording ends)

Casa Journal – Part 2, March 2, 2017

2017 Casa group – missing 4.

I’m sitting at my table, a Chocolate Acai smoothie beside me; my writing fuel.

I was in the revision line yesterday morning, waiting on the side with the wheelchairs, when the Entity came out to do visible surgery. The Casa surgery line had just entered. He looked up at the 8 or so wheelchairs there, (my scooter is considered a wheelchair at the Casa) and said, “All wheelchairs to operation now”.  It’s Thursday afternoon now and I’m just getting out of bed. After the surgery I immediately felt shaky, and wondered if I could ride back safely. Some talk about maturity and responsibility. We must ask for the help we need; to pass out is an inconvenience to others. But we also need to truly know what we can do and do it. Aaron agreed yes I was stable enough to ride, so I picked up my herbs, signed the slip of where I will be for next week’s revision, and rode back, and straight to bed, and into a deep sleep, but also with dreams and awareness that the surgery continued; shoulders, back, legs, eyes. Seems like they were working everywhere. Then into oblivion for a few hours. Someone woke me with lunch. I ate and went right back to sleep. But about 3, I woke up, used the bathroom, then lay in bed with eyes closed, not asleep or awake, an in-between state, somewhat of an altered consciousness.

Aaron began to talk about a topic that has been ongoing all month, about which I’ve written only a little.  Several related topics really: co-creation; surrender; power; humility and pride. It wasn’t so much talk as, that in this altered state of consciousness, I was being shown things that we had talked about previously and of which I had intellectual understanding. This went much deeper.

In meditation, all month I have found myself sometimes resting in a cylinder of radiant light. I’ve also been watching even subtle held contractions (as opposed to those that arise and release, as does the heartbeat). When I rest in the Light, in Awareness, the contractions simply release, with nothing to hold them. There are no stories about a contraction when it arises, just awareness that it arose out of conditions and will pass; there is no “self” to it, just the outplay of conditions. I put Light and Awareness together here, as when resting in Awareness, the primary experience for me is intense and radiant Light or Luminosity.  Awareness is citta (consciousness) and Light is an object of that consciousness. It’s not the Unconditioned itself but is what we call a direct expression of the Unconditioned. It’s always there so Awareness can touch on it when Awareness itself is open and able to connect.

I don’t want to get too technical here; I’m simply differentiating between mundane consciousness and Pure Awareness. Mundane consciousness can only perceive mundane light and not Luminosity. Much more about this on the Deep Spring Center archives. Look up “citta”.

So this past month there has been much resting in Pure Awareness, and the sign of Luminosity has been strong. I experience it energetically and visually, just fully resting in Light, Light everywhere; and with the high energy of that Light. When I contract back into the small self, I lose the Light, and become aware of a “somebody” pushing and pulling, trying to do and fix and control. It may be subtle but still there. This is NOT our natural state, but is our (or at least my) habitual state!

The habit is so deep. On Tuesday I observed myself trying to figure out how to “do” this week, to have surgery if it was recommended and to also sit in Current. I would go to revision (surgery review) Wednesday morning, one week from the past surgery. I would sit in Current Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Then I would go through the line Thursday afternoon and if he sent me to surgery Friday morning, I’d still be okay for my flight Saturday night! Ha! Aaron asked me teasingly if I had it all figured out? Yes, actually! Then he asked me what I wished most to co-create. The deepest possible healing of this body, mind and spirit. Could I feel the contraction as I shaped a plan and tried to push it forward? Yes.

He suggested to just state my intention for healing and trust that this is also the Entities’ plan, and Divine will. How it happens is not yet known. Send forth the intention and let go. And, of course, at 8AM Wednesday he came out to the Main Hall and said, all wheelchairs to surgery. This is just one example.

Through these weeks, the planning mind/ controlling mind jumps in. But how do we co-create? How do we offer our intention and trust that the Universe WILL support it if it is for the highest good? This ability seems to be at the core of healing. It’s not even an “ability” but a “non-ability”, a profound trust and letting go that is only possible from Pure Awareness. Ability is a learned skill; this “knowing” is the fruit of being, innate to us. This is not to say there is no ego presenting, but it is seen for what it is, just arisen from conditions and empty. When this is deeply recognized, it no longer has power. It keeps returning and Love keeps saying to it (to contraction), “sit by my fire and have tea”. It does release as the heart invites opening; kindness asks the question; it doesn’t try to chase away the contraction or its causes. Eventually the energy winds down. It just consumes itself and goes.

So I have been watching these patterns for months (for decades!) but they came into special focus at the Casa this month as Aaron and other Entities spoke about held contraction as a source of physical distortion/ illness. For several months, they have been asking me to watch the spine and the ways subtle contraction is held there. When observed, there is deep breathing into the spine, contraction releases, and pain resolves. I don’t want to oversimplify; there are many causes of illness. This is just one.

I could write for pages on this and will not. Tomorrow is a Casa day. I just want to get the basics written.

Lying in bed yesterday afternoon, I was offered an image of many little tornadoes, each spinning along in their own path, battering into each other, each pushing their own agenda.  Embracing all this chaos, there was an all-encompassing cylinder of radiance. The tornadoes have free will, to continue to spin out in their own paths, or to rest in the core energy that enfolds them and allows them to co-create with each other and the Core. When they know themselves as part of each other and of the Core, they have the power (not their own power but the shared power, of co-creation for the highest good and harm to none. Unbalanced contraction ceases. Everything flows. As soon as one tornado contracts and wants its own way, it throws the whole system into temporary imbalance. But the system is greater than any part and rebalances. The renegade has a choice, to spin into its own orbit or to release self and rejoin the flow. There is no pressure on it to do so. It has free will. It loses nothing to join the flow; only gains in power and luminosity.

It moves into contraction when it opposes the highest good to separate and support only or primarily the self. This seems like an expression of fear. Aaron, is this the beginning of negative polarity?

Aaron: We cannot name an original cause. This separation of the self from the divine is an expression of negative polarity and enhances it. It takes the entity further from knowing its true self. That means it takes it further into isolation and fear.

BB: thank you. So this distortion, for lack of a better name, then further manifests as dis-ease in the body?

Aaron Yes. Please use the word distortion with care. As we have discussed, a distortion is not negative, just a “bend” in the flow.

BB: Thank you for that reminder.

And an essence of healing is in simply resting in the Light, the energy, the flow of creation and destruction in which nothing can ever truly be destroyed?

Aaron: and nothing created; it already is. If it did not exist, it could not become.

BB: So in this way, when you say that what we seek is already there, just to rest and allow it, this is your meaning?

Aaron: yes. And yet you do have free will, and are Creators. You co-create, from this space of divine energy and love, holding forth that which is for the highest good, always willing to release the fear based contractions that spin into distortion.

BB: But we can also create from fear?

Aaron: Yes, but not co-create with the Infinite Creator, which only creates from the Love vibration.

BB: But fear does co-create within itself, from a much lower vibration.

Aaron: yes, and this is what you are seeing in the world today. The Love vibration simply offers to hold the space for fear until it changes its polarity. But if you apply force, fear/contraction uses that energy to enhance negative polarity.

This is enough for tonight. Please rest, and reflect further on this tomorrow, not with the mind but with the heart.

 

March 3, 2017: Friday morning: I sat by the triangle outside the surgery room for an hour, had a double crystal bath, sat at the overlook, and am back in my room, It is an exquisite Brazil day, maybe 80 degrees but with a breeze, clear sky with small puffs of clouds. The foliage seems illuminated from within and without, radiating light.

A lot of information came through this morning and a suggestion I might write about it if I choose; it’s partly related to what I wrote above, but also moving in a different direction. It was all so clear during meditation and crystal bed. Now I can’t remember any of it!

Surrender: let’s start with that word and see where it takes me. To surrender is an act, doing. It involves a “somebody” surrendering, and someone, a more powerful being, perhaps, to which we surrender. This is the conventional view. What is really occuring?

From an ego’s perspective, we all want control, and feel that to surrender is to give away our power. This is our conditioning. As third density beings, we believe we do need to develop an ego to survive. It is part of the whole path of awakening we’ve agreed to enter, evolving from lower to higher consciousness. (or awakening to the already present awakened consciousness that always was!)

We teach children to have a strong sense of self. But here we’re already creating a duality, because that “self” is perceived to be separate from everything else. Then we wonder why we, as humans, feel alienated and alone.

In my teaching, unworthiness is a constant theme for students. Feelings of unworthiness come with human experiences of abuse and neglect. Not feeling loved by the parents, there is a cry, “how do I get back into God’s good graces?” But it also comes from people who had loving parents and stable homes, yet still feel unworthy. It seems really to be an existential issue. Perhaps we have not lost the God out there, but the Divine within the self.

Instead of considering feelings of unworthiness and alienation to be a problem, we can recognize it as a teacher. Assuming we never were unworthy (and of course, no one ever was unworthy; it’s just a concept) can these feelings of isolation, aloneness, estrangement from the Divine, lead us back into the direct experience of the Divine so we know we have never been separate?

We must be willing to ask, what does holding this idea of “wrongness’ protect me from?” Then we may begin to understand how attachment to such an idea was our way of allowing ourselves to hold on to negative thoughts, pulling ourselves further away from the Light, from our true being. What if we come to know that we ARE that Light we seek? It becomes a vicious circle. We’re afraid to know ourselves as that Light because of the fears that we are flawed, or will fail, so we set ourselves up to fail by enacting the negative emotions, or chastising ourselves that they have arisen, or just denying that we are essentially Light.

Increasingly, I find that all the manifestations of distortion of mind and body at least have some roots in this conundrum. I cannot be what I truly am because i don’t believe it’s what I am, and because i won’t let myself experience self as that divinity, I cannot transcend the pain of not being that. Which way out?

Here at the Casa that veil between planes is so thin. There is so much high energy, Light, and love. People do experience it, even those with little prior meditation experience.

March 11 now, back home. Today marks a week since I returned. Hard to believe. Days have flown past.

It’s much harder to rest in awareness within that cylinder of light from the heavier vibration of the non-Casa world. Sometimes there is the full experience, more often just memory of the experience.

Distortion is the word of the week.

Aaron: May 27, 1998 excerpt: Please note that when I use the word distortion, I do not use it in a negative sense. If you have a straight line upon the paper and then create waves in that line where it goes up above the line and dips below, and above and below, each dip up and down is a distortion (of the line). There’s nothing bad about these distortions. If you have water in the sea, and the force of tide and wind and current push the sea as waves against the shore, the force of the wave building up and crashing down upon the shore is a distortion. And (gravity) pulling it back into the sea is another distortion. There’s nothing bad about distortion.

Aaron has also used the illustration of a flashlight hitting water at night, the way the light beam seems to bend because of the density of the water. This is a distortion. It’s also an illusion. The light does not actually bend.  Such a seeming bend is an example of a distortion.

Sept. 3, 1995 Barbara’s private journals

Aaron: The Unconditioned is the intrinsic core of everything. Its Unconditioned core does not cease to exist when that phenomena enters the realm of conditioned. Both exist simultaneously. The Unconditioned does not create the conditioned, but invites the conditioned as expression of itself. The conditioned is simply voice or manifestation of the Unconditioned.

Barbara: How does the conditioned begin? …

Aaron: The entire conditioned realm is illusion arisen from a distortion of the Unconditioned.

Barbara: Then we’re at the same place. What gave rise to the first distortion?

Aaron: Here is where we must move into your understandings of Light. Think of that pure heart/mind, or Pure Awareness if you prefer. This is the primordially perfect light, and is the essence of everything that later is “arisen.” It is the deathless core. Within that light, there is nothing to arise or cease. When pure awareness first becomes aware of itself, it creates self and other. Perhaps this is the primary distortion. It is not useful to ask what served as catalyst for its arising, but at that moment where awareness looks in at itself, it sees duality for the first time. If the potential for that expression of illusory duality were not part of the nature of the non-dual, it could not be experienced. It is inaccurate to say that non-duality created duality. Rather, you see that duality and non-duality MUST reside together within non-duality. They are two different expressions of the Non-dual. Thus, the Unconditioned does not create duality nor serve as condition for its arising but allows the expression of that which was already intrinsic to its nature. Do you understand?

Barbara: Yes. This is the meaning of “everything that manifests is expression of Rigpa (or pure heart/mind).

Continuing today March 12.

        When I am in that cylinder of light, there’s no possibility of distortion. In class Tuesday night we spoke of the three kayas, and the place where the sambhogakaya emerges from the Dharmakaya. We have to emerge to be part of this relative reality, one foot resting in Dharmakaya, yet active in the world. When we move too far out and lose touch with Dharmakaya, we easily lose our center.

I think of a pure spring. We can’t go into the spring to get the pure water or we pollute the spring. We take the water just as it emerges, where it is still very pure, not a half mile downstream where the cattle are wading in the stream. So I find that when I can rest in that place of emergence from the ever-perfect, I’m best able to carry that high vibration, uncontractedness, and Light into daily life. The further out I go, the more I carry “distortion.

The reverse is true too. When I‘m caught inn distortion and recognize that I’ve been swept downstream, so to speak, and in meditation, return to source, then the distortions release. It’s much easier for me with emotional and mental distortions because the physical body is heavier and releases the contractions slower. But looking at my leg and veins, for example, fear and distrust on their ability to heal keeps them distorted. When I KNOW the ever-perfect right there with the distortion, and relax, “surrender” the fear (going back to earlier in this journal for ‘surrender’) and rest just at the space of emergence from the ever perfect, I can see/ feel/ know both the ever-perfect and the distortions and relax back into the ever-perfect. Then the heavier physical body can begin to move in that direction.

I’ve been doing this all month, practicing with guidance from Aaron and the Casa Entities. There is such a strong habit to contract, without mindfulness. I find the easiest path is to remember to stay connected to Rigpa, to keep up that inquiry, “where is Rigpa in this moment?” In past years, this has been more cerebral. Now it is becoming more organic, really feeling it not thinking about it.

I’ve noticed that when I do the Feldenkrais movements from this organic resting in awareness, there is very little tension anywhere. When there is a Barbara who tries to do anything, even just to be present, then contraction returns.

Dharma Journal | March 2017

You are Love; We Are Love

Video is closed captioned.
Aaron channeled by Barbara Brodsky: March 5, 2017.
Monthly Dharma Talk (Not yet reviewed by Barbara and Aaron)

Transcription

Aaron: My blessings and love to you. I am Aaron. Thank you for joining me today. People look at me and say, “Well, you’re a spirit. What does that mean?” I look back at them and say, you are also a spirit. What does that mean? You are incarnated now, that spirit essence of you, in a physical body. I am presently not incarnated in a body, nor have I need to come back in human form; the karma is resolved. So I use this instrument, this human telephone whom I cherish named Barbara, as a way to make direct contact with you. So we have a body; we don’t have a body. We are all spirit. We share that.

Then people ask me, “Well, why do you come back? Why are you here?” I am here to teach love. It’s as simple as that. To teach you that you ARE love. Not even teach, so much as remind you that you are love and to remind you that you have the ability to live that essence of love that you are.

What else do I teach, people ask. What else is there but love? Love in all its voices, in all its expressions. To look deeply at what blocks the deepest expression of love.

I often call what I teach “dharma”. Perhaps I call it that because in my final human lifetime I was a Buddhist meditation master in Thailand, so the word dharma is a familiar one for me. But when you understand what dharma means, you understand it’s not a Buddhist term, it’s just a very clear word. It means the deepest truth of things as they are. I am not a Buddhist. I am not a Jew, a Muslim. I am not a member of any specific religious tradition. All the great Masters convey the same truth: you are love. We are love. There are many paths to understanding that love. So when I use the word dharma, I’m not inviting you to be a Buddhist. I’m just inviting you to look deeply at how things really are. And because the Buddha gave such a clear enunciation, I often borrow his vocabulary.

Everything in this mundane world of ours arises from conditions, ceases when the conditions cease. If certain atmospheric conditions are present, rain will fall. When the conditions cease, the sun will come back out. Sometimes you can affect the conditions; sometimes you cannot. You can’t stop the clouds from gathering or the rain from falling. You can affect how you relate to it.

So objects arise into our experience of our minds and our bodies because the conditions are present. And when they cease to be present, when those conditions have passed, then the object passes.

Some objects that come to us are pleasant and some are unpleasant. You’re sitting in your backyard enjoying a picnic. Birds arrive. They’re beautiful. There are hummingbirds on the flowers, a cardinal sitting in the bushes. Beautiful songs filling the air. Ahh, I love the nature of this backyard! It’s so beautiful. I am so grateful for this backyard.

And then the skunk comes across. He sees you, and in his moment of fear, he lets out his smell. That pungency fills the yard. Unpleasant. You didn’t move. The birds are still singing. You didn’t cause the skunk to let loose its smell. It did it because it saw you and it had a certain fear. It was protecting itself.

Do you then hate your backyard? Of course not. And yet the thought might arise, “I hate that skunks have access. I’m going to build a barbed wire fence all the way around my yard.” You do that, and then you notice that the chipmunks and the deer and the rabbits, none of them are in your backyard anymore. Your yard used to be like a nature preserve; suddenly the birds are there but there are no more animals.

Objects will arise out of conditions and they will pass away when the conditions cease. And yet we do have some power over this whole cycle in how we react to what has arisen. If I put up the fence around my yard to keep the skunk out, I’m keeping the deer and rabbits out. If I can refrain from that reactivity and just note occasionally there will be a skunk, I make my peace with that. I have a choice. I don’t have a choice about what comes but how I will relate to it.

Now we are moving into a period where your new president has taken office. For some of you, it was as if the deer had come into the yard, and for others as if the skunk had come in. The question from me is, how do you relate to it? You do not have a choice about whether the skunk will arrive, but you have a choice about whether you will suffer when he comes in, or whether there can be equanimity. And, to take this a step further, and a vital step, whether that equanimity brings spaciousness, or whether instead there is contraction and anger that perpetuates the karma. In a sense, the more angry energy you send out, the more stinky skunks you invite into your yard.

If you don’t want the stinky skunks in your yard, can you instead just hold spaciousness around the occasional one that comes in and say, “Not in my yard, please. But if you must come into my  yard, please don’t let out your smell. You are safe here. You will not be attacked here. I send you light, my brother, and I let you be.” You’ll find that fewer skunks come in, and those that do come in are not frightened and so they don’t send out their scent. That’s just a protective device.

Of course I have a metaphor here. Whether your skunk is a political official, or a neighbor with whom you have some arguments, or your boss at work, or your parent or child, who is the figurative skunk in your life right now and how do you relate to that skunk? There are always going to be skunks. You have the choice about how you relate to it.

Now, taking this one step further, you might ask me, why should there be skunks in the world? Why can’t I have a life of joy and peace and ease? I am sorry, dear one, but you did not come into the incarnation as R&R. You came in to work, to learn, to grow. I hope you have great periods of joy and ease, of true delight and love. But there is also going to be some challenging catalyst. And you have invited that because of your intention to growth and to learning. If nothing ever pushes you, how can you learn how to respond skillfully to push? Why not just stay on the higher planes? Why take birth, if you’re not going to invite in some catalyst that will teach you?

Imagine the school child. He or she has learned to read “The cat sat in the hat” and to add 2+2. And then the teacher adds a next level book. The teacher adds two-figure, 47+43.

“I can’t do that! No, I won’t even try. I only want 2+2 and ‘cat in the hat’.”

Fine. This child is now 17. “Can you read?”

“Oh yes, ‘The cat has a hat.’”

“Can you add?”

“Yes. 1+1=2. 2+2=4. I can do that.” There’s no challenge. It’s easy.

 

Someone might finally say to this child, this now-17-year-old, “Would you like to learn to read more, to do greater figures?”

“Well yes, I see people around me that can do that. But I don’t believe that I can learn that. It’s too hard.”

“Are you willing to push yourself a little bit?”

“Yes.” And suddenly this teenager learns that he can do calculus. He can read encyclopedias. He always had that capacity, but he did not believe in that capacity. He was not willing to test himself.

 

You have come into the incarnation to grow and to learn. Not to learn calculus and challenging reading; to learn love. So here you are in the incarnation and you say, “Oh, nothing heavy! Nothing hard!” Or when it comes, “Oh why is this happening to me?” But my dear one, you invited challenge because of your loving intention to grow. To learn how to love more deeply. To give more graciously. To let go of the ego and know self and other as one. It’s hard work.

To go back to the beginning of my talk, everything in this conditioned world arises from conditions and passes away when the conditions cease. All of the old stories, “Why is this happening to me? Poor me, it’s not fair. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I can’t do it.”, these are stories. They arise because the conditions are still present for them to arise, old habit that has not yet resolved itself. Everything arises from conditions, including the stories, “I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not loving enough. Poor me. I’m not wise enough. I don’t know how.” Are you ready to let go of the stories of limitation and begin to know your vastness, including your power for kindness, love, and compassion, including your infinite wisdom?

It’s your choice. You can keep living in those limiting stories, or you can make the decision, “Enough.” How many times do you have to watch it replay before you finally say, “Enough.”? And enough does not mean there will not be any more skunks sending out their fumes, only that when they do you will be able to bow to the skunk. You will be able to say, “Welcome skunk, I’ve been expecting you.” And eventually to see it coming and just hold space, and maybe it will pass through without letting off its stink. The nature of the skunk is to let off that smell. This is the way the world is. There will always be those who let off a sharp, pungent smell.

You may notice that I’m turning my head some here. I’m sitting in this room recording this and there are people coming and going. Unfortunate, but so be it. This is exactly what I’m talking about. We’re not in control of what happens but of how we relate to it. “Oh, come in. Oh, the phone is ringing.” We don’t live in a vacuum. It’s up to you whether you suffer from what arises or whether you just hold space for it and offer love.

And this is the heart of the dharma: whatever has the nature to arise has the nature to cease, and is not me or mine. That means I must attend to it, but I don’t have to create an identity with it. I don’t have to be afraid of it. I can hold space for it. I can say a compassionate no, when appropriate. And I can relax into the inevitability that sometimes the rain will fall.

Thank you for hearing me, and may there be more sunshine than rain for you. But when it rains, may you find equanimity with the rain and a lovely fire to sit by until the storm has passed.

Thank you.

Casa Journal – Part 1-2017

Dear reader friends,

This is written as my private journal, not as a dharma talk or edited article. Parts will bore you. There will be typos and grammatical errors. It is just a slice of life from the Casa, and my meditations, insights and dialogues here with Aaron. Feel free to read whatever interests you. Feel free to toss it all in the trash.

With love, Barbara

Journal 2017
Friday, february 10

As usual, I’m starting to write days after the event so catch-up mode and will fill in. Still, there will be many missed days and happenings.

Barbara at the Casa in Brazil, February 2017.

Easy trip down, except they broke my scooter basket in flight one, DTW to MIA, and lost a bolt from the handlebars. I ride it to the gate and leave it, pick up and arrival gate. Looks like they tried to dismantle it on the Detroit – Miami flight.  In Miami, 5 hours wait. They brought me to the AA lounge (I think as an apology for breaking my basket since I have no membership), gave me band aids (literally) to try to patch the scooter   steering and basket, and left me in front of a TV, with food (not very good food) available. I watched the SuperBowl (great second half) and snacked on ice tea, fruit, nuts and cheese.  The first hour was filled with internal grumbling about my scooter. Then mind let go. It is as it is. The damage can be repaired or replaced. Was I ready to put it down, or would I carry it (and the suffering) the whole trip?

First class MIA to BSB, flatbed seat, a first! I realized that if I was to make this trip this year, this was the only way to do it and I needed to let go and spend the money. The seat was very nice, though made for someone 5’5” and 140 pounds, too narrow and short for someone my size; it was still the most comfortable long-distance flight I have ever had. I did lie down (knees bent up bit); I did sleep soundly at least for a few hours. And the food was delicious. There was no seat-back tv with movie options, just a larger screen on the wall with one show. I missed having the movie choices. I read, I slept, and did sudoku and jigsaw puzzles on my ipad! I was going to journal and do some work but felt lazy! And it was 10PM to 6 AM my Michigan time.

Tavis and Terri (my two assistants) were on my flight, though Terri’s connecting flight was late and she almost missed the Brazil leg. We insisted she was coming; Tavis was messaging with her as she ran from gate 1 to gate 2; we stood in the doorway, unwilling to let them close the gate. She made it! American Airlines gets a “failed” grade on this, not communicating at all about her status or using the airport cart to transport her faster. Her luggage came through 2 days later.

Easy drive here in taxi, ate lunch and unpacked, then to the Casa for a double crystal bath. I slept through it all!

Monday night Terri and I went to Café Central with the items I had bought and brought for Grainne. The first rain drops were falling as we arrived there, and we were told Grainne had just left for 5 minutes. We waited. It started to pour! Just as she arrived, it let up; we should have left immediately, but stayed to greet her and give her things to her. By that time, it was pouring again. I don’t mind getting wet in the warm Brazil rain, but I had my scooter and the water was flowing down the street like a raging river, 6+” deep. There are no storm sewers, and there’s a long, gradual hill down from the top, past Café Central, and on past the Casa to the valley. I was concerned the water would harm the battery or motor. No taxis were available; we tried. Finally, we just walked up the sidewalk and grass as best we could, (where water also flowed but not as fast or deep) but we did have to cross the “river” at some point. We chose the ‘ford’ of the street traffic “hump” where it was only 4” deep! We arrived back, drenched and laughing. See attached photo.  I let go of concern; it would work or it would not work. I had no need to manifest a broken scooter! Walking was the only option so we did that. Trust. I dried it off and it worked fine. TRUST! I was also very aware of how much stronger I am than a year ago. It was not a problem to push the scooter through the rain, with Terri’s help.

Tuesday, relaxed, spent some time at Casa, and I don’t remember what else.

Wednesday morning, through the line. Heather pointed out the skin cancer; he nodded and said he would help. She mentioned my back (stenosis), and leg veins. He just sent me through, but said to Heather, “I like her very much.” Well, I like him very much too!  It did warm my heart! I don’t know who was incorporated but he was very loving. After the line, I had another crystal bath. This time I was awake, and enjoyed the energy.

Wednesday afternoon I sat in the Entity’s Current, where I was very restless, mind agitated and with some body pain, not bad pain, just very aware of all the discomforts of the body. Watching aversion arise and pass away; watching the same with contraction. How many thousands of times must I repeat this pattern of aversion and resistance to the aversion  before I finally say “enough”  and just rest compassionately in whatever the experience may be? Eventually, after several hours, I relaxed into the uncontracted, at ease with things just as they are. Mind focused and present; in “unpleasant” sensations, just unpleasant. Resting in spaciousness. Then I could deeply experience the high, loving energy around me.

Thursday morning I sat in Current again, with the plan to go through the second-time line again that afternoon with the question, “where do you want me now?” About ½ hour into the Current, I felt high energy and felt them begin to work on my face. It became very painful, like sharp knives and I said so (silently) “Too painful”. Almost immediately I felt a change and then fell sound asleep for 90 minutes. When I woke, my face was hot, throbbing a bit; I just meditated until the end of Current and came back to my room. My face was very swollen, and also lymph glands under chin and  up to the ear, just below the cheek scar. I am not at all worried; rather, I’m very happy that they saw what was still needed and are taking care of it. The MOHS surgery can only find the cancer that is right there at the biopsy site. This remained and needed to come out.

I went back to the Casa after lunch, uncertain what to do. My plan was to go through the second-time line again, but I had the message from spirit to go through the surgery line and did so. That morning they had said (in meditation) that they wanted to do the cancer surgery in the high energy of the Entity’s current, but would do the work on back and veins in intervention (surgery) and while I was flat in bed in my room. So, after a fairly long surgery session at the Casa, maybe 45 minutes in the surgery room with many other people, I came back to bed. I slept most of the rest of the day and through most of the night. Friday morning after breakfast, lying on my back in bed half asleep, I felt them come in and begin to do some very deep work on my back. I was asked to relax the back, breath deeply, then to stay as still as possible, breathing shallow. Try not to move. Lengthen the spine. Strong pressure but no pain. About 5 minutes passed, pressure and very high energy, then told I could move.  I fell back to sleep for many hours.

Through Thursday night and Friday I also felt them working on the veins in my legs.

There is a lot more, mostly meditation insights, but I want to rest before dinner. It’s very good to be back and I am so grateful for their skilled help.

Sunday, Feb 12
Home after walking in the flooding rain. Two sea nymphs!

This morning I awakened at 5AM to use the bathroom. When I returned to bed, I immediately felt spirit presence. They wanted to do more work on my back. I see I only touched lightly on the work on Friday, during the 24 hours of surgery. They had said they would do more. I felt their energy, first just of many entities, then some specific ones could be discerned. Sister Love was holding my head, just offering energy and her love and reassurance. Aaron was more in the background, but doing the same. I was told they would do more work on the back. An Entity whose energy I didn’t know was part of the larger group, so I was led to challenge. I approached that entity or it approached me. It had very strong energy. There was something off about it. I went through my usual challenge. At first it tried to “trick” me with sweet answers that did not speak to the challenge. I was feeling very calm and centered and just said no and repeated my challenge and it backed away. I asked all the entities to back away and just meditated a while. Usually I take Aaron’s and/or Jeshua’s hands to center, but at this point I was unsure of everything except myself! I called forth Light, a virtual waterfall of intense radiance. I rested in that brilliance for abut 10 minutes. Then I invited what seemed to be Aaron into it with me, and he came very happily. Then Jeshua. Then I spoke to the rest of the gathered spirits. “You are all welcome into this core of Divine Light.” You may enter here with us if the Light nourishes you, or you may stay outside and watch but not speak, or you may leave.”  Several entities stayed outside the circle.

I meditated there for about 15 minutes. The vibration was very high; there was not just the Light but a pervading sense of Love. Finally Jeshua approached me and said, “May they begin?”  and I said yes. Sister Love again held my head; Dom Inaçio, Dr. Augusto, and a few others began to work on the back. I could feel lengthening, pulling, some pressure for about 10 minutes. I was told “finished for now,” and fell into a deep sleep for about 90 minutes. When I awoke to dress and go to breakfast, I was groggy, a little lightheaded. I asked if I needed to stay in bed. I had planned to go to the Casa Sunday service. I was told it was safe for me to go.

 

Barbara: Aaron, can we talk some about this. Why did this happen? Was I being tested in some way? What was it about?

Aaron: Not tested so much as challenged. You are aware you felt no fear. It was not so much a skillful response to fear as absence of fear. You knew what to do. I want to speak with care here. False pride can lead someone into danger, and draw others to that danger. You did not overestimate your power nor underestimate it, because it was not YOUR power but THE power, on which you called. Even “called” is incorrect. You knew yourself to be that Light and that Light to be you, and pulled it around you as a shield, but an inclusive shield, centering there and then inviting all for whom it is Home to join you.

Barbara: So was darkness challenging me, or Light?

Aaron: Light does not challenge.   Light knows itself and that none but Light can join in with it. We might say you were challenging yourself, inspired by the presence of darkness, to know and trust your own ability to stand in the Light, calling forth the support you might desire.

Barbara: what about the negativity?

Aaron: That was the gift given, to remind you of the indestructability of Love. You did not mention in these notes, but you actually did think to thank it, which further strengthened your positive polarity.

Barbara: But if I had responded with fear and contraction, it could have come in and done harm.

Aaron: What is harm? Yes, there would have been pain, perhaps also suffering, but the lesson would have needed to be learned.  You say both “No” and “Thank you.”

Barbara: so this is a lesson on responsibility.

Aaron: you might call it that. Now please put this aside and rest. We will talk more later.

Tuesday, February 14

I have my new mouse! My mouse must have had a loose wire and did not work, making typing very challenging. I’m not adept with the track pad. I ordered one from Amazon, sent to a group member who just arrived. What a difference in ease of typing and correcting typos.

The group has arrived, and yesterday we had a go-around, each person introducing themselves. I think it is going to be a wonderful group. Twenty-one people now, and two more arriving for just the final week, as about 2/5  the group also departs. This morning we went to the casa for a tour, Q&A, and crystal baths.  Then I had a crystal bath, and felt the entities very clear, so much love. There was a strong cylinder of light and I seem to fall into it. It is like a waterfall of brilliant Light. When there, for that time all sense of separation dissolves.

Thursday, February 16
2017 Casa group – missing 4.

I was waiting in the main hall with 2 people I would take through first time line. The Entity came out on the stage, looked around, directed some people to operations (how does he pick them out from the crowds? Some are at the back of the room), then looked at me near the front and said “Go to my Current!” I have to laugh. I had forgotten that last year every time he saw me he said the same thing, or sometimes just “You know where I want you” and pointed! So, someone else took them through the line, and I went into Current. I sat there again that afternoon.

I have figured out that when I arrive early for the Current line, I can ride my scooter into the front row area of his Current, take my seat, and someone will take the scooter to the back of the room where the wheelchairs go and just leave it there. Then I walk back and pick it up at the end or it is brought to me. I do have to be patient and wait while the people clear out. The energy in that front row is so deep. I’m immediately able to center and be focused, heart open. I can maintain the presence about 2 hours or a bit more; then mind starts to wander and body becomes restless. There were 2 four or more hour Currents today!!

And now, Saturday, February 18

I will never catch up!!!

Wonderful sharing circle this morning; many open and opening hearts. I feel deeply moved to be able to support such profound inner movement and watch the love and courage of each as they do their work. It truly is why I bring people here.

Thursday afternoon, revision; he just passed me through. Friday morning – second time line. I brought in the many photos. After the photos he looked at me and said “Operation next Wednesday morning”. That ended my dilemma, to go to volunteer surgery Friday afternoon (and not be as available to my group this weekend) or wait. He does want me in his Current, where I sat again Friday afternoon, and now I have ample time to work with my group; operation Wednesday.

One thing I have not written about is the ongoing observing of contraction, even subtle contraction, and release. Maybe it is better written as the simultaneity of contraction and spaciousness, but although I know it’s simultaneous, I experience it more as movement, a very smooth and open movement when there is no holding of the contraction, a jerky movement when there has been contraction around the contraction (or resistance to release). It’s experienced in the breath, in the body, even in some way in the mind although that’s much harder to articulate.

Monday, February 20

Yesterday during a double crystal bath after the Sunday service, I was lying on the table watching the contraction/ release patterns I mentioned above. Spirit asked me to look at the subtle holding of contraction. “Who is holding?” “What is being held?” Watching: it is so subtle, almost unconscious, but there is some will to it, some intention to armor or hold. Jeshua came in and asked me very gently, not demanding or pushing but offering, “Will you give it to me?” meaning whatever armor or holding, or just ancient habits. Can I give it to Him? There was no intellectual sense of what I was holding, just a feeling of release, like a river that has been frozen, releasing its burdens as the ice breaks up. Softening. I felt myself embraced by spirit, supported, but the opening had to come from me; they can only support. The Mother and Jeshua were very present, as were Sister Love, Father Kindness and others. I felt them as Light, a soft embrace, and then an invitation to receive, and a profound letting go, the way one may suddenly allow long-held tears and grief to pour out when one feels safely held in love.

After about 15 minutes just resting in the spaciousness, Aaron asked me to scan the body and note any tension, just noting it and offering it to Jeshua. The old question, “What holds it?” Nothing, just habit. I began to rest deeper in a cylinder of radiant Light, feeling it totally enfold me, become me and me became it, all separation gone. I just rested there until the crystal bath session ended.

I got up from the crystal bed and went direct to the Overlook, where I returned to meditation, and back into that column of light. After about 10 minutes I felt Jeshua’s presence more directly, not just the light but His specific energy, and heard him speak.

“I invite you to another Baptism* (in 1989 Jeshua had offered me Baptism, a life-changing happening for me; the excerpt of the journal is attached below. There have been 2 other, lesser baptisms since). You understand the meaning of “I Baptize you in the name of the Father”, as realization of non-duality with divine source. You understand “I Baptize you in the name of the Son,” means not just of me, but of you the Daughter, and all expression of the Divine. Baptized in the sambhogakaya[1] expression of the Divinity. You have not yet fully grasped Baptism of the Holy Spirit.”

I asked what He meant by Baptism of the Holy Spirit. He replied (to the best of my memory but He is coaching me on His words here. I did not write as He spoke), “That energy in which you have just rested is one expression of the Holy Spirit. Love is another. You could tell me many more. They are all expressions of the same essence. This is not the ‘Father’ which is the source, Dharmakaya, but the highest expressions of that source. It is far beyond Sambhogakaya that is the bridge to Nirmanakaya. It is the highest accessible expression to which you may open, in which you may offer the small self.”

With that introduction, He reached out his hands for me to take, and led me once again into that sea. There was no water this time; it was a sea of Light. He asked me to move into that space of total surrender of ego, letting go of all burdens, all fear, all sense of ‘should,’ just to release everything. No one releasing; it takes place by itself, the Holy Spirit within taking charge as the small-self releases control. It is not the destruction of ego, for ego has never truly existed but merely been a phantom. It is an absorption into Light so profound that all else dissolves.

I moved forward 3 steps, back 2. With each advance, there was a dissolution of fear and contraction, of need to control, and then it arose again, weakened but still there. He stood before me with such deep Love radiating from His face, so much kindness in His eyes, and repeated an invitation with each contraction, “Release it to me; allow me to carry it for you.”  So many eons of controlling mind, of old habit, of the idea that anything could be unsafe. Finally, I felt all contraction release and just fell into an abyss of love and light that held me. I heard celestial symphonies playing. Light swirled around me; the sky with filled with orbs of light. There was no separation with any of it. I was home.

It was not unlike the most profound experiences of the Unconditioned. There was no ego, but Awareness could observe the Light, the energy, the resting in this plane, knowing the intense joy but free of grasping. It was simply moving to another realm where Awareness could look down on the BIG picture, instead of feeling limited to the smaller picture from the personal self. There was so clearly nothing to hold on to, and no reason to believe there ever could be, since this Awareness was part of everything, nothing separate, nothing to gain or lose. That joy is our natural state.

I rested there, (looking at my watch later), for about ¾ hour. Aaron gently interrupted to remind me I needed to come back, to join my group at the restaurant for lunch.

Now, Tuesday, February 21

Tomorrow spiritual intervention: Reading the old journal below, the ongoing learning of letting go of control; releasing fear. I know tomorrow is a continuation. Thank you.

Baptism  from my journal, spring 1989; there is an edited version in “Cosmic Healing”.

Journal, April 1989

After a period of talk, I began to end the meditation when I became aware of dawning, brilliant light and of another presence. It was Jeshua again. And again I felt all the love and compassion that He brings with Him. With great gentleness He reached for my hands. He asked me again to do what I could not do earlier that month, when He came repeatedly to where I stood on a wave washed shore, and asked me to walk with Him into the sea. Each time my fear was profound and I withdrew; and the image simply faded. Now He asked again, “Will you come to the water?” That night the water was quiet. At least there would not be surf to contend with. There was a full moon and it gave off bright light. The living room was there and no less real, but this image of the sea overshadowed all else.

He held both my hands and looked at me with great lovingkindness shining in his eyes. I looked for a moment and then turned away. He walked backwards, supporting me. I had fled from this experience so many times. Could I really trust to submerge myself? I felt a sudden and familiar sense of terror. A voice from deep within my heart commanded me, “trust.” At the same moment I was impelled to look into His eyes, and they were filled with such love, such compassion that I was able to take the next steps. I did this knowing full well where they led, and that there would be no turning back—not then, not ever. This was an irreversible vow, to not be caught in the stories of the ego and put myself first, but truly, “To love thy neighbor as thy self” and, to “Do no harm; do only good.” Perhaps that knowledge is what made it so difficult. It wasn’t the promise itself that was hard, but my fear that it might be the ego that was making the promise, and that I would not be able to live up to it. I saw that this had been the constant background fear; to take a vow and betray it felt more harmful than not taking the vow at all. Can we do what we promise and intend? All my life I have held to the moral code, “Do no harm; do only good for all beings.” It is a lovely concept, but now He was asking me to love enough to truly commit to it, regardless of the personal consequences.

OPENING THE HEART

At chest depth we stopped. The water was warm. I felt comforted by His love and totally protected by my love for Him. He told me, as I submerged myself, to trust in my love for Him and I would have no difficulty in breathing, even beneath the sea. Then we knelt and the water closed over us. All was still. I could breathe. I heard His voice, somehow. He told me that He would let go of my hands and to not be afraid. He let go and I was afraid and suddenly I could not breathe. He took my hands again, and breath returned. He asked again, “Trust me;” and released my hands. This time breath continued.

He asked me if I understood what baptism meant. I said no. He said that baptism is a confirmation of my love of God and of my willingness to follow Him wherever He asks that I go; and to follow with gladness, and no holding back. Placing His hands ever so gently upon my head, He said, “I baptize you, Barbara, in the name of Abba, our Father, in the name of the Son who I was, and of the Holy Spirit that I am.” Then He gently took my hands, raised me onto my feet and walked back to the beach with me.

Thursday, February 23, after yesterday’s intervention:

5 PM I have been sleeping most of this second day too, and am still groggy and could go back to sleep in a minute! I want to write a bit in this ½ hour before dinner. I know I cannot remember everything, or recount it in any clear order, so here goes, just bits and pieces as they come.

Intervention. Wednesday morning at 8AM. At first I felt little, but the energy gradually built. I felt pressure on back and legs. I know he worked deep into the right eye and as he did so, I could experience intense lovingkindness pouring from his eyes into mine. His eyes were deep and clear pools of light, totally the opposite of the hatred and evil of the creature who visited the other night (yet to be written; see below). This is one way to tell positive from negative polarity, but Aaron cautions me that it can be dangerous to look for more than a moment into that terrible darkness.  I returned from the Casa at 9 AM, fell into bed not feeling any move toward sleep, and slept soundly for 3 hours until I was awakened with lunch.

After lunch I lay in bed awake or semi awake for a while before sleep, in an altered state different from deep meditation, able to hear and absorb information. Spirit kept asking me to watch body contractions, mental ones too, and breath deep, just letting them go. I felt them working on the body and the various pressures etc, brought subtle contraction. Breathe and offer it out; release.

Dinner, and more of the same. At one point, I experienced intense light into the third eye. There was information but all I remember is that it felt important to get up and write it down, but I could not do it!  There was a message there about the Baptism of Holy Spirit. ???

I expected to lie awake after dinner but fell asleep again. I awakened with a lot of pain in my legs; I assumed they were working on the veins. After 1/2 hour I said it was too painful, to please help. They did and I fell back into a sound sleep.

This morning after breakfast I went back to bed to meditate with the Current. I fell asleep! Waking after a few hours, planning mind set in, what to do the rest of this week and next. I want to give the group donation direct to Joao as I did last year. It was very sweet to have that brief time with Joao , the man, (with his translator and my signer). So brain began to race, only for a minute or two, how to arrange this and another operation, if I am sent to one. Aaron immediately said, “observe the contractions, mind trying to control, body tensing with the grasping. Know your two intentions, to offer this donation in person, to have that five or ten minutes to speak directly to Joao, give the donation, express your thanks, and whatever else, and the intention for continued healing in whatever form it takes. Lay out the intentions with clarity, offered as whatever may be for the highest good, and let them go. Then feel any residual contractions held in the body and offer them to Jeshua to help release. Nothing held. Total non-contraction.”

I did this and all tension resolved.

Aaron began to speak about contraction, the holding of even subtle distortions, as the root of karma and of illness. He says he will speak more about this at the March open-Aaron night.

He reminds me of our recent conversation about the lines in the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” to regard “trespass” as “distortions” or ripples of disturbance. Can I see how these come from the unnoticed contractions based in fear? It is through these unattended ripples of disturbance, some intentional, some just habit, that we do harm.

The “yet to be written”:

Just a brief footnote to this experience. As I met with everyone in my group in my room the past 2 days, no time taken to cleanse the energy, I was aware of some carrying (and releasing as we talked) strong negative attachments. I awakened in the night with a dream of something with penetrating, evil eyes, brilliant red, looking deepo into me. I got up immediately, began to say the Lord’s Prayer, then did Metta meditation, as Aaron has taught me. It backed away but was not gone. After 45 minutes I went across the hall where I found Tavis still awake, and he meditated with me, joining me in offering it light, inviting it to go into the light or to withdraw. We felt it gone and I went back to my room, and sat on my bed to meditate a few more minutes. Next to the bed is a shelf where papers and other things have sat undisturbed for 2 weeks. With a sudden flurry, everything flew to the floor! I had to laugh; a two-year old’s temper tantrum, yet I also knew not to underestimate its power. It is a strong negative energy. I went back and got Tavis. He came into my room and we cleansed the room, insisted it must leave, set wards around the whole pousada, told it clearly it may not enter. Then I slept soundly the remainder of the night. Tavis said he did feel it again around 4 AM and repeated the statement that it may not interfere, re-strengthened the wards. Interestingly, several people in the group also experienced it during the night, and Terri did not hear me and Tavis directly, but awoke the same time it first appeared, and began to offer prayers. This release of negativity and compassionate statement of no to negativity is very much part of our work here. We discussed this at length a few days later with the group, how to say no compassionately but firmly, whether it is to human or spirit.

Related to the distortions and undistorted: I just looked this up:

From my summer 2011 journals – #11 August 1, 2011:  Circle of the Sun: How to Continue Practice (reader, feel free to skip to page 10)

In the state of having recognized and realized that the nature of this mind-essence is primordially Dharmakaya, there is no object to meditate upon through deliberate fabrication. This being so, do not let yourself dissipate into ordinary confusion, but sustain the great practice of the self-cognizance of unfabricated naturalness… The Sutra of Excellent Night says:

Do not chase after the past.

Do not anticipate the future.

Whatever phenomena occurs in the present,

Observe fully, how it is.

Without being captivated and without being deluded,

You should continue in this way with skill.

And another one:

Shri Shavaripa:

Do not blame anything.

Practice without distraction.

Do not desire signs and indications.

These both relate to resting in the Uncontracted. Also…

Aaron: That brings us to the Togyal practice. You have asked how these teachings fit with vipassana. “Since the thought itself is dharmata,…It needn’t be altered or prevented by an antidote.”

Vipassana is a linear practice and very valuable when the mind and body are filled with agitation. Gradually your practice leads to a settled presence with things as they are. The antidotes and balances help bring you to this readiness. You open more to the space between objects and learn to rest there. Therein you practice resting in awareness. The two practices blend. My experience is that without any foundation, resting in awareness becomes forced, a concentration practice of constantly bringing attention back to stillness and creating a duality of movement and stillness.

Once there is the ability to perceive the non-duality of movement and stillness, to let go of objects and fixation on them, then Awareness becomes strong and stable. There is nothing there but awakened mind and heart in all its expressions. Then we may begin togyal.

Thogal (spelled this way here) (p 41 of Circle…)

Having indicated the chief points of the treksho practice of awareness and emptiness, I shall now briefly explain the wondrous points of the thogal practice of appearance and emptiness… (how it is rarely taught…)

I shall now briefly explain the meaning of thogal (under these three points).

-How the main part is present within one’s nature

-How to realize this through the practice.

-How the signs and degrees of progress manifest.

 How the main part is present within one’s nature:

It has been repeatedly taught how the sugata-essence, the innate self-existing wisdom is immense and all-pervasive and primordially present in the nature of beings. But what is its actual identity? It is simply your flawless present awareness – cognizant and empty, naked and awake.

What is it based upon? It is based on the body which, from the outset, is spontaneously perfect as the mandala of the victorious ones.

What is its actual condition? Generally speaking, its essence does not remain within the confines of arising, dwelling and ceasing now within the limitations of existence and nonexistence, permanence and annihilation, coming and going and so forth. But in manifestation, right now, while your body, speech and mind are together, awareness-wisdom pervades the aggregate of form, in general, and dwells in the palace of the ‘chitta flesh lamp,’ in particular.

What is its nature when present in this way? It dwells like a butter lamp within a vase. Its essence dwells as Dharmakaya, free form the extremes of constructs. Its nature dwells as sambhogakaya mandalas of five-colored wisdom lights. Its compassion dwells as the perception-mediums of the six lamps., the unobstructed play of the expression of awareness.  The Tantra of Luminous Space describes this:

Within the bodies of all sentient beings,

The dwelling place of rigpa are the chitta the bone mansion

and the doors in the nadis.

 

Within the dwelling places of the precious body,

The essence dwells as the body of empty cognizance,

The nature as luminous and shining circles of light,

And compassion as the lamps of appearance and emptiness.

 

Back to today. It’s been 5 ½ years since this retreat. I really need to schedule time for self-retreat this spring or summer.

For the material above, Aaron led me to these excerpts. The words from “Circle of the Sun” are ‘dense’, but what I get as the core, re-reading, is this.

It has been repeatedly taught how the sugata-essence, the innate self-existing wisdom is immense and all-pervasive and primordially present in the nature of beings. But what is its actual identity? It is simply your flawless present awareness – cognizant and empty, naked and awake.

What is it based upon? It is based on the body which, from the outset, is spontaneously perfect as the mandala of the victorious ones.

As soon as we lose that essence, the heavier bodies move into distortion. Any effort to ‘hold’ the essence is also a distortion., The core is just resting in the essence, and that asks us to know the essence; to recognize. Then a basic distortion is non-recognition of the essence, or primal confusion.

Back to today. Watching the subtle shift into distortion based on 1) forgetfulness and/ or 2) old habit.  It takes constant watching but also that old friend, “effortless effort,” or spaciousness is lost.

Saturday, February 25

I slept most of Thursday, then went to the Casa in Friday morning to give Joao the group donation. When I entered his office I expected Joao, the human, but it was about 8:15AM, the surgery line had gone in, and it was clearly an entity, Dr. Augusto. I recognized him almost immediately. I was able to offer thanks in reasonably clear Portuguese (although there was a translator), “muito obrigada por tudo. Esta doação é do nosso grupo.” He took the envelope but did not meet my eyes. I expressed how deeply the work here touches my heart, how grateful I am, saying it in English but more with my hands (not signing, just reaching hands from heart to heavens, then hands together in prayer) The interpreter said he understood, and Dr. Augusto briefly smiled at me, then said (of course), “Now go to my Current”.

Current, of course, was full by this time, so I sat in the back with the wheelchairs, on my scooter, a bit uncomfortable to sit still on my scooter for several hours; the seat is not meant for that but more like a bike seat. I was in the aisle and had to move every 5 or 10 minutes when someone needed to go out, then return, so meditation was disrupted, not able to go deep. After, I had soup, booked crystal baths, and stopped at the Casa store and another store to buy 90 small crystals for the Emerald Isle and Oakwood retreats.

I had planned to return to Current in the afternoon; since Dr. Augusto invited me there, I decided that superseded the guideline not to return to the Entity Current until after revision. But I took a ‘short’ nap and slept for 3 hours!

Last year when I gave the donation to Joao, I had a very meaningful and deep time with him. We talked first, which was very surface, and then our eyes met and held for maybe 90 seconds and much energy and understanding was shared. I can’t describe it, but I felt I got to know him better in that two minutes than any time the past 15 years. No words. So, I was looking forward to that. I was a little disappointed. Trust; it is always just what is needed.

Sunday morning now, Feb. 26. I have ½ hour to write before I leave for the Sunday interfaith service. I love the singing there! Last night 6 of our group left for the US, the end of their 2 week stay. The 2 new people arrived. So we are now 15 people. D & J leave on Monday, the rest of us next Saturday night.

Back to ‘distortion’ and ‘contraction.’ I’ve been watching, both during the days and also just while lying in bed and resting. A thought will come, perhaps a planning thought, and there is subtle contraction. As an example, the thought came to me of two things I needed to do, to give the Casa donation to Joao and sit in Current again next week.  Terri was to ask Carlos about the donation but she slept on Thursday afternoon. I watched my mind trying to arrange possible scenarios; fixing; pushing and pulling! Contractions held in belly, throat, back…. Aaron interrupted me and said, “Visualize what you want to happen; visualize the self offering the donation; visualize the self sitting in Current. Ask that it all happen, for the highest good of beings. Put out the intention; then let it go, to merge with other intentions offered for the highest good. Let the intention move on its own energy and purity of purpose; if it is for the highest good, it will manifest.

About 8:30 PM Thursday Terri came into my room; she had beengoing to Fruttis for a smoothie and decided instead to go to the Casa. The bookstore was just closing. Carlos was there. He smiled at her as if he had been expecting her and said we would see Joao and 8AM Friday morning!

There are constantly repeated reminders through the day. Offer out the clear intention; send it out with love and trust that if it is for the highest good, it will happen. Then let it go. Do NOT hold it in the body with fear, which doing blocks it. See it done.

In 2004 I asked for hearing; he said “may be possible. Come back.” In 2005 he said, “You will hear. Be patient.” In 2006 I may not have asked in line. In 2007 when I asked, same reply, “You will hear. Be patient.”. I asked again occasionally through the next two or three years. “Is there karma that keeps me deaf?”  Entity: “I am helping you with the karma.”  I learned so much. Each year I felt on the verge; this year I will hear. There was so much other benefit to coming and the joy of bringing groups. Then the severe body pain that needed the primary attention and healing. I knew he knew my intention to hear and was working on it,.

I’m on the way to the Casa now and have a note. I think I can put it in the triangle with trust and let it go. The intention is offered. If it is for the highest good, it will manifest, as and when it is best. I’ve been reminded through the years what an ideal catalyst this deafness it, since it is sometimes uncomfortable but not life-threatening in any way. It can just continue as teacher until the lessons are learned. But it is enough. Unless it still serves a spiritual need, I choose to hear.

So today I put it out there again!

Later; I put it in a triangle and offered my prayer/ intention. Put it out and let it go to take root, grow and blossom! The main hall is still closed Friday night through Tuesday night for the construction, so I put it in the triangle near King Solomon’s Temple. The energy there was very high and beautiful.

This offering out intention with no contraction or fear seems to be a core not only of my learning, but all the power for healing here.

There is much I haven’t written; for example the great joy and gratitude in the pool yesterday. I was alone there; intense blue sky; a pink flowering shrub that almost hangs over the water so it is in my view as I swim on my back; other tropical plants and trees, all emitting intense light! I feel so much gratitude for the opportunity to spend a month or more each year in this heaven-realm. Gradually, I’m learning to feel my interconnections with everything, no separation, and to invite and co-create from that place, free of fear and grasping.

It’s too early to know the results of Wednesday’s surgery, but my back feels stronger and my inflamed leg with vein problems is much freer of cramping and less red and swollen. They didn’t seem to do anything with the face/ skin cancer, so I will assume they have finished treating that and it is clear. If I do go through the line this week, I’ll ask.

I’m back to St. Teresa’s Prayer:

Be not perplexed;

Be not afraid;

Everything passes,

God does not change.

Patience wins all things.

He who has God lacks nothing;

God alone suffices.

 

[1] Sambhogakaya. One of the three kayas or bodies: dharmakaya (Divine essence), nirmanakaya (the form outer expression) and sambhogakaya or “wealth body”, (the bridge between the two, resting firmly in both).

Tues. Evening Class-Transcript Jan. 24, 2017

January 24, 2017 Tuesday Evening Class
Vipassana; intention; dependent origination; simultaneity or relative and ultimate; and waterfall meditation

Barbara: (apologizing that the tape was not started at the beginning) We’ve been talking about the cycle of dependent origination, which with you’re familiar, and the active moment. I began to tell a story of meditating some time in the past week, feeling some pain where my incision was, and moving into fear and feeling strong negativity. This seemed to me to be an external entity. But what difference does it make? It’s simply negativity, fear. How we relate to it is the same; we say no. What gives us the power to say no is— we go full circle— intention. What is our highest intention here? Is it to keep ourselves safe by armoring the self? Is it to strike out and feel powerful, as another way of feeling safe? Is it truly to rest in this heart of love? No matter what comes to me, to rest in this heart of love.

We develop the habitual pattern to respond to these pushes (demonstrates; someone pushes her) by not pushing back and not falling over, but absorbing the energy and sending it back. We can do it a hundred times a day, a thousand times a day. This is the power of vipassana for me, because after years, eventually, if I’m meditating and there’s a strong sense of something negative, or if I’m outside and something very negative happens, it’s not a thought, “What shall I do now?” We know what to do. And all of you have the experience; you really do know what to do.

What does it mean to respond with love? This is it. Start your sitting with, “What is my highest intention?” Rest yourself in that intention. Some people start with chanting or taking the precepts, or just offering love, grounding yourself in the light that you are. And then as challenging experiences come during the sitting, can we greet them with kindness and let go of any fear and anger? But if the fear and anger persist, can we just be with it? Whatever has the nature to arise has the nature to cease. It will go. How long can it last? Hours, you tell me. Well, maybe. Eventually it will go. Ahhh… So our choice is to go toward freedom, not toward rebirth of reaction with that same object.

Let’s sit now for 20 minutes.

(sitting)

So an illustration: You’re swimming on a beautiful day. You’re a strong swimmer, you don’t tire easily. But there are little sea creatures, snails and turtles climbing on you, and an octopus that is looping a tentacle around your neck or your leg, all slowly pulling you down. You’re swimming backstroke and a turtle climbs up and sits on your belly. He’s just sitting there, a big turtle. It happens so gradually that you don’t notice that you’re being weighed down. But at whatever point you catch it— “Oh! I am being ensnared by the turtles of old mind thinking, the octopi of old fear, of old habit. Oh! No.”  Say no, Just let them go.

You start to swim again and you feel 50 lbs. lighter. It’s easy to swim again. But then 5 minutes later a few of them have climbed up on you again. They’re weighing you down. You may have to keep releasing them over and over until you’ve sent a clear message, “No, I am not going to become a carrier for old, heavy sea life. You swim on your own. I’m not your vehicle.” Let them go. Eventually they realize that you mean it and they’ll go away. I don’t promise they’ll never come back, but you’ll be much more aware that they have come back, and you’ll catch them sooner. You’ll see it swimming toward you and know he’s about to climb up. “No, you may/ not latch on.” There’s increasing freedom.

Part of the work here is remembering you are not the swimmer burdened down with 100 lbs. of deadweight. That’s an old illusion, an old story. You are free, you are radiant, you are awake already. So you start to catch these little ensnarements faster, not with fear but with the deep loving intention, “No, I choose to be awake. For my own good and the highest good of all beings, I choose not to get trapped by this ensnarement again and again and again.” That’s really all it takes. Once you begin to remember that you are a radiant soul, that you are awake, you don’t fall into those same traps as formerly. Again, I’m not saying that nothing will ever trap you, but it has to work harder to trap you. And you are already out of it before you’re really grabbed by it.

(Someone holds onto to Barbara) Okay, so she’ll hold on. I’ll keep talking. How long will she hold on? I don’t know. I’m not really concerned. We let it go. It goes. It can’t hold on if your heart is open and bright. If you trust your radiance and the power of love within you, then this negativity cannot hold on. And I’m speaking here both about external negativity and your own habitual negative patterns. (Barbara suddenly snaps her arm free; just lifting it away) That’s all, thank you.

(tape paused)

Aaron: Once again, my blessings and love to you all. I want to tie a few loose ends together because as Dan said, we will not be here for the February classes.

There are a number of parts with which we are working. One is what I would call the mundane practice: being present in this moment, aware of what is arising, and how it passes away. What arises may be pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, as relates to this whole chart. Dependent origination is real. Have any of you read my book No Chain At All? This is available on the Deep Spring website, as a free download. It was one of those spiral bound books, and I don’t think we print it anymore but it’s available for reading. These talks were given back in the 1990’s, a year series of classes, which reminded us that there is indeed a chain of dependent arising, and also there is no chain. The whole chain is an illusion. You’re either going around the wholesome or around the unwholesome circle. You believe you’re caught on this treadmill (referring to the “Life’s little Treadmill” chart). Step off from it! Are you ready to step off?

You cannot step off to avoid the unpleasantness of mundane experience, but you need to remember the simultaneity. The whole mundane realm of experience is arising on the mundane level, and yet, in this moment, you are free of it. Simultaneity: the horizontal, the long line of mundane experience rolling on, and right here, this present moment in which there is no karma, no chain, there is just freedom.

We’re working with several parts in this class. One is the power of intention. Another is my art suggestion; Dorothy Ann is working with that to help you figure out how to do it. But when it’s done well, with a thick layer of crayon,then the India ink dried, and then you scratch it off, there’s a black surface and a light shines through. I find it a very beautiful metaphor. So perhaps in the coming month you will try it. And we are reading the books Human, Flight of the Garuda, and The Defilements.

This is from Flight of the Garuda. Dorothy Ann chose this and she will email it to you, from Song 21.

Free from all reference points
Spontaneous as a madman
Without the duality of self and other
You are like a noble being
Like an echo sounding.

Whatever you say is free of fixation
Not attached to anything.

You are like a Garuda soaring in the sky
Free from fear and anxiety.

You are like a lion,
Like the sky cleared of clouds.

Everything is primordially free.

Reflect some this coming month on that stanza. What does it mean, “Everything is primordially free.”? It’s not your mundane experience in each moment, but it is the deeper reality.

And in Human:

When you acknowledge the presence of fear and its siblings and allow them much space
Then the loving heart can reassert its authority.
The love-based motivation is always present, although sometimes hidden.
To allow the light of loving kindness to shine
You must investigate the nature of the shadow.

I’m going to read that again.

To allow the light of loving kindness to shine
You must investigate the nature of the shadow.
With understanding, shadow ceases to carry authority.
The clouds thin to a mist that disappears.

So please practice with these things, tying it all together, the mundane experience and the supramundane.

Also, as part of this class, inviting your spirit guidance to support you, to work with you. You are not alone. You have all the help that you need. We’ll work more with that further on in the semester. Just remember it.

Now, briefly, a guided meditation that I have led numerous times. I’m going to shorten it here. Close your eyes and come with me.

You are floating down a river on an inner tube. You have in your hand a small paddle so you can steer a bit, but mostly you’re gliding with the current. Before you set out you were told the current will carry you safely, but about 2/3 of the way down there is a fork. You must go right, and then the current will carry you smoothly a long distance out and around and back to the pool below, with no serious rapids. But if you miss that turn, it will pull you left and over some steep waterfalls, bashing over rocks into the pool below. So pay attention. It will be very clear where the fork is.

You drift and paddle. You’re watchful for the fork. You know you’ve come about 2/3 of the way down. Where is it? Where is it? Then you see how the river branches. This is it! I’ll paddle to the right, no problem! And suddenly a big fish jumps up, startles you. “Ooh, what was that?” And suddenly it’s too late, you’re being pulled by the current to the left-hand fork, over the rapids. Bang! Crash! Ouch!

Back onto a truck that carries you up the mountain. Put your raft back down in the river. “This time I know where it is and I won’t be fooled.” Down you float. It’s beautiful. There are butterflies. There’s a beautiful mist in places where little side waterfalls drop into the river; so beautiful. And then you’re approaching that fork. Watchful, watchful. A big fly lands on your face, biting you! Slap! Ouch! Back over the left-hand fork, down the falls. Does it sound familiar?

Third time. Something else captures your attention. You know what you need to do to go the smooth route, but there’s so much old habit energy that keeps pulling you over the waterfall, bashing you into the rocks.

This next time down there is a strong intention to stay present, to pay attention. Not fear, but love. “For the highest good of myself and all beings, no matter what distraction arises, I will stay present.” And you’re able to do so. You start to paddle in time, and you go smoothly around this right-hand fork and down a lovely stretch of river that takes you gently down to the pool below.

Back up to the top of the mountain. This time you have more confidence. “I can do it. I don’t have to become ensnared in the objects that pull me off into the painful stretch of river.” You do it again and again, and each time it becomes easier, until finally you begin to wonder, “How did I ever get pulled over that waterfall in the first place?” But it takes courage and practice. That, my dear ones, is what you are doing: remembering the beauty of the wholesome stretch of river. And that you don’t have to go over the waterfalls and find yourself bashed and bleeding. Isn’t it time to make that choice? You can do it. Remember I am with you, and if you find yourself swirling around in your little craft, feeling yourself being pulled toward the strong current of the rocks and waterfalls, say, “Aaron, help me.” I’ll be there. I’ll help you. You are not alone.

I love you very much and I very much appreciate the hard work you are doing to live more fully from the light that you are. Remember that you are light; you are love. And quoting the Buddha, if it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it. If it were not possible, you would not have joined this class. If it were not possible for each of you, you would not have joined this class. At some level, you know you are ready not to go over waterfalls anymore, to bash into the rocks and bleed. As each of you is able to do that, it inspires others. It’s time you see the craft pulling off to the right and down that beautiful stretch of river ahead of you. You remember, “Ah, I can do that too. I don’t have to bash my head on the rocks.” It is time. Do it.

My blessings and love to you all.

(session ends)