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.
Video is closed captioned.
Aaron channeled by Barbara Brodsky: March 5, 2017.
Monthly Dharma Talk (Not yet reviewed by Barbara and Aaron)
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.
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
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.
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
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
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 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:
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;
God does not change.
Patience wins all things.
He who has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
 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).
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.
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.
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.
This letter is a communication between Dorothyann Coyne, a Deep Spring Center teacher, and her grandson about meditation.
An email from Dorothyann’s Grandson: Grandma! I loved having brunch with you too. I just finished reading your whole letter. Thanks for putting down in words everything we walked about. I’ll do my best to start following these practices. Some I already do, but there is always room for improvement, and some I really haven’t spent much time with.
Thanks again. Much love! I’ll see you again soon hopefully.
Dearest Alex — Thank you so very much for the lovely brunch we shared the other morning. I so enjoy spending time with you. Love anticipating it, love being with you, love remembering it. Crazy eh? Guess I simply love you.
You asked me about meditation. So you hit me right where I truly live and I’m going to type into this email a bit of general instructions that you can look over and maybe they will serve you as you de-stress.
First of all, know that you can quiet the mind, spirit and inner agitation whether “sitting, standing, walking or lying down” to quote the ancient masters. And there is no special place you have to be. The old instructions mention leaving town and going to sit under a tree. There is no doubt that nature gives us the most supportive place, but, not to worry, you can find the inner peace on a train, in a bus, at your desk, walking from here to there, standing at a window, stopping anywhere and just being there.
Sometimes I teach a curious an acronym — BRFWA — doesn’t spell anything but sums up the qualities of this practice. I learned it in my yoga training at Kripalu. It stands for breathe, relax, feel, watch and allow.
BREATHE — This is so basic it would seem unnecessary to mention. But the breath is truly the link in the body/mind loop. We change our whole autonomic nervous system when we observe and take control of our breath. We literally move from fight or flight to easy does it. At any moment, we can stop and take three conscious breaths. At any time when we have stopped and are trying to unwind, it will be the breath and the clear awareness of the breath in some detail that will settle us down. So “know if you are taking in a long breath, know if you are taking in a short breath, know if you are letting out a long/short breath” quoting the Buddha directly. Find the apertures in the breath. Rest there. Just let nothing to be happening. Return to this breath awareness at any moment in life that gets tough. This can be done at a party with a drink in your hand.
RELAX — As the central experience of meditating mindfully is to simply be able to let the stuff of the mind some and go with no attachment, I am convinced that relaxation is what makes this all happen. A great time to practice is after a workout. I use my yoga for this, but I could see stopping after a good run or time in the gym. At those moments, the body is a bit used up and so willing to be still. A still body encourages a still mind. At the very least some stretches, loosening of the shoulders, releasing the jaw, getting comfortable are all strategies that bring us to the optimum place to “sit” which may or may not be in a chair.
FEEL — The body is always in the present moment and returning to a clear knowing of how the body is will pay dividends. Some masters advocate a scanning of the body — mentally sweeping one’s awareness from head to feet and back again. We can let this careful experience of the body help relieve any mental stress that is bugging us. Along with the awareness of how it is with us physically is the knowing of what’s going on with our emotions. Just noticing any anxiety, fear, wanting of things to be different somehow — here is the heart of the practice.
WATCH — OK so we’re just noticing, just watching. No judgement, comment, no decision making. Just a strong feeling experience. I also think that huge doses of kindness to oneself can come into play here. This is especially true if pain, mental or physical, is present. And even more especially true if the pain or distress is self inflicted. And in just observing things as they are we let go of controlling the situation. In classic instruction this is often called “choiceness awareness.” We really have no idea what the mind is going to cook up next or what itch or body sensation will surface. But here we have taken a time-out, however brief or long, to simply be with ourselves. And we’re paying attention. This whole business is not asking of us something we do not know how to do. We can notice. We can pay attention. Simple. Easy even. But practicing it regularly is rather unusual you could say.
ALLOW — One teacher I’ve learned from says that this whole practice is like being a child again in the back seat of the car. You are not controlling this experience and really have no say in where it’s going. I remember times in my parents car very vividly even to this day. Often I would be pressing my nose against a window in the back seat and just seeing what was going by with no particular energy. As I have practiced again and again watching my mind bring up thoughts and stories and observed sounds, smells or body sensations around me, I have become stronger and stronger in the ability to allow the world, my life, to unfold as it does — to allow the meditation experience to unfold as it does. This does not mean that I have become a passive ninny but knowing what’s happening and allowing it without resistance gives me the ability to then work with the moment from a place of peace. I no longer have to “try” or force events in my life. And when a truly big moment comes (grandpa’s death) I am right there, not running from it, not wishing it away, but simply present. From that stance, I can operate with some clarity and effectiveness.
Well, my dearest one, I can only hope that these words are helpful to you. Your grandfather and I began to learn such things in our early thirties. So you are ahead of us already asking to know this stuff in your late twenties. I can only say that this practice so very much contributed to real happiness in both our lives. And I know you realize the inner strength, fortitude that he had as he faced the end of his days. Deep happiness, less struggle and suffering, clear strength — pretty wonderful payoff for a few minutes a day of stopping to relax and breathe.
I wish you well with all this and am right here any time to talk about it again.