Tag: aaron channeled by barbara brodsky

Evenings with Aaron and Jeshua – April 12, 2017

Living with Love in a World Filled with Fear and Anger

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. (pausing to read the online names)

I do love this technology that lets us gather together, so many of you friends from all over, and sit and talk together. It takes me back almost 30 years to Barbara and Hal’s living room and people gathering there. We need a little fireplace here.

Our topic tonight is, living with love in a world filled with fear and anger. We begin with the small world of the self, living with love in a self that is filled with fear and anger, and then maybe in a home filled with fear and anger, and then a village, and then a city, and then a country, and then a world.

How do you live with love in a self that is filled with fear and anger? Do you scold yourself? Do you say, “No anger permitted here.”, which is just more anger? Do you act out the anger? It doesn’t do, of course, to try to stifle it or to act it out.

I want to share with you a few lines from the Buddhist scripture, Dhammapada, Verse 222.

“I see that those who contain anger, as a charioteer controls a speeding chariot, are fully in charge of their lives. Others are merely keeping their hands on the reins.”

You can envision the charioteers, a whole line of them, racing around the arena. The horses are filled with energy, charging ahead. The charioteers are all holding the reins. With some, there’s fear and uncertainty communicated through the reins. They’re not really in control of the chariot. Either the horses are leading the way, or the charioteer is pulling back so hard that the horses cannot move freely.

(pause for technical difficulties, remote connectors can hear but cannot see Aaron) I’d rather just sit for 2 or 3 minutes until we can see each other. So I’d invite you now just to meditate. (pause) Breathing in and aware of impatience, if it has arisen. “This isn’t what I signed up for. I was supposed to be able to see Aaron.” Well, isn’t it a miracle that you can hear me? But still, impatience arises. The important point is that the impatience is not bad, it simply arose from conditions. If certain conditions are present, things will arise. When the conditions pass, they will pass.

The question is not what arises; you are simply deepening in the certainty that the objects will arise if the conditions are not yet purified. The question is, how do we relate to what arises. If you stub your toe, there will be pain. Do you then kick harder at the rock, with anger at the rock? Do you walk around gritting your teeth and pretending you didn’t stub your toe? Or do you sit and gently, lovingly hold the foot and give the pain time to resolve?

It’s the same with anger as with a physical sensation, and impatience is a form of anger. So if any of you in the room here or on the Zoom session are feeling impatience, let us hold that impatience with kindness in ourselves. Breathing in, I am aware of impatience. — I see a blue light! (meaning the camera is now working) I am aware of impatience or irritation, grasping, whatever it may be. Just opening your heart to yourself. Let’s just sit for a minute, holding space.

(sitting)

(further technical difficulties for several minutes)

Just breathing in and out and hold space for any emotion. This is really the heart of my talk anyhow, so it’s a perfect opportunity to practice.

(pause)

So, anger will arise, and you note that the Buddha did not say, no anger but… let me read it again: “I see that those who contain anger are fully in charge of their lives.” He did not say those who have no anger, only, those who contain anger.

What does it mean to contain anger? It means to be present with it and understand that the conditions for its arising have not yet been purified; that when we take care of our anger it doesn’t control us. When we take care of the horses’ energy through the reins, they can’t run away, and they won’t pull the shoulders out of their sockets, through fighting with them. Just communicating is the answer: slow down, slow down. (raising his arms) Pulling back on the reins and communicating: slow down. To ourselves— here’s the bit in my mouth— slow down, slow down.

When we practice in that way we begin to form a different relationship with anger. Simply knowing it as having arisen, as impermanent, and that we don’t have to do anything but take care of it, is the practice. It will go. Until we have the capacity to do that within ourselves we cannot do it for our families, our community, our world. People get so riled up, and then they want to fight back. People have forgotten how to listen to themselves and to each other. This capacity to listen is my first point in healing anger.

I was passed an interesting story today, about a man on a TED talk show. He was talking about how we respond to others, taking part in the world but not from a place of fear. Part of his story was about someone who burst into a bank and said, “Give me $2,000. I have a bomb, and if you don’t give me $2,000 I’m going to blow up the bank.” The bank manager looked at him carefully. She didn’t scream. She didn’t rush to grab $2,000. She said, “I’m curious. You say you want $2,000. Why do you want $2,000?” The man said, “My dear friend is going to be evicted unless he has $2,000 by tomorrow, so I need $2,000.” She smiled and said to him, “Then you don’t want to rob a bank, you just need a loan. Come with me to my office. We’ll fill out the forms.” I can’t vouch for the truth of this, but it comes through a reliable source. Whether it happened or not, the real question is, in that situation would you have listened that carefully, or would your fear have taken over? Stories— how do I fix this? Anger, lack of control. Are you listening? Why does he need $2,000?

There was recently a physician who was pulled of a United Airlines flight. Some of you may have seen the film of it on the news. They asked him to leave the flight. They had overbooked it, but apparently, they had overbooked it because there were four United staff people who wanted seats. That raises a bit of concern, why they get priority. He said, “I am not getting off. I’m a doctor and I have to be back at the hospital tomorrow morning.” They literally dragged him off the flight; there’s a picture of him being dragged down the aisle. Blood is coming from his nose and mouth. They pulled him off the flight, and then he ran back on, saying, “I must be on the flight. I have to make the flight.” But nobody asked him, “Why do you have to make the flight?” This seems like the core question that would be asked before the was asked to disembark. So much less anger that way!

 When we listen to ourselves and to each other, this is one of the strongest diffusers of anger and fear, because people who hear each other are connected heart to heart. You may not agree with each other but at least you’re listening to each other.

First we need to start listening to ourselves. What fear, what impatience, anxiety, irritation, has arisen in me just now, and how am I relating to it? Am I listening to myself? A fear, this won’t work out, that won’t work out? A fear, my needs won’t be met?

My second point: at the beginning there needs to be a clear sense of intention. You must know where you’re going if you want to get there. If you’re driving with friends down a road and you come to a big sign with two arrows that say, “To the Beach. To the Mountain.”, do you stop the car and have an hour-long discussion of where you’re going? Hopefully before you got in the car you decided, “I’m going to the beach,” or to the mountain. Then you come to the road sign and you know which way to turn.

If, similarly, your intention is to get rid of anything that is uncomfortable for you, to always feel in control, when something happens, like a man running into the building saying, “I want $2,000 or I’ll bomb the place,” can you hear him? If your spouse, parent, or child says, “I’m really angry about this,” can you pause and hear what’s really happening with that person? Or are you too busy trying to do damage control by getting them quiet? What’s making this person angry? What’s happening? What triggered this particular outburst of anger?

You can do it with yourself. When anger comes up, what triggered it? What’s happening? You do it with others. When enough of you develop the capacity to do this, you will begin to model a different relationship with heavy emotion. Gradually that model will spread.

So now I want to pass this to Jeshua, give him a chance to give his 20-minute opening talk, and then we will open the floor to your questions. Certainly I have not nearly even scratched the surface of the topic. But let’s invite Jeshua in.

(Aaron trying to start a new file for Jeshua) The iPad downloaded a new operating system last night while she slept, and Barbara spent several hours today trying to figure out how it works. She went to sleep with it working fine; she woke up with it saying you now have OS-something— Panther, Tiger, Werewolf, whatever. It is recording. Jeshua will come in.

Jeshua: What a lovely situation, and how good to see all your faces and feel your energy. Thank you for being here with me. I am Jeshua, and I love you all. Thank you, Aaron. It feels a bit strange to call this friend Aaron, since in our last lifetime together he was Nathaniel. But I will call him Aaron because that’s how you know him. And the names don’t matter anyhow. We are just energy, just light. The personality and name is only the clothing on the surface, nothing of ultimate importance.

(pausing to check the microphone system and adjust seating, moving to a stoolI’m much more comfortable upright. I’m used to standing when I speak. This is better. Not quite standing, but adequate.

You are not the clothing that you wear. You are not your names. You are not the anger that may arise in you at times. You are not the fear that may arise. You are not even the joy or patience that may arise, although these are expressions of your ultimate truth, and yes, the anger is also an expression. It is a contracted expression. The joy is a spacious expression. You are love and light. You are the energy of our Father/Mother/Creator bursting forth with that beautiful energy here on this heavy density earth plane.

The question for me, then, is not so much how do we handle the anger and negativity in the world, but how do we remember the radiance? Because when you fully remember that radiance, you cannot lose it. This is what I came to teach 2,000 years ago, that you are all expressions of this divinity, and the Light you are cannot die. The essence and love that you are cannot die. It can be hidden. It can diminish. If you take it into a dark closet it will lose a lot of its power temporarily, but it cannot die.

So when I hear the question of how to live in a world filled with fear and anger, how to live with love, for me that first point, the central point, is to remember what you are. But you forget so easily. Why do you forget? Is it that hard to remember?

I think, and Aaron has said this to you before, I think you are afraid of the power that you feel when you remember what you are. And so, you diminish your power by forgetting. You close yourself off into this much smaller self. You are love. You are enormous power, radiance, love and light. You are no different than me. You keep putting me on a pedestal. Don’t put me on a pedestal. Let me say it differently. Don’t put me alone on a pedestal; bring yourself up there with me. It’s lonely up here; share the pedestal with me. Share the mountaintop. You are love. You are light.

When I came into that incarnation as Jeshua, 2,000 years ago, I did not go through as deep a forgetting process as most of you do because I was more awake at birth. Yet at times I did forget who I was and why I had come.

As Aaron just reminded you, you need to know your intention to live with love toward the self and all beings, to do no harm. To touch the essence of yourself, the divine essence; draw it in and bring it out into the world. Let all beings feel, really experience that essence through you.

That human that I was, he could not always do it successfully because on this heavy density Earth, it’s like you are walking through heavy fog. It’s very hard to remember where you’re going. Back into Aaron’s talk, with the heavy cloud, you miss the sign that says, “Ocean. Mountains.” You just keep driving straight ahead, and then you wonder, when will we get there? Were you going somewhere?

You’re remembering the intention steers you to it. Again, I believe, Aaron, is this from Dhammapada, the bee metaphor? He says, yes. A bee heads to the nectar to make honey. He’s drawn to the pollen by the sweet scent of the flowers. In this way, be drawn toward the innate goodness in yourselves. Begin to trust this radiance in yourself. It isn’t hard. Nobody is going to slap you or put you down if you are not 100% successful. But when you hold the intention to live your radiance, you can do it. And if you don’t hold the intention, then you fall into anger and darkness.

Was I ever angry as Jeshua? Of course. People sometimes ask me, what did I do about my anger? I think the practice that worked best for me, and this was what my beloved mother taught me when I was a very young child. She would have me sit down on her lap and hold me in her arms, and I would be furious. She would ask me to think of something that I loved, of something beautiful that had happened that day, of a flower that we had just seen together, of something joyful, and simply to say, thank you. My mother was the expert on “thank you”. This was the biggest thing she taught me. Thank you. And then when there was a catalyst for anger, and it tore me apart a bit, I would remember to say thank you not only to what was beautiful in my life, but thank you for this anger, because anger is energy and power. Without anger you cut yourself in half as a human. You diminish your capacity to love if you cannot allow yourself to feel your capacity for that which feels uncomfortable or negative to you. The question is not about feeling the anger but what you do with anger.

So now you are hearing the same thing from me and from Aaron: what are you going to do with your anger?

Many of you are quite upset with the current state of the world, so many things which are arousing anger. Twitters from your president, is that how it’s phrased? Tweets, from your president. So your president tweets and then all the birds twitter? Is that how it works? I mean no disrespect. At any rate, tweets from your president. Children gassed in Syria. People then bombed in Syria. People who want to leave Syria to go to a place that is safe, to raise their children in safety, and they’re not permitted. The countries they would go to won’t let them in. There is a lot to bring up anger and feelings of injustice and powerlessness in your world.

What do we do with those feelings of injustice? What do we do with those acts of injustice? We want to change the acts of injustice. But we cannot change the acts of injustice until we open our hearts, until each of you is able to know how injustice feels in you, the coiling of energy, contraction, anger. And then my mother’s Thank you. Thank you for feelings of anger. Thank you for feelings of powerlessness. Yes. Thank you for this precious human life. Thank you for the feelings, the emotions that come with being human.

We on the higher plane cannot change this Earth; we can only talk to you and guide you. It’s up to you, through the changes you make in yourselves, to change the world.

Now we come to the second part of my talk, and many of you have heard this from me before. Aaron said it very clearly a week or two ago: you are all volunteers. Why did you come? Did you expect this was going to be some kind of completely pain-free playground and resort? That there was never going to be any discomfort? You knew better than that. You volunteered because there was a deep intention to help bring this Earth up to the high vibration that it can be. This is not just for the Earth and the humans and other sentient beings on the Earth, but quite literally as a power that can shift the whole universe.

I can remember, long ago, I loved to sing as Jeshua. As a boy I had a very clear, high voice, and I loved to sing. Others around me, some of them could carry a tune very well, and others could not quite carry a tune. I noticed that as a singer I had a choice. I could be pulled off-tune by the others, or I could stay true to my own notes, to my own tune and sense of harmony, and just hold the space for others to join in. I played with that often, as a young child, because as a 3, 4, 5 year old I didn’t always have the confidence to be the one singing loud, the confidence in my voice. But gradually I developed more confidence to simply stick to my own true tone; to hear myself know and know if I went off-tune. If I did, to become quiet and listen. But if I felt clear, that I was on tune, to sing loud and invite others to join me in holding those clear notes. I found that the more I did that, the more the whole group sang in tune.

This is no different, of course, then holding a space of love in a world that’s chaotic, frightened, and angry. You don’t have to hear it. It’s an energy, and it’s the energy for which you came into being, the high energy of love.

 I will pause. It seems we are having some technical problems…

As Aaron mentioned at the beginning, we have some new equipment, and each piece of new equipment requires a learning curve. My deepest thanks, along with Aaron’s, to B and T for the effort you’re putting forth to make this work right…

You are light. Stand up, wherever you are. Stand up… Be the light that you are. Feel the loving energy pouring through you and send it out. Don’t diminish yourself. Feel the power that you are, and don’t be afraid of it. But if there’s some fear, just say thank you. We are love. We are light. You are the light of the world, you. You are all the light of the world. Don’t hide it. Don’t diminish it. Trust that the ability to be that light would not have been given to you if you were not ready to carry it.

Thank you. You may all sit. We are going to open the floor to questions now. I would prefer at first that the questions relate to what we’re discussing here tonight. Of course, any reasonable question… Aaron says, don’t categorize it as reasonable; any reasonable or unreasonable question is welcome. But we’d prefer at first questions that relate to our talk. (Somebody is going to start a new recording. It will not be me (and then Aaron coaches him through it; very sweet!)

April 12, 2017 Wednesday Evening with Aaron and Jeshua Q & A

Jeshua: My technology is remembered from 2,000 years ago. We had some very advanced technology then that did not need machines and equipment. I hope all of you will advance into that level of technology that also does not need this kind of equipment. You are on the way to becoming telepathic and clairaudient but you haven’t gotten there yet, perhaps because you’re so reliant on these machines. You think you need something to do it for you.

Questions. You may designate to me or to Aaron the specific question, or to either of us, and whichever feels inclined to answer will respond.

Q: I’d like to request healing from Jeshua.

Jeshua: Q, you know I can be in many places at once, so let me work with that with you now while I or Aaron are also talking to the group. I am with you. My love is with you, and I will help you as much as I am able.

Q: The story about the manager at the bank, that seems to be what Aaron has been trying to teach us all along. Is there anything now that is the best practice for us? I feel very close to being able to live that.

Aaron: I am Aaron. The story about the bank. Yes, it’s what I’ve been trying to teach you for decades. Being human, you mostly stumble through it rather than walking clearly, so let’s ask, what helps?

From my perspective, watching contraction. The body contracts when it’s pushed; when there’s a loud noise and something startles you; when you see something that’s unpleasant or hear something that’s unpleasant. The very simplest practice is just to note contraction. That which is aware of contraction is not contracted. When you become aware of contraction, then you can ask yourself, in what ways am I reinforcing this contraction rather than noting it, opening my heart to it, and not becoming self-identified with it?

As soon as you become self-identified with it, create stories around it, try to fix it, even try to be openhearted with it, then it becomes a major force. Right there in that moment, where is that which is uncontracted?

So many of you have done this with me before, and yet I have found it’s always a useful exercise for people, because people tell me they keep learning no matter how many times I do this, so we’ll try (SHOUT!)… Did you contract? Where is the contraction now? Breathing in, I am aware of the contraction. Breathing out, I hold space for the contraction. Right here (pointing to the body). This is Level II of this practice, not just awareness of contraction, but right here with the body that is still reverberating a bit from that loud, startling yell, can I feel spaciousness? I’m requesting you to try to experience both at the same time, the body still trembling a bit and the spaciousness. Can you see how the trembling is an overlay over the spaciousness, and if you go under that overlay, the spaciousness is still there? Because the spaciousness connects to the essence of your being and you cannot lose it. The contraction is just the clothing on the top.

Can you feel the spaciousness that’s there, even if the body is still trembling from contraction? Then the next step: if mind keeps going back to the contraction with a subtle intention to fix it or get rid of it, let it be. It will never go away if you keep pushing it. Let the contraction be; let the mind with its preferences be and don’t get caught in believing the thoughts. Let it be.

Imagine the crying baby. It wakes up. It was startled— thunder, maybe, a loud sound. You pick it up from its crib. Are you going to shake it and say, “Stop crying! Stop crying!” Of course, that doesn’t help. So, you try to walk with the baby and say, “Shhh…shhh… shhh…”, patting it on the back, but inside there’s this little voice saying, “Why won’t it stop crying?” And you’re communicating that to the baby. The one who speaks to the baby cannot be there saying, “Why won’t you stop crying?”, but, “Oh, you were startled. Oh, crying is a natural reaction to be startled and afraid. It’s okay, and you can cry for as long as you need to cry. When that startle and fear resolve, the crying will stop. And for now, you are safe and you are loved.” Can you feel the difference?

So this is what you keep doing to yourself. The reaction comes up. You see right there with the reaction that which is still, but you’re still pushing aside the reaction instead of just opening your heart and knowing, “Yes, there was reaction. I open my heart to it. I give it time and space to resolve.” Gradually you get better at this.

We were with a friend this weekend who, upon hearing that something in the schedule was not going to his liking, was a bit afraid he would be late for something. Fear came up, anger came up, and then he turned to the person next to him and lashed out at something that that person had said. While what the person had said was not entirely skillful, it wasn’t so terrible. But he lashed out in a very strong way to his friend. Recognizing the contractions, he had the strong inner wisdom to pick himself up and walk out of the room, go to another place for a bit, and give himself time to be with the fear, “What if it doesn’t work?! What if it doesn’t happen the way it has to happen?!” Finally he came back, and his whole energy field, instead of looking like fireworks now just looked like gentle waves on the ocean. It was a remarkable change, because he caught his reactivity and could take himself out of the room.

Sometimes you can take yourself out of the room; sometimes you can’t. If you can’t take yourself out of the room, can you at least be quiet?

Let’s go on to another question. I was going to offer Jeshua the microphone, but he says let us go on, nothing to add.

Q: Many people are really angry and outraged (inaudible) sort of constantly. I am not feeling that way most of the time. It seems to me difficult to talk to people when they’re so angry and upset. It’s like you’re stupid or don’t care, if you’re not. I know it’s not my job to convince them, but I guess I want to be helpful.

Aaron: I’m going to speak to this briefly and then give it to Jeshua. You are a very long-term practitioner of the dharma, and through these practices you’ve developed both calmness and wisdom. You understand the deep truth, that everything that arises is impermanent, and that running around hysterical about it does not help. You understand that it’s impermanent.

Looking deeply at you, not just tonight with your question but in the many times we’ve spoken together, I do not see any dissociation with what’s happening in the world. But rather, ability to step back into the long-term picture, and to realize that agitation just adds to the agitation.

I think the big step for you, now, is the deepening of compassion that recognizes that these people of whom you speak are deeply caught up in the stories. It may be possible to point out to them, “Yes, there is a lot going on in the world that is tragic, that is painful, that is of concern, but giving it more fear and angry energy only adds fear. Do you understand what I mean?” I’m not asking you; I know you understand, but to ask them, “Do you understand what I mean?” And they say, “No, that sounds weird.” Then you can say, “Would you like me to talk more about it? It’s okay if you’re feeling frightened and upset and agitated and I’m not. Can we just agree that both are okay?”

Those who are ready to hear more will ask for more. Those who are not ready will say, “No, I don’t want to hear more. You’re crazy because you’re not upset.” Okay. If they want to think you’re crazy, let them think you’re crazy. Don’t take it personally. It’s where they are now.

At this point, let me pass this on to Jeshua.

Jeshua: I am Jeshua. Your world has come a long way in 2,000 years. The atrocities which alarm you in the world today alarm you because they are not the commonplace, because most people in the world are trying to live with more gentleness and respect for each other. Two thousand years ago there was so strongly a “Me for me; an eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth” mentality. The “Me for me” might extend to your family, or even your community, but there was always a distinct “other”, someone toward whom aggression was poured. This was the norm.

Humans have worked hard for 2,000 years to move past that belief in separation. I agree with everything Aaron has said. I would add something to it. For you who raised the question, for yourself and for the person who is upset and angry, and is asking you, “Why aren’t you upset?”, what is the most heart-centered response to take you past separation and into connection? Maybe you must just listen to that person for an hour, or 5 or 6 hours. Listen to them until they wind down; listen to all the fear and anger pouring out. And then, gently point out to them, “Everybody in this world wants happiness and peace. We cannot find happiness and peace at the cost of another’s lack of happiness and peace. I find for myself” — I’m suggesting what you can say, adding to Aaron’s suggestions— “I find for myself that even if I feel angry, when I rant at others it doesn’t help create the happiness and peace I am seeking. But if I can keep my heart open to the needs of others, to their fears, then I can help them bridge this self/other gap and we come together, to really hear each other.”

For me the question is, what most promotes hearing? In those days when I walked the earth as Jeshua, there were so many people who applauded my coming, my presence, but they wanted to create an “other” around me, to make me something special or different, rather than including themselves in that circle of enlightened being, of awakened presence. There was far more in those days to fear and to be dismayed about than there is today. There was enormous cruelty everywhere. So often I witnessed people who were experiencing that cruelty, wanting to fight back without understanding what “fight back” could mean. How do we fight back? How do we say no to abuse in the world? You touch in to the awakened heart of your being and speak and act from that heart, and not from the ego self.

I am laughing. I think Aaron and I are becoming interchangeable parts here! I’m not sure we’re any longer speaking with two distinct voices. But I am Jeshua and he is Aaron. We’re both speaking to you from the grace of enlightened awareness, and inviting you to step into that space with us, to see that it is possible, even while you are still human, to live and respond from that place of enlightened awareness; to remember the high vibrational beings that you are and live from that high vibration, because this is what you came into the incarnation for.

Coming back to your question, Q, when there are enough of you able to hold loving space for those who are angry, frightened, confused, stomping their feet and screaming for change without any insight into how to affect that change, when there are enough of you able to listen and not react, but respond by holding space, holding energy, change will occur. Can you feel my energy here? (pause; Jeshua stands up) Can you feel my energy? I’m simply raising my energy, an energy of love. When people are screaming, “Fix this! Do that!” and you breathe deeply and hold space for their fear, it helps the fear to dissolve.

 If you get caught up in their fear, it doesn’t help. You came to help, so many of you who are truly higher density beings moving past 3rd density, grounding so deeply in love, and came with a commitment for love. And as you learn how to do that, you learn how to respond in a loving way.

Ahimsa. Aaron is reminding me of the word ahimsa, dynamic compassion. It is not a compassion that just says, “Oh, everything is sweet and lovely.” It knows when something is dangerous and harmful. It doesn’t strike out at it with hatred or anger but understands that the fear arose out of conditions and holds that loving energy around fear and its voices until the volatile energy begins to dissolve. It trusts itself to have the capacity to absorb and release that volatile energy. This is the edge of what so many of you are learning by being here on the earth plane in a situation where there are such heavy emotions. That the power of compassion, the acknowledgement of your awakeness and high energy and love, of your essence, can literally transmute the volatile energy into a whole different force, into love.

But it takes enormous courage, so for many of you it’s easier just to say, “Ah, I don’t know what to do! I don’t know what to do!” You do know what to do. You do know what to do, all of you. You do know what to do.

Let us move on to another question.

Q: My question relates to the other end, so to speak, of what you’ve been talking about, volatility and anger. I’m asking about the idea of complacency. A teacher has said that complacency is the greatest evil.

Jeshua: Do you understand what Aaron and I have been saying as advocating complacency? Because that is not what either of us intended.

Q: No. I did not.

Jeshua: Complacency. If you see somebody with a gun about to shoot other people, and you act to shoot them before they can shoot the other people, you are responsible for killing that person. If you do not act but simply walk away and let them shoot, you are responsible. You are responsible for all their deaths. You must always be responsible.

You must understand how karma works for this, and I’m not going to spend our remaining half hour on a lesson in karma. But every action is part of karma. So is every lack of action. Complacency is what allowed Hitler to kill so many millions of people.

I’ve been watching your Earth recently with interest because there are so many volatile forces. I see the people that get caught up in anger to fight against the volatile forces, but it’s anger, and almost hatred, that wants to fight. And in answer to (previous Q), I see those who want to just look away. But that, daughter, is not what you are doing. The question is, how do we act with dynamic compassion from a deeply loving heart and discover the ways to say no?

That bank manager, she was not complacent, she was active. She participated, but she listened. Those who are most afraid are those who cannot listen, because they are so busy defending their own viewpoint. You can’t hear another when you’re talking.

(Aaron does not wish to add to this.) Is that sufficient answer to your question? (Yes.)

Q: You were saying that we know what we need to do. And I can relate to that. I think many people in the room can relate to that. But subtle energy is becoming more frequent, and it’s becoming stronger. How to deal with subtle energy, because it’s insidious.

 Q: What do you mean by subtle energy?

Jeshua: I’m going to give you Aaron for this one.

Aaron: I am Aaron. I’m curious; can you feel the difference in speech and energy between me and Jeshua, as we come back and forth? It’s very interesting working side by side like this through the same body. Jeshua and I have led numerous workshops together, with Jeshua channeled through our friend Judy Coates; then there are two bodies, and we can talk back and forth. This is a little different. But it feels to me we’re learning out to come in and out of the body more smoothly. What you may be experiencing is the differences in our subtle energy fields.

 You’ve taken your 6-month-old baby to the lake on a warm summer day, and you have a nice little inflatable boat, almost like a cradle, to lay the baby in. You plan to put a little bit of water in it and let it float. Just as you get to the lake, the wind blows up and storm clouds come in. Suddenly there are whitecaps on the lake. Wind is blowing, rain is pelleting down. You’re going to bring the baby inside, aren’t you? Then the storm passes. You come back outside. But the wind is still blowing. You start to put the baby down, but the waves are coming in. Are you going to put the baby down? No.

Gradually the waves die away. The afternoon passes and it gets quiet, and then there are just little waves. At what point do you put the baby in its boat down in the water? When it’s safe. When it feels like the storm has passed enough that it won’t be turned over, and that baby will be comfortable. But do you wait until the lake is like a mirror? You don’t have to, do you? Fear might say, “Oh yes, it must be absolutely still. He could tip.” That’s fear. The baby will probably enjoy the little ripples. Let it go.

On this human plane, there are always going to be ripples. The emotional body, the physical body, the mental body; there are ripples all over. You learn to trust your intuition as to when it’s calm enough to venture out, to place the baby on the water. But if you try to stop the ripples, you can’t stop them. You say, “It has to be perfectly smooth.” It’s perfectly smooth, and you carry the baby and the boat out into the water. And suddenly, by the force of your walking out there, there are ripples. Are you going to go back to shore? You hold the balance of stillness and motion, of energy and absence of energy. Love holds the balance.

Your life is a matter of learning how to relate to the subtle energies of the earth plane and eventually how to co-create with those subtle energies. Subtle energy is subtle energy. Your fear is a form of subtle energy. When you respond to the subtle energies that you see as “out there” with fear, it creates more disturbance. When you hold space, it helps to calm the subtle energies.

You just experienced this with Jeshua, with his energy. You could feel both the power and the stillness. Something on which I have been working with Barbara, before and during her time in Brazil and the month since, relates to all of this. When she feels pain in the body, contraction, from anywhere or any cause, the body’s usual response to such subtle discomfort is to contract, which worsens the pain, which heightens the contraction. She’s been working with a lot of mindfulness, to note whichever comes first, whichever she notes first: the sensation, which is a little uncomfortable, or the contraction around the sensation. And immediately, we’re coming back to Jeshua’s “Thank you”, immediately to say thank you. Thank you for the reminder to come back into my heart. And she breathes deeply, especially into whatever part of the body is feeling that contraction and discomfort. Feeling the pelvis and lower back open. Feeling the shoulders and neck open. Feeling the chest open. Feeling the face open. Not forcing it, just inviting deep breathing and space. Predominantly space. The breathing reminds her to observe the space that is already there. Not to create space but observe the space that’s already there.

Right there with contraction is spaciousness. And as soon as she observes the spaciousness that’s already there, the contraction loses its grip on her. She opens more into the spaciousness. She begins to know: I am spaciousness, I am that. What Jeshua was talking about earlier, knowing the infinite radiance, purity, beauty, wholeness of the self. I am that. And yes, there may also be a twinge somewhere. So we take care of it. We put ice on it; we do whatever is appropriate for it to help it heal. If it’s an emotional twinge, we hold space for it in the heart. It will go.

The subtle, or not so subtle energies of fear, anger, separation, contraction, may seem to dissolve or may stay. What lies beneath that layer of contraction? If you wait for absolute stillness, it will never come; then you may slide into complacency grounded in separation.

 Does that sufficiently answer your question? If not, please speak further to it.

Q: It answers the question, but the practice is so difficult. You want to put the baby down, but the ripples that you make bring up fear.

Aaron: (smiling) Did you expect it was going to be easy? Find compassion for the human that you are. You are volunteers, and you came in with your eyes open, knowing what you were getting into, even though you may tell me otherwise. You knew it was going to be hard.

Give yourself some R&R sometimes. Get away from the news. Get away from the family or work or whatever else pushes at you. Just go and lounge on the beach, or paddle a kayak around the lake, or take a walk in the woods. Lie down under a tree. Give yourself some space and ease. Meditate.

One of the greatest blessings of meditation is that eventually you do come into a place of high energy and stillness, where the chakras are open, and the mind is not constantly busy. If thoughts come, they just come and go; sensations come and go. There’s not a lot of chasing around about anything, there’s just ahhh…. Then you start to remember who you were before you became this human trying to juggle too many balls. Meditate.

Next question…

Q: What are the skillful ways to work with psychedelics? How can they help us live a joyful, loving, peaceful life?

Aaron: I’m going to give you to Jeshua for this one.

Jeshua: I am Jeshua. In all my many lifetimes, and trying many different kinds of substances to see what different kinds of experience they would lead me to, trying non-substances such as fasting or whatever, trying prolonged periods of meditation, I have found that the most powerful force for awakening is simply presence.

Why would you need psychedelics when you can watch a flower open? Literally hold it in front of you and watch it open? There is nothing so beautiful as that. It’s the whole cycle of earth experience in one small blossom.

When you think you are missing something, and that there’s something else that you need, some of you then may turn to psychedelics. Certainly they’ll give you some kind of unique experience. But from my perspective, it is not a necessary or even a useful experience. I’m not saying it’s bad; it’s fine to try it, if you want to, until you finally learn that’s not where the answer is.

For me, a danger of some kinds of drugs is that they do lead you into a loving, openhearted experience, but the human coming out of that drugged state then becomes agitated because it cannot hold onto the experience. But if you will let yourself rest in your natural state of loving presence, of the awakened heart, that’s all you need. I’m sorry if this is not the answer you were hoping for, but this is what I would speak from the heart.

Babara, while reviewing the transcript. There was a question that came in when Jeshua spoke and was written down but not spoken in to the room. This was the thought that negative energy may have easier access when using drugs. Aaron agrees that this is so; thus there is some real risk with the drugs.

Other questions? And when I answer or Aaron answers a question, please feel free to ask a further question based on that, too. I would rather invite us more into a dialogue than just Aaron and I answering questions.

Q: Going back to what was spoken about earlier, you said everyone wants peace and happiness. I seem to perceive that there are people who do not want peace and happiness. They want power and control, and they are greedy. They have no use for peace or happiness.

Jeshua: There is the hitch, Q, because for them their peace and happiness comes from their feeling in control and having power. They have not yet learned that everybody wants peace and happiness, so it’s very one-sided. What I want; I want it the way I want it.

I once knew a man who had several slaves. If they did not do exactly what he wanted and the way he wanted it done, he would beat them. He gave them enough food to survive, but no more than that. And a blanket that they would not freeze to death, but no more than that. Wherever this man went he tried to command people, to make himself look big so people would be afraid of him.

This man, I had heard tell of him but did not know him. But then I had the opportunity to meet him. I met him at an opportune time. He had fallen off a, I would not call it a cliff, but high enough up that he had broken his leg. He was in pain. As I said I had heard rumors about him. When I came upon him, he had both his— I call them slaves, not truly slaves but they had no freedom of their own. They were servants, but there was no place they could go; they could not escape him. They were fanning him with big leaves, and he was crying out in pain and rage, “Make the pain go away!”

Somebody brought me to him. Actually, he ordered me to come to him, but I did not come because he ordered me. I came because I saw a teaching moment for this man. So, I just came and sat beside him. He said he was told I could do some miracles. Fix his leg! I looked at him and acknowledged how serious his pain was. He said, “Yes; make it go away?” I said, “You really want to be free of pain, don’t you? I understand that.” I brought one of his slaves up. The man was exhausted; he had been fanning this broken-legged man all day in the hot sun. I said, “Do you think this man is feeling pain?” “No.” I said, “Well, it’s very hot, and he’s been fanning you all day. Do you think his arms and back may be feeling pain?”

Suddenly you could see the insight dawning. I didn’t hammer it at him; I just talked to him. At first, he was reluctant to acknowledge that this was possible. I showed him a burro that he used as a beast of burden that had bleeding sores on its back because he overloaded it. He wanted to get everything he could out of this beast. And its ribs were showing. “Do you think this burro is feeling pain?” “No…. maybe.”

We talked for over an hour, and he began to see that everyone experienced pain and everybody wanted freedom from pain. Then I said, “If your leg heals”— I did not say, “If I heal your leg”; I said, “If your leg heals, what will you do?” He said, “Go on living my life.” I said, “In the same way?” It was hard for him, but gradually he began to acknowledge, “Maybe I’d have to make some changes.” And he kept saying to me, “Now will you heal my leg? Now will you heal my leg?” I said, “I cannot heal your leg, because you are holding the break in your leg. But I will sit here with you and talk to you, visit with you. Help give you food. Just be present with you until the leg heals.”

 It should have healed in 6 weeks or so, normal time for a leg to heal. It took him 3 months; he was so filled with anger and agitation! But the three months gave him time. I wasn’t with him all day; sometimes I would be gone for a week and come back. But I saw the subtle changes in the way he treated these two slaves, who were becoming servants. First he would eat, then he would offer them some of his leftovers. Then, two weeks later he would start to eat, and look at them, and say, “Here, you take some.” Angry, but, “You take some.” And then, a month later, “Come, let us eat together.” So slowly his heart healed as his leg healed. Now I’m not saying I influenced the leg to heal slowly; I wouldn’t do that! But the timing was perfect, because by the time the leg was healed, the heart was healed. He began to recognize: everyone wants peace. Everyone wants to be happy.

How do we bring this lesson to those in the world who are so filled with anger and fear, and so grasping at power and control? We’re back to the beginning of our talk tonight. When you learn to quiet the fear, anger, even rage and hatred and bigotry in yourself, to hold space for yourself and truly feel compassion for the places of pain in yourself, then you will know what to do, and how to speak to others. This is not complacency; what comes next will be dynamic, active. You may feel yourself moved to organize in some way. There is a beautiful old book that was printed by the American Friends Service Committee that Aaron is reminding me of, that is called Speak Truth to Power. I believe you can find and download it online, and you might find it an interesting read. https://www.afsc.org/sites/afsc.civicactions.net/files/documents/Speak_Truth_to_Power.pdf How do we speak truth to power from a loving heart?

I see it’s 9 o’clock, so we will end here.

My deepest love to all of you. May you all be filled with joy and peace. May you find the love that is within your hearts, and your power to communicate that love to all beings everywhere. And in this way, the world truly will be free of suffering and become the higher vibrational planet that it is meant to be. You can do it. It is why you came.

I’ll give you Aaron. My love, and thank you for being with me tonight.

Aaron: Thank you, Jeshua, and I am Aaron. Thank you all for being with us tonight. I love you all. Take these teachings into your heart. Make them alive in you. As Jeshua just said, this is what you came for. Thank you all. I will release the body to Barbara.

(session ends)

October 23, 2017 Monday, Oakwood Retreat, Aaron’s Intro

October 23, 2017 Monday, Oakwood Retreat, Aaron’s Intro

Aaron: Vipassana is a beautiful practice. It’s a way of coming home, and finding out who you are beyond the mundane bodies –  the physical, the emotional and mental bodies. Your thoughts change from day to day, from moment to moment. Your body changes. Your emotions change. Your energy changes. You cannot pin an identity on any of these aggregates. Who are you when you’re not self-identified as the body, the mind, the emotions, feelings of being good or not good, and so forth, who are you? When all of these things pass away, what remains?

The word passana in Pali language means seeing, to see. Vipassana means a deeper, clearer seeing. It takes us past the surface, to really see things as they are. Because you are, all of you, radiant, beautiful beings, I hope it will help you to see yourselves as I see you, with that love and radiance. To know the deeper truth of yourself beyond the unworthy one, the bumbling one, the one who has to get everything right, the weak one, strong one. Who are you?

Vipassana is a path to freedom. I know that from my own experience and my own liberation through this practice. But we do not teach only the traditional vipassana practice. We mix it with what might be called pure awareness practice. With vipassana, we watch objects arise and pass away, arise and pass away. The thoughts, the itch, all the different objects that come. We watch with spaciousness and kindness. We are watching arising and passing away with mundane consciousness. When consciousness is gone, is everything gone? What remains? Let us call it awareness, openhearted presence. So we practice the linear practice of vipassana, and we also practice the immediate now of presence. At the retreat, we mingle the two.

Your path to freedom is a very precious thing for yourselves and for all beings. Your Earth right now is in a tumultuous time: a lot of pain, a lot of friction, fear, confusion. The only thing that will carry you through it is love. Put in the Buddha’s beautiful words, “Hatred never resolved hatred. Only love resolves hatred.” But we can’t say, “Okay, I’m going to love. No hatred here! No anger!” Ah! How do we love when your house has been washed away by a hurricane or burned down by wildfire? When dear friends have been shot by a sniper? When politicians are threatening nuclear war? How do we love? If you did not have the capacity, the innate capacity for this kind of love, I would not invite you to be here for a retreat. But I know— I don’t believe; I know you have this capacity. And because you are here, you have the intention to develop this capacity, to return love where there is fear and hatred. To return calm, centered, clear mind to the places of agitation and confusion. But be careful here: this is not a doing, this is just returning to pure being.

This is the heart of what we will do this week. I look forward to our time together. I love you all very much, and I am very grateful to you for being here. I could talk for 2 more hours or end here, so I will end here, because I want to hear from you at this point. My blessings and love.

October 23, 2017 Monday, Oakwood Retreat, Barbara’s Intro

October 23, 2017 Monday, Oakwood Retreat, Barbara’s Intro

Barbara: I offered a very short few lines of introduction at the start of our go-around. We finished in time, so there are a few things I’d like to share. I grew up in the 1940s, and talk of the Holocaust was dinner table conversation; about extended family who were caught there and nobody knew what had happened to them, about people known and unknown. I really didn’t understand what they were saying, just, that people were being killed. I asked, how can people kill each other like that? How can people be so cruel to each other? I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. I really didn’t want to live in a world where people would be that cruel to each other.

I was a reasonably happy little girl. I went to school, played with friends. But I spent a lot of time crossing the road to the woods and pond that were a short walk away. In those days, 6 year old girls were free to walk into the woods and nobody said, “Oh, you’ll be in danger.” I had to take my big collie with me. Other than that, I was free to go where I wanted, as long as I told people where I was going and when I’d be back.

It was a small pond across the road, maybe 2 or 3 acres in size; it had an island in the middle. I could swim; I was not forbidden to go near the pond. I built myself a little raft; I found pieces of wood and tied them together with cords. The water was only hip deep near shore. I had a stick and I polled my way to the island, maybe 20 feet from shore. I would go to the island, and, I didn’t call it meditation but I would just sit and be quiet. The being I called “the man in the clouds” would come and talk to me. It was Neem Karoli Baba, who has been my guru all my life; his picture is on the altar.

He taught me jhana. He didn’t give it a label. He didn’t call it meditation. He just taught me step by step to move through the jhanas. Remember, I was probably 6, 7, 8 years old. I moved through these very blissful jhana states, and then would go home and look at a world where people were killing each other. I thought, I can’t do this. More and more, all through elementary school, I would spend my afternoons drifting around in the jhanas, blissing out in the jhanas. It was a great escape.

Finally when I was about 11 and going into junior high, Baba said to me, “I’m not going to be readily available to you anymore. You need to get back to the human world. You need to connect as a human.” “Don’t go away!” But I had no say in it. Obviously if he was not going to be available, he was not going to be available.

He gave me that year, and I have this written in a childhood diary, my spiritual name, Shanti Das, Servant of Peace. I asked him; I had no idea what the words Shanti Das meant. He said, “Your first work is to understand your name, the translation of it, what it means, and then how to do it.”

I spent a lot of years trying to figure it out. Finally I found out it meant Servant of Peace, and I said, “Oh, well, I’m a pacifist!” I was a Quaker. I was a very militant Quaker! I have a photograph somewhere in my attic of myself picketing in a canoe on the Thames River in New London, CT outside the Electric Boat Company where they built nuclear submarines. They would send PT boats after us. You can maneuver a canoe much faster than you can maneuver a PT boat! We would play cat and mouse for a long time. They were not going to make a martyr of me and launch the submarine on top of us. They had to delay the launching of the submarine until they caught us. I was thrown in jail a few times. The dean of my school, Connecticut College in New London, where this was happening, was also a Quaker, and she would come and bail me out. Finally, she said to me, “Is this okay with your parents?” I said no, and she said, “Well, considering they’re paying your tuition, maybe you need to stop doing civil disobedience until they’re no longer supporting you.” And that made sense to me. So, I sort of stopped. But I was still a militant pacifist.

Fast forward. What does Servant of Peace mean? This has really been a lifelong question for me. What does it mean to be a servant of peace? What is peace? For many years I asked the question. Then I married Hal, we had children, I lost my hearing, all in fast succession. I really wasn’t spending much time trying to figure out what was a servant of peace. I was trying to figure out, how do I live this life with the enormity of suffering of losing my hearing? There was a lot of anger, a lot of fear.

I prayed for help. I was feeling very stuck, because— my life was good. I have a loving husband. Our 50th anniversary is next May. I have 3 wonderful sons, beautiful daughters-in-law, grandchildren, work that I love. But back then I was so angry. Why did this happen to me? Am I being punished? What is this life about? The questions you’ve been asking. Who am I? Why am I here? Why did this hurtful thing happen to me? I prayed for help.

I’m capsulizing this, but almost immediately after that prayer I came into my living room to meditate and there was a spirit there. That is the only way I can phrase it. There was this powerful energy. I could see him, feel his presence. I said, “Who are you? Why are you here?” He said, “You’re suffering. Let’s look at the causes of the suffering.”

I had been meditating all my life, and doing a practice very similar to vipassana, self-taught. I knew nothing about Buddhism. I knew nothing about vipassana specifically as a form of meditation. But I had moved from jhana practice to what looks like vipassana, just present in the moment, watching what arises, holding it with presence. But I had a subtle tilt to my practice, where when something unpleasant arose when I was sitting, some body pain or emotional pain, I would pull my attention back, move away from what was unpleasant, to my breath or the luminosity  that I often used as a primary object. Because of the jhana practice I knew how to shift myself into a very peaceful place. So I was using it as a way to escape the discomfort, unwilling to go into the discomfort.

Aaron began to teach me so lovingly. Basically, his first teaching to me was the Four Noble Truths. You’re suffering. The suffering exists, it’s real. Let’s look at the causes of the suffering. And the suffering is not from being deaf; the suffering is from the grasping at not being deaf, the hatred of the deafness. I said, well am I stuck here forever? No, freedom exists. I didn’t know this was the Four Noble Truths. Just, you’re suffering, yes. The cause of the suffering is the grasping, the fear. Freedom does exist. And then the beautiful Eightfold Path.

The Eightfold Path has three parts. Sila, moral awareness. Well, I really had that established through the earlier part of my life. Samadhi; I had that established. Wisdom, not much, not much at that point. So, the deepening of wisdom is what was needed.

His early teaching to me, whatever has the nature to arise has the nature to cease, and does not belong to you. It has arisen out of conditions. He helped me to understand how to be present with what arose with an open heart. It is unpleasant or pleasant. If it’s unpleasant and aversion arises, be present with the aversion. If it’s pleasant and grasping arises, be present with the grasping. What is grasping? What is aversion? I began to develop the wisdom to see that it simply is arisen out of conditions, and as long as those conditions have not been purified it will continue to arise; and that the only way to purify those conditions is with love.

At this point I still was not looking at the “what does it mean to be a servant of peace?” Just, how do I get out of the suffering trap? But gradually his teaching really took root.  I started to understand that the peace that I was seeking for myself had always been there, and that I couldn’t really lose it. But I had gotten it so covered up, just mucking around in all these theories: if I do this, if I do that, how do I fix it. I had to just let it all go; to really open my heart and just be here with this beautiful Earth, beautiful friendships, beautiful dharma, and with the enormity of pain of sentient beings; just opening the heart.

The jhana practice had taken me, many decades earlier, to a blissful place where I avoided mundane consciousness. But now I was able to move into the deeper vipassana practices, where the mind and body dissolved; body and ego dissolution. Aaron was teaching me more and more about what he calls awareness, as differentiated from mundane consciousness. Eye touches an object: seeing consciousness. Ear touches an object: hearing consciousness. Body touches a surface: touching consciousness. Thinking consciousness, when the mind touches a thought.All of these are based in the mundane realm

There’s a part of practice with which some of you are familiar with that’s called access concentration. It’s a place where the practice is developed to the point that awareness watches objects arise and dissolve without getting caught up in stories about them. There’s no self in it, just, the sky is blue then a cloud blows across, and then the cloud blows away. Not, why is that cloud hanging over me? No stories, just here it is and there it goes. So eye consciousness sees the cloud come and sees it go. Awareness rests in the spaciousness, seeing the cloud and the absence of cloud, the whole picture.

Gradually I started to find what true peace is, what true joy is. I am so grateful for my life. I am so grateful for Aaron and all the teachers that have supported my path. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to really be a servant of peace by bringing these teachings to people like yourselves, and helping you to realize it for yourself. I can’t give it to you; I can only be like that finger pointing to the moon. Where is the moon? Up there, but I can’t transport you to the moon; your practice transports you. I can’t transport you to liberation, or peace, or joy, but your practice does. It’s a practice of so much love and so much joy and gratitude and freedom, of peace. But it asks of us a willingness to be touched by suffering until it goes through us, without resistance, and the heart opens to hold it all.

I’m very glad to be with you here this week. We have 6 days, which is in some ways a very short time and in some ways a very long time. A lot can happen in 6 days. It’s intense because you’re in silence, and the silence is so beautiful. Please honor the silence, for yourselves and for others. This means more than not talking but finding the inner silence, right there with noise and agitaton, with contraction and pain.

Watch the impulses, all the impulses, not just the impulse to talk or whatever, but all the impulses. Watch the feelings. Watch the body sensations. Watch the emotions, and develop for yourself the wisdom: it’s all arising because the conditions are present for it to arise, and when the conditions cease, it will cease. It is not me or mine. This is wisdom. It’s a beautiful dharma.

So this has been a bit of my story, my spiritual path. One more thought; most of you know I was a sculptor for much of my life and taught sculpture at the University of Michigan. I was making 8, 10, 12 foot bronze sculptures that spiraled around and moved. I would go into my studio and sketch these, and build them out of copper tubing and then build them together. When I finished them, a name came to me: Lael, Ariel. Who’s Lael? Who’s Ariel? But then, after I met Aaron, these beautiful entities came and introduced themselves. “Thank you for doing my portrait— I’m Lael!” “I’m Ariel!” It feels like my life has come together in a perfect way. Now I can channel some of these entities whose bronze portraits I did, and allow them to speak for themselves and share their wisdom.

That’s all. My love.

Buddhism: A Non-Traditional Tradition

From Barbara Brodsky

Barbara: Looking back, I feel Deep Spring Center began in a fortunate way, unfettered by bonds to any specific tradition. My own spiritual path for much of my life was as a Quaker and through Quakerism I found my introduction to meditation. Through three decades my meditation practice evolved into practices akin to vipassana and dzogchen but free of labels, forms and cultural attachments. When I finally directly met Buddhism itself, my meditation was already well established. Thus, I was able to try on the forms and experience them deeply without any sense of attachment or obligation to a specific tradition.

When I began to teach I did so totally without outer form or ritual. Most of those individuals drawn to join me were not Buddhists. They were followers of all religions and of none, people who aspired to live with more love and skill, people who realized that an experiential understanding of mind/body process and a deeper opening into the heart of being were paths to freedom. Within a few years, Deep Spring Center was established as a non-profit, non-denominational center for the teaching and practice of nonduality. Thus, the Center found itself in a different situation than dharma centers which reflect a specific tradition and incorporate the forms of that tradition into the practices. The foundation practice was simply a balance of insight meditation and various purification and heart-centered practices.

If this dharma door was to be accessible to people, it was important not to lodge the teachings in any one system of thought but to use whatever language gave people clearest access. If through vipassana practice I experience emptiness or impermanence, these are not “Buddhist” experiences. Resting in pure heart/mind is not an opening to “Buddhist” awareness. Of course these are universal truths or they would not be truths. Buddhism provides a vehicle to point us to the experience and a terminology with which to discuss those truths.

What phrasing will make these teachings/practices available to a non-Buddhist student? What will obscure it? I was moved on a ten day retreat by the experience of a deeply Catholic woman, weighed down by an inner sense of unworthiness, bent posture reflecting that weight. We worked with vipassana and also with tonglen, or “giving/taking” practice. I had suggested that as she worked with tonglen, drawing in suffering, she release it to Jesus. After some days she knocked on my door late one night, positively radiant, standing tall instead of stooped, and announced to me that the unworthiness was gone. “Jesus took it,” she reported.

I came to see that, like myself, many students had been alienated by the outer trappings of the religions in which they were raised. Of course, at best the forms are expression of the essence but often that was not what we experienced. We had looked for depth from spirituality and found what at first glance seemed to be only empty ritual and words. With such confused childhood models, we grew to refuse those forms as we sought essence.

Yet, as the guiding teacher, I had to ask what we had lost by not participating in these traditions? What part of that which has been lost is frill and what’s essential and how do we replace the essential without immersing ourselves in specific religious or cultural tradition? The answers are only slowly emerging. Our present approach is not an answer with a capital “A.” It is a path, ever evolving because each person who walks through the door is unique and will have their own best way of entering it. I find this whole path is part of our creation of a unique Western Buddhism. This is not a process. With “process,” there is already a plan and a self to activate the plan. This path is just being, present without any knowing, present in each moment with whatever we find there.

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)