Tag: barbara brodsky and aaron

Casa Journal – Part 1-2017

Dear reader friends,

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

With love, Barbara

Journal 2017
Friday, february 10

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

Barbara at the Casa in Brazil, February 2017.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Barbara: So was darkness challenging me, or Light?

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

Barbara: what about the negativity?

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

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

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

Barbara: so this is a lesson on responsibility.

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

Tuesday, February 14

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

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

Thursday, February 16
2017 Casa group – missing 4.

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

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

And now, Saturday, February 18

I will never catch up!!!

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

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

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

Monday, February 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, Tuesday, February 21

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

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

Journal, April 1989

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

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

OPENING THE HEART

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

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

Thursday, February 23, after yesterday’s intervention:

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

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

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

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

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

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

I did this and all tension resolved.

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

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

The “yet to be written”:

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

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

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

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

Do not chase after the past.

Do not anticipate the future.

Whatever phenomena occurs in the present,

Observe fully, how it is.

Without being captivated and without being deluded,

You should continue in this way with skill.

And another one:

Shri Shavaripa:

Do not blame anything.

Practice without distraction.

Do not desire signs and indications.

These both relate to resting in the Uncontracted. Also…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-How to realize this through the practice.

-How the signs and degrees of progress manifest.

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

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

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

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

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

Within the bodies of all sentient beings,

The dwelling place of rigpa are the chitta the bone mansion

and the doors in the nadis.

 

Within the dwelling places of the precious body,

The essence dwells as the body of empty cognizance,

The nature as luminous and shining circles of light,

And compassion as the lamps of appearance and emptiness.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, February 25

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So today I put it out there again!

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

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

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

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

I’m back to St. Teresa’s Prayer:

Be not perplexed;

Be not afraid;

Everything passes,

God does not change.

Patience wins all things.

He who has God lacks nothing;

God alone suffices.

 

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