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September 18, 2018 Tuesday Evening, Dharma Path Class
Coming Back to the Experience of the Dharmakaya
Barbara: Aaron has asked me to talk for a few minutes before he starts. In the groups, we talked a lot— in each group, to different degrees— but about the three kayas, and understanding the experience— not the intellectual part or terminology, but the experience of the sambhogakaya bridge. What helps us to stay on that bridge, to connect both the ultimate and relative reality. Aaron will talk more about this, but he would like me to share something.
Aaron emphasized with me this week the importance of finding some stable experience of Dharmakaya, of a heavenly realm, of light; and finding a way to come back to it without clinging to it. How could I feel the experience of it and increasingly be able stably to rest there, but not grasping at it.
Each of us will have our own different experiences with that kind of radiance and clarity. The experience I’m drawn back to is the near-death experience I had in 2004 in the ocean. My body had been slammed first, head-first into the bottom of the ocean floor, knocking me close to unconscious. A lot of pain— neck pain, back pain. Before that, the surf board had broken into my belly and my ribs, and I had broken ribs, and broken sternum bone. I was almost unconscious because of the way my head had hit, was floating in the water, trying to get to the surface, and then another wave caught me and tossed me, with my tailbone hitting the ocean floor. I immediately experienced what seemed to be a paralysis from the waist down. So, I was unconscious, and I couldn’t move my feet. I was in terrible pain. I inwardly asked for help.
I asked Aaron, I asked the Casa entities, I asked Yeshua: Whoever was listening…“Please help me.” I immediately felt their energy, and my head started to clear a little, but I was still underwater and with no air. My whole body and consciousness went deeper into that tunnel of light.
It was so beautiful, so welcoming. These entities were surrounding me with unconditional love. But the deepest experience was just of the absolute clarity and spaciousness, the very high vibration, the love. I could see this tunnel leading me onward to what had to be a heavenly realm, so beautiful, so enticing. I had become unaware of the pain and the fact that I couldn’t breathe and was drowning— all of this of course only in a few seconds, because literally, I was drowning.
I was told, “You have a choice,” and it would not be wrong to choose to go on. You’ve done hard work in this lifetime and if you need to go, you can go. If you choose to stay, we will help you, but we can’t guarantee what kind of body you’ll return to. You could be a paraplegic or even a quadriplegic, no guarantee. Love said, “I choose to stay.” Now, this is another story. Obviously, I was lifted up to some degree, helped to the surface literally by the entities, got to the surface enough to shout for help, and people towed me into shore, the ambulance came, and so forth.
The part of the story I’m telling here is of that experience of light and love. I’d never had that kind of an experience of— I can’t say it is the Unconditioned but it has all the expressions of the Unconditioned. There was nothing arising or passing away. There was just light and love and spaciousness, high sound and vibration. So much radiance.
So, I find I can touch in on this experience, and it’s very helpful when I’m floundering around in relative reality and I need some ground to stand on, something to anchor me. This experience of light is, it’s not just light, but light, spaciousness, high vibration, and an energy I can only call love. So powerful. It’s easy to cling to that. I have to be careful.
Now, fast forward to last week. You all know I’ve been challenged these past 6 months by Hal’s stroke, coming to terms with it. The loss of my beloved husband, friend, companion of 50 years. Yeah, he’s still here, but it’s not the Hal I’ve lived with for 50 years. Although, increasingly he’s coming out of the aphasia and able to communicate some. There’s still a lot of grief and fear. What will happen to me? How will I take care of us practically, financially? At times I feel overwhelmed by the huge amount of things I have on my plate to handle, to take care of Hal and keep the support for him going, and take care of the self. There’s a lot of tension.
I’ve been working as hard as I can. I’m saying it that way very specifically— working hard. Can you feel the contractions in that? Not a lot of ease. Working hard. I know I’m overall doing a decent job. Hal is recovering well, inch by inch but still making good progress. He has people with him. Like tonight there’s a Hal-Care team person there with him. He has people working with his aphasia apps with him and helping him to exercise and do all the things he needs to do. He has the various therapies. It’s me I haven’t been taking care of! It’s hard to do everything.
Mostly I’ve been so busy that it’s been hard to really be in touch with my grief and my fear. But I also recognize that I’ve stayed busy to avoid being in touch with the grief and fear. As long as I’m very busy and fall asleep at 2 am exhausted, and sleep for 4 or 5 hours, I don’t have to think too much about it. I just get up and get busy again. I know better. It’s very hard to meditate. I do meditate daily, but it’s not the practice I had 6 months ago. Instead, it’s just breathing in and aware of agitation. Breathing out and aware of contraction. Just holding space for these for 20 minutes or so, and then getting up and getting busy again.
So, last week I was in a Feldenkrais session, lying down on Dale’s table. I’ve had a lot of pain in my neck and down my shoulder and arm, probably a pinched nerve. So, he was gently turning my head in different ways, moving my arm. And I was lying there with my usual degree of contraction. Then he just gently put a hand on my ribs. I’m not sure what moved him to do it— I should ask him. But with that touch to my ribs the whole experience of wave accident came back to me, and how because of the broken ribs and sternum, and the strong pain in the ribs, I couldn’t breathe. I realized through this whole 6 months I have not taken a deep breath. It’s like when I first broke my ribs and had back injuries and so forth, and it was so painful to breathe. In 6 months I haven’t breathed any but little, shallow breaths.
Aaron said, “Breathe.” I was very hard to breathe. He asked me to come back to the bridge, to remember the experience in that accident. When it was so painful. I couldn’t breathe, I was drowning. And yet, open in the chest because of all that light and radiance and how that Light brought me back to the bridge, to being able to hold the Dharmakaya and the nirmanakaya together.
I lay there on the table and I just started crying. At first just tears and then big sobs, crying, crying, with compassion for myself. The practice I’ve been doing at 3am when I wake up— with fear and contraction— is usually metta. Thinking of all the people in the world, right there and now, who have lost loved ones, who have been injured or sick, who have lost their homes, who don’t know what tomorrow will bring, who want control. Do we ever have control? Who has control? Metta for myself and others. And I find that helps. So, on Dale’s table I started offering metta. “May I find the healing that I seek. May all beings find the healing that they seek. May I love and be loved. May all beings love and be loved. May I be safe. May all beings be safe.” Not just a rote statement, but really feeling that helplessness, loss and grief, body pain, and so forth, for so many hundreds of thousands of people. Allowing myself to feel it, for them and for me.
Then Aaron reminded me, when they asked me, “Do you choose to live or not to live?” and I said, “I choose to live,” that response wasn’t from fear. It wasn’t, “I don’t want to die; I’ll choose to live,”with grasping, but “I still have work to do for myself and others. I choose to live.” Making that choice, there was a statement of deep intention, “I choose to live.” And then Aaron asked me, very gently, “Have you truly been living these last 6 months, or have you been avoiding being present with your life?” And of course, I had to acknowledge: avoiding. And then I cried some more— all the fear, all the pain.
So, after I cried for a few more minutes, he asked me again, “Are you ready to make the choice to live?” Yes. “Breathe in,” and so I breathed in a deeper breath than I’d breathed in 6 months, but not a big breath. He said, “You can do better than that. Breathe in. Breathe all the way down to the belly. Feel the energy in the belly. Fill the chakras with energy. Feel the energy of the chakras. Open the heart.” His instruction to me was, each time I feel it’s too hard and feel myself closing, come back to that tunnel of light experience, to that radiance, to that high vibration, to that love. Just rest there without thinking. I said, “I can remember it, but I can’t be there.” He said, “Memory is enough.” Aaron is asking me to say to you, each of you has had some kind of experience like that, that’s taken you to a place of really touching on the Divine. Just remembering it and saying, “I choose to live this radiance and love. I AM this radiance and love. Breathe deep.”
(pause to support a participant who has been moved to cry; Banner, Barbara’s support collie, is expressing much concern about her.)
He can be with her if he wants to be. He’s comforting her…
We all cry. Her tears are for us all. We all cry for all of us in the world. Being human is hard.
This practice involves that choice. If we choose to live, we choose to live openheartedly, genuinely, with love, and to let ourselves truly know the love that’s offered. We’re so afraid we’ll lose it that we don’t let ourselves really touch it.
Here’s the importance to acknowledge, I AM that love, I AM that light. I choose to express this as fully as I can, for the highest good of all beings; to allow myself to literally live within that tunnel of light, knowing I will lose it at times. We can’t ever lose it. And this is the wonder of that sambhogakaya bridge: we cannot lose Love.
Everybody take a deep breath… Feel the light coming in from the crown chakra, running through, running through all the chakras, and down to the base… Feel the possibility of really living within that whole activated energy system that we are, from base to crown. Light, love.
There was a lot more to this experience on Dale’s table. I don’t want to take the time to talk more about it, but I’m writing an article about it. I will share that when I’ve gotten it finished and cleaned up.. This is enough for now. I think I’ve said what Aaron wanted me to say. Just find the experience within you that helps you rest within the divine consciousness. To help you rest within the loving heart that brings you home and know that you always ARE home.
(reaching for a photo) I need to ask for permission; (pause) permission granted…
Many of you have been to the Casa with me. This photo was a gift from Dr. Augusto, one of the Casa entities, taken by the woman who did the photography for Heather Cummings book. At a session, she was showing him pictures, and I was in the front of the Current room. Dr. Augusto pointed at this picture and said, “Give it to Barbara.” I am asked not to show it to anybody who has not been to the Casa and is not tuned into that energy. That’s why I keep it out of sight. But regardless of whether you’ve been to the Casa, you’re all tuned into that energy, and Dr. Augusto just said yes, I may share it with you. —Am I too far away for you to see it? It’s the Casa waterfall. So, this is a place where people who have been to the Casa can find the experience of that Light.
Find something that really reminds you, takes you home to that energy, whatever it may be. Aaron is saying that one of the things that does that for him, did it as a human, is the memory of seeing, in various lifetimes, seeing his children born. That moment of birth, whether it was a male or a female. Aware of this child coming through the body, or watching the child coming through the mother’s body. The incredible tenderness of the heart. Coming home. Here is a being coming directly from the Divine right into this heavier density realm. So much love.
So, use whatever memory will help you to find this space. Aaron, am I finished? He says yes.