March 10 – #5

March 10, 2020 Wednesday Evening, Dharma Path Class
The Dark Cave of Uncertainty and Change; Finding and Living from the Light in Times of Uncertainty; Enacting our Power to State the Compassionate No from the Place of Oneness; Exercise in Uncertainty: Walking Backwards
Year 2; Session 2; Class 5

Barbara: Everything changes in a minute. We can’t hold on to anything, as we all know. And yet, we still want to be able to. When we’re uncomfortable we want things to change, and then when they do change, we’re afraid because we can’t keep up.

So many of you have been emailing me and calling me, talking about how out of control you feel. Me, too. We’re out of control. Aaron asked last class—I think to this class—did we ever think we were in control? It’s all been an illusion. But it’s a pleasant illusion. “Oh, I’ve got everything handled. I’ve got everything comfortable.”

I’ve been trying to juggle for the past week what to do about Hal. He’s very vulnerable, and he’s in a nursing home, which is not a safe place to be. The biggest thing that keeps Hal healthy these days is that he comes home 3 days a week and does his exercises in his gym with his care team. Then relaxes in front of the TV, maybe plays a game or works with his speech. Two days a week he goes to the swimming pool and swims. So he’s out and moving. His body is much less painful than it was 6 months ago. He’s better able to articulate his feelings because he’s practicing constantly.

Now I’m faced with the possibility that if there’s a case in his nursing home and the quarantine it, he won’t be able to come out. We won’t be able to go in. He will literally lie in bed all day, because they don’t get him out of bed. Unless he’s going somewhere, he lies in bed. He will decline fast.

What do I do? If I bring him home prematurely, maybe nothing will happen and it will be very hard to maintain him at home. You get the picture; you don’t need the details. “I want to know. I want certainty. I want to know what to do. Can anybody tell me what to do?” No.

I’m sure you each have your own version of this; people with elderly parents or kids in school, with jobs where you’re with a lot of people. What do I do? How do I live with this sudden new reality?

As I’ve talked to Aaron about it, he keeps reminding me: Come back into my heart. What does my heart tell me? What is the most loving thing in this moment? How can I do whatever it is I need to do, without panic but from a deep place of love and openheartedness? And if I made a guess that doesn’t pan out, can I forgive myself for that, knowing I did my best?

I had been thinking along the lines of, I should bring him home pretty soon, even though I’m not at all ready for him to come home. And then my son Peter, who was here last week, said, what if he got sick here? In the nursing home, there are doctors and nurses there to take care of him. How would I take care of him here? Even if it was just a cold or something, how would I take care of him here? What if he’s in unusual pain? Sometimes he has a lot of pain; how would I take care of him here?

Aaron is going to talk to us tonight about the dark cave of uncertainty, as he’s been calling it. The place of “don’t know,” and the place in us that so badly wants to know so we have the illusion, “I’m in control because I know exactly what is happening.”

So that’s enough from me. I’m going to get out of the way and let Aaron speak.

(Aaron incorporates)

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. I’m sure each of you at some time in your life has felt certain that you knew something, absolutely knew it, and then it turned to be opposite. The fact that it was opposite what you thought it would be was not the problem; you were able to deal with that. Rather, it was the contracted energy of, “Oh, but it’s supposed to be this way.” Something as simple as planning a picnic or party. Morning is beautiful, mid-day is beautiful, and then suddenly the storm clouds come in. “But it was supposed to be sunny. The weather forecast said sunshine.” As Barbara said, everything changes like that.

I likened this for Barbara to riding an unschooled horse. The horse has quieted down after a few minutes. You have decided to take him out of the pasture. You’re riding down a pretty trail. And then a bird flies up from the brush; the horse spooks, leaps. You end up on the ground. The horse is running who knows where. And then the little thought, “I should have known he would do that. I should have anticipated it.”

Now, Barbara understood it to that point, and I said to her that she has often experienced that “I should have anticipated this.” I asked her, if you had anticipated it, could you have been relaxed and openhearted on the ride? Would your contracted energy have been felt by the horse and led him to shy from the sound and the movement that he might otherwise have just walked past because you were relaxed and not worried? Yes, she acknowledged.

Is this a metaphor? I’m not sure. This comparison worked for Barbara because she’s very experienced with training horses. For some of you, it may not work in the direct way I’m expressing it. But you all know that if you are contracted, expecting something to happen, that contraction invites the result. If you do not anticipate the possibility of any result, you’re taken unaware and dumped on the ground. What is the fine line between these? This is where I want to lead us, tonight—the idea that it is inevitable that everything will change, and change again, and change again. How can you become at home with that idea, first, and second, how can you not blame yourself for it, even though in some way you may have done or said something that precipitated that change? But there are so many other elements that also precipitated the change. How can you relax and simply know that there are so many factors, that change is inevitable? When I change and go in a different direction, can I just go in that direction?

Let me see a show of hands: how many of you have done any downhill skiing? So, you’re skiing down a beautiful mountain. The snow has been perfect—no ice, not much wind. You take the lift up again and begin to ski the same slope, but now the sun is up, and hitting the slope. Where there was powder before, it has been scraped away by skiers. With the sun’s glare, now there’s ice and so you fall. “I want the powder back! Where did the powder go? Not fair! It was perfect skiing—where did it go?” Or, “My fault. I should have known that it would be icy; the sun is up.” So here I am with a sprained ankle, angry at myself for not predicting what would happen. How could you know? You may have anticipated it, but maybe it would not have been icy. Would you deny yourself the joy of a day of skiing out of fear?

Some of you have one approach: to try to plan everything and make sure that nothing can slip by you unnoticed. Others go to the other extreme and say, “I don’t have any control so, whatever happens, I could not really have affected it.” Let’s come to the middle of the road. Everything will change, and again, and again. It will change because of innumerable conditions. You are one of those conditions—your attitude, your energy. You have control over that much. If you believe you have control over what other people are thinking, you’re delusional. But you do have control over your own energy and the way you relate to whatever has arisen.

(Added while reviewing. If you anticipate the possibility of ice you will ski as if there could be ice, slower and with a bit more care, but not deny yourself the joy of the slope out of fear.).

Some years ago we talked to a friend who had been in New York City at the time of 9/11. Escaped from a building—not the World Trade Center but a nearby downtown location. Everybody was running. People were falling on the ground and getting trampled. People who could not move fast enough were getting hurt. He could see he was a safe enough distance not to be in immediate danger from the collapse of the building, but he knew it was unhealthy to be there. He said to himself, “I have two choices, here. I can run, too, or I can stop. I can just park myself right here on this street corner and give a hand to anybody who needs help right here. Not walk with them a block away; just right here. I can take their hand and smile at them and say, ‘You’re going to be okay. Got your balance? Okay, just keep walking.’”

So he told me how he did that for an hour, just helping people move out. Finally it became very hard for him to breathe. Some health workers advised him to move on, and he agreed. “Okay, now I can take care of myself.” But he did not stay there to help because he should do that but because his heart said, “This is a place where I can change things. I can’t change what happened in the building, but I can change things right here at this corner, where people are running, crying and afraid.” He probably saved many lives that day just by being willing to stay present with his own enormous fear and his anger, and also his enormous impulse to run back toward the Trade Centers to try to help, where there was nothing that he could do; he was not prepared for that kind of disaster.

So, being able to evaluate: what can I truly do in this moment? This is where you have control, when you’re honest with yourself.

Let’s talk about three different predominant issues in your world today, taking them one at a time. First, the election. Many of you are very overwrought with the idea that the candidate that you do not prefer could win. And here I’m not just talking about the incumbent president but those of you who are pro- one Democrat candidate versus pro- the other one; what if the other one wins?

What can one person do? Look at the fear. For many of you, the fear is another 4 years of the present president. It goes beyond fear; it’s almost panic.

Whoever wins this election, what world will that winner inherit? Will it be a world based on fear, on contraction, on lies, on desire for power, on willingness to ignore the pain of others, or will it not? Within your own circles of influence, your friends and family—probably your friends; sometimes you cannot talk about this with your families—but within your friends, within people at your workplace, your houses of worship, wherever you may be, when you see people beginning to talk with a contracted fear-based energy, can you simply say to them, “I hear how afraid you are. Unconscious fear is just adding fuel to the fire. In this moment could we sit together, just the two of us,” or a group of us, or whoever it may be, “and simply be aware of the fear and talk about the fear? Somehow when it’s brought up to the surface it has less power.”

I’m not saying to talk about the anger. “This man as president has done this and that; his own fake news, etc.” The anger about the immigrant situation, and so forth. I’m talking about the places that we feel helpless.

For instance, it’s different to, in a sense to throw stones at, to blame the government, the undocumented people wanting to come into the country and the way they’re handled. For the children put in camps, and the way they’re handled. For the turning the backs on the facts of the present virus, and the way it’s handled. Wanting to blame is a way of handling your fear by throwing it out rather than coming back into the cave. In this moment, here is fear. Where do I find the light in this moment with the fear? Where do I find the space?

You can talk to others about this; they don’t have to be meditators. When you say to somebody, “I hear how angry or how afraid you are. Can we simply hold the situation in our hearts, praying for the highest good?” Invite the person to speak out their fears, because the anger is a result of the fear. “I’m afraid that this will happen, that will happen.” As people are given the opportunity to talk about it—this is not just the people of your own political view but the people who support the present president—inviting people to talk about their fears in a non-judgmental way can let off a lot of pressure and allow people to come back into a clearer space.

In order to do that you have to be non-attached to your own views. You cannot hear another when there’s strong attachment to your own view. As soon as you jump in, interrupt their expression of their view, “But, but—no, that’s a lie!”, it becomes combative. But when you listen for 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 20 minutes, eventually they’re going to run out of steam. Then you can say to them, “I find it interesting what you have shared. I see it a bit differently, but I understand we have different views, and that’s okay. Given what you’ve presented to me, how would you handle it?” And asking the person to share their own ideas for how the pain of these situations can be resolved.

So, I’m talking about this politically. And the same thing is really true of the environment. Nobody wants a highly polluted environment that will kill people. Nobody wants an environment that will destroy the world. The difference is in how we propose to clean up the environment.

When you listen to people who present so many different ideas to you, the valuable thing is to have them thinking of how we resolve the issues with the environment. Not feeling it’s hopeless, and striking back. How do we resolve it? And yes, many different views on the resolution. But, can there be different views coming from a place that sincerely aspires to see this Earth cleaned up and beautiful again? Non-attachment to views. Willingness to ask, then willingness to listen, then non-attachment to views.

Then we have to shift to the second part of this. Once you are willing to listen to others’ views without attachment to your own views, how willing are you to put your own views on the line, knowing that others may not be as kind as you, may attack your views? Are you willing to have the courage to hold your own views in your heart and express them without defending them with anger, but rather, just stating, “This is how I see it.”? And doing your work to understand how to present the views in clear ways—documented facts, and so forth. Said in a quiet fashion—not (screeching), but a quiet fashion. “I see it this way.” Looking the person in the eye. “I understand we have different views. Please, I listened to you, now would you listen to me? You don’t have to agree with me. Would you listen to me?” If the other person says no it’s probably not fruitful to try and talk further. But many people will say yes, especially if you have listened to them first.

Added in review: Thich Nhat Hanh’s Tiep Hien Precepts – Precepts of Interbeing: The Second Precept:

Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment from views in order to be open to receive others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.

You can talk a little bit apart from the main question, raising the issue, we all want certainty. We all want to know this is going to work out in the end. And we each have our own ideas of how it can best be resolved. Acknowledge that. You think it’s resolved that way; I think it’s resolved this way, but we have the same end. So instead of looking at your path to resolution and my path to resolution, can we hold together the end result to which we aspire? A world where there is mutual respect for all beings. A world where people live in love, where people are not suffering from unmet basic human needs. A world where the environment is not imperiled. Instead of looking at the path to that, right away, can we look at the end result to which we aspire and look at that end, and then begin to track it backward?

Here we are in this world that now has clean water, clean air. How might we have gotten here? How do we track back and see the different steps that might have been taken to get us to this place of a clean Earth?

Then let’s take the virus, the question with that, this COVID-19. Everybody wants to be healthy and have their loved ones healthy. Everyone wants the world to go back where it blissfully was 6 months ago, before this virus was heard of. People were pushing away so many other illnesses that caused suffering in so many countries. I think the challenge for many people is that it was possible then to say, “Oh, it’s their problem, in China, or in Africa. We’ll give some money. It’s their problem.” It is one world, and nothing can ever again be “their” problem. This is something that’s been true for decades, but many of you have turned a blind eye to it because you wanted the certainty of being able to say, “It’s their problem, and we are safe.”

What does it mean to know you are one human family and whatever happens to a baby on the other side of the world is happening to you? Whatever injury, whatever disrespect, whatever loss or hunger, this is happening to you. What would happen if everyone lived their life as if whatever is happening to anyone anywhere in the world was happening to them, right there in that moment? But then we have to take that a second step. If this is happening to me, and if I presume to have some degree of wisdom and compassion, how can I handle this in the most loving way for myself, for my children, my parents, my brothers and sisters, who are all the population of the world?

Coming back to the start of my talk. When you start to think of all the population of the world, it’s overwhelming. “I can’t even take care of myself and my family; how can I take care of the world’s population? But unless you take care of the world’s population you cannot take care of yourself and your family.

Imagine yourself walking with a long line of people. You’re holding hands; maybe 1,000 people crossing a high meadow, walking or running as fast as you can, because behind you is a big pack of wolves. You don’t know what’s ahead, but you go over the edge of a rise of a hill, and you see as the ground slips down that there’s an abrupt cliff ahead of you. Wolves are behind you; the cliff is ahead of you. You can all run off the edge of the cliff; you’ll die. Is that what you want? You can all just lie down there in the grass and say, “Okay, wolves, we give up. Eat us.”

Envision this. Not one but all, a thousand people turning in unison to face the wolves that are coming, holding up a hand and saying, not with fear but in a clear, loving, commanding voice, “No, you must stop. You may not attack us. I know you are hungry. I have compassion for your hunger, but you may not attack us.” And then, with a hand out, you begin, very slowly, one thousand of you, step by slow step, walking toward the wolves. A whole barrier of humans with this clear openhearted compassion saying, “No, you must find your food elsewhere. No.” Can you envision that? Can you feel how powerful that would be? Can you feel how unlikely these wolves, who are not organized, who are not communicating with each other, are isolated individuals, how unlikely they are to continue their attack?

If 9 in 10 go to the edge of the cliff and 1 in 10 tries running back and saying, “No, no, no!” in fear, obviously the wolves are going to attack that person and then go after the next one. But when all of you together can hold that space you have enormous power.

Now let’s take the same example with the environment. Seeing the destruction of the environment. Enough of you united with clarity, love, and facts, being willing to stand up together and say no to the fossil fuel industries, for example, or to whoever needs that “No.” Not raging at them, not telling them they’re bad and should be ashamed, not hating them, just, “No. We are brothers on this Earth and with the Earth. We will not abide further destruction of the Earth. No.” Can you feel the power in that statement?

Here, you’re talking to humans. Let’s take it one step further. Any virus is still a sentient being, to some degree. It may not speak your language but it works with energy, just as you do. When enough of you come together and literally speak to the virus, “No. You may not take over and kill.” A virus is a parasite of sorts. It feeds off a host—am I correct? More or less. I’m asking the doctor in the room… more or less. I see it as a parasite. It’s not the conventional parasite, but it feeds of a host. And if the host dies, it will die. You may wish to start speaking to this virus and letting it know, teaching it, “If you attack us and we die, you will die. We wish you well, but do not invite you to destroy. If you can find ways to survive without destroying others, we will not try to kill you. But when you plant yourself into a host body, you destroy that host body, and then you must move on to another body and another one. No. That’s the end of it.” Said in love, not with hatred or disgust. “We recognize that you wish to survive. Every being with sentience deserves happiness, and your happiness is a very simple form of happiness: just survival. Please find other ways to survive, because we will not allow you to destroy humans.”

Praying for this virus. Has anybody thought of praying for this virus? You’ve prayed to get rid of the virus, but has anybody prayed for the virus? Anybody?  (one) —Thank you, good. Praying for the virus, that it may have well-being without destroying others. Bringing your kind energy to it with that same firm compassionate no you said to the wolves. “No.”

This is where it starts. And this is the shift we’ve been talking about for two years, the next step for the human emerging into higher consciousness, to move into a place where it is able to live with compassion and non-harm to others, never caught in fear. But when you do go into that dark cave, stopping and knowing you are in the dark cave, holding hands with all your comrades and saying, “Where is love, here? Where is light?”, you have so much power.

With this virus comes a reminder to enact your power. What if instead of hating it and being afraid of it, you stop and say, “Thank you for coming as a reminder of the power of compassion. Now we are learning what we need to learn, and you must leave.” These are not mutually exclusive; these are not incompatible.

You are here to help the transition of Earth to a higher consciousness. Perhaps one of the pieces that needs to fall in place here is to be able to imagine the destruction of all you hold dear. Perhaps what is useful here is to reach that point where you clearly can envision the loss of everything here, and then ask yourselves: What is it on this Earth that is precious to me? What do I stand for? What will I support? And what am I willing to do to support that? Certainly not to destroy, because that just destroys that which I wish to support. I cannot destroy with hate to support love. This is the whole shift to a higher consciousness: to begin to live in that place of light always, and to know that you are capable of that.

There are probably going to be further tests in the coming decades—health issues, environmental challenges, wars, lack of clean water—we don’t know what. How are you going to handle it with love? Because unless you do, you are already destroying that which you hope to hold. Can you trust your ability to handle whatever comes with love?

Alright, I want to go into a second part of this talk. Let’s do an exercise that will take us about 10 minutes, then a break, then discussion. The exercise will perhaps lead into the break. I’m going to describe the exercise and then, when we break, ask you to find a space in your home to do this for a few minutes before you get your tea or whatever.

What is the feeling, the experience of being out of control? Here’s a very simple example. I’m going to ask one of the three who are in this room to come up here where you can be seen on the camera. A volunteer? I want you to stand over here…

Now I am going to ask you first just to walk backward, mindfully…  (she does)

Turn around and walk back again… stop…

What did you feel? Could you feel any sense of uncertainty? Yes. She’s giving us a big yes. This is all I want you to do. Find a clear space, ideally 10 or 12 feet. Just walking backwards. Do it mindfully.

Barbara and John at the first monthlong dzogchen retreat they attended, the teacher said, “We don’t do walking meditation in our tradition.” But there were many vipassana teachers at the retreat, and they said, “We need walking meditation.” So he got them out in a big open area, a paved driveway, and asked them to walk backwards, just walking around the big loop. People said, “How will I know if somebody is there, if I’m about to walk into somebody?” He said, “Feel it. Just feel their presence. If you feel somebody behind you, stop. Trust your capacity to know somebody is there.”

John, feel free to say no, you’d rather not reply, but I’m sure you remember doing this exercise, walking backwards. Do you remember feeling uncertainty at first? “How will this work?”

John: Actually this was a practice that we did in Ajahn Chah’s monastery. Once a week we would stay up all night and not sleep. So, he would instruct us, when we got sleepy, to go outside in the dark where there were no lights and walk backwards. Or sit on the edge of the well. We got our water from a well. So, he had us sit on the edge of the well so we would wake up. And I remember walking backwards and fear would come up, uncertainty, doubt, etc., and it was a good practice. I don’t remember Aaron giving us that instruction at the dzogchen retreat, but I remember the practice very well.

Aaron: I did not give it; Surya Das gave it.

John: I vaguely remember that, vaguely But I remember it well from the Thai monastery, practicing.

Aaron: You were already an old hand at it so you don’t remember it at the dzogchen retreat. But people were surprised and hesitant, “Oh! You want us to walk backwards?!”

The reason I’m asking you to do this is to watch uncertainty. Uncertainty is the dark cave. If it becomes very strong and you need to stop and sit for a few minutes, just do that. Just be present with the uncertainty. What is the experience of uncertainty, and how can I relate to it more openheartedly?

So please take 15 minutes to practice with this. We’ll come back together at 8:15pm with some discussion.

Thank you. My blessings and love to all of you. Thank you.

(exercise and break)

(group sharing not transcribed)

(John asks Aaron to speak to the place of craving certainty/ uncertainty in relationship to being in or out of control, how that relates to fear) (question unclear)

Aaron: I am Aaron. Thank you for the question, John. I see two different parts of this. Craving certainty, that’s the easy one. Craving uncertainty, that’s the harder one. Why would we crave uncertainty? Why would we crave not being in control?

I think this relates to the question of fear of power. If I am not in control, then I’m not in control. Whatever happens is not my fault; I’m off the hook. So, the emotional body wants to be in control, wants certainty because it’s related to a feeling of safety, but a more overriding need is not to feel —not… responsible, is not quite the right way to phrase it; not to feel like it’s all on me. Because if I really have that much power and can be in control, then I should be able to make everything right. But no human can make everything right. It’s terrifying to think, what if I had that kind of power and I get it wrong? And instead of getting things right, I get them completely wrong? What then?

The important thing for me, here, is simply to watch craving. Who is craving? Whether it’s craving for loss of control or craving for control, craving for power or craving for lack of power. What is the craving? Who is craving?

When you meditate deeply with this, work with the deepest intentions for the highest good of all beings and harm to none, coming back to that deep intention, and then observe the craving or pushing away, craving or denial of craving, coming back to who is experiencing this, to invite opening into this awakened self, wherein there is no craving.

It’s just part of what we watch. Nothing is better or worse—it should be this way; it should be that way. I should have these feelings; I should have those feelings. The more you come into the space where you observe this contraction arising from conditions, holding on or pushing away, grasping or denial and refusal to grasp, the more ease.

Just watching it. Who is this that’s experiencing all of this? And if I see this “who” as part of the aggregates and step through it, I am literally stepping through the dark cave and into the light. Why are humans afraid of the light? You’re afraid of the darkness, but you’re even more afraid of the light.

John, I don’t know if that answers your question.

John: So, within the craving, within the experience of the craving is the fear of not having control.

Aaron: It’s either the fear of not having control, or the fear of having too much control and not being ready to hold that power.

John: I think that’s more the situation, which is a fear of being responsible for the power that I do have. Okay, that’s helpful; thank you.

Aaron: Ultimately, you as small ego have very little power. You as the large self, interconnected to everything, have a lot of power. And the whole point of choosing to raise consciousness—not just human but the consciousness of all sentient beings and the Earth itself—to raise it to a higher vibration is we come together—human, spirit, Earth, everything—to co-create for the highest possible good, owning not MY power but THE power. Taking responsibility for the power because I can invite the power from a place of love, even while there is fear. I pause.

John: Yes, I think that what you just described is the power behind 12-Step programs. It’s that the collective unity in power and love of the group is what helps to lift everyone out of that ego—the being limited in the ego with relationship to the craving and the addiction. That the 12-Step group and the love and the power of that group is what contributes to the healing.

Aaron: Thank you. Now here’s an idea to consider. Certainly, any kind of addiction has many different causes. Some of them are emotional causes, physical causes, personal history in this and past lives. But also, and this is something I have observed, that most people that come through addiction and join this kind of 12-Step program—whichever program it may be—many of them are old souls. And some of them have said to me, “If I’m an old soul, Aaron, why did I become addicted? Shouldn’t I have known better?” But of course, this is the human experience; you can’t always control what’s going to happen.

But for the old soul, the willingness to experience the addiction and then the power to release the addiction through something that leads you not to MY power but THE power is part of that specific spiritual path. It’s taking us to the same end, waking up. Waking up to the deep power that we have altogether to co-create a higher consciousness.

So, let me say a few last words before we end. I would ask you to practice this walking backwards in these next 2 weeks, especially this next week, and then share some in your small groups next week.

Walking backwards. Watch several different things. The desire for control. The fear of lack of control. The desire for lack of control, wanting to get off the hook. “I crashed into things; it’s not my fault. I knocked the lamp over—Why did he give me this exercise? It’s not my fault!”

Who wants to control? Who wants to get off the hook and not have to consider that they have control or any power? Who is this somebody? Going through the somebody, can you come to the awakened heart, the awakened self who is not afraid of power because it understands that power is THE power and embraces the opportunity to join with others to co-create the best possible world.

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the Tiep Hien Precepts of Inter-being from Thich Nhat Hanh. I’m going to ask Barbara to email you a translation of those that is not the original but were formulated by Barbara and perhaps 15 or more people at Ann Arbor Friends Meeting. Taking the original precepts and putting them in a, if I may say it this way, a more Quakerly statement, which is not “I vow to” but holding the intention, co-creating. Some of you may like to practice with these precepts of inter-being and find them powerful in helping you to become more comfortable with the process of walking backward in your world today.

Are there any specific questions before we end?

Thank you. My blessings to you, and I recommend you practice elbow bumping rather than hugging! The new form of hugging for today. Be safe. Take care of yourselves. But do it from a place of love and co-creating safety for all beings, not a place of fear.

I’m going to release the body to Barbara. I think she wants to say something here before we close. My love to all of you.

Barbara: Thank you, Aaron…

Aaron’s asking me, am I doing this washing with the sanitizer from a place of love or of fear? He’s saying, can I squirt this, and as I squirt it, say, “Hello, virus. If you have attached yourself to my hands, you are not permitted here. I ask you to release. I wish you well. May you be happy and safe, but not do harm.”

So, Aaron, you said I wanted to say something. I wanted to share. On Sunday night I went to a political rally on the UM Diag, Sunday night. I don’t know how many thousands of people were there— 10,000. The Diag was packed with people. And people were shoulder to shoulder. It was in the open air, so a bit safer. But it really seemed to me like nobody was afraid. There was so much love in the air. And I said to Aaron, “Isn’t it dangerous for people to be this clustered together?” He said, “No, there’s so much love in the air and joy that the virus would not dare attach!” He said he was not teasing. He was saying that straightforward. He said, if we can hold that high vibration all the time, even if a virus slips onto us it has nothing to attach to. It’s that Teflon rather than Velcro, letting it go. When we’re afraid, “What if I get the virus?”, that’s when one can get it.

All right. My love to you all. Good night. Aaron says I have some things to send out to you and it will probably be tomorrow, although maybe I can send it tonight. So that’s all from me. Good night.

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