the Awakened Heart class – 2019
A one year class, anyone may register for this first semester.
Teachers: Barbara Brodsky, assisted by Kathleen Ivanoff.
Level: All levels.
Prerequisite: Special guidance for newer students. Anyone completely new to vipassana is required to also take the Sat., Sept. 14, Introduction to Vipassana
Held at: Meditation Hall, 3455 Charing Cross Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48108 | Get Directions
Or GLOBAL LIVE STREAMING – You will receive a link to join online live.
Suggested Donation: $85 – $170
6 classes | Wed
Sept. 18 | Oct. 2, 30 | Nov. 13 | Dec. 4, 11
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
A channeled message from Aaron about this class:
My blessings and love to you. I am Aaron. I am a discarnate entity. That means I don’t have a body, but I still have thoughts and am grateful for Barbara’s ability to channel me; I can move into Barbara’s body to express these thoughts. I have been human in many lifetimes. I no longer have a need to be human. I come as a friend and a teacher because I see the deep tension on the Earth today, with so many of you striving to live with more kindness in a world that seems so fraught with fear. I do not tell you what to do. I simply walk beside you as a friend and offer suggestions for you to use if they help you.
Your world today, as the world has always been, is filled with challenges: the politics upset you, the hatred, the deep human suffering. The state of the environment and denial in some quarters about the damage to the environment is a concern, and natural disasters cause pain. Personal relationships are sometimes not as pleasant as you would wish them to be. And the body itself may be aching, aging or sick.
The first impulse is to try to fix whatever is “wrong” in the body and in the world. You contract and think, “I will fix this; I will fix that,” as anger comes up about it. Well, anger is energy. It’s okay to be angry. I’m not asking you to cease your anger but to understand that self-identification with anger only creates additional tension and contraction, and that there is another way to relate to these challenges.
When there is a challenge, we can relate to it with contraction and fear, or we can watch the arising of contraction and fear and relate to the challenge in ourselves and in the world from a much deeper and more loving place. The wonderful thing is that you don’t have to create this loving place, it’s already there. As you open, it reveals itself, and becomes available—this awakened heart.
Starting this fall I want to lead a class both for people completely new to this kind of work and for those with experience, based on a book that I wrote over 20 years ago called The Awakened Heart. For each class you will read a chapter and I will talk about it. We’ll have discussion on how to work with these various practices to help you uncover that which is awake and loving in you right there with the fear, anger, and other emotions. Gradually, those emotions diminish in their power, and the awakened heart becomes more accessible.
We do not want this practice to just be mental. There will be meditation as a very basic part of the practice, what we call mindfulness meditation, or insight meditation, developing insights into your experience—your body experience, your mental experience, your emotions—how they arise and how you habitually relate to them. You can relate to what happens to you in the world from a much calmer and more loving place. When you do that, you find that you have more power, not less power, because you are speaking from a place of deep truth and love.
We’ll be working in the class and using various meditation practices to help you respond to the challenges in your life from this awakened heart and with love, with compassion. I’m very enthusiastic about this. The world needs more people who can relate to the challenges of this present world with love. Will you join us? I look forward to being with you, to (inaudible).
I call you “angels in earthsuits.” Each of you has this divine core of your being, the “angel,” and here you are in your earthsuits. Sometimes the earthsuits feel very stiff and unwieldy. You feel trapped in incarnative experience and the angel in you wants to soar out of the body. Sometimes you feel so deeply immersed in the incarnative experience that you get lost in it and forget that you are angels. My hope is to guide you to find a balance. You are neither the angel alone nor the earthsuit alone, but quite literally are this divine energy incarnate into a human body, carrying an emotional and a mental body also. You are all of this.
Through this year, I will offer a series of talks which I have labeled “Awakened Heart.” The premise for this series is as follows. Some of you for many years have heard me talk about making space for the heavy emotions. A primary emphasis of my teaching has been that it is not bad to feel emotions, that when certain conditions are present, certain emotions will arise. Anger is just energy, for example. If anger arises it’s not bad that it arose. Uncomfortable, yes. But you are not bad because anger arose in you. Jealousy, greed, impatience—all the same. If the conditions are present, the emotion will arise. I teach people to make more space around the emotion so that you do not need to fling it at others, whichdoes do harm and for which action you are karmically responsible. I also teach you not to suppress it, because its energy solidifies in you, but to figuratively and literally invite it in for tea, just to make space around it, to know that emotion is present and not get into a relationship with it but come back to a place of clarity which observes how it arose and knows that it will pass.
For many years I have been talking about this process of making space around emotions and that emotions will arise if conditions are present for them to arise. If you don’t want those emotions to arise you must begin to look deeply at the conditions out of which they arise, primarily the conditions of fear, of the illusion of separation, separation from other beings, separation from the divine.
I suggest that through a series of practices and exercises, one could more deeply open to that angel aspect of the self which does not choose to invite in the conditions which give rise to such painful emotion. This is not a “getting rid of” anything, rather we note that side by side there is the tense and frightened human and there is the innately loving, open-hearted human. You have a choice: you can enact your fear or you can choose to note your fear, to observe that the loving Awakened Heart is always present, to nurture it and to enact that loving heart. You always have a choice.
We will spend several months discussing how to connect with this Awakened Heart, how to experience it in the self. Then we will spend some time talking about how to stabilize that experience. Finally we will come to a series of talks about how to live from that Awakened Heart.
DEEP SPRING CENTER TEACHERS OFFER THEIR TIME ON A DANA BASIS, JOYFULLY SHARING THE TEACHINGS. YOUR FREE-WILL OFFERINGS TO THE TEACHERS ARE WELCOMED.
Note: Teachers do not receive any compensation from Deep Spring Center. Deep Spring Center fees / donations are used for running expenses in support of retreats, classes, workshops and to protect the archives of Barbara Brodsky and Aaron for future use.
Teacher questions: If you have questions, you may email Barbara Brodsky at [email protected] This is the best way to reach Barbara. She can also be reached by phone at 734.971.2076. This is a direct deaf phone with voice recognition software, and Barbara will speak back, but there is no answering machine if she is not near her phone.
No one will be denied participation for financial reasons. Please contact the office at 734.477.5848 or [email protected].