Author: DSC Webmaster

Living from the Awakened Heart

This article was published in the Crazy Wisdom Journal. Fall – September through December 2019 – Issue 73 – Page 9. This is the unedited version and differs slightly from the published version.
You can get a copy of The Awakened Heart here

By Barbara Brodsky, Founder Guiding Teacher for Deep Spring Center. 

Thirty years ago, when I founded Deep Spring Center and first began to teach meditation and channel my discarnate teacher Aaron, there were few places in Ann Arbor where one could meditate and enjoy organized spiritual discussions. The Zen Temple comes to mind; Jewel Heart had just started the previous year. “Meditation” usually meant Buddhist meditation, although one organization in town taught TM [Transcendental Meditation]. There were even fewer that offered any connection with spirit and specifically discarnate, channeled entities. Looking at the Crazy Wisdom Journal now, I see with delight all the opportunities for practice and discussion in many traditions. I see it in Ann Arbor and throughout the world. The last few Wednesday nights, the 30th year of our freely offering Wednesday nights with Aaron, I’ve had the delight to look at my ZOOM screen and see people from many different countries as well as the US, joining those live in the room. Participants come from as far away as China, Palestine, Spain, Brazil, and Canada.

I am glad that so many are seeking deeper spiritual awareness, though at times I feel concerned by an occasional hearing of “my tradition is better than yours.” Better for what? What are we seeking? What do we all have in common? All the people above are asking the same questions, “How do I live with greater compassion and wisdom? How do I truly learn to love my neighbor as myself?” And the most frequent question, “Who am I and why am I here, on this earth so filled with strife and confusion? How can I help?”

People come to a spiritual practice and community for many reasons. Often the start is either because we are searching for meaning in life, or because we feel worn down by life and are suffering and in pain. Some are comforted by belonging to a spiritual community, where new friends and the guidelines of a formal tradition may lead them into more focused and fruitful searching and practice. Connecting with a sangha is one foundation for our spiritual life, and the Buddha actually considered sangha the most important base. Others study and attend classes, looking for answers to the ancient questions through the path of the intellect.

There are those who seek psychological help for their suffering, which may also be supportive for a while. One may gain understanding of the triggers, yet still be reactive to them, suffering because there seems to be no escape. Then on to the existential questions: who are we and why are we here? What is this life about, with its unavoidable pain, with wars, famine, terrorism, hate, natural disasters and the destruction of the environment? What are our lives about in these troubling times, and how can we help ourselves and others to greater joy, well-being and peace?

My experience is that we are all spirit, evolving into higher consciousness, as is the earth that is our home. Aaron says his understanding is that our earth is a cornerstone of expanding consciousness because here we have free will choice: to act out fear-based impulses or to see such impulses arise and know that we need not enact them but can hold to a deeper truth based in lovingkindness and compassion. When we respond from a loving heart, the consciousness that makes such choice literally carries a higher energy, a higher vibration if I may call it that. That which is negatively polarized in the universe, which holds as its highest truth the preservation of the small self above all else and has no qualms about harm to others, cannot tolerate such high vibration and backs off. Thus, as we learn to hold to a loving attitude toward all beings (including ourselves), learn to be non-reactive and release dualistic ideas of self versus other, we are gradually inviting ourselves, our earth, and the entire universe into higher consciousness. It is to this end that we started Deep Spring Center, to support movement into a higher, loving consciousness and vibration.

All spiritual paths that truly teach love are working in this direction, each with their own specific tools and passageways. One is not better than the others. Is it better to eat carrots than cheese than chocolate? What does each unique mind/body/spirit need at that moment? Each path does have its own unique way of teaching and expressing the same truths, and we are each karmically more pre-disposed to some paths than others. But there are many paths to higher consciousness. It feels vital to keep the big picture in our minds and hearts.

Deep Spring Center does not hold to any one tradition but is a Center for deep insight into non-duality, experienced and understood through meditation. The core practices are Vipassana (or mindfulness meditation) and Pure Awareness meditation, along with practices that support the open heart. It is essential that we commit our energy to a path and trust it to bring us home.

For me, tools offered in various traditions have been helpful on this life journey and Aaron and I have drawn them into Deep Spring’s offerings. Jesus asks us to “love one another,” but how do we love people who bring us pain and trigger fear? It’s not so easy. From Buddhism, the beautiful Eightfold Path guides me to moral awareness, deepening wisdom and presence, and gives me tools to love.  But I was born into a Jewish family and find great wisdom there too. All of these traditions and teachers touch my heart and inform my path. So does nature, and the immense kindness I have encountered. This blend is my path and what I teach; what Deep Spring offers. It seems for most of us there is a blend; each of us is unique. The parts will come together with some degree of ease when we understand and follow our highest intentions.

Without a clear sense of my destination, I cannot walk a path but will only meander in circles. My intention for myself and Deep Spring students has never been to make someone a good meditator but to help myself and others live from the deepest place of love and interconnection in our hearts. It is to look at the craziness of our world and respond with compassion that knows how to say no with lovingkindess. It is to envision the earth as the Eden it was meant to be and to know this end is possible. Thus, Aaron and I invite people to explore deeply and know their intentions.

For many, the first intention is to live with less suffering, for the self and others. To do so, we need to understand the ground of our suffering as the belief in separate selves, with separate needs. On the mundane level, this is true. We are each unique. But is anything truly separate? Perhaps a first step is to experientially understand that the mundane consciousness that keeps us to our separate selves is only one face of who we are. Are we our bodies? Our intellect? Our emotions? Our consciousness? Once we release what we are not, we can begin to open to what we truly are, individually and together as sentient beings.

Then, we may practice meditation that helps us to experience a deeper truth of being. We may have a profound experience of that Ground of Being. Various paths and traditions can lead us there. Is that the end, just to find that Ground? What next?

Buddhism offers a teaching of “the three kayas,” which I find helpful. Dharmakaya (the word kaya means ‘body”) is “truth body,” the awakened heart/mind. It is what I mentioned just above, that to which we may open in profound meditation experiences where the ego and body dissolve and we experience the heart of awakened being. Nirmanakaya is form body, the mundane realm. We all know this one, our everyday experience. Sambhogakaya, wealth body, is the bridge between. When we stand on that bridge, we can use our deepest spiritual experiences to remain aware of and connected to the Unconditioned, the Divine, not losing sight of it and also not attempting to lose ourselves in it as escape from the trials of mundane existence. Such escape can be enticing. From a place of stability on that bridge, where the heart remembers its true being, we can reach back into this suffering world and invite others onto the bridge. From here we see the suffering world, and we know the truth of our innate radiance and divine essence. Presence, kindness, wisdom, generosity, patience, and compassion are all tools for living from this bridge.

When I keep in mind my intention to alleviate suffering in the world, and truly to help move this earth into a higher consciousness, I find much more patience and tolerance for living “on the bridge,” allowing myself to keep touching my own and others’ suffering compassionately and with less fear. Here is where all of us can respond with a deep honesty to the discomfort of the immensity of suffering in the world, and our feelings of helplessness. Each spiritual tradition offers its own ways to find stability on that bridge. Deep Spring Center, as organization and as individuals, is committed to living from the bridge.

As I look over the many spiritual offerings in Crazy Wisdom Journal, and I think of the many practitioners in all these programs, I hope to invite all to pause and ask, “Where am I going?” What would this earth be like if we all were able to evolve beyond so much self-identification with the fearful, separated self, and to truly know one another as radiant expression of the Love that is our source? How can we deepen our commitment to this evolution, for ourselves, our planet, and indeed our entire universe? We often feel so helpless in our world today, but we are indeed powerful beyond measure.

I would like to end with the opening lines of Aaron’s book, Human.[1] It speaks to me of the “bridge.”

My friend, you are human and yet you are also spirit.
To be spirit is to rest in the core of being that is birthless and deathless.
To be human is to contemplate the cessation of your conscious existence.
To be spirit is to live fully in the heart of love.
To be human is to know fear.
To be spirit is to offer everything.
To be human is to experience the fear expressions of greed and clinging.
To be spirit is to know divine compassion.
To be human is to know the fear expressions of judgment and anger.
To be spirit is to know your completion.
To be human is to hunger for it.
Yet, to be human and to be spirit are not at all incompatible,
for you are not incarnate to abolish fear and its expressions but to learn to draw them into the heart of love.
Walk by my side for a while and I will teach you.
Some of this, not all, is cut. See her version.  I wiggled some back in.

Deep Spring Center for Meditation and Spiritual Inquiry was founded in 1989 in line with these intentions to awaken to higher consciousness.

Part of what we teach and practice is co-creation with spirit.

All are welcome to come and listen, but in the long run, to bring forth growth and change, we must each take responsibility to develop a spiritual practice that supports us to live our intentions.

DSC is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity, non-profit organization staffed by volunteers, guided by an international Board of Directors, and centered in Ann Arbor, MI. Please visit our web site at, or email us at [email protected] or call 734-477-5848 for further information.

[1] Human, by Aaron
Deep Spring Press – Ann Arbor, Michigan
First edition 2003; revised edition 2014


Dharma Path – Transcript – April 2, 2019, #6

April 2, 2019 Tuesday Dharma Path Class
Working with Chakras; Guided Chakra Exercises

Barbara: We have a sense of where you are with the practices we’ve been doing. I want to start with some time for questions. Aaron will incorporate when needed. Do you have questions about the homework you’ve been doing? I know that some of you are not getting the light practices, and some of you are, and that’s okay. No practice is meant for everybody. Aaron is going to bring some new things in tonight that he thinks will help. Read more

Dharma Path – Transcript – April 16, 2019, #7

April 16, 2019 Tuesday Evening, Dharma Path Class
Pure Awareness Instruction; Skandhas; Discussion: Do We Need Eyes Open to Do Pure Awareness?; Introduction to Working with the Elements; Q&A on Chakras

Barbara: I’m going to assume it would be beneficial for you to hear basic instructions again, even if you’ve done it before. People seem to be away, out enjoying spring. Meditating under the trees, I hope. Read more

Dharma Path Transcript – March 19, 2019, Class #5

March 19, 2019 Tuesday Evening, Dharma Path Class
“Floating Non-Duality”; Q&A on Clear Light

Barbara: A number of people, both in the small group meetings and by email, said they sort of get this light practice, they sort of don’t. They’re wondering what the reason for it is. I’m kind of quoting people, “Are we expected to just walk around in a cloud of light all the time?” — It would be nice! Read more

Dharma Path

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Dharma Path transcripts:

2019 | Year 1; Session 3 – Winter/Spring

April 16, 2019 – #7

April 2, 2019 – #6

March 19, 2019 #5

March 5, 2019 #4

February 19, 2019 #3

January, 22, 2019 #2

2018 | Year 1 – Session 1 -Fall

November, 27, 2018 #7

November, 13, 2018 – #6

October, 30, 2018 – #5

October, 16, 2018 #4

October, 2, 2018 #3 – part 3

October, 2, 2018 #3, part 2

October, 2, 2018 #3, part 1

September, 18, 2018 #2, part 3

September, 18, 2018 #2, part 2

September, 18, 2018 #2, part 1

September, 4, 2018 #1, part 2

September, 4, 2018 #1, part 1

Evenings with Aaron | March 13, 2019

Rebirth: Releasing and Bringing in the New; Q&A on Love, Climate Change

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Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron.

What a joy to see the very earliest signs of spring, the earth thawing, mud everywhere, but mud means that spring is coming. A friend who lives in a more southern state said the first flowers are coming up there. Yesterday Barbara noticed the first tiny red buds on the maple trees in her yard. Everything will be bursting out of the earth in a month or so. Rebirth. . . Read more

Evenings with Aaron – February 20, 2019

“Floating Non-Duality in a Ziplock Bag”; Ceasing to Judge the Darkness in Ourselves and Others; The Compassionate No; Born in Clear Light; What is Light?; Making Decisions

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Barbara: Most of us don’t really pay attention to the idea of non-duality. People have said, “Are you a Buddhist center?” No. “Are you a this, or that center?” “No. We’re a center teaching the living of non-duality.” “What does that mean?” When I asked Aaron yesterday what he was going to talk about tonight, he said it’s time to talk more about non-duality. Read more

Dharma Path – Transcript – March 5, 2019, #4

March 5, 2019 Tuesday, Dharma Path Class
Guided Meditation: Climbing the Mountain of Awakening
Homework on page 14.

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Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. Here is Michigan deeply bound in a winter, 10 degrees out there, snow blowing around. Barbara was thinking to herself this morning, “I’ve had enough of winter.” How many of you have said that, in the past weeks? Read more

Dharma Path – Transcript – February 19, 2019, #3

February 19, 2019 Tuesday, Dharma Path Class
The Light Is Part of the Darkness, the Darkness is Part of the Light; Exercise in Giving and Receiving; Path of Clear Light; Non-Duality Practices

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Barbara: Aaron reminds me I will not be able to talk well, me as Barbara, later, once he’s incorporated. He’s suggesting I share a little of my Casa experience.

Two things I would share. I got there on a Sunday morning. Spirit had said to me that they would want to do at least one or several interventions, but they would do them at night, right after dinner, and then I could sleep for 12 hours and take care of my group the next day. That 12 hours would be enough. So, sure enough, after dinner that first night we had a group circle, and suddenly— (sound effect!) And I said good night and went in to bed and slept until quite late, through breakfast the next morning. I could feel them working on my back. Read more

Dharma Path – Transcript – January 22, 2019 #2

January 22, 2019 Tuesday Evening, Dharma Path Class #2
Thank You: Hearing Without Distortion and Contraction; Aaron’s Final Lifetime; Divine Masculine/Feminine and Kyo/Jitsu, Let Me Be a Channel for Light and Love

(second session of classes for this 2-year program)

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Reviewed to the end of Aaron’s opening talk and then Barbara’s words of her present experience. Remainder is not reviewed at all.

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron… Barbara had planned to talk to me this afternoon about my plans for tonight. She became busy with this, and busy with that, as humans tend to do. Finally, about quarter of six, she left this room into a quiet room and said, “Okay, Aaron, I’m ready now to talk.” Read more

Time to Speak—Yeshua and Yaakov: The Journey of Two Brothers

Time to Speak
Yeshua and Yaakov: The Journey of Two Brothers

by Justin James

$15.99 + $3.95 shipping
(US shipping only, contact Deep Spring office for international shipping)
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This book is your invitation to witness—and even come along on an unexpected journey of discovery as the author recounts his past life as Yaakov, also known as James the Just, brother of Jesus (Yeshua). Bring your skepticism, as well as your willingness to suspend disbelief, as he did in reliving this other life under hypnosis. Read more

Dharma Path – Transcript – Nov. 13, 2018 #6

November 13, 2018 Tuesday Evening, Dharma Path Class
The Seven Branch Prayer and the Four Empowerments

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Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. So, the dharma path continues its interweaving. We started out with a metaphor of a braid with different parts, or a rope—when they wind around each other, they become stronger. But a better, clearer image is that of a woven fabric, because we do not just have 3 strands, as a braid, but innu-merable strands, bringing in different pieces of warp and weft, woven together to make a strong beautiful fabric, so that you begin to understand and deeply experience the fullness of this dharma path. Read more

Dharma Path – Transcript – Oct. 30, 2018 #5

October 30, 2018 Tuesday Evening, Dharma Path Class
How Do We Come Back Into Balance?

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Aaron speaks of the Mala Recollection from Barbara Brodsky in this class.

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. It’s good to be back together. Many of you were at the retreat. There was so much love shared at the retreat; it was very beautiful. Those who were there went very deep and worked very hard. I salute you; I bow in honor to you, for that hard work. The repeated question I heard through the week is, Aaron, this practice is breaking my heart. I am touching places of old pain, or current pain. Read more

Dharma Path – Transcript – Nov. 27, 2018 #7

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November 27, 2018 Tuesday Evening, Dharma Path Class

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. Welcome. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday. I always smile at the fact that you put aside one day to give thanks! How about 364 days of Thanksgiving, and on Thanksgiving Day, you say, “Well, we’ll let it go for the day.”?

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The Dharma Path – Transcript – Oct. 16, 2018 #4

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October 16, 2018 Tuesday Night, Dharma Path Class
Barbara and Aaron on Their Dharma Paths

Barbara: When I first met Aaron, the word “dharma” had very little meaning for me. Back in high school I had read The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac. Dharma was an obscure word to me. I practiced meditation, but I had no formal training in Buddhism; I knew almost nothing about Buddhism.

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December 19, 2018 – Evenings with Aaron, Christmas Stories

December 19, 2018 Wednesday Evening with Aaron, Christmas Stories
The Power of the Open Heart to Choose Love

Aaron and Yeshua are channeled by Barbara Brodsky

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. Thank you for being here with me tonight. And online, I see your faces here, but I’m to look at the camera’s blue dot. When I’m looking at the blue dot, do you see me looking into your eyes? (yes)

When we started these Christmas Stories 30 years ago it was in Barbara’s living room. By that time, that first year, already a large group of people— 15 or 20 people, sitting around Barbara’s fire. And the next year, probably closer to 30 people. So, we were squeezed in a bit, with the fire burning in the background. The group was all local. The transcripts would be laboriously written by hand. We didn’t have email. The transcripts were handwritten— no computer, either. They were Xeroxed and mailed out to those people who requested them.

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Dec. 19, 2018 – Evening with Aaron, Christmas Stories

December 19, 2018 Wednesday Evening with Aaron, Christmas Stories
The Power of the Open Heart to Choose Love

Please consider a donation (suggested donation $5-$10) to support this ongoing 2-year program, The Dharma Path.

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. Thank you for being here with me tonight. And online, I see your faces here, but I’m to look at the camera’s blue dot. When I’m looking at the blue dot, do you see me looking into your eyes? (yes)

When we started these Christmas Stories 30 years ago it was in Barbara’s living room. By that time, that first year, already a large group of people— 15 or 20 people, sitting around Barbara’s fire. And the next year, probably closer to 30 people. Read more

Dec. 24, 2018 – Yeshua Speaks at Interfaith Spiritual Center – Channeled by Barbara Brodsky

December 24, 2018, Yeshua at Interfaith Center Candlelight Carol Service on Christmas Eve
The Year of Love and Light on the Earth

Yeshua incorporates: I am Jeshua. What a joy it is to be here with you tonight. Thank you for throwing a birthday party for me! I love singing, candlelight and cookies! It’s all beautiful.

But I want you to remember: it is not just my birthday you celebrate. Mine is symbolic. It is YOUR birthday, you opening into the true light that you are; remembering who you are. If it was just me, that I came to birth, that I went through my life and did the things I did, the whole power of those words and events would have died away. It is you who, lifetime after lifetime, have been carrying this energy, bringing forth increasing light to the earth.

I know it doesn’t seem to you that there’s more light. It seems like you live in a time of darkness. But, not so. When I took birth, 2,000 years ago, the earth had known eons of darkness. I came forth to help remind you, and the earth itself, that it is essentially of light. It is not a plane of darkness, it is a plane of light. That was the plan.

I was moved just now by the song you sang. (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear)

For lo, the days are hearkening on
By prophet bards foretold
When with the ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold.

Dear ones, this IS the age of gold. We are coming to it. Are you ready for it? Why stay in darkness? You are light. You are born from light and here to be light, forever and ever. Or, you can stay in darkness as long as you wish. But why would you want that? You are love. You are light.

When this earth plane was conceived, many angels— if I may give them that name— gathered together and said, what if we co-create a heavy material plane grounded in love? How high a vibration could it hold? How could this co-creation bring greater light and love not just to this one material plane but to the whole universe? And others said, yes, let us do that. But this plane must also have free will. Beings must be free to choose light or darkness.

Because there are so many younger beings mired in fear, through the ages people have chosen darkness again and again; those of light have come again and again and said no to the darkness.

This is the pledge you make on Christmas: to be of the light, to say no to the darkness, and hold the promise of love in your heart. This is the song the angels sing. This is the promise.

And the time has come… I’m going to walk a minute (without being near the microphone) because I want to walk around a bit and look into your eyes; because it brings me so much joy to see the light in your eyes, to see the beauty within you and the courage, that you have come forth to remember the light and live the light.

I don’t really need this (referring to the walker), but Barbara says she doesn’t have balance in the dark. Well, I have balance in the dark! Letting go of the walker, He walks around)

…The time has come to live with love; no matter what negativity, what fear, what pain comes to you, to say thank you to it as a teacher, and remember the promise to live with love, to live your true light. In that way, let us celebrate this birthday.
For all of you: (singing) Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you!

Remember you are love. That’s really all you need to know.

I cherish you, and the love and courage that brought you here. Let us make 2019 the Year of Love and Light on the Earth; each of you doing your part by saying thank you to the challenges; opening your heart, and asking, right here within this challenge, where is love? Where is light? YOU are the light. YOU are the love.

As a growing boy there were many challenges in my life. It was not an easy world to live in. I was surrounded by loving adults teaching me, but many of them, even these wise adults, sometimes had a narrow view of things. They did not appreciate the infiniteness of our human nature, and so they lived with limitations. They tried to teach me, “Yeshua, there are no limitations, but you can’t do this, you can’t do that!” No limitations. I began to question the adults. I began to break the rules. I was not always a “good” child— I broke the rules! I went off alone when they said I must have an adult with me. I questioned the teachers. I did not simply take what they taught me, because I knew my connection with God/Goddess/All that Is, as you are beginning to know your connections. It was clear to me there was no separation between me and Infinite Creator. There was no separation between me and Love.

I knew what I had come to the earth to do, and I knew it was a hard task. I asked myself, how can I teach love unless I can fully be love? If I cannot fully be loving and embracing of everything, even the challenges, then how can I teach love? So, I understood that I had to learn how to embrace the challenges. The human side of me did not quite want to do that. The part of me that knew who I was, knew my awakened nature, said, “Yes, I can do this. I can do that.” All the way through— each step, and unto the crucifixion, “Yes, I can meet this challenge with love.” But the human sometimes knew fear.

Something wonderful happens when you meet challenges with love: the armoring that you wrap around yourself begins to dissolve, so that the true radiance shines out. All of you have that radiance. You are love, you are light.

So, join with me and let us support this as the year that light reclaims the earth. It will not be easy; there are deep places of fear. Can we love those who are afraid, those who are taught to hate? Can we embrace every human soul, and know that at its heart that soul truly is light, just is slower to awaken to its truth? When we bring that kind of light to earth, something wonderful will happen. And I think this is the time for it. Fear and judgment dissolve. I can’t say this year, but in these times, because the whole earth is going through a transition, and all beings are moving through it. This is why you took incarnation. This is why we celebrate your birthday tonight.

Thank you for coming into incarnation and walking this road with me.
With dear friends, everything is possible. I love you all very much.

Yeshua walks around the room a few minutes, looking into people’s eyes, then lifts his hands and offers a blessing of very high energy before releasing the body to Barbara.

Channeled through Barbara Brodsky – All rights reserved. Copyright: December 24, 2018 (Deep Spring Center). You may freely share this message. Please include this copyright notice with sharing.

Yeshua Dharma Talk | Sun., Oct. 14, 2018 | Oakwood Fall Retreat

October 14, 2018 Sunday, Oakwood Retreat Fall 2018, Jeshua’s Dharma Talk

Yeshua:  I’m Yeshua, and I come to you in love.  My heart is so tender with your efforts here this week…the deep work you are doing to discern the subtle dualities in the self and transcend those dualities.

Somebody made the statement that the saints knew no duality. Of course, these beings that you think of as saints, at some point they were children with a dualistic mind. They had to move past that dualistic mind. The saints as infants were no different than you. The awakened consciousness was present in them. And the dualistic consciousness was present in them. They did the work to transmute that dualistic consciousness and open deeply into the non-dual; to learn how to live the non-dual.

The same is true of me. I was born having previously transcended all duality. And yet, moving into this world of duality, dualistic thought arose at times: anger at somebody, wanting to strike out at somebody. I had to be taught by loving parents and community how to release those dualistic thoughts and come back to the heart of love.
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