Knowing the Ever Healed
Dharma Journal teachings from Aaron channeled by Barbara Brodsky.
Video is closed captioned.
Aaron channeled by Barbara Brodsky: ,June 6, 2017.
Monthly Dharma Talk
My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. We are actually recording August right after July so the allergy symptoms are still here. I wish I could report to you it’s a month later and it’s all healed. You’ll have to wait until next month for that. But it will happen.
Last month I spoke about the relationship between contraction and body diminishment, illness, aging, and so forth. When I say contraction, I mean held contraction, not the balanced contraction with which the body must live. Once the body ceases to lodge itself regularly in unbalanced contraction, it can not only heal back to where it was before the present distortion occurred, but it can heal beyond that back approaching its wholeness.
There’s so much that your bodies can do; you have no idea. If you’re not able to heal in that way, you are not a failure. The original intention was only to use these challenging catalysts as learning experiences.
But the body can heal. I want to use Barbara as an example, here. I don’t want to bring her back into the body to talk, so I will talk for her, for a few minutes. When she first lost her hearing, the nerves that were damaged were the nerve from the ear to the brain that carries sound impulses, and also nerves in the semicircular canal in the ear that control balance. Since those nerves were destroyed she had no balance.
For those first months in the beginning, she literally had to crawl from one room to another in her house. She could not stand for the first several weeks. Then she got to a point where she could stand up and hold onto something. Eventually she developed a very stiff-legged gait, like you see sometimes in a toddler who is just learning to walk. Body tense. You can’t see my feet here, but the feet pointed out, with(demonstrates) a lot of tension with each step. This is 45 years ago. The body had decades to move into this unbalanced distortion, and I’d really say, fear of falling. So she developed a habitual mode of walking that held the pelvis locked in, the knees locked in. She turned her feet outward, what you might call a duck walk, so she wobbled from side to side when she walked. This was her way of coping with imbalance.
It did not occur to her to relax and find the balance right there with the imbalance. This is true whether we’re talking about balance or lack of congestion in the sinuses, or finding the freedom from allergy right there with the allergy. Whether we’re talking about grief and finding that which is not filled with grief right there with the grief; that which is not afraid right there with fear. We are not getting rid of anything. To get rid of something carries aversion and contraction. Rather, when we note with real honesty and compassion, here is fear, here is grief, here is anger, here is lack of balance, here is body pain, and then we ask the question, right here with the pain, where is that which is not in pain? Right here with imbalance, where is that which is balanced?
Some of you have read in Barbara’s book Cosmic Healing her story of being on retreat in Canada, at a place where there was a lot of snow. During the night I asked her to dress warmly and go outside with her walking sticks to help her balance. Then to lay her walking sticks aside and stand. Her balance is from her eyes and from her feet on a firm surface. With the snow, there was no firm surface. In the middle of the night with thick snow falling, there was no visual balance. She said, “Aaron, I’ll fall.” I said, yes.
She accepted my suggestion; went out into the snow, and put her walking sticks aside. Snow about thigh deep. She plowed through 10 feet of snow from her door into the trees, laid her walking sticks aside, and fell. Of course, it was soft. I knew she would not hurt herself. She picked up the walking sticks, got herself standing again. I said, “Now do it again.” Falling, falling.
She began to see, after some repetitions of this, that falling was not the problem but letting herself fall. What does it mean to fall? To let go of control? To simply allow the body to be as it is? Falling. She knew she was not going to hurt herself. She knew she could get up okay. The fear, as she started to see it, was a very old fear of needing the be the one who was upright, who kept control of things, who could handle things. She saw that the deafness and the lack of balance led her to a place where there was fear, “I won’t be able to handle things. I won’t hear what’s said. I won’t have balance. I won’t be able to walk.” And that rigidity impaired her ability to truly listen. The deafness was not important. To truly listen. To move freely, relaxing the contraction.
As she lay there in the snow after the 6th or 7th fall, just crying for a while with compassion for this human, who had found it so hard to be a human who could fall, who had to remain upright, to take care of herself and others, with that realization, two things happened. She began to hear people in a new way, lip-reading as she had before but without the contraction that said, “Am I getting it all?” Just hearing, just present. She was more able to be present with herself, too, and with her emotions. Her balance began to improve because she was no longer afraid, “What if I fall?” It wasn’t a fear based on fear of physical injury but on concept; not being the one who would fall.
Fast forward, now, perhaps 30 years. Again, practicing being present in the already perfect body, and looking at the stiff, awkward gait that she had, how much body pain it brought. She had the good fortune to connect with a very skillful teacher of Feldenkrais method, but he goes way beyond that. His name is Dale Jenson, and I mention his name because with joy I share with you that Barbara, Dale and I will be co-creating a workshop through Deep Spring on September 23 on just the topic I’m talking about today. Coming to know the inner balance and perfection; to allow the body to recognize and rest in that which is ever-healed. And then to allow that inner, ever-healed to teach the outer body to live the ever-healed. I’m very much looking forward to the workshop, but I will not talk further about that today. I want to stay with this topic, knowing the ever-healed.
So, Barbara began to see the ways she was habitually, unmindfully self-correcting the lack of balance with tension, and to ask, how else can I invite balance? With our friend’s guidance, she began to see the ways the body could move more skillfully. To begin to find the innate balance in the body. Certainly, having Dale there was helpful. It’s very helpful to have such a skilled guide with whom to walk this path. But for those lacking such guidance, mindfulness is your guide. Become mindful of the contractions in the body. Begin to ask – whether it’s imbalance or chronic body pain in some part of the body, or whatever the ailment may be – right here with this particular ailment, this pain in my neck, shoulders, back, this lack of balance, this anger, right here with this, where is that which is free of this distortion? How can I more fully center and rest in that which is free without so much identification with that which is caught?
You can do it. I promise you, you can do it. There’s a beautiful quote form the Buddha, from a sutra in which he’s addressing some monks. He says, “Abandon the unwholesome. If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it. Cultivate the wholesome. If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it.”
Please take that into your hearts. Begin in this next month to look at some area of the body or mind which is caught in some unwholesome habitual pattern that causes pain for you and others, without trying to fix it. No fix-it; no fix-it! Just heart open to it. Right here with this chronic pain, where is that which is not in pain? Right here with this ongoing impatience, where is that which is patient? Right here with anger, where is that which is not angry? I’m not saying get rid of the impatience, get rid of the anger, get rid of the pain. No. Hold space with compassion for these, and instead of focusing only on this discomfort, while it is here, where is that which is not in pain? Turn your head from staring at the pain and anger to looking at that which is free of pain, free of anger, which is joyful and openhearted. Even just for a moment, begin to see how it feels.
The second part of my instruction today, and I think we’ve covered this in a past dharma dialogue but I’ll touch on it again, the beautiful practice of clear comprehension. I’ll introduce only the first parts of this practice.
Clear comprehension of purpose. Ask yourself, “What is my highest purpose?” Here is the anger and here’s that which is free of anger. Is my highest purpose here to perpetuate this anger, or to begin to open to that which is not angry? Is my highest purpose to perpetuate this terrible pain in my body, or to open to that which is free of pain?
Be honest with yourself. Sometimes there is an intention to hold onto the anger because it seems to give you power. Sometimes there is an intention to hold onto pain, for whatever reasons. But once you know your highest purpose is to release these, then the second step is clear comprehension of suitability. Ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say or do resonant with that highest purpose?” If it’s impatience and I’m building on the story, my mind repeating over and over, impatience or anger, and my highest purpose is to be more loving, to open my heart, then repeating the stories is not conducive to opening to the highest purpose. It’s as simple as that. If the highest purpose is to be free of body pain, then contracting the body in this way is not conducive to releasing the pain in the body.
Clear comprehension of purpose. Clear comprehension of suitability. And then we look at what choices we have. Remember, you can stay fixated on this, even trying to fix it as a way of being fixated on it, or you can change your focus to that which is innately whole and radiant and say, “I choose this.”
Then ask for help. You may ask your guides for help. You may ask your friends. You may ask those who you see for different kinds of emotional or body healing. “Help to support me in releasing that which I know is negative.” But at this point you’ve made a clear decision, “I’m ready to release it,” or at least I’m beginning to be ready to release it, rather than, “No, I need to hold onto it.” It’s that “I need to hold onto it” that holds you back from opening to the innate healing and the experiencing of wholeness, which is your birthright. And I wish this for you, to know your wholeness. You are love. You can do it. If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak with you today. I hope to see some of you at our live and on-line workshop on Sept. 23.