Recorded in Barbara Brodsky’s backyard in June 2018.
Video and Transcript, the video is also closed captioned.
Aaron: My blessings and love to you. I am Aaron. I’m sitting here sheltered by a beautiful old apple tree. Everything arises from conditions. Barbara and Hal planted this tree over 40 years ago, just a little sprig of wood. And here it is, giving dense shade on a hot day.
Everything emerges, expresses, and then passes away. Someday in the future this tree will no longer exist. Someday in the future you will no longer exist as you are now. What will the tree have become? Undoubtedly it will have dropped seeds, and perhaps there will be a new apple tree growing. Is it separate from the original tree? It bears the seed from that tree, and yet it expresses as something different.
For you, I’m not only speaking about a transition from this life and rebirth, but moment by moment, day by day, you express as something different. Sometimes you express as the one who is frightened, angry, controlling, or confused. Sometimes you express as the one who is joyful, confident, and at ease. These are all aspects of your being.
The human has the tendency to try to get rid of that which it deems unwholesome, the angry or confused aspects of the self, and to build up what it sees as beautiful aspects of the self. That’s fine, for a while. But after a while, be it years or lifetimes, you do come to understand that you cannot get rid of anything or create anything for the characteristic will continue until the conditions for it are purified. You must go into the core of your being and begin to know who and what you originally were and still are. Zen Buddhism sometimes calls it “knowing your true face”; knowing your true essence.
Last month, I spoke of the dharma path, based on the Buddha’s idea of sila (moral awareness), pañña (wisdom), and samadhi (presence). These are a beautiful path and will lead you to awakening. But some of you have been walking this path for over 2,000 years, and there is still a somebody there trying to fix, to get rid of, or to create.
The teachings do support this idea. “Abandon the unwholesome. If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it. If such abandonment created harm, I would not ask you to abandon it. But as it creates happiness, I ask you, abandon the unwholesome.” The scripture goes on to say, “Cultivate the wholesome. If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it. If such cultivation created suffering, I would not ask you to cultivate it. But as it creates happiness and good for all beings, cultivate the wholesome.” This is a beautiful teaching. But, if you have been abandoning the unwholesome and cultivating the wholesome for a thousand or two thousand years, and you’re still doing it, something is a bit off balance. Perhaps there is too much of an idea of a central self who must abandon and cultivate.
We cannot get rid of that self— that’s just more abandoning. We cannot create the true self— that’s just more doing. Rather, we begin to use our practice, all of it— the sila, the pañña, and the samadhi, all together— to rest more firmly in — Ajahn Chah, a beloved Thai meditation master, called it “the one who knows”. In the Thai language, pu-ru. To rest fully in the one who knows, first you must acquaint yourself with the one who knows. And so many of you are reluctant to do that, for various reasons; perhaps afraid of failure. But I think for the most part it’s because to open fully to the one who knows means you must release at least some identification with the ego self.
You are ready to do that, or you would not be listening to this talk. But again, I don’t want to suggest a doing, to say “release identification.” Pass through the various identifications you have, that the ego has, and through meditation, open to the fullness of what you are. I have called you “angels in earthsuits”. Sometime this fall, I don’t know the date, (Sat. Oct. 27) I will be giving an “Angels in Earthsuits” workshop, both live and online, and we’ll go deeper into this idea and into the experience of being the angel in the earthsuit. For now, I just want to remind you, you are not here as humans that occasionally have a spiritual experience but as spirit having a human experience. This line has been tossed around often in the past decade or two. I believe I first said this 30 years ago. You are spirit having a human experience. And you are here to understand the importance of this human experience and to use it, not only for the highest good of yourself, releasing and balancing old karma, not only for the highest good of all sentient beings, but literally to bring this whole Earth on which you live into transition to a higher vibrational planet; to come to know yourselves as the high vibrational being that is the essence of who and what you are. You are love, high vibration, spirit, AND you are here in human form, which must be met compassionately and tenderly.
Are you ready to let go of the myriad stories? “Poor me, why did this happen to me?” “I’m not good enough. I should have done it better. They shouldn’t blame me.” I should, they should, I want, I don’t want. Fine. What has all of that thinking gained you? Anything? The harder you try to push away the human in which you have expressed, to deny it in some way, the less you can ground yourself in the angel. That may sound odd, but only by opening to the fullness of your being can you truly come face to face with this one who knows; and learn to rest in the experience of the one who knows. Emotions will still arise— grief, confusion, anger, denial, grasping, hatred. They will still arise. You’re still here in a human body. If you step on a nail, your foot is going to bleed. You are here in a human body.
But, as I see it, the vital focus of this lifetime is to come to know yourself and all beings as part of each other, and as expression of the one who knows. Let’s call it The One Who Knows, in capital letters, and the one who thinks she knows, in small letters. But where do they merge? At a certain point you stop being the small-letter one who strives after certainty and simply are The One Who Knows.
Here is a leaf from the tree above me. Is it separate from the tree in any way? It has drifted down. I’m going to crumble it up and grind it into the dirt. It will decay there. Its energy will seep into the earth, feed the roots of this tree. Is it separate from the tree? Can anything ever be separate? What do you gain by living with this illusion of separation?
So, you are angels in earthsuits, each come into the incarnation to truly know this angel aspect of yourself; to take care of the human; to use the wisdom and power and the body of the human to co-create what is for the highest good of all on this Earth, without fear of the enormity of the power you have. I think this is the key to it, that at some level many of you, as you grow, have become aware of the enormity of power, but you have not yet fully resolved the ego and the negative emotions. So, there is fear that if you own this power, you could do harm, because you know you have not resolved the negative emotions. This is also a vital part of the dharma path.
In order to fully resolve the negative emotions, we must be willing to acknowledge. We cannot transcend what we do not accept. You must also be willing to acknowledge your power in order to transcend it as personal power and offer it as THE power, the power that can fully transmute negativity on this Earth, and fully transform this Earth, and assist its transition to a higher density planet.
Why do you want it to be a higher density planet? Each of you has been in situations where there was a lot of negativity and fear, a lot of darkness. Was it pleasant? Each of you has been in situations where there was a lot of love, laughter, joy, high vibration, ease. And yes, it was pleasant. The more you open into that high vibrational space, the more you can support that for yourself and others.
Last month you had a glimpse of Barbara’s very small garden here. You saw the high energy of the plants, so surrounded with love. Some of you may have read the book Findhorn, or read about the Findhorn experiment, in which plants were nurtured with love and grew beautifully. Well, this is Barbara’s own small Findhorn. All of you have the opportunity to truly create a Garden of Eden here on Earth. And I’m not just talking about flowers and trees and vegetables.
Recently, a dozen boys and their soccer coach were trapped in a cave, deep underground in Thailand. It was a situation from which it was almost impossible to envision that they could be released. Rains were flowing, monsoon rains. The only way out was by swimming underground, underwater, through narrow passages. I saw something beautiful happen on the Earth. So often the news shows the negative and plays out the negative. But in this situation, the news demonstrated the love and courage. And around the Earth, literally hundreds of thousands of people came together energetically, envisioning these boys released, offering their energy and love and courage to the boys and to the rescuers. And they were all freed, one man having lost his life. While we lament that one death, it’s quite amazing what this whole world was able to do because they came together with love. If there had been several hundred thousand people saying, “It can’t be done. It can’t be done. They’re as good as dead,” they would never have gotten out. Your energy carried them through.
You have some very unpleasant situations on your Earth, places of terrorism, places where harm is being done. Are you ready to move into knowing yourself as The One Who Knows, and claiming your power, so that all together you can transmit love around the whole Earth? Can transform the Earth and bring it into the higher vibration that is your birthright? This Earth is the Eden that you were promised. But it’s up to you personally to co-create that Eden, starting from within the self.
If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it. Thank you.