Transcription and closed captioned.
The Three Kayas: Part 3
June 2017 Dharma Talk
My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. Thank you for joining me today. I left you all last month flowing out with the divine breath and flowing in with the inhale; feeling that no matter where you go, you can never lose that resting place, the Divine within you and you within the Divine. I promised last month to talk more this time about what helps us come back, to re-center ourselves in the divine heart.
My first suggestion is the power of intention. When you first awaken in the morning, before you even open your eyes, stop. Lying there in your bed, say, “Thank you for this new day. Today may I be of the deepest service to others. May I live my life free of harm. I consecrate this mind, body, and spirit to the light and to the power of love.” Just rest in that intention for a minute.
Out of what belief do you hold that you can do this? You might say, “Me? How can I be of service? How can I be loving? If such thoughts appear, we don’t want to be dismissive of them, but simply to note: there is fear here but my intention is not to become caught in the fear.
Then stop and say thank you. Thank you for the gift of life I have been given. Thank you for having heard the teachings of love, and the power to enact these teachings in the world. Thank you for the kindness within my heart. Begin to reflect on that for which you feel grateful that morning. Perhaps it’s the sun shining out your window, or perhaps the rain that will water the flowers, trees, and crops. What is it for which I feel truly grateful? Not just what is out there, although that too, but for the power of love within myself. The power to truly make a difference in this world where there is suffering, for this I am grateful. Thank you. Can you feel how just “Thank you” re-centers you, pulls you back into the divine heart?
We have stated the intention to offer oneself lovingly today, in the highest service of beings and without harm. The human can so easily become caught up in fear and anger, so it’s valuable to remember the non-duality of anger, of fear, and of love. Put in the simplest way I can phrase it, that which is aware of fear is not afraid. Saying that again: that which is aware of fear is not afraid. That which is aware of anger is not angry. That which is aware of grasping and need is not needy.
What is this That-which-is-aware? This profound awareness that rests in the heart of love, before the breath emerges. In the beginning there was Love, that’s it. You are that.
I am not suggesting that you always feel loving or never feel needy or afraid. But let’s ground in the ultimate reality of love. I am that, I am love, I am light, and conditions will arise that bring up anger and fear, confusion. I am not what arises out of those conditions. I am this essence. I am light, I am love.
So we keep returning to that in the self, and this is the primary intention, not to lose touch with that which is love. You must take the time to see it in your world. Yesterday, Barbara was swimming at the pool in the gym. There’s a bank of windows perhaps 20 feet high, the whole length of two pools, and there were hundreds of small birds flying everywhere, doing a dance. She was swimming on her back, turning her head that way, and they caught her attention, until she had to stop swimming and just look out the window. Is there a little voice that says, “Oh, no, I’m here to swim my laps.”? I’m here to be alive, to feel joy and wonder. It’s so easy to miss it. If your life is filled with, “First I should do this and then I should do that.” Stop and smell the flowers, as the saying goes. This is about your physical world, literally stopping to smell the flowers, now that spring is here. Have you stopped to look at them today? Are there butterflies out there? Birds nesting? Grass growing? Beautiful new scents of spring, so sweet? Are you aware of it? Come home to it. Let it bring you back into the open heart.
The power of intention. I spoke about this a bit last month, and I started this talk with it. What is my intention today? To be loving. Now take that out of your bed and into the day. When something pushes you and you want to push back, and you contract, hold the power of that intention. I’m not speaking about not contracting. The body will contract. But then, breathing in, I am aware of the contraction. Breathing out, I hold space for the contraction. Do I contract further, saying, “No! No contraction!”? Or do I relax and say, “Oh, there was a push and now there is contraction. I choose not to perpetuate this contraction.”
One of the things that helps most, from my perspective, is the simple thank you. Thank you to the push. The traffic jam; “Oh no, I’ll be late! —I shouldn’t be worried about being late. I should be relaxed.” How will that work? Thank you. Thank you to the traffic jam. Thank you to this or that angry person. Thank you to the splinter in my finger that reminds me to open my heart to myself. Thank you. If you will try this with me (pressing palms together) you’ll note that it’s very hard to hold anger and contraction with your palms held together in this way, saying thank you. It’s truly hard.
Begin to find the myriad ways you may return home to this center of your being, to what you truly are, and that you have the ability to rest there for longer periods. It really is mindfulness and the power of intention that allow this.
You took initial birth as expression of the Divine. If you hold a flower in your hands and smell the sweet smell, it comes from the flower. When you smell the rose, you know the flower is there. You are the scent of the Divine, expressing out into the world. And yes, eventually the rose may die and not smell so sweet. But there’s always another rose, because you are not one rose, you are the perpetuation of roses, a billion roses, each one expressing beauty. Each smile that you offer to the world, that is another rose. Each kind word, that is another rose.
Of course, there will be anger. Of course, there will be confusion and fear. The question is not if these will arise but how you will relate to them. When you learn to relate by saying thank you for this catalyst, this teacher, which is bringing me back home, and then if you can, experience the divine breath, drawing you back into the divine heart. What does it feel like to rest in that divine heart? Can you imagine? It is the most precious experience. Embraced by the beloved and knowing I am that. I have always been that. Increasingly, as the world pummels me with its occasional harshness, I can trust myself to return love.
Sometimes you won’t be able to do it. That’s okay, too. If you were already perfect at this work you would not have come into the incarnation. You are here to learn. But I would not ask you to do something that is beyond you, and each of you has the capacity to extend yourself further and further out from that divine heart to touch the world of suffering, even stepping off the bridge, still knowing that bridge is behind you, to attend to what needs attendance. And then to come back home.
I would leave you with one last image. Imagine a very pure underground spring. It bubbles up from the surface through the rocks and pours down the hill, a very small stream of absolutely pure water from a deeper underground source. You watch it flowing down the hillside. A hundred yards down it’s gathered into a pool, and the cattle are there drinking and wading in the pool. You think to yourself, “I want some water. I’m thirsty.” You go down where the cattle are, thinking, “Well, this was from the pure spring.” But it’s no longer pure, is it? Very muddy from the cattle. You go back up the hill, perplexed. “I can’t get my cup in between the rocks. I know the pure spring is under there, but how do I access it?“
I’ll leave you with a simple question: are you going to drink right there, to hold your cup close to the rocks, gather the purest water that’s emerging from the spring, and drink? Or are you going to say, “No, it’s too hard to gather it that way. I’ll go downstream a ways where it’s easier to get at but it’s muddy.” Which do you choose?
The metaphor is not perfect because while there is that pure spring, the pure heart from which we express, you also are that. You are that pure spring, that pure heart. The source is within you also, and it cannot become muddy, as you take care of it with love. And then you have the capacity to give the overflow out into the world. The pure water of love.
Thank you for this opportunity to share with you. This has been a three-part series, and for those of you who have just heard Part 3, I hope you will go back to April and May and hear parts 1 and 2 as well. Thank you.