You are Love; We Are Love
Video is closed captioned.
Aaron channeled by Barbara Brodsky: March 5, 2017.
Monthly Dharma Talk (Not yet reviewed by Barbara and Aaron)
Aaron: My blessings and love to you. I am Aaron. Thank you for joining me today. People look at me and say, “Well, you’re a spirit. What does that mean?” I look back at them and say, you are also a spirit. What does that mean? You are incarnated now, that spirit essence of you, in a physical body. I am presently not incarnated in a body, nor have I need to come back in human form; the karma is resolved. So I use this instrument, this human telephone whom I cherish named Barbara, as a way to make direct contact with you. So we have a body; we don’t have a body. We are all spirit. We share that.
Then people ask me, “Well, why do you come back? Why are you here?” I am here to teach love. It’s as simple as that. To teach you that you ARE love. Not even teach, so much as remind you that you are love and to remind you that you have the ability to live that essence of love that you are.
What else do I teach, people ask. What else is there but love? Love in all its voices, in all its expressions. To look deeply at what blocks the deepest expression of love.
I often call what I teach “dharma”. Perhaps I call it that because in my final human lifetime I was a Buddhist meditation master in Thailand, so the word dharma is a familiar one for me. But when you understand what dharma means, you understand it’s not a Buddhist term, it’s just a very clear word. It means the deepest truth of things as they are. I am not a Buddhist. I am not a Jew, a Muslim. I am not a member of any specific religious tradition. All the great Masters convey the same truth: you are love. We are love. There are many paths to understanding that love. So when I use the word dharma, I’m not inviting you to be a Buddhist. I’m just inviting you to look deeply at how things really are. And because the Buddha gave such a clear enunciation, I often borrow his vocabulary.
Everything in this mundane world of ours arises from conditions, ceases when the conditions cease. If certain atmospheric conditions are present, rain will fall. When the conditions cease, the sun will come back out. Sometimes you can affect the conditions; sometimes you cannot. You can’t stop the clouds from gathering or the rain from falling. You can affect how you relate to it.
So objects arise into our experience of our minds and our bodies because the conditions are present. And when they cease to be present, when those conditions have passed, then the object passes.
Some objects that come to us are pleasant and some are unpleasant. You’re sitting in your backyard enjoying a picnic. Birds arrive. They’re beautiful. There are hummingbirds on the flowers, a cardinal sitting in the bushes. Beautiful songs filling the air. Ahh, I love the nature of this backyard! It’s so beautiful. I am so grateful for this backyard.
And then the skunk comes across. He sees you, and in his moment of fear, he lets out his smell. That pungency fills the yard. Unpleasant. You didn’t move. The birds are still singing. You didn’t cause the skunk to let loose its smell. It did it because it saw you and it had a certain fear. It was protecting itself.
Do you then hate your backyard? Of course not. And yet the thought might arise, “I hate that skunks have access. I’m going to build a barbed wire fence all the way around my yard.” You do that, and then you notice that the chipmunks and the deer and the rabbits, none of them are in your backyard anymore. Your yard used to be like a nature preserve; suddenly the birds are there but there are no more animals.
Objects will arise out of conditions and they will pass away when the conditions cease. And yet we do have some power over this whole cycle in how we react to what has arisen. If I put up the fence around my yard to keep the skunk out, I’m keeping the deer and rabbits out. If I can refrain from that reactivity and just note occasionally there will be a skunk, I make my peace with that. I have a choice. I don’t have a choice about what comes but how I will relate to it.
Now we are moving into a period where your new president has taken office. For some of you, it was as if the deer had come into the yard, and for others as if the skunk had come in. The question from me is, how do you relate to it? You do not have a choice about whether the skunk will arrive, but you have a choice about whether you will suffer when he comes in, or whether there can be equanimity. And, to take this a step further, and a vital step, whether that equanimity brings spaciousness, or whether instead there is contraction and anger that perpetuates the karma. In a sense, the more angry energy you send out, the more stinky skunks you invite into your yard.
If you don’t want the stinky skunks in your yard, can you instead just hold spaciousness around the occasional one that comes in and say, “Not in my yard, please. But if you must come into my yard, please don’t let out your smell. You are safe here. You will not be attacked here. I send you light, my brother, and I let you be.” You’ll find that fewer skunks come in, and those that do come in are not frightened and so they don’t send out their scent. That’s just a protective device.
Of course I have a metaphor here. Whether your skunk is a political official, or a neighbor with whom you have some arguments, or your boss at work, or your parent or child, who is the figurative skunk in your life right now and how do you relate to that skunk? There are always going to be skunks. You have the choice about how you relate to it.
Now, taking this one step further, you might ask me, why should there be skunks in the world? Why can’t I have a life of joy and peace and ease? I am sorry, dear one, but you did not come into the incarnation as R&R. You came in to work, to learn, to grow. I hope you have great periods of joy and ease, of true delight and love. But there is also going to be some challenging catalyst. And you have invited that because of your intention to growth and to learning. If nothing ever pushes you, how can you learn how to respond skillfully to push? Why not just stay on the higher planes? Why take birth, if you’re not going to invite in some catalyst that will teach you?
Imagine the school child. He or she has learned to read “The cat sat in the hat” and to add 2+2. And then the teacher adds a next level book. The teacher adds two-figure, 47+43.
“I can’t do that! No, I won’t even try. I only want 2+2 and ‘cat in the hat’.”
Fine. This child is now 17. “Can you read?”
“Oh yes, ‘The cat has a hat.’”
“Can you add?”
“Yes. 1+1=2. 2+2=4. I can do that.” There’s no challenge. It’s easy.
Someone might finally say to this child, this now-17-year-old, “Would you like to learn to read more, to do greater figures?”
“Well yes, I see people around me that can do that. But I don’t believe that I can learn that. It’s too hard.”
“Are you willing to push yourself a little bit?”
“Yes.” And suddenly this teenager learns that he can do calculus. He can read encyclopedias. He always had that capacity, but he did not believe in that capacity. He was not willing to test himself.
You have come into the incarnation to grow and to learn. Not to learn calculus and challenging reading; to learn love. So here you are in the incarnation and you say, “Oh, nothing heavy! Nothing hard!” Or when it comes, “Oh why is this happening to me?” But my dear one, you invited challenge because of your loving intention to grow. To learn how to love more deeply. To give more graciously. To let go of the ego and know self and other as one. It’s hard work.
To go back to the beginning of my talk, everything in this conditioned world arises from conditions and passes away when the conditions cease. All of the old stories, “Why is this happening to me? Poor me, it’s not fair. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I can’t do it.”, these are stories. They arise because the conditions are still present for them to arise, old habit that has not yet resolved itself. Everything arises from conditions, including the stories, “I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not loving enough. Poor me. I’m not wise enough. I don’t know how.” Are you ready to let go of the stories of limitation and begin to know your vastness, including your power for kindness, love, and compassion, including your infinite wisdom?
It’s your choice. You can keep living in those limiting stories, or you can make the decision, “Enough.” How many times do you have to watch it replay before you finally say, “Enough.”? And enough does not mean there will not be any more skunks sending out their fumes, only that when they do you will be able to bow to the skunk. You will be able to say, “Welcome skunk, I’ve been expecting you.” And eventually to see it coming and just hold space, and maybe it will pass through without letting off its stink. The nature of the skunk is to let off that smell. This is the way the world is. There will always be those who let off a sharp, pungent smell.
You may notice that I’m turning my head some here. I’m sitting in this room recording this and there are people coming and going. Unfortunate, but so be it. This is exactly what I’m talking about. We’re not in control of what happens but of how we relate to it. “Oh, come in. Oh, the phone is ringing.” We don’t live in a vacuum. It’s up to you whether you suffer from what arises or whether you just hold space for it and offer love.
And this is the heart of the dharma: whatever has the nature to arise has the nature to cease, and is not me or mine. That means I must attend to it, but I don’t have to create an identity with it. I don’t have to be afraid of it. I can hold space for it. I can say a compassionate no, when appropriate. And I can relax into the inevitability that sometimes the rain will fall.
Thank you for hearing me, and may there be more sunshine than rain for you. But when it rains, may you find equanimity with the rain and a lovely fire to sit by until the storm has passed.