April 28, 2020 Tuesday Evening, Dharma Path Class
Aaron and Love, Guided Meditation to Rest in the Garden, Knowing We are Love and Bringing That Love Back Into the World
Year 2; Session 2; Class 8
Barbara: … Aaron and Love led me through this meditation; it was wonderful. Obviously what they do tonight may not be exactly what they did with me, but I think you’ll find it valuable. So, without saying anything else, I’m just going to invite Aaron in. Aaron is going to start this and bring Love in at the appropriate time.
Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. I hope you are all healthy and surrounded by the blossoming of springtime, the growth of new life that touches your hearts.
We’ve been working with the Dharma Path for two years, this year increasingly with the path of sacred darkness. As we have noted, for many of you this has been a time somewhat of darkness. It’s very painful for some of you, knowing friends are sick, knowing many around the world are ill and dying, knowing many have lost their livelihoods. Many are afraid. Many are alone or feel alone—different to be alone than to feel alone; no one is ever truly alone.
I’d like you to settle in either looking at me or with eyes closed, whichever suits you. I’m going to invite you on journey with me.
(pauses are give but not written here)
We live in a village in a beautiful valley at the base of a range of mountains. Our valley is fertile; on the lower hillside slopes above the village, are many fields of wildflowers and beautiful growing trees. We have lived here in abundance and joy, in good health, for many generations. Most of you have several generations of family here—parents and grandparents, children and grandchildren. It is a peaceful valley, for the most part very free of crime, where people have felt safe.
Two days ago, heavy rains began. It rained, and it rained, and it rained. Large patches of earth began to slide down the mountain into the valley. And then the earth shook with a large earthquake, bringing down much greater landslides. Houses were demolished, fires burst out. The valley flooded, the small stream that runs through it is now a raging river.
Those of you who are able to help had not known what to do first. Who was left alive? You have worked together for several days pulling out a few living people and mostly corpses. The buildings continue to burn. The river continues to rage. Mud still flows.
Finally, totally exhausted and filled with grief, filled with anger and fear, you turn away from that central part of the village. As you walk up the first slopes, you see me standing there, a familiar figure you have seen before. I come to greet you. I wrap you in my arms, and you cry on my shoulder for a while. “What shall we do, Aaron? How can we survive this? My family is gone. My home is gone. My friends and relatives are gone. What shall I do?”
A number of you now are coming up to hug me in this way. I offer what comfort I can. Then, reaching out my hand to you, “Come with me. Please come with me.” At first you decline to leave the disaster below but I gently point out your exhaustion and that a break is needed before you can act further. And so, we begin to climb up the path, now quite muddy but still passable, the path that leads from your valley and your village.
Climbing. Still hearing the shouts and cries, the lament and pain. We climb higher. “Should we return now,” you ask. “No, not yet. Come with me.” We climb up, up to the first summit, to the place where when you come over the top you can see how the trail continues down a bit and then rises up the next slope. The village is out of view. Down, and we climb again. Reaching the next summit. You pause to look behind you. You can see the clouds of smoke from the fires, but you can no longer hear the cries of fear and pain.
Let us pause here. I’ll spread a blanket, and I have hot tea. Let us just sit and rest here for a minute, offering our loving wishes to all who are caught there below. It is time to take a breath; a time to cry; a time to pray…
After some time of rest, we begin to climb again up this second slope. Further up, rising, rising, and over the top. And again, the trail goes down a bit and then rises. We pause just on the far side of the summit, the village now completely hidden from your sight. I bring out food and beverage, some warm garments for those who are cold.
After a rest break, we go on, climbing again. The rain has stopped but the trail is still muddy. These slopes, though, have not washed away, have not been prey to the earthquake, but are filled with wildflowers. The flowers seem almost cruel when you remember what is behind you.
We climb… We climb…
We come to a plateau and a small cave. It has been stocked with blankets and pillows, with food. “Rest, my friends, rest.” A fire is lit. You are numb from the pain, from loss. You don’t know how to go on. But you take some food that is pressed upon you and a blanket, and you rest.
Allow yourself to feel your pain, even despair, anger. To feel the darkness…
In the night, the last of the rain stops. A full moon comes out and a million brilliant stars. From the mouth of our cave we see the sunrise in the east, the sky becoming lighter and then filled with beautiful colors. Some breakfast refreshment, and we continue to climb up the slope, over another peak and down a bit, and up again, ever climbing.
We pass above the timberline now, just rocks below our feet and a cool breeze. Snow and ice on the ground. You are exhausted from your pain and from this arduous journey. “How much longer, Aaron?” “Not too far. Let us walk on.”
The path drops down between two steep cliffs into a narrow ravine, everything covered with snow and ice. But in this passage at least there is no wind. We begin to descend, the walls of ice and rock beside us; coming down into warmer temperatures and some greenery again.
And then, suddenly, the path opens into a vast and magnificent valley. Here are green pastures and floral meadows; lovely stands of trees. You see deer grazing, rabbits playing. Fox wander across the fields. Beautiful birds are everywhere filling the air with song , and butterflies lend color. Here and there in the distance, people are walking. A few are bathing in the river. Some are picking fruit from a tree. The scene feels so restful.
“Come with me. Let us descend.” People see you coming and run to meet you, to embrace you. They hand you fruit, cheese, and other good things to eat—delicious water fresh from a spring, wonderful wine. “Come, come! You are home. Come!” And so you are embraced, and each of you led with a family to a place of shelter where you are made to feel very at home, to feel that you are indeed cherished.
Days and then weeks go by, and there is deep healing. You are still mourning, still grieving, and yet the heart feels lighter. There is a sense of joy again.
You live here for who knows how long—there are no clocks or calendars. There is abundant food, lovely bonfires in the evening, dancing and singing. Prayer and sharing of songs and poetry. Fish almost seem to jump out of the stream into your hands. Everywhere, food is plentiful. Everywhere, there is friendship.
And so, some months pass. This place feels so comfortable. It’s painful to think of your destroyed home over the mountains. But your heart remembers the loved ones. What has become of my friends, my family, my home? What can I do for them?
There’s no discomfort to stay here in peace, but the heart longs to again be of service, to go where there is true need. How much time have we been here—a week? A month? A year? With these thoughts in mind you lay down to sleep.
At this point I am going to turn this over to Love for a few minutes and then I’ll return.
Love: I am Love, and I greet you in joy and in love. Through the night you hear my voice: “I am Love.” You have lived in this peaceful garden filled with everything you need for time interminable. Now your heart is asking, “What dwells beyond this garden? Where am I needed? I am healed, or at least healing. I am ready to emerge, not to leave this garden behind me but to bring it with me to where it is truly needed.”
Hear my voice calling you, as that song, “I have heard you calling in the night…” “(Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?…”) Yes, it is you. If you are ready, if you are guided to leave the garden, there is much service you can do in the world. You may stay here as long as you need to stay. But at dawn Aaron will be going down the mountain, over the various ranges and back to your village. Let all who wish come along. Take his hands and go with him. I, Love, I invite you.
Love always surrounds and embraces you. It is fine to stay here; Love’s garden needs to be tended. Yet it is also fine to come and bring the fruits of the garden out to the places of suffering. There is no right or wrong choice, here. If you feel so moved to come with me, please come, and we will descend the mountain together and see what service may be offered to the outer world.’’
And so, time beyond time, you said, “Yes, Love, I am ready to leave the garden.” And you stepped out with so much courage to experience the world, the world of conditions, the world of gain and loss. The world of fear; the world of sorrow. “Yes, Love, I will bring this heart of love out into the world.”
Each of you who are here in human form, of course you took this journey, or you would not be here in human form. I am so grateful to you for your willingness to step out of the garden and re-enter the world of conditions to bring love to that world of conditions. You were not created to remain in the garden but to manifest your own free will choice to stay there as long as felt right and then to leave. And then to come back when you needed to and rest, as you have just rested through this timeless time.
At dawn, those who wish will go with Aaron back down the mountain and I, Love, I stand here at the edge of the garden, my hands open to you, always ready to embrace you and welcome you. You are part of me. I love you.
Now morning has broken and Aaron is up there, high up amongst the rocks where garden exits, up into the high peaks. His hand is out to you. I release the body to Aaron, and I love you. Know I am always here to welcome you, whenever you wish to come back.
Aaron: I am Aaron. It takes such love and courage to come from this deeply protected, high energy, sheltered place; to walk the high trails; to climb, perhaps to hunger. It takes enormous love to remember pain again, and loss; to reenter the conditioned world. Let all who wish, come with me. The rest, there is no shame to stay for as long as you have need. When you are ready, you too will reenter the world of conditions to serve as your loving heart is best able to serve.
Now please wrap your cloaks warm around you, for as soon as we leave the garden the winds will blow, and the snow is falling. We must climb higher up into this crevice between the rocks and over the high peaks before we can descend to a more sheltered place.
Thank you for your love and courage.
“What will we find down there, Aaron? Did anyone survive? Does the village remain? Will I find my beloved ones? Will I have a home? What will happen to us?” I cannot answer you. You enter the world of conditions.
You carry with you a tool that changes everything. This tool is the love burning in your hearts. This tool is your radiance, your hope and joy, and your deep aspiration to be of service.
. . .
We climb, moving up and then dropping down quite a ways. And again, ascending a bit and dropping down. Snow and sleet, dark night. The earth rumbling, still. “Aaron, how long were we in that garden?” It could be 10,000 years or no more than a moment—does it matter? Letting go of this garden. Know it’s in your hearts and you carry it with you. And the voice of love you carry with you, and your own heart of love.
. . .
Descending. Now we are coming over the last rise. Feel the fear. What will we see? What remains? As we come over that last rise it seems like no time has passed at all. The fires are still burning. You can still hear the cries of people. The river is still tearing down the mountain. But you have found your own essence, your own love and strength.
Now you have a response to the anguish and terror. “I am Love. You are Love. I know what to do.” Say it with me. “I know what to do. I am Love.” You no longer have need to deny the darkness and run from it because you carry your own eternal light with you and the power of that pure being.
Now we all, this whole group of us, descend the final slope. Ropes are drawn out. People are pulled out of the muck and out of the river. Fires are quenched. All who can be saved are saved, drawn up onto the dry ground, wrapped in blankets. Offered warm tea or other beverage. Your heart is able to tell people, “The garden I have come from, it is not somewhere up there, a week’s walk into the mountains, it is right here. Right here with this seemingly demolished valley is our home. We have the strength and courage, the wisdom, the love, to recreate this garden right here.”
Each of you has made that commitment. Each of you is walking right now through dark valleys, unable to see what the future will hold.
But your heart controls that future. Hold that dream of Love, of an Earth in which all beings cherish every other sentient being and the Earth itself, knowing, we are one and we love. We love, and we are Love.
My dear ones, feel the power that you have when you know you are Love and you bring that home out with you into this outer world. You have the strength and power to manifest whatever it is you choose.
Despair may come at times. Please don’t get caught in its stories. Right here in this darkness, we convert the darkness from simple darkness to sacred darkness by bringing Love into it, by bringing our eternal home, the loving heart that is your home, into the darkness, lighting the way for all beings.
Here we have perhaps 40 of you, and in 10,000 places on Earth, 40 here and 40 there, each making this happen. Each holding the power of Love to co-create that which is truly for the highest good. Each with the ability to remember, “I am love.”
I thank you for taking this journey with me. I’m going to ask us to just sit quietly for 5 minutes before we end.
Feel your heart’s commitment. Come back into this world that is so filled with suffering at the moment. Come here with Love and use the power of that Love for transformation.
Thank you for being with me.
I am Aaron. I release the body to Barbara.