Tag: barbara brodsky

Dharma Journal | April 2018 | Vipassana Meditation-Deeper, Clearer Seeing

Recorded at Steiner House in Ann Arbor Michigan in March 2018 during the Spring Vipassana Retreat.

Video and Transcript, the video is also closed captioned.

March 11, 2018 Sunday, Steiner Retreat, Ann Arbor 
Part 2: Vipassana Meditation | Deeper, Clearer Seeing

There are many forms of meditation; there is no one right form. What is the desired end? Why are you meditating? At Deep Spring Center we teach a mixture of vipassana and pure awareness meditation. This weekend you’re here specially to work on vipassana. I’ll touch on pure awareness just a few minutes as I talk, but not in depth.

Vipassana is a Pali language word, the language from which these teachings originated in southeast Asia. Passana means to see, and vipassana means deeper, clearer seeing. Normally we deeply see the things that are pleasant and we avert our gaze from that which is unpleasant. Vipassana invites us to stay present. When we do, we notice that some things are pleasant, some are unpleasant, and some are neutral, and how we normally relate to these experiences. When something is unpleasant, “Ooooo! I like that!” When it’s unpleasant we contract and pull away. When something is neutral we normally get bored by it and look for something else to entertain us.

When something is pleasant and we like it, that’s fine. “I like that.” But then, grasping comes: “I want that!” Can you feel the distinction? “I like it.” “I want it!” “I like it” doesn’t have any contraction to it. It’s open. Just, “Oh, it’s lovely.” “I want it! I want flowers!” Unpleasant: “I don’t like that”, free of contraction, versus “Aaack! Get rid of it!”, run the other way, with contraction. And neutral— hmm, kind of boring; where else can I go? Can I just be here with nothing? A little bit boring, nothing happening. The mind wanting something to stimulate it.

So, we start to watch mindfully, not just in meditation but in our daily lives, how we habitually relate, and we start to see the patterns. Very strong patterns like I mentioned earlier, my pattern of, “I”ll be upright when something pushes me.” To tighten myself and push back. (demonstrating push arms) push hard… (Barbara just relaxes with the push, then feeds the energy back) eventually she’ll stop pushing and then I’ll straighten up. Now, I can just keep doing that. How long is she going to keep pushing? Thank you.

I don’t have to push back. I don’t have to resist the push and tighten myself. I don’t have to run away. I just dance with it. We do this with arms. Push through… Now I’m pushing back hard! Can you see the contraction? Now I collapse with the push. Versus just dancing with it… I give the energy back. Just dancing with it. I can do it forever. As she begin to push hard—I’m dancing with it and I just kind of return the energy. And she pushes again… hard… I absorb it and push it back, return it. You can dance with it forever. This is not how most of us habitually live our lives. We harden up or we run, fight or flight, or freeze, try to disappear.

In sitting practice, we have the wonderful opportunity, just sitting, breathing in, breathing out. I am peaceful and relaxed and suddenly a fly lands on my forehead. It’s just a little tickle. It’s not really unpleasant, it’s not like something is burning me or hitting me. Tickling, tickling. I feel it, “unpleasant, unpleasant.” And I feel the “I don’t want this.” It goes so quickly from unpleasant to, “Oh no, is this fly going to be landing on my head the whole hour? What am I going to do? I can’t stand it.”

This is a vital point of practice. The touch of the fly is no longer the predominant object. My contraction around the fly is predominant. Can you feel that shift? Touching, touching, knowing it as unpleasant. Feeling myself contract, strong aversion, don’t want this. Tension, tension. Breathing in, I am aware of the tension. Breathing out, I hold space for the tension. I begin to relax, and the fly is still walking across my forehead. But I’m no longer feeling that strong degree of contraction, aversion and irritation. Then I can reach my hand up and just gently brush it away.

The experience is similar with body experience. Sitting, perhaps sitting with your legs crossed there on the cushion, and pain in the knee developing. Feeling pain, feeling pain. Same thing— same story: oh no! This is going to ruin my meditation because there’s pain in my knees. How can I find peace and meditate if there’s pain in my knees? Well, your meditation is not to find peace in a way of controlling your experience, but to open to the innate peacefulness that’s always there. To realize the power of that spaciousness and joy and peace in yourselves.

So, one notes the pain. Breathing in, I am aware of the pain. Breathing out, I hold space for that pain. We can do subtle things, like try to use the practice to make the pain go away. I’m holding space for it, I’m being kind to it, but it’s not going away. What am I doing wrong? We get into these stories too.

Instead, one notes pain as throbbing, as burning, pulsation, tingling. Then the growing aversion to the sensation is noticed, and how the whole body is hardening around it. Noting contraction. Same thing exactly as with the fly. The pain in the knee is no longer predominant. The strength of my “I want to get rid of it”, and the whole body contracted around it, is predominant. I breathe, noting contraction, anger, fear. You don’t have to give it a precise label, just contracting or aversion will do. Opening, relaxing, so that the heart is fully present with this human’s experience of body pain. Unpleasant, unpleasant. And then, very gently, I move my leg. Just once, into a different position. Releasing the pain— that’s a kind thing to do for our bodies when they hurt. But I don’t do it repeatedly, … “My knee hurts; I need to move it. (moves it) There, that’s better. Now my other knee hurts. I need to move it…. Better. Oh no, my back hurts too. I need to move that.” My shoulder hurts, my neck hurts— we can spend the whole hour trying to run away from pain rather than exploring our relationship with pain and finding the one who is aware of pain, and the deep place inside me, that can hold space for the pain and take appropriate care of the pain, without having to hold my body in contraction. My heart may be closed, the stories flowing— “I’m not going to be able to walk at the end of the sitting. My knees are going to be locked in place, they’re so painful. They’re going to have to cart me off to the hospital.” The experienced people are laughing. These stories come. If the story comes, just say, “Shhh….. Story! Story”” Quiet the story. Come back to the experience.

One may ask, “what does this story protect me form?” Often the stories are a way of avoiding something greater than the discomfort, like fear, grief, or anger.

All of these challenging experiences will come, I promise you. I want to read you a favorite poem of mine. It’s called “The Guest House”, by Rumi.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jellaludin Rumi

So our practice is not to control our experience. We’re all experts at controlling our experience. Our practice is to open our hearts and remind ourselves how to be present with love in painful and un-painful experiences— in beautiful experiences, too. How to just open our hearts.

We start with what we call a primary object. For those new to practice, it will be the breath. Feel the experience of the breath coming into the nostrils and flowing out. Try it with me. A slightly cooler sensation of touch at the nostril. Breathing in, and then the out breath, softer, warmer, touching the upper lip… (frequent pauses, not noted)

You can label it “breathing in and breathing out,” or you can just feel it. Just aware of that touch, knowing the direct experience of the inhale and the exhale. And again, the inhale… and the exhale…

As I inhale, I pick up a scent. Perhaps the cook is in the kitchen cooking food. Can others of you smell that? Subtle, a very lovely scent. It’s immediately pulling my attention from the breath to the scent. Pleasant, pleasant. So I’m still breathing, but the scent is also becoming predominant…

And now, I don’t know where the scent was coming from, but it’s gone. What’s predominant now is a kind of grasping after that scent. Where did it go? I want it back! Subtle tension. Breathing in and aware of the tension; breathing out and aware of the tension. The tension dissolving.

So this predominant object has faded away. The secondary objects have faded. I just come back to the breath. Breathing in, breathing out. Breathing in, and breathing out… As I sit here, I begin to feel the sun is no longer hitting the window. It’s not warming me anymore. I begin to feel chilly, cold. My body closes in tight— cold, cold. It’s not very cold, so it’s a more neutral sensation. I simply note it. Feeling cold, feeling cold, but it’s not holding my attention strongly. I consciously let it go and come back to the breath. Breathing in and breathing out…

Now, I cannot hear this but you can. You’re breathing, you’re relaxed, and suddenly:(tapping cup, glass, other objects on table). Hearing, hearing… (bell/gong) Unpleasant. If you’re trying to meditate it’s going to be unpleasant, whatever kind of sound it is, because you don’t want it. Somebody singing in a beautiful voice in the next room— “But I’m trying to meditate.” Or the lawnmower going, or the snowblower. “Hearing, hearing.”

So, we are present with the primary object. For the beginners, let’s let it be the breath for today. When something becomes predominant, we allow attention to move to it. We are not trying to hold our attention on the breath. That means pushing something away. That’s not being present with our direct experience of the moment. To be present in this moment, with its lovely sound, pleasant, pleasant; with its unlovely sound, unpleasant, unpleasant; with the contraction with the unpleasant; or with the pleasant. Maybe you live in an apartment and through the wall you heard your neighbor, who is a concert violinist, playing his violin. Pleasant, pleasant, ahhh, pleasant. And then he stops. “But I want more of it!” Grasping, grasping.

When we can be present in each moment with things as they are, we see the almost subtle intention to move to a story, such as, “I’ll never hear the rest of that concerto; he stopped.” Or, “I’ll never be able to meditate, the traffic is too loud.” Or the snowblower is too loud. We see these stories building up, and, my favorite response to stories is, “Is that so?” If I really want to hear the rest of the concerto I can go knock on my neighbor’s door and say, “Would you play it for me?” If the snowblower is loud, I can remember it’s blowing away the snow for me, so I’ll be able to walk down my driveway or path. “Thank you, thank you.” Or if it’s across the street and it’s not going to help me, I can just note my neighbor is getting his snow cleared. Sound, sound, loud sound, maybe unpleasant sound. Can we make space for that? And you can, you really can. Most people have not tried, but moved into that fight or flight or freeze. Get away from it, control it. Run out screaming and say, “Shut off your snowblower!”

Learning to live peacefully in myself means watching these arisings of war in myself. I talked earlier about clear comprehension. What is my highest purpose here? Is it to perpetuate a war within myself and in the world? Or to find a way to live peacefully with things as they are? With the early morning snowblower, with my husband’s stroke, where is peace?

Somebody asked me last night, is there still any joy in your life? Actually, I was talking to somebody on the phone, not a person who I know very well in terms of heart-centered discussion. He said to me, “Your life will change totally and you’ll never be happy again.” This is somebody who has also lost a loved one. I said to him, “Thank you for sharing your experience of it.”

I thought to myself when I hung up the phone, am I happy? Yes, I’m happy. I have wonderful friends! And many more of you out there, even those I’ve never met who are here today. People who I love, genuinely love. My heart is open. I’m awed by the strength of my three sons, and their wisdom and their love. I’m going to buy myself some sushi for lunch. I’m going to go and hold Hal’s hand again. And if I find he’s dying, this morning, then I’ll still hold his hand and say goodbye. But I can be happy, and that does not negate the grief.

Our practice allows ourselves to just be— just sitting with the unpleasant noise, the snowblower. “It’s interrupting my practice. I can’t practice with it.” Oh yes I can. Right here is my practice, to be present with sound, maybe unpleasant sound, and find the spaciousness to hold both the unpleasantness of it and the real joy of being. Here I am, a human— you can all hear the sound, I can’t. Imagine my joy if I could hear that snowblower! To be present with things as they are. Just sitting with unpleasant sensations like sadness and finding joy in the shared human experiences of joy and sadness! I am alive! I feel!

We call this practice choiceless awareness. We do not try to control what arises in our experience, nor do we climb on and ride it off into the sunset. We notice it. We hold space for it. We note that it has arisen out of many conditions. If you were going to go for a beautiful walk and suddenly it started to sleet, “Oh no, I was going to walk in the Arb. I really wanted to get out there and walk but the sun is gone, the sky is gray now. Oh no.” There are atmospheric conditions, and the sleet arose from the conditions. Breathing in and aware of desire, frustration, yearning. Just breathing. Whatever has the nature to arise has the nature to cease. This is true of the sleet and rain. It’s true of the inner storm.

I had 2 weeks of intense storm churning inside me, until yesterday when it really began to release. So it took 2 weeks, but it didn’t take 2 years, or even 2 months. This doesn’t mean I won’t grieve anymore; it means I’ve remembered how to hold space for the grief, the fear, the pain.

This is the fruit of the practice. And we do it just like this. Hearing the snowblower, feeling the pain in the back, knowing the grief. Watching that move from the direct sensation— hearing or touching, throbbing, whatever— to the mental formation— fear, anger, or just contraction, the confusion of, “I don’t know what’s happening.” Turmoil. What is the direct experience of turmoil? Where is it in my body? I give it my full, kind attention. The pain in my knee or back is no longer the predominant object; the turmoil is, whatever form it’s taking. And like that sleet storm out there, as I give it attention, gradually it resolves and blows away. And maybe I’m left with a pain in my back. Ahhh, putting my hand back there and touching it for the kindness. Ahhh, maybe changing my posture a bit. And then moving on with the sitting.

I know A and D are going to carry these instructions further. This is just a beginning glimpse of the instructions. And if I were here with you for another hour or for the morning, I would now have you stretch and do some walking meditation and come back and have another round of instruction. Or have you just sit and meditate for a while.

So, I’m going to leave you all and go off to my husband in his new room, where we got him settled in last night, and see how he’s doing. And I’ll be back with you tomorrow morning. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Thank you for letting me be with you this morning.

Dharma Journal | January 2018 | The Teaching of Impermanence

Recorded in Barbara Brodsky’s office. Aaron discusses impermanence.

Video and Transcript, the video is also closed captioned.

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. Thank you for being with me now in your year 2018. Do some of you remember that shift from 1999 to year 2000? Do some of you re-member 1960, or 1950? Even 1940, or 1930? Yet, this flow of time is made up of moments, seconds, fractions of a second, and in one second, everything can change. In one second, the sun goes behind a cloud, and the snow begins to fall. In one second, two cars collide. In one second, a baby is born. In one second, a flower opens. All of this arising out of conditions, in each moment.

We talk about anicca, a Pali word which means impermanence; it means everything in this con-ditioned realm is constantly changing, and there is really no conditioned or mundane thing or thought to which you can hold. Everything changing. If everything is constantly changing, why are you so worried? Whatever is unpleasant now is going to be gone. Whatever is beautiful, and you’re holding, it’s will be gone.

In dharma class, we talk about the importance of living in this moment. This does not mean you cease to pay attention; you are constantly creating and co-creating the conditions out of which the next moment will arise, so you take care of those conditions. But all the planning in the world is not going to prevent the hurricane from passing through, the forest fire from sweeping through, the sickness of a loved one, or your stubbing and breaking your toe. Yes, you can be mindful and not kick that object. But sometimes you’re in the dark and you don’t see it.

There are two important points to balance, here. One is mindfulness and presence in each mo-ment, and one is the deep intention for that which is wholesome and beautiful in your lives and on the Earth. If you live in the moment with fear, “What if this doesn’t work? What if that hap-pens?”, your fear contracts your energy field. When thusly contracted, the light can’t pour out of you; equally important, you are armored, and the radiance of the outside world cannot pour in.

Notice I’ve said, ‘outside world’ and ‘into you’ as if there’s a duality, that which is out there and that which is within. On the relative level, there is a duality. This is not that. But on the ultimate level there is no duality. Everything is part of everything else.

When you look through the branches of a tree in the bare winter, as it is now, here in Michigan, you may see the clear sky. You see the black lines of the branches and the clear sky. They both exist but, being human, the everyday perception cannot focus on both at one time. So, the gaze shifts: branches, and sky. In any moment, one or the other will be predominant.

As you live in what seems to be a dual universe, present with this or present with that, objects arising and passing away, beyond all this arising and passing away, what continues? Is there an-ything that continues? Love continues! Awareness continues! The innate, let’s call it intelli-gence— by this I don’t mean mental intelligence, but the knowing heart; the innate intelligence of being; that which is connected to everything, it continues.

So, first we speak in terms of seeming dualities, like the tree branches and the sky. The tree branch, it will fade away eventually. The tree will decay. Even the sky may fade away. The sky is a conditioned object. Love and awareness do not pass away. Love and awareness are part of you— perhaps not a conscious part, right now, but yes, they are a part of you. You cannot lose them because they are not of the nature of conditioned objects; that is, they do not arise and then pass away related to conditions. They simply are. Don’t take my word for it, though. Begin to explore the nature of unconditional love in meditation. Begin to explore the nature of aware-ness in meditation. Observe Awareness, not consciousness, not mundane consciousness, but full presence. What is this awareness? What is this unconditional love, or where does it rest?

So, yes, we have impermanence on one level, everything changing. As we recorded this today, deep snow is falling everywhere. I’m looking out the windows here; snow on the branches, snow on the ground, flakes coming down. Tomorrow the sun may shine and burn away the snow. We can’t say the snow did not exist; it’s out my window, but it has no substantial reality. It comes and it goes, and it comes and it goes, again.

Some of you, as you are listening to this, may be feeling sadness, fear, anger, or confusion. Some of you may have pain here or there in the body. This is like the snow; it exists but it has no ultimate reality. That means you need to attend to the emotion or the physical discomfort, but not to give it power by making it something solid. This, then, is the blessing of the teaching of im-permanence. If an object or experience has the nature to arise, it has the nature to cease.

Why am I speaking of all of this? Many of you are troubled by what is happening in your world, at many different levels. The politics, the United States politics and the global politics, the envi-ronment, the wars, the wildfires sweeping through the land, burning trees and homes. The hurri-canes, the floods. You cannot turn your back on these. People are suffering because they have lost their homes. Perhaps even loved ones have died.

You must always do everything in your power to alleviate this suffering. But, holding fear of what has arisen as result of conditions and trying to fix what has arisen only creates more contraction and fear. It does not support release of suffering.

You can attend to these things— to the blizzard, to the hurricane, to the forest fire, to the auto-mobile accident, to the volcanic eruption, to the political hate-throwing – with an open heart. You can respond to these with a consciousness that refuses to be drawn in with fear, but instead comes forth to attend. It’s very helpful to remember, as it’s often said: This too shall pass. But you cannot hide yourself, and say, “Well, it will pass so I don’t have to pay any attention to it.” It will pass, and it still must be attended to.

That which is best able to attend is this aspect of you is what I call awareness. So, let’s look just a bit at awareness. It is the place where you come together with everything, no separation. We sometimes talk about this in terms of interbeing. Behind me here I have a wooden altar. It looks like a shelf with legs. What is it really? It came from a tree. It’s a slice of wood from a tree. The tree grew out of the earth. The sun and rain and the soil nurtured the tree. So, looking at this altar ¬– I don’t know if you can see it here behind me— let’s use a visible example, because you can see this: a wooden statue of the Buddha (holding it up). Is it a statue? Yes. A block of wood? Yes. But it’s also the sun and the rain and the soil. It’s the wood from which it came, the tree. It’s the forester who cut the log, and the sculptor who shaped it. It’s all of those things, all part of each other.

When you begin to understand the world this way, you can embrace more fully that yes, everything is arising out of conditions and must be attended from a loving place. When necessary, one must say “no” with love. And yet, nothing is permanent so there is no reason to live your life with fear. Not only no reason, but no use. Reaction form fear only makes things worse. But you can’t say, “So, I will get rid of fear.” No. How would you get rid of it? “I will hold fear when it arises and bring it into my heart. I will remember: this fear has arisen from conditions. It is impermanent. It will pass. And when the fear passes, the radiant heart and radiant awareness, love, remain and will be present.” This is what brings happiness and an end to suffering, knowing that you are that radiance and awareness. You are that love.

As you step into this new year, watch the fear that arises about the Earth, about political situations, and about your own personal situations, and offer yourself the intention not to get trapped in that fear, but to remember, “It arose from conditions, it is impermanent. I will take care of the fear and of the conditions. And I will live with love.” In this way, you can truly make a difference in the world.

Thank you.

Dharma Journal | December 2017 | Celebrate Your Own Birth Into Awakening

Recorded in Barbara Brodsky’s living room. Aaron discusses ‘what does it mean to awaken’ and Vipassana meditation, also celebrating your own birthday into awakeing.

Video and Transcript, the video is also closed captioned.

Barbara – Hello, this is Barbara. We’re taking you on a little bit of a tour this fall – my cabin, and we’ve been in my office. Today, for December, we’re in my living room. This is where, in 1989, I started having people come for meditation classes and gatherings with Aaron. You can’t see I’m facing the fireplace, but I sat on a zafu in front of the fireplace, and people sat on sofas and chairs around the room – 5 of us to start, and then 10 and then 20, and we bought lots of folding chairs. So this was our original home, and a few of you will remember sitting by the fireplace with me and with Aaron.

I want to share some personal delights with you. You see the painting behind me. I had been teaching sculpture at University of Michigan, and making sculpture. Then I met Aaron and really shifted and became a medium and dharma teacher, and I told my parents what I was doing. My mother is a wonderful painter. In my living room here – you can’t see it – but it’s filled with her paintings. So, a few months later when I came to visit, she handed me this painting. “This is for you.” I felt so loved and so cherished for her to see deeply into what was meaningful to me and to paint this beautiful painting of the Buddha.

Maybe a year or two later my oldest son was on a year-long trip through India and Asia. He was in Dharmsala and sitting and meditating as close as one can get under the Bodhi Tree where the Buddha was awakened. Leaves fell on him. He thought, “Oh, this is the perfect gift for my mom.” So these are leaves from the original Bodhi Tree … well, not the original, but the tree that has grown up there from the seeds that took root from the original – one after another, after another, numerous lifetimes of that tree.

It’s December now, and I think December 20th Aaron will offer his Christmas stories. For many years we had a big Christmas tree here in the living room, and people sitting around – sometimes 20 or 30 people squeezed into the room – Aaron speaking from a zafu in front of the fire, sharing his Christmas stories. So I’d like you to picture that scene as he talks now. I’m going to move out of the body and let Aaron incorporate. Thank you.

Aaron – My blessings and love to you. I am Aaron. Thank you for being here with me. As you watch this in December, you’re entering the annual celebration of what you consider the birth time of Yeshua ben Joseph, Jesus, son of Joseph. We celebrate his birth, but equally important, celebrate the awakening of yourself, who also is the Christ consciousness, or Buddha nature. You’ve forgotten who you are. But I would ask you, as you celebrate his birth, to celebrate your own birth into awakening.

In November, I talked about Vipassana meditation and the power of this meditation to lead you to live your lives with more wisdom and compassion and finally truly to awaken. I trust this practice because it was the ground practice for me, for my own full awakening. I trust it because for others whom I have watched learn the practice and deepen in it, I have seen them awaken.

What does it mean to awaken? To know your true nature as truly an expression of the living Christ, the living Buddha, the living awakened one. The word Buddha … people call him the Buddha, but that wasn’t his name, which was Siddhartha Gautama. The story goes he was walking down the street after his awakening, and someone looked at him radiant and said, “Are you a god?” “No.” “Well, what are you?” “I am awake.” In that language, “I am a Buddha. I am awakened to Buddha nature, awake.” Christ has the same meaning. He was not named Jesus Christ. Jesus, – Yeshua, as I call him – who was awakened into Christ consciousness, the highest awakened consciousness, where karma is resolved, where each lives completely from the true essence of love, of wisdom.

We look up to these beloved teachers for their examples. Now it is your turn to do the work and become the awake one that you already are. I hope by the time you are seeing this, my new book, Path of Clear Light, will be published and available. In it I delineate some of the non-dual practices where, for example, that which is aware of fear is not afraid. That which is aware of anger is not angry. That which is aware of darkness and contraction is not dark and contracted but opened and radiant. You don’t have to get rid of anything, only to more fully realize the truth of what you are. You are love. You are light. Why are you so resistant to letting yourself know that?

As we celebrate Yeshua’s birthday this month, celebrate your birth into the fullest possible awakening in two ways. Watch the places of resistance to the deeper truth. “I am light. I am love.” Why would you resist? But my dear ones, if you are truly love and light, you may feel you must be responsible to be that 24/7. You are human. No one in human form can be that clarity 24/7. When the conditions are present, anger, fear, confusion, doubt – they will arise. The issue is, how do you respond to these? And this takes me back into last month’s talk.

In honor of Yeshua, if you hold him deep in your heart, in honor of the Buddha, in honor of any enlightened master, hold your intention. “What he has done I also can do. I can wake up, and I can express love, light, patience, generosity, goodness, tenderness.” I can express all of these beautiful emotions, not because I have finally gotten something from out there that allows me to do this but because this is also my true nature, just as it is the Buddha’s and Yeshua’s true nature. So, we can awaken to our own true nature and live it more and more consistently. There is nothing to get rid of. When there is fear or confusion, pause and breathe and remember your highest intention. Is it to get lost in the fear, anger, or confusion again and yet again, or finally to say, “No, I am not going to get drawn in.”?

Picture the image. You are walking by a marsh that is known to have quicksand in it. Somebody comes running past you carrying a bag. He says, “This is gold. They’re chasing me.” And he throws it far into the marsh and runs on. Ten minutes later, soldiers arrive. “Where did he go? He has the gold. Where is he?” You don’t mention the gold, you just say, “He went that way.” Now what are you going to do? It’s a lot of gold. If you try to walk into the marsh, you’re probably going to drown in the quicksand. You try it. You drown in the quicksand. It’s not a pleasant death. Next lifetime, similar scenario. Maybe he has something else precious – diamonds – he throws it into the marsh.

How many times are you going to go into that marsh, drawn by greed, knowing you will probably be trapped by the quicksand and will die, before you say, “I don’t need the gold, those diamonds. I don’t need any of it. I am free. Greed is no longer pulling me into the marsh,” and you walk on? It could be greed. It could be anger. It could be any emotion. Opening your heart, see the arising of whatever has trapped you. See your deepest intention for freedom for the highest good of all beings, to be the Christ, the Buddha, the Awakened One that you already are. Say no to whatever is luring you downward, “No, no thank you,” and move on. And then you are free – free of the old karma, free to live your life as an awake one, truly centered in love and in light.

This living of the Truth is the greatest tribute you can give to these beloved masters who came to teach you this. I hope you will listen to my Christmas stories on December 20th. There is much more I would share with you more directly about Yeshua and what he felt it means to be awake. Many long conversations with him and experiences with him taught me about awakeness, long before I ever full awakened. If he can do it, if I can do it, you can do it.

And the wonderful part is there is nothing to do— you are already awake – only to let go of the idea that you are still enslaved. And indeed you are enslaved if your mind has not resolved itself with the old stories. Let go of them and come to know your true being. You are light. You are love. Nowhere to go, nothing to do – just joy, wonder, presence, and being.

On this December day I thank my beloved brother Yeshua and my teacher Siddhartha Gautama for all they have given me to allow me to know that I am awake and fully to pass that knowing onto you. Thank you, and may you have a blessed holiday.

2017 Dec. 20 – Evenings with Aaron – Christmas Stories

Aaron, Jeshua, and Barbara on the Awakened State; The Lord’s Prayer with Jeshua
Property of Deep Spring Center: https://deepspring.org/

Barbara: I’ve been introducing myself… The first part was not recorded, meeting Aaron. People began to come to me and ask, “Can we talk to him?” I said, “Sure; if you can hear him, you can talk to him.” Well, other people said, “I can’t hear him.” How do I do this? Aaron said, “Just listen the way you do when I’m talking to you and say out loud what you’re hearing.” Somebody then said to me, “Oh, you’re channeling.” What’s channeling? This was very new to me.

Everything he was teaching me for myself made so much sense, and people said what he was saying to them made sense. So gradually I began to trust it. — I trusted Aaron; what I didn’t trust was my own capacity to get it clear; to not tilt it slightly based on my own ego or fear or ideas. But gradually I began to trust that ability too.

This is back in 1989, in the living room of our house. People coming twice a week. One night a week for meditation class; at first, 4 or 5 of us, then 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 20! And people came one night a week, Wednesday nights, to hear Aaron. In December of 1989, with us gathered in my living room, Aaron said, “Since I was alive during Jeshua’s life, I would like to tell you some stories about what I knew of him.” That was our first Christmas Stories. We’ve been doing it annually ever since.

I find these stories beautiful. A friend, Bill Altork, put together a very lovely book of parts of the stories. Some of these stories are 10, 15 pages, but he’s extracted 2 or 3 pages and put these extracts together into a book called 47 Stories of Jesus. We have some for sale out there.

I love these stories and what they bring up for people. They help me to know Jeshua as a human being and not just the Jeshua of the Bible stories. They make him very real for me, very loving.

Fast forward. The past 15 years I’ve been a medium for other entities, not just Aaron, and among these entities, Jeshua, who has said he will also speak tonight. He will join us and share his take on what Aaron is teaching. It would be lovely if they could talk side by side, but only one can be in my body at a time. So, we’ll let them change places as needed.

That’s the introduction. Deep Spring Center meets here regularly. This is Interfaith Center. We’re blessed to be permitted to use the Center. Dave Bell founded the Center in— what year, David? 1998. Thank you, and thank you and Interfaith Center for sharing the place with us. It’s given us a wonderful home, with a wonderful energy, and we’re grateful.

I can’t think of anything else I need to say. For those who are interested in Deep Spring Center’s programs, please Google deepspring.org

That said, I’m just going to move myself out of the way and invite Aaron to come in.

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. What a joy to see all your faces! I don’t see the faces up there, but I imagine there are people there, yes? (yes) My love to all of you. We truly have an international audience here. People across the U.S. and Canada… We’ve had people in recent months from China, from Dubai, from all over. It’s such a delight to be able to share these teachings.

So here we are sitting by my campfire. It is a comfortable winter evening, but the fire feels good and we’re all gathered in close to hear campfire stories; to hear stories of my beloved brother and friend Jeshua. He has promised us he will put in a personal appearance later tonight.

Each month we do, I don’t know the technical word for it but making available something called Dharma Dialogue, a 20 minute sharing from me that’s on the web site and available to anybody online. In the December Dialogue I spoke about the idea of awakening, that we are all here to awaken, and yet at another level we are already awake. We all have the nature of awakened mind, but it has not yet fully become manifest. So, you are here in incarnation to help manifest that nature and bring it out into the world.

Some beings, like Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, were born not yet awake and awakened in the incarnation. He’s a wonderful model for us of the possibility to fully awaken. Some beings like Jeshua came here fully awake, and yet he was still human. He still knew body pain, knew emotions, but he did not need to enact them.

I said in the December Dialogue that I would speak a bit about my experiences with Jeshua as an awakened being. In some of the stories you’ve heard, after the told story drew to a close and I was still sitting there with Jeshua, I had the opportunity as I walked with him to say, “How did you do that? What was happening for you” as this or that event occurred? At that point I was not yet fully awake, but he gave me great insight into the nature of this awakened mind.

What do I mean by awake? Knowing the true self. Knowing who you really are, beyond the ego beyond all inner and outer forms. Knowing the radiant essence of yourself. The rest is clothing. It’s beautiful clothing, or sometimes it’s angry and confused clothing. But when you peel it all off, there is an essence, the radiant spirit, that you have forgotten in the busyness involved with all the externals.

When you live from that essence, it is very different because the deepest truth— not your truth but THE truth, the truth of God/Goddess, the truth of love, can come forth. When it comes forth there is nothing more powerful. Love.

Let’s begin with a story that I have told many times. A group of us were walking down a road with Jeshua. There was a man ahead of us with a very overburdened donkey. He was beating the donkey, who could barely lift his feet. He was tottering, falling to his knees, beaten and staggering up again. I could see that Jeshua became angry. Let me phrase that differently. I could see that tension was arising in Jeshua but not being expressed as judgment or hostility.

He approached the man and said, “Your donkey cannot carry that. We’re going your way. Let us take these burdens. We can all carry them, and you can walk with your donkey to the nearest village.” The man was alarmed at first. He thought we were thieves and we would take all these things and run off. “No, we would walk right here next to you. But this poor donkey is going to die on the road here, and it hurts my heart. Let us help.” So we carried the burdens, a half dozen of us, each laden down with something.

We reached the nearest village. The man walked up what would be a tavern, tied the donkey’s reins around a post, and ran inside. Said, “Just drop the things here.” Again, I saw anger come up in Jeshua. He untied the donkey and brought it into the nearest stable, made sure it had food and water. He very gently tended to the donkey’s wounds, wounds the donkey had received from his beating, and left the donkey fed, comfortable, warm, and with great relief from its pain.

That’s the story that I’ve told you so far, how Jeshua did not enact his anger on this man, which would have scared the man away, which would have just led him to beat the donkey more. But could say, “That’s enough. Let us help.” Because of Jeshua’s great presence and kindness, that help could be accepted. So Jeshua was a master of his emotions. He didn’t let his anger get in the way. I repeat, he was human, even though he was enlightened. So, if conditions were present, anger might arise. But he saw anger as energy, not as something that would be used to do harm to others. Just anger.

Afterward we sat around our fire, and I asked, “Jeshua, what were you thinking? What were you feeling?” He said, “I almost lost my temper. I was feeling so much rage at his beating of this poor beast. So much sadness that people can be so self-centered and hateful.” But he went on to say, “I remember that this is why we have all come into the incarnation. We have come to watch this kind of anger, the anger I felt, the anger the man felt, and to transmute anger to compassion. To use that anger as energy that could bring forth love. And so, from the force of my anger, the power of my anger, I was able to offer all of us to carry the donkey’s burden. To get him safely to a stable. To take care of him. And in this way, to bring greater Light into the world”

“What will happen tomorrow, Jeshua, when the man again attempts to load the donkey?”

“Ahh!” he said, “I have bought the donkey! The donkey will accompany us tomorrow, and he will have no burdens.”

“But won’t the man just buy another donkey?”

“There are no more donkeys available in town. I have asked. He will be forced to sell his wares here, or, to find several donkeys, which may somehow appear when he is ready to distribute the load on 4 or 5 appropriate donkeys.”

I said, “Jeshua, are you saying you can make that happen?”

He said, “No, not I. Love will make it happen. When you hold yourself with the heart of love, and choose to manifest in accordance with love,” he said, “you could call it God, the Father, Goddess, Love, whatever you wish, it will support the arising of what is needed when it is needed, when you move fully resonant with that need. But when there is anger trying to push and manipulate, then the situation just crashes. Then nothing wholesome can happen.”

He did not say, “I am an enlightened Master and I know this.” He just spoke from his heart. He never once, in all our time together, said to me, “I am an enlightened Master.” Only, “I speak from the heart of the Father, the heart of Love. I speak from the heart of the Mother. I am Love.” He knew this without any doubt. The question for him, I think, was how to help others know it within themselves too. He understood that pushing people, forcing people with anger, with fear, trying to coerce people, would only scare them more into the ego self and distance them from this awakened core. How do we help people find that awakened core and live from it? How do we find that awakened core and live from it? It is not so hard. But it takes a real commitment. It takes knowing your highest intention to do no harm but only good. And that you do have the power to choose in that way, to choose not to harm.

Another story, and here perhaps we’re going to do something a little unusual and see several sides of the story. A few of you thinking, “Aaron, no new stories tonight?” Well, after 30 years of telling these stories, how many new stories can I have of Jeshua? But we can go deeper, and you’re ready to go deeper. If you want those thirty years of stories, look in the book 47 Stories for the brief version. Look in the Deep Spring archives’ transcripts for the full stories. There are three decades of them.

Once again, several of us were walking down a road with Jeshua, in a valley with hills rising on either side. We heard cries—the road going straight, a pathway leading up into the hill, and cries of pain coming from up there. Jeshua said, “I will go. Come with me if you wish.” He looked directly at me as he said that, so it was clear to me that he wished me to come, but he was also leaving the choice to me.

I followed him, and my son, Mark, was with me, a boy of about 12 years. As we climbed the hill and around a bend, a half mile, we found ourselves in a leper colony. Immediately I was terrified, because I had been taught that leprosy was highly contagious. Jeshua was completely comfortable. We walked in. The cries were coming from a woman in childbirth, but the baby was not presenting itself correctly. They were not able to bring the baby forth, so she was in much pain, and the midwife was not able to help.

Jeshua turned to me, knowing I was a shepherd. My name was Nathaniel. He said, “Nathaniel, you know how to help a birth. Will you see what you can do?” And he left it open for me to say, “I don’t think I can. I know how to birth sheep, not humans.” But he looked deep into my eyes, and it was clear that he knew I could do this, if I could step beyond my fear.

So, really, a sheep and a human birth are not all that different. I was able to reach my hand in and untangle the way the baby was presenting, literally to draw it out. One foot was tangled around its head; I pushed the foot back so the head flowed out, and the baby was born. I’m sure Jeshua was able to help release some of the woman’s  pain, and that helped the smooth birth. Once I began, I was no longer afraid of leprosy. It was simply a woman who was suffering, a baby who would die. So, the baby was born, and I took the baby and handed it to Jeshua, who very gently wrapped it and handed it to Mark.

Fear came up. It’s okay for me; if I get leprosy, I get leprosy. But this is my beloved son, and he’s handing my son a baby, born of a woman with leprosy. What will happen to my son? Fear! Fear! And then the recognition: of course, Jeshua would not do anything to harm my son. And then another thought: but maybe it’s some kind of test? Who knows? And finally, surrender: whatever is for the highest good, I will trust this situation. And I smiled at Mark. All of this happening in an instant, all these running thoughts. I smiled at Mark and said, “Take the baby.”

That’s the basis of the story. There’s more in the archives, what happens afterward. A beautiful story, and I believe you can find it online[1]. When this is transcribed, I’ll try to find the rest of the story and piece it in. I don’t want to waste our time here tonight giving the rest of the story I’ve already told, because our focus tonight is a bit different.

I spoke about an idea with Barbara earlier, and she said she is willing to try this. The one who was my son in that lifetime, Mark, is the one who is Barbara now. She said she was willing for me to release the body to her briefly, and to answer a few questions. My question to her, when we discussed it this afternoon, was, I know she remembers this lifetime from her own present perspective. How did it feel being Mark? What sense of awake-ness, in yourself, in Jeshua, what helped you? That said, I’m briefly going to give the body to Barbara, and then I will take it back again.

(Aaron releases the body to Barbara; she takes a few minutes to settle)

Barbara: Thank you, Aaron. This is an experiment. We’ve never done this before. Aaron says, “You’re on.” Normally when Barbara consciousness is gone it’s pretty hard to come back into being Barbara. But this is not every-day Barbara consciousness; this is the consciousness that can remember this past life, that has worked at length with this past life. There is a softness here.

I/ Mark trusted Jeshua completely. If he said, “Hold the baby,” I would hold the baby. I knew he would never harm me. Clearly, if there were leprosy bacteria they could hurt me. But when I saw this past life, for me it was about seeing how we create whatever we create in ourselves through our fear. Fear brings contraction. When there’s no, I won’t say no fear, but when there’s presence with fear, one does not need to contract around the fear. Then the energy can flow smoothly. When the energy is flowing and open in me, it’s like walking past a field with grapes growing, and I can choose to reach over and pluck a grape, or not. I draw to me that which is wholesome. If I see a rotten grape, I don’t reach over and pluck it. It’s not from awakened mind, it’s just common sense, really. But for the most part we lose that free will choice because we get so lost in the patterns of, “I must do that. I can’t do this.” Fear, contraction, and so forth.

I think because Mark had no fear, because Mark so deeply trusted both Jeshua and my father, Nathaniel, I knew I would come to no harm. That does not mean I would not contract leprosy. If that was for the highest good then that could happen. And I also trusted that. So, it wasn’t, “Ah, I’m safe. I won’t contract leprosy.” It was a much deeper, “The soul is safe.”

Aaron is asking me now: what does this have to do with the awakened state? That’s a hard one, Aaron. You’re putting me on the spot. We didn’t pre-explore that piece of it earlier!

For me, the awakened state is living in the pure heart. It’s the pure heart of Jeshua, of the Buddha, of all the great masters, and it’s our pure heart. It’s the ability to live from that pure heart, and to trust that we’re capable to live from that pure heart. As soon as I say, “Ah, I can’t do that,” then I can’t. But when I know that I can, then I can.

Things may push at me. Here’s something that comes to mind, Aaron. I said we didn’t rehearse this part. When I say “rehearse”, I didn’t know what Aaron was going to be talking about, but he asked me if I would come in and talk about this lifetime with him and Jeshua. In ’04, when I had that very serious accident in the ocean, a near-death experience, unconscious, being tossed about by the waves, knocked to the ocean bottom, broken bones, severe injuries, there was a deep sense of trust. There was a strong, “I choose to live.” I understood I was being given the choice. It was made clear to me in that kind of tunnel of light I could move on and that would be okay. Or I could come back, and there was no guarantee what kind of body I would come back to. But it was my choice: I choose to go; I choose to live. And choosing to live, as I said, no guarantee what kind of body I’ll come back to. But I trust whatever is happening here, because the choice is made with love, is for the highest good. And it’s therefore safe, if I can put it that way, even if very unpleasant.

Aaron, is this all you wanted me to say? He is asking me, so you would not have said at that time, “’Jeshua is an awakened being,’ only that you loved Jeshua completely and trusted him?”  That’s right, that’s what I would say. He taught me that love is always the Path, and he demonstrated that Path. Aaron says, enough, he will come back to the body. He says thank you to me.

(Aaron incorporates)

Aaron: Once again, I am Aaron. With thanks to Barbara for her very fine mediumship skills to shift out of the body and to shift back into her body and then again, allow me back in.

I would not have said in those days that he was awake, either, because I as Nathaniel I had no conscious awareness of the Buddha or other awakened beings. I only knew Jeshua as love. I can just put it that way. I saw him so many times unwilling to take any action that would do harm to another. And yet, with the huge compassion to stand up and say no if Being A was trying to harm Being B. Not to say, “Oh, that’s okay; you can hit him.” — “NO.” What’s the difference between anger and a strength born of truth? “No, you may not harm another.” It doesn’t have to be said with anger. It’s said with infinite compassion, knowing the pain both beings are feeling. This was made easier for Jeshua to know because he did feel anger. He did feel confusion. He did feel fear. He understood these human experiences and he knew how to release them.

The awakened state. I’m going to read you something that I asked Barbara to print out. This comes from her private journals, probably 20 years ago. I am shortening it.

“What is enlightenment? Let us use the Buddha’s river. You cross and find yourself on a new shore. But immediately you realize that you’ve just set foot on land, that there is a whole world beyond. You are nowhere but at the beginning.”

You are all awake. You are nowhere but at the beginning, setting foot on that new shore and ready to walk that land of love. I cherish Jeshua because of his ability to model being love. Never once in all the time I spent with him did I see him act with malice. He acted with strength. Sometimes he acted in a way that might have seemed to be from anger. But it was never with the intention to do harm, only to help others wake up to the results of their own choices, and to make more wholesome choices.

A child had stolen something in the marketplace. The law of those days was that if a thief was caught, his hand would be cut off. This was a young child, 5 or 6 years old. People grabbed the thief, pulled the loaf of bread away. “Thief! Thief!” They were about to strike this child, and some were saying, “Cut off her hand!” Why would a 5 or 6-year-old be alone in the marketplace? Jeshua came in, very clear, very strong, and said, “NO. Let her be. I will pay for the bread.”

After people settled down a bit, he asked her, “Why are you here alone? Where is your family?” And she was scared, a young child. “Why are you taking bread?”

‘“The mother is dead. I live with the father. My father fell off a ladder. He cannot walk. He will starve. I can bring him water, but I have no food for him.”
“Take us to your father.” So, we walked for over a mile, down back roads and paths, and to the house where the father was propped up, just head resting on a cushion, sitting on the ground, covered with a blanket, with a broken leg. This was the best this 6-year-old daughter could manage.

Jeshua then was angry. He turned to the people who had accompanied him and said, “Did no one notice that this girl, whom you must have seen in your village before, was alone? Did no one think to ask where the father was?” And they looked ashamed.

He asked the men, “Who will take care of this man and this child?” A skilled person came forth to help set the leg. They helped to load the man and the daughter on a cart. Someone offered their home and the man and child were brought there, where they would be cared for. Jeshua was careful not to build on their shame, but to empower them. Now that you have made this error, what can you do? How can you make this right? And so many people wanted to make it right, so many stepped up. People came to take care of the man’s sheep in the pasture, his other animals, his gardens. People helped reroof a piece of the house that he had been thatching when he fell and broke his leg. The whole town joined in to take care of this man. It strengthened the town. He did not shame them, although they felt ashamed at first, but used their feelings to give them power and remind them, “You can use this incident to do good.”

What is the nature of the awakened being, as evidenced here? My experience is that Jeshua could see the big picture. He could see the man’s desperation, needing to get the roof thatched before the bad weather closed in. His pain and fear after falling, to the point of sending his daughter to find food. He could see the people’s anger, because they had been taken advantage, time and time again through their lives. “You will not steal from me!” “Ah, but will you give freely?” “Yes.” So helping them to see that they had the choice to give freely, and how it empowered them; how it empowered the whole community. The whole village came together and began to look around them at who else was needy in that village. People began to give gifts to others, gifts of material goods and of time and energy. Everyone began to prosper because there was a free flow of energy and of love. All this based on the giving of one awakened being.

From his awakened state he could see the big picture and understand what was needed, but he did not ever try to push things. He never said, “You should do this, you should do that,” but, “What will be done?” Letting people come forth on their own, from their hearts. Awakened nature has this heart of generosity and of broad seeing.

Now, looking at the clock, it’s close to 8pm. I’m going to pause here for a few minutes, let you stretch, and then invite Jeshua to come in. I’ll step out of the picture and bring in Jeshua…(They arrange for Jeshua to sit on a high stool where he seems most comfortable)

(break; then Jeshua incorporates)

Jeshua: All these entities are jumping in and out of the body! It gets a bit humorous, I suppose… I like to see my audience!  (people adjust their seats so Jeshua can see) That’s better. Doesn’t feel right to have my back turned to some of you at the campfire.

You have called me Jeshua. It brings me much joy to be here with you, to share this evening with you. I’m going to touch on Aaron’s topic, but also shift the focus a bit. You come together to celebrate what you think of as my birthday, the birthday of Jeshua, whom you call the Christ. What does Christ mean? An awakened one. You are all awake, all of you. Every single one of you is awake and alive and radiant. You are so beautiful! But you keep yourselves in a dark hole. Why do you want to do that? You are awake! Don’t celebrate my birthday, alone. Fine, celebrate my birthday; it brings me joy that you do so. But celebrate your own birthday too, your own birthday as awake beings. Don’t hold yourself in darkness. It is not what you came for, nor why I came. I came to remind you that you are light and you are love. You are perfect. Not to hold yourselves small and diminish yourselves.

My apologies to those online. (Jeshua has been walking around the room looking into people’s eyes, and not at the camera) I love you all. Thank you for being with us today. My deepest love. My heart is with you.

I will sit down again. This body’s balance is imperfect. Always perfect, and yet imperfect. The human with the distortions, and the essence of you is always perfect. How could it be otherwise?

Aaron asked me earlier, would I speak a bit about what it means to be awake. Aaron is a bit more eloquent than I am. He knows the philosophical language, and so on. But I can speak well from my heart.

When I was a boy, I knew why I had come. I knew before the birth, and I knew from the time the mind was old enough to form thoughts. But it was frustrating for the boy-child, Jeshua. I understood, when I say who I was, not special or different from anyone else, but that I was a son of the Father, a child of the Mother, an awakened being. But here I was in a human body, and though I was previously fully awoken in a prior lifetime and in the outer planes, being here in a human body was hard. There was body pain, there was emotional pain. I would fall and skin my knee and anger would come at the rock on which I fell. Somebody would say harsh words to me and anger would come.

At those times I moved into a kind of separation from myself; Jeshua, the awake being—whose name is not Jeshua; that is only my name in that lifetime—but that one who I was, who I am, and what seemed like a split into the human who felt pain and anger and confusion. I had blessed teachers, my mother and father and others, who did not teach me so much as to remind me: be the heart and love that you are, always. Keep coming back to that love.

There was a story that I believe Aaron has told. When we boys were throwing stones and, not realizing there was a bird there, I threw my stone and hit a bird. I heard the squawk, peep, and saw it fall to the earth. I did not aim at the bird but, nevertheless, I hit the bird. I felt enormous shame. I brought the bird to my mother. What can I do? It appeared to be dead. But there was the tiniest breath of life. And she said, “Hold it, Jeshua. Hold it and love it. See it flying away. Know it as whole and complete.” So, I sat there for several hours, until it had begun to flutter its wings a bit, move its head, breathe more fully. And finally, it soared into the sky. This was an important lesson for me. If you believe you can, you can. Not you but the power that is within you, the divine power. That core of love within you can accomplish anything. I did not save the bird. The memory of it’s true self as love, and the determination to live that love, knowing it could do so, saved the bird.

But so many of you do not believe that, and you keep yourselves into a small, dark place. Aaron spoke last month, I believe, responding to a question, what is sin? He said, let’s call it S-I-N, sinking into negativity. Yes, I came to help people to cease that sinking into negativity. I did not come to save you from sin, I came to remind you of your power to step out of that negativity, to be the power and the light. It is said of me, “He is the light.” You are the light— you, and you, and you, and you. (looking in  people’s eyes) You are the light. Why do you doubt?

I believe you doubt because of the heavy emotions. But these heavy emotions are not given to you as burden. These emotions are a gift, because each time you feel fear, greed, anger, pride, jealousy, impatience or any other strong and heavy emotion, it comes as teacher. If you will pause and say, “Thank you. Thank you, teacher,” it changes everything, because it reminds you that the heart, the pure radiance of you is in control, not the ego.

I came to remind you that you are not the ego self. If not the ego self, what are you? What are you? What are you? (looking at people) You know the answer. ( people saying light, love) Light! And Love. Thank you. You do know the answers.

As you celebrate my birthday, please remember you are the light of the world. You are the love of the world. You. It is only your fear that tries to convince you otherwise, and then it diminishes your capacity to be that light and love. Light! Love! You are that! Please be it!

I will spend a few minutes answering questions.

Q: In the story about the baby, why did you hand the baby to Mark and not to anybody else?

Jeshua: I handed the baby to Mark because Nathaniel was my dear friend and I knew he was afraid. And I knew he had to face that fear and come through it. I was not testing him; I was reminding him to come through the test and trust, to open to the innate trust in his heart. It was very beautiful to see the tension in him fade away. It took a few moments, but then he knew. And he did not know, “Oh, Mark is safe. Mark will not contract leprosy.” He knew, “Thy will be done. It is safe. Whatever most needs to happen will happen and will be for the highest good.”

I would add here that it was Nathaniel and Mark that had come up the road with me. Mark was standing beside me. This was also his opportunity to trust and let go. If it had been someone else, there might have been a different scenario to the story. Others?

Q: What is the best way to help people remember they are love and loved, when they are in great fear?

Jeshua: To love them. To cherish them. If judgment arises, to observe judgment arising, whether it is judgment of yourself or of them, and try not to become caught in the story of the judgment. Have compassion for the self for the arising of that judgment. Love returns. It is never gone, just temporarily out of sight, so you can simply ask, in this moment, where is love?

Sometimes it’s very hard to love people. I know in my life as Jeshua there were times when it was hard to love people. I had to remind myself that I had a purpose for being in the incarnation, which was to diminish fear on this earth and to enhance love; and that the choice was always mine, in every moment, to take the words or actions that would thusly enhance love and diminish fear. If I chose otherwise, I was not living my purpose and I was doing harm.

We must be gentle with ourselves. Sometimes there is so much emotion that one lashes out. And then one can only pause, notice what’s happening, and ask forgiveness.

Q: Are you worried about our world? There seem to be so many terrible weapons, and people with so much anger. We’re worried; are you worried?

Jeshua: Am I worried about the world and all the negative things that seem to be happening? Everything plays out as it needs to. You do with Aaron that pushing arms exercise. You push, they push. You push, they push, until you realize it’s time to back up from pushing. To open the energy field, make space for the push and let it flow through.

Your world is like the seesaw on a fulcrum. More and more highly positively polarized beings are taking incarnation. As they do so, more and more negative beings are trying to push the other way. You will keep holding the space until they back off and learn that they cannot push. They cannot force you to sin, to sink into negativity. But fear empowers negativity.

As you understand the power and are willing to hold your power, to live your power, to say no with love, eventually they will back away. I cannot predict how much destruction must come before that happens. It depends on you. If enough of you are able to hold your loving hearts present, then love will prevail. Love will eventually prevail, but it may not prevail on this planet if you destroy the planet. I don’t think you will, but you have free will.

It takes a great deal of love and of faith. Faith is an odd word. Faith in what? Truly faith in the power of love. Faith in the essence of love that is the foundation of this Earth, and the power you all have to bring forth that love, to hold that love in the world. It is not faith in something external to you; it is faith in your own divine essence, and knowing that that same divine essence is in everything, including those you deem to be most negative in the world. They also have the heart of love. The question really is how do we awaken it. It is not always easy to awaken it. So, you must be gently persistent, again and again.

Each time you meet someone else in what seems to be conflict, remember: this is also the awakened one. This is also God/Goddess, Buddha and Christ. This is also a divine and loving being who can wake up and know the truth of its being.

Negative polarity comes to a dead end at the end of 6th density, and then it must reverse itself, all the way back. To move into 2nd, maybe even 1st density positive polarity and start again. Each time you come to what seems to be a conflict with somebody who seems very negative, you are in fact holding open a door for that person. If you can be gentle, patient, loving, but clear and firm, you can open the door, and they may begin to see that they do need to reverse the polarity. There are billions of you capable of doing this kind of inviting. And if enough of you do it with love, everything can reverse itself very quickly.

One more question…

Q: What did you mean by the outer realms or areas? You said you were on the outer realms, and had another enlightened lifetime.

Jeshua: I did not experience enlightenment in the terms that you think of it here on Earth, as a human. I experienced it on light and energy realms, where at first I did not know myself as light, but sank into darkness. The energy that I was diminished itself, or lashed out, and I woke up to the effect that either extreme had, and began to know that I could trust the essence of light that I am and that everything is, and could live that light. That, in a sense, was my awakening. Then I had to test it on material realms. That was long before the Jeshua lifetime. Does that answer your question?

Q: What do we do when we run into, meet evil spirits?

Jeshua: There are no evil spirits. There are entities that are deeply sunken into negativity. On the one hand, you say, “No, I will not dialogue with you. No.” Because you are not yet strong enough to hold that dialogue with what seems to be strong negativity. As you become more mature and stronger and you ask for help, I am always glad to help you, and Aaron and other masters of light. As you become ready, then you can begin to offer increasing loving energy to them. If they’re willing to receive it, fine. If they are not, they will back away. Do not try to do this yourself. Make sure you have support.

Now, as we close here, there is a well-known prayer, very misquoted in your Bible, that is ascribed to me. And I would like to ask you to pray it with me, if it feels appropriate to your own heart. I’m going to say the words, say a line and then ask you to repeat that line with me.

Beloved Father/Mother/Cosmic Birther,

We bless thy name.

 

May thy kingdom of light and love become manifest on Earth

As it is in the heavenly realms,

and in accordance with the vision of the Infinite Creator

of which we are all a part.

 

Nourish us this day, Father/Mother/Beloved

With the light and love which is our sustenance.

 

Forgive us when we descend into dark realms, into negativity and distortion.
Help us deliver ourselves from sinking into such negativity.

Help us to forgive ourselves when we enter into distortion

And to forgive those around us who thusly enter into distortion.

 

Help us always to know the Light, so we do not become lost in darkness.

 

Thy kingdom is of love and of light.

Help us to live in that love and light

And to know these as the essence of everything.

Now and forever, Amen.

Thank you for being here with me tonight. And now please go and enjoy your celebration. And my thanks to my brother Aaron. My love to you, I am Jeshua. My love to those out there, as I am out there! I delight in this technology. We’re somewhere interweaving in ether-space— or however you term it.

I’ll release the body to Barbara… (is handed another question from someone on-line)

Are light and love the same thing? Light is an expression of love. Love is the core, the unconditioned essence. It expresses itself in many ways, such as spaciousness, as joy and as light. Those are three primary expressions. Aaron’s new book, The Path of Clear Light – can somebody bring a copy in from the table, please? – Aaron’s new book explains this in clear detail. Love is the heart. That love sometimes is freely expressed and sometimes is bound up. When it’s freely expressed, light expresses with it.  This expression is the Path of Clear Light. When the Path is open, when the heart is open, light expresses, and spaciousness and energy. When the heart is shut down, nothing can move through. Aaron’s Path of Clear Light is a beautiful delineation of the path to knowing yourself as light and love, and living from that light and love.

Thank you, I’ll release the body to Barbara. My blessings and love to you all. May all the joys and love in your heart pour forth this season to bring peace and love to all, to yourself, your friends, your neighbors, and those who you consider enemies, too. To all. There are no enemies, there’s only love. I love you. Good evening.

(session ends)

Below are longer versions (2) of Nathaniel and Jeshua at the leper colony from 2010 and 2011 Christmas Stories, from the archives:

Aaron: Accompanying him once, we were walking in the countryside when we heard a cry. He immediately swerved off the main path and up into the hills from whence he heard the cry. He motioned to us that we could stay down there or follow him, as we wished.

Most of us followed him. As we came up into the hill just a short distance, we heard that cry again and again. We knew that there were lepers in these hills, and some of the group stopped as the way got steeper and the cry came closer. I walked with Jeshua.

There was a leper woman giving birth and the baby was stuck in some way, not presenting itself in a way to be eased out. The woman’s mother and other women were with her but nobody knew how to help her.

They were all lepers and leprosy was thought to be contagious so I was afraid. Jeshua turned to me and said, “Nathaniel, you’re a shepherd. You know how to bring forth a lamb that is stuck in the birth canal. Can you help her?” At first I just wanted to flee, I was terrified. Me, touch this leper woman? And then I realized my beloved brother Jeshua would never put me in a situation in which I would be harmed. I had to expand that to the broadest level of harm. If I contracted leprosy, then he knew that that was for my highest good, and it was safe even to become a leper, if that was what was necessary. I also knew he could birth the child. If he was asking me, there was a reason. So at that point there was a release of fear and hesitation. I was given hot water and able to wash, and then able to help by inserting my hand to shift the baby in the right way so that it could be eased out. The mother pushed it out, and it was a beautiful, whole baby.

They invited us to have some hot beverage with them and then we walked back down the path to the rest of our comrades. Before we left, he took so many of their hands and spoke to them, walked around simply extending his love to each one.

Several weeks later, returning past that way, he said to me, “Let’s go up that hill and see how that baby is.” So we climbed up the hill. The others again waited below. As we approached, what I saw astonished me, but it should not have surprised me. The first to greet us was a woman I had noticed before in an advanced stage of leprosy, and her whole body was healing. Others were healing and some fully healed, including the mother of this child.

They asked him, “Did you do this?” They had known who he was, that he was the one called by various names, the Teacher of Love, the Teacher of Righteousness, as he was called. “Did you do this?” He said, “No, your own love and faith did it. I do not heal; God heals. And when you invite healing and trust your own inner capacity to heal, it can happen.”

We spent the night there. They feasted us. It was a joy to hold this baby and to see the radiant mother, literally growing new fingers; her hands, her body, healing. But what was most important to me of that memory was his saying, “No, I did not heal you,” because his work was not to make himself important but to help each human know its own divinity and its own power to co-create wholeness and love. The essence of his message was to empower through pointing out each one’s own divinity.

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Aaron: At another time, traveling with him, we heard a voice cry out from the hills above the path on which we walked, and the adult Jeshua being who he was, immediately turned up the narrow path to see from where the cry came. I followed him and there were several others with us. My son Mark was also with us.

We came through some rock crevices and around a bend into a somewhat open area where there were some caves; it was a small leper colony. There was a young woman who was a leper and whose cry we had heard, giving birth. People were trying to help her but nobody really knew what to do as the baby was not presenting itself in the correct way.

Jeshua immediately turned to me. I was a shepherd. I knew how to birth lambs, even lambs that are in a difficult presentation. He said, “Will you help?” I had hung back; I was afraid. I did not want to touch this, what I thought of as, unclean woman. Jeshua asked for hot water, soap, clean cloths. I felt he would never lead me directly into danger so I decided it was safe. Part of me was afraid and the deeper part of me trusted him.

I don’t think he needed me to do what I did. Inviting me, asking me to help was for me, not for him or for the woman giving birth, but it helped me to trust and move past my fear and simply act in service, to not see a leper but simply a woman giving birth. So using my skills I was able to literally reach in and correct the mal-presentation and help draw the baby forth.

He walked around to speak with all the people, took their hands, offered an embrace. They asked us to share their meal. I didn’t want to eat; there was still fear. I was especially afraid for my son. But Jeshua joyfully sat down with them and shared their food. How could I not join him?

It was dark by that time so we slept the night there, saw this new mother in the morning, now comfortable and holding her infant. The infant of course had no sign of leprosy at this point and the mother said to Jeshua, “Please take him. I do not want him to die.” And Jeshua said, “He will not die. See his perfection. He is healthy.”

We went on and several weeks passed as we traveled. Coming back that way on that same trail, Jeshua said, “Let us go and see how they are.” These had been people who were quite sick, maimed, showing all the disfiguration of leprosy. As we came up the path, what greeted us was a fully different picture. There were still some signs of leprosy, people who had lost digits on their hands had not re-grown them, but much of the scarring of the skin and other such signs of the disease were gone. People seemed radiant, much healthier.

This mother came forth with her now 3-week-old baby, held him out to Jeshua. “You’re right,” she said, “he’s perfect.” And her disease was clearly healing– not fully healed but healing. I asked him later, “Did you do this?” because of course he had the capacity to heal. He said, “No, I do not heal. God heals. That of God within each being that comes to know its own perfection, when that perfection is reflected into it by those who see it and speak with it and relate to it, when that knowing of your own perfection is awakened – that allows you to heal. These people were reflecting their own disfigurements and disease to each other, feeling a sense of despair and helplessness. All I did was to remind them, ‘You are divine, you are perfect. Don’t be the leper, be the radiant human being who is at a passing phase in which this disease is manifesting and then let it go.’ ”

So they were all healing. He awakened that in them, he reminded them of their truth. This was the core of his work. When he said such as, “The only way to the Father is through me,” he did not mean through me, this personal man that you see, but through the Christ consciousness, by which I mean simply awakened consciousness, that I AM, Buddha nature, that which is awake. When you know that you are that, how can you think of yourself as anything less? So when he said that, “The way to the Father is through me,” he meant, through knowing this awakened consciousness, this divinity that you are, and living it.

His message has perhaps even greater meaning on Earth now than it had 2000 years ago because you are all within this transition to the expression of divine man, to the highest expression of your being, non-dual consciousness, unconditional love. This is the future of your Earth. I know there are terrible wars and brutality and despair throughout the Earth. You ask me, “Aaron, how can you speak of unconditional love when people are so brutally killing each other and with so much hatred?”

I do not deny that there is strong negative polarity on the earth. That which is strongly negative, it exists. It is not ultimate evil, there is no such thing as ultimate evil, but it is that which is deeply entrenched in negativity or what we might call service to self, deeply contracted. It fears the light, it fears love, and it fights with all its might to hold its own negative contracted self-serving space. It adheres to the old myths: “Only our religion is the path to salvation. No other religion. Only our country. Only our beliefs.” That old archaic consciousness is the voice of fear. The only answer is love, compassion, and kindness. But compassion knows how to say no. It doesn’t say, “Walk all over me; kill me.” It says no, but it doesn’t hate while it says no.

This insight is what your Earth so badly needs right now. All of you are here learning this lesson, how to relate to that which manifests as negative around you, with lovingkindness and compassion that’s able to say no to negativity but without hating the negativity. When enough of you learn how to do this, it’s going to bring about the change you seek. This Earth has the potential to be the Eden that was promised, to be a place of true peace and plenty. That which you seek cannot coexist with the perpetuation of fear and separatist consciousness. Each of you have the work to find this nondual awareness in yourselves. Each of you have 1000 opportunities every week to relate with kindness to negativity, and you’re not going to do it perfectly. Do it as best you can.

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[1] Two versions of this complete story are  posted at the end of this transcript

October 23, 2017 Monday, Oakwood Retreat, Aaron’s Intro

October 23, 2017 Monday, Oakwood Retreat, Aaron’s Intro

Aaron: Vipassana is a beautiful practice. It’s a way of coming home, and finding out who you are beyond the mundane bodies –  the physical, the emotional and mental bodies. Your thoughts change from day to day, from moment to moment. Your body changes. Your emotions change. Your energy changes. You cannot pin an identity on any of these aggregates. Who are you when you’re not self-identified as the body, the mind, the emotions, feelings of being good or not good, and so forth, who are you? When all of these things pass away, what remains?

The word passana in Pali language means seeing, to see. Vipassana means a deeper, clearer seeing. It takes us past the surface, to really see things as they are. Because you are, all of you, radiant, beautiful beings, I hope it will help you to see yourselves as I see you, with that love and radiance. To know the deeper truth of yourself beyond the unworthy one, the bumbling one, the one who has to get everything right, the weak one, strong one. Who are you?

Vipassana is a path to freedom. I know that from my own experience and my own liberation through this practice. But we do not teach only the traditional vipassana practice. We mix it with what might be called pure awareness practice. With vipassana, we watch objects arise and pass away, arise and pass away. The thoughts, the itch, all the different objects that come. We watch with spaciousness and kindness. We are watching arising and passing away with mundane consciousness. When consciousness is gone, is everything gone? What remains? Let us call it awareness, openhearted presence. So we practice the linear practice of vipassana, and we also practice the immediate now of presence. At the retreat, we mingle the two.

Your path to freedom is a very precious thing for yourselves and for all beings. Your Earth right now is in a tumultuous time: a lot of pain, a lot of friction, fear, confusion. The only thing that will carry you through it is love. Put in the Buddha’s beautiful words, “Hatred never resolved hatred. Only love resolves hatred.” But we can’t say, “Okay, I’m going to love. No hatred here! No anger!” Ah! How do we love when your house has been washed away by a hurricane or burned down by wildfire? When dear friends have been shot by a sniper? When politicians are threatening nuclear war? How do we love? If you did not have the capacity, the innate capacity for this kind of love, I would not invite you to be here for a retreat. But I know— I don’t believe; I know you have this capacity. And because you are here, you have the intention to develop this capacity, to return love where there is fear and hatred. To return calm, centered, clear mind to the places of agitation and confusion. But be careful here: this is not a doing, this is just returning to pure being.

This is the heart of what we will do this week. I look forward to our time together. I love you all very much, and I am very grateful to you for being here. I could talk for 2 more hours or end here, so I will end here, because I want to hear from you at this point. My blessings and love.

Working with negative catalyst with loving kindness

May 3, 2016 Tuesday Class
Working with negative catalyst with loving kindness

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. We have one more class after tonight, but we’re coming to the close of this year, Vipassana and Mediumship. Our intention for the year was the deepening of the vipassana practice, and using that practice as a ground for whatever forms of mediumship were most appropriate to each: connecting with your spirit guides, your gardens, your cooking; connecting with your art work, your music, your dance, your painting; connecting with the light essence of yourself, so you could thereby connect with the light essence of everything. That connection will reveal itself in the soup, in the violin music, in the guidance from spirit.

We could teach just vipassana practice, and certainly that in itself would have great merit and value. We could teach just connecting with spirit, without the grounding of the vipassana practice, but I don’t think you could connect without that base.

So what I’d especially like to hear from you tonight is twofold. How is your vipassana practice touching your daily life and the issues of your daily lives? And second, to what degree are you able to use the ground of that practice and the coming into the open heart, that light connection, to what degree are you able to use that to reach out and connect out into the world, to the highest in everything? To your guidance, to your painting, to your soup, your garden, relationships, whatever. What works for you? Share it with others. What are the stumbling blocks? Share that, and perhaps others and Barbara have some suggestions.

I want to remind you that we are not doing this practice as “self improvement” because there is nothing to improve on the ultimate level. You are radiant, you are beautiful. We are doing the practice to help you remember and bring forth all that you are.

Barbara got an email this morning from a student in another place. She said when she meditates, she still feels herself pulled into negative thoughts, depression, anger, and so forth, and she feels like something spirit-plane is grabbing at her. But she’s trying not to respond. If she understands the instructions correctly, the work is not to get into a dialogue with it.

So I see that we have not really explained this clearly. To get into a dialogue with it is to listen to it, get caught by it, debate with it. That’s very different than simply saying, “No. I am a being of light and I am not going to be caught up in your negativity.” That’s not a dialogue, it’s a statement. So I wanted to make that clear. It’s very important that you find the courage and light in yourself to make such statements.

(added when reviewing the transcript; dictated by Aaron): The way we say no is also important. There may be fear in the presence of this psychic intruder. In your vipassana practice you are learning to experience unpleasant sensations and thoughts and “serve them tea,” not to react to fear with so much aversion; but if aversion does arise, to relate openheartedly to that aversion. Thus, it is not sufficient to say “NO” while contracted into aversion and to ignore the aversion. The very act of opening your heart to yourself and the aversion or fear, will repel the unwanted visitor who thrives on fear and reactivity to it! But; one more “but”: you are not doing this to repel that negative visitor, but because of your deep commitment to love! It is this ongoing commitment to live with loving kindness that becomes the anchor.  (end of addition)

I was going to give a talk tonight, and if we have time after everyone has shared, I still may do that. I wanted to give a talk based on the Wizard of Oz. You’re all Dorothy, wanting to go home. You’re all looking for a heart and a brain and courage. You’re all caught up in the illusion. What works? So we’ll see how our time goes, whether I’ll talk more about that or save it, perhaps for next Wednesday’s Open Aaron talk.

That’s all from me. Let’s open the circle to sharing.

(sharing not transcribed by request)

Aaron: So there is light and joy, and as you know, there is negative energy as well, within you and out there. That which is more of the negatively polarized persuasion wants to promote fear and negativity in the world, contraction. It doesn’t like the lightness of joy. When I say “it,” I don’t want you to think of some demon out there, but of any kind of negativity, your own from your own self, or external to you. There is a fear of opening into too much light Better not to try it, keep myself small, stay safe and less vulnerable. The other fear for the human, what if do open and then I lose it? What if I can’t maintain it?

This relates to what I said earlier from the student who wrote to Barbara. The need not to get into a dialogue with the fear-based, grasping energy, but simply to say, “No, I see you for what you are. At some level you are based in fear.”  There is grasping for safety or release. This is a very different grasping energy than going into a store and very playfully, joyfully saying, “I love those earrings. I’m going to buy a pair, just one pair.” And there’s nothing else you need in the store. It’s not based on need, it’s based on joy.

But when you can feel the subtle contraction of the grasping, as soon as you feel that contracted state wanting to be free of the visitor, have no dialogue with it, no, “I’ll bargain with you. If you go away I’ll do this or that.” Just, “No. I remind myself of my true being. I am light. I do not need to act out of fear. I do not need to be controlled by that which is contracted and fear-based in myself…”

(recording briefly halted by FaceTime request)

If you have connection with your guides, or if you feel my closeness or the Mother’s closeness, Jeshua’s closeness, the Buddha’s closeness, reach out your hand and say, “Help me. Support my remembering, ‘I am a being of light, and I am protected within this light.’ The love that surrounds me holds me in such a loving container. I do not need to be afraid, and I do not need to be reactive to the negative voices. Fear has arisen. Breathing in, I am aware of the fear. Breathing out, I smile to the fear, and I hold the Mother’s hand, Jeshua’s hand, my (Aaron”) hand, not because I need it, I am complete, but I hold it because it helps me feel safer for now.” And we’re happy to do that, to help support you in that way. What we are doing is supporting the whole opening of love on this earth plane through each of you. Supporting each of you in your choice to open to love in this way.

(sharing)

I am not and never will be a doomsayer. People come to me and say, “Is the world going to collapse? Are we all going to blow ourselves up?” You have free will. You can do that, or you can not do that; what do you wish?

But when there are enough of you who are deeply intended to live consciously with love, and to attend to the arising of negative thought in the self, to attend to negative impulse as arisen from conditions, and know that it needs to be attended to; – you can’t just bury it or it gains power, and you can’t act it out; what do you do with it?  – when enough of you are really committed to living in this way, it brings balance to those who are much more negatively polarized.

This upcoming presidential election will be very interesting because the candidate from one party is quite negative. And I think so many people are being pulled to him, a surprising number, because suddenly this voice of negativity, that’s been in the world forever, has a new leader. Instead of feeling, “I can’t express my hatred, my prejudices; my fear” people feel empowered to express their hatred because there’s somebody coming forth who is publicly expressing hatred. Try to trust that this is happening not to destroy the light but in reaction to the light, and the increasing power of the light. Because there is so much more light in the world today, that which is negatively polarized is bonding together and trying to strike back.

Quoting the Buddha: hatred never resolved hatred. Only love resolves hatred.

You can’t go to this candidate and try to resolve his hatred face to face. But each time you respond kindly and with love to any small negativity in your world, to whatever it may be— in yourself, in others, wherever— each time you do that, you bring that energy forth more and more fully and make it more available in the world.

Do you know the story of the Hundredth Monkey? Monkeys would grab their food and put it in their mouths and eat it. One monkey in this tribe in an isolated place saw that his food was sandy. And he was by a stream, so he rinsed his food off in the stream. “Mmm, not sandy!” Another monkey looked at him, watched him do this. Saw that it was a good idea. Then there were 10 monkeys washing their food. Then the whole tribe was washing their food.

The next monkey 100 miles away did not have to see it. Energetically the idea was spread was and blossomed forth, so that the idea was picked up here, and then there, and then there, until worldwide, when their food was sandy, monkeys were washing it.

The idea of living with love is the same. When we live with this kind of love, it changes everything. It changes us and those around us, but it also energetically changes everything in the whole world. So this is why the sangha is important.

In response to sharing about life changes causing her to feel lost, where to go, what to do:

Aaron: What if I gave you a packet of seeds in a plain white envelope, and I simply said to you, “These are good seeds. They will either bring good food or beautiful flowers or some of each. Maybe one variety only, maybe 100 different seeds. Here, plant them.” Can you see the part of you that says, “Well, I want to know what I’m planting. Should I plant this bigger seed here or over there? What will happen? How do I control it? Will it be a wild garden? How do I tame it?”

They are good seeds. Just put them in the ground and give them love. If the pumpkin vine threatens to overcome the violets, dig out the violets and move them. It’s okay. Ask the violets if they’d like to be moved, rather than imposing your will on the violets.

Spontaneously present in each moment with things as they are, and then asking, not as an ego, but co-creating, what needs attention here? Watch the part of you that wants to control, the part of you that is based in and says, “No!” You’re so habituated, all of you, to being the one who’s controlling. You did not come into incarnation to control but to co-create. And it’s such a hard thing to learn. Then you swing to the opposite, saying, “If I can’t control then I surrender. I have no participation.” Co-create. That means participate. That means hearing everything, from the other person to the smallest seed, and asking, what are your needs? Then freely offer your own needs to the mix.

Some of you find yourselves overwhelmed. “There’s so much to do, so many things to listen to. I can’t deal with it.” Well then limit it a little bit. Don’t try to do so much. Because you don’t want to fall into a pattern of being so busy that you can’t co-create. That negates your whole choice of coming into the incarnation. And you do have time.  What takes the time is all the ego voices saying, “Oh no, I should do this. I should do that,” that gets you so busy and wrought up. If you just do it, it’s easy. But it does take time and love and attention to release some of those strong  ego voices, the voices that have controlled you for such a long time. The old patterns.

That wonderful poem from Hafiz— the line about being dragged behind a farting camel.  (quotes poem) I will replace it in the transcript.  Correct version:

Cast all your Votes for Dancing    Hafiz

I know the voice of depression  Still calls to you.

I know those habits that can ruin your life   Still send their invitations.

But you are with the Friend now  And look so much stronger.

You can stay that way  And even bloom!

Keep squeezing drops of the Sun From your prayers and work and music

And from your companions’ beautiful laughter.

Keep squeezing drops of the Sun  From the sacred hands and glance of your Beloved

And, my dear, From the most insignificant movements of your own holy body.

Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins That may buy you a moment of pleasure,

But then drag you for days Like a broken man  Behind a farting camel.

You are with the Friend now. Learn what actions of yours delight Him,

And what actions of yours bring freedom and Love.

Whenever you say God’s name, dear pilgrim, My ears wish my head was missing

So they could finally kiss each other And applaud all your nourishing wisdom.

O, Keep squeezing drops of the Sun From your prayers and work and music

And from your companions’ beautiful laughter.

And from the most insignificant movements of your own holy body.

Now, sweet one,  Be wise. cast all your votes for Dancing!

You’re all being dragged. Are you ready to stop? And you ARE ready to stop or you wouldn’t be in this class. You are stopping, and that’s beautiful. But each of you has your own camel letting out stink right in front of you, or sometimes sitting on your lap. So, just continuing to pay attention.

But the important thing is co-creating. Always remembering, when you feel yourself contracting, stop and say, “I am trying to push this through. I, ego, is trying to push this through. The higher self chooses to co-create. In what ways can I co-create?”

What blocks co-creation? Fear? The ego thinking, “No, it has to be this way.”? Ah, is that so? Letting go of fear. Or just holding fear and giving it tea. Coming back to the heart. Again, I choose to co-create… And of course there is fear in your choices as well, but you keep losing the undercurrent of love that made these choices. Try to trust it.

(sharing)

Homework:

We have one more class. I would ask you all to work in a committed way with your vipassana practice, in these two weeks. Take some notes, keep short journal. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few sentences. Are there certain objects that are coming up as predominant for you in meditation and daily life? A lot of contraction, or spacing out, or sadness? Super high energy or low energy?

If so, and for each of you there’s going to be something that’s a repetitive object that’s arising, ask yourself, how do I relate to this object? Is this object something I want to keep in my life? And if not, why is it sticking? In what way am I holding onto it? What if I observe how sticky this particular object is and offer the intention to co-create more space around it? To say no to it, as the person who wrote to Barbara, as we told her. “No, I am a being of light, and I am not going to be pulled into darkness. I speak to you with respect. You may keep your darkness, but you may not draw me into darkness. I am a being of love, and I hold Jeshua’s, the Buddha’s, the Mother’s, Aaron’s, my higher self’s, my guides’, I hold these hands. They are with me and support me.” Like the Buddha with his, “As earth is my witness…” gesture on the evening of his enlightenment, the statement, “As love is my witness,” and whatever personification of love exists for you. “As love is my witness, I will not be pulled into deeper negativity. I do not choose that. I choose spaciousness.” Just try it.

Not 24/7, you’ll overwhelm yourself. But with whatever predominant object keeps arising. Whatever it is that’s really sticky, in these next two weeks: anger, sadness, sleepiness, whatever is pulling at you. “No. I have energy. I have love. I am energy and love. I hold myself open.” But not saying no with fear. Not getting pulled into a dialogue with it. Openhearted.

(sharing, recording ends)