March 10, 2004

Aaron: Good evening. My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. Just as an aside, I have been doing a bit of voice projection training with Barbara....

We have had Barbara chanting scales repeatedly, something she could not do even when she could hear. She's learning how the tones feel, the vibration of them in the body. I hope she will better feel that vibration as she speaks, and when it is lacking, be more aware that she has dropped the ending of the word.

By now you have reviewed the talk that I gave on the Four Phases of Trainings. The first five are basic mindfulness and the experience of the non-dual. There is no stability within those first five. It's a mental rather than deeply intuitive practice.

In the second five, you become much more stable, able to note the arisen physical sensation or thought, and more fully to rest in awareness rather than projecting out into that sensation or thought.

The focus is still on relative practice. The relative noting practice becomes very stable, truly intuitive. The stability is grounded in pure awareness, but there is not yet full awareness of awareness.

In the trainings I had labeled 11-15, the focus is much more on the ultimate practice. This shift leads us from the resolve level of the Seven Branch Prayer to the resolution level.

This full, let us say deep stability of resting in pure awareness, literally living from pure awareness, is the basis for all of the future trainings beyond 15. Basically these are energy practices.

When an emotion arises, let us use anger as an example, and you relate to it skillfully, attending to the anger in a relative plane practice, this is wholesome, of course. But you also will wish to be aware of that which is not angry, right there with the anger. We have been working toward that recognition all semester, all year, really, and I know from our private conversations that many of you are starting experientially to understand what my meaning. If you are not, please do not despair, just keep working with it. It will come. It will come.

When you rest in pure awareness, your energy field is open, centered, and balanced. There will always be kyo and jitsu energy, but not imbalanced kyo and jitsu. Resting in that still center, the physical and emotional reverberations that keep spinning you into a sense of separate self increasingly will be resolved. The more that sense of separate self resolves, the more you rest in center. The more you rest in center, the more the sense of self resolves. And it keeps going.

This is the foundation to all of the higher trainings. In a sense, I offer you these higher trainings as the carrot we hold on a stick in front of the horse. You'd like to learn cellular regeneration, wouldn't you? Well, you can learn it. But not until you learn to rest in pure awareness.

So I say with a smile that learning cellular regeneration certainly is a lovely, helpful thing, but you are not practicing to learn cellular regeneration. You are practicing to learn the true nature of your being, to learn your interconnection with all that is. You are practicing to learn how to live within this small self as a tool, and to hold that tool with love and skill, but to release the identity with the small self. Love it. Enjoy it. But do not be identified by it.

This is truly the path to your maturity into deeply clear and loving 4th density beings, able to truly act appropriately within these heavier earth bodies, to live in love and peace within the drama of mind and body.

I speak of the relative and the absolute. Some of you are very clear about what I mean from your own experience, and some of you not so clear. Tonight in your small groups I'm going to ask you to do an exercise. You may do it as you choose, within the whole group, or also in pairs or threesomes. But I would ask that you do part of this exercise within the whole circle of your small group. We're going to begin this exercise together sitting here so that you understand what I wish you to do.

Here is where we will start. I tell you, you are all infinite, truly unlimited. But most often, you experience the limited, relative aspect of your being. Let us experience that limited, relative aspect, each of us together now.

What I would ask you to do is bring attention first to this physical body. Feel the touch of the buttocks on the cushion or chair, the touch of the hands on the lap. Say your name to yourself, "I am Aaron." Your own name. Think, "I am going to try to make myself bigger." Let this be an intention from the personal self. Think about it, using the mental body. How do you make yourself bigger? Imagine what your energy field might look like, and try to push it out. Does it move? Probably not much. Keep trying, push harder. Does it move? Probably not. Again, think that same thought, "I am (your name) and I am going to push myself out." Not push out with any sense of harming another; that is not the intention. Just, "I'm going to be bigger." Feel the edges of your aura and push out. What? Nothing happening?

OK. Take a deep breath. Shake your arms a little bit. Roll your neck around. Relax in the body. Deep breath.

Become the breath. Relax into this body. Feel how the breath comes and goes. If there are strong sensations in the body, be aware of them, knowing them as the result of conditions. Be at ease in the body. If thoughts arise, know them as thoughts. A memory, a plan, an opinion. Just note, "thinking". Whatever arises in the mind or the body, don't fixate on it. Deep breath, and exhale, "Ahhhhhhhh." Relaxed. Spacious. Allow yourself to become aware of awareness itself, resting in this physical body. By that I mean, turn the attention to the question, "who am I?" Not the body. Go deeper. Not the thoughts. Go deeper. Who are you? Rest in that inner one.

Lift your hands in front of your body, 8 inches to a foot apart, and feel the energy moving from one hand to the other. A little push with the right hand, and then push it back with the left hand. As you feel it, spread the hands slowly. If you don't feel it, you can bring the hands closer together, 4 or 5 inches, if necessary. Don't try to do anything, just relax and feel the energy moving back and forth.

Allow the hands to come naturally to that place just a bit beyond the distance, the size of the energy field. The experience of one not so much of holding a ball with 2 hands as holding it with one and gently tapping it to the other. Second hand just beyond the distance of the one holding the ball, body relaxed. You can let the elbows rest against the body so there's no tension. Holding the space. (pause while we do this.)

And now, rest your hands again on your lap. Breathing in, breathing out. Awareness at ease in the body. Whatever arises, let it come, pass through, and apart. This infinite awareness, with space for anything that comes. Breathing in, breathing out.

Relaxed. A small smile, but without any forcing the smile. Allow the natural smile to emerge. Begin to feel this radiance of energy moving out of you, spreading, spreading, open. If you should feel your neighbor's energy field, don't worry. They will simply caress each other as they pass. They can both occupy the same space, so you don't need to withdraw if you feel another's energy field. Just smile to it.

Opening. Can you feel your energy moving out, as large as it wishes to go? This is not the personal self's energy; this is the higher self. Pure spirit, no self at all. Opening, opening. Feel the joy and spaciousness of that opening. Relax into it.

Aaaaaahhhhhh.... Letting the breath go out, with a soft Aaaaaahhhhhh...

Pause to do this

And now, give rise to the intention to draw the energy back into the self again. Not all the way back, but part way. Coming back into the recognition, "I am (your name)."

Here is what I wish you to do in the small groups. Each group may decide how they prefer to proceed. I envision a group of 3 or 4 people with 1 person in the center, or the entire group with 2 or even 3 people in the center, depending on your group size.

Those in the center will begin with the first exercise we did: being a self and trying to push their energy out. Those on the outside of the circle, I invite you with your eyes closed to reach out until you feel the energy field of the one or ones in the center. The value of doing this with not just one in the center and one feeling for the energy field, is that some of you are more sensitive to energy than others, or more skilled, more practiced, let us say, in experiencing energy. So it's helpful to have feedback from several people. If only one person's hands are very close, you don't know if it's about your energy field or their responsiveness to the energy field. But if 3 or 4 people's hands come very close, your energy field is not very big.

Then pause for a moment, as we did here. Relax your arms, roll your neck, relax the body, and begin the second process, not trying to expand out, no self involved. Simply allow the natural expansion, the natural expression of your wholeness and fullness. Those on the outside give those in the center a minute or two to establish this centeredness and expansion, and then bring your hands up again. Feel their energy field. Is it different? What kinds of differences do you detect? Share your findings with one another. In each group, please practice in such a way that each of you has some turn in the center, and some turn on the outside, doing both the self-centered practice and the expanded outward practice. Let us have perhaps half an hour to do this, and then we will return to this circle for more talk. Are there any questions about the process? I pause.

Barbara: Are there any questions about the process?

C: There are many levels of energy field.

Barbara: Aaron says, we're not worrying about that now, because some people are not personally knowledgeable about these levels. Those of you who are knowledgeable can choose and play with it, what level of energy field is being enhanced. Can you feel the difference? He says expansion is all happening on the etheric body level. If it's mostly the etheric level of the mental body, does that feel different than the etheric level of the physical body? Can you feel the difference? So he says, for those of you who want to take it to this more sophisticated level, feel free to. He says, the process here for most of you is simply to understand how to allow the natural expansion outward, and that it's not something that the ego-self can try to do. As long as there's somebody trying, it can't happen. It's the relaxing into that spaciousness that invites the natural expanded state.

Q: Isn't intention a kind of grasping from the self?

Barbara: Holding the intention is not trying, it's just resting in the intention. He says, holding the intention, there's no contraction of the energy field. Trying, there's an imbalanced contraction of the energy field, and he wants you to understand that that's precisely what makes it impossible to do it. Please feel that subtle contraction. He says, those of you on the outside may feel the tension in the first step; the harder the person tries, the more the energy field seems to shrink. You say, "Keep trying! Keep trying!" It keeps shrinking. Then, resting in spaciousness, intention but no pushing. Just like, I think of a helium balloon rising. There is no tension. It is the natural movement of the balloon. He says, play with it and share your findings.

We do the exercise.

Aaron: I am Aaron. We continue.

A variety of insights came up in the different groups. In one group, it was noted that when the center group was very expanded, the outside group could not distinguish this one's energy or that one's energy, just feel the powerful energy. This simply proves that those on the inside were doing it right. There's no self in it; there is just the deepest release into one's true expanded state. It's not even one's state; it is the release into infinite energy, which is what you are: the expression of the true self beyond any personal self.

Several people remarked that when they tried hard, they could feel their energy contracting and literally closing in. As soon as the intention arose to bring kindness to that contracted state, immediately there was a shift into that which was not grasping. Which of course, is right there with the grasping mind and body. That which is aware of grasping is not grasping. Resting in that spaciousness, you are immediately home.

One person asked how this relates to nada. Nada, the sound of silence, as we call it, is one expression of the Unconditioned. Ground luminosity is another. There is a scent as direct expression of the Unconditioned, a taste, and of course, there is also an energy. Just as nada is experienced as sourceless, all pervading, everywhere - hearing that sound but no place it comes from, it simply is - so we have the same experience of this energy as beyond anything personal.

In order to bring forth the fruits of any of the higher trainings, such as cellular regeneration, one must learn how to live and work in the world from this place of true being. With that in mind, here is an exercise for these 2 weeks.

When something comes up in your experience that is uncomfortable in some way, I want you to watch your natural response to it. What is the habit energy? Last spring, riding the very crowded trains and subways in Tokyo, I had asked Barbara to watch this, at those times when they literally pushed people in the doors, packing the cars so that people were literally squeezed tight together. When the train stopped and a new mass of people were pushed inside, Barbara's first response was to contract with aversion to the experience. This is an old and very natural habit energy, not wanting to be squeezed or hurt. With that habit energy came the arising of the intention to push outward, not with her body but with her energy field. But when she did that, nothing happened. The more she tried, it seemed, the more that those around her pushed into her.

I asked her, then, to bring this whole habit energy into the Seven Branch Prayer. That is, to see that the habit energy when pushed was energetically to barricade the self, and then energetically push back.

I asked her to work with this habit energy, with the Seven Branch Prayer, asking for support, expressing gratitude, raising awareness of the compassionate regret that this habit energy still arises. On the relative level, the resolve involved metta. It was evident that this barricade and pushing were responses to fear and discomfort. There was no fear that she would be literally crushed by the crowd. Rather, the energetic movements were an old habit response of fear. So the relative reply was metta. I asked her also to bring forth the already-existent resolution. I suggested she find the place of infinite spaciousness where she sometimes rests in her meditation, and to note that no matter how severe the crowding on the physical level, there was no need at all to lose touch with that infinite spaciousness, and also infinite joy, love, and peace.

She very quickly understood the non-dual process: to acknowledge the discomfort on the physical plane, and simultaneously to rest in that which was deeply peaceful, joyful, at ease. That spacious aspect of being did not disappear with the pushing.

She got the hang of this very quickly. She found, as she moved into the resolution level, that there was a shift. She was no longer trying to push back energetically; she was simply resting in pure awareness mind and in the true self. And she found, to her surprise, that even when there was a crush of people all around her, when she allowed opening energetically in that way, people stepped back. They did not step back with dis-ease, they simply smiled and stepped back. It's a very natural process.

What I request of you is that you observe the arising of contraction and any habitual response to withdraw or energetically to push back. That first contraction can come from anywhere. It might be pain in this physical body of yours. It might be somebody else's anger. It might come from being late for something when you wished and thought you intended to arrive on time. Whatever it is that leads to this contracted energy, simply know it as contracted pushing-back energy. I request you to work with it with the Seven Branch Prayer. Feel the relative level resolve to balance, and the ultimate level already existent resolution.

Observe the results. What happens at work, for example, when a superior in your organization, and who is sometimes disrespectful, makes a negative comment on your work? Perhaps he/she asks you to do something that is not really your responsibility, and does not make that request in a kind and caring way, but barks out an order. As you hear this, perhaps see the man or woman's face, and recognize the belief that you have to pull back. Feel your energy contract. Become aware that this is a movement of fear. Ask yourself, at the deepest level is withdrawal the most skillful thing? What if I invite forth my natural fullness here, always for the good of all beings?

If I push back, it gives my pusher something to push against. When I relax, he just keeps pushing, like pushing against a balloon that just squishes this way and that, no solidity. Where will he go? It doesn't matter, it doesn't involve "me" any more. So this is what I would request you do in the coming weeks. Work with the move into the small self, using the Seven Branch Prayer. Be aware of any fear, anger, grasping, or other difficult emotion, but don't create a self around it. See how that awareness can literally lead you directly into a spacious infinite aspect of your being. How does it feel to be there? Is it frightening? Is there joy? Simply reflect on all of this. What would allow the shift in the habitual response from one of seeking control, perhaps, to one of attendance on what has arisen but with spaciousness and love. So that is the assignment. What I hope for each of you is that you deepen in your ability both to rest in this spaciousness of pure awareness and to know you are resting in spaciousness. Not a "you", as self; awareness resting in awareness. Let it not be a conceptual experience? How does it feel?

Before we close we will ask if there are any specific questions about the process I've delineated. I like the image of the paddler floating down a river. You come to a rapids. There are not huge rocks; the water is flowing lightly. Think about what happens if you try to push the boat, force it. What happens if you just relax and let the current take you through. What invites that ease of the paddler? You are paddling down the river of your life. What invites ease? What allows outward expansion? What limits it?

I will end here but I'm willing to answer any specific questions on process. I pause.

Barbara: Are there any questions on the process? On the assignment specifically? Aaron is saying, please don't run with this into a conceptual question of, "Oh, how is he going to relate this to the next step?" He says, just do this step. Be patient. The next step will come next week. He says, develop the foundation for it. Let Aaron speak.

Aaron: I am Aaron. I had asked you to bring to this week's class awareness of any small body injury. For those of you who want to play with this process, what happens when you attend to that small injury from this small self? What happens to that small injury when you simply hold it in this container of infinite awareness, infinite energy, and then visualize it healed? We will take this into a considerably more precise practice next class. That is all.

Barbara: Aaron is asking us here just to sit for one minute, breathing out, allowing the expanding of energy, joining that vast dance of energy and playing in it or resting in it.

Aaron: I am Aaron. Note again how when you are resting there, experiencing the infiniteness of energy, you may momentarily feel your neighbor's energy movement, but almost instantly they merge. There's space for it all, and my energy/your energy, ceases to be a distinction. And yet, for the body energy worker, he/she must rest in that space of connection, and yet must attend to the personal level in the other without creating a solid object out of that personal level. Those of you who participate deeply in body energy work as the, I don't want to say "doer" of that work, the one through whom it moves, please watch this in your work.

Once more, my gratitude for this opportunity to share these teachings with you. I wish you a joyful 2 weeks. That is all.

Barbara: Good night.

Later, while reviewing the transcript

This thought came from our dear transcriber out in Seattle (she used to live in AA) who has been transcribing most of Aaron's tapes for many years. I found it to be a very helpful observation.

The mention of Japanese trains reminded me, when I rode the buses in Ann Arbor, sometimes when a guy got on who looked like he might want to start up a conversation, perhaps drunk or looking for a good time female, I neither pushed out nor withdrew but put up an (neutral?) energy field between us, that I imagined to be like a thick clear plate of glass. I'm going to think about how this fits into the exercise, because it seems to have elements of contraction in the creation but also an uncontracting after it was created. (and it never failed! and if i didn't do it, then there were sometimes unhappy outcomes) It leads me to think about what goes into putting up any energy boundary when someone is using their energy field invasively, and I just want to say no from the kindest place I can muster, for the good of us both.

Copyright © 2004 by Barbara Brodsky