October 27, 2004

Barbara: I am beginning by reading a paragraph from last week's transcript.

"Most of you have come into the incarnation with the intention to demonstrate how to hold peace, to hold love, in the face of difficult experience, difficult pushing. But because you have forgotten the deeper truth of your being, you try to do that demonstration from only the lower chakras. Or, having remembered that truth, and finding the earth plane situation unpleasant, you prefer to abandon the lower chakras.

"But think of it, my dear ones, you came here to do this demonstration here, on this heavy density earth, like shining light in the darkness. What you demonstrate by holding all of the chakras open helps to bring this higher vibration to the earth, to bring light where there is darkness. So through your work, through your courageous work, you raise the vibrational frequency of the entire earth plane, thereby making it a much more vital force for love and light."

Aaron will talk about this, and then Aiji is going to teach us the pushing arms meditation. If time permits, we'll have some discussion. If the sky is clear, there's a full lunar eclipse beginning at 9:15. So we will try to end early so we can go out and see the moon do its magic tricks.

Q: The full moon is beautiful right now…. Glowing and light.

Aaron: Good evening. My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron.

Barbara mentioned the lunar eclipse. I have wonderful memories from many lifetimes in many parts of the world of watching such eclipses, sometimes with a feeling of magic about it. Something is eating the moon! No scientific understanding.

At those times, fear would come and one felt very humbled by the majesty of the heavens and the power of the sun and moon. Sometimes beings would create special movements, dances of some sort or music or some kind of a routine, offered as a prayer. These rituals worked! The moon came back! It reinforced the idea. Next time there was such a passing away of the moon, everybody knew just what to do to bring it back, to feel powerful again. Yes, the moon may disappear, but we know how to bring it back!

With such magical thinking, the fear would go and one could enjoy the beauty of the show, because the body relaxed. There was the assurance, "I know what to do when the moon disappears. I'm in charge."

Metaphorically, on a daily basis, our "moon disappears". On a daily basis you feel helpless, out of control, and the first habit energy is for the small ego self to jump in and try to fix it.

Sometimes you truly know what to do. If somebody is choking you might rap them on the back a bit. If somebody is bleeding, you know how to wash it off and help it heal. It's good to look at these patterns and the energy in the body and the chakras. When there is fear, the chakras all close down. With the chakras closed, humans cannot function well. The bringing forth of an assurance, even of a false assurance, helps the chakras to open. Then, if there is truly something to be done, it's much easier to do it skillfully, to be fully present with the situation. If there is nothing to be done, you just relax and watch the show.

Last class we spoke about the role of each chakra. I want to be certain that you understand that each chakra has a fear position and a released position, almost like a water faucet. If it's turned off, the water can't flow.

I spoke of the base chakra as related to beingness, survival, sexual impulses, the great "I Am". When the base chakra is closed, we cut ourselves off from the stream of life energy. When it's open, that "I Am" announces itself and you are fully present, alive, passionately so. And thus, with each of the chakras.

The lower chakras relate to the heavier density aspects of being, as we specified last class, and the upper chakras more to the spiritual realm. The lower are physical plane, the upper chakras , astral plane. I said that you are a pole, each of you, grounded in the earth plane and carrying the very highest energy of the crown chakra. Sometimes you prefer to be more in the body and avoid the spirit plane, or more in the spirit plane and to avoid the world and the body. The body and earth plane do have a lower frequency vibration than the spirit realm.

There are many different material and non-material planes, some with a very heavy density, a very low vibration, and some with a much higher vibration. The human effort brings the two together, helps to raise the heavy vibration. I don't want you to think of heavy vibration as bad and high vibration as good. Think of the strings of a violin or cello; there are low strings and high strings. One is not better than the other, but they each offer a different energy.

There is much more discordance in the lowest vibrations. When we speak of raising the vibrational frequency, it's not really the most accurate term. "Clarify and raise the vibrational frequency", is more accurate.

If you stub your toe, it hurts, and you sit down and hold the foot in your hands, massage it, and offer loving energy to it. The vibration of that kindness changes the nature of the experience of pain. If instead you curse at the pain, you can feel how the whole body further contracts. The chakras close; the whole body moves into a lower vibrational frequency and becomes discordant. The discordancy is really the result of the closed chakras. When the chakras are open, each tunes to the one next to it, just as you might tune a musical instrument by holding your finger on the string as you play it, and tuning the next string until it vibrates.

When the chakras are open, each one's resonance enhances the vibration of the others until the whole body of the chakras, the entire meridian, is open and radiant,. Each chakra still has its own vibrational frequency, but they are tuned together.

When the physical or energetic bodies contract, it shuts down the movement between any 2 chakras. The energy can't move through because the chakra is not spinning. If it can't move through, then it's very hard for the energy to be harmonic. It becomes discordant. The more discordant it becomes, the more your habit energy leads you to react to that discordancy by further closure.

All of this is by way of background. I want to do a guided meditation with you now. It uses the chakras as the basic structure.

We start by opening the chakras. Breathing in, bring light down to the base chakra. Exhale. (Pause). Inhale, bringing light down to the spleen chakra. Exhale. You may see these lights as different colors: red, the base; orange for the spleen. Breath in yellow light to the solar plexus. Exhale. (Pause) Green light to the heart. Exhale. (Pause) Breathing in, breathe it in through the crown of your head and down to the throat, blue light, and release. (Pause) Indigo light held at the third eye. And release. And violet light at the crown, and release. (Pause) And then above the head, a very white light, somewhere between 6 and 18 inches above the crown chakra. (Pauses are not further noted but follow between most steps)

As much as possible, feel yourself centered in these spinning chakras. Hold the back erect to open the energy.

Feel the self centered so the energy rests equally in the physical chakras and the upper 3 chakras. Bring one hand to the heart center. Feel it as the fulcrum. Relax. I'm not going to ask you to do circus acrobatics. There's nothing here that is not truly easy for you. Relax. If there was tension, notice the tension as it was held in the second or third chakras. Bring the other hand gently to the abdominal area. On one level, offer the release of tension; on another level, know that which is already free of tension, and rest in that space.

Now I am going to ask you to think of something painful. Here I do not mean the candidate of your choice losing the election, though painful that may be. Rather, think of something that has brought a lot of sadness, fear or anger. Hold the heart open to this difficult emotion. As you first bring it to your attention, you may feel closing in one or several of the lower 3 chakras. Simply bring kind attention to that closing. Breathe in more of the appropriate color into the chakra, or several colors, if several chakras are involved.

See how you can hold the memory of that painful experience and simultaneously how the lower chakras can be opened. They may not be perfectly open, but when there is not so much self-identification with them, you rest in the spaciousness that sees them closed in the same way you can watch yourself zip a jacket. It closes; it's not self. The habit energy may be strong and they may seem to close. Rest in that which is always open, watching the relative reality closure.

Breathing in. And breathing out. Breathe in deeply into the belly, all the way down to the base chakra until you feel stable. If something is still closed on the relative plane, note it. Without denial of it, rest in that which is open.


Now I ask you to experience the body as a pole, able to be with that lower vibration and closing that was triggered by fear, sadness, pain or heavy emotion. At the other end of the pole, know that space of clarity and love, which is uncontracted and free. That highest, non-material energy cannot descend into the lowest vibration of the earth plane. It is up to you who are in the physical body to ground into the heavy earth plane and to hold that space into the heavenly realms.

Let us do this meditation together, then. Bring into your mind a place of great suffering. Here, not personal suffering, but hold the vision of those whose bodies even right now are being exploded by bombs or bullets, those who are burning in a fire or drowning at sea. This relates a bit to the tonglen meditation, where we breathe in the heaviness and pain, and allow ourselves to be touched by it. Our usual conditioning is to run fast when we see such pain, but here we allow ourselves deeply to touch it.

Breathing in, breathing out. Aware of the enormity of suffering on the earth, among sentient beings, and on other planes as well. But here I think it's more useful to you simply to hold it to the earth plane with which you are more familiar. Enormous suffering. One of the challenges and gifts of your international news today is that you can literally turn on your television and see people dying. This is a nightmare and yet it is also a teacher of compassion. You may wish to hold such a scene as we practice.


You realize how easy it would be to be ensnared by that low vibration and have the chakras close. The closing of the energy field is the conditioned way to create a safe place for yourself, like the turtle withdrawing into its shell. Watch the impulse, if there is one, of wanting to withdraw. Instead, stay as present as possible.


Without letting go of that place of suffering, move the attention up into the heart center, touching the heart area with a gentle pressure. Breathe into the pressure and release. Then continue to move up into the throat and the third eye and crown.

In tonglen, we just breathe in and out. Here what you are doing is raising yourself into the highest vibrational frequency of which this body and mind are capable by touching that Ground of Being at the crown chakra, and then literally breathing the high vibration through the body, down into the base chakra.

Draw in the suffering through the lower chakras. Now breathe it up through the heart. And here, unlike tonglen, we do not release the low vibration but draw the tension into in that highest vibration, just letting it rest there. At the highest level, it is not your vibration. What you've released it to is That-which-is, that highest expression of being.

Then breathing in, breathe that highest energy in. Bring it down through the chakras. Hold the memory again of that place of horror, of pain. Offer this higher energy to it. Breathing in that pain up through the chakras and hold it in light. Rest in the crown chakra, third eye, throat. Breathe that light and love in and down through the chakras again. Feel it all the way at the base. You may be experiencing the simultaneity of the horror of the experience of beings, injured, maimed, dying, and also the potential for love, for the open heart, right there amidst the horror. Breath in that pain. Bring it up to the higher realm again.

You might want to take several breaths with each step rather than one, to spend more time at either end of the pole. Never forget that you hold the entire pole, for that trauma is your trauma also; certainly at some time you have experienced pain, loss, fear, hatred, greed. And that love is your love, the highest love of which the greater self is capable.

The highest energy is the Unconditioned. You may lose sight of it but you cannot lose it because it can't go anywhere. The vibration of fear is conditioned. The Unconditioned cannot be stained, so you carry this high energy down into the lower chakras. You carry the pain up but it cannot distort or stain the higher chakras.

Allow yourself to experience the brilliant radiance of that light at the upper level. And use the imagination, to envision the brutality of which beings are capable. See the enormity of suffering, the nightmares of natural disasters. Do not dwelling in stories, but simply direct awareness to human anguish, human pain, and to the highest love and light.. Feel yourself as the pole that can hold it all together.

I remember a lifetime long ago in which there were terrible rains that brought mudslides. The mud filled up the well from which the village drew its water. This was water from a pure underground spring, but now the well was filled with mud. People began to dig. As we got several feet down, there was the necessity literally to climb in the well, and scoop out the mud into buckets that were lifted up by those on the outside. We constantly dug our way down through thick black mud until finally the last of the mud was removed and the fresh spring remained there at the bottom.

We scooped out the muddy water, and the spring kept replenishing with water that was free of mud, until we had claimed the bottom of our well and the spring had filled it up with pure sweet water. This is what you are doing in a very real sense.

As you do this pole meditation, you must remember that the high energy and light and love is not just at the top, but that the lower chakras also can resonate with this high energy. It's still a lower vibration because that is what's natural to the chakra. But the lower chakras are not grounded in fear and the uppers grounded in love; they are all grounded in love and any one of them can become ensnared with fear.

As we do this meditation again, breathe the light, the love, through the open chakras and into that horror, it's like the spring bubbling into the mud. Then you breathe in that horror and lift it up and release it. As you purify that place of darkness, sweep out the dirt, the natural light of that place can come forth.

Let us pick a simple, politically-neutral place to practice here. Northern Japan has been experiencing terrible earthquakes this week. There is fortunately not too much loss of life, nor injuries, mostly loss of property, but people are without food, without water, homes destroyed. People have lost all they have worked hard to create in their lives. People are suffering.

Hold that image in your mind of the rock and buildings tumbling, people caught under the debris, needing to be dug out, in pain, afraid. Try to touch that pain from the most open place of the heart that you can. But then you must also go into the lower chakras. You must be the pole reaching all the way down into that pain through your own intimate knowledge of your own pain and fear and loss. Breathing in, allow that pain to come up through you and into the heart, and further up. Just let it float there until it disperses. Breathing in the life/light of the heavens, spaciousness, kindness, freedom. Draw it all the way through the heart and down into the base chakra, for the possibility to bring love and light to pain and darkness.

Again, breathing in that pain, fear, and darkness. Letting it come up through the chakras, drawing it up, just allowing space for it. Not creating something "other than" the One. The pain is just pain. The fear is just fear. No contraction around it. Breathe in light. Breathe in spaciousness and love. Feel the body as a pole connecting to that light and love and drawing it back down. Reaching out again for the image of the earthquake and its victims, and of the stressed earth itself, for the earth is also the victim of the earthquake. Breathing in that pain and darkness and raising it up into the light. Breathing in the light and carrying it down through you into the realm of darkness.


I believe you understand that just as you can do this with a natural disaster, such as the earthquake, or with places that are embattled in Iraq, so you can do it within the self, seeing the places that have pain and the places that have light, and coming to the non-dual awareness of the simultaneity of both. Uncontracted around the human pain, extending it light and love.

We will sit in silence for 2 or 3 minutes while you practice with this, and then close this portion of the class.

Barbara: Aiji is going to lead us in this tai chi exercise, pushing arms. Let me give you Aaron here for a moment, to offer some guidance before Aiji speaks.

Aaron: I am Aaron. I know Aiji will offer very clear instruction here. But I would ask you especially to be aware of the openness and closing of the chakras, and see if you can find that place where even if there is contraction, you rest in the space that transcends the contraction. This is the space that is aware of the contraction without taking it personally. It is only from that space that you can really do this exercise, connected to this core of your being, which is not YOUR being but simply Core Being, in order to allow the energy to flow. I pause.

Barbara: Aaron says, we will do this and then we'll have time for discussion.

(tape off and on) (Not every word was transcribed here because this was mostly a visual demonstration and the words were there to support that; couldn't always get everything or put it into phrases.)

Aiji: What we are talking about here is becoming sensitive to another's energy, so that when one person comes forward, the other person goes back. As one shifts forward, one is vertical, and when one shifts back, one is still vertical. This is about establishing one's stability. The other part of this is that the foot stays completely flat on the ground. So there's no lifting of the toe or heel as one shifts back and forth. The minute that you break your contact with the earth, you also break your root. And you're trying to establish a root.

So back and forth, just back and forth, very easy. The other part of tai chi that one must be very careful about is there is a vertical line that one does not wish to go past: toe, knee, elbow and head. This alignment must also be kept for stability to be established. So, this is the first exercise that we're going to try.

Now, one would not stick one's arms way out here past the toe and knee, do you see that? Because the moment that you do that-exactly, yes-you make it very easy to pull you over. You have broken your own root so you cannot maintain that stability with the other. So one always makes sure one is aligned so that one is not going any further out. So in other words, if I were to push my knee out past my toe, I would begin to strain my knee very quickly. If I were to push my elbow out, because I'm getting overzealous in a chop, for instance, then I've already broken my contact (root).

So I want you to try this, and I'll start, let's see, let's start with K. One foot forward please. Now purposely I would like you to come too far forward. Watch what happens here. OK, so you're coming forward in a chop. You'll notice that his elbow is out past his knee. This is the great 2-finger test. (Demonstrates) And there's just nothing you can do to resist that.

This time rooting yourself and letting your energy go down through the back foot, bring up the chop hand again in a nice alignment so that you're nice and centered and that energy is going down the foot in the back too. Now, just holding that, not resisting me, but letting your energy go down in a root into the ground, I want you to see the difference here in terms of how much more energy it takes me even to begin to dislocate him. See that difference? I want you each to try this because it works with everybody. OK?

(Making physical adjustments to participant…) Now, with your chop hand, I want you just purposely to come a little too far forward. So you feel that, right? Two fingers…It doesn't take anything at all.

This time, same stance, and I want you to think your energy down that rear foot, OK? Everything is becoming a flow in the background. Bring this up in a nice alignment, relaxing the shoulders, relaxing the arm, but becoming one piece with the floor. So now you're not only one piece with yourself, but I have to pull the floor over to pull you up.

So now properly grounding. I want you to feel the difference here. Can you see how much more energy it takes me to try and pull you forward?

Once again, just a little too far forward purposely… elbows past your knee (demonstrates it takes nothing to push over). This is the difference. You'll each see as we go through this how much difference it makes to simply get that grounding. And this is a mental thing.

So again, just letting it all go down to the ground. Getting very one piece with yourself, nothing is going to pull you. You're attached to the ground now. Don't come with me, just staying… there you go. There…. (some description while adjusting participant).

OK, so that when I pull, that rooting, there you go, can you feel how much more energy I have to establish to try and pull you over? With the 2 fingers and the extension that you've done yourself, it's like that. There's no effort involved, just self-awareness, and proper alignment. If your alignment isn't proper, you've done the work for me.

(Assisting participant getting into position…) I want you to think your energy down, grounding everything, becoming one, you're attached to the ground. There… Good.

You always want to make sure you do not put your knee past your toe, ever. Any good yoga instructor, any good martial arts instructor, will tell you that so that you don't hurt yourself.

What you're trying to do is gain the stability and at the same time, work with another person in terms of sending your energy in and then simply receiving and moving it by. Now to do this, that back and forth action, here's the chop forward, here's the movement back… Notice that the torso is turning. So I'm coming at the person in front of me, and you're each going to select a partner to do this with. And as you come back, notice the turn of the torso, it lets you come right past the body. So no resistance. And it's very much part of this experiment to see the no-resistance aspect.

Barbara: Let Aaron say something here for just a moment.

Aaron: I am Aaron. Aiji will take this further. I only want to remind you to bring in one more step, which is to watch: if you lose your balance, do the chakras close? Does the body and energy field contract? When you bring mindfulness to that contraction and step out of taking it personally, just seeing it as contraction and release, and the chakras are open, then you cannot be pulled off center. Just watch the relationship to what Aiji is teaching you and the chakras, and the reaction to contraction in the body. I pause.

Aiji: K and I are going to do push hands. One foot forward, please. You put the wrist to wrist. Now the object of this again is sensing energy. When I shift forward I'm going to try to touch K's shoulders, and what he's going to do is shift back and turn so there's nothing there to touch. OK? What you do with this contact at the wrist is to begin to establish that sensitivity about the other person. So as I come forward, he sits back and turns. You notice how that just goes right by the side then. And then he comes to push at my shoulder, and it goes right by the side.

Now, notice I'm not giving you any resistance here. If I come at your shoulder this way and you try to push me to the side, I can come right around your hand and strike (if that's what I want to do). This is because you've already committed your energy outward, to push my hand away from you. On the other hand, if you keep your sensitivity there, you will follow my hand everywhere I go. If I try to come around, your hand just comes around with it. Then if I intend a strike, you're right there already and in position to do something about it. That's it, exactly.

So again, ultimately this should be an exercise you do with your eyes closed, you go back and forth with your partner and sense that energy. When you get to the extreme of your push, which is when your elbow gets to your knee, (no farther, remember you don't want to break your root). So come just this far and then go back. So that each person comes forward and back. And then ultimately with the eyes closed, so that you begin to just sense each other's energy.

So I come at you, you turn. You come at me, I turn. No resistance, very soft here. See what I'm doing here? Think of it as dancing. So let's pick a partner and let's try.

(Pairs interacting, Aiji assists. Not transcribed.)

(tape off and on)

Aaron: I am Aaron. If we are going to release you to watch the eclipse, we will not have time for discussion tonight. We will make very ample time for discussion in the next class. I would like you to practice at home, and not only the formal exercise, but with all life's pushes. Teach it to your partner, child, or next door neighbor, and practice it. Practice the meditation we did, the pole meditation. Then try to put them together, to hold that space open as it must be open to do this tai chi exercise fluidly.

Your life offers you thousands of pushes. Most of them are off-balance, coming at you. Watch what triggers and off-balanced response, a contracted response. Remind yourself: hold the energy open, center yourself, and just let whatever is pushing at you slip by. Are there any immediate questions? I pause.

Barbara: Do you understand what Aaron wants you to do? Yes. OK, we will talk about this in 2 weeks.

Aiji: I would like to make people aware that there is a tai chi class going on right here on Tuesdays at 5. If you're interested, let us know… (and Thursdays at the Unitarian church…)

Barbara: I will see a few of you at the retreat this weekend.

Next week I have my doctor's permission to go and visit my mother in Florida as I had planned. So I'm going to get on an airplane Monday and fly off to Florida for 5 days. I have not seen her for 9 months because of the accident and couldn't travel. She can't travel.

A number of you have asked how I'm doing. I'm doing well. The eyes seem stable. There's no change. When I spoke to you 2 weeks ago, it was the night before the procedure. The vision improved a lot in the right eye in the first day after the procedure. It's not improved since then… it's still not up at 20/20 but it seems to be holding its own. It's reasonable vision now. The left eye seems stable. The doctor thinks the body is slowly beginning to absorb the blood; we don't know how much it will absorb. So the vision sometimes is more cloudy and with more floaters. Sometimes it's clear. He feels that it's safe for me to travel, that the retina is not torn.

So, I'm feeling a big don't-know. There's no way of knowing what will happen when the steroid wears off, which will happen in a couple more weeks. It will be as it will be. I'm really feeling very at peace with it, very much in trust of it.

That's about all I can say to you. It's OK and it's definitely the core of my practice right now, because "can't-see" comes up 100 times a day. Looking at something, realizing I can't really see it the way I expect to be able to see it. Push. Let it go by. Reopen, because with a push everything closes. Reopen. So I'm just practicing what I ask you to practice.

Thank you for all the loving messages I've gotten from all of you. It's 9:11, the eclipse starts in 3 minutes. Let's go see it!

(taping ends)

Copyright © 2004 by Barbara Brodsky