July 28, 2010 Wednesday Evening

July 28, 2010 Wednesday Evening, Venture Fourth #3

(this tape not yet corrected by Barbara and Aaron)

Keywords: elements, akashic field

Barbara: We're welcoming people and many beings... In Tenzin Rogyal Rinpoche's book he speaks about welcoming the four guests. Let us do this together from our hearts.

The first group of guests, as he names them, are the awakened beings, the Buddhas, the Christ, the various awakened beings that support us.

We welcome you this weekend, to be with us, to teach us, to support us.

The second congregation of guests are those very wise and loving beings who are not fully awakened but who are our teachers and friends, who walk the dharma path with us, a bit ahead of us, guiding us.

We welcome you and ask you to be present with us this weekend, to support our intentions and our growth, to guide us. We thank you for your presence.

The third grouping of guests are those with whom we have karma, those with whom our work is unfinished.

We welcome you because you are our teachers. As we work this weekend may we more fully resolve the grounds for that karma and release it so that you and we may be more free.

And the fourth category of guests, those beings who arouse compassion in us. Those who are struggling, sick, angry, and confused.

We welcome you; you are the ground for our growing compassion, but we also welcome you just because you are you.

Love offers welcome to all beings regardless of their stature.

May all beings benefit by our work here this weekend. May we and all beings be happy and find peace.


We have a very full 3 ½ days planned. We've started an hour and a half late, with delayed flights, which means we've lost Aaron's talk this evening, and we will get it in first thing tomorrow; he'll talk before we get into the elements work.

I've been working intensively with Aaron the past few days since I sent out the email with our schedule. I see that D has the schedule hanging but we have revised it. I spent all of yesterday, a quiet day with Aaron doing these exercises and talking about the format of the days.

He wants to break down the work with elements into 2 days. Tomorrow morning introducing each separate element, not looking at how each element contains the others but just looking at what is the experience of the earth element, the water element, and so forth, and how do they relate to each other.

Those who were with us at Emerald Isle this year, we did an element dance where we broke the group down into a number of people for each of the elements. After people got to know the experience of the elements, we acted this out on a big beach. Here we've got a lawn instead.

The earth element perhaps are hunkered down... The wind element-- 3 or 4 or 5 people dancing through, breaking up those clustered people, opening it up. And then the water element comes through, fire comes through. It's a chance experientially to literally be that element and see how it relates to another element, and how several elements relate to each other.

Tomorrow morning we will start with Aaron's introduction, he says abbreviated. Good evening, he says, his blessings and love to you all and he'll talk tomorrow. Abbreviated, he says, and then direct work with the elements. He says please come in bathing suits tomorrow morning, ready to get wet.

And then later we'll do the element dance. In the afternoon Norma will come and do her sound healing work with us. She came to visit me last week and did some very interesting things with energy. She had me hold my hands out with her hands below and above my hand, and she sang a strong loud clear tone, which I can't do (sounds tone), and then she changed the tone. And I could feel the tones through the energy in the hands and the vibration, but really through the energy.

She asked me to try to tone those tones with her, and she said I was pretty close. Then she toned an angry (angry sound), and I could feel the energy, and a very openhearted, happy (tone).

Her point: she was demonstrating to me was how much we pick up people's energy through sound, through the sounds they make, through the sounds we make, how much we impart our energy through sound. How we can become increasingly aware of the sound of our bodies and voices and the sound that we're giving off. I won't say more about it, I'll leave this for Norma for tomorrow.

In the evening after dinner Aaron will talk more, and Norma will be here and there will be a chance to ask her questions also. We may do the dance then rather than earlier. Then we'll have a closing silent campfire to practice with the fire element. So we'll work with that during the day with the sun, but we'll also work with it around the fire. We'll enter silence and stay in noble silence all day Friday until breakfast Saturday.

Friday morning, however, rather than just going off on your own, we're going to do some of those exercises that I emailed out to you. And then we enter into the second phase of element work, getting to know each element, not just as earth relates to fire or water, but feeling all of the elements within each element and the balance of all of them, whether they're in balance or out of balance.

I've got 30 lbs of terracotta stored away down by the lake. We're going to give you each a lump of clay to feel the earth element in the clay. What happens to it when you bake it in the sun? What happens when you add water? What happens when you lie back in your bathing suit or shorts and rest it on your solar plexus chakra? Can you feel the clay within and the clay without?

I have a 50 lb bag of sandbox sand. We'll do some of the same things with the sand. We'll float around on this wonderful raft and on the noodles. But the second morning, Friday morning, our focus will be more getting to know the balance within each element. And then more silent practice on your own through the afternoon and evening. There will be time for questions for Aaron in the evening. So that's the major change in schedule., that Aaron has broken down this element work into 2 days.

How many are familiar with the element akasha beyond the small bit I emailed out? It's variously called space or ether or akasha, almost synonymous but not quite. Space is an expression of akasha. This is something we'll talk a lot about in the next few days.

You've all heard of the akashic field, yes? When we hold the intention to live our lives with no harm, to act with no harm, especially when we come from this place satyagraha, soul force, I want you to directly experience this weekend how soul force is part of that akashic field and to better understand the relationship between akasha and soul force. That's just a tiny prelude. We'll talk a lot more about this.

For me this is one of the core parts of the weekend because it gives us a clue as we work with the elements how important and valuable it is to be in that centered place where everything is balanced, empty of self, and how what we're calling soul force, satyagraha, our ability to be nobody and be powerful in the world in ways that are for the highest good of all beings, how this comes from the place of centering the elements. Working with balance.

So this is just a little bit of what's in store for the weekend. We'll also talk about the homework that I gave you about 6 weeks ago, taking one precept a week such as non-harm and looking at that precept in relationship to your short list of qualities, the specific ones with which you have been working.

For example, a number of you are working with humility. How does it connect with the precept for not killing and non-harm? Another one many of you are working with is patience. How does that relate to the precept of non-harm?

We'll talk about this and do a lot of sharing about this. Talk about the first 3 chapters of Rothberg's book and some discussion of intensified plans.

Okay, that's all from me. What I'd like to do is just go around and let each of you share, probably for not more than about 2 or 3 minutes each, headlines, what's been most important going on with you in your life, in your spiritual practice. Whatever it is you want to share. Keep it to not more than 3 minutes each so we will finish and get to bed at a reasonable time.

(sharing not recorded)