August 29, 2009
Venture Fourth Fall Intensive

Saturday AM, Aaron and Heather Q&A

Keywords: Lord's Prayer, shamanic journeying, elements, crystals

Aaron: (putting the date on the digital recorder, he has asked what the year is) When you're as old as I am, the year is as a snap of the fingers! It's all one flowing time. You create these artificial distinctions. I recognize there is day and night that gives you this 24-hr period, and yet the time is constantly changing through the time zones around the world. Even the phases of the moon are artificial distinctions. If you travel far enough out from Earth, the moon looks different. No days, no phases of the moon; no hours or minutes; just now.

I asked Barbara to include in the handout what you commonly know as the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic. You have heard me speak of the lifetime in which I was incarnate at the time of Jeshua, and heard him offer such prayers, when people asked him, "How should we pray?" He said, "Do not pray to anything outside you but pray to that sacredness which is within everything." This Father, Mother, Cosmic Birther, it's not separate from you.

(Reading from the translation) Our Father, Which art in Heaven–that is this core of divine sacredness which we each can find, each expression of that divine can find within the sacred space within the heart.

Hallowed be Thy Name–the sacredness. Hallowed–blessed. Be Thy–the word Name to me refers to the sacred sound OM. Blessed be that sacred sound which dwells in the innermost heart of everything.

I'll go on to talk about this step by step as we read through it today, at different intervals. But please do not think of this sacredness as anything separate from you. And when you say Thy will be done, you're not saying, "I'll do whatever you want," you're saying, "I obey this sacred sound within me, this sacred wisdom and clarity and love. I will listen for that and no matter how quiet it is and no matter how loud the ego's voice is, I will keep coming back to that sacred sound within the heart. That is the will I will follow and not the voice of ego."

I want to invite your questions of any kind to me and to Heather in this 45 minutes before she must leave, and then we'll come back to our program.

Heather, I want to thank you so much for sharing of yourself with the group.

Heather: Thank you so much for inviting me. I have learned so much from Aaron and Barbara. It was a great pleasure to be here with you all. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Aaron: Thank you. So we open the floor to you.

Q: I thought we were going to do an exercise on soul retrieval?

Heather: No, soul retrieval is like a 5 day class. My practice is soul retrieval but I wasn't going to teach it. That's a 5 day class separately, it's quite a complex... after people have been journeying for a long time. I perform soul retrieval. N received a soul retrieval yesterday...

I think a lot of the journeys we did over the last 2 days, day and a half, quite a lot of them are advanced journeys. So I've taken bits from different practices of shamanism and brought them in for you because I knew that you could advance very fast. Even a beginning journey is usually a 3-day workshop and so we've done some of that. Some of the advanced practiced, of transfiguration, but it's a lot of work so just allow yourself to integrate this, to process some of this stuff, and of course, practice.

The most empowering part of journeying is the guide connection. So if you went to your guide and he came back with this, it's like, "Oh, I need clarity," so you go back to your guide and you continue that dialogue, you and the guide, and that creates a very strong alliance. The potency of the shaman is really the shaman, or like Barbara is a shaman, of her alliance with her helping spirit, her guide, that there's absolute faith and trust and she can go in and ask a question and get the answer very quickly.

So I think that's what Barbara and Aaron do, and I hope that you will develop by practicing journeying, and so that you can go in and get an answer. If you have a dream, go to your guide, "I'd like to understand this dream better," and your guide will help you. You can go back into a dream and finish the dream.

Q: Would you come back next August?

Heather: I would love to. I would love to. Just invite me and I'll be here. Thank you very much.

Q: I thought we were going to journey into a rock.

Heather: Well you did the crystal journey with Barbara.

Q: And so if we did want to try a rock, we'd do it the same way?

Heather: Yes. Remember how you did the rattle? Hold the rattle in your hand and go and ask that to show you its essence. And then communicate, "Thank you for working with me as my instrument to take me on journeys and working with me for the highest good, always in service to the light." Remember you did that and you saw the essence? I did it at the end of a journey.

So even my drumstick, I journey to the essence of the drumstick to ask it to work with me, and my drum. I don't have a lot of accoutrements. I like to keep things simple. This is my altar, very simple. But the journey, the visualization with Aaron, replaced the rock journey. We just began to run out of time a little and, you know, we've had such a blessing to have Aaron come through, and to have the Brother and Sister of Light come through, to give you an idea of the guides and the differences. So I think that was an enormous gift and confirmation for this class.

Q: Can a rock tell you its history or the history of the place it's in?

Heather: Yes.

Aaron: If our weather permits, we will go outside later today or tomorrow morning and hug trees and join with the energy of the trees. I'm also going to lead you on a different kind of journey than Heather did to meeting your higher self or guide. I teach it a bit differently. Heather, I take people into a, I would not say a dangerous but an uncomfortable situation, and allow them to experience a place where they feel they need help. They learn to reach for that help and to find it there, to travel on with the help walking along with them, supporting them along this slightly arduous journey. Then they come to an open space where they can sit with this helper, this guide, just sit and share energy and get to know each other. We don't do this with drumming or rattles, just as a guided meditation.

Heather: Yes, perfect. In core shamanism, all of this is done without guided meditation but it takes a long time. You have to go to a tree, go down the tree, or up it, and so it takes a long time. So I have developed this guiding you to a sacred space to work well and the guides love it, they're absolutely waiting there. It makes for what would normally be a 3 day workshop, but we can bring it into one day, half a day.

So the ultimate is for everybody to connect to their guides, their power animal guides, quickly, swiftly, lovingly and with comfort and ease. And so once you've connected then our work is to develop that friendship and deepen that friendship, and the deeper you get, then you needn't use your drums. You can use them in the meditation but the intent was to connect you to your guides and deepen that relationship, to be working on your own and to be working with Aaron.

The weather kept us all inward like bears, gathering our wisdom. But had the weather been good, Aaron and I were going to do a kind of joint journey together for you all on the edge of the lake where you'd have half a leg in the water, half a leg out, so you could merge with the water and the earth and the sun and the trees, and it would have been... but perhaps that's not what we were meant to do since we didn't get the weather for it. But I'm sure you'll have wonderful opportunities to practice this with Aaron. So there'd going to be drumming outside and you'd be working more in nature.

Q: You can just stand outside and you'll be connected to water (it is raining hard).

Heather: Right, and then you can merge with water. Close your eyes and ask to merge with water and feel the qualities, and the qualities of the lake with the other foot, so there are all sorts of things that we had planned to do outside for a little bit, but we've managed to do them all inside. Aaron I'm sure will take you on some of those other journeys...

Aaron: In Brazil there is a wonderful waterfall at the Casa with very powerful energy, very high crystal-type energy. It felt wonderful merging both with earth and water, really with all of the elements. There's fire in it, there's air in it. But one is especially aware of the earth quality, the crystalline energy, and of course the water. When one stands under it, the whole sense of self dissolves, there is just a flow of elements. One becomes the elements, one knows the elements from within.

Some of you have been with me on Emerald Isle and done the meditation where I had you lying on the sand at the water's edge with gentle waves just coming up and sometimes lapping at your feet. We have a wonderful video of N, I think, sitting on sand but allowing herself to be moved as the waves came in, one of them coming in waist high and just washing her over, floating on the beach, moving lightly with the water and feeling the sand settling under her and the hot sun beating down, the breeze blowing.

This is what I had hoped to do with you this weekend but it's fine that we didn't do it. As Heather said, we've been guided more to go within, in a different way. But perhaps next August we'll do it. We definitely will not try it in November!

Q: Have you ever recorded your journey, or have you ever written–you do such a beautiful job, Heather, of setting the intention and calling the spirits and setting the space. Have you written about that?

Heather: No, it just comes up from inside, but a friend about a year ago, last June, I was invited to teach for a minister in New Jersey. The workshop was held in the Masonic Lodge. I thought, "Whoa, I thought only men were allowed in here." But it was fascinating because the walls were half blue, just like at the Casa. And of course King Solomon was the first entity that came through for John of God. For many years he was primary guide.

So the minister took me up and showed me. They have triangles and the eye and the compasses. So I showed a video of John of God there and then we did the spirit canoe. And I did about 4 healings. A friend of mine videotaped it. And it was amazing to see the video because everybody was so centered. You could see them all, like they were really navigating the rivers. It was fascinating. But I haven't recorded anything, no.

It was amazing to see that because you know, some people were on chairs, some were on the floor. Originally the feedback was, "what are we doing?" Then they really got into it. We did about 4, I guess, and it was fun to see that. The minister in the front said he was being sprayed with water.

Q: When we do our journeys at home, is it okay for our animals like our cats to be in the room with us?

Heather: They love it. I used to, somebody was doing some work on my house and she had a little poodle. I would go into my little healing room with a client and close the door. And as soon as I started either Reiki or drumming, she would come and scratch at the door and then she would jump in, sit on my lap, and when the energy finished and I closed off the beams, she'd jump down and go back out.

They love it. You can direct the healing energy to your animals. So if you transfigure into your divinity and sit up, then just send the energy to your animals. They'll come around you, they'll feel it; they'll tell you when they've had enough. See them as healthy, divine, and holy.

Everybody you're working on, you always see them whole... never the pity because that creates more pity energy for them. Always see them as healthy and well.

Q: Thank you.

Aaron: Some of you will remember when Deep Spring classes were held in Barbara's living room. Barbara's cat had her own zafu. At the start of the meditation she would come and sit there in the middle of the room. As soon as the closing bell rang, the cat would get up and walk out.

Q: How do we live with our crystals day to day?

Aaron: I'll talk more about that with you... Barbara will bring her whole tray of crystals down, I don't know if she plans to do that this week or not until November.

Live with them day by day as you would with a dear friend. You don't ignore a dear friend. If you have beautiful flowers, you add fresh water and you thank the flowers when you come into the room. You notice them. You open your heart to them. You look at the beauty of these flowers, with gratitude and appreciation. You might take a certain flower and just hold it for a moment, feeling its energy.

With the crystals because of their deepened intelligence, you also can hold them while you meditate, just holding it in your lap, holding it in your hands. This crystal is a bit big to hold in that way, but hold yours in your hands as you meditate. Then ask for its help.

For example, if the mind is very restless, note "restless, restless," noting how the restlessness feels in the body, the direct experience of the restlessness in the mind and body. You are not trying to fix it, just aware of it. That which is aware of restlessness is not restless. Be present with that restlessness.

But then at a certain point you can ask the crystal, "Is there something I need to know about this restlessness?" Ask that crystal energy. The crystal is not separate, just as in the Lord's Prayer the divine is not separate. You're asking the question of the innermost crystal of your heart. You're using this material crystal as a way to connect to the inner crystal. So you're asking your own highest wisdom, "What is this restlessness about?" And then letting go, not searching for an answer, just present and allowing clarity to come. And if it doesn't come then there's just restlessness. Or anxiety, tension, anger, fear, sadness. So you can ask your crystal in this way. It connects you to the crystal of inner heart.

When you ask in this way, the answer is a mix of your own deepest wisdom and the wisdom of this material crystal, which has its own intelligence.

Take care of the crystal simply by your friendship. Let me put it in this way. I would not say, don't let others handle your crystal, but if they handle it then cleanse it with clear water. Bring it into the sunshine. Invite it to release any negative or distorted energy it's picked up. It will cleanse itself when invited.

Don't stuff it into a dark corner. You can literally bury the crystal in the earth for a short time. I don't mean for months, I mean for an hour or overnight. Invite it to gather earth energy into itself and release what it wishes to release into the earth. Then bring it out in the morning, wash it off and bring it into the sunshine again.

Ask it what it needs. Do you have anything to add to that, Heather?

Heather: No, perfect. I agree with the cleansing process. Even add a little kosher salt in the water. Just let it be. I sleep with mine. It becomes your helping spirit, your best buddy. Think of it in that way. I have ones that John of God gave me and I carry them all the time. Once I forgot, my set. For 10 years I've had them and I told the entity I'd forgotten them, could I connect to them? And he said, "Would you forget to eat?" And I said no. He went and got me another set and gave them to me. And I carry them with me always. And they are like my best friends in a sense. Yes, put them in the sun, put them in the moon. They'll tell you what they want because they need to be in nature, too.

Aaron: Shortly into her time of visits to the Casa, one of the entities came to Barbara in meditation after her return to Michigan and he said that he wanted her to begin working with crystals. She emailed Heather who was in Brazil and asked if Heather could buy some crystals for her and bring them back, as she'd bought just one small one, smaller than the ones I gave you last night.

Heather was traveling on to another country, and said she could not travel all that way with crystals but she suggested somebody who had been part of that first group that Barbara was with, with Heather. She said he has some that he's brought back. He should be able to sell you some.

Barbara emailed this man. He immediately emailed back and said of that Entity, that specific Entity who had told Barbara to get crystals, "He came to me this morning and said that he wanted crystals for you; he chose this one and this one and this one. He is preparing them for you and I will send them out." The man didn't want any payment, just said, "This is a gift that the Entity wants you to have."

Barbara always travels with those crystals. They are not the biggest ones she has but they are very special to her.

Q: Do all the entities work with crystals? Do you know?

Aaron: When you say all the entities, all the Casa entities, do you mean?

Q: Yes.

Aaron: They do not work with crystals there in terms of literal crystals, but there's a large crystal in the entities' current room. There's crystalline energy under the ground. The crystal energy supports their work. So it's not that they're holding the crystal and using it to magnify their energy; they have no need of that.

Barbara standing in front of Joao's chair, in the Entities current Room.

The large crystal referred to above is behind her.

Heather: That's true. Sometimes the entities have suggested, ­– we're working a lot in the Casa, I volunteer a lot there, – and they suggest the male/female crystals which come from very deep in the ground. The entities have us work with those. But they themselves (don't hold crystals). John of God has his own crystals, he doesn't need to carry them with him anymore, of course. He loves crystals, he loves the energy from crystals, the potential for crystals. And the Entities very much honor the work with crystals. They don't say salt (for cleansing); they say Casa water, or sun, sunlight, or the moonlight.

But it is true as Aaron said, best to keep these that Aaron has given you as your own personal crystals. You don't want people touching them. You can just say gently, well these crystals are something I work with and I prefer not to (have them handled). And not even have it in a display place when you're working, keep it in the bag and then have it beside your bed or in your office where you're working on your own. So it's your energy that it's working with, to keep it special, to keep it as your sacred (support)... Every shaman has in their medicine bag one stone or crystal that they keep covered from other people, it's their sort of sacred one, and I think since Aaron chose these for you, and they are very, very sacred crystals, I would keep it as such.

I just wanted to–I'm sure Aaron knows this too, and Barbara, in Portuguese, Casa (KAH-zah), in Spanish, casa (KAH-sah), house, is with an "s". In Portuguese it's Ca "za", so Caza. (The S sound in Portuguese is pronounced as Z)

Barbara is one of the only people that I know that isn't Brazilian that pronounces Medium Joao's? name absolutely correctly. It's not an easy name to say.

Aaron: I have taught her. (laughter) This crystal Barbara has displayed here and makes available to people is what she considers her public crystal. It is a crystal with powerful energy. When she works at home, it's often on the table. Her own private collection of crystals that she works with in her daily work, she does not let other people handle; they are for her. But occasionally, if there is a special need, she'll offer one to somebody to use for awhile and when she gets it back, she cleanses it. She will always ask permission of the crystal first.

Q: Two questions about crystals. My crystal has the glue from the sticker on it. Would I leave it as is or clean it with soap and water. (Yes.) And then what about the electromagnetic field from computers and things like that, is that detrimental to the crystals?

Heather: I think that because there's such a vast electromagnetic field everywhere now, airports, everywhere, that I kind of feel that my higher self, if you will, or the divine, creates a force field that protects us from anything like that, because eventually I feel, and we'll ask Aaron this, that as humans we're evolving, and so a lot of the foods that have made people unwell in the last 10 years or so, that if we can take in everything as light and without fear–I had lots of allergies when I left Brazil. Then when I got back on my spiritual path, I saw everything as light so I didn't have those big reactions anymore. I ate sensibly but if I ate wheat or butter, I would be bright red within seconds. But now I eat it, I take everything in as sacred and my body will transmute that which I don't need anymore or is not good for it. But I eat a sensible diet.

And by the same way I don't want to live in fear of these (computers) because these help us a lot. So I think the crystals can help bounce that (what is negative) away from us. We are evolving as beings so this (energy) just passes, doesn't have any effect. Just sort of like the headlights of a car.

Q: Are there certain words you say for when you're taking in food?

Heather: I give thanks to all who brought me this food and to the food itself for coming to be nutritious for me. And I take in all the food as nutritious and pure light. And I ask my body to release anything with gratitude that doesn't serve me in my highest purpose. So just think of it as, it just goes out, it doesn't have to linger in me.

Q: My son is going to want this crystal. And I was thinking I'd let him use it on me. I think he wants to use it on my mother. But from what you're saying here, I should not let him do that.

Heather: I think you can ask Aaron that, since it was a gift from Aaron. And Aaron's your primary teacher so I would ask Aaron that. Or you could always get him another crystal and let him work with that.

Q: That's another question: how do I choose a crystal for him?

Aaron: I would suggest you not share it with E and in January we'll find a crystal for E. He would need a different energetic crystal, very different than (this), something that will center him more.

Q: Do you wear your crystal or carry it? I mean I have on my shirt in this little string pouch. Do you wear yours or carry it in your pocket?

Heather: I do, I carry it in my pocket. My working crystals, they're a pair, male/female, they're slightly bigger, so when I'm at the Casa I have them in my pocketbook always. In the beginning the entities say, "Where are your crystals?" and I'd lift my shirt up. But I used to have these bulges in my pocket so now I wear them in a pocketbook. But I always take a little stone or a little crystal that I'm drawn to and have it in my pocket. I like seeds or stones and I love holding stones.

This is a stone that came to me that has a little triangle in the middle. But when I'm walking on the beach, sometimes I'll look with the intention for heart crystals, stones, but not every one do I pick up. Sometimes I pick it up and I hear it say No. I ask permission. So little stones like that, this for me carries immense power. And when I'm thinking, I'll hold it.

On my altar I'll always have a shell, so you're representing the elements. Little tiny crystal in here. Small is very powerful, I feel. You can just put a little shaving of a crystal or a seed in your pocket, on your altars, I was just going to mention that yesterday, to represent the elements, on your altars. So a feather for air. You can always put a fresh flower on, you know, for the earth. Little bowl of water I often put out if I'm doing a lot of work, and then I return that to the earth at night, asking for that to take any dense energy and become healing for the planet, for that to transmute it. A stone or crystal. And a shell, a simple shell. From a South American point of view we always have a shell.

Aaron (off mic, Heather has mic): Would you go into Barbara's room and bring 2 crystals out? There is one very small irregularly-shaped crystal. Would you bring that and also the longest wand? Thank you.

Heather: Here (pointing to her altar) I have 2 fir cones that I used instead of a drum when I first started journeying with Sandra Ingermann. So I've had these for about 14 years. And then little stones. I always have a little stone in my pocket. And jeans have the perfect pocket, this little pocket here. I think it used to be for lighters. A watch pocket. My father used this (showing an object) on his scarf when he was riding.

Q: inaudible (about the healing canoe journey?)

Heather: That is from the Salish community, it's a way of community healing. All communities have a specific way of healing and that's a beautiful one which I just happen to love very much, where everybody can participate. To try and bring this sense of community, you all have a wonderful community here in Deep Spring and Barbara's. So a community healing of course is more powerful. It was very easy for me to get to that space of non-ordinary reality. I was right there. Whereas if I were journeying on my own it might have taken me 10 minutes or so, 15, but so you're going down the river and the whole community is holding that intention of the healing for you. So I think it's just a lovely opportunity for people to experience the non-ordinary and the ordinary. And the rowing, you know some people break sweats with that, they can feel the resistance of the water, they can feel the canoe turning around and coming back home. It's just a nice community and it carries with it of course a lot of history. We were calling in the ancestors, I'm sure we had some Salish ancestors here joining us for that ritual.

P has brought in the two crystals Aaron requested.

Aaron: This very small crystal which did not come from the Casa is what is called a Lemurian seed crystal. Have you seen these before? I will pass it around... Barbara will cleanse it afterward.

These Lemurian seed crystals can be very large; they can be small. This none is small, but powerful. (Hands it to Heather.) Please tell me about its energy as you experience it.

Heather: Well at the beginning, I connected to see the essence of this beautiful crystal and I saw the light coming in and a lot of indigo blue energy around it. And now it's just expanding and expanding. And the energy of it is filling this room. And it is yellow and white, and it has the colors of all the spectrum. And from indigo blue it's now absolute white light. And it fills this room, and is just very effervescent crystalline energy. Very light and touching my heart, feels like a lot of very, very vibrant energy, very effervescent. Like the bubbles in champagne only finer. Thank you so much.

Aaron: At the ending of Lemuria, the crystalline structure of Lemuria became buried very far under the earth. Some of these crystals actually ended up in deep mines in Brazil and other places. So as these crystals now allow themselves to be found, they carry a more direct seed of Lemuria. Of course all crystals have some connection to Lemuria, but these carry a very strong Lemurian energy. They're very much a reminder of who you are, and who you were then. Pass it around and let each person hold it and feel its energy for yourself.

This wand has bits of that Lemurian seed crystal but it's not fully a Lemurian seed crystal. It's a very powerful energy, different than many crystals. This one came from the Casa.

It would have been more powerful if it was left rough at the bottom but it was polished all the way around. The polishing diminished its power. So it has traces of that Lemurian seed energy but not as strong as the small one.

You'll see that while this is a beautiful and radiant crystal, it's a very different energy than that wand. What do you feel in that one, Heather?

Heather: I'm getting an image of Jesus... It's a very calming energy, very different from the other crystal. This is very centering but the potential of it is vast. It is a much more masculine energy. Very willing to be of service.

Aaron: Can you feel the touch of that Lemurian seed crystal but that little one had much more of that power.

Heather: The small one had much more effervescence, much more light, very fast, seemed to be. This one is more steady, a little denser.

Aaron: Feel how it contrasts with this (Barbara's public crystal), which is a beautiful crystal filled with rainbow light.

Heather: This is showing me it comes from a mountain of a crystal, very deep in the earth. It's very grounding, it's very healing for the heart. It radiates love energy. It's like I'm seeing its mother/father crystal is this enormous mountain crystal right in the core of the Earth. But it is happy to be of service, it's happy to be with Barbara.

Aaron: Most of the crystals which I gave to each of you last night are similar to this from the Casa, very happy to be of service, filled with love. Crystals, like all beings, are evolving, and your crystal will grow with you. So it's not a stagnant object but it will develop. It will develop with you.

This crystal cluster is in a friend's home near the Casa.

It shows crystal in a more natural form.

I see that we are close to out of time...

(Heather is packing up her altar because in 5 min she must go.)

Aaron: Before you pack up your altar, Heather, let us just do a brief prayer and gathering together.

Q: Can oneget any crystals that have not been touched by human hands?

Heather: (amid background chatter)... everything has been touched because they're cut and brought to the Casa. I have been into the field where they're natural. They're very powerful, these, and they're all blessed by the entities.

I am very sad to leave. It has been wonderful.

Aaron(mic off): We offer our gratitude to this wonderful mix of human and spirit. great Masters, benevolent beings, earth, water, air and fire spirit, all the small beings, the faeries and others. We ask for their continued support in our intention to be servants in this world. We ask their help to observe the arisings of the ego and transcend them so that we may live our lives from the highest place of love with the highest intention of good for all beings, and the deepest knowledge of our oneness with all that is.

I thank this daughter of light, Heather, for joining us. Whatever good has come from this gathering, we offer it out freely to all beings, that all beings may be happy and find peace.

Heather, I offer you the microphone if there's something you wish to add.

Heather: I'd like to thank you all. I'm sad to leave. I carry you in my hearts wherever I go. And I know that you'll have powerful, wonderful work with Aaron and Barbara, and all together shining your lights out brilliantly into the universe. And everybody that comes in contact with you will feel and see and sense that connection of oneness that you carry, and they will feel comforted, and their pain and suffering will be lessened.

Thank you so much for inviting me. Thank you so much for your generosity on all levels. God bless you all.


Group: (shungo!) We love you, Heather!

(recording ends)

August 29, 2009 Venture Fourth Fall Intensive Saturday AM part 2

Keywords: crystals, process for opening to spirit, Crystal/Indigo children, DNA shift, (initiation, negative beings), guided meditation to meet higher self

Barbara: We're talking about the Lemurian seed crystal. This came to me from a friend named Russell Boulding. I don't know if any of you came to a workshop that Aaron and Russell and I did at Michigan Friends Center a few years ago.

Russell is working with a group that's concerned with healing the Earth with energy and love. They invited a number of people, to receive crystals, people all over the world. They sent out these small seed crystals with the idea of light centers that would hold the space all around the Earth. So it came to me in that way.

An aside from Barbara: here is the original invitation from Russell. It sounds like spirit has selected these recipients.

Dear Barbara,

On July 13, 2006, we (E'Lara and Russell) participated in an etheric ceremony with Judith Moore and Sean Sands (Oracle and Scribe of Ibis,* respectively) which activated and merged the energies of two crystals to create the Alpha and Omega Crystals of the Masters of Solomon. In that ceremony E'Lara held Lemurian Light Ray, a 28-lb Brazilian Lemurian Point; and Russell held Star Maker, a 50-faceted Vogel crystal. As guardians of these sacred crystals, we accepted the mission to freely create and gift A&O Seed Crystals to individuals as we are guided. This has been a fascinating and surprising process for us. We soon realized that spirit is not only identifying the individuals who are candidates for receiving these crystals but is also guiding the timing of their distribution! You are receiving this email right now because you have been designated to receive one of these sacred seed crystals sometime within the next 3 months.

If this information resonates with you, please respond and provide your mailing address. Each crystal is uniquely seeded for the individual receiving it, but our sense is that these are to be used freely with others --- in fact allowing others to handle these crystals will be beneficial for the individual and will serve the highest good for what is happening on planet Earth at this time in ways we can scarcely imagine. No doubt you will receive your own guidance as to how the A&O Seed Crystal can support your work. The crystals we seed tend to be small (less than two inches long). As guided, we can also seed one larger crystal for each of you etherically upon receipt of your own seed crystal. Let us know if you have a crystal that is volunteering to participate in this mission which will aid you in your work and this greater work for humanity and Mother Earth.

  • The Chronicles of Ibis include many long-lost, hidden, and sacred texts dating back to the first seeding of Earth with sentient species. At the time of Hybornea they were brought to the Inner Earth for protection from distortion and/or destruction. They are once again being revealed to humanity on Earth in support of this ascension process....

On Sep 17, 2006, at 11:13 AM, Russell Boulding--Earth Energy Healing wrote:

Dear Barbara,

I put your A&O seed crystal in the mail on Friday, so you should receive it soon. Seeding yours was really interesting. It received considerably more preparation while being held in my hand than the others I have seeded to date, and at one point it was placed against my forehead at the sixth chakra. That's never happened before. Love, Russell

When the next group email goes out I'll include the address for the work that Russell is doing and also Planetary Awakening Network.

From Barbara as I review the transcript. The Planetary Awakening network web site is at

It says 300 networks in 33 countries. Through me, you are already a part.

Barbara: Aaron is saying that the crystals from Russell's group are not all Lemurian seed crystals. There were different kinds of crystals and each crystal selected the person to whom it would be sent. They had a number of different crystals and the one that came to me was a Lemurian seed crystal. (Added later)I suggest you Google "Lemurian Seed Crystal" to learn more about them. Some of the sites you will find are hoaxes, just people trying to make money by selling alleged such crystals. Some sites have clear information. Here is one such:

Lemurian Seed Crystals : While at a gem and mineral show in May, 2001, I saw quartz points described as "Lemurian Seed Crystals." I had heard mention of these before and not paid much attention. Although I am generally cautious about "newly-discovered crystals" from ancient civilizations, Joyce and I were both strongly attracted to these crystals.

We asked the man selling them to tell us about them. They were found in Brazil in late 1999 or early 2000 by people who were mining for quartz. Usually, quartz points are found in the form of clusters. The Lemurian seed crystals drew the miners' attention because they were lying in a separate bed of sand, unattached to clusters.

Unusual as this is, the appearance of these crystals is even more striking. They are not shiny, but have almost a frosted appearance, and many had a pink glow. Their most distinctive feature is the distinct horizontal striations running up one or more sides of the sides.

I've never seen quartz points like these. Nor have I experienced an energy quite like theirs. Joyce and I decided to choose two for ourselves, then walk around the show and see how they felt. (This is not the ideal way to get to know a new crystal, but we felt certain we could sense enough to know whether we wanted to buy some for Beyond the Rainbow.)

I experienced a brief feeling of disconnection, almost as I were being unplugged while a rewiring process took place. After that, I felt calm and happy. Though I'd been on my feet for four hours after a two-and-half hour drive, I felt energized and strongly connected to universal life force energy. Without knowing the details, I knew these crystals were very powerful and important.


Although I have read various interpretations about both the nature and location of this advanced civilization, it is generally believed that about 12 million years ago there existed an advanced civilization somewhere between the American continent and Australia. Katrina Raphaell (author of the Crystal Trilogy and one of the most widely respected crystal teachers and healers) gathered with several others on Kauai to attune with six Lemurian seed crystals. While doing so, they connected with a group of powerful nonphysical beings who communicated the meaning of these crystals.

During the last days of Lemuria, it was decided to plant seed crystals programmed to transmit a message of oneness. Having seeded the crystals, the Lemurians, it is believed, left this planet for other star systems. Others went into inner earth (while maintaining telepathic connection with those in other parts of the galaxy), where they continue to care for the earth and the seed crystals now surfacing.

The crystals are thus connected to inner earth, the earth's surface, and the stars, and serve as links to these various magnetic fields. On the individual level, each seed crystal is energetically connected to all other seed crystals.

This connection is a living example of the message of the Lemurian seed crystals. They teach us how to be both individuals and integral parts of the cosmic design, that all beings are equal. They also help us how, as physical beings, to maintain our connection with our spiritual source.

The striations, which to some observers have the appearance of being lasered onto the crystals, contain this knowledge. Some ways to work with them are to hold one of the striated sides of the crystal to the third eye (between and above the other two). Another is to rub the index finger of your non-dominant hand over the ridges.

I also find it very helpful to sleep holding one. When I've done this, I not only sleep very well but have dreams that seem to be dissolving energy blockages.

In addition, I recommend using one in chakra balancing. To do this, put a crystal on each chakra and rotate the Lemurian seed crystal in a circle over each stone.

See the article on the chakras on the Beyond the Rainbow web site.

In the coming days, we will be learning more about these crystals and how best to work with them. I also believe new deposits will be discovered all over the world.

I believe that crystals are discovered not only when the need for them is greatest, but when humans have reached an evolutionary stage when they are most receptive to them. To me, the discovery of Lemurian seed crystals signals a new level of awareness on the part of humankind.

Their site also shows many crystals and tells of their qualities. See:

Informal discussion: not transcribed.

Barbara: This is me, Barbara. I am going to open to Aaron; As I do, I want to share with you my process for opening to spirit.

I begin by centering myself, inviting the mind to quiet. If there's a lot of agitation in the mind and the body, just allowing it to settle. If some agitation remains, just watching it, not trying to force it, but resting in the awareness that can watch the agitation without getting caught up in it. So the mind and body don't have to be completely quiet.

I state my highest intention. This will vary for each person. There are certain deep similarities but the specific statement of it will vary. For me, I state the highest intention as service to all beings, for the good of all beings with harm to none, in the spirit of love, always holding the energy of love.

For me, the core of my spirituality is the Christ energy. So I make the statement that I open myself to any being that comes harmonious to that energy, in service to that energy, walking in the footsteps of that energy. Each of you will have to state your own deepest truth there.

I express gratitude that this mind and body be used in service in this way. I'm serving as a medium in a different way than you may be serving, but it's not all that different. If you invite in your higher self or your guides or your animal spirits, you want to be certain that whatever comes is fully harmonious to your highest intention. I just have to be more careful than you because I'm literally inviting something to take over my body.

Many of you remember the days when I conscious-channeled Aaron, which meant that Aaron did not fully come into my body. The step to release my body to Aaron was not an easy one. It took years of really knowing and trusting him to give over this whole energy flow and body to him. Now I know that he will not abuse this gift in any way. I know that he would never do anything that would harm me or that would harm others, and I trust him completely. But it takes time for that kind of trust to build.

So then I make the statement, and I don't limit it to Aaron specifically, I say, "I offer this body to any being who comes fully harmonious to my highest intentions, in service to all beings for the highest good, with love and harmonious to and in service to the Christ energy and specifically to that expression of that energy that I know as Jeshua."

There is a list of specific beings to whom I immediately openly offer the body–Aaron, Jeshua, several of the Casa entities. And then I say, "If there is any other being of such high intention that should wish to use this body in service to all beings," to come to me and ask.

If Aaron is going to be in the body and then may transfer the body, my prior statement is that both Aaron and Jeshua are guardians of the body. Both Aaron and Jeshua must approve any being that wishes to incorporate into this body. So I feel very safe with them as guardians of my body.

I go through this process each time I channel Aaron, every time I open my energy field to him. There is negative energy out there. I don't want to frighten you. I know you're working hard to open to your higher selves and guides, but I also want you always to challenge before you open, to challenge by stating your own highest truth, your own deepest values, and stating that no being may use your body or energy that does not come fully harmonious to these values.

If something tries to come in that's not harmonious, you'll know it. You'll feel it. I'm reminded of an occasion probably 16 or 17 years ago at a retreat in another state. A man approached me the first day and said that years before he had been a child molester and had worked very hard to get past that, felt very certain that he would not move in that direction. But he was still troubled by it and wanted to learn how to find forgiveness for himself and ask forgiveness.

His story brought up a lot of personal pain for me, his story. I saw that I held some anger in my heart against child abusers, and that this was not yet resolved for me. When I began to open to Aaron, for Aaron to speak, because of my anger I opened the doorway to negativity and I could feel, while I was challenging Aaron, something trying to come in that felt very much like Aaron. Now, Aaron has a certain vibration. Something slightly negative will feel very different but something very negative can feel very much like Aaron, a very related vibration but a dark vibration that's negative rather than a love vibration.

So I could feel this energy was there. Aaron just said, "Stop." I had to say to the man, "I need to do some work with this first. Come back and we'll talk tomorrow." I meditated most of the night. I really needed to find forgiveness, to find compassion for those who would abuse a child and recognition that the abuser himself had probably been abused. I had to release that which was opening a portal to negative vibration.

Through the night there was a lot of clearing, different entities that came, some positive, some negative, past life aspects of myself that had done harm to others, not necessarily sexual harm or to a child, but had done harm to others. Releasing all this, by the next day, I felt in a clear space to channel. But until that point I did not open to Aaron because opening that door, I was aware something different could come through, and that it was not safe.

We always need to take responsibility when we open our energy, to what we are opening to. I repeat, I'm not saying this to frighten you. You are in charge; you simply need to be responsible. It's no different than, if somebody knocks on your door, you don't just say, "Come in," you look at them and say, "What is it you want? How can I help you?" You talk to them a bit on the porch in the doorway before you're certain you want to invite them into your house. You're responsible to yourself and your family and your home, and you find out, what this stranger is asking for? If you get a very positive feeling about it and they want to talk about something that's of interest to you, you might invite them in. But you take responsibility. You're acting not from a place of fear but a place of love and respect and care.

So I always challenge Aaron. No matter how familiar his energy is to me, I always first state my own deepest values and truth and then I invite Aaron, and as he requests to come in, I challenge him.

So now I'm going to run through this challenge, we're just going to do it out loud for you and Aaron will come in.

Q: Several years ago, my mother had a caregiver who was very competent. But she had a guru that she followed around the country that was living in St. Augustine at the time. This guru told the caregiver that there are entities out there all the time, negative entities, all the time, surrounding else, all over the place, and they want to get into our chakras. So we must keep our chakras closed all the time and not let negative entities come in. She was very firm in this and scared my mother.

Barbara: First, there is one piece of complete misinformation there. There IS negative energy. It is all around us, just as there's positive energy all around us. When you come into a room, there are some people who are positive and some people who are negative, just on the human level. Of course it's the same on the spirit plane. And negative spiritual beings would like to use us to their own ends so they're always looking for an opening.

However, the work is not to keep the chakras closed but to keep the chakras open. When the chakras are open and the energy is flowing, there's so much loving energy that's coming out that negativity is repelled. So the more open our chakras are, the more uncomfortable we are for negativity. But we're not opening the chakras to BE uncomfortable for negativity; we're opening the chakras because our intention is to open the chakras, to bring forth this loving radiance in service to all beings.

Almost always when I channel Aaron with a group, there's a lot of negative energy around so I'm very careful to challenge Aaron, to make this statement, and to invite all the negativity that's there to sit and listen. I don't say, "Get out of here!" If they're there, it's for a reason. It's either because at some level they hope to use my energy field to get into me, or because they're there to learn. If they see they cannot manipulate me and they're not interested in learning, they'll go of their own accord. But if they're there to learn about love and just consider the possibilities of a different path, then they're welcome to stay and learn. But they may not incorporate in my body and they may not influence the channeling session.

Q: Two questions. First, why is it that a very dark energy would feel similar to Aaron's energy? And how can you tell the difference and what do we do with the dark energies?

Barbara: Think of a scale, a balance. You push one weight out thus far; you push another weight out thus far on the other side and they balance. Aaron's vibration as positive polarity will feel very different from a low negative vibration because Aaron's is so powerful. But a negative energy that's equivalent to Aaron's carries the same weight. I can only put it in that way.

Discerning between the two, light negative comes saying little nasty things. It hasn't yet learned to be subtle. It says, "Oh, you should hate him." That kind of thing... that's a young negative energy speaking. A very powerful negative energy will come more subtly and say, "This person did harm to you. He might do harm to others. Maybe you should not open your heart to this being, it could be dangerous." So they give subtle negative direction and we often don't catch on to that.

You can feel the difference by holding your truth within you and using your intuition. If anything feels disharmonious to that deepest truth, one says no. So much of our vipassana practice is watching various energies come up, some wholesome, some unwholesome, and learning to relate to them with equanimity. Watching what arises, as in anger arising, we don't say, "No! No anger," that's more negativity, but just noting, "anger, anger, anger." What is the direct experience of that anger in the body, in this moment? How does it feel? How does it feel in the mind? That which is aware of the anger is not angry. Transcending the anger, I open to that spaciousness that can watch anger with compassion and with equanimity.

Establishing this ground of ability to relate with kindness and equanimity to whatever arises, pleasant or unpleasant, wholesome or unwholesome, is a deep ground for working with spirit. Then when something comes that's unwholesome, you know how to give a compassionate no to it. "No, you're after the wrong person. I am a being of Light. I consecrate this whole mind and body and energy to the Light. You may not use me in any way." It's something we can say to what we sense to be an external spirit or just to our own anger and judgment. Judging mind comes up and we say the same thing, "No, I'm not going to get pulled in that direction."

Q: I have been told that as we move closer to the Light, and liberation, that darker energies try to pull us back down. Is that true?

Barbara: Yes. You know the story of the Buddha. On the night of his enlightenment, all the forces of Mara came to try to pull him back. "We don't want to lose this one. This one might be liberated! This one might go so far in its commitment to service to the highest good that it cannot be turned back into service to self."

As you become more powerful, you also become more interesting to negative energy. But again, I don't want this to frighten you because we're doing this gradually and carefully. You all have your strong vipassana practice to ground into. You all have a strong commitment to service to the highest good, and you're all ready to experience an increased power and release of limitation. You need to do it gradually and with care. You need not to be frightened that, "Some negative being is going to grab me if I allow myself more fully to the Light or open to my power." That's just a way of getting caught by the negative polarity. That's just what it seeks. If we do that then they win! The Buddha didn't say, "Oh, no! No! This is Mara! No, get me out of here." The Buddha just put his hand down and said, "The earth is my witness to my readiness to do this."

Q: First question is, when you challenge a negatively polarized being, why can't they lie?

Barbara: Aaron, can you answer that? I am paraphrasing Aaron. He says it's simply part of the rules! (laughter) He says they will twist the truth but they can't outright lie. If you say, "Do you come in service to the Light?" they can't say, "Yes" when they don't, they can say, "I come in high service," or "Our services our aligned," and by that they're referring to that little part of me that's still ego. So they can twist the truth but they cannot give an outright lie.

Q: So you need to ask a straight yes or no question.

Barbara: I think it's more helpful to ask it as a yes or no question, and one of the reasons I use the question, "Do you come in fullest harmony with the Christ energy" is it's very hard to wriggle out of that one. Saying "in service to all beings," there's a little wiggle space but that last one doesn't give much wiggle space. It's important to remember here, although I feel a strong affinity with the one we know as Jeshua, the Christ energy is not specifically of Jeshua but all of us participate in that Christ energy. It's simply the highest awakened energy.

So find a question that really resonates as truth for you and that doesn't have much wiggle room. Three questions, asked 3 times.

Q: Second question is about the DNA changes. I know you were going to talk about this later, or Aaron was. If I'm correct about this, during that period of change, when DNA changes are taking place, there's a lot of vulnerability. Can you talk more about that?

Barbara: We feel the effects of the change but I would not call it vulnerability. In some ways everything becomes stronger but we feel the effects of it.

Aaron says, when I was a little girl I used to wake up with cramps in my legs at night that my mother called growing pains. It was because the body was growing at a very fast pace and certain muscles and tissue was literally being stretched, so there was some pain. But he's saying the body was not weakened thereby, it was just growing, and there was a brief period of discomfort.

As the DNA changes, you will experience times of discomfort with that change, but it does not make you more vulnerable to anything, you are not weaker.

Q: I'm not sure if part of what I've been experiencing over the last 2 years is related to that or not.

Barbara: At some time we'll go through a list of the experiences that happen with DNA changes and give you a chance to check in with some of those. Okay?

New Q: As far as the real world is concerned...

Barbara: Aaron is laughing and says, What is the real world?

Q: How does the medical world deal with finding different DNA?

Barbara: I don't know. I've seen articles about it but I have not been moved to read them. If you Google "DNA change" you'll find scientific articles. There's a person I met last year. I never got back into touch with her but I think I have her email on my computer, and she's done some scientific research about it. She's a scientist and she's approached it from a scientific perspective. But the science of it just didn't capture my interest.

Q: Indigo children have the different DNA?

Barbara: Indigo children have different DNA. When we say different DNA, all of the complete DNA strand is there for us so I'm not sure how much it shows up in terms of blood tests or whatever kind of tests they do, because you each have a complete DNA, but some of the linkages were severed. And those linkages are reconnecting. Now I'm not sure how that shows up on scientific tests. Apparently it does to some degree but I'm not sure exactly how, in terms of the science of it.

But what's happening with these Indigo children is that they're being born with these linkages restored and what's happening with us is our body is making these linkages. D, Aaron is saying that some of your experiences are related to DNA changes and some are not.

Q: Some of what I was taught previously by another teacher, and some of what I've seen a little bit of references to, is the Indigo children started predominantly in the 1980s. And now there is something about Crystal children. What is that?

Barbara: Aaron says it's really just a statement of degree. I'm paraphrasing Aaron. The Indigo children have a much more open third eye and they're born with these DNA linkages fully made. The Crystal children are even more completely grounded into that Lemurian energy. They have all the attributes of the Indigo children plus an even deeper grounding into Lemurian energy. He says it's really a difference of degree.

Q: Is this urban legend?

Barbara: Indigo children and Crystal children, is that urban legend? Aaron says no, it's quite real. He says the whole shift in DNA, when I first experienced this shift in DNA, I was very angry, I said, "What's going on? What's manipulating me?" because I was aware of these changes. There were strong emotional ups and downs, a lot of fatigue, much less equanimity. There were a number of different experiences that came. And I felt that spirit in some way was manipulating me without my agreement because nobody had ever come to me, spirit had never come to me, and said, "We're going to support the shift of the DNA."

But Aaron reminded me I've offered this body to the highest service and asked for Spirit to bring forth whatever is necessary to support that intention. So I had already given my permission and they didn't feel they needed to spell it out specifically.

Q: You are experiencing less equanimity and more anger and more emotional highs and lows, didn't that not make you also more vulnerable to negative energy?

Barbara: No, it just makes me work harder to ground myself and stay centered in that place of equanimity and not to be careless. The practice is there and stable. I need to be responsible. And it's brief and temporary.

While reviewing the transcript. I looked up in my journal to find the list of changes I had noted as I moved through this experience. I will also attach more information on DNA changes.

-feeling very fluctuating emotions,

- a lot of past life recall and healing, involving a lot of emotional and deep inner work.

-feeling exhausted.

-needing a lot more sleep, or wanting to sleep

-shifts from constipation to diarrhea and back,

-low appetite,

-moderate back pain after these now almost daily, intense energy sessions,

-occasional muscle weakness, coming and resolving. Occasional tingling and numbness in feet and hands.

- very occasional shortness of breath, sometimes even while lying in bed.

-erratic heartbeat at times

-much more inner ear sound, ringing, drumming...

Q: In the same vein about responsibility, <> a wild speculation, we were recalling a story I heard on New Dimensions radio program a number of years ago about a shaman in Africa. He was conducting a transitional rite for the young teenage men, initiational. And the task that he slipped/slit reality some way and they passed through out of the 3 dimensions, out of our ordinary reality, and it was up to them to find their way back.

I just figured with my luck I'd get lost. Then the next thing was, I would just pray to God to get me back. And then I thought, well everything I've learned in the last 20 years is, all my prayers to God, they don't get answered the way I think they're going to get answered. They just really get answered <> if they get answered at all. And it usually ends up that I have to figure out how to get back. Now, will I have to figure it out if I get lost in space somewhere. In this universe, being a responsible person.

Q: The Odysseus myth, the Odyssey, Homer.

Barbara: We're lost and we're never lost, and as soon as you realize you're never lost, you're not lost. It's just like resting in rigpa, you're liberated. But because we don't stay in that space, we come back to this samsaric ground. As soon as we remember who we are, so much of what we do is just remembering.

I don't quite understand what his journey was for these boys but I assume it involved remembering their deepest truth and coming home.

Where does responsibility come into it? You brought this up with the term responsibility.

Q: I just brought it up for that precise point. What responsibility means to me is that I can't let panic overrun me, and I have to sit down and do my best.

Barbara: That is in a sense what this program is designed for, to prepare you to KNOW your ability to find your way through. There are traditional rituals of maturation and responsibility that are transformative for people. (speaks of the camp her sons attended, the challenges they were presented, and their growth through these challenges) I think one of the difficulties in our culture, is that youth are not given these kinds of challenges.

Q: I think what threw me was precisely that. This was a cultural shift I was totally ignorant of. If they would send these children into this vacuum, the children obviously had some familiarity with the landmarks of that vacuum.

Barbara: In some cultures it is just taken for granted and talked about from childhood, that there are different realities. In our culture we don't talk about it and that's why all of you have need to explore this, not necessarily for the first time. Some of you have been exploring it for years, but if you're like me you did not grow up with this. It takes some getting used to.

And of course there are many different, I don't want to call them different realities, but there are many aspects of reality, and we can't say one is more real than another. An illustration is of the work we do in our deepest vipassana practice, and the experiences of the Unconditioned. We can move into a powerful experience of the Unconditioned where mind and body dissolve, where everything dissolves, complete dissolution experience, cessation experience, everything ceases to arise and pass away. Peace, complete stillness, profound, life-changing. Yet if the house catches fire, we must respond appropriately.

That's no different than what these young men were being shown. If we get stuck in that space, we can't relate to the world. We have to come back to everyday reality, and we have to find the integration of that reality in our everyday reality. This is, in Heather's terms, part of what the shaman does. In our terms here, this is part of what the servant does. If we're going to be servants in this world, we can't do it from the small ego self. We have to do it as much as possible from this highest level of consciousness, awakened consciousness. And yet we can't hang out in that enlightened consciousness and ignore the everyday reality.

So it's the integration. When we do dzogchen practice, resting in pure awareness, and then something comes, maybe the smell of a skunk, it pulls you back into the body and the whole mind and body say, "Unpleasant! Acrid! Eyes burning!" Then we look with Aaron's way of phrasing it, "Anything other-than?" Anything here other than the highest expression of the divine simply expressing as skunk smell and expressing also as aversion to skunk smell? As soon as we open to that, "No, nothing other than," we're back in rigpa, just resting in awareness again.

Dzogchen at that level, the trekchod practice of dzogchen, teaches us how to integrate, how to, let me say it differently, how to not get caught in the physical mind-body experiences that create contraction but how to rest in awareness watching contraction come and release and come and release, without having to fix the contraction, just knowing, it will resolve, it will go. It's just contraction. Our vipassana practice with choiceless awareness, and with an increased ability to rest in spaciousness and simply observe arising and passing away, teaches the same thing.

We learn how to literally to have one foot in the Unconditioned world and one in the conditioned and how to stay balanced between them but we're still seeing it as separate. Then the togyal light practices help us to see everything as integrated. There's no conditioned or Unconditioned; it all comes together. It's just all light and expression of light.

I don't want to go too far with this now, this is going to be our work in Intensive 3. So, these levels and of consciousness and so forth will be our focus for Intensive 3.

Let's come back, it's 11:20 and I want to finish this challenging process and do a journey with Aaron, have Aaron lead you on a journey to your higher self. So I'd like you to simply stand in place and stretch for a minute.


Barbara: So I begin by stating my highest intention as servant. Many years ago my guru gave me a name, part of which is the word Das, which in Sanksrit means "servant". I was only 11 years old, I had no idea what the name meant. So he said, when I understood my name I'd be ready to begin my work, two Sanksrit words. And it took me years, first to learn the meaning of the words, the literal meaning, and then to really understand them.

Much later on a retreat he came to me–this is not Aaron, this is Neem Karoli Baba–he came to me and said, his literal words were, not in long flowery talk but more a bopping on the head and saying, "You, Das! Don't be Das. You think Das is somebody. Das is nobody. Let go of the somebody."

Here I am inserting the direct words from that journal from 13 years ago. I hope this will be helpful to you.

July 1996, Dechen Choling: self-retreat journal: Maharaj-ji:

...I felt his present energy as I haven't felt it in a long time. I just sat, clutched his feet and cried really hard for awhile. He kept hitting me on the head. He said in a joking manner to some people who were there. "This one is mine; see how happy she is to see me; she cries!" After awhile he added, "She thinks she lost me!"

When I stopped crying I asked him, what am I doing? I'm trying to do what spirit asks me to do but often I feel like I don't understand anything. What is asked of me? In answer, eyes laughing, he threw me an orange, threw it hard so it hit me. He looked so innocent as I fumbled to catch it. I just sat there and looked at it. so he asked, "don't you want it?" Aside to others, "she doesn't want it!" To me again, "Why don't you eat it? Eat it!" So in my meditation, I ate it. Then he threw me another and said, "eat!" I did. Another. By now I was slowing down; too much orange. I finished the third and he threw me another and said again, "don't you want it?" I said I was full. He replied, "Give it away. You're always full; give it away. Give everything away. That's what I want you to do. Give everything away. Learn that you are always full. There's always everything/ fullness/ completeness." (hard to translate this) And he threw more oranges at me. "Give away everything; give it away!"

I wasn't sure what he meant and questioned, not "aloud" but in thought, , does he mean my house, my money my car. What does he mean. I felt some fear that what was being asked was too much, that I'm not ready to be possessionless. I wanted to protest but he wasn't looking at me any more. I understood I don't have to give away things that are "working tools" in my life like home or computer, only not to be attached to them. If they go, I didn't really need them or if I do they'll be replaced. I really do already trust that. What Maharaj-ji was talking about was the present confusion over completeness/ incompleteness. Nothing was ever incomplete so how can there be completion? I need to empty myself so as to understand my fullness. The more I give away, the more space there is to receive, to be a flow-through.

Maharaj-ji began to talk again; paraphrased. Can't get it precisely; it was a clear, simple thought. "I told you, forty years ago, your name is Shantih Das. I said you would know what to do with that name when you learned what it meant. (This is my dressing it up. It was more like, "You, Shantih Das! Why not live your name already?" but the rest was implied )

He continued, "You've learned 'Shantih'. You haven't learned 'Das' (servant). Give away everything; don't hold back anything. Give everything until you know 'Das.' It's very simple. This is all you need to do."

I started to withdraw but felt his energy again so I sat back at Baba's feet. I felt such an outpouring of love, started crying again. He hit me on the head again a few times and said, "go away, go away." I started to get up and then he said, "come here."

He said, eyes twinkling, "Be empty and God goes through you. Das is nobody. You can't be Das and still be somebody." Then he abruptly turned his attention elsewhere. I sat there for some time, just holding that love and finally realized I didn't need to hold it, that was just what he was talking about, so I stepped back and let others near, just let his energy pour through me and let it go. Full!

Aaron and I talked a little. Aaron said, "this is about completion; for several days you reached back to that cessation experience, wanting to find a way to reenter it, rather than allowing to arise in yourself the awareness that you are already and always in that center, that the Unconditioned is your essence. The experience of resting in that utmost peace is there, was there before your first more conscious experiences of it, years ago, will always be there. Like the oranges, why would you need more of it. 'Give away everything' means just that. You cannot know completion until you let go of the idea of incompletion. Let it go. Think only of God and let go of fear."

1 A.M.: A long evening of practice, mostly looking at "give away everything." Aaron asked me to note my breath, and that I cannot draw in new breath until I release the old. There would be no point in inhaling without the exhale. I don't hoard the breath; I exhale and trust the inhale will follow. There's no self in it. Breath breathes itself. But in other areas I hoard, afraid to let go. I know that "let go" is the key

7/28 afternoon: I've been sitting since 5AM with "das is nobody" and "give everything away." This is a hard teaching but right on! ... Thoughts of feeling invisible in childhood/ old mind. ... Looking at what makes that somebodiness come up. (old memories) feeling humiliated, wanting to defend myself and knowing there was no defense. Images of self as "the inadequate one" or "bad one" and needing to fight against that, but also being that, repeatedly, as a way of being in the world. All old.

A: Give it away."

B: How?

A: Just let it go. It's an old myth. Can you just let it go? Who needs it?

So the morning was a mix of looking at "Das is nobody" and the fears that nobodiness idea brings up, old mind and "give it away." Very painful and also very wonderful. Much release. ... ...

July 28, 10:30 PM I've been sitting outside in the glorious light of a full moon, Venus beside her, mountains rising around me. Some agitation about ...

Slowly mind quieted. I can see how much I do serve the dharma and that if to do so is my highest priority then I have to accept the path of service life has handed me. "Das is nobody." I can't start by saying "Thy will be done but only if it works out this way." Looking at the desires to control this path. Give away everything: give away thoughts of being "somebody/ fear that I'm not. Give away my conceptions of how I want it to be and work with what is. I am NOT running this show!

Servant of peace. To serve that peace, ... to serve the peace that is arrived at through the understanding of our deepest truth, ... but nobody serves anyone or there is no "service", but only manipulation. With this clarity, I briefly experienced Baba again, felt his energy embrace mine and then depart.

So I state my highest intention to live this spiritual name, Shanti Das, Servant of Peace, in the highest service to all beings, for the highest good of all beings, with love. So I ground myself in that intention and then I take it to the next step, inviting in whatever entity wishes to use this body. For you who are meeting your guides and higher self, not inviting an entity to incorporate in your body, your statement would not be "whatever entity wishes to use the body" but "whichever entity wishes to merge with this consciousness as friend and as teacher." You are stating that whatever entity comes must be completely aligned to your highest intention and vibration.

I'm going to do this with Aaron using the words I use for him to incorporate in my body but remember that what you're doing is not to invite an entity to incorporate, but to connect together with you in consciousness.

Having stated my highest intention, ... and I'm going to pause for a minute and let you all do this, raising your highest intention to yourself...

I open this mind and body to the highest energy possible that wishes to speak to me or speak through me in service to all beings...

Now you may feel your guide coming to you, or power animal. You may not feel it yet. We're going to do a meditation to meeting the guide, so don't try to bring forth the guide, but if the guide is there, that's fine.

I feel Aaron come in and I hear from him the request, "May I enter into the body and utilize this body, mind, and speech, for the highest good of all beings, with love, and in His service?" Aaron and I have a shorthand here. He says, "in His service," meaning service of the Christ.

Paraphrasing Aaron here, he says, "I will cherish and respect this body, protect it and return it without harm. I deeply thank you for your willingness to serve in this way."

I feel Aaron's energy and I hear his request. I really feel his love and his gratitude. And I offer the challenge again, although he has said it, "Do you come for the highest good of all beings?" And he says, "Yes, in service to all beings. In the spirit of love? Yes. And in His service? Yes."

And then I express my gratitude. "Aaron I thank you for this opportunity to co-create this service together." I allow myself to feel the joy and gratitude, which helps raise my vibration.

And finally I say, "I consecrate this mind and body to the Light." (Barbara's voice fades here for a moment)

Aaron: And I have arrived. I am Aaron. And so we shift in that way.

In Barbara's situation, the body could be briefly vulnerable because she moves out of the body and there's a moment of time in which the body is empty. So what protects it is this powerful intention to the highest good, and of course I'm there protecting it with my energy and other loving beings are protecting it with their energies.

I planned to speak some this morning about the integration of the program. We'll save that for this afternoon. I want to lead you on an inner journey to meeting your higher self, a guided meditation. So I would ask here that you close your eyes.

In Heather's meditation to meeting your guides she created a place of great safety. And that can be very useful to allowing you to open. I find for some people it's also helpful to experience a place of some discomfort or potential danger, and out of that experience, to ask for help, and then find the guide that is there. We begin.

It is a dark cloudy night and we are ascending a sacred mountain. There are many paths up the mountain. You arrive together at the base, then each is drawn to his or her own path. You may feel a sense of aloneness as you begin to walk into a dark woods. You carry only a candle, just enough to light the path a bit.

Gradually the voices of your fellows die away and all that remains is the wind and the trees, night noises of the forest. Somewhere ahead of you is the sound of running water.

The path becomes a bit steeper. If fear comes, note it with your mindfulness practice, aware of the direct experience of fear and holding space for it. It is your highest intention of the moment to climb this sacred mountain for whatever will await you at the top, and so you climb.

The path becomes steeper and steeper, asking you at times to grab hold with your free hand to pull yourself up the rocky way. The sound of fast-flowing water comes nearer. You've been told that there will be a stream that you must cross.

And now, over that sound of running of water, you begin to hear a low growling sound in the woods. Some animal, large or small, seems to be walking near you just out of the reach of your small candle light.

You approach the stream and see with some discomfort that the water rushes rapidly and is broader than you can simply step across. From your path there is a sheer drop of about 10 feet and then a raging torrent. There is forest again on the other side. Hold in your heart your aspiration to reach the top. Be aware of any fear of losing the way or falling into the abyss. There is one narrow plank that crosses this ravine with its rushing waters but there's nothing to hold onto.

And the growling is getting closer.

Remember at this point, my brothers and sisters, that you are not alone. Ask for help. "Whatever being can help me cross this stream in safety and continue my journey, please come to me now. I ask this for the highest good of all beings, trusting that this sacred journey supports the highest good of all beings, that it is not ego that makes the journey but love."

Gradually begin to feel a presence. It may be a humanoid form, it may simply appear as swirling light and energy. It may be an animal, even a bird or a snake, or even that being from whom the growl came; who knows. It may be a tree that reaches down a branch, lowering its limbs into your grasp. It may come as a male or female energy, or androgynous.

In whatever form or absence of form it comes, you will notice that a light radiates out of it, perhaps very bright light or perhaps only a dim one. You will feel as you felt with the crystal that there is a loving presence there.

Turn to it, bring your hands together and literally bow to it. Experience it bowing back to you. Simply rest in its presence for the moment. Then move with whatever way has been offered as support to help you cross this plank.

The snake might tell you to lie down on its back and it will simply carry you across. The limb on the tree might lift you and carry you across. The more humanoid-looking guide or swirling energy my simply take your hand and say, "Come, I will support you."

Use your imagination if you need to. If no seeming guide has come, simply let your imagination bring forth whatever comes first, in love. You will probably not be too far off. And remember, your guide does not have any ultimate form, it is formless; it simply appears to you in some kind of form at times. So when you use your imagination in this way, that's fine, you're not creating something that isn't there, you're just giving yourself a clearer way to access this guide's energy. For all of you right now, a guide is present.

Reach out... and feel this beloved one's energy field touching yours. With that touch, feel fear falling away. Nothing remains but the beloved's presence. Fear dissipates, fear of the darkness, of the raging stream, of the narrow plank that must be crossed. The sense of human limitedness falls away as you entrust yourself to the energy of the beloved.

In whatever way it happens, feel yourself being carried or supported across the waters, safely to the other side. Your guide suggests you lay down the candle, for your guide, and now you, also emanate light, a radiance that gives enough light to see the path.

Your guide will ask you where you want it to be–in front of you, beside you, behind you, even within you. And thus you begin to walk again.

The path grows steep so that even with two hands you feel you cannot climb it, at least not easily. The guide smiles at you, a reminder, "I am here. You are not alone. You are never alone. Tell me how you want me to help." If the guide is behind you, it may push with its energy, supporting your climb. Or if it's ahead of you it may lean down and help to lift you up. Allow yourself to rest in trust of that energy, feeling the love that is in it.

And now there is a very narrow path as you near the top. On one side there is a sheer cliff wall and on the other side is a sheer drop. The path is just barely wide enough for passage. Feel your guide's energy, quite literally forming a barricade so you cannot fall. Trust yourself to that presence and that energy and allow yourself to walk up the path.

See how fear releases, the whole sense of limitation–"I cannot do that." You, the ego, could not, but you in your wholeness and with the support of your loving guide, can do it easily.

A few of you are experiencing more than one guide and wonder is that okay? That's fine. They may be in different forms and that's fine. Since there is ultimately no separation, what is here is simply expression of the One as you are expression of the One.

So at some level we would have to say you are your own guide, and yet at another level, one does experience that as seemingly coming from a different entity, and that's also fine. Don't get caught in these mental gymnastics; just feel and rest in that loving energy.

As you near the top you see the sky is beginning to lighten. And now you are off the ridge and opening onto the bald top, a large open area. A bonfire burns. In the east is the very start of dawn. As you look around you, you see your comrades here, each of them with their own guide, gathered around the fire, sitting in such a way as to watch the dawn.

With your guide, find yourself a rock or mossy place and settle down. By the light of this fire, look deeply into your guide's face, if there is indeed a face. If it's a non-material being, simply look into the energy field. If you felt a tree's spirit that swung you across the stream, the tree itself will not be with you but the spirit of the tree.

Be with such spirit. Whatever is there, just be with it. Feel its love and say thank-you. If you feel love for it, tell it so.

All the group has arrived now. You look around in wonder at this circle of beings, physical and non-physical, and feel the joy that such guidance is available to all of you.

The sky is lightening, the red rim of sun just beginning to arise from beyond the mountains in the far distance. The sky is a deep blue above you. Allow yourself to feel joy, gratitude, and peace.

No words are necessary but if you wish, you may turn to your guide and ask, "Do you have a name by which I may address you?" The guide may or may not respond with a name. It may give a simple name like Love, or it may give a very specific name. Or it may just shake its head and say, "No name necessary, just reach for my energy." Allow yourself to hear what is offered.

The sun is fully arisen now. The guides indicate that they will depart--we never depart, but step back beyond consciousness for the moment. Again express your thanks and bid them farewell.

And now you may open your eyes, finding yourself still atop that mountain, sitting in a circle.

I don't want to break into conversation here. It's 12 o'clock, time for your lunch. Please hold 15 minutes of silence now at the start of lunch as you go off to get your meal. Then you may mindfully share what you experienced with each other, if you wish. There is no request that you do so but you're welcome to do so if you wish.

Thank you for trusting me to take you on this journey.

(recording ends)

August 29, 2009 Venture Fourth Fall Intensive, Saturday PM

(This tape not yet corrected by Barbara and Aaron)

Keywords: guidance/higher self, third eye opening, Venture Fourth program

Barbara: We have sunshine, more or less... (some sun is breaking through the clouds)We're going to do 3 things this afternoon. First, just about 20 minutes, a brief discussion of your experiences with Aaron's guided meditation. Then Aaron is going to come in and talk about the program, about the retreat part of the program. Then we're going to break into small groups to discuss the four weeks of program you've done so far, what you've experienced with these qualities of humility, respect, muditta, and responsibility.

So let's start with just whatever feedback you want to give, whatever you want to talk about, maximum 20 minutes, let's not digress.

(sometimes hard to hear group)

Q: I know life is impermanent but I miss seeing Heather. (Heather has left mid-morning, for the airport) The seat empty took me awhile to adjust to that. I missed her presence in the room. And then the meditation was good. However I think a little bit of the loss of energy for some reason affected me, or maybe I was just tired.

Barbara: My guess is that everybody felt the loss of Heather's energy, the empty seat. Heather has a strong energy and was a strong presence in the room. So I think we all missed her.

Q: I know Aaron can't tell the future but I've heard him say that we might be called to do things and we needed courage. Is there something he has in mind?

Barbara: The first time I went to Brazil back in '04, and before the trip I was in Seattle and teaching with my friend Judy, who channels Jeshua, and I had the opportunity privately to ask Jeshua for guidance for the trip. I asked him what do I need to take with me, how do I need to prepare. He said, "You need courage."

I completely misunderstood and thought there was going to be some arduous ritual, some arduous circumstance that came my way. I realized afterward that what I really needed courage for was simply to be present with the fact of going down there and being disappointed that I didn't hear. There was no, "Snap! Hearing!"

So when he says courage, it can mean many different things. Don't try to read anything into it, just strengthen the attribute of courage. Look at that which blocks courage. Then when you need it, it will be accessible. Don't try to figure it out. Okay?

Q: The march experience was in synch with and then out of synch with Aaron's pacing of the process. It seemed my guide was available to merge early on. It's somewhat hard for me to tell me from the guide(s).

Barbara: Because there was a sense of merging?

Q: Yea, it seems natural and easy, and as if this has been a long-term companion.

Barbara: Did you experience the sense of loving presence merged with the self and supporting the journey? Aaron says, I'm paraphrasing him, he says because of the work you've done, fairly deep work you've done in the past 2 days, and because of the work that many of you have done for years in the past, you're at different places.

Some of you find the guide not only accessible as guide but with that experience of no duality. Some of you are still trying to understand what the experience is of meeting the guide. So his meditation was more directed at helping support that experience of meeting the guide for those who have not yet fully opened to the energy of the guide. He says with 20 or so different people, everybody will be in a different place.

So that when he speaks in this way, if he says, "Meet your guide," and you're already there, just let the words go by and be present with your guide. Don't try to do what he's saying if you've already done it. Let his words go and just be where you are.

Q: I found this journey very soothing in comparison to the other journey that we had with Heather. No judgment, just noticing. I picked up a new guide, so I had the bear, the benevolent bear, the ancient one, the Wise Woman, and the owl, all guiding me across this wooden plank over the creek. It was very soothing, very soft, in a way. Nice.

Barbara: Aaron is saying that of course he's following a very traditional mythical path of coming to the obstacle, seeking help, finding the help, merging with the help. He's just bringing that into your, let your imagination play with it so you can open more easily to whatever guidance there is. So he says the aspect that he brought in that Heather did not was the arising of the obstacle and the intention to reach out for help.

Q: I found it helpful when Aaron kind of invited us, if our guide did not appear to us, to use our imagination. That to me seemed different than what Heather had done. But perhaps I just didn't pick up on Heather inviting us to do that.

Barbara: Were you in that way able to imagine the presence of something? (Q: Yes.)

And did it feel comforting? (Q: Yes, very much so.) Good, good.

This is why we do this in different ways. What Julie will do with the Breathwork is not specifically directed to meeting guides but to taking us into a deeper level of consciousness in yet another way. So that people will find different pathways to opening to various levels of consciousness and various levels of spirit. What works for one will not necessarily work for another.

Q: I'd like to add a part about my experience. When we walked up into the deep, going up into the very narrow path, I had some difficulty making a decision whether my guide would be in front of me or behind me because of fear. I finally just merged. I really wanted him to hold my hand and walk beside me.

Barbara: I remember this meditation when Aaron was leading it, reading the transcript and the discussion afterwards, way back in the living room days, when somebody expressed that–"Should he (the guide) go in front of me? Should he go behind me?" And the guide said, "I'm inside you so why is this an issue?" (laughter)

Q: It came to me during this morning's meditation, the 6:30am one, what came to me was that my guide, my primary guide who has always been there and whom I know has been there, that what I had been doing was to deny that guide's presence. And I realized that I was doing that almost unconsciously out of a feeling of not being worthy of that guide. And then it also came to me to simply relax and let it be without making a judgment about it. So this afternoon when we did that, I just let it come in and sensed it in the way I usually sense things, and it was very different this time because I was different in my perception and in my allowance, I let it be.

Barbara: That's a big step for you, good.

Q: Since I've begun interacting with the guide, I've been wanting to be able to communicate more verbally. And I've been asking for help with that and also with this crystal. And what I'm experiencing is, it's as if there's energetic transformation happening inside my brain. And sometimes it's a little uncomfortable but it feels like it's right, and I wanted to check on that.

Barbara: When you say there's an energetic transformation happening in the brain, I'm not sure I understand that.

Q: It's a little hard to describe, but primarily, like in the middle behind the third eye, and sometimes more on the right side or more on the left side, and beneath the crown, there's a sensation sometimes like flashes of light and energy, sometimes of less dramatic but energetic movement.

Barbara: And when you experience the merging with the guide, as opposed to you trying to communicate with the guide, is it more in the third eye, more in the center? When there's an experience of merging with a guide rather than a J trying to communicate with a guide, is the energy more in the third eye area in the center, and more stable?

Q: No. The merging experience, it's as if my whole body, it's very somatic, and it's... gentle, soft, smooth, expansive, nurturing, nourishing.

Barbara: I don't know if this is answering your question but I think when the self relaxes and you move into a space of more emptiness, no ego trying to push anything one way or another, then everything dissolves and all separation dissolves.

When there's even the smallest level of anybody trying to do something then it gets up into being more mental. Energy seems to jump back and forth. I'm asking Aaron if he agrees with what I've said. He says, yes, basically. He's saying, just relax. If you see that kind of energy movement, note it as tension. There's a subtle tension to it. Just note it with an open heart without trying to fix it, to allow yourself to slip back into the place of emptiness again.

He says, what I was asking you at first, that confused both him and me because we wanted to be sure what you were expressing, was that there's another experience that people can have where as they merge with the guide, the third eye opens more and more fully. And there's a sense of energy pulsation in the third eye. There's no self in whom it's happening but there's a strong sense of energy pulsation which is part of what holds that merging with the guide.

Then sometimes there's a subtle resistance to that, that doesn't feel fully comfortable with it. If the resistance is noted, it just breaks down and goes. But if it's not noted, if there's not mindfulness of that subtle tension, then the energy, instead of opening the third eye, starts to bounce back and forth. Okay?

Q: On my journey, at the edge of that cavern, I saw my crystal, my power animal, which is a butterfly, and a beautiful radiant light, very loving. And I also saw a glimpse of a wrathful energy, not angry but like the Divine Feminine... wrathful energy. I ignored the wrathful energy and merged with the loving energy, which was very loving and supportive.

A handlebar, a railing, appeared beside the walkway and I walked across the board. But just before reaching the other side, the board and the railing disappeared and I fell. And I was grasping onto the cliff in great fear. And then this hand came up from below me and set me up on the other side. And I heard, "You are never alone."

So it was very profound for me, very moving. At the same time, I felt like in non-ordinary reality I was peaceful with my guides, but I felt that my body still held the fear. So I continued up to the top of the mountain carrying both, being so blown away by the beauty of our group and our guides but also carrying the fear in the body.

I'm wondering of you or Aaron have anything to say.

Barbara: Aaron would like to respond to this directly. Short break while Aaron incorporates.

Aaron: I come and I go and I come and I go, but I never really go anywhere! (laughter)

My blessings and love to you all. Where would I go? In response to your question, part of any journey is simply psychological, relates to one's inner psychology, emotions, and the issues which one is resolving at that time in one's life. The presence of a wrathful deity is an expression of the, I don't want to say the negatively polarized but the angry, contracted side of the self, which is not necessarily negative, it's just energy, but it's a contracted energy. And that it appears as a wrathful deity is more an expression of your sense of it as negative, otherwise it would simply appear as an imp of some sort, a little being that was wriggling around and unsure of itself.

The wrathful deity is not bad. The wrathful deity is one of the sources of our power. This is something that we'll get into several intensives from now, not yet, how we all harness the energy of that kind of contracted energy.

Whatever happens, of course, is happening in different realities and at some level you are creating it just as you're creating it in your dream. Some part of you needed to test and so the board disappeared, the railing disappeared. What you needed to explore was, is love always there, is it truly always there? You needed to put it to the test.

So you learned something. It's always there. Another way of putting that would be not so much that you learned that it's always there but you learned that you can trust that it's always there.

Did you have a question, Q?

Q: It had to do with your entry remarks. They're somewhat flippant, which is not particularly your style.

Aaron: I did not mean it to be flippant... only to make acknowledgement of some feelings that I am not present when not incorporated.

(additional brief remarks inaudible)

Q: In light of what Barbara was saying about the dialogue she has with you before you incorporate, and the amount of mindfulness that is exercised in that, how do you maintain, how can you do it so many times so mindfully, and how can she do it so mindfully?

Aaron: Let me speak to 2 things here. First, when I said, "Sometimes I'm here, sometimes I'm not here, and yet I'm always here," it was not meant to be flippant, it was meant simply as a reminder that when I'm out of hearing and don't seem to be incorporated in Barbara's body, I'm still here with you. I'm never gone. Sometimes I'm more apparent than at other times. Sometimes Barbara's energy is more in the body, sometimes mine is. But I was responding to the feeling some of you had as I came in, "Oh, now it's Aaron! There went Barbara, now it's Aaron!" Seesaw.

We do this through 2 decades of practice. If you practice anything long enough it becomes smooth.

Q: Every morning when I meditate I say, kind of paraphrase Barbara's prayer, particularly with regard to gratitude, I need to have something fresh almost every time to experience real gratitude, for it to be sincere. And I have exhausted a lot of things. (laughter)

Aaron: We are grateful for the same thing each time we meet: I am grateful for her and she is grateful for me. And we embrace one another. So I simply feel her loving energy and her willingness to be of service and I'm deeply grateful for it. And she feels my loving presence and is truly, deeply grateful for this opportunity to serve. So genuine gratitude arises for both of us.

Q: But she says she has to check you out each time.

Aaron: She does, but it's a quick check, at this point. We use a short hand–she says "3 times, Aaron..." and I reply "3 times". And she feels through my energy that it's me. She has gotten to a point where she'd sense any discrepancy of energy or know that I would warn her. But after 20 years she's come deeply to trust her discernment. In the beginning she checked it out very carefully.

But then, once she's checked me out, we move into that gratitude stage, so that is not in the beginning. It's not until she's checked me out that we move into the offering of the body, my asking for the body, and then the expression of gratitude. So it's already asked and confirmed for herself that it is me, at that point.

(Aaron is handed a crystal)

Here's another crystal you can pass around. You'll find it a very soft energy. This is a Casa crystal, one to wear around the neck. And because it's cut in such a way and more refined it doesn't have a strong energy. It's a soft, gentle, pure energy.

Venture Fourth...

You are working on 2 different levels. One is this opening to the deepest place in yourself, both through your vipassana practice and opening further and further, more and more directly the Unconditioned, and in the same direction, toward opening to your guidance. Opening more and more from the relative experience into the ultimate experience whether it's through vipassana practice or through the support of your guidance, through the interconnection with All That Is, opening to the experience of the Unconditioned.

Many of you are subtly resistant or more resistant to such opening because there is a subtle distrust of the self. You are still learning that you don't have to be afraid of or uncomfortable with any negative thought or impulse, it just has arisen. You're not going to act it out.

When Barbara was eating lunch today and a yellow jacket landed on her salad, the first thing that happened when she saw it was she contracted. It was 2 inches from her fingers. She's been stung enough that she's not comfortable with a yellow jacket landing 2 inches from her fingers. So she had to consciously center herself and note, "This is a sentient being. My highest intention is to greet it with love," to find the love that was right there with the contraction. It only took a moment.

Don't think that the contraction doesn't exist, only she's learned how to be skillful with that contraction. She didn't say, "Shame on me, I shouldn't contract anymore," she just noted, "fear, tension." And the strong intention was present, to hold space around her own tension and to offer love to this small being, to offer salad to this small being, to offer whatever it needed to this small being, but not to invite it to sting her. So she was able to hold it in a loving space and then simply to resume eating her salad around the yellow jacket.

This ability has grown in all of you or you would not be part of this group. You are all mature in this aspect of dharma, not yet 100% mature but certainly maturing. Grad school level, far beyond the elementary grades.

The weekly practices that we'll be doing are meant to open out those places where ego still hides, those places where self-judgment still hides, where fear still hides, to help you reveal them.

You've already found much depth in these practices. Our first and vital point was to help you recognize that a quality like humility is not a ego based quality like pride but that it rests right in the middle, egoless. Pride has ego and low self-esteem has ego. When you rest in the middle, it's egoless.

You're coming next week to patience. When you are patient and there's somebody being patient, there's ego. And when you're impatient there's ego. Just like you found true humility, I'm going to ask you to find patience where there's nobody being patient. What does it feel like?

It relates to equanimity. There's a peacefulness, a stillness to it. So there's no tension in patience. There's no tension in humility. There's no tension in respect and so forth.

When you move into your small groups, I want you to review the 4 qualities you've worked with: humility, honor or respect, mudita, and responsibility. Discuss how you were affected by each one and the ways that the 4 qualities held together. So please share with each other the ways that you practiced with it. This will support you as you move on with the work through the next 6 or 8 qualities before we meet again.

You are not trying to become perfect in these qualities, you are trying to learn through the practice with the qualities how to best invite and rest in that place of center. And second, that when you rest in that place of center, you are much more able to own your power and unlimitedness than when you are not resting in that place of center. Does that make sense to you? So this is the way the 2 parts of the present program will merge.

Further along, when we finish working with these qualities, we'll begin to talk about action in the world coming from this place of emptiness which you will have developed through your exploration of the qualities.

For some of you, some of these qualities will be very easy and some will be more of a challenge. After you've gone through all the qualities once, one week at a time, you'll be invited, each of you individually, to choose the 3 to 5 qualities that are most challenging for you and to work with those in an ongoing way, rotating them. Maybe Week 1, Quality 1, Week 2, Quality 2, Week 3, Quality 3, and then back to Quality 1 again, deepening in them.

Again, you're not trying to become the perfectly humble person or the perfectly patient person, you're using the quality as a ground for growth and exploration. You are deepening in the intention to do no harm. We deepen in that through the precepts but we deepen even more through practice. Not just the statement of the precepts but the mindfulness of the daily practice of this quality.

The more you trust your ability to experience impatience without acting it out, to experience anger without acting it out, or judgment, that it simply has arisen and will pass, the more you trust that ability from this place of emptiness, the easier it will be to ask for the support of your guides and to allow yourself to own the wholeness of your power.

Some of you are experiencing various physical ailments in your body and you've asked me, can I work with the physical ailments? At this point I do not suggest you, we talked about Barbara's toe and the healing of the toe. I think you all need to go deeper into trusting your wholeness and unlimitedness before you use that as a path to healing physical illness. Because when you do use it I want you to be successful. Choose small things, in other words, don't take the broken arm. But if you have a splinter in your finger and you remove, then visualize the skin whole, visualize the perfection of it. If it's a bit infected, visualize it draining out on the skin and closing over with wholeness, and how it's already whole. Practice with these smaller ailments now and then we'll build on it. But our intention here is not to create a training ground for physical healing, although much learning will come in relation to that, but to create a training ground of liberated action in the world.

So keep the process in order, not the cart before the horse, as it's said.

Are there questions?

These intensives are vital, a vital part of our program, but they are really, I would not say secondary but equal to the ongoing work that you'll be doing week after week after week. The intensives on their own would just be playing at an energy game. It's the deepening of your meditation practice, the deepening of mindful intention to sustain wholesome thought and action and intention, and to watch what blocks it, that will allow what you learn in the intensive to blossom and be fully utilizable.

Q: I have been working with the qualities in 2 ways. One is to meditate on the quality and see what arises in the morning, and the other is to keep it in consciousness during the day, to watch when it arises. What's the best way, the most effective way to work with the qualities?

Aaron: Both. Both. At this point, when this intensive ends, there will be several things that you will be doing on a daily basis. One is your silent meditation practice. You are not inviting spirit guides, you're not inviting special experiences, you are simply present with choiceless awareness, watching what arises in the mind and body, resting in spaciousness as much as is possible. So the awareness watches what arises and as it passes away, there's simply resting in awareness.

But when you're caught by something that has arisen, bringing attention to it in a kind way, watching the quality of that attention, is the attention that is given one of trying to fix or change or is it just loving, aware presence. Kindness. And yet the strong intention not to enact any negative thought. So this is one, the vipassana practice.

Second, working mindfully, and you can do these in whatever order you wish, working mindfully with the quality of the week, with some reflection before or after the meditation practice.

I would suggest for most of you the benefit to start with the silent practice, not to get mind too busy thinking about things first, but to start with the choiceless awareness practice. At the end of that period, first to reflect, what arose during the meditation? Use your journaling. You can write out a few shorthand notes to type later. What was the texture of that practice? How was attention, what happened when something pulled you out of that spaciousness. Was there tension or was there openness? If there was tension, what was the relationship to the tension?

I want you to understand that if, for example, a neighbor's lawnmower pulls you out of spaciousness and anger arises, "hearing, hearing," and then anger, "It's only 6am, what's he doing mowing?" anger, or "It's 7am but I'm meditating; what's he doing mowing?" and then there's a point in which the hearing is no longer predominant; the anger is predominant. As awareness is present with the anger there will be a texture of that presence. It might be a tense texture, contracted, or it might be an open and spacious texture that becomes the next predominant object.

The anger is no longer predominant, the relationship with the anger becomes predominant. Watching that relationship. Finally you come back into the spaciousness of awareness that sees this whole progression of objects, each one serving as condition for the next object to arise, just flowing. And you step outside the whole thing and say, "Ah, so. I give it all up, I release it."

... We will find it and read it to you tonight. A beautiful teaching from the 8th century Zen Master Hongzhi. (From Cultivating the Empty Field)

Simply Drop Off Everything

Silently dwell in the self, in true suchness abandon conditioning. Open minded and bright without defilement, simply penetrate and drop off everything. Today is not your first arrival here. Since the ancient home before the empty kalpa, clearly nothing has been obscured. Although you are inherently spirited and splendid, still you must go ahead and enact it. When doing so, immediately display every atom without hiding a speck of dirt. Dry and cool in deep repose, profoundly understand. if your rest is not satisfying and you yearn to go beyond birth and death, there can be no such place. Just burst through and you will discern without thought-dusts, pure without reasons for anxiety. Stepping back with open hands, (giving up everything) is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world. Merge together with all things. Everywhere is just right. Accordingly we are told that from ancient to modern times all dharmas are not concealed, always apparent and exposed.

So, choiceless awareness practice. Some reflection on the practice in journaling, then moving attention to that quality that you're working with that week and asking, "What do I need to understand about this quality?" Some of you may find it more helpful to raise that simply as a brief question at the beginning of the choiceless awareness practice and then not try to find an answer but just move into the choiceless awareness practice. And sometimes answers will come, sometimes insights will come.

So you can do that before or after. After, it's more of a reflection. And then some written notes. Some of you have said it felt strange to be writing for somebody else. You are not writing for yourselves. I'm happy to read these, as is Barbara, to offer you feedback, but I'm not asking you to write so that we can read them, I'm asking you to write so that you are required to reflect more deeply and understand a bit more about this quality and how you're relating to it.

The third part, now, will be, and this also can come in whatever order you wish, to spend some time, and it can be at a completely different time of day, it doesn't have to be at the same time as the vipassana practice, to ask for your guide, your higher self, to do some kind of journey in whatever form seems most helpful. For some people, a good time to do that is literally sitting on the bed at night before you go to sleep. If you meditate for a little while and then come into your room and just sit, and ask for whatever guidance there may be to give you insight into questions that arose during the day, and sometimes that information will come during your sleep. So it may come when you're awake, it may come when you're asleep.

The most important thing is I want you simply to hang out with your guides. At this point you don't need to be getting information from them so much as just getting to know their energy, trust their energy, and build a friendship with them. This will deepen through the weeks and more and more you'll start to get more verbal, or visual, or some kind of direct guidance from them, whatever form of guidance it is, whether it's a power animal or a guide or the higher self, your crystal, whatever it is.

During the choiceless awareness practice, the vipassana practice, you might want to hold your crystal in your hands. Just letting it rest loosely in the hands. That's a good time to get to know its energy and you might find it deepens your practice. If it seems to interfere with your practice in some way, then lay it down. In other words if it brings up too high an energy, but I don't think it will.

So these are the 3 predominant areas: vipassana practice, working with the quality of the week both in meditation in mindfulness through the day, and working with your guides in whatever form, and the journaling that comes with the meditation and quality of the week.

The 4th part I will let Barbara talk to you about will be your regular meetings with us. Many of you felt that the email format was helpful and we will continue that, but we want to have at least, I don't want to set a time on it, but once or twice a month we'll have a phone dialogue with you, even if at intervals there are also emails. But as often as is possible, to be available by phone. Barbara is going to work out a schedule and tomorrow to ask people to sign up to let her know what days and times are most accessible to you.

Think about this now so that you can offer something when she asks tomorrow. Because of her teaching schedule she's most available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, because she's more inclined to travel on Friday and not come back until Monday when she's teaching. There will be times in the daytime and times at night on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. For those of you who find that impossible, we'll work something out, but you'll have to know that at times you'll have less frequent phone meetings, because if she's out of town leading retreats she'll not be able to meet with you be telephone. She'll still respond to emails in a deeper way if she doesn't phone. There still will be phone contact; she doesn't teach every weekend. But as much as possible, those 3 days are most accessible for her.

Q: I started doing the vipassana practice and writing notes about it, and it seems to be sort of the same old same old. So I'm wondering, the comments that you made today were helpful as far as having some vocabulary or ways of talking about the practice, or watching subtleties and changes, and I wonder if you can direct us to something or give us some... more direction...

Aaron: What I will have Barbara do is to send out a little bit of her journaling after her sitting. That will be offered not as a format to follow but just as some kind of general suggestion.

What arose during the sitting? What was the texture of the sitting? Was it calm or restless? How did attention relate to what arose? Was there tension or contraction around what arose or was there spaciousness? If there was spaciousness, was there clinging to the spaciousness? If there was tension, was there aversion to the tension?

Q: Would it be useful to create some kind of form with these questions that you just posed so that...

Aaron: I'll consider that. Many of you have been sending in very skillful reports and I don't want to influence those by shifting you into some special format. So perhaps for those who are uncertain how to proceed, and only for those, we'll provide some format.

Okay, I want to stop here and let you move into your groups. A question for you, what you feel will be most helpful. We can have 3 groups of 6 or 6 groups of 3...(forming groups)

(recording ends)