March 28, 2010 AM Venture Fourth #3

Keywords: aggregates, nama-rupa, elements, contraction, Jesus/Jeshua, crucifixion, chakras, enlightenment.

Aaron: We've covered a lot of territory this weekend. I want to try to pull some things together for you to summarize, more or less, and point you in a straight direction.

There are many tools for spiritual development. The vipassana practice is at the center. Also at the center is the deep intention to liberation for the highest good of all beings.

Since that liberation necessarily involves raising the vibrational frequencies of the body, necessarily involves release of the defilements, necessarily involves shifting into a higher level of consciousness, you don't have to think specifically about "I want to do this and this and this," just hold the intention is liberation for the highest good of all beings and the rest will naturally follow.

However, when it comes to doing the work, you do need some specific tools. If you are painting a picture and you want to paint small areas of color, you need a fine brush. If you want to paint big sweeping areas of color you need a large brush. It's very hard to paint detail with the large brush or to paint the large sweeping areas with the small brush, so you pick up the tool that is most suitable.

This conditioned body and mind are the expressions of the aggregates of form, thoughts, feelings, perception, and consciousness. Often, you think of the aggregates as the conditioned realm and the Dharmakaya itself as the Unconditioned. But the Dharmakaya is no less in the aggregates than anywhere else. We're therefore not trying to get rid of the aggregates to finally realize the Dharmakaya but to know the Dharmakaya in the aggregates.

One clear way to perceive the Dharmakaya within the aggregates is to see the purified elements within the aggregates, and also to perceive within the aggregates, that of the elements that is not yet purified, and to purify it.

So we have the seeming paradox: on the one hand, they're already purified; there's nothing to purify. And on the other hand we still have to purify it. No paradoxes, because you are working on both the relative and the ultimate plane. On the relative plane you still have to do the work to purify the aggregates, doing that work through your meditation practice, through mind, and literally through purification of the elements, through sound, through many different means.

On the ultimate plane you rest in the ever-perfect but there is no liberation if you are in denial of the distortion and say it's all perfect any more than if you are stuck in the seeming imperfections and presume that only eventually after these imperfections are purified will you finally get to a stage where there's innate perfection. How can there be innate perfection that has to be attained? If it's innate, it's always been there.

I have something here of Barbara's that I'd prefer that she read. I don't want to come out of the body and back in so much so I'm going to talk a bit further and then let her backtrack to read to you as an illustration of what I've said.

First, here is an ongoing practice for the next months, something that I don't want you to add to your formal practice so much as to your daily life. Let's start with the aggregate of form. Who can define the aggregate of form? What can you tell me about it?

Q: Body.

Q: Rupa.

Aaron: Any other thoughts about it?

Rupa as in nama / mentality and rupa / materiality. Rupa is the form aggregate. Body; form. Does this just include the skeleton and flesh? What does it include? Feelings are not the form aggregate; thoughts are not rupa.

Right now I want you to focus on the physical body rather than feeling the aggregate.

If there is a sensation of pulsation that arises, that's rupa. It's a direct sensation in the body, pulsation, throbbing, prickling, heat, cold, these are body sensations, rupa. That which knows the sensation is nama, mind. If there is an unpleasant feeling around that sensation, that's nama; that's also in the mind.

So rupa is the body and nama is the various mental aggregates of feeling, perception, mental arising, that arise with the rupa aggregate. Is that clear? "No."

Okay; let's take this again. We have nama and rupa, mentality and materiality. We see the material aggregate in the body, rupa. For example, pulsating sensation arises and is felt as unpleasant. It seems to be unpleasant in the body but the unpleasantness is arising in the mind. The unpleasantness is not of the body, it's of the mind, nama. So feelings, perceptions, and mind are all mental aggregates, nama. Okay? More or less, I'm still getting a dazed look from a few people.

Q: How do you spell rupa?

Aaron: R-u-p-a, and nama, n-a-m-a.

Q: You said the feeling of pulsating is felt in the body.

Aaron: No, I said that there may be a painful sensation in the body – pulsation or throbbing that is occurring in the body. The body doesn't know it as painful. There is just touch, throbbing, pulsation, maybe heat or tightness. That experience arises in the body, rupa. The mind notes that experience and perceives it, names it – throbbing, heat, and so forth. The mind notes feeling and says, "Unpleasant." The unpleasantness is in the mind.

Q: The labeling is in the mind?

Aaron: It's not just the label, the experience of unpleasantness is in the mind. For the body it's just a body. The body itself cannot experience pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral. The mind watches the body and sees that some experiences are painful and labels them as unpleasant, some experiences are pleasant and labels them as pleasant.

So this is happening in the mind. Perception happens in the mind. You get too close to the fire, there's a lot of heat, and suddenly a burning sensation. The burning is in the body. The noting of unpleasant, heat, is in the mind. The feeling "unpleasant" is in the mind and the perception, "Ah, this is the fire against the body," is in the mind. And then the thought that might come, "I should move further from the fire," that's in the mind.

Okay, so are we all clear what nama and rupa are? "Yes." I want you to begin with nama, body. (Group: rupa) Excuse me, rupa, body, my mistake (Laughing; you passed the first test!) . I want you to begin with rupa, body...

I'd like you now to tense your arms and fists, tighten up the body. Clench the jaw. Now release. Now bring attention to the elements in the body. As I scan Barbara's body, after the release of that tension the energy is still a bit contracted and fiery and it's also earth-heavy. Mind is what is doing this inspection. Nama is reviewing. The body can't review, mind can review. You can release.

With the release, how do the elements feel in the body? Is there balance and if there's not balance, what element is low? For Barbara's body, to bring balance after that release, the body wants to breathe, bring in more air. It may not be the same for all of you. What brings the body back into balance? So the body was contracted and for this body, bringing in air releases the contraction that is there. It opens it up again.

Now bring the body into contraction again. Right there in the contraction you can feel the tension. Again I am using Barbara's body here as my model because that's the body in which I'm presently incorporated. The experience is that the whole fluidity of the whole body stops. It's like the water freezes in the body, the water element. The air element is dissipated. The fire element is low. There is very heavy earth energy, static.

Without releasing the contraction, try breathing in air. If your body experienced a different kind of element display, work with what you experienced. My guess is that most of you will have experienced the sense of stagnation with the contraction.

Without releasing the muscular contraction, can you bring the body elementally back into balance? (pause) I'm finding it very hard to hold the contraction in the body as it comes back into balance but it's possible. The body is opening up. It's very hard, especially in the belly, to bring air and light, space, into the belly and hold the muscular contraction. I can see it literally in each muscle.

You can release. So when I try to bring in more air and water and fire, it's almost impossible to do that while the body is still in the contracted state.

Relax your arms for a minute... Now, once more. Tensing, contracting. Jaw clenched, belly tight, fists. This time instead of trying to force air, fire, and water into this stagnant rock of a body, while keeping the body contracted, leaving it tight like this, go to the place where the elements are already balanced. What you may see is an overlay, this tensed body overlaid over the perfectly balanced body, that perfectly balanced body that's always been there.

So you're not fixing anything, you're not changing the physical body; you're simply going to where the body was balanced. See if you can feel both, the contracted body as an overlay and the perfectly uncontracted, perfectly balanced body with all the elements in balance...

And release. May we have some discussion of that experience?

Q: When the body was contracted, I focused on the spacious awareness and the contraction completely unwound itself on its own, to my surprise.

Aaron: While the body remained with fists closed? Yes. Did you release the fists, then? Or did you physically keep the fists closed but the body energy unwound itself?

Q: Physically, energetically, fists released itself.

Aaron: The fists released on their own.

Q: Then I felt a rush of peaceful energy.

Aaron: Thank you, good. Others?

Q: With this contraction of the body as with sensations of pain, I have challenges with experiencing the uncontracted body or spaciousness when I'm in the contracted or painful space. It's difficult to do.

Aaron: Yes, it is difficult. Keep practicing; it will come. Relax, not trying too hard.

Q: I found the perfect body as it manifested as light. And I saw that fairly clearly. The Light wasn't the 4 elements but the 4 elements were in balance.

Q: Initially I felt with the tension of the body that this tightness locked into place so that it was difficult to relax the muscles unless I breathed. It was as if toxins built up that made the muscles tight and the only way to let go of those toxins was to breathe. Then I tried to do what you said the last time, to hold the tension while allowing the balance to come. And suddenly I couldn't breathe. I had to let go of it.

Aaron: Was there peacefulness when you let go of the contraction?

Q: I think so except I was then worried about what I had experienced.

Aaron: No need to worry; it is just one flow of experience. You will not do yourself harm.

Q: I had a different experience. In the contraction I found that I could balance myself and be at peace. I thought that was coming from my mind. Right next to the contraction was peace. And I thought, "Ah, I know how to deal with pain."

Q: When I was contracting the body I recognized the elements balancing by peaceful heart opening.

Q: When the body was contracted and you suggested for us to bring balance simultaneously with the contraction, the only place where I felt that was in my heart.

Aaron: Let me say something further here and then we can hear from others if you wish. We have here essentially two different paths to working with balancing the elements and working with contraction. One is the relative reality path in which you see the imbalance of the elements and see what's necessary and do it. It's a "doing" kind of path, bringing in balance, inviting in balance. But at another level you could not invite in balance if the balance was not already there at some level.

The other is the ultimate reality path which does not involve doing but being, just going to the place where the elements are already balanced. Neither is a right or wrong method, they're simply two different tools.

I want you to play with these in the times of contraction, when you've been working too hard and your body is tied up, when there's a lot of anger, when there are feelings of strong hunger pangs in the body because you have not eaten for awhile, or the body is exhausted after running a long distance, or whatever exercise you do.

Try sometimes one path, sometimes the other. Sometimes pause and invite in the balance of the elements. Don't get too caught up at this point in the fact that I expressed earlier this weekend that each element contains all the elements, simply start with the simple aspect of what's out of balance, what needs to be released or balanced. So work with this as the mundane path.

At other times, feeling that imbalance, simply go to where balance is so that there's this overlay; here's the imbalanced body and here's the balanced one. Let the imbalanced body slide into the balanced one and merge with it until the tension releases.

I'd like you to spend at least a month doing this just with the body, with rupa, before we add nama, so that you learn how it feels in the body. Then it will make it much easier to do the same work with the emotions and thoughts.

So in about a month we'll send out more written instruction giving you some ideas how to shift this teaching into the mental realm, into nama. Any questions or comments? I do have something I want Barbara to read which I think will help clarify it also.

Q: I just want to briefly say, this gives me great hope. It's the first time that we've talked about this subject of managing pain, that there's something that we've learned that can help.

Aaron: Good. I don't want this to become an additional meditation chore, something you think of as, "Oh, one more assignment." Rather I want it to be something that you're employing for 30 seconds here and there through the day, with mindfulness.

Q: What I noticed when you suggested that we hold the tension and connect with the place that the elements are in balance was that it shifted me into, I'm not sure if it was pure awareness or access concentration.

Aaron: Probably awareness.

Q: I could hear nada and from that space could notice the tense body, the body that was out of balance, but it was from a place of resting in this awareness.

Q: Can you speak more about letting the imbalanced body slide into the balanced one?

Aaron: I think what Barbara will read will help illustrate that. And then after the break we will have time for questions, questions not just about this practice but about anything through the weekend but also about this.

Q: What is the purpose of doing both relative and absolute, is it to do the relative when we can't do the absolute, or is it important to just do both? <inaudible>

Aaron: It's important to do both because there will always be occasions when you can't do the ultimate practice. I'll give you an example here. This happened some years ago. Barbara was at a train station where she had left off a child for a class trip. She stepped off the platform to go to her car – she was not going on the trip – when somebody tapped her on the shoulder so she turned around with one foot down from the step into the parking lot area, and began to talk to the person facing them this way.

The first car here backed out. People had not noticed that the car was backing out. Barbara had not noticed it until people shouted "Stop!" And the car stopped but it was on Barbara's foot. The pain was excruciating. At that point she could not do ultimate practice but she could do the relative practice, which was just to hold space for the pain, to hold space for the pressure.

The woman got out of her car because people were yelling at her. She stopped the car, she got out. She looked at the car on Barbara's foot. She said, "Oh my! What should I do? What should I do?" Barbara said, "Please get back in the car and drive it forward off my foot!" The woman was too overwhelmed to do that so somebody else did it for her.

When she got to the hospital to have this foot x-rayed, nothing was broken because she had been able, there with the pain, to hold the balance and the space and not tense up, not contract, not pull.

It's useful to learn this skill. If it had happened 10 years later probably she would have been able to go to the place where the pain wasn't, but at that point she couldn't do that. This was sufficient.

There's another reason for practicing both, though. You exist in both places. (drawing a cross in the air) I call this horizontal line the relative reality and this, the cutting through of ultimate reality, and you live at the juncture. You cannot ignore either part of your experience. It's this part of it that opens the compassionate heart and this part that opens the wisdom mind. When you are in both places together, is the place of greatest maturation and growth.

Q: You said that she would go to the place of no pain, that today Barbara could go to the place of no pain. But is it no pain or is it the place where there's no contraction around the pain.

Aaron: No self-identification with pain. Thank you for clarifying that.

If you will save the rest of your comments for after the break, I'm going to leave the body. I want Barbara to read this to you, give you a chance to digest it a bit with your tea or whatever you have for your break, and then we'll come back and have more time for questions. Okay?


Barbara: Picking up where we were...

We need to stay in the pain of the physical or emotional experience to some degree and yet there's a time when we can move into ultimate reality and away from the pain.

I had a wonderful discussion that's somewhere in the book but I'm not going to try to find it, with Jeshua who is channeled by my friend Judith Coates. It's a very clear expression of the Christ energy. Of course nobody can channel that whole energy but I find the expression that comes through Judy to be very clear.

So I was asking Jeshua, this is in person with Judy channeling him, not just during meditation, I said to him, would he tell me how he dealt with the pain of the crucifixion without a lot of anger and fear and so forth, because there were so many physical and emotional catalysts for the human. And I wanted guidance from him, how did you deal with this?

And he said to me that he chose to remove awareness from the body during the crucifixion. He says that's a misunderstanding that people have, he was not experiencing terrible pain. The body was in terrible pain but the awareness was lifted outside the body. And I said, "That doesn't feel honest. We don't have the ability to do that." And he said, "Why do you presume you don't have the ability to do that?" He said, "I had experienced that kind of trauma in the body a number of times. I knew how to balance and release that trauma. There was no reason to put this awareness through that again. The kindest thing was simply to step the awareness out of the body, hold the body with compassion while it was tormented, but that the awareness did not note it as me being tormented, there was no self-identification with it."

This really put me back for a minute, I became very angry at him. And it's a little hard to be angry at Jeshua. But I said, "I can't do that." And he just said, "Anything I can do you can do. Why do you separate yourself from me? That same Christ consciousness is within you. All of these tools and abilities are within you."

It was an important reminder for me. We do need to stay at, I like the cross image, horizontal-- relative reality and vertical-- ultimate reality. Compassion and wisdom. If we just move into the wisdom mind we don't have the ability to develop compassion. If we just stay in the body or compassion mind in the moment, no wisdom develops. We keep thinking of it as me, this is happening to me and then that's happening to me, and it's endless.

Q: I thought in there also you described being with the nails and the flesh and knowing it was all just the same love energy, not separate from the nail, the nail was not separate from the body, and so forth. How does that integrate, which part was he dealing was he dealing with nails and which part ...

Barbara: He said to me that he felt that from the outside, from lifting the awareness out of the body, projecting out of the body, he felt such compassion for the beings that felt forced to crucify him by their own conditioning. And the nails in some way were a, they became transformed. His love transformed them into loving energy so that instead of its being a nail through the hand, he allowed it to be loving energy moved into the hand. I can look it up if you want to, it's an easy thing to find in the book because it's the only word nails in the book.

But then in my own meditation, looking at both a past life in which a being I was, was crucified and looking at other situations in which there was some kind of agony to the body, reminding myself to let go of the whole image of this being forced against me and hurting me and instead allowing it to transform into the nail itself becoming an instrument of loving energy, transmuting it.

Q: How does this experience of Jesus differ from the leaving of the body of sexually abused children? They leave their bodies when they're being abused.

Barbara: Because they leave their bodies unconsciously as a way to escape, not as a conscious act of kindness. And probably in many situations where there is that leaving of the body, it's the most skillful thing to do, to simply leave the body and not directly experience that abuse. But then usually that person doesn't come back into it; there's no re-integration. Where with Jeshua there was no problem with integration because there was a conscious leaving of the body.

Q: If one leaves the body during trauma to the body, is there a cellular memory in the bodies that then has to be dealt with or released?

Barbara: Yes, and that's why it's important that it be a conscious leaving of the body. But if it's an unconscious leaving of the body in a deep moment of trauma, then one has to come back and deal with it or there's damage, and karmic damage.

Inserted later: From Jeshua, from Cosmic Healing: italic quotes are directly as channeled, through Judi.

p. 91: "Jeshua, I think of you on the cross; of the fear and the pain you must have experienced. Yet you said, 'Thy will be done.' Did you chose to go beyond fear and pain, and if so, how?" Jeshua replied, speaking through Judith:

Jeshua: " It was a choice to rise above the pain on the cross. I had experienced many opportunities for pain and fear of pain when studying with masters prior to the beginning of my 'ministry' and I knew human emotion. I knew fear. I knew its effect on the body; I knew contraction of bodily functions and the emotional reaction of hatred of fear. I also knew the skill, a learned skill, of expanded consciousness through the breath -- allowing space, as Aaron has put it, for the fear, and then choosing to focus on the space around and beyond fear; breathing (not only physical, but a soul-spiritual breathing) to remember the Divinity of man, which even allows the creation of fear. What I did, you can do also, and even greater things will you do. -- Have you not this saying in your Holy Scriptures? So, you see, I did not choose to do something that is beyond your human ability to do, but I modeled a choice, a very important choice, and yet an easy choice when one remembers Who and What they are, Holy and Beloved Child of the Father -- which is you."

Through Jeshua's words, I began to understand that I could choose without grasping and could hold the clear image of that which was desired, without denial of the present experience.


Beloved one, You have come so far. Yet you still hold me to be above and better than you. There is no difference between us: "That which I do, you will do, and even greater things will you do." There is but one Consciousness, non-duality, which does function even in this world of seeming duality. The perfection that you seek, even of body, is yours right now. You have discerned well that the karmic residue is of belief.

The Father and I are One, as you are. Does the Father know limitation? It is not Divine Will that you should suffer or be in any way hindered.

p.286: Barbara: Recently I was asked to reflect on the words from Luke 11:40, "I am the resurrection and the life" and to repeat them. My first reaction was no; that this was His mantra, not mine. But as I complied with the request and meditated with these words as a mantra, I saw that we each carry this responsibility; that we are each the resurrection, each responsible for bringing Love and Light into the world.

That day, Jeshua continued pouring Energy into my hands and feet until they felt like they would explode. I was trembling and sweating; the experience was not painful, but not without pain either. He asked me to envision the nails that my karmic ancestor Mark saw driven into Jeshua's palms, to bless them as an instrument of the process of crucifixion and resurrection; and to release the sense of cruelty that they intrinsically elicit. Without the crucifixion there could have been no resurrection. This was the teaching Jeshua had sought to offer. Everything arises from conditions. What seems cruel on one level is teaching on another, and we must open to see all the levels. If Jeshua had not been willing, this would not have happened. He had co-created it.

p.287: Beloved one, it is my pleasure to assist you in any way that I can. I love you greatly. When you were Mark and you witnessed the crucifixion, the rage blinded you to the Divine blessing, which was happening in front of you.


As you have understood the working of the molecules in restructuring the face, you recognize that all is Energy. When the nails were embedded in the palms of my hands I knew them to be molecules of Energy, the same as I am. And there was a raising of vibrational energy with my acknowledgment that everything is Energy, no judgment. It was a blessing to me to experience this Oneness.


Journal, Thursday, March 16

I was working with anger today, and saw how I hold the anger in my back, causing lower back pain. I can choose to view anger in the way that I was shown by Jeshua. Anger is a nail driven into the palm; transmute it. Take in that energy and offer it Love, by bringing it into the heart, which transforms it.

End of inserted material: transcript resumes.

Q: I have always left without knowledge of the leaving so then I have karma with those experiences?

Barbara: So now you're doing the work of integrating it, of coming back and looking at those places and dealing with them.

We're talking here about extremities, about terrible abuse, about a crucifixion, but what we're usually involved in, in our life is breaking your leg or somebody screaming at you or death of a loved one. There may be at that moment of tension the, what we talked about at the beginning of this session, Aaron's demonstration, releasing, working with it on the relative plane or on the ultimate plane.

If one goes to the place where that pain isn't, awareness still has to hold the pain with love, not just go out there somewhere and come back when it's all done. And when it's held with love then there's healing. But if there has not been the ability during that incident to hold it with love and one has just left the body, then as we just said, one has to do that conscious work to integrate and heal it, and that can be done through meditation, through looking, there will always be at the element level a distortion that shows itself, that needs to be healed.

I've seen a lifetime in which the woman I was, was being taken back captive to what she knew was certain torture and death. And she had a leg iron on so she literally cut her leg off in order to escape the leg iron. The only way she could cut her leg off was to separate herself from the body completely.

In this life I had a severe cellulitis infection in the leg that started right in the place where she cut the leg off, and in the hospital, working with that infection over maybe a 10-day period, it was very painful. And I could see the karmic distortion on the cellular level. I could see the disrupted elements, how they were out of balance in the leg, but I could also see the karma in the cells of the body. And only by paying attention to that could both her leg and my leg be healed. Healing her leg, my leg healed, and actually I couldn't even start with healing her leg or my leg. I was stuck and I couldn't heal her leg and I couldn't heal my leg.

But as I lay there one night in the hospital room very sick and in a lot of pain, they wheeled a woman in the space, in the bed next to me at 2am. I suppose coming back from the ICU after surgery. The curtain was pushed aside and I could see that they had just amputated her leg. So I just sat up in bed and began to do metta and there was such a strong feeling of, "This, my one leg to heal for us all," and a deep vision of thousands of people all over the world who probably had lost a leg that day through explosion, through accident, "one leg to heal for us all."

And that led me to be able to heal and to resolve, by which I mean to release and balance that karma from that past lifetime. And to bring that leg completely into me again, to completely re-attach that leg. And once it was attached energetically it healed.

Q: How important is it to know the story that led to the creation of karma, especially from past lives?

Barbara: If it needs to be known it will reveal itself, if you give it a chance through meditation. If it doesn't reveal itself, it does not need to be known. It can be healed in this life without going into the past life but it's important to go into the past life it will show itself.

It may not show itself in detail, there just may be a sense of, somewhere in a past life I was attacked in this way and there was rage that needs to be healed. Whoever harmed me and in whatever way, I offer forgiveness. Whoever I have harmed, I ask their forgiveness of me. And as you work with that and the energy releases, it heals that past life and comes into the present life. So the details, as I said, if the details need to be seen you will see them.

Barbara: inserted later, while cleaning the transcript. This story from p. 23 of Cosmic Healing will illustrate this point.

Another transformative experience helped me to grapple with these questions. I was traveling alone in late October, and camped at a state park in Ohio. The dark campground was isolated and empty. I found myself terrified of wild animals, an old childhood fear. I knew intellectually that an actual attack was as impossible in this setting as it had been in my suburban childhood neighborhood. I set up my tent, collected a huge pile of wood, built a bonfire, and sat with that blazing light and wild apprehension in the clear, moonlit night. After a while one large cloud appeared, hovered over me, and let loose with a torrent of rain that doused the fire, soaked my wood, then passed on. By my car's headlights I tried to light my Coleman lantern. I had just gotten the flame going when a second cloud appeared, with another torrent, which soaked the lantern and destroyed the mantles. I hurried to my tent for shelter, and reached for the flashlight with new batteries. No light.

By this time I suspected I was missing a message. The second storm passed quickly and I had the wisdom to just sit at the dark fire pit, meditate and ask what I needed to know. Almost immediately I saw an image of a Native American woman with an infant, surrounded by a circle of wolves. One tore the child from the woman's arms and began to devour it as the pack turned on her. I knew she was part of me. It didn't seem to matter if she was a direct karmic ancestor or a representative of my more general human heritage – all those who had gone before and suffered terrible trauma. Tears streamed down my face as I sat there in the dark, holding that woman in my heart, and offering forgiveness to the wolves. Eventually the scene passed and I opened my eyes to the quiet evening, dark with the pinpoints of stars above. I felt no more need for light. All fear of wild animals was gone, and I experienced the darkness as friendly and lovely. It has been such, ever since. At that point, I really began to accept the possibility that some aspect of this mind/body/spirit had lived before.

End of additional material. Back to transcript.

Q: The description that you gave of Jeshua telling you how he handled his pain, that was a surprise only because most Christians have been indoctrinated in the belief that <it was> precisely the pain and suffering as atonement for sin that saved us. What is his explanation of why he was crucified? Or do you know?

Barbara: Probably you would have to ask Jeshua to get a direct answer to that. My understanding of his answer (and this is from me, not Jeshua) is that he was crucified to demonstrate what we might call the crucifixion and resurrection initiations, which we all experience in one way or another. Here we expand the term crucifixion not just to being hung on a cross but the crosses we all bear. In order to have experience of resurrection there must first be the crucifixion. There must first be death before there can be rebirth.

So that the whole point of the crucifixion was to allow people to see what seemed to be death and the truth of resurrection, of rebirth. And that we all have that in ourselves, we're all rebirthing ourselves consciously into this higher consciousness.

I've not heard Jeshua through Judy call it Initiation, I've heard it call him just the resurrection, the purpose of the resurrection was to demonstrate that although the aggregates arise and pass away, there is that pure awareness that continues. This is the Christ consciousness that never goes.

Q: That was a very unfortunately common method of execution then. And I think by taking on that horrible experience, taking it on directly and showing that it's not the end, I think that there were specific lessons for that time. Maybe today it would be the equivalent of being electrocuted, I don't know.

Barbara: I think that's very important, that at another time they might have hung him. Crucifixion was a common way of putting people to death.

I don't want to put words in Jeshua's mouth. I know what I've heard from him and sometimes I can't always remember exactly what I've heard directly from Jeshua and what I've heard from other sources. But I know that what I've heard directly from Jeshua, his focus was on knowing the Christ Consciousness in ourselves, and that we are all rebirthing, birthing and rebirthing that.

I don't know if either D or D who have both her Jeshua a number of times have anything to add to that.

Q: In Jim Marion's book towards the end chapters, he talks about experiences in the afterlife, in the chapter called "The Kingdom of Heaven After Death". And I'm wondering if he is accurate when he talks about the hell of the lower astral plane where there are vicious, treacherous people, and the purgatories which are places like hospitals for people who have suicided or experienced traumatic deaths.

Barbara: It's all nama. It's all mind. There's no such actual place. In your own mind, right now, if somebody said to you, "We have just gotten an urgent warning. People have parachuted in from Iraq with horrible weapons, they're spreading out all over the Irish Hills and they're going to massacre everybody," your mind would immediately create some kind of hell realm. Fear, slaughter, rage. It's all in the mind.

If you die with the belief that you are a "sinner" and you are going to hell then your mind is probably going to conjure that up as you go through the transition experience. If you move through a transition knowing the clear radiance of mind, knowing love, asking and offering forgiveness, the heart open, you're going to move into a very high energy heaven realm.

Aaron is saying even the person who has been a murderer, if he is genuinely repentant and asks forgiveness, he's going to have to balance that murder karmically but he will not move into a hell realm because his mind is not creating that hell realm.

Q: When we do the work with rupa and nama, can rupa be things that we see that are material, physical? Or do we just stay with the physical body?

Barbara: For the first month, stay with the physical body and work with it in these 2 horizontal and vertical practices. In other words practice bringing, balancing-- I didn't hear what Aaron said so I'm asking as we go along here. Balancing the elements, bringing the elements back into balance around that strong bellyache or stubbed toe or whatever, the experience in the physical body, the cramp in the leg, whatever. Seeing what elements are imbalanced and inviting them back into balance, which is literally working on the relative reality level because the elements are part of relative reality in that sense.

And also at other times go to the place where the imbalance is not and see the perfect balance of the elements and the perfect undistorted and uncontracted right there with the contracted. But going out to that consciously, seeing that and watching that which seemed distorted resolve itself into that perfect clarity.

So 2 different approaches, and we want you to try them both and become skillful with them both before you take the practice into the emotional and mental level. Okay?

Q: I had an image while you were discussing the relative and ultimate plane that as we begin our own awareness, we are also going back to our genetics and changing the DNA of a family. I actually went all the way back to cave people, that I was dipping backward into all of those ancestors, healing myself was healing the DNA.

Barbara: It's not a place I have looked so I can't reply but it sounds certainly very logical.

Q: Is there a spillover from balancing the elements to balancing and opening the chakras?

Barbara: Yes. But we're not going to go there today, we'd need another 3 days. We'll go there in July.

Q: But if you wish to bring your body into the best balance as a baseline, would you do the mudra exercise?

Barbara: These are all possible tools. You need to work intuitively. What's needed right now from a place of kindness, not a place of fixing or grasping? What best supports my intention of the moment toward opening and healing?

Q: I think the mudras are particularly useful, sometimes you try to balance things and it doesn't catch, like it will stay balanced for a few seconds, and I think that the mudras are useful then, generally speaking, to unblock channels of energy.

Barbara: That's very helpful. I'd like to hear more from all of you of when you might work with elements directly, when you might choose to work with the chakras, when you might use mudras, when you might use chanting or harmonics, what has worked for you in your actual experience.

Q: Last night after our last session I felt very messy, ungrounded, confused, anxious, etc. I had a sense that being with the fire would shift this. And it did.... After the last session in the afternoon.

Barbara: I see. And being with the fire lightened all the elements, shifted it.

Q: Bang, like that. It was very good.

Barbara: Sometimes it's as simple as that. This is why I love to just get in my boat and paddle across the lake and watch the sunset. Whatever unbalanced energy is there just slips off into the breeze and the water, gone. I end up very centered.

Q: I have never felt that so strongly. Because we had been discussing it, it was right in my face.

Barbara: I think you were probably more open to experiencing it. The <> factor was higher, more open, because there was more conscious awareness brought to all of this.

Q: For me, doing the spiritual bathing mudra shifts things around so that I feel more balanced.

Barbara: How about toning? Are some of you doing any toning and is that supporting balance?

Q: I started with the regular toning with crystals. Soon my body wanted to tone, not in just, you know, let's do the base chakra and the next chakra and whatever, it would just tone whatever it toned. My sessions ended up to be like 2 hours. After a few months of that, now my body just tones when it needs to tone to balance and it's not necessarily a single tone, it goes up and down the chakras. Also when I am working with other people, bodywork or the earth, toning happens. So at this point, that's a main practice for me but it happens, the body makes it happen, I don't do it. It just does it.

Q: What do you mean, it just does it?

Q: Well, I'll feel, I don't even know if I have a conscious thought, apparently if one of the bodies is out of balance, toning will arise (tones different notes), you know, whatever, it just does until...

Q: And it balances?

Q: Yes.

Barbara: We're doing all of this not from a fix-it place but from a place where, if you see anything out of balance, you just bring it back to center. If you are sitting on a boat and it's listing to one side, you just move yourself back to center. It's not from fear, it's just, let's balance this. And it becomes intuitive and almost constant, even subconscious, just to bring in what's needed in the moment to create balance as you're moving along. Inviting balance...

Q: The way that I balance tends to be connecting with guidance, and crystals. It helps for me to think of merging with another living thing. And I don't get that with toning or mudras.

Barbara: That makes sense. They're each different tools and each of you will find certain ones are more powerful.

Q: I did not understand how to bring balance through the elements just through intention/attention.

Barbara: For example, if I'm feeling very angry, something has brought up a lot of rage, and my intention is not to feed that rage off into the world, not to be reactive to it verbally or physically, and not to feed that energy into the world, so because of that it will be karmically expensive if I do that, I'm not going to go there.

What do I do with this rage, then? I can't suppress it but I can quiet it. I feel how much the elements are unbalanced, with a lot of fire energy, and that it needs more water, cooling. In a literal, physical situation I might take myself off to the lake and sit and look. I might take a cold shower. I might just sit and imagine water, have a glass of water and put my hand in it, feeling water and inviting it to cool the fire. There's a willingness to allow the fire to disperse itself and become balanced by water so that my whole energy field comes into balance.

Part of this is the willingness not to hold onto the anger, the wisdom that knows this is not what I want to do. My habitual pattern may be wanting to hold the anger because that gives me a sense of power, recognizing that, to say, "No, I'm not going to do it that way this time," and release it.

And then I go to whatever element my practice has shown me is most useful to balance the way things are. In a different situation than rage I might be feeling very exhausted, very sluggish, low energy, can't function, can't do anything. And I recognize the earth energy is heavy and I can feel this rock. I start by just bringing air into it, opening it up a little bit. I can use a visualization of the rock with air literally blowing into it or rain coming down on it and penetrating it, loosening up the structure, opening it. And as it opens then through the base chakra bringing in fire energy, feeling it filling me, until the elements become more balanced in the physical body.

As the elements feel balanced, I don't want to go too far into the emotional and mental bodies. Anger of course is a mental energy but it's also physical. I'm balancing the anger, the rage, in the physical body because I feel the pervasiveness of the fire in the physical body.

What Aaron wants you to do first is start with the physical body but eventually as you work with both, you see the inseparability of the physical and mental. And as you balance the element of the fire in the physical body with rage, the mind also quiets down and accepts more of that calm, space, water energy and spaciousness. So it all goes together.

Q: I think there's a semantic distinction. I think when we use the term "bring balance" it implies that we're doing something. And I think it would be more accurate to say "invite balance" because our skillful participation in this balancing act is through the intention and being patient, not through the bringing or doing.

Barbara: It often starts with what seems like a doing and then it shifts gradually into just being. So it starts with that relative plane harmonization of the elements, balancing of the elements, and then it shifts into simply resting in the place where they're already balanced, no doing anymore.

Q: For me it's more, it really is more on the level of invitation, recognizing that there is an imbalance. I may recognize that there's one element or another that's more out of balance, so that's more me doing. But the balancing itself, I find it works better when it's on that level of invitation. And then yes, from there shifting to the place where it never has been imbalanced.

Barbara: I understand what you're saying and I don't disagree with it at all, but I want to point out we're each unique. One of the beautiful things about sharing here, and it's wonderful to hear experiences like what Q just presented is that what I say doesn't resonate for everybody but what other people say may be just what you need to hear. So keep sharing your experiences.

Q: Just now you described how you balance the elements from a relative perspective. Can you describe how you describe how you balance the elements from an absolute perspective?

Barbara: It's very fast. Feeling rage, the noting mind comes in noting anger, anger has arisen\, and immediately goes to the body experience of anger, feeling heat and tension and contraction. And then the reminder, that which is aware of anger is not angry. Going to that awareness, resting in that spaciousness and inviting that spaciousness to hold this contracted energy and it just opens immediately. Not immediately, always, but usually very quickly.

Q: The work with the elements is very new to me. Even so I was trying to think of what do I do to bring balance. Probably one of the most conscious things I do is working with the chakras and the crystal and chanting. Other things as I reflect that bring me balance, I get a lot of balance out of reading poems in this Tao de Ching, reading Aaron's stories about Jesus. But then there are so many everyday things that seem to add balance for me, <> or biking, tennis, gardening, baking bread. So all those things to me are just sort of part of one's lifestyle, they bring more harmony.

Q: I had an experience in meditation this morning that I'd like to run by y'all. I heard nada this morning and it was quite lovely but I had the thought to use the 4 elements to try to balance nada. And I brought in, I don't remember what I brought in but let's say it was more water, and nada seemed to get stronger. Is there an unconditioned aspect to the elements as well as a conditioned aspect?

Barbara: Aaron says yes. I am asking, how do you balance nada? What do you mean by that?

Q: That's why I asked the question! (laughter) Because I was doing it...

Q: ... you were balancing yourself so you were hearing the nada better...

Q: Another thing that comes to mind is that nada is not the Unconditioned, it's a direct experience of the Unconditioned. It's just this side of the dharmakaya. So it's possible, it's still within the conditioned realm.

Barbara: Nada itself does not become distorted so it can't be balanced. And I agree with Q that you were balancing that which perceives nada. And that allowed it to come in clearer and stronger. But you were not balancing the nada, you were balancing that which perceives nada. But yes, Aaron says the elements do have what we might call an unconditioned level as well as a relative plane level.

Q: That's for another intensive.

Barbara: He says we'll leave that for July.

Q: Just now, hearing people say different ways of balancing, it came to me that what balances me, I think, is reading spiritual books, <our> textbooks, and a book that I showed you the other night from a group of women that are meeting and talking about different explanations of Christ's life, what he said, the crucifixion. I find that I can go in tired and come out restored from reading things <>.

Barbara: So the book has its own energy. That makes a lot of sense to me. I think that's always the sign of a clear book, it has its own energy.

Q: I can intentionally work on my chakras to balance them, bringing in different colors of light. I have a sense of balance with that technique. I also balance in a larger sense primarily by being outdoors because then I'm in the elements and I think it just happens in a pretty unconscious way.

Q: I can echo several things people have said that are useful to me. Spiritual literature, chanting, praying, being in nature. There are some exercises that I do, qi gong and <>. When I have the opportunity with L to meditate together and to do eye gazing, that's helpful, usually very helpful.

Q: <lost to noise> I often put crystals on my heart chakra and that increases that flow <lost to noise>. And sometimes I just talk to my crystals <>.

Q: Sometimes it's just petting my dog, being with my dog <>.

Q: Metta is a big one for me too <inaudible>

Barbara: Remember that the chakras also, the elements are within the chakras. When you're working with the chakras, be aware of whether the elements are balanced in that chakra. If that chakra feels closed the elements are probably not balanced in that chakra. Bring your attention to the elements in that chakra and see where the imbalance is, and, I don't want to say balance as allow them to come into balance, invite balance. Breathe whatever is needed into it. And as the elements come into balance in the chakra, you probably find the chakra opens.

Q: Would you call that rupa?

Barbara: Yes.

Q: I was going to say what Q said but it's usually with my cat. Can a close relationship with a pet balance the chakras?

Barbara: It's not the close relationship with the pet per se that brings balance to the chakras, it's that when you're with the pet the heart opens because there is a close relationship and love for the pet. There's no barricading, no armoring with the pet and the heart opens and the energy field opens. And as the heart opens all the chakras may open.

What we may first experience is just, "I love my pet," and it's a good feeling, but what's really happening is first the heart chakra and then the other chakras are opening.

That feels like a good place to stop. I have one thing from Aaron that I want to read to you that I promised to pull up...

I said the other day...(someone wants to speak) Okay, Q?

Q: I think this relates to the exercise that Aaron gave us because I want to distinguish what I'm hearing... what I've experienced is a balance where you move into that place where there's never been imbalance, or you move into a place where the chakras have never been closed. Versus the, more on a relative level, I don't know how to explain that better, balancing these elements or chakras or just feeling in balance, which eventually shifts us into that place.

Barbara: If I understand what you're saying, let me say it to make sure I understand. That on the relative level the chakras seem to be closed so we do what is useful to balance them, the same for the elements. On the ultimate level nothing has ever been imbalanced or closed. When we do the work on the relative plane it helps us to understand that ever-balanced, ever-open, and that gives us access to that so that at a later time we don't have to balance it, we just go to the place where it's already balanced.

Q: Exactly. So sometimes reading an inspiring book or being out in nature or listening to music or petting your dog brings us to that place that has never been imbalanced.

Barbara: And it's important to recognize that this is like resting in pure awareness, we have to know we're resting in pure awareness, know the experience so we can understand when we're not in rigpa.

Okay. The other day Q asked why don't I talk about enlightenment experience. I said, I said that grasping for enlightenment experience has created a lot of suffering and I said that Aaron had said something very beautiful. I want to share this with you. This is from Aaron...(reading)

What is enlightenment experience? You've asked me that many times and I've declined to answer. . .

Q: Can you send that to us?

Barbara: Yes, I will send it to you. (the whole quote is pasted below, taken from several private conversations, Barbara and Aaron)

What is "Enlightenment Experience?"

What is enlightenment experience? You've asked me that many times and I've declined to answer as I did NOT want you to focus on a goal other than opening and learning and becoming more aware. So what is it? Let us use the Buddha's river. You cross, and find yourself on a new shore. But immediately you realize that you've just set foot on land, that there is a whole world beyond. You are nowhere, but at the beginning.

In a sense it is the rite of passage into adulthood. When you are finally an adult, what do you do with that. If all you do is to sit and tell people "I'm finally an adult," to brag or let that state be an excuse from doing your work, then you are still a child wearing adult garb. The true adult has no time nor need to mention this or even think about it. Rather, he is busy being an adult - being responsible, serving others, doing whatever needs to be done.

You are deeply aware of the responsibility. Also that you are a very young adult. There is much you do NOT know. There is no fear here, just a strong openness to learn, and that is fine. But keep your humility about you; you are truly just on the threshold, and you must work tirelessly and ceaselessly if you are to not simply stagnate with a prideful "I made it." Enjoy the bliss of this deep peace you are experiencing and let it be a balance to the heightened pain. Stay aware and trust. It is really no different than any place else on the path; simply your clearer vision gives added responsibility....

...There must be tireless devotion to practice and to continued work on yourself...

...What does enlightenment experience mean? NOTHING! It is NOT the experience but what you DO with the experience that matters.... To be enlightened is merely to understand that you are nothing, empty of self, just energy and light, and that that is all you need ever be, that this is the substance of God and the universe. "I AM That!" It is truly "lightening" rather than "enlightening", a divestment of the illusion of self so you need no longer carry that burden.

That knowledge is the threshold, but you walk the same world, only with a new perspective that asks constant mindfulness, constant responsibility, constant love. Enlightenment drops the burden of ignorance and fear and in their places picks up the yoke of service grounded in love, in oneness,. In the joyful bearing of that yoke is the movement of perfect freedom.. Here is the space where you can finally hand the reins to God, let go of control, simply be and do what is required and serve with love and an open heart. It is the most joyful space I know....

from Aaron: private transcripts


Q: The first night or Thursday morning, not sure, either Wednesday evening or Thursday morning we opened with a chant... could you insert the words of that chant at the beginning of those...

Barbara: I'm not sure which chant but it's all on the Deep Spring Center chant sheet.

Q: We don't have those, they keep those...

Barbara: I would like to close with a chant...


Okay. So what would you like to chant? Fly Away Home? ...

(chanting/singing Fly Away Home)

Barbara: From Aaron, his blessings and love to you all. Remember that since he has no body it doesn't matter whether you're here in this room with him or back in your homes, he's available to you. Just ask for his presence. He loves you all.

From me, I love you too. Thank you. Have a safe flight home and I will see you soon again.

(session ends)