November 21, 2009 Venture Fourth Intensive #2 Saturday

The group has been meditating, and Aaron has rung the bell.

Aaron: Cosmic Birther, Mother, Father, Source of All That Is...Blessed be Thou who art Source and us who are expressions of that Source, not separate from Source in any way. There is no duality. Source is the ground of light and darkness, positive and negative, and yet there is no true negative, only the relative absence of light.

We are gathered here to learn how to best support the emergence of that light and the diminishment of darkness in the world. For in that light, all beings thrive in happiness and non-contraction, in love. Love is the ultimate uncontracted state, as fear is the contracted state.

Our intention is to support the movement toward love here on Earth, as throughout the universe. We ask your support in this intention, the support of all the Sisters and Brothers of Light, of all that is good and beautiful and filled with love. We ask the support of our guides, of the various angels, the elements, of the Earth itself.

We ask to be given what we need to do this work, the compassion, the wisdom, the courage, the faith and love. Where we fall into darkness, we ask forgiveness and enough light to find our way out of that darkness. And to forgive others who have fallen into darkness and whose fall has caused us pain.

We ask to be led ever further into the light and to support others' journey into the light until we fulfill our destiny to support the shepherding of the whole universe into light, compassion, and love.

This room is filled with many angelic presences. We thank you, Sisters and Brothers, and ask you to remain here with us and support our efforts.

May it be so.

Thank you.

Greetings, my sister (speaking to the signer), and thank you for being here to sign for me today.

Let me give you 5 minutes to stretch before I begin to talk...


Good morning. My blessings and love to all of you. I know that many of you had deep experiences yesterday, transformative experiences, and I hope that the evening of silence has given you a chance to absorb and integrate what happened. The process will continue to mature through the next days and weeks.

When you first considered this program, you were referred to a talk I gave about 6 years ago that we called “Trainings.” The talk was given privately to Barbara after she read a channeled book, Anna, Grandmother of Jesus, and had numerous questions about it.

It was given to her to be shared with others; it must have been in 2004, her first trip to the Casa, and since I'm asked not to incorporate there and speak aloud, I simply passed the information to Barbara who wrote my thoughts to share with others who were also there at the Casa with her and reading the book.

That talk, “Trainings,” really is a talk about your entire spiritual journey. Is there anyone here who has not read the talk?

Aaron had some private discussion, not recorded, then said: Somebody asked me why I call some of you sisters and why I call some of you daughters. I really use the term interchangeably. You are sons and brothers or sisters and daughters. If you are a daughter, you have probably also at some time been a sister. If you are a sister, you have been a daughter. We're all in a multitude of relationships with each other.

So I'm talking about the talk “Trainings” which is really the basis for our Venture Fourth program. I want to read this talk aloud, stopping frequently to fill in more information and explain how this relates to the Venture Fourth program, what practices we're doing in support of each phase of the training, thusly to better put it together for you.

Reading, here... on page 1.

I want to give you a clear delineation of the basic trainings and initiations taught through many traditions. By ‘trainings' I merely mean those lessons on which you work, as pathway to the growth to which you aspire. The initiations are the tests life hands you, to see how well you have mastered the lesson. When it is mastered, the next period of training begins.

Life keeps handing you lessons and tasks. You say, “Whew, I finally mastered that one,” but it doesn't give you much of a break; there's always a new lesson to be mastered. Why? You did not come here to waste your time. If you wanted R&R you would have taken that on the heavenly realms, not down here. This is your place of learning.  You have very short lifetimes, even at a hundred years, and much that you aspire to learn.

In Putting on the Mind of Christ, Jim Marion notes that as you mature into stability at one level of consciousness, you are already moving into the beginnings of the next level. So you say, “Whew, finally I can relax.” Whoops! It's like being in the ocean with big waves. The wave tosses you a bit and passes by and you say, “Ahh,” but here comes another one and another one. But you do learn to ride the waves and to enjoy them.

You will see the beginning trainings to be no different than what you already have been learning from me for years. These trainings are present in every tradition, but they are given different names. The Buddhist tradition would call it training but does not speak of initiations. I will now delineate these trainings, giving some basic information about each. Trainings one and two may come together in either order and usually are learned together. They are the trainings to observe the arisings within the physical and emotional bodies.  

I would add mental body as well.

One notes that sensations and emotions arise out of conditions, and that when the conditions cease, these sensations and emotions will cease. The intended result of the training at this level is development of a lessened self-identification with what has arisen, and the ability to allow more spaciousness with difficult body and emotional experiences. Training three does the same work with thought. The phrase, "Don't believe everything you think," distills the essence of training three.

The page that you were given about the Buddhist Knowledges (pasted below)...

Visuddhi Magga lists 16 kinds of knowledge,  opened in sequence:

1. Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind and Matter

2. Knowledge of Discerning cause and Condition

3. Knowledge of Comprehension

4. Knowledge of Contemplation of Arising and Passing

5. Knowledge of Contemplation of Dissolution

6. Knowledge of Contemplation of Appearance as terror

7. Knowledge of Contemplation of Danger

8. Knowledge of Contemplation of Disenchantment

9. Knowledge of Desire for Deliverance

10. Knowledge of Contemplation of Reflection

11. Knowledge of Equanimity about Formations

12. Knowledge in Conformity with Truth

13. Knowledge of Change of Lineage

14. Knowledge of Path

15. Knowledge of Fruit

16. Knowledge of Reviewing

#1, Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind and Body, nama-rupa. Delimitation: knowing what is mind and what is matter.

-a sting to the skin is matter; That which perceives the sting and knows it as unpleasant is mind.

-breath is matter; awareness of breath is mind.

This, my dear ones, is the essence of trainings one and two. So you see that these Buddhist “knowledges” are at the very beginning of the process, very basic. It is vital to understand what is mind and what is matter and that it all arises from conditions and ceases when conditions cease, is impermanent and not self.

As you can see, these first three trainings are the essence of basic dharma practice, but Jesus taught the same thing in a different way. He did not give us the precise steps with which to transform difficult body sensations, emotions and thoughts. He only reminded us that when one slaps us in the face, we can return love and not hatred.

(pausing to attend to a spilled glass of water; someone says,  “Aren‘t you glad I came today?”) I am delighted that you came today! D, I ask you, right now, watching the arising of emotions, spaciousness with emotions, arisen from conditions, not good or bad, things simply as they are. No problem. This is training one and right there with the spilled glass was the initiation...(chit chat)

One does learn to respond appropriately, skillfully, without a lot of thought, without a strong sense of self. How many of you have some time in your life encountered some kind of emergency and been able to respond appropriately without a lot of thought and only later did the body begin to tremble and you thought, “How did I do that?” You've all had that experience. It's the result of skillful training.

Barbara talks about the time when her back was turned in a parking lot and a car backed out and ran over her foot. It stopped directly on top of the foot because people were yelling, “Stop! Stop!” The driver got out of the car and came around and said, “Oh my! What should I do? What should I do?!” People were running around screaming. Barbara was in a lot of pain but she had the presence based in her practice to simply breathe, not tense up. She understood, “I cannot pull the foot out from under a car.” So she simply said to the woman, “Get in the car and pull it forward off my foot.”

When she got to the hospital with this foot, it was immediately swollen and bruised-looking, but they x-rayed it and nothing was broken. They said they could not believe the foot was not broken. And finally the doctor said, “It's because you did not tense up and try to pull. You kept the foot relaxed.” So the foot simply gave way, relaxed into the pressure.

You all have these abilities. I was giving this talk, remember, in relationship to the book, Anna, Grandmother of Jesus. It's a channeled book. How many of you have read the book? A few of you have not read it. It's simply suggested possible reading, optional, but I think you'll enjoy it.

Q: I understand that there are two versions of that book. Do we need to read both?

Aaron: I have never seen a second version. This is a book by Claire Heartsong called Anna, Grandmother of Jesus. Are there two versions of that book?

Q: Someone told me there were.

Aaron: The other is totally unrelated and not necessary to read. Somebody looking up on Amazon for “Anna, Jesus” read a presumed biographical account from an historian. It's totally unrelated to our story.

So in this book we follow Anna's story of Jesus' conception and birth and life. We follow her story first about the trainings and initiations that she received at Mt. Carmel and Egypt and other parts of the world. There were in those days many light centers, as there are today. You are a light center right here. There were many light centers where people lived or came together to master these ancient teachings that really are passed down since the times of Lemuria, information that was safely stored until mankind was again ready for that power.

So this talk was given in explanation to some of the teachings that were offered in the book and also to some of what was left out of the book where she simply says, those of you who need to know more, it will come to you. Well here it is!


Jesus taught the same thing in a different way. He did not give us the precise steps with which to transform difficult body sensations, emotions and thoughts. He only reminded us that when one slaps us in the face, we can return love and not hatred.

In large part, he did not spell out the steps because such practice had already been expressed by the Buddha, and by all the practices within the various mystery schools such as those of the Druids and Essenes and in related traditions. Jesus was speaking to all the people, but I think he felt it was sufficient to remind them to "turn the other cheek," and that those who already knew how to release the anger would do so with this reminder. Those who did not yet know how would seek training.

These first three were the trainings given to the youngest of children in the Essene tradition. They were taught never to despise even the most negative arisings in the self, but to recognize them as the result of conditions, to make space for them and to allow their release. Actually even little children moved quickly into the sixth, seventh and eighth trainings which I will describe shortly.

The initiations for these first three trainings were freely given in life, through the stubbed toe, the rude remark that brought anger and the restless mind with its judgments, fears and complaints.

As many of you know, I lived in a lifetime 2000 years ago at a time when the one known as Jesus or Jeshua was alive. My father was a shepherd in that lifetime and also a teacher at the Essene community, so he spent part of his months in the hills teaching the shepherds. His belief was that these people who lived simply on the land with the animals could more easily master some of these long-lost trainings than could those who were so busy in the market place with getting riches and so forth, more caught up with greed and materialism.

So his intention and my intention in taking birth with this being as my father was to help support this learning for those who were ready for it, especially those who lived simply. But my father and I lived about half the year, not 6 months/6 months, but a few weeks going back and forth, in the Essene community.

So I had the great blessing to be surrounded by people who understood these trainings, and even as a young child could support my mastery of them. I remember once as a very young boy, perhaps 4 or 5 years old, another boy in the community said something derogatory to me about my moving back and forth, said, “You're not really a part of this community because you live a lot of your life in the hills. You don't know the things the people in this school know.” And I was angry because I felt myself to be very much a part of the community.

So a lot of anger came up in me and I punched him. He punched me back <inaudible>. We began screaming at each other, wrestling with each other in the dirt until 2 adults came and separated us.

I was held in a loving embrace. I was not scolded, nor was he, but we were both held in love, and several other adults came and sat down beside us. And I was told, “You are feeling anger. Breathe in the anger; breathe it out. Right here with the anger, feel that which is not angry, that which is capable of feeling these loving arms around you.” And I was able to feel the love that surrounded me and to see in that moment, at that tender age, that love and anger could co-exist, and that I could choose love. It was the first deep understanding of that choice, not to be afraid of anger or negativity but deeply to choose love.

This understanding was supported in all the young people of the community so that by the time we were age 6 or 7, we already understood, “Whatever has the nature to arise will arise with conditions and then it will cease when the conditions cease. And it is not self. I take care of it. I am responsible to it. I need not feel shame that it has arisen, only the strong intention to work with those conditions so that they are resolved in me and will not bring forth further arising.”

That young boy that I was, was counseled to help him understand that he felt some diminishment of himself that he was not a full-time resident of the community, and that's why the other's words stung. That if he did not hold that self-image that he was in some way less because of his times spent with shepherds and sheep, then the other's words would not have angered him. So the other's words were a strong gift and invitation to look deeply at his sense of limitation or diminishment, and to resolve it.

He saw that he had anger toward the father with whom he traveled back and forth, so it helped him to more deeply understand the father's work and to respect that work, and to understand how he had chosen to incarnate as the father's son, to carry on this work, to cherish this work and his own ability to do it.


The fourth training was the first opening into the experience of selflessness and egolessness. It was the first seeing of the small self as a created mind object, and the first knowing of the greater Self. There was as yet no stability in the ability to rest in that greater Self, only the first glimpse of such resting as possible. This glimpse changes everything. If one has a deep commitment to non-harm because of the knowing of non-separation, one can no longer act out of one's ego and fear, and still be honest with one's self and true to one's values.

Included in this training, are the deepening of Sila (changing the reading a bit; you all know the meaning, I won‘t explain it) Sila is a Pali language word. It connotes moral awareness, not a "Thou shalt not..." morality but a morality based deeply on knowing the non-separation of self and other. One does not cut off ones own hand. “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”

So by this point, we've moved through Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind and Body, nama rupa, and all the Knowledges that come under that. In Visuddhi Magga, the breaking down of that first Knowledge includes access concentration, purification of view, knowing the 3 characteristics, delimitation, knowing what is mind, what is matter, and various Knowledges opened in sequence.

At the end of that first Knowledge we come to Mature Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind and Matter. At first this knowledge is limited to the meditation subject. In other words, we see this or that object arise and pass away but we don't yet fully comprehend that this involves everything. That Mature Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind and Matter comes at a point where one understands that this is about everything.

So the knowledge matures, of course. At first it's understood this anger arose out of conditions and I will take care of it. Then it expands to understanding that everything arises this way out of conditions, and then it's mature. But we're still in the first Knowledge.

The second Knowledge, Knowledge by Discerning Conditionality. This is just the insight, whatever has the nature to arise has the nature to cease. So as we move into mature knowledge, we move into this second area.

The third is Knowledge by Comprehension. This an understanding of the 3 Characteristics, impermanent, not self, and of the nature of suffering. Growing children in that community, perhaps the 6 to 8 year olds, were moving through that phase of knowledge, becoming deeply aware that everywhere, everything that arose, arose out of conditions, was impermanent, and there was no separate self. And learning to understand, if there is no separate self, what is there? What remains?

We were guided in this way to deeply understand the sacredness of all that is. Nothing is separate. Gradually the knowledge matured. It became the immediate response, to send love to negativity rather than hatred or anger to it. The child who had challenge in mastering that was never scolded or punished because he was thusly challenged; he was loved. How could punishment help him to understand that the nature of the universe is love?

So he was deeply supported. If he moved into anger and reacted, always there were adults in the community who surrounded him and helped him to make space for his anger, fear, greed, or whatever had arisen, to learn how to take care of it skillfully, to offer love and watch it resolve. And gradually the child understood that suffering for him or her, and for others came only when that contracted energy was held onto and viewed as solid in some way. By the age of 10 there was not a child in the community who had not mastered this; it was that basic.

The experience of finding the deeper self, this was taught in many ways. It was fostered simply through prayer and meditation, constantly reminding the children to watch the dissolution of the self. When I say “the dissolution of the self” it was not phrased in quite that way, but simply, “That which is aware of anger is not angry.” When you rest in that which is aware of anger, what remains? The small self has dissolved; what remains?

One of the profound ways it was taught was by spending time in nature. How many of you have never hugged a tree? Good, you've all hugged a tree. What was your experience when you hugged a tree?

Q: I've done it twice and the first time the communion was so sad, I could feel the tree's anguish about what was happening to the earth, and I started weeping.

Aaron: Others?

Q: I just felt a great connection with the tree, with the roots that went down deeply into the earth and provide stability, and the branches that reach up into the <inaudible>.

Aaron: Others who would like to add?

Q: I felt love for the tree and from the tree...

Q: ... <inaudible> great stillness, <inaudible> presence.

Q: I hugged them but I can also look at a tree and get a knowing of the entire cycle of life and death. That parts of the tree die and are nourished in the soil and then that grows again. And I know I'm part of that.

Aaron: Anyone else who would like to share?

Q: I've hugged trees a lot, but one redwood that I hugged, I was so aware that the redwood was not separate from anything, the redwood was at one with all that is... <inaudible> and it was worrying about forest fires maybe hundreds of miles away. But what stays with me was that sense of, it seemed like it was really resting in <inaudible> consciousness.

Aaron: Thank you all for this sharing. When we take a break I'm going to send you all out to hug a tree.

So in this way, the children of the community were taught very early that nothing is separate, to understand the small self, the egoic self, as a conditioned aspect of itself just as the body or emotion or thought is, and to deeply know that centered Self and its interconnection with all that is.


The fifth training is the opening into non-dual Awareness. It is the fruit of the first four trainings. In the fifth training, one more deeply recognizes relative reality and ultimate reality. Here is the first view that these realities are not dualistic, each to each, but that relative reality is an expression of ultimate reality. This means that when you are present with relative reality, the ground of the ultimate is still there. When you are resting on top of the ocean's surface, rising and falling with the waves, the stillness of the depths is still there. When you sink to the depths, the waves continue to rise and fall far above you. Mastery at the fifth level of training involves a more conceptual understanding. One who has mastered this level remembers it, but is rarely able to hold both places simultaneously. In Buddhist terms, this person is often at the stream-entry level.

In terms of the chain of insight knowledges, we're still at the knowledges 1 & 2.

Knowledge 3, Knowledge by Comprehension. A deeper understanding of the 3 characteristics and all conditioned experience.

There is a developed phase of Knowledge 2 and an undeveloped phase. We handed out to you the basic list of the insight knowledges, but this (holding up pages) is an expansion of that list. (this document, Purification of View,  is pasted at the end of this transcript)

So as I continue to read, we're coming into the stage of the third Knowledge, Knowledge by Comprehension.


The sixth, seventh and eighth trainings mirror the first, second and third but at a deeper level. Here one is asked to bring in what one understands about the conditioned arisings of physicality, emotion and mind, and to merge those insights with the experience of the dissolution of the ego, and with the--at this point--conceptual non-dual understandings.

One understands that difficult emotions will arise, for example, and one has learned non-reactivity to those emotions; that is, to not act them out or suppress them, but just to make space for them. But they will still arise. We understand that they are conditioned, and that this is the expression of karma, or habit; but they still arise. When the training is internalized deeply enough to not react with negativity to their arising, but to instead bring kindness into play, then it is time to deepen the fifth training and to begin to use it as a tool for the transmutation of the heavier body and mind experiences.

Several practices are useful here. In summarizing these practices,--

I speak here about the Seven Branch Prayer. I'm not going to read through this, the practice of the Seven Branch Prayer. It's one of the handouts you received and I think you're all familiar with it.

[Section not read inserted here for reference] --you turn to the Master of your heart's choosing for support, with gratitude that these models of clarity and love exist for your use. You see the negative emotion that has arisen, for example. Without a contraction, without a negative feeling about the arising, you experience compassionate regret that it continues to arise. You know it as a result of conditions. You understand that for the result to cease to arise, that the conditions must change. You understand that you are stuck in this place. Then, the two levels of resolution arise; you resolve to clarify this habit energy on the relative level, and on the ultimate level you understand the already existent resolution of the habit. This practice has been called the Seven Branch Prayer.

This is training 5, this transmutation, releasing the energy, the karmic energy. Another useful tool is mudra meditation, mudra work. So your vipassana practice may offer insight but it doesn't always release the energy at a karmic level. There is intellectual insight. It may take you into a deep place where the energy is released, but if it does not, then there are these support practices that can further release.


You can see here why training five must precede six, seven and eight. Within this ultimate level of resolution, you can clearly see the balance or antidote to the heavy energy that has arisen. For example, if there is jealousy, you do not try to feel joyful for the one who has received, so much as to find that already existent joy and the willingness to nurture it. When there is restlessness in mind and body, you both resolve to allow the release of restlessness and you see clearly the entire resolution of restlessness, which is peace, tranquility and stillness. And you find those already existent in the Self. There is the willingness to not perpetuate the contracted energy of the restlessness but to turn one's focus to that which is more spacious.

If you see a being act in a brutal way toward another, and a heavy judgment arises in the mind, right there with the judgment you note the possibility of compassion. You do not hold to the stories of judgment, you note that holding as old habit. You resolve to allow the arising of compassion; you see the already existent compassion and realize that you have the choice to either hold on to the judgment, or to shift into compassion. You see the non-dual nature of judgment and compassion, and that judgment is simply a distortion of compassion; a fear based expression of the inherently compassionate mind. You do not have to get rid of judgment for compassion to be known; judgment will go when it is ready. The question is whether you will focus your attention on the judgment and become caught in its stories, caught in the negativity of judging judgment; or whether you will know judgment as a distorted expression, and joyfully release it. In either case, you may move to stop the abuser. The judgment mind will attack with negativity. The compassionate mind will stop the abuse with loving energy. It will know how to say no with kindness, without fear or contraction.

So these are the first eight trainings, and they correspond to the first, I would say to the first 3 Knowledges on the insight path. In that Essene school at Mt. Carmel in which I lived 2000 years ago, most 10 year olds had a mastery of these first eight trainings. Not all, most. Now you may be looking at yourself saying, “Why is it taking me 60 years?” You did not have the benefit in your childhood of being thusly trained.

Somewhere as an adult when you said, “This is not going the way it's supposed to go. I came here to learn love and not anger,” then you began to seek out the practices such as vipassana and to seek out ways to heal yourself and release these old energies.

You may wonder, “Why did I not receive that training as a child?” Some of you are giving your children that kind of training, your grandchildren. You did not receive that training as a child because there was intention to deeply understand the negative response and how to bring compassion to it as a direct force, to understand the power of compassion.

I spoke on Saturday of the various levels of consciousness and as Marion reminds us, of how difficult it is for one level of consciousness to speak clearly to another level. If you had been taught thusly as a child and had never had to deal with strong negativity in the self, think how hard it would be to speak to others who are caught up in magical or early rational consciousness, caught up in negativity, and have not yet risen to the capacity to hold compassion in this way.

If you are to be teachers in the world, and I don't mean that you're going to go out and be formal teachers, simply that through your life you teach, you model the path, if you are to do that and to respond to negativity with compassion, you have to have known negativity deeply in your life and understood in a direct way how much it causes suffering, and how it can be released and transmuted.

So you came with a different purpose than these children of two thousand years ago. They came with the intention to perpetuate the teachings, that they not be lost in the world. You came to bear the fruits of their work and teach them not just to that select strand in specific schools throughout the world but literally to transform the world with these teachings. It is a far larger task.

We move on then to the next set, the next training. Reading...

The ninth training is a deepening level of the understanding of egolessness. Here one becomes more stable in opening to that deep interconnection of All That Is. When something pulls you out of that spaciousness and integration, you know that you are out. You understand that it is a temporary result of conditions. You do not take it as truth. You work with that experience of separation in the same way that you have worked with difficult body, emotion and mind experiences in the sixth, seventh and eighth trainings. Thus separation and the arising of the small ego self are seen through Awareness. The greater Self is readily accessible. You understand that you go one direction or the other by habit and choice.

The tenth training establishes the deeper resolution of duality. One experiences oneself as a pole, feet grounded in the relative, and we could say here the base and lower chakras grounded in the relative, head and upper chakras grounded in the ultimate.

In the first Intensive, I led you on a pole meditation. Perhaps we'll do that again this weekend. Reading...

The heart is that which holds it all together. At this level, you truly become an instrument of Light. I do not want to suggest that those in the lower trainings and with heartfelt intention to transcend negativity are not instruments of light, but they are instruments of light in training. The tenth level is the first of more mature service to the light. It is the first level where the automatic response to negativity is to offer it love, to draw it into the light, to draw the negativity up inward into the light and bring the light downward into the negativity. This is possible because you are touching both. You cannot touch both so long as there is residual aversion to negativity, and so long as there is duality.

At this point, the vibrational frequency in all of the bodies is in the process of major transformation. The person at this level is increasingly able to experience negativity as a low frequency vibration, and to understand experientially the power of light as tool. At this level, there still may be karma to resolve so there may not be full liberation, but there is the understanding that the liberation is in sight. At the full maturity of the tenth training and initiation, often--in Buddhist terms--is the once-returner.

At the next Intensive we will be focused on pure awareness or non-dual meditation and its connection with vipassana practice. All of you have done some degree of dzogchen meditation. Let's not call it dzogchen, I'm not teaching it from the perspective of a Tibetan master; let's simply call it non-dual or pure awareness meditation.

You all understand the distinction between consciousness and awareness, as I use those terms. “Consciousness” relates to the mundane level of consciousness. This is simply a semantic choice. “Awareness” relates more to supramundane consciousness or citta. The Pali terminology for this is kuttara, k-u-t-t-a-r-a, citta, as mundane consciousness, and lokuttara citta as supramundane consciousness.

Again, these are not dual with each other but like the waves on the surface and the depths and stillness of the ocean, they're part of each other. The waves never leave, never depart from the stillness, the stillness is always there with the waves.

The next Intensive we will do a lot of meditation helping you to understand the distinction between access concentration and pure awareness, and also other states such as jhana, what we mean by these terms, what the experience is of these different states. I wish you especially to understand the distinction and experience between pure awareness and access concentration.

We will work the first day stabilizing pure awareness, or in Tibetan terminology, rigpa. This is taught at 3 levels: view--seeing with pure awareness and aware of pure awareness, knowing pure awareness when it's present and seeing that shift from mundane consciousness into pure awareness—“Ah, right there, that's pure awareness”-- knowing that.

Next is the meditation practice that stabilizes the view. That will be the beginning of our work at the next Intensive. And also the action phase, being able to get up from the cushion and walk out and even to speak to somebody without losing pure awareness. I want you to be able to see clearly how pure awareness and everyday mind can co-exist.

Barbara expressed this Thursday night, when you did the first breathing exercise, and she said she was in a very deep place, a place of deep awareness and yet aware of the presence of the everyday mind, present with others in the room and watching what was happening in the room. Pure awareness was present, and also she saw herself pulled out at times, not losing awareness but the ego self returning and thinking, “Is so-and-so okay? So-and-so is contracted and feeling pain or grief or fear.” Seeing the old fix-it, take care of it, energies come up and holding them spaciously. Pure awareness able to hold space for them and watch how they came up, and they will dissolve, and coming back into the deeper part of her breathing experience.

I want you to feel how this can happen simultaneously so that you can, let's say for example that D asks somebody, “Please take out the garbage, it stinks.” And you pick up the can and it stinks. The everyday mind says, “Eh, I don't want this,” and pure awareness rests in a spacious place and says, “Ah, so, here is aversion.” Both are real.

One takes care of the everyday mind and body with respect and kindness but without getting caught up in the stories. It's no different than what you've been doing with your vipassana practice, but instead of everyday mind holding the spaciousness, you learn to rest stably in this pure awareness mind. To distinguish, “this is rigpa, pure awareness,” and to know the stability to rest there.

This will be the beginning of our next Intensive. Then my plan is, and it will be described in the reading I'm going to do here, to take us deeper, working with the transformative light practices. I mentioned things that release habit energy, like work with the Seven Branch Prayer, but perhaps the most powerful way to release old karma is through these light practices. This will be a heart of our work at the next Intensive, and will relate to what I'm going to read on pages 3 and 4.

Let's take a break now and then I'm going to come back to the continuation of reading 3 and 4. Let me give one thing before you break. There is a book called Flight of the Garuda. Some of you have it. Barbara will email an electronic copy out to everybody-- does everybody already have it? Everybody?... Okay. I'll talk more about it but this will be a core part of your work between now and the next Intensive, working with this book and some meditation with it...

Please return here at 10:45 and we'll go on. Make sure during this break that you hug a tree. Spend at least 5 minutes connected with a tree, heart to heart.


So I've taken us through the first 10 trainings and stated that in Buddhist terms, this is the once-returner. But many of you say to me, “I aspire to be a non-returner or even an arahat, to full liberation.” So we've got to move further!

Remember not to be impatient, though. You are building an enormous edifice and it must have a firm foundation. I aspire with you toward the highest level of liberation to which you can attain and to support that movement, but I will never rush you. The foundation must be stable.

Some of you have asked me, “If I take the Bodhisattva vow, not to take full liberation until all beings are liberated, how does that work?” You are not thereby committing yourself not to grow. Please trust me on this: at that point at which you are ready to become an arahat, you will have the wisdom to make the decision whether to take that final step or not. Nobody here is at that point, don't worry about it. (laughter) But to become the non-returner, yes, you are all capable of that. You are all capable of increasing levels of liberation.


The eleventh to fifteenth of trainings and initiations repeat the cycle. In trainings eleven through thirteen, the adept is using his/her mastery of light in a continual way to transform negative energy as it arises in body, emotions and mind. The fourteenth training often leads one to a more profound enlightenment experience and the ability to easily hold both the personality self and the Ground of Being. This may be the first experience of no-self, as contrasted with the dissolution of the ego. The fifteenth training and initiation is of the deepening learning to stably hold this Light, not only into the inner experiences but into the outer world. Here of course we are at the level of non-returner, although many such beings choose to return in service. Karma is resolved to the degree that karma does not force return to incarnation. There is still some karma, it comes to fruition quickly and is resolved with light.

Now we move to the higher training. I think you can see where this is going. Once this mastery is in place, anything may be done with light. The being that has done this work while deeply grounded in positive polarity, with deepest intention for the good of all beings, will use these deeper practices for healing. By healing I mean the healing of distortion on the physical, emotional and mental levels, in itself and everywhere in the world, wherever that healing is requested. The Entities (from the Casa here) are great masters. The tools they use are those of light. Advanced practices such as cellular regeneration, light conception and so forth are real. Back in the times of Lemuria and Atlantis, these were common practices but the beings were higher density, not third density beings.

The work now is to teach the third density human to bring forth these practices that were once known and were lost through the ages of heavy density human experiences. It is not necessarily true that just because you have a heavier density body, the physical body, that you cannot still work with light. In this process, the earth and all upon it is raised up in vibrational frequency. All who are ready to sustain that higher vibration will shift into fourth density, including the earth itself. And I think soon after, in cosmic time, into fifth density. Yet this new 4th and eventually 5th density will also be comprised of the basic elements; earth, air, fire, water and ether, and will not have just a crystalline base as was the case in the time of Lemuria.

Is there anybody here who has not had basic dzogchen or pure awareness training?... So the rest of you? You've done this with me, B, at many retreats, the June retreat. (B: Yes, but nothing happened! (laughter) ) I don't care if anything happened, you had the basic training.

We will start reading Flight of the Garuda after this Intensive. There are perhaps 32 songs, I'm not sure exactly how many. I will have you read one or two songs a week. They are at most 2 or 3 pages, some of them are shorter. I want you simply to read the song and meditate with it. I'll have to look and see how many songs there are, perhaps less.

We'll work out a schedule. I may ask you to read 2 songs a week so that we've covered this by the time of the next Intensive. Perhaps only one song a week and we will not fully have covered it and we'll have covered it by the time of the 4th Intensive.

Don't try to figure it out mentally, simply read it and then move into your vipassana practice and be with any instruction or insight that the reading of the song brought to you. I would ask you all also to begin to do pure awareness practice as part of your daily meditation practice. How many of you are already doing that? A few.

So to begin, spend the first 5 or 10 minutes of your sitting eyes open. Let's do it all here together. (Note from Barbara: also see the two guided meditations pasted to the end of this transcript)

Looking at the flowers, here, paying attention to the flowers, eyes open. Let the jaw be soft and relaxed, mouth open, breathing. The tongue not touching the teeth or roof of the mouth but floating. Let us hear from you a great cosmic “Ahhh...”

Then breathing in, eyes open, please. Eyes soft and unfocused, though. Not so strongly focused... could we have that vase of flowers brought up? ... Let the eyes be soft and unfocused, not seeing individual flowers but the whole energy. With your heart, embrace the flowers as you embraced the tree.

Let go of the details. You may see a shimmering effect, the aura, life energy, not separate from the flowers. Cease to differentiate foreground and background. It's all the same. No objects, just seeing. Eyes open, soft, unfocused. Ahhhh.....

Body open and relaxed, arms open, not crossed in front of you. Ahhh.... Ahhh....

Breathing in deeply, what you breathe in is from the entire universe. You can't separate it into my air and the rest of the air. Deep inhale, belly breath, filling the belly, drawing the air in from the whole universe. And then Ahh... releasing, not just into this room, not just into the air you can see around the lake, but out beyond the stars.

Breathing in... and let the Ahh be audible, ahhh.... And breathing out. If you wear glasses, remove your glasses so everything is less focused.

Breathing in, ahhh... If you wish, hold your arms out and as you breathe in, breathe it all into yourself and then Ahhh..... You don't have to do it together. Do it each at your own pace. Ahh... Ahh...

For those who are in a position to see out the window, you can look out beyond the flowers, see the sky, trees, no details. Nothing separate; just spaciousness. As you relax into it, you can let go of the audible Ahh and the arm motions but you can keep them up if they're helpful.

Eyes open, keep the eyes open. Some of you are tending to want to shut the eyes, that's the basis of your vipassana practice...

These eyes looking out this window beyond the red sofa. There are details like tree trunk, green, foliage, softer green hillside, blue sky, car, but I let go of those details. I stop naming things, just presence. It all merges, energy radiating from each.

At first mind wants to make the car something separate but of course it's not separate, it's made of various minerals, earth element. When the mind holds the concept of car it seems separate. When the mind relaxes, there are just various elements at play.

Breathing out and releasing self, breathing in the whole universe. Let go of limits. Let the self go. Let the mind and body be at ease, no trying, just resting in spaciousness. If a thought comes, simply note it as thinking. That which is aware of thinking is not thinking. Ahh...

Coming back into that spacious field of awareness. Nothing to hold, nothing to fix. Don't fixate on anything, just know it as simply arising out of conditions. A thought, an itch, a sound. Conditions moving through the spacious field of awareness.

Whatever arises, let it be as it is, it will go. Don't fixate on it. Resting in this spacious field of awareness, keep the eyes slightly open. As open as you wish, but at least slightly open. A few of you are closing the eyes.

Breathing in, a little smile, relax. Ahh... Ahh... Resting in awareness, fully present. Aware of anything that arises but there's no self to it. Seeing it as the flow of conditions. A number of you have sat on the beach at Emerald Isle with me with your feet in the water, experiencing the waves coming up and touching the toes and then withdrawing. Coming up again and withdrawing. Nothing solid, just the ebb and flow of conditions expressing themselves.

As we sat on that beach, if an especially large wave was coming and it looked like it was going to wash up higher and hit your shoes, you may have turned, lifted or moved the shoes, but there was no self lifting, just awareness. Awareness knows how to attend to conditions without any contraction or stories. I'm going to be quiet and let you continue to meditate for another 5 minutes.

Looking at the flowers, out the window, or even at me or each other. Gaze resting wherever it rests.


We will have the opportunity to talk about this in the week after Thanksgiving in private meetings to help you deepen your experience and answer questions. Many of you learned this practice with me a decade and more ago, lying on the ground under the catalpa tree at the June retreat at Emrich center. The breeze would blow a blossom loose, a petal, floating down. Just resting in awareness and watching the petals fall.

Q: I remember that time so well. It's so vivid in my memory. That was the end of an 8 day retreat and my mind was wider than it had ever been in my life, at the end of that retreat. But those catalpa blossoms dropping from that tree, and just in that space of spaciousness, it was an incredible experience for me, totally.

Aaron: I think it's a precious memory for a number of you.

We'll talk a bit more about the dzogchen practice or pure awareness practice as we may call it, tomorrow morning. Especially I want to talk tomorrow morning about how to integrate this into your vipassana practice. Briefly, I suggest that you start with this practice. Perhaps light candles on your altar or sit yourself in front of a window, have a pretty plant in front of you to look at, and just rest there doing this practice for about 10 minutes.

And then allow the eyes to close with the intention to bring attention to whatever you use as the primary object - the breath, nada, or whatever else. Barbara's experience with this is that resting in awareness, luminosity becomes very predominant. So when she closes her eyes, the primary object is that luminosity. It's simply there and filling everything. Others of you will have a different experience. We'll talk more about this tomorrow morning.

So in the next Intensive and in relation to what I just read to you, we will first support your deepening experience of the first level of pure awareness practice wherein we cut through the everyday mind and find the pure awareness mind is always right there. Cutting through self-identification with objects, cutting through the ego.

We do this most skillfully when we use some combination of so-called pure awareness practice and vipassana. When an object clings and seems to be separate, then we can ask, “What is it?” and begin to investigate it. Is there anything solid there? Is there anything there that is not an expression of source or The One, of That Which Is, of God? The reply is not conceptually derived but based your vipassana experience.

So there's perhaps a loud noise that startles you or a large fly that lands on your forehead. You startle. Tension comes up. Mind moves into its habitual patterning of self and other, and perhaps aversion to that other or separating from it. You're pulled out of awareness, so you note that being pulled out-- contracting, contracting. Hearing the noise or touching, tickling. What is it? Anything here that's not an expression of the divine? The question is not just about the fly or sound but the contraction too.

The answer as I said is not conceptual but based on the knowledges we read before, mature knowing of arising and passing away. Knowing, this is just arisen from conditions, the sound or tickle, the reaction to it, it's all the outflow of conditions. No fixating on it, nothing to change or do, just noting it. Ah... Coming back into awareness.

The beauty of this practice at this cutting through level is, the more often you do it, in other words the more often you're pulled out of awareness into confrontation with the object and a self, and do the practice that asks, “what is it?” and comes back into spaciousness, the more deeply the ground of spaciousness is established. And the more the old habit energy of breaking into self and other resolves itself.

Then where there are certain objects that maintain themselves as “the other,” we may do practices such as the Seven Branch Prayer, or looking to it with your breathing, or mudra meditation. One starts those practices with the intention to understand more deeply why one creates separation with this specific object.

When you begin that support practice in that way, you're not trying to make something happen and gaining intellectual understanding, gaining control, but rather the heart is announcing its intention to release this habit of separation, which is holding you back at a lower level of consciousness, to release it for the highest good of all beings.

Many of you are taking notes and that's fine, but remember, this will all be transcribed and available to you, and I hope you will read the transcripts, especially this morning's transcript which contains some important material.

So I will ask you to practice between now and the next Intensive, and we will spend the first day of the next Intensive deepening and stabilizing this cutting through level of practice until awareness feels clear and strong and stable.

Then we will begin to work with the light practices. We will not master the light practices, we will begin to work with them. One of the reasons I had thought about the fire walking in the 4th Intensive is that fire walking is a process that utilizes the light practices. But many of you are quite concerned about that possibility so I don't think we'll go in that direction. We'll find an equivalent that is more comfortable to you.

Q: What are the light practices?

Aaron: The introduction to them will be in the next Intensives. I cannot go into them now, we would need the next week to explain.

Q: Have you talked about them before?

Aaron: No.

Q: So I'm not supposed to know.

Aaron: There is no “supposed” just presence with things as they are. You already know, or don't know. Either is fine.

Let me think of a simple way to phrase it... Everything is energy. Light is energy. We begin to see and experience the light in everything, and everything breaks itself down into light. The body is energy and patterns of light. Barbara spoke yesterday of having the experience as part of the breathing of seeing her body as a clean new trail through the woods upon which there were thousands of footsteps of different creatures. Leaves had fallen, some of them had turned black. Deer, dogs, people, ants, thousands of different kinds of beings had walked over this trail and each left their imprint.

The expert tracker would know exactly what had walked there. Here was 160 pound human male wearing rubber tennis shoes. Here was 140 lb female wearing sandals. Here was an adult deer, here was a fawn. The tracks are readily available. Yet under those tracks, the unblemished ever-perfect trail exists. Just because the tracks were there doesn't mean the ever-perfect trail has disappeared.

I asked you all to do an exercise of washing a glass daily, and I hope that all or at least many of you did that. Each day you might have found there was a little smudge on the glass that you missed. You polished it off as you washed the glass with love.

What you were doing each day was ever more deeply revealing the ever-perfect nature of the clear glass. This window has little bits of dirt on it. We don't need to break out the window to reveal the ever-perfect glass; we might wash the window. No matter how much dirt, the nature of the glass is not impaired in any way.

The light practices are specific practices that we do to reveal the ever-perfect nature of the Self and of All That Is. If one was walking on that trail and saw big boot footprints, one might say, “How sad, the trail is ruined.” Or one can simply go deeper and find that which is underneath. You can take a rake and rake the trail smooth again. But you don't need to rake it. The ever-perfect trail is already there.

These various light practices that we'll do will help to reveal that ever-perfect. In the Seven Branch Prayer, we see the shadow and ask for support to release it. And we must also see the ever-perfect to which we are releasing.

This takes it a step beyond the Seven Branch Prayer. These practices have many levels and I will be teaching you only the first fundamentals of it. But these are the practices that, how many read the book, Anna, Grandmother of Jesus-- I asked you that and most of you have read it. These were the practices that were taught in the Essene school. The adolescents began this at age 10 or 11. Deepening into the trainings to-- for example, the body seems to age. It does pick up distortions on a cellular level. If you break a leg, the leg will heal but there's scar tissue. If you have a surgery, the body will heal but there's some scar tissue underneath, and the body may still carry the karma from past lifetimes at a cellular level. But the ever-perfect level of the body is there.

At the deepest level these light teachings show us how to totally regenerate the body, even at the point that resembles death. There were rejuvenation practices to bring the body back to its more useful appearance and health, and there were literally the practices that brought the body back from the experience of seeming death, which is what Jeshua used in the resurrection.

What he did, you can do, but I don't think any of you are going to pursue it to that degree. Probably when you're in your 90s or so you'll be content to just let the body go and come back into a new one, if you intend to come back.

In the lifetime before Nathaniel--Nathaniel is the being I was 2000 years ago--the being I was just before that was Aaron, and he lived to almost 500 years doing these practices. He kept the appearance of a man of about 60, old enough to be considered an elder and respected as such, but not so old looking as to be suspected of being too old to understand the ways of the world.

Most beings did not have those skills in that lifetime. The one that I was as Aaron was taught those skills as part of the passing on of these trainings to maintain this knowledge so it could be handed down now to you. But in your world, I perceive that as you move into subtle consciousness, many beings are going to be ready for these trainings.

It doesn't matter really what many beings do; what matters is what you do with it. They are in essence a purification practice, these light trainings. They release that which has adhered to the ever-perfect level of the body so that the ever-perfect level is more fully revealed. The closer you come to that revelation, the easier it is to move into the liberation experience that you seek because karmically at the physical, emotional, and mental level, there is no longer any self-identification with these distortions and then one step further, they are released. You do have the ability to learn this.

Many of you will find, before the next Intensive, that you sustain a small injury, perhaps a splinter or a tiny cut or hangnail, and you can use this as a place to practice. Find the ever-perfect right there with the blemish.

So this is my plan for Intensive #3. The Intensive will be spent in part in instruction and discussion but in larger part in meditation. In Intensive #4, the plan is not yet fully evolved, but I want to bring the many things you've been learning together. I want to support what in some cultures would have been called a Vision Quest, but we will not send you out with a loincloth into the woods for 3 days. But some of you may choose to eat very lightly or even to fast for part of the period. We will have deeper instruction with the elements. I'm hoping that, it being July, we will find the weather lovely, allowing you finally to immerse yourselves in the lake.

I want to bring together a combination of journeying with supporting drumming and so forth, perhaps doing that and sitting in shallow water in the lake and journeying deeply into the different elements with the drumming. And then, given that basic support and the connection with the elements, moving into your own practices and do whatever mixture of vipassana, dzogchen, breathing where it's helpful, mudra meditation, all the different supports that we have, spending probably 2 days mostly in silence with the question of clarification of your work in the world, clarification of your own spiritual path, clarification of service.

And on the final evening of that fourth Intensive, we will repeat the ceremony that we'll hold tonight, allowing you to re-state it with whatever deeper clarification you have. This whole 4th Intensive will come into clearer focus for me as the plans evolve. Heather unfortunately tells us she is not available so we will look for some other source of support as is needed.

Another possibility for that Intensive is the use of the so-called singing bowls, crystal bowls, and harmonics as a way of deepening and healing. So we'll see what comes together for that Intensive.

I want to read the last paragraphs...

Some of you are higher density adepts, bodhisattvas really, returned to help carry forth this transformation into higher consciousness. Some of you are third density beings ready for transformation, and who have brought this forth through your courage and repeated growth through endless incarnations in this third density plane. You are all seeking one thing together; the movement of matter into light, without the loss of any of the beautiful qualities of matter. This shift has the power to literally transform the universe. That is why darkness so fears it.

Darkness wishes to keep matter at a low vibration, for darkness itself is a low vibration. It is based on fear, hatred, greed and self-centeredness. Light understands self-centeredness as Self-centeredness, which means holding All-that-Is is at the center. It understands that it is this All-that-Is. Negative polarity puts the personality self at the center. One is constantly at odds with the other, thus there is constant contraction.

Your guides and other loving entities here assist in many ways. The core of their work is the bringing forth of Light into this earth plane. We who do this work, simply call ourselves brothers and sisters of Light. You are also brothers and sisters of Light, still in training, as we are all in training, all beings moving into greater and greater Light.

My gratitude to the humans and all the loving entities that have been holding this space through the morning, and will continue to hold it through the day for you to continue to practice.

Through our work here may all beings find full liberation from suffering. May all beings be happy and find perfect peace. And may the whole universe be further invited to express itself as light and love.

Go now and enjoy your lunch. Please meet here promptly at 2. We will begin with the practice of a mudra meditation, working again with the Spiritual Bathing mudra and then a different mudra. So come back prepared to move into that practice.

Then there'll be a stretch, a break, and we'll break up into 3 groups of 6 for small group discussion. I would steer that discussion toward the weekly work, the work with the various soul traits.

I think you all understand the reason why we're doing these practices. It is simply a way of more fully revealing the ever-perfect glass by attending to the smudges on the glass, holding the loving intention to reveal that ever-perfect within, that fully awakened Buddha nature, and invite it more fully into expression. Where these soul traits are still not purified, still pull you down into the ego self and to places of fear and negativity, they hold you back from a higher vibration. That's not a problem; we just attend to them. There are some tough stains on the glass; they may need a lot of polishing.

Thank you.

(session ends)

November 21, 2009 Venture Fourth Intensive #2 Saturday Afternoon

Keywords: mudras

Barbara: So you've had a chance to work a little deeper with the mudras; are you feeling more at home with them, understanding how they work? This is a wonderful practice. It's something I've been doing for over 15 years and I continue to do it, sometimes a lot and sometimes very occasionally when I'm feeling some kind of blockage in my emotions, some kind of physical tension.

The book has wonderful indexes so it's possible to index as “sore top of arm” or “sore ankle,” tension in the ankle, right ankle, left ankle, anxiety, forgetfulness, clinging, different kinds of emotional and body states, and the book will simply point out which mudra is most useful for this particular state.

If you don't have the book, do the Spiritual Bathing mudra, and then see if one of the mudras I've photocopied seems to work for you. And if not, simply email me, tell me what's going on, and Aaron will suggest a mudra that may be appropriate. --Well, that presents a problem, I don't have any way to get that mudra to you. Basically if you don't have a book you'll have to limit yourself to the ones we photocopied or else get yourself a book.

Q: I could photocopy it and send it to the person...

(etc on getting photocopies of the whole book sent out via internet)

Barbara: It will be wonderful for everybody to have a copy of it. That way you're free to print it out on your own.

You can work with this on your own or with a friend, either way works well. You'll find even the most complex ones you can work with on your own. Where the point is not reachable, you can either hold the point with your energy, with your imagination and mind, or you can use something like a bean bag and lie down. Allow the bean bag to put pressure on that point, or your crystal would be suitable.

You can use a small crystal, not a great big one, obviously, to lie on, but a small crystal placed in your back in a place you can't reach, or just a soft bean bag or a pair of rolled up socks. Tennis ball is too big, but a soft pair of rolled up socks will work well, a small bean bag, something soft, and if you're crystal is not too big your crystal will work at that point.

If you use your crystal, be sure, I'm using a big crystal here, if it's a point in the middle of the back, you put the point of the crystal facing up, not down, so it's bringing the energy up rather than reversing the flow of the energy.

Q: How often do you have to engage in these practices to experience some results?

Barbara: I probably use it about once a month in general terms, just as part of my overall meditation and spiritual practice. If I'm experiencing some strong energy, anger or grief or confusion in some way, low energy, physical pain that I feel is related to tensions in the body and that will be affected by the mudra, I might use it twice a day for 4 or 5 days.

I don't always work with the same mudra. I always start with the Spiritual Bathing mudra because that gives me direction as to what comes next; it touches each of the organ meridians. If there's a point as I'm working with the Spiritual Bathing mudra when the pulsation doesn't come into balance and it just feels discordant, then I look for a mudra that touches that particular meridian. You can tell that in part intuitively and in part just by looking at the pictures.


Q: How long did it take you to catch on to the pulsing?

Barbara: A lot of use over a couple of weeks. There were a half dozen of us who got together once a week for “Mudra Night” and we exchanged working with it and our findings with it, and explored it together and learned about it together. I'd say within 2 months we all felt relatively proficient with it. But before we felt proficient we found it useful. It's okay to just keep looking at the maps. I don't know all the mudras, I need to use the charts.

Q: I had the sense of angelic presences, and I wonder if the mudra, does the mudra invite their assistance?

Barbara: Your intention, asking for help, invites them, or whatever you're doing, just sitting in vipassana practice or working with the mudras or breathing, or simply being mindful in your life. Your intention to do this work invites angelic support, yes. So it's not that they're particularly attracted to the mudras, they' re attracted to your loving intention.

Okay, we'll put the mudras away for now. I want to give N a few minutes to talk about the group web blog. Did anybody come to you to get signed on? Is there anything you want to share with the group?

N: I think that Barbara and I and some of the others feel like the website could be a wonderful tool for sharing our insights and our wisdom, a tool for building community among us. But it needs to be something that resonates with the group and that the group owns.

So what is key in a website like this is participation. But again it needs to resonate with the group, that people see value out of the sharing and out of the communication. And whether it's sharing an insight you had, each week, or putting up <a favorite forum>, all of that starts to build this wonderful amazing repository of our wisdom as a group in Venture Fourth.

So I wanted to put that out. I think there's potential...

(recording ends)

November 21, 2009 Venture Fourth #2 Saturday Night

Keywords: circle of sharing vows and intentions

Aaron: We sit here in this circle of light, humans and many angelic beings, your guides and higher selves, blessed Masters, all beings of light and of love. We come into this sacred circle, each to let their heart state their highest intention as it is now, and knowing that the intention will grow as the seedling grows into a beautiful blossom, as it is nourished. It starts small and then it grows.

When you state your highest intention within this sacred circle of witnesses, spirit will help you to remember and nurture that intention. I invite you to state the intention in whatever way you wish, simply wordlessly, your heart to my heart, or spoken aloud should you wish, to be witnessed by your comrades. Or simply signed silently so that the more detailed words are shared. I know what is in your heart but I want you to feel deeply heard, and that your intention is witnessed.

We are all of the Light and we aspire to service to the Light. Each being in this circle sees also the shadow side of themselves. Some of you thusly have doubt about your ability to bring forth your intention. But my dear children of light, you are working very hard to purify the shadow, to cease to react with negativity. Trust that in yourselves.

As you bring forth your intention, ask for the support that you need. The intention may come in the form of the Bodhisattva vow. If you wish to say that with me, I am happy to do so. So any form of intention is perfectly acceptable.

Of utmost importance is the deep commitment to Light. (laughter; Aaron is trying to light a candle and it won't light!) We'll try that again! Commitment to Light. (laughter; it still will not light.) This is wonderful... (group cheers) The candle that does not wish to light.

So our process here is a simple one. I sit here and invite you to come before me, take my hands, look into my eyes, and speak in whatever way you wish. Then I will give you a candle and light your candle with mine. Take the candle and put it in the bowl and return to your seat.

(next recording file)

Your intentions are heard and deeply supported. I thank each of you for sharing your hearts with me. Remember that I am always with you, each of you, as are your own guides, and are many other radiant beings. All the help you need is offered. Each of you has undertaken an intention that is fully within your power to bring forth. Trust your capacity for love, for wisdom, for liberation, and your capacity to model your intention in the world.

(next recording file)

(group finishes singing, “Peace I ask of thee Oh River, ...peace, peace, peace.“)

If I might offer a request here, I'm going to release the body to Barbara and would you sing it one more time because she loves that song. It would be nice for her to be able to experience it.

Thank you all for your open hearts, your courage and your love.

Barbara: Thank you, that's beautiful. Aaron says we're singing. He says I will be surprised.

(Barbara sings it with group)

Aaron says, what other campfire songs do you know? (laughter)

(to someone's suggestion) Save that for the end, one or two more first.

Q: I know a song, it's fairly easy, it's the Circle Song. I don't know if I can say the words without singing them.

May you walk in beauty in a sacred way

May you walk in beauty each and every day

May the beauty of the fire lift your spirits higher

May the beauty of the earth fill your heart with mirth

May the beauty of the rain wash away your pain

May the beauty of the sky teach your mind to fly.

(group singing)

Barbara: Do you know the song, “No Man is an Island”? I know the words but I can't sing the music...

(Barbara sings)

No man is an island

No man stands alone

Each man's joy is joy to me

Each man's grief is my own.

We need one another

So I will defend

Each man as my brother,

Each man as my friend.

I saw the people gather

I heard the music start

The song that they were singing

Is ringing in my heart.

We need one another

So I will defend

Each man as my brother,

Each man as my friend.

(group sings many verses of Amazing Grace; group hums middle verses as Barbara sings)

Barbara: How about “All I Ask of You?”

(group sings this and a closing song, Day is Done, Gone the Sun)

Good night, sleep well.

(recording ends)

Purification of view: ditthi-visuddhi (pronounced ditty):The Insight Knowledges:


The list starts with knowledge of Del. of Mind and Matter. This is not one of the insight knowledges but a preliminary knowledge.

The 10  insight knowledges  are #s  3 through 12 above.  Know. of Comprehension through Conformity Knowledge.  These ten have their foundation in Purification of View and Purification of Doubt, which in turn are founded on the first two purifications (the roots).

1. Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind and Body (nama-rupa):

a. Rupa- form aggregate

b. nama - the four mental aggregates.

a. Access concentration: Insight into mind and matter needs access concentration.  during which the hindrances are quiet or under control. (not suppressed; see above)   What is access concentration? (discussion)

b. purification of view refers to recognition of the impermanent and selfless nature of the aggregates  of form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness.  

c. Three characteristics:  Right view does not take the aggregates as self , but sees the three characteristics of conditioned experience, anatta, anicca, dukkha, in all of the aggregates.  (discussion)

d. delimitation:   knowing what is mind and what is matter.  

-a sting to the skin is matter; That which perceives the sting and knows it as unpleasant is mind.

-breath is matter; awareness of breath is mind.

e. 16 kinds of knowledge, opened in sequence:   These are the knowledges which we'll be exploring, and from which Purifications they arise.

1.   Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind and Matter

2.   Knowledge of Discerning cause and Condition

3.   Knowledge of Comprehension

4.   Knowledge of Contemplation of Arising and Passing

5.   Knowledge of Contemplation of Dissolution

6.   Knowledge of Contemplation of Appearance as terror

7.   Knowledge of Contemplation of Danger

8.   Knowledge of Contemplation of Disenchantment

9.   Knowledge of Desire for Deliverance

10. Knowledge of Contemplation of Reflection

11. Knowledge of Equanimity about Formations

12. Knowledge in Conformity with Truth

13. Knowledge of Change of Lineage

14.  Knowledge of Path

15. Knowledge of Fruit

16. Knowledge of Reviewing

f. abandoning by substitution of opposites:    like abandoning darkness at night by means of a light; abandoning anger by means of metta, etc.   This is one tool with which we work with this succession of knowledges.

g. Mature Purification Of View: with the completion of the first two purifications (of virtue and mind) and the entering into view, , the first knowledge arises (Delimitation of Mind and Matter).  When this knowledge is mature, purification of view is completed.

h. the Insight Knowledges:  Knowledge of Del. of Mind and Matter is not one of the insight knowledges but a preliminary knowledge. The 10  insight knowledges  are #s  3 through 12 above.  Know. of Comprehension through Conformity Knowledge.  These ten have their foundation in Purification of View and Purification of Doubt, which in turn are founded on the first two purifications (the roots).

i. mature Knowledge of del. of Mind and Matter: At first this knowledge is limited to the med. subject. It's considered complete when it ouches everything.

Purification by Overcoming Doubt


Visuddhi Magga puts the next three knowledges under a further purification. Mahasi Sayadaw puts them under “doubt”. Thus, not all systems/ texts list them in the same relationship.  The precise way/ place of listing isn't too important here. Remember, they're circular and all interrelate.

2. Knowledge by Discerning Conditionality:

This is the primary area of insight which dispels doubt. In VM it's not listed as a Knowledge, just an insight, whatever has the nature to arise has the nature to cease and is not “self.”  One sees the dependently arisen nature of the 5 aggregates.

Mahasi Sayadaw puts the next two knowledges under Purification. of Doubt. VM puts them under Purification by Knowledge and Vision of what is Path and what is not Path, and Purification. by knowledge and vision of the Way.

a. Knowledge and Vision...:   The next three purifications are written as Knowledge and vision..., Vision because of deeper penetration into dhamma because of the first 4 purifications.

Purification by Knowledge and Vision of what is Path and what is not Path,

3. Knowledge by Comprehension:  a deeper understanding of the three characteristics in all conditioned experience.

a. This knowledge follows Purification. by Overcoming doubt (is a fruit of...) and serves as ground for Knowledge of Arising and Passing Away, which Knowledge occurs in 2 phases, undeveloped and mature.

b. This insight really occurs between Purifications 4 and 5.

c. The undeveloped phase:  In this phase, phenomena called ten imperfections of insight may arise. These are experiences and mind states which may lead us to stray from a mindful path, lost in bliss, or light.   

illumination (obhasa) / knowledge (nana) / rapturous delight (pitti) / calmness (passaddhi) / bliss (sukha) / faith (adhimokkha) / energy (paggaha) / assurance (upatthana) / equanimity (upekkha) / attachment (nikanti)


Some of these are wonderful in themselves; the point is to not become lost in them, attach to them, nor take them as signs  that we're enlightened.

This purification regards these “imperfections” and sees they are not Path. Attachment to them is not Path. Continued mental noting IS Path.  Don't get lost!

4. Immature Knowledge of Arising and Passing Away - The immature phase of this knowledge ends when one has moved through the imperfections of insight by mental noting.  As the mature phase opens, we move into the next  purification.

As the imperfections of insight arise and we merely note their arising and passing, not caught in them as “good” nor in any way (but knowing them as pleasant if this is the case), we open into the mature phase. The knowledge becomes matured by our work with the imperfections of insight.

Purification by Knowledge and Vision of the Way: as we know what is not path, we develop certainty about what is Path.  Matthew Flickstein's description of these  knowledges is very clear. I'll read some here from his not yet published book.

These knowledges may be passed through slowly, or in a flash, just a few moments. there is no “right” way.  It's important thought to persevere at this stage, to give a lot of time to sitting with the whole process.

4. mature Knowledge of Arising and Passing Away

We begin to see how everything in the conditioned realm arises and passes. Not only do sensations and thoughts pass, but the consciousness which notes these arising and passing also passes.

5.   Knowledge of Contemplation of Dissolution

Attention moves from arising to dissolution. Everything dissolves

6.   Knowledge of Contemplation of Appearance as terror

Terror about this dissolution. Nothing to hold on to.

7.   Knowledge of Contemplation of Danger

We begin to see the danger , how easily we could get caught back into taking anything as solid, see into the danger of formations and our attachments to them.

8.   Knowledge of Contemplation of Disenchantment

Disenchantment with everything, the conditioned realm, practice, - everything is seen as part of the process of becoming, and an obstacle to freedom.

9.   Knowledge of Desire for Deliverance

Deep aspiration arises to continue the path and find freedom.

10. Knowledge of Contemplation of Reflection

Reflection on:

the 18 principal  insights:

1. The contemplation of impermanence: abandons the perception of permanence.

2.  The contemplation of suffering: abandons the perception of pleasure.

3. The contemplation of non-self: abandons the perception of self.

4. The contemplation of disenchantment: abandons delighting.

5. The contemplation of fading away: abandons lust.

6. The contemplation of cessation: abandons originating.

7. The contemplation of relinquishment: abandons grasping.

8. The contemplation of destruction: abandons the perception of compactness.

9. The contemplation of passing away: abandons the accumulation (of kamma).

10. The contemplation of change: abandons the perception of stability.

11. The contemplation of the signless: abandons the  sign.

12. The contemplation of desirelessness: abandons  desire.

13. The contemplation of voidness: abandons adherence to the notion of self.

14. The higher wisdom of insight into phenomena.

15. Correct knowledge and vision.

16. The contemplation of danger:  abandons adherence due to attachment.

17. The contemplation of reflection: abandons non-reflection.

18. The contemplation of  turning away: abandons adherence due to bondage.

The forty modes of Reflection:

10 about impermanence:  impermanent/ disintegrating/ fickle/ perishable/ unenduring/ subject to change/ having no core/ to be annihilated/ formed/ subject to death

25 about suffering

painful/ a disease/ a boil/ a dart/ a calamity/ an affliction/ a plague/ a disaster / a terror/ a menace/ no protection/ no shelter/ no refuge/ a danger/ the root of calamity/ murderous/ subject to cankers/ Mara's bait/ subject to birth/ subject to aging/ to illness/ to sorrow/ to lamentation/ to despair/ to defilement.

5 about not-self:

alien/ empty/ vain/ void/ not-self

Within Knowledge of Reflection we contemplate some of these. Some meditators will follow more the path of impermanence, some the path of suffering, some of not self.

The reflection opens out to equanimity.

11. Knowledge of Equanimity about Formations

There is no longer terror about formations or about seeming groundlessness  since we have seen into the voidness of everything on the conditioned realm.

a. insight leading into emergence:  

1, Visuddhi Magga, XXI, 65, Simile of the Crow:  “When sailors board a ship, it seems, they take with them what is known a land-finding crow. When the ship gets blown off its course by gales and goes adrift with no land in sight, then they release the land-finding crow.  It takes off from the mast head and, after exploring all quarters, if it sees land, it flies straight in the direction of it; if not it returns and alights on the mast head. So too, if knowledge of equanimity about formations sees nibbana, the state of peace, as peaceful, it rejects all formations and enters only into nibbana. If it does not see it, it (equanimity with formations) occurs again and again with formations as its object.”

12. Knowledge in Conformity with Truth

This is a coming together of all that preceded it.

a. One keeps coming back again and again to this equanimity. At this point, one of the gates  becomes predominant, anatta, anicca or dukha.  

b. There is a shift in view. One has investigated all compounded things and found them all to be impediments to freedom.

1. everything compounded rests on suffering; nibbana is free from suffering, etc.  Seeing that freedom is not here, it must be there. Like looking for something inside a room until one is absolutely certain it doesn't exist in the room; only then will one look elsewhere. When we see “it's not here”, we go elsewhere.

2. Up until now one has investigated all 3 characteristics of conditioned experience. Now one becomes predominant and we stay with it.  The predominant characteristic depends on our spiritual inclination and which characteristic predominates -  faith, concentration or wisdom.

3. Value of pure awareness practice here. Easier to “find” if we have some clue what we're looking for, or opening to.

4. I'll share my own experiences with this procession of insights.

(insert some journal here if it can be found)

Purification by Knowledge and Vision: consists of the knowledge of the four supramundane paths.  These knowledges follow each emersion into the Unconditioned

13. Change of Lineage Knowledge

With Change of Lineage Knowledge, the mind lets go of formations as object and takes nibbana as object.  At this stage there may have arisen a “sign”, (nimatta) . Consciousness  abandons that sign and turns to the signless.  (Mindfulness does this; noting must continue).   This is the, “ “it's not here”;go elsewhere.“

In VM, XXII, 6, there is a simile of a man swinging across a stream on a rope. You let go of one shore and incline toward the other. Here one inclines toward nibbana.

14.  Path Knowledge:

a. four functions:

1. penetrates the truth of suffering by full understanding

2. penetrates the truth of the origin of suffering by abandoning it.

3. penetrates the truth of Path by developing it.

4. penetrates the truth of cessation of suffering by realizing it.

b. four supramundane paths,  traversed one at a time:  Each arises only once. Each defeats certain defilements.  They are moved through in sequence.

1. stream entry (sotapanna) - Breaks down the defilements of personality view, doubt and clinging to ritual.

2. Once returner (sakadagami) - does not eradicate any defilements but reduces the roots of greed, hatred and delusion.

3. Non-returner (anagami) - eradicates sensual desire and aversion.

4. Arahant  , free from all defilements.

15. Fruition Knowledge:

a. understand the freedom that has been opened to. Path knowledge opens only at the moment of experience, but fruition knowledge may be re-entered.

16. Reviewing Knowledge:

a. reviews the path, its fruition, defilements abandoned and those remaining, and Nibbana.  When it happened, cognizing mind was absent. Now that mind comes back in and reviews the process.

At Home in the Universe
A Guided Meditation

To be read to yourself or shared aloud with a friend. Please pause at each space between lines.

This is a meditation to guide you into an experience of the essence of your being, beyond the conceptual images of self as form, personality, or consciousness.

We will work with the assistance of a plant, a photograph of a beloved teacher or revered high being, an object such as a shell or flower, a sleeping pet or child, or even the open sky out of your window. Choose one object with which you will remain throughout this one meditation. At another time you may use a different object. Please seat yourself so the selected object rests before you. If it is small, such as a shell, let it rest elevated to eye level on a table.

Please begin by moving into a comfortable position that you can maintain for some time. Allow the back to be as erect as is possible.

Body soft, relaxed;
shoulders soft, loose;
abdomen soft, open;
eyes soft, unfocused.

Seeing through and beyond;
not fixed on anything.

Let the jaw hang slightly open, tongue resting loosely in space, not touching the teeth or the roof of the mouth but floating.

The breath releases with a soft, whispered “ahhhh.” Let it flow out from the core of you.

Eyes resting unfocused, seeing through and beyond.

Let the breath flow out, into and around the object. Edges dissolving as the breath moves.

Draw in the in-breath, noting how it enters the body.

Out, offering this object your very life breath,

and in, drawing in its most vital energy.

Out. Let awareness follow the breath,

pausing at whatever resists its full release,
touching resistance with gentle awareness.

In. Noting any defenses against receiving completely,
touching resistance with gentle awareness.

Out. With a whispered “ahhhh.” Mouth open, tongue floating; all resistance dissolving.

In. Differentiation between self and object dissolving in the spacious breath.

Out. Boundaries falling away. No edge to your breath, nor to your being.

In. Receiving completely that which has been present since the very beginning.

Out. Releasing completely that which was labeled.

In. No one receiving; nothing received.
Resting in the natural state of spacious awareness.

Please continue for a few minutes in silence.

(Longer pause)

Does the out-breath stop at the object? Let it move out still farther now. How far does it go when offered freely?

Nothing to stop it.

Touching the ends of the universe.

Drawing in from the same infinite space,

Infinite breath,

Infinite being.

Out. Make yourself at home in the universe.

Breath and pure awareness touching everything and everywhere.

No self: No object.

Floating there in luminous pure awareness.

In. The same infinite space within, where it all floats.





Rest there.

Expanded outward and within, we find the same essence.

Rest there.

If sensation arises, know it without contracting around it. It arose and will pass, not separate, not other than the spaciousness. Everything is flow; don't create separate objects.

If thought arises, know it without contracting around it. It arose and will pass, not separate, not other than the spaciousness. Everything is flow; don't create separate objects. The breath holds it all.

Let the breath breathe itself.

Rest. Nowhere to go. You are home. Rest.

Everything dissolving into pure being.

(Longer pause)

And now we return to the relative consciousness.

Blink your eyes. Again.

In. Take a deep in-breath and note the relative experience,

seeing it from great spaciousness.

Out. Allow the return of self, noting that it is just a convenient concept.

In. That self returning to the notion of receiver.

Let edges reappear, but note that they are concept only, a handy tool for dwelling in the relative condition.

Out. Let the edges dissolve again.

In. With the notion of boundary.

Out. Releasing the notion of boundary.

Play with this for a few moments.

(Longer pause)

You are the relative human with concepts of boundary, of self.

You are the absolute, pure awareness resting free of time, of space, of illusion.

Be both. It takes courage, love, and awareness, but you can do it.

Train yourself to rest in this vast spaciousness of all being, and still to hear the human laugh and cry with a heart of compassion.

This is the beginning and the end of all your practice.

Practice until there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, and then rest there

resting in the infinite heart,
at home in the universe.

May all beings come to rest in the pure heart-mind.


May all beings know the perfect joy of their true being.


May all beings find perfect peace.



A Guided Meditation

To be read to yourself or shared aloud with a friend. Please pause at each space between lines.

Relax your body. The position in which you sit during meditation has different degrees of importance depending on the kind of meditation. Sitting here now, simply find a comfortable position with the back erect.

Close your eyes. Breathe deeply several times: deep, cleansing breaths.

Bring your attention to the third eye, the space between and above the eyes. See the inside of your forehead as a blank screen.

Return your attention to your breath. Notice the inhalation and the exhalation. As you breath out, release all the holdings of the past, all the pain, all the attachments. Feel the freshness in each new breath and how it brings your attention to the present. Be here, and now.

Begin to notice that moment between the inhalation and the exhalation. This is the now.

Slightly extend this pause between breaths and concentrate your attention here. As you do, see if you can feel your heartbeat. Simultaneously bring your attention to this now and into the heart center, that center of energy that lies close beside the organic heart. Feel the pulse of life within yourself. The essence of your being lies in the heart.

Reach into your heart. Look for spirit there.

Relax. Be at ease in the heart.

Find your highest self there, that beautiful and perfect spirit and mental body that has existed through all your lifetimes.

Allow yourself to expand. Realize the grandness and perfection that you are, the beauty and wonder of you.

Each of you is a being of perfect light. In your essence you are all perfect. Breathe in spaciousness; breathe out limitation.

Note that this essence of yourself goes far beyond the human sitting here tonight.

This highest self has lived so many lives and been so many people.

You have loved, and you have hated. You have known great joy, and you have known fear and pain. You have been of every race and lived on every continent.

While the human that you are sits here bound in its fears and limitations, your essence knows no limitations.

It is boundless,

it is limitless,

it is perfect.

Feel that essence within your heart. Feel the limitlessness of that aspect of being.

It is your own spirit, but it is not separate.

There are no edges to it, no defined boundaries, because you are part of God. The divine heart is your heart, the heart we all share. Through the heart of God you are part of each other.

Reach out with your hearts to all other beings. Feel your oneness with each other. Reach out in love.

Let go of fear. In the one heart there is no need for fear.

When you love and trust there is no need for fear.

Fear is an armor to protect the self that feels vulnerable.

Fear is small ego self's shout to preserve itself solidly in a universe that ego cannot comprehend.

Fear would wall out the universe and wall in the self.

Fear is the cry of the self that judges itself and sees itself flawed in body and emotion.

Fear is demanding, intolerant, and closed.

Choose love and release fear.

None of you is perfect, and all of you are perfect. In your human form, you are not meant to be perfect, and in your essence you are always perfect. It can be no other way.

Let go of this fear. Trust, and allow yourself to love and be loved. Let your heart expand with love for yourself, your beautiful and perfect self, and for all the others in the world who are also beautiful and perfect.

Feel the edges dissolve; feel the oneness; allow your love to carry you past the cage of fear.

Breathe out fear and armoring.

Breathe in the vast energy and love of the universe.

Rest in that space between inhale and exhale, the infinite now.

Breathe out fear and armoring. Let self go.

Breathe in spaciousness and love.

Rest, opening to this wonderful now.

Breathe out boundaries.

Breathe in the infinite.

You are the infinite. Rest there.

Please continue silently for as long as feels appropriate.

(Long pause)

Take a deep breath now, and return your attention to yourself. See if you can just return to center and not build up the armor again.