November 22, 2009
Venture Fourth Intensive Two
Sunday Morning

Keywords: healing, toning, chakras, karma, pushing hands, suffering, guidance/guides

Aaron: Good morning. My blessings and love to you. I am Aaron. I wish you could see how much light you are broadcasting!

We have no fixed agenda for the morning, just time to for you to ask questions and to touch on some general areas of interest.

At Barbara's request, D brought with him a small electronic device that she had used in Seattle. It emits electric signals that when run over bare skin, transmits itself, and it seems to work by educating the body, reminding the cells of how they expressed themselves before they moved into a traumatized and contracted pattern, so that they can move back into that healthier pattern. So it's a kind of patterning transmitter that awakens the cells to a memory of their original wholeness.

When D's wife worked with Barbara with this on her shoulders in Seattle last month, after several days her shoulders felt free of pain. Gradually the pain came back. She could feel the cells losing the memory, needing a reminder. So she used the device last night for perhaps 10 minutes on each shoulder before bed, and she used it again early this morning for about 10 minutes on each shoulder. I'm in her body so she's not experiencing pain but I incorporated, the shoulders were virtually pain-free.

This is healing through, let's call it some kind of electronic or electrical impulse, but it's not too different than healing through sound or light. Our purpose here as a group is not physically to heal whatever distortions there are in your body but I certainly hope that will be an added benefit of your participation, but to understand healing.

I would like you each to find some small chronic area of pain in your body and in an ongoing level, literally to sing to it. Ask it what tone it needs. Use your tuning forks or your piano, or recording, whatever you might have to find the tone that works and then sing to that painful area of the body daily, for just a few minutes. Just try it and see what happens.

While you're singing to it, suggest that possibility to the body that it remember how it was when it was first formed. For of course, when you were an infant you did not have chronic pain in that part of the body. The body remembered old patterns from past lifetimes and as a response to catalyst, it moved into those old and less wholesome patterns that create distortion. And also probably the body suffered injury, a broken bone or a torn tendon.

Sing to it, just for experiment's sake so that next time we come together you can share what happened when you sang to the body.

J has shown me a wonderful device on his telephone. I laughed about calling this a telephone as it seems to do everything except brew coffee. J, will you share this with the group?

J: Okay, I think I've shown everyone that I could possibly show this application, and Aaron and Barbara do not know that, but I just tell you quickly about it. I imagine there are applications like this for a lot of smartphones (they're called smartphones now), and probably for the computer, too, if you have a microphone. This I phone program is ClearTune.

One reviewer said he saw the conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic use this device to tune the orchestra so that means it's fairly accurate, I assume. It has 2 modes, one will play a tone (plays "B" tone), B, C, and I can change octaves (lower C). Of course you can hook this up to speakers and rock the house... (plays different tones)

So in the morning after my wife and I sit, we pull this out and go through all the chakras and tone to this.

Q: Do you <inaudible> Barbara, and she <inaudible> or do we just choose the regular normal range? There was a little difference from the normal range that she suggested <inaudible>.

Q: Boy, I'm paying now for not reading anything Barbara mails out! I don't know what you're talking about. (laughter! chit chat)...Let me rephrase that-- I somehow, after reading everything Barbara mails out, I missed that. (laughter)

J: It also (plays tone) has a mode where it listens to the tone that you or something are doing. We did it to the bells here and found that out this is 3 octaves of A. So if I tone you might be able to see (tones vocally) jumps around a little bit with me. The mode on the left...

Okay, that's it. It cost $4, the download. But you can buy the phone with the $996 you save on tuning forks. (laughter)

(inaudible chit chat and laughter)

Aaron: May we have quiet please?

Q: When I do my toning, I just make the sound and try to locate it in my chakras. And I find that the same tone when I produce it differently, and by that I mean if I force it versus just kind of relax and let it flow, the same tone will produce different results. One will connect with the chakra and one won't.

But when I tested my pitch against a tuning fork, I was off. Can you talk a little bit about that? How exact does it have to be?

Aaron: The tuning forks are a general guide. Each body is unique. J showed it on his machine, within the range of C for the base chakra, for example, it may be subtly this way or subtly that way. We use the tuning fork or organ or telephone or whatever as a guide, but most important is toning it into your body.

When you are singing the tone that that chakra resonates with and that best supports its fullest opening, you'll feel energy in that chakra; you'll feel opening. This, developing an intuitiveness about it, and the responding to the body as the body is, is what's most helpful.

As your vibrational frequency becomes higher, the chakras will tone more and more to the true pitch. So if one chakra is subtly off, I don't mean a whole note off, but instead of E at the solar plexus you're getting an E-sharp, just keep singing the E-sharp to it, allowing it to vibrate, working with those issues of that chakra mindfully through the days. And gradually it will tone itself into the E.

Q: What if the tone is significantly off?

Aaron: Then your tuning forks are probably out of tune. Actually, if it reads as very far off but feels right, trust your feeling of it. Ask yourself, "Is this chakra truly open or not?"

Q2: Is intention a factor?

Aaron: Intention is a factor in terms of the intention to open the chakras and hold them as open as possible. Then the highest intention is to resolve, balance and release any issues that close them. Intention to open is also a factor that will help bring it from a slightly off into tune. If you were singing to the sacral chakra D and it's resonating as an A, then something is askew. Either your source of A is incorrect and it truly is resonating closer to a D, or there is distortion. The sacral chakra cannot resonate to an A so it can't be that far off. It can resonate to a C or E or anything in between C and E coming down to that clear D but it can't resonate up to an A.

How far off are you finding it?

Q: I don't know. I've only checked it once.

Aaron: I think you may be experiencing the tone not in that chakra but in the body, in some of the organs of the body, tissues of the body, even within the meridian, but not specifically in the chakra at that meridian.

For example, the lower belt meridian comes around the body here, and that does not have a D tone, so something significantly different than D could feel resonant through the whole lower belt meridian, and one could misperceive that being the chakra resonating.

Q: The second question that I have, for many months now I've had this skin itch that comes on at night for 10 to 15 minutes.

Aaron: Are you doing anything like chanting or meditating at the time that this skin itch comes on? It just comes on at a specific time of night.

Q: Not specific.

Aaron: And does it fade on its own or do you attend to it?

Q: I don't know. I try to attend to it but even if I don't it will eventually fade.

Aaron: Is it all over the body or in a specific place?

Q: It moves.

Aaron: It moves around... Looking in the index here under skin... I don't know if there's anything here... Interesting, it does not give you one for skin. Let's try a different...itching, that's what I'm looking for.

Q: <inaudible>

Aaron: ...Yes, so do that. The next time the itching comes up, try doing the Discovery Mudra.

Q: But my question was going to be on singing, do I sing to the specific area or do I sing to the skin in general?

Aaron: If you were going to sing to it, sing to the skin, the whole level of covering of the body, all over the body. But also try the Discovery Mudra to invite insight into the meaning of the itching, why the body is moving into this itching sensation. You do the mudra, not to fix it, just to attend to it. Sing into it; send light to it. The skin is the body's armor. It's announcing that it is being challenged in some way. Look at the metaphor of that.

Q: I just purchased the tuning forks and have not yet begun to use them. Would you please review the way to use the tuning forks briefly for me, and especially I want to work with heart chakra.

Aaron: Barbara's tuning forks are up in her room. Sound the tuning fork, holding it by the stem and hitting the side of the fork. Did you buy weighted or unweighted? Okay, then hit anywhere against the palm of your hand, never on a hard surface. You can buy a rubber block to hit it on, or more cheaply can go to a pet store and buy a rubber dog bone.

Q: A rubber block was included.

Aaron: Good. For those of you who are buying tuning forks where a rubber block was not included, a rubber dog bone is a very useful alternative because the block is chunky, the dog bone is longer and holds in the hand and it's easy to strike against it. The side of the hand is fine.

Strike it and still holding it by the stem, hold it up to the ear and listen and tone with it. (tones OM) Whatever tone feels appropriate. Try to listen, hear it, feel it in the body. Then strike it again and still holding it by the stem with a bit of stem extending, bring it so the tip of the stem touches the chakra area. Feel the energy within the chakra.

Tone; it's much like the work with mudra meditation where we hold the points until the energy comes into balance. Keep toning until the chakra feels like it comes into balance. You're not trying to force anything, you're inviting. If after a few minutes it does not come into balance, just move to the next chakra. Come back to the one that felt closed or unbalanced or where there is tension. So just move through and then come back to whichever one was not responsive.

If it's still not responsive then meditate on it, just inviting information. In what way is this chakra held closed? Is this a constant habit for me or is it an affair of this moment or of today or this week? Review the issues that relate to that chakra. Reflect on those issues. Is there something here that I'm not acknowledging to myself?

You are using the tuning forks here as a way to invite the opening of the chakras, and you also must investigate with kindness. Come back to your vipassana practice, noting the intention to bring in more balance and to see more deeply and then just sit. Let go of all intention, let go of everything except whatever is predominant in that moment. Basic vipassana practice, and trust your practice to reveal what needs to be revealed.

Q: If you pass over a chakra that's not responding, and finish, and then come back to it, then do you just stop at that one or do the ones above it?

Aaron: One must be intuitive about it. Come back to it and then if it feels like the one below it and above it can benefit, use the 2 tuning forks above and below, I'm using the sacral chakra as example. Once that begins to feel like it's responsive to the tone, go above and below and then 1, 2, 3, touching the ones below it, the one itself, the one above it, helping to bring it in harmony with the others.

Know that this toning work will not in itself resolve long-held karmic issues. It will reveal the issues. You still must do the vipassana practice and perhaps work with other modes that are helpful, like the breathing, mudra meditation, dream work, vipassana of course, to more deeply release the issues. The Seven Branch Prayer can help.

You're not trying to fix; your intention is simply to bring this body, mind, and spirit into as high a vibration as is possible for the highest good of all beings, and in service. Holding that intention, when something is out of balance, I attend to it. So you're not trying to fix anything, you're simply watching to be sure it goes as intended. It's like preparing a meal or cooking soup. You taste it and if it needs a little bit of salt, you add the salt. You want to consider what other foods you're serving at the meal. Are other dishes salty or sweet? What are you putting together? What brings this dish it up to its highest potential and most radiant expression? And that's what you want to go forth with moving toward the intentions you offered last night. So you're taking care of this blockage because your intention is not to perpetuate distortion. And in taking care of it you'll find there is some physical and emotional healing.

Q: Barbara when I was talking to her in a phone conversation suggested that I use my crystal and chant in dealing with the base chakra. She didn't talk about toning. I'm just wondering, when I chanted with the OM chant, is tone important or not?

Aaron: It is one tool. It is not a vital tool, it is a very useful tool. Some people will be drawn to it and other people will not be drawn to it. Some amongst you may be relatively tone deaf and not feel the ability to chant and tone. That's okay, then there are other tools. Those who are not drawn to using tone may find themselves more drawn to color and light. Crystals will support it. The most important thing is intention. But we use the tools that are available to us when we feel a resonance with them. Chanting and toning are not dissimilar. In toning we hold a specific tone. In chanting we are more involved with the sound of the word and the energy of offering the chant. The practices work together.

Q: What would you say the probability is that anyone in this room today had all their chakras closed?

Aaron: Zero.

Q: I have been using a tone from my recording device that I resonate with. And I'm apparently on pitch because I feel resonance, but I don't sense anything, and I'm going up and down the chakras.

Aaron: Some people will feel it, some people will not. Again, it's very individual; some people are much more sensitive to sound than others. Some are much more sensitive to energy and vibration than others. Some are more visually sensitive. What's most important is the intention in your heart.

We do not have an open and a closed position for the chakras, we have an infinite sliding scale. Nobody ever is at zero or a million, or even at a hundred or near a million, you're all in a range in between. When we talk about open or closed chakras, we're talking about the chakras spin. When they are closed they are spinning more slowly and not giving off much energy. It's a way of damping them down, closing into ourselves. When they're open they're spinning faster so the energy moves more quickly and easily from one to the next.

Picture centrifugal force, something spinning and substance coming out from the center. Energy from each chakra connects to energy from the next one. They're connected. Say the heart is not spinning, the solar plexus is spinning and the throat is spinning, the energy, instead of coming through the heart will bypass the heart. We think of people with closed heart, heartless. People who walk around like this (demonstrating). Each chakra has this quality, it will spin more or less.

Most of you can tell by your life and how you respond in different situations whether that chakra is spinning well, open and participating in the decisions or not. You can feel, some of you, when there's tension, you feel it in the belly. You can feel when it's open; Ahh. The feeling is because that chakra at that moment, one of the 3 lower chakras, is open. Being who you are, most of you have more open upper chakras than lower chakras. Everybody here has fairly open upper chakras. Not completely and with great variety amongst you, but much more open. And many of you prefer to live from the heart up and don't really want to live down in the lower three with the emotions and physicality and so forth. These are the ones, then, that need the most attention.

Put a crystal over the chakra. Sit and meditate with a good crystal point up, inviting the energy to draw itself up. Barbara's body begins to, because of its conditioning, begins to respond almost immediately when I do this and bring this energy into the belly. Big flow of energy immediately starts to come up.

You can teach your body this gently by holding a crystal. It doesn't have to be a huge crystal, just the crystal that we gave out to you. Bringing it to where it feels closed, singing to it, holding the intention to see deeply into the habitual patterning that holds it closed, for the highest good of all beings, to allow it to spin more and give off more energy.

You can meditate. J brought in the chart of the chakras. Each chakra is like a flower. If you look on the internet you can find illustrations of each chakra as a beautiful flower. Find the ones that feel closed; print out that chakra, and image of it, and hang it up where you can see it. Meditate on it; invite your body to replicate that beautiful flower.

So there are many ways to work with it. The most important is simply to ask yourself, when anger comes, when fear comes, when resentment comes, jealousy, and you feel the belly or lower chakras closing, when there are survival-type issues, I don't mean life or death specifically, that you are faced with fatal illness or something, but not wanting to bring in much life force, shrinking back from the world, then look to the base chakra and remind yourself of your highest intention, that your intention is service to the world and growth. And in order to support such service it is not suitable to stay stuck in these old physical, literally physical habitual tendencies, but rather to invite opening.

Do it gently, kindly. Treat this as if it's a garden of many flowers and you are the gardener. If one plant is open and vibrant and beautiful, express gratitude to it and treat it with love. And when one is drooping a bit, wilting a bit, ask it what it needs.

Q: There's a person I'm working with <inaudible> trying to help. It seems to go much more slowly than I would like. Sometimes with others I'm able to channel through energy and states of being that facilitate their shifting. And I seem very limited in my ability to help this person. Is there anything else I could be doing that could ease his suffering?

Aaron: Imagine that you run a soup kitchen for the homeless. There's one man who comes in every day and looks over the choices, soup, bread, a pot of spaghetti, maybe a thick stew, vegetables, cake. He looks over everything and he's emaciated, he's really very hungry, but he walks out the door. You might stop him and say, "I notice you always look hungry when you come in but you don't take food. Is there something special I could cook for you?" If he tells you, then you can cook it. But if he says, "Naw," then you just need to keep serving the wholesome food you're serving and know it's his choice.

Q: Why does he keep coming?

Aaron: He keeps coming because he's looking for something but he's not yet ready to take it; it's too frightening to take it. His need is so intense; what if he takes it and becomes dependent on it and then it's not there? So he may feel it's better not to take it. He may reassure himself, "Today it's still here. Maybe if it's still here in a few days, weeks, or months, maybe finally I'll allow myself to take some." Meanwhile he goes and scrounges in some garbage dumpsters.

Just keep serving the food. Make sure it's wholesome.

Q2: Now I'm a little confused about the purpose of chakra toning. You said it can't resolve karmic issues, it only reveals them. Is that the purpose? If so, could you say more about that?

Aaron: First, it's not entirely accurate that it cannot resolve karmic issues. Sometimes it can lead to a quick release of something that is ready to be released. Very occasionally when something is ripe and ready to release, the toning itself can release it. However, the toning has not released it, all the work that came before has released it with the final catalyst of the toning. If the toning were not there, there would be some other final catalyst.

For the most part, the value of the toning is to reveal distortion and bring the harmonic vibration to a place where two things can happen. One, there can be insight into and a deeper inner readiness to release, and simultaneously, two, the chakra moves into a new patterning that is able better to stably hold this mode of being. In other words, this chakra is talking to this chakra is talking to this chakra. It moves into a communicative mode where it's harmonious and open and the energy is flowing.

Let me use a simple example. Let's say that you have the occasional tendency to greed and it comes up more when you're very hungry. If you are very hungry, have not eaten for 24 hours and you come into a room like your kitchen where food is being served, you start to take just your share then you think, "But I'm really hungry," and part of you wants to grasp and take more. The grasping comes because the body has not been fed for that time and because karmic tendency toward grasping is not fully resolved.

You can work in 2 ways. You can make sure the body stays fed so that the catalyst doesn't come up to grasping. And yet that means that there must always be a bit of fear, "Do I have enough food?" It's not big grasping but a constant attention to food and its presence or lack. Or you can look deeply into the experience of grasping itself and the old fears that feed that, and using your vipassana practice and other means, can work to resolve those karmic tendencies. Then no matter how hungry you are, grasping will not come up.

To bring us back to the work with the chakras, when we attend to the closing of the chakra and invite it to open, we're creating a state where we can more fully release the old karmic tendencies so that they do not re-emerge over and over and over.

Is there anybody in this room who thinks if I walked up to you, not even me, if I invited a strange man who lived down the road who you had never seen before and who was 6' 5", 300 lbs, if I invited him in and asked him to push you, is there anybody who does not think his belly would tighten up? Think about it. Can you imagine the response? I've just opened the door and said, "Hey, come on in, we've been waiting for you. Come, push him, push her!"

The impulse is there; that's how you habituate it. If you've been working with the chakras in this way, you see almost immediately as it closes, that it's about to close, and you remind yourself of how the open chakra feels right there with the closed chakra. If it has been your practice, you might sing to the chakra, OM, or whatever tone is needed by the chakra that's beginning to close, inviting it to remember its open state, inviting it to re-open.

When you've done this a thousand times, I don't necessarily mean with the 6' 6", 300 lb man but just with all the circumstances in your life that come up and push you, and repeatedly noted how that chakra closes with that catalyst, holding the intention to keep it open, it begins to form a new pattern.

The chakra never really closes. This is vital. It seems to close. On one level it closes. When we have very cold weather, the lake will freeze. Is the lake frozen or is there a skim of ice over the top? The water is always there but we say the lake freezes. We say the chakra closes but the open chakra is always there. What you're doing is finding skillful means to reveal the open chakra and remember it, and help the whole chakra channel stay connected, revealing itself. Because when it's open, when you're connected with its openness and Big Guy walks in and reaches out his hand to push you, you might just say, "Why are you going to push me?" rather than (sound effect). Each time you go (sound effect), you habituate the body ever further into that pattern. Each time you smile and say, "Why are you going to push me? Please don't do that." and if he pushes you, step back out of his reach, then you open a different channel.

Has this group done the pushing arms exercise? Yes. I know many of you have, did we do it as a group? Yes. At the last Intensive did we do it? No. So many of you have done this with me in classes and retreats but all of you have not.

(I'm going to turn the recorder off, this has been recorded many times)

(Pushing arms exercise)

Aaron: We've just demonstrated a Tai Chi exercise called pushing arms. I was asked, there was a television series some time ago with a man who was a priest who always defended himself with Kung Fu, is what I'm doing similar? I suppose it's similar. What I am demonstrating here is that life will push you. You have a choice about how you respond to the push. You can push back, in which case it just pushes back harder, or you can learn how to dance with it. I didn't collapse under the push and I didn't shove back.

Basically it's about energy. His energy came into me and I let it slip by, taking into myself anything that was useful, and then when he finished pushing, I just gently gave it back. So I engaged him, I did not just turn and walk away, I stayed engaged but not caught. To do this, the chakras must be open. It's a wonderful exercise to determine whether the chakras are open. As soon as you react to the push, you can feel it in your body.

Now I'm told you don't want to stand up and try it. Why? (addressing the whole group)

Q: Tired.

Q: Been there, done that, many times.

Aaron: How many have never done it? (2 or 3 people, Aaron arranges for 4 people to try it)...

(Pushing Hands exercise, comments not recorded)

So, opening the floor now to other questions.

Q: I need to use that with how I relate to my son. I usually stand solid and be hit, but I need to bring about the spaciousness to take the energy and redirect it.

Aaron: Teach this to (your son). Do it with him. He will enjoy it. Tell him it's a Tai Chi martial arts exercise. And literally practice it with him.

Q: I do have another question about something different. What is the pathway of the mental body's arisings to a person's consciousness? Is it through the chakras?

Aaron: I'm not sure I understand the question.

Q: How does <> come to consciousness? Is it through the mudra pathway? Is it through the chakras?

Aaron: No, it's simply contact, whether it's the physical sense or the mind, the sense organ touches an object and consciousness arises with contact; this is the flow of dependent origination. Then there's feeling, pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Regardless of whether it's a physical or mental object, if it's pleasant, grasping may arise, if it's unpleasant, aversion may arise. And other mental formations will arise based on this foundation.

Q: So there is no pathway?

Aaron: There is a pathway but it is simply the chain of dependent arising.

With contact comes consciousness; contact and consciousness arise together. There is no pathway to consciousness beyond contact. When the physical senses, eye, nose, ear, tongue, body, touch an object with contact, consciousness arises with contact, citta arises with contact. When the mind, which is in Buddhism also a sense, touches an object such as a thought, a memory, a plan, whatever: contact, and then consciousness arises with contact.

Once there is consciousness there will be a feeling of what has arisen as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. If we do not catch it there, we move into stories about the thought. For example, here is a thought of great gain or great loss. You might have a moment's thought as you're carrying your suitcase in the airport, what if it's lost? There's just this thought that arises, seeing your suitcases, seeing other suitcases; we don't need to try to trace it back into where the thought comes from, simply, here is a thought, "What if it's lost?" If you note at that point "thinking, thinking," and that there's an unpleasant quality to that thought, and there's spaciousness, then the thought dissolves. It just arose out of conditions and it is gone.

If you go past the doughnut shop, "smelling, smelling," scent, pleasant, and then you walk further down the hall and the scent is gone. There's no story about it, there's just scent. Just the thought; it comes, it goes. If you walk past the doughnut shop and, "smelling, pleasant," craving comes up, "I want a doughnut. It has a lot of calories and it's greasy; I shouldn't have a doughnut, but I really want a doughnut. I wonder if they have the cream-filled kind. I want this." Your mind starts planting stories, "Oh, I can skip dinner or I'll eat this instead, then I won't have too many calories." Then there's a whole chain of thought that comes, and the chain of thought involves a self, me, I will do this or that. But if the pleasantness of the scent is noted and then the thought comes, "I want one," that thought is new object. One notes it, "Ah, here's a thought."

Q: Is there a storage place for...

Aaron: There is not a storage place for that which has simply arisen, been noted, and released without self around it. There is a storage place, which we call karma for that which arises and greeted from the perspective of a self with the perpetuation of stories.

Q: Is there a pathway for karma?

Aaron: I would rather call it a storage locker. It's not a pathway, it's simply..., well, yes there is a pathway in a different sense. If as you walk past the doughnut shop, that thoughtccomes up and you scold yourself and you walk on, and for the next half hour you keep thinking about the doughnut, "I really wanted that doughnut," and then down where your airplane is to take off there's another doughnut shop, "Oh, I have another opportunity," then there's grasping, and you remind yourself, "The last time I had a doughnut I had a bellyache afterward, it was too rich for me. Oh, but it tastes so good, I want it." Mind is spinning with all these stories and there's a very strong sense of a self, an ego, that's involved in this, the karma is about this whole experience of self. What I want, what I need, what I will get, whether it will be good afterward. It doesn't see the dhamma. It doesn't see things as impermanent and arising out of conditions. So we could call it the pathway of delusion, the delusion of self. When you get into that pathway, then there's karma.

Q: So you're saying that the storage place for karma is the self?

Aaron: The storage place for the ongoing delusion of separate self is karma. Let's just call it the karma locker, for lack of a better term. This pathway only exists in the ego, because resting in pure awareness there is no karma. (When I use the terms karma and kamma, dharma and dhamma, these are simply the Pali vs. Sanskrit pronunciations.)

Q: I want to send person and our daughter to Brazil and there are some other people I would like to be able to help to get there. I would ask for assistance to put together the finances to do that, if that is possible.

Aaron: Are you asking for assistance from the people here or for Spirit assistance or for, what kind of assistance? Spirit assistance. Simply put out the intention. There is one person here who has a wonderful story with this, holding the intention to come to Brazil. She said, "I just don't have the money." And I said, "Hold the intention." And then I believe friends got together and bought her a ticket. The money came together. Who knows how it will happen? Hold the intention.

Q: I have a question about the trainings. You said Training #5, <> into the non-dual, and if I look at my personal experience I can see experience up to 9 of awareness, of ground and personality at the same time, fairly constant. But the non-dual, seeing them both as the same thing, is still largely conceptual.

Aaron: This is because you're still spiraling up, it's not stable yet. But as you go through the spiral, it moves from conceptual the first time around to more stable and integrated in the personality with the next spiral.

The personality work must be attended to. Many of you are still attending – all of you really are still attending – to personality issues, to what one might call the psychological or ego issues. We cannot bypass them. In some cases therapy is or has been helpful for people. In other cases, the vipassana practice is enough. But it's important not to try to move into a place of no self where everything is peaceful and beautiful by escaping personality issues.

So that's part of the healing and growth. As long as you are doing that work to resolve and balance some of those old personality issues, then at some level there's awareness that it's not wholesome to move into a deeper place of emptiness because that will be an avoidance of the most pressing work.

And yet for those who, for example, simply take a course of therapy without any meditation, trying to fix the self, but with no spaciousness and no sense that ego's issues are just arising from conditions, that there is that true emptiness, that true not-self – no matter how much they want to resolve these personality issues, there's still somebody trying to fix it and make it better and better and better. These personality issues are like your physical body; they resolve but at some level they're still noticeable. Your body doesn't disappear when you find no self, and if you... Let's put it this way. If you have an experience of no self at a point when your leg is broken and in a cast, when you come out of that meditation experience, the leg is still broken and in a cast. It still must be attended to.

So one could not stay in that no-self space in a wholesome way avoiding the physical issue, saying, "Well I don't want to get my leg put in a cast so I'm going to move into no self until it heals." That doesn't work. The leg must be attended.

The psychological issues of this and past lifetimes, the karmic tendencies must be attended and resolved at the same time as we recognize that there's never been anybody there that created this karma or participated or owns it.

We open to deeper and deeper insight into emptiness. We still see ourselves reacting in small ways. We come back to the physical experience, the emotional experience, and tend to it with kindness. We do the various kinds of practices that will help release it. Why will we help release something when on the deepest level there's nothing to release and nobody to release it? But we still have to release it. They both come together.

So as we come through this spiral and the trainings, there's a point where what you are doing seems more conceptual but you keep doing it, and you trust when you are ready for it not to be so conceptual, that is, when you have done the immediate emotional work with it and the release work and the insight work, then it will become more stable and not so conceptual.

Q: That was helpful but did not answer the question. Are you saying that we need to resolve all of the psychological issues before we can see non-duality in a non-conceptual way?

Aaron: No. That would be like having a rope that was tied into a thousand knots and believing I had to untie them one by one. I take a sword and cut through them. The whole thing falls apart. This sword of wisdom and compassion cuts through the whole lump of knot. So you see it in one issue and then suddenly you understand, there never was any self to begin with. All of these other issues are non-issues now. There's nothing left to resolve. So you come to it just that once.

I want to use an example that Barbara may have already expressed once to this group, she certainly has shared it with some of you.

In her childhood she had a nanny who took care of her when she was a young child. She had loving parents but they were busy parents and she had a nanny who was the primary caretaker. The nanny became sick when Barbara was about 6 years old and had to leave, had to go and live in another city with her son because she was not able to be so physically active. It was not explained to Barbara what was happening; she was simply sent away to summer camp for 2 months and when she came home, the nanny was not there.

She was told, "Don't be angry. She was sick. It's not her fault. Don't be angry at her." So what did she do with the anger? Of course, she turned it inward. She experienced the experiences of one who is abandoned. She turned the anger onto herself. So she grew up with strong feelings of unworthiness, feeling that she poisoned those she loved.

There was a cook in the house from her birth until she was 9 years old, when the cook had a nervous breakdown. She had to leave. Barbara was alone in the house with the cook that evening, the cook having made dinner for her; her brother was out and the parents out, and suddenly the cook started crying, just sat down and started sobbing. So Barbara called her parents and they came home. And the next day, the cook was gone.

Barbara felt, "Anybody I love and attach to, I poison." So she grew up with these as very strong issues. In her late teens, early 20s, she worked with a very compassionate psychoanalyst for several years, gained clear insight into the habitual patterning, reached the point where she could go out and mingle with people, go to a party. She would walk in the door, the old anxiety would come up, she would want to flee, but she got to the point where she could make herself stay and make conversation and truly enjoy being with people, where she could repeat to herself almost like a mantra, "This is because of what happened in my childhood. It's not about now. I am capable to make friends now."

And she did. She had many loving friends. She married. She was able to enter a very wholesome relationship, to do work she loved. But no matter how much she did, and even with years of vipassana practice, when she came into a room of strangers, at first she would tense up and the old feeling would come, "I am unworthy. I will be abandoned or I will harm others." The knowledge was there but it was still conceptual. By now she knew these were old stories and she would just say, "I'm not going to respond to you, thank you. Go take a seat." But it still came up. She learned to live with it and not get caught in the story, just to know, if it comes up, just sit it down with a cup of tea; don't talk to it; don't get caught.

So finally, close to 20 years ago, she attended a long meditation retreat with the instructions that you receive at a silent retreat not to speak, not to make eye contact, silence, noble silence. It was a retreat that was attended by many senior vipassana teachers, people for whom she had a lot of respect. She was a newer teacher then with only perhaps 5 years teaching experience.

So some of these well-respected teachers were present. When she sat in the dining room, one of them would sit across from her. She didn't sit across from him; he sat across from her. She took the same window seat most days and he sat across from her.

She began to experiment. She would look up to make eye contact, and he would look away. It brought up this feeling of unworthiness. When she walked down the hallway and people walked past her, she would look up to make eye contact and people would look away. So within the context of the silence, she began to investigate this, to see, "This is arising out of old conditioning; karmically this trigger is still there and it's time to release the trigger."

She worked with the Seven Branch Prayer. She worked with chakras and energy. Through the month she focused, each time that she invited somebody's gaze only to have them avert their gaze. She watched this contraction, and literally purified the karma. It was not done from a place of fear or fix-it kind of energy but from a deep place of love that understood, "It's time to release this. It does not serve others or me. It does not serve my highest intention in the world to have this kind of contraction arise even though each time it does arise I no longer react to it."

So she did this hard work for the 30 days of the retreat. Somewhere through those 30 days, perhaps 20 days into it, she started to notice that when somebody looked away, they just looked away. The contraction had stopped coming up. The stories no longer arose.

She had previously understood what had bringing it up; it was understood intellectually. She had already stopped being reactive to it but now it was time to resolve the karma. We could say on one level there's nobody there so there's no karma, but that would have been a denial of the relative level on which there is karma. She could not hide in the place of the ultimate. So she did the hard work and it resolved. By the end of the retreat there was nobody to be abandoning, nobody abandoning, nobody to poison others. There was nothing left to which to relate with fear or kindness. It dissolved.

In her life after the retreat it simply stopped coming up. When she would walk into a room with new people it was with a sense of enjoyment. What kinds of people will I meet here? Wonderful, wonderful opportunities. So her heart was open and the issue resolved.

Now, this issue did not come to her in this lifetime by coincidence. She did not create the issue; the issue was co-created. At some level she came into the incarnation with the intention to invite the experience of unworthiness so that she could finally break through it, because that kind of unworthiness had been experienced in many lifetimes and it held her to a place of belief in limitation, belief in wrongness.

She did not know before the incarnation exactly what kind of experiences she would move into that would invite that work. Before the incarnation, she chose to incarnate with loving parents who gave her a ground of love. That helped to secure the ground so that she was able to look at the fear and negative responses while knowing love. Sometimes people might move into a similar intention but without having really known love in this lifetime, and needing to experience love. One does the work however one needs to. There was no plan before the lifetime that these specific beings would be part of her life and would leave in the abrupt way that they did, only that she would encounter this experience. Her brother who is 3 years older had the identical experience, because they had been his nanny and the cook in the household for all of his life, but he did not have the same karma so he was mostly unaffected by it. He didn't experience unworthiness; he experienced sadness. He loved them. But he did not take it personally. This was her karma.

I'm using this to illustrate. She did not have to go into every past life and into all the places in this life where she had experienced some sense of unworthiness. She had to go into the whole experience of unworthiness once and cut the knot; the whole thing unraveled and there was nothing to sustain it anymore.

A joyful note at the end. The final day of the retreat when the silence was broken, and by habit perhaps she went back to sit at the same table, people were talking at tables and there were other people at the table, people who she had not spoken with all month; some of them had been sitting at that table. That man who had been sitting opposite her who was a well-known dharma teacher came and sat across her in his usual seat and he gave her a big smile and said, "I so loved sitting across the table from you at meals this month."

Just reminding her, nothing to run away from, no unworthiness. Just looking away, because that's what he was doing, looking away. Don't take it personally.

Each of you will need to go wherever your practice leads you and your life leads you. Into the energies that are foremost for you, into the places of the greatest pain and confusion. To do this from the basis of your vipassana practice, that's the most potent tool, and with whatever support practices you have. And to ask yourself, "What is it that I have the opportunity to heal here? How can I pay more attention to these old patterns that do not serve me anymore, with the intention to release them for the highest good?"

When you begin in that vein, insights will come in your sittings. Clarity will come as you work with practices such as breathing and mudra meditation. Intuitively you will understand how to heal. There are many guided meditations that can help. I suggest work by Stephen Levine. Healing into Life and Death has many beautiful guided meditations. Working with healing in different ways. Healing of forgiveness, offering and receiving forgiveness, healing sexual abuse, healing emotional abuse. One can work with guided meditations like that to help one focus on what most needs to be healed and intuitively to move toward that.

The intentions that you offered last night will support you because you will keep remembering, "My highest intention is not to go and hide myself someplace and try and create an artificial place of safety, my highest intention is to move through this and heal it, for the highest good of all beings."

You would not know this to look at Barbara now, but as a, perhaps 20 year old, she was very depressed, lived very much in isolation. She worked most of the day on her sculpture, was a successful sculptor, and her studio was a safe hiding place. She avoided people whenever she could. So the dharma transformed her, it gave her a pathway out. She will not mind my sharing that with you.

Q: So you're saying that by working through these issues, at some point not only they dissolve but the illusion of the self dissolves.

Aaron: Exactly, exactly, because the repetition of these issues and thinking you have to fix this, or hide from it or change it, are what keep the self going. But when there's clarity, letting it go, "I forgive, I release, I am no longer that person and I don't have to keep this going anymore, this story line, this pain," then you come up one cycle into a stable place of no self.

Q: Did the whole sense of a self dissolve for Barbara?

Aaron: Yes, yes. The belief in a self dissolved, but not the occasional experience of it. She experiences enough of a self to hold her nose when she carries a stinking load of garbage! There's still a person there. And stories still may arise from time to time but they are recognized, not believed. She takes delight in the world much more than she was able to 15 or 20 years ago.

Q: You used 3 terms, ego, personality, and self. Are they interchangeable, identical?

Aaron: Somewhat interchangeable. Here is the little finger and the ring finger and the middle finger and the first finger and the thumb, but there's one hand. So they're subtly different but not enough to worry about.

Q: If love is all there is, and it's <inaudible> why is there suffering?

Aaron: There is suffering because you seek love and you do not know how to rest in the space of love so you keep recreating the suffering. There is suffering in small part to help you see and know the love. If it was always light, how would you know what darkness and light were? Would you appreciate the light? It's to help you understand the nature of love, but also and perhaps more importantly, there is suffering because you don't understand that you have a choice, so you keep recreating the conditions for suffering. As it has been said, suffering is optional.

Pain is not optional but suffering is optional. Pain is not optional. You have a body. If you step on a tack, there will be pain. If a loved one dies, there will be pain, sadness. But one does not have to suffer when there's body pain or when there's loss.

There's the beautiful story of the woman whose son has died and she comes to the Buddha weeping and asking him, "Please bring my son back." And he asks her to go find a certain kind of spice that was very common in those days and bring it back, and she says, "Oh, I can do that," and he says, "But wait. It must be from a home in which there has been no death."

So she knocks on doors and asks, "Do you have this spice?" "Yes." "Has there been any death in this house this year, this decade?" "Oh yes." Grandfather died, the baby died. And finally at the end of the day she comes back to the Buddha with the recognition, there is birth and there is death. So she's still sad; she's lost her child; but she's no longer suffering. She deeply understands, this is how life is; everything is impermanent.

I want to offer you an option. I see it's 11 o'clock. Three possibilities. I would like you to spend some time discussing your work with your crystals and spirit guides and power animals. We could do that as a big group and discussion with me, or we can break into small groups, again the groups of 6 for that kind of discussion. Or we can skip that entirely if you don't feel you need to discuss that, and just continue this Q&A format. Is there a preference?

(a few inaudible comments)

How many people feel they would benefit by some kind of discussion of the work with crystals, spirit, and power animals? How many of those feel they would benefit best by small group discussion? I'd like more of you to have a chance to speak... (several-minute discussion of how to proceed, schedule)


So, let us continue... (the group has chosen to stay together and to work with Aaron; the following material is only lightly reviewed. No changes or editing have been made in people's comments. )

When I asked Barbara that, I said, "I will not feel hurt if they choose you over me." (laughter) She said she would not feel hurt if they chose me over her.

I'd like to hear some of your experiences with work with your guides, your crystals, power animals, and for you to share them with others and thusly to inspire others with it. I also welcome any questions.

Barbara and I have been deeply inspired by some of your deep work, your deep connection with your guides.

Q: I need to hear people's success stories with talking to their guides. I think I don't do it that well.

Q: What I'm aware of is that my guides seem very real to me, and I feel their presence. There are 2 power animals and there's one, for lack of a better word, entity, I call her the Ancient One. But I've not been in dialogue with them. I don't seem to know quite how to get into dialogue with them. I feel their presence. I feel their energy. I feel their essence, connecting with me, very much. But there's no language. There's no...heavy stuff between me and them. Do you have any thoughts about that?

Aaron: Yes! Talk to them. They'll respond. Start when you're feeling their energy. Take the pad of paper in front of you and a pen. Move yourself into a meditational space where you feel their energy and presence. Before you start, have in your mind a question. Not the question like, "shall I paint this room pink or tan," but the deep heartfelt question. Even write it down on the paper before you start.

Then move into a space where you feel their energy. State your highest purpose, such as to serve, to do no harm, to be a vehicle for light and freedom. Ask the question from your heart and if you begin to feel an impulse to write, just begin to write. It may be 3 words, 3 sentences, 3 pages. When the impulse stops flowing, then and only then, read it.

When you normally write your mind is formulating the words. Here you are simply allowing the message to flow. If the information you've received is helpful, say thank-you when you read it. If it leads to another question, ask the next question, write some more. If it is not helpful, make the statement, "This is unclear," or, "This is a kind of negative slant to me. I'm asking for the highest guidance possible to speak to this question." And then ask again.

Eventually you'll get a dialogue going and then you can put the paper and pencil away and just talk back and forth. But the paper and pencil help to facilitate the beginnings of that dialogue. For those who connect with an entity who is not the guide, feels energetically different than the guide you expected, after you have a dialogue going, ask, "Do you have a name? How can I relate to you? I don't want to say, 'Hey you, can I talk?' How can I call you?"

Before you start, always state your own highest purpose and that you wish to speak with, to dialogue with a guide who is harmonious with that highest purpose. Having done that, when the message starts to come through, you can just write because you have already done the challenging. You've already made a clear statement, "This is my highest intention and nothing that is not harmonious with that highest intention may speak through me." You're not analyzing it as it comes through, you're just writing, but if as you read it, it does not feel harmonious, then ask, "What in myself was drawing forth something that's more negative? Is there some negativity about which I'm being dishonest with myself?"

In other words, if you ask, "How can I heal my relationship with so-and-so," and you start to get information that says, "Well it's his fault," so you should just keep challenging him, don't just say, "No, I want a higher level guide," stop and ask yourself, is there some anger at this person? I'm saying I want to heal the relationship but am I dishonest with myself about some anger? Do I need to heal that first, to open to that and acknowledge it first, and then state my intention for the highest guidance, so that what I draw forth is truly the highest level guidance? "

Q: (hard to hear, may not be accurate) Two <> experiences I have had. More than one with my crystal, I believe that the crystal helped my arm or shoulder surgery. I slept with it and I also felt that Brother of the Light was with me several times when I hurt. He came with Aaron's and Barbara's help at the last retreat, and 3 of us left the room. I greatly appreciate the care <>. (questioner is speaking of a different entity than Aaron, who incorporated in Barbara's body at the last intensive)

The other experience I've had was I had a great deal of resistance to writing in my daily journal so I asked my guides about that, to help me with resistance, to understand it. I had not been writing to them for quite awhile. And he said just use whatever system worked for me, that if I wanted to write, that that would help me with my resistance, that I could open up and use my creative energies and that they would be there.

And they also helped me on a question of faith and doubt. And I think my response to that is just to bring in, when I have those doubts, compassion, muditta...<> and to work on my self-confidence, to go beyond doubt and resistance. <>

Aaron: The Brother of Light, he is a very high vibrational and loving entity with great healing skill. Many of you have met him at one time or another, and I know he is happy that he was able to be of service to you.

Such beings are there and available if you call on them. This will not be your regular guide as much as to ask specifically for an entity which can best support emotional or physical healing. It may be your regular guide but it may be a special entity that comes just to support this particular healing.

Let me say one more thing about the journals. The intention with the journals is two-fold. The most important part of it is for you to set up a regular journaling practice for yourselves. When you write in that way, it does help you move deeper in your spiritual practice. It gives you a time to reflect on what's coming up in your meditation, what's coming up in your daily work.

Some of you write journals that are just half a page for the week; some of you send 20 pages. I'm not concerned with how long it is. What I'm concerned with is your regular journaling. I think the ones that send half a page are sending me a synopsis.

Some of you have expressed concern saying you normally handwrite your journal and then it's a big chore to type everything. You don't have to send us everything. If you normally type your journal and that's comfortable, then type it and send it; you don't have to edit it. We do not mind getting 20 pages. We may not read it all as carefully as if we get half a page but we'll certainly read it and be drawn to what we need to read.

If you normally handwrite your journal then go back at the end of the week and ask yourself, "What was most important here? What deepest insights? What deepest challenges?" Trust that what you pull out will be what you need and they will support our telephone conversation.

Q: I'm able to hear my guides including Aaron but also others. On a daily basis I can get whole bursts, maybe a few words, a sentence at most. If I sit and I actually meditate and have a conversation, one of the suggestions that I got from 2 of the guides, Nathaniel and Aaron, is just to start talking. Like journaling, for me, I just start talking. And what I find is that as I'm talking, my vibration raises and I'm able to hear them better. And in fact I usually start with Nathaniel, who you might say is a lower vibration than Aaron, and then at some point I'm able to hear Aaron better. But it's kind of like you need to let the engine warm up and then it runs better, you know what I mean?

And I find that that starting position is the biggest act of faith because, it's taking that first step. Because my level of doubt is the highest at that point. It diminishes, it kind of fades. But in the beginning it's very high, so I almost have to force myself into it. I don't want to say that it's mundane, as, "Hey, how you doin'" but we start off not with the biggest question, just something that I feel like, if I miss it there's not much...what I hear is not... that even if there's a bigger mixture of me in it, it's fine. Does that make sense? And then as I keep talking and keep talking and keep talking, the me part of it diminishes.

Aaron: Others?

Q: I seem to be very connected. I can sit and ask questions and have the answer come to me. But when I want to connect with a guide, then <inaudible> and I really don't get much feeling of anything. Sometimes, "Follow your heart," something general like that. Am I connecting with my higher self when I just sit there and listen?

Aaron: It does not really matter; what matters is you're gaining access to wisdom that's useful to you. If it resonates as truth and it's helpful, just be with it. Don't try to force it to be this or that entity that brings it forth.

I said earlier that you might want a name so you don't have to say, "Hey you," but you're not having any problem with that. Just call it Love.

Q: So I think I mentioned that I've been doing some writing dialogue with the elements. I started with earth and I've done water and rain. I didn't label them guides. Maybe they are. What's useful for me in doing this, it helps me to remember my connectedness with all these elements. <>

Aaron: Again it doesn't matter. There's no reason why an element cannot also be a guide. You're not speaking of water as the lake water, you're speaking of the higher spirit of water. And this is a very real guide. Whatever you connect with, just thank it and if it adds wisdom that's supportive then use that wisdom and continue the dialogue. I think you're doing fine with it.

Q: I'm thinking that my higher self, which is the part of me that loves me unconditionally and is all-wise, is the same as my guide. What's your view about that?

Aaron: You have a guide who is, when I say is a separate entity, on one level nothing is separate. We're teaching non-duality and nothing is separate. I am not separate from Barbara at that level. I have a completely separate karmic history from Barbara and separate intellect. You have several guides including one very high-level guide who are separate beings at that level from your higher self. You're experiencing mostly your higher self. Your guides' vibration is very close to that of your higher self so it may be very hard to differentiate, and it's not necessary to differentiate.

Q: You discussion of working with our higher guides and <> guides was very helpful. What can you say about working with our spirit animals in a similar vein?

Aaron: It's much the same thing. Your power animals are one form of guidance. They more often will teach you through their being than through articulation, whereas guides are more likely to, let me phrase this carefully, your power animals are a form of guidance that come to you through the deep wisdom of that particular genre of animal and its qualities, and more often teach you through their being. Whereas your guides are more often your, I don't want to use the term guides, your more angelic plane guides are more often able to articulate with you. They also teach you through their quality of being and express unconditional love. I think all of you felt that love from me last night, you felt unconditional love from me last night. Your guides offer you the same love. You don't have to come to Michigan to find it.

Q: Can we think of them as loving us unconditionally sort of like a loving pet dog? <>

Aaron: <><It's> a deeper love than the dog can offer, that loves you unconditionally until somebody shows up at the door with a steak or bone. <lost to laughter>

Q: I have had several experiences that were very comforting. It seemed like a presence came and was just pure love. Several times, this happened when I <intended> to expand the dialogue and asked if I needed to do anything to be heard better, or need to ask them to do something for me to hear them better. And nothing happened so I just let it go and figured, whatever happens happens.

Aaron: You have been answered in so many different ways.

Barbara at one time was, she could hear me clearly but she was feeling caught in a decision and had asked me what did I think and I said it's your decision. So she acknowledged that it was her decision but she didn't feel she had the grounds to support one choice or the other. So she simply said to spirit, "Can you give me some clarity, some direction?"

I want to be a bit more precise about this situation. She had mice in her pantry. They were wreaking havoc with her pantry. She had asked them to leave; she had packed things up carefully in plastic boxes, yet they were still even chewing through the plastic boxes. This happens in her pantry most every fall when they decide to seek shelter indoors.

So she asked me, "What shall I do?" And I said, "It's your decision." She was very much centered in the intention not to do any harm, yet the mice were harming her. She drove down the street, came near the corner and found her way blocked by a truck backing out of a driveway at the end of her block with a sign that said "Exterminator" on it. (laughter) So she said, "Okay, I'll have to call somebody about this rodent infestation."

So she came home and she told the mice, "I am going to call an exterminator." She called and--not an exterminator but a person who deals with these kind of rodents. She came down to the pantry and said, "He's going to be coming in 4 days. You've got 4 days to clear out of here." By Day 3 there were no more mice droppings, there were no signs of mice. She had to stand up to them and say, "This is it. You can't push me around. I don't want to harm you; you have the free will choice to leave my house. But if you stay here, there's going to be some kind of poison or something that's going to kill you. Please go outside." They left.

Q: So I can't <> my guide.

Aaron: Sometimes you get a direct answer, sometimes if you're paying attention, life will bring you the answer. Sometimes it's immediate, sometimes it comes later in the day or a week later.

Q: That happened a couple of nights ago.

Aaron: Your guides are working.

Q: I was trying to resolve an issue using the Seven Branch Prayer and things were going from bad to worse. And all of a sudden this presence came in and said, "Everything's alright." So I just took that to mean, set it on the shelf and watch what develops.

Aaron: And did the issue resolve?

Q: So far, I'm happy with it <>.

Aaron: When you align yourself with light, with positive polarity, you simply align yourself with light. You park the ego at the door. You are not running the show. You are not trying to figure out how light is going to help you resolve it. You simply trust, "I stated my need. I've done my inner work to bring as much clarity as is possible, and now I offer this to spirit." The human ego is not running the show!

Ram Dass tells a wonderful story, I think you all know who Ram Dass is. His guru is Neem Karoli Baba. He was taking a bus of people in India on a kind of tour, going from point A to point B to point C, showing them some sights. It was a bus with perhaps 20 people, not a huge bus.

The bus was going near a place where a festival had been the night before and people had heard that Neem Karoli Baba had been there, so people asked Ram Dass, "Can we detour a few miles and drive down to the festival ground?" Ram Dass said he probably wouldn't be there, that was last night and we're late. We have to be at this point for our planned supper and lodgings and so forth. People on the bus said, "No, we really want to go to the festival grounds." So Ram Dass said, "Well, okay, we'll go down there."

Part way down this road to the festival ground someone said, "Ah, I see Neem Karoli Baba out the window." Neem Karoli Baba waved to them as they were just about entering the festival ground and he said, "Where have you been, I've been expecting you! Come and follow me."

So he directed the bus; they went a few blocks to a home where a meal was prepared and beds were laid out on the floor for exactly the number of people on the bus.

You can argue with logic or you can just, as I said, park your ego at the door and know the wholesomeness, the radiance of your intention, and then trust.

We are not driving the bus, we're passengers on the bus. You do have a choice which bus to ride on. Choose the bus that's filled with light. Then don't backseat drive. Do state your intention. When you get on the bus, state your intention of your destination. But then don't try to control the route the bus will take.

I'd like to hear from a few people who have not yet spoken.

Q: Recently I got in touch with a guide that I first met on our first Intensive. As I began to get to know this guide, I found out, he told me his name was Paul, and as we talked and we interacted, it seemed like was the Biblical Paul. Does that make sense?

Aaron: Of course. Why would he not be available? We each have specific karmic associations, and our guidance and family of guides are part of that karmic history. You were alive on the earth in those days and you did know the Biblical Paul. So why not?

Q: I have been working a lot with my guides and I just wanted to offer one suggestion for people who are still working on method. Which is, it was important for me not to listen with my human ears, but Aaron did a beautiful job of describing what I do, which is to set my highest intention, ask for only guidance <that is> aligned with that, and write my question and wait.

What I wanted to share is after doing this <inaudible>, that what I do is I go into a meditative state and listen to the energy. So I just allow the energy to <inaudible> and that is what <inaudible>. It's not a listening with the <><><>. So the energy comes up and it might be a loving energy, <><><> "All is well," <><>. And it's just practice <><><> Let it come, I do my best to try and <><>. And afterward I read it and I go, does that resonate? So I figure I'm training and maybe in time I will get better. But I offer that because I know when I first tried to listen to guides I was trying to listen to words. <><> And as I've done that since the first Intensive, it's gotten more accurate, my connection has gotten stronger, and I know, because there's vocabulary that I don't use that I've <><>. <>

Aaron: That's very helpful, thank you.

Q: Just one little experience I had. I've had this guide for quite a long time that I always invite. <inaudible> energy signature felt really supportive, just is <intermittently audible, it is about working with Lemurian crystals with her chakras and feeling a connection to a Lemurian energy). Similarly I've had better connections in higher energy places like the <Casa>, so I guess what I'm trying to say is, I think our practice is one thing, but as we have more experiences or the <> is right, <><> or energy and maybe sometimes we're just not ready <><>.

Aaron: I don't think it's lack of readiness for a personal guide but that, let me phrase it differently. There is a lack of readiness for some because there is fear. If a guide comes in and begins to offer certain suggestions, am I ready to follow those suggestions or is my ego going to say, "No, I don't want to do that, I want to do this"? So at some level there's an intuitive knowing that one is not fully open to the guidance but putting certain conditions on it. "I accept guidance if it's of this or that nature." And one needs to work with that part of the ego and with the fear.

But all of you in this room really are, your guides are present, most of you have at least an energetic contact with them, and you are all ready to hear them. And if you disagree, that's okay. Barbara disagrees with me at times. She simply says, "I understand what you're saying, Aaron, but I don't see it that way." We have a peaceful disagreement. We let it go. Sometimes she's right and sometimes I am!

I would like you to use the group discussion site to continue this kind of discussion. I think it's very helpful to all of you to keep this kind of discussion going.

Your guides will help you with spiritual things. If you ask, the same or perhaps a different guide will come in and help you to deepen and develop your meditation practice. Remember that the guides have specialties so if you are seeking to deepen your vipassana practice and are feeling stuck in some way with it, ask for specific guidance toward that end.

I want to respect the lunchtime that Barbara established with D. I know there are more questions. We'll stop here. Let me release the body to Barbara and let us end with one final chant.

My blessings and love to all of you. I'm thinking of the possibility at the next Intensive, if it does not crowd it too much, to do one day of channeling practice together. Each of you working with your own guides with instruction, and breaking into 2s or 3s to actually practice verbally bringing this information forth, becoming more certain and clear with it, with the support of others. So we will see how that fits in.

Thank you all. I love you all and remember as you look to your guides, I am always available to you also. Thank you.

(pause for Barbara to return to the body)

Barbara: Thank you... On the chant sheet, Fly Away Home...


Let the intentions that we held here come to fruition in the coming months, leading us to an ever more open heart, to deeper wisdom, and to service in the world.


We consecrate our work here to the highest good of all beings, to liberation for all beings, and to Light and Love.


From Aaron, may the blessings of the dhamma be with you and bring you peace.


(session ends)