March 15, 2000

Aaron: I am Aaron. Good evening and my love to you all. If the storm outside drowns out this instrument's voice, please let her know.

(Long pause.) (Thunder)

We are deciding how best to proceed. Excuse our silence for another moment.


On her recent vacation in Sedona, this instrument was aware of the very powerful energy she felt from the earth. She and her husband climbed high up on a rock, I believe it was called Cathedral Rock, climbing perhaps an hour to a vista point and plateau just below the vertical spires.

There they sat to meditate and enjoy the view and the sunset. This instrument felt the energy, not just earth energy but the presence of various spirit entities. She challenged these energies and felt them to be a positive energy. They clearly wanted to speak.

The first voice that came through called itself "the voice of the rocks," the energy of the earth. It was a positively polarized energy but young. I would say that it expressed an inordinate amount of fear. It talked about its concern for the misuse of the Earth. It stated its belief that humans on their present course would destroy both themselves and the Earth.

For about ten minutes this instrument listened, channeled it aloud for Hal, raised questions back to this energy, and finally felt pushed by its fear and indicated to it that she would now stop channeling it. The energy asked, "Please share my message," and she said, "OK, I will do that. But I do not agree with your message."

So she has in this way fulfilled her obligation and shared this message while acknowledging that neither she nor I agree with this message. She felt other energy around her and asked if there was any higher, clearer energy that wished to speak. At this point a very old energy came through. It first introduced itself as simply being from the time before time. In later days it gave her the name "Alileh." Apparently Alileh has talked to others in the area because this instrument met one man who seemed very clear, talked to him for a few minutes and mentioned this incident. When she told him the name Alileh he said, "Yes, yes, we're familiar with Alileh." I don't know what message Alileh has shared with others. What I present here is simply what Alileh told this instrument. Alileh is androgynous and I do not call it he or she. It will forgive my expression as "it."

It began by speaking of Earth history. At first this instrument was not channeling it vocally, simply listening, and then part way through moved into channeling, moved to share it with Hal. Alileh spoke to this instrument on four different occasions. What I present here is a synopsis of all that was said.

In this time before time, the Earth was new and quite different than it is now. It was not at that time quite a stable plane of existence, not one on which second and third density organisms could exist. There came to this planet non-material beings who were capable of moving into a material form, similar to but not quite shape-changers. They were fifth density beings. One might think that fifth density would be highly evolved. Sometimes steps are left out along the way.

We've talked often here of this spark of God that you are and how you as human somewhere along your path have come into a sense of self-awareness. In that moment of self-awareness, there was the beginning of the delusion that you were separate from God, however you want to name that-Eternal, Unconditioned, All That Is. Since that first moment of experience of self and of self-awareness, you have been on a path to return to that undifferentiated awareness, but you do not rest in undifferentiated awareness completely apart from self-awareness. You understand, all of you, that your path is to balance these two levels of awareness, the relative and ultimate reality, to know that neither you nor anything else has ever been separate, and yet to understand what seems to be a separate expression. You understand how each expression that arises is simply an expression of the Unconditioned and yet each is unique.

These early Earth dwellers had moved through the lower densities in a non-material form, experienced the fourth density group energy. Now in fifth density they experienced themselves more as the fingers experience themselves upon the hand. One would presume they called each other by different names and perhaps did not look alike, had different preferences and so on. But they experienced no sense of individuation or separation. One might think of this as a very heavenly experience. But they had no catalyst. In a sense they were very naive. They understood that there was negative polarity in the universe. They never processed the direct experience of negative polarity. For these beings, there was no fear, no negative emotion. There was no catalyst to arouse the shadow side of themselves, and so they could not acknowledge, make space for, and find compassion for the shadow side of themselves and integrate it into their wholeness.

They lived in numerous places in the Earth but a very large collection of them were in this area of Sedona. This instrument questioned that the geological history she read put that area of the world under the sea in those times. Well, it doesn't really matter whether they lived above the sea or in the sea, whether there was a sea or no sea. It's the same land mass, covered by water or not. Erupted, sunk down, changed, but it's the same land mass. They built homes of crystal. They had the ability to work with the elements, to work with mineral, to hold an image in their mind and simply allow it almost instantly to express itself. So they created rather elaborate crystal homes for themselves, crystal buildings and cities.

They lived in, I suppose you could say the kind of harmony of an ant hill. Each knew its work, each cooperated fully and harmoniously for the whole, for the good of the whole. One could say they were happy, that they had a certain degree of compassion and wisdom, which are the fourth and fifth density learnings. But they were very young and very naive.

At this early time of the Earth, there was no positive polarity force field around the Earth, nor was there a non-intervention policy. What happened was simply-you've heard me say this before, Earth was and is a prime piece of real estate. Very highly negatively polarized beings came and said, "We want this space." Using a power that makes your nuclear power seem like a match, in just a few moments they totally demolished all of these crystal dwellings and those who dwelt therein. There was just enough time for these beings to understand that this was happening. And then they were obliterated.

Alileh did not talk about what happened to this negatively polarized energy, but they did land here at that point. Since Alileh did not talk about it and I have not looked in the Akashic records to find out, I will not do that now. I don't think it's necessary to our story.

Seeing what had happened, how negative polarity had so totally taken over what was intended to become the Earth plane, this was the catalyst that lead these guardian angels of Earth which Ariel has spoken to you about and I have also, led them to offer their energy to make Earth into a positively polarized area. Since free will must be respected, they could not ask this negatively polarized energy to leave. They could only heighten the positive energy which they offered into the Earth, and especially heighten the positive energy in those places where negative polarity now dwelt, one place of which was this area now called Sedona.

They acted with love, and without fear. They simply did what was within their own nature, not protecting earth so much as saying no to negativity, but with kindness.

The intergalactic counsel at this time also made the decision to create a positively polarized force-field around the Earth. This does not violate free will. Beings may move through it if they wish. But negative polarity will usually not choose to move through it because it's too uncomfortable for negative polarity.

At this point, the Earth began to evolve from within instead of without. That is, first density further expressed itself and then second density expressed itself and then third density. As beings matured out of first into second and were ready, they evolved into third density, with increasing self-awareness.

This was a necessary movement if the anticipated potential of the Earth was to be realized, that is, as a planet in which wisdom and compassion can develop along with the third density skills of faith and love. The heart of this matter is that these ancient ancestors on Earth did not begin to understand compassion because they had no awareness of the shadow in themselves or in the world, no direct experience of it. This veil of forgetting, which draws you into the delusion of a separate self, is a necessary ingredient. You cannot understand unity and non-separation, non-duality, in any real sense until you come to it through the illusion of separation. Until then, it's just a concept. You cannot integrate the negative and positive in the self and begin to see that they are not separate. You cannot begin to find compassion for yourselves and others caught in an expression of negativity until you understand that they are non-dual.

So one very vital part of Alileh's teaching was simply to bring out this part of Earth's history, the great beauty of the situation in which you find yourselves in which there is difficulty, pain, fear, confusion. This is not a burden of Earth experience but a gift, a gift of which your ancient ancestors were deprived and thus could not evolve beyond the place in which they were stuck.

Alileh went on to talk about the expressions of negativity on the Earth, including environmental carelessness to the Earth. It agreed with me in our disagreement with this younger spirit who had channeled through first. It said, "Humans may destroy themselves but you will not destroy the Earth."

But it expressed real sadness that so many humans are slow to learn how they are harming the Earth. Again, as with its younger sibling, let us call it, it asked that we share this message of its deep concern, that you are misusing so many resources and creating such destruction on the Earth which is your home. Because of its age and its awareness of the phases Earth has been through, it experienced deep sadness at the harm that is now being done to the Earth.

There is one other point that was made that may be of interest to you. In the mornings this instrument meditated high up on a large rock, about half way up a 1000 foot structure, looking out over the valley. She could see the road going by far below, see cars on the road as the morning progressed. She was doing dzogchen practice with her eyes open and at first, not just the bits of color and movement of the cars but the energy of the cars disturbed her. She felt especially disturbed in the light of the messages she had heard. All these cars were cutting through this beautiful country, polluting the air.

I pointed out to her that this experience of self-awareness must start in first density. The first density and second density beings are usually not self-aware, only the highest second density beings. No first density beings. And yet, the process must start somewhere, otherwise you would be where these ancient ancestors were, seeing yourself simply as fingers of the hand, not experiencing the catalyst, which is the gift of the Earth plane and teaches you. I asked her, what is the physical make-up of these vehicles.

"Steel," she said.

"And mineral?" I asked.


"And fueled by what?"

"Gasoline. Mineral." First density.

Think of the iron ore in the earth, gasoline, minerals in the earth. It is undifferentiated. These molecules of mineral and gas do not know themselves as anything separate from their brother/sister molecules. When you bring them together into some kind of artifact, they begin the first stages of individuation. Certainly a car is not self-aware. It is the first step in coming into an intactness of being, separating these molecules out from other molecules and creating some kind of specific structure. It is this lesson in first density which allows second density energy to begin to move into the simpler plant forms and then into animal forms, which eventually become self-aware. Those of you who have evolved fully through the Earth plane, you would not be self-aware as you are today if you had not been able to evolve in this way, into some kind of individuation through first and then second density. Certainly most first density energy does not move into individuation. This is the end of first density.

So I asked her to regard these cars with a different view, to see them as mobile first density energy forms, moving into the first expressions of their individuation and making the whole process of deepening individuation and self-awareness possible on the Earth plane. I asked her to think of them as infant brothers and sisters, to thank them for their willingness to come into form, to make space for them in her heart.

This does not mean you allow unbridled pollution from such vehicles. This is part of your work as third density caretakers of the Earth, to set proper limits so the Earth is not misused. But do not think of anything, including an automobile or any type of vehicle, as other-than, it's just an expression of first density moving into individuation. And its process is what has made your process possible.

This instrument had a number of other private conversations with Alileh. It is a very loving, old sixth density energy, one I have know for a long time although never quite so intimately.

Perhaps its deepest plea, which remains in my mind and heart, is that you all regard yourselves as bridges. Where your forebears were, but naively and ignorantly, you must return to this place of knowing your non-duality with all that is and be willing to be responsible for that non-duality, but not with a blindness which shuts off the shadow side of being, but with full awareness of the negativity in the universe, that that negativity is non-dual with positivity. Each being that comes to this understanding and is successful at this integration serves as a bridge.

When negativity cannot pass itself off as something other-than, and therefore something more powerful than, all its teeth are pulled. It has no more power. It's like a snarly dog literally without its teeth. He can snarl all he wants to but he can't bite.

You are the healers of the Earth. You are the only ones who can keep Earth on this track as a positively polarized planet. You can never do this by denying the negativity in yourself or in the world. You can never do this by hating the negativity in yourself or in the world. To quote the Buddha, "Only love dissolves hatred. Hatred never dissolves hatred. This is the truth, ancient and immutable."

I would be happy to speak to your questions. I will pause now. That is all.

Barbara: Aaron says that Alileh talked for four or five hours and could not possibly have given it all to you. Alileh and I talked for four or five hours total and could not possibly have shared it all. He would be happy to answer questions and fill in more. He tried to select the most important.

Aaron is asking, first, is there any further discussion of what he talked about, any questions about it, anything that you'd like to know before we go on to other areas?

C: As he ended, Aaron was saying we are being asked to be bridges to return to a level of fourth density awareness while keeping our positivity and negativity, our light and our shadow, present and whole. It raises for me the question of the forces of deep negativity, of terrible negativity. There are those kinds of deep negativity in the universe. What Aaron said was, if we accept that as non-separate, that takes the teeth out of that force. Clearly we have to work with smaller kinds of negativity at first. But when we are faced with the levels of negativity present in our culture now, just that, I would love to hear Aaron talk in this context about being bridges and working with the violence in our schools, the fear in the religious right; every time I turn on the radio I hear fear and negativity speaking. It's very powerful. I would love to hear Aaron talk about how we move today, us, in that way of bridging.

Not just in general but in the world. One concern I have is that Deep Spring is not acting in the outer world other than teaching meditation. Perhaps that's all we are needing to do now, but it feels like there are a lot of ways in which I am being pulled to work. So I'm asking about practical applications.

Barbara: Let me say something here before Aaron answers. This is something that has come up before in discussion, of whether Deep Spring might be more active in the world, whether if people choose to work together, that comes from a personal place or as representative of Deep Spring. There's been some discomfort expressed among some people about people taking action in the name of Deep Spring, even if it's very loving action in the world. If it represents an organization, all of whom may not fully agree with that action, this is hard. Thus far the sense has been, if people wanted to find a way to connect with each other and do something out in the world as individuals, Deep Spring would be a place where they could connect with like-minded others to do it, but that Deep Spring would not sponsor it.

C: I have no problem with that.

Barbara: But I think it would be wonderful, and this is part of what I envision happening more if we were all under one roof, is that there can be more sharing, a bulletin board in a place where people see it regularly, with sharing of people who want to participate in this or that kind of a social service or social action in the world and be more out in the world, so people can find each other better.

C: Coming back to the sense of real powerful negativity, pervasive in our culture. (R says, "And in us.")

Aaron: I am Aaron. There is extremely powerful negativity in the world, in the universe. You are not little children who need to be protected from this reality. You are not yet strong enough to deal with major negativity without support, nor are you in situations where you would need to do so. But you are all evolved enough to know that what each of you does personally has an effect that reverberates through the entire universe.

Each time that any being says no to negativity, but with kindness and not with hatred, it strengthens the power of positive polarity in the universe. It is not like moving one grain of sand and then another grain of sand, there is a geometric progression to it. Each act of kindness, of goodness, of love, multiplies itself many, many times. One act of kindness cuts through a tremendous amount of negativity.

When Alileh was first telling its story, this instrument asked, "What kind of negativity came? Is it still here? Where is it? What is it like?"

With guidance she entered into the experience of these naive positively polarized non-material beings. We (This was Aaron and another extremely powerful positively polarized being of Barbara's acquaintance.) asked her quite literally to "Hold our hands," and with our presence, to see the Akashic records. That few seconds of seeing left her with nightmares for several nights. This is immensely negative energy we are talking about, but it is not dual. It is the divine. It is a distorted expression of the divine.

You plant four rosebushes. Three of them begin to flower, they're beautiful, they're full of blooms, they're healthy; the fourth is covered with little bugs and some fungus; the flowers are blighted. It bears the risk of sharing this blight with its neighbors. If you cut the rosebush off at its root, it cannot share the blight with its neighbors but neither can it grow into a healthy plant. If you attend to that rosebush with a sense of malice, angry at the fungus, angry at the various creatures on it, attacking, you also will not invite positive flowering. If you want to get it to flower and come back into health you're going to have to spend many patient hours picking off the little insects that are on it, (and placing them elsewhere) caring for it in proper ways to cure the fungus, to heal the fungus, allowing the innately perfect rosebush to emerge from that blighted plant. It takes a lot of love and patience.

Unfortunately through much of human history, the course of action that has been taught in attendance to the blighted rose is to attack it. Even to try to fix it with a sense that it's broken is a form of attack. You've been taught to prune out those blighted branches, to pour chemicals on them. To fix them. You have not been taught to tend to it with love.

Your prison system, for example, is a farce. Your society refuses to acknowledge that you simply put prisoners in prison to get them off the streets, to punish them. It says, "We are out to rehabilitate prisoners." But so rarely is there any kindness which could create real rehabilitation. So rarely is there any opportunity for the goodness within this prisoner or that one to flourish.

You have learned through millennia to protect the self by barricading, holding the self in or holding away that which would threaten the self, by creating a separation. And then you wonder why there is violence in your society.

You have been taught through the ages to use power, to empower yourselves and thereby disempower others. You have not been taught connection and interdependence. These lessons have been offered by the masters, by those such as Jesus and the Buddha. Some few beings have heard these lessons, learned them, and attempted to pass them on. But just as often these teachings of love have been distorted, and thus you have the Inquisition. Thus you have, for example, a Buddhist monastery in Thailand with a sign that says, "No anger permitted here." Distortions of these teachings of love abound.

Of course, this is the working of fear. When I say that you are a bridge, I mean that in a very specific way although there are many different ways in which you are bridges. You who have deepening awareness have also the responsibility to bring love where there has previously been fear and hatred; to bring kindness where there has been lack of it; to bring light where there has been darkness. You cannot develop that ability theoretically. You must start with your own lives.

C, you asked this question and if I may use a personal example out of your life, that incident with the mistaken identity of the automobile. You saw how your first reaction was that somebody was breaking into your car, was stealing something from it. The woman there, her first reaction was fear when you approached her, to hit at you, to push you. You also saw in a deeply personal way how you could find forgiveness for that specific incident, and as fruit of that forgiveness, forgiveness for so many other incidents in this and past lives where there was reactivity based on fear and a sense of separation. In all your response to this situation, you were a bridge, teaching love.

The more that each of you are alert and awake in your life, present to the arising of fear with strong intention to work with that fear with all the skillful tools you have amassed, not to be reactive, to hold tight to the precept, "Do no harm. Do only good," and also aware that sometimes you don't really know what harm and good are, so you can only be guided by this awareness of kindness and spaciousness within the self, as opposed to fear-based contraction; this is all you can do for the most part. When your energy field is contracted, to know it's contracted. To make the firm resolve not to enact that contraction in the world but simply to know it as the contracted state, to know it as a harbinger of fear, to come back and offer metta where there is fear, this is where the healing begins. I fully agree you cannot wait until each of you has mastered these skills, to attend to the depth of fear-based negativity in your society. Where do you begin?

I think social action is essential. One form of social action is going out and teaching meditation, teaching people to build up the skills they need to work more carefully in the world, not to enact fear. Beyond that, each of you must find the place that touches your own heart. But your actions in the world must be based on a strong foundation where you do not move into an oppositional stance against others, which simply invites more negativity. Only when there is non-attachment to view and an openness to hearing others, to hearing their pain, to hearing their confusion without judgment, without reacting to any feeling of threat from them, only then can you begin the work of healing in the world. There are so many "do-gooders" who go out into the world with a strong attachment to their own rightness, and they simply create more opposition, more polarity. This does not mean that you must not say no to negativity, but that no must come out of the depths of your practice.

There is one more thing I would add. Sometimes you act in the world and feel that you are getting nowhere. Perhaps those whose viewpoints are different from yours really seem not to be able to hear you, so lost are they in their own fear. This does not mean that nothing has been gained or learned. It may be that your kindness, your willingness to bear witness to those beings' fear without judgment and with spaciousness and kindness, your willingness to take the risk on yourself to say no when it's appropriate, even at the risk of harm to yourself, this may seem to land on, if this instrument will excuse me, deaf ears. And yet, you never know when the memory of your action and speech will come back and touch this person at a moment of openness ten or twenty years down the road.

You are planting the seeds. Any good gardener must fertilize the soil and bring in adequate water and sunshine, must plant healthy, strong seeds. Then you must step back, you can't make the seeds grow. You tend to the seeds in whatever ways are appropriate and wait until the season is ripe for the seeds to sprout. Here is where faith comes in. It takes a lot of faith to act in ways which are consistent to your own highest values; to say no constantly with kindness; to acknowledge when beings cannot hear that no and you are overpowered and they go ahead on with their own negativity. If you wish you can literally block that negativity with a, let us say a non-violent resistance, but it must come from a place of satyagraha, of soul-force. There must be willingness to suffer their negativity and already to have forgiven them, not to expect anything from them.

You don't have to do this. Some of you may not be ready to go that far, to take that risk, and that's fine. You go as far as you're able to go. But whatever you do, you do it with kindness and with patience. There must never be force on the seed to sprout. As I said, it takes great faith, but it works.

So many of you are vigorous in your meditation practice. You are very observant of the outer forms of the precepts. You would never think of taking that which doesn't belong to you. You would never think of consciously harming another being. You would not use slanderous or untrue speech. But under the surface there is a constant movement of judging of the self, getting caught in the judgments, judging others and getting lost in those judgments. It is far more vital to attend to these subtle movements of your relationship with negativity within you, holding to the precepts, of course. Hold them up as a model of your intention for action in the world. But karma is created from the tiny moments, the tiny impulses.

You've heard me say a thousand times that as long as you are human, certain kinds of negative sensations and thoughts and emotions will arise. That you are not incarnate to stop these from arising so much as to change your relationship to them so they do not create further adhering karma.

If you watch the impulses of fear that lead to greed and get to know these so well, and find patience and spaciousness with them while at the same time saying, "No, I will not enact this," then a precept such as taking what is not freely given will flow naturally. But if you start with the precept, saying, "I will keep this precept no matter what," and then greed arises and you have not learned how to relate kindly to greed, then to keep the precept becomes a matter of force, and you've slipped off into a negative stream.

The work then is one of kindness to whatever arises in your experience, and faith that as you do this work repetitively within the self and with others, what you have planted will flourish when the time is right for it to flourish.

I will be glad to answer further questions. I pause.

Barbara: Aaron is saying here, an additional thought, to simply participate with and play with little children is perhaps the most valuable way of teaching them. Just to get down on the floor with little children, do whatever they're doing, and model kindness in that action. When one of them is angry to simply note, "I see you're feeling angry." Be loving with all the different kinds of energy that are there and model this kindness. But to do it not in a "now let me teach you" way, but just, "being with it out of your own life and practice," he says, whether it's little children or teenagers or adults. This is perhaps the greatest social service you can do. He says, one could go into a prison and teach meditation but one could also go into a prison and just find a couple of mothers who are in prison and don't have visitors, and go in and visit them on a regular basis.

C: There is a prison visitation program run through ASC Ann Arbor.

Barbara: He says in all these little ways, just bring kindness into daily life, that this is the greatest social service one can do, planting the seeds and giving them time and space to grow. He says, keep them watered, which means keeping faith. And just keep doing it, not asking for results. Just keeping doing it. He says when enough people are ready to do that, there will be changes.

R: Mother Theresa said that the reason she got into the work that she did was because she knew there was a Hitler in her and she wanted to vanquish it.

Barbara: Aaron says, but one must overcome it with kindness. It's not overcoming it so much as embracing it and making sure it knows it's not running the show.

K: It seems like I can understand what is being said when we talk about our daily interactions with violence, but lately I have been considering the level of negativity in so many Buddhist countries with war, very ugly civil war. And having a difficult time coming to a place of being okay with absolute non-violence. As I understand it even in Tibet there is an army. Can Aaron speak to that level?

Aaron: I am Aaron. First, there is nothing worse you can do to your enemies than they are doing to themselves. Let us use the word "opponents," not enemies, for those who would harm you or violently oppose you. I know you're not speaking here of revenge, K, but those who are seeking revenge, what greater revenge could one find than the fact that these beings are creating a deep karmic hole for themselves? When we move past seeking revenge and into a place that simply feels it must say no to negativity, one must explore the intentions.

One level of intention may be to express non-violence, to express kindness, to express compassion. And it is compassionate to beings not to let them harm themselves and others. But one must also be ready to step aside and allow a being to do what it is bent on doing if it cannot hear you.

This is very subtle. I would ask this instrument to speak out of her own experience. I think it will illuminate this. I pause.

Barbara: I was talking about this M earlier tonight. Back in the sixties I was involved with some freedom rides. I was on a bus that was forced off the road and tipped partially over on its side. There was some violence; some people were hurt.

So my intention with this was to say no to segregation, to say no to the devaluing of humans because of race or for any reason, and to do it non-violently. And yet I ended up in a situation where people were hurt. I didn't understand much about karma then but I knew somehow I was responsible and I needed to understand what I was responsible for. Years later, when I had more access into dharma and into understanding karma, I began to, I asked Aaron once, what did I do wrong? He said, my misunderstanding was not that I was asking people to listen and consider, but that I was asking them to accept my viewpoint, even if they were not ready to do so; thus, I was judging them. I was holding on to my viewpoint as right and their viewpoint as wrong and furthermore I was saying, "You should be where I am. You should see this." And so of course I couldn't see where they were. Because of that, I was really violating them. So what I was doing was not non-violent. It went under the cover of non-violence but it was really a violence to them to ask them to be someplace that they weren't.

I started to see that what I needed to be able to do was to be on a Freedom Ride like that, to present my truth with the assumption that they might not be able to hear it, to just lovingly keep presenting it. To be lovingly able to endure their anger at being shown a truth they weren't ready to embrace. And to forgive them, to open my heart to the whole situation, and just to have the courage to keep offering that truth, holding the door open, not pushing anybody to accept. Only at that point do we have true non-violence. To get to the point of being able to do that is tough because we're all caught in our own agendas. This is where meditation practice comes in. When you're at a point where you can approach something like this clearly and watch contraction coming up, and just note from that contraction, "Here, there's grasping. Here there's somebody trying to make something happen as opposed to just planting the seed and letting it sit there until it's ready to sprout," as Aaron just put it.

So Aaron, is there anything else you want me to share? He says that is sufficient.

K: I still have questions about when people are forced into military situations. What is behind this is that my village in Sri Lanka, the place I actually lived, was blown up by a terrorist bomb about two weeks ago. That has caused me to really look at many things. And I am trying to understand how my villagers can respond when they are drafted into service after such a painful event and how to embrace their practice at the same time.

Aaron: I am Aaron. The world does not seem to be a fair place. The difficulty is that you cannot see the karmic streams in each of you. Why this man and not another man? It's not a punishment, it's simply the balancing of a karmic stream.

There's an old Zen story. A calf was stolen. Those searching for the culprit came across a monk with some kind of fabric or skin and a big vat. He was dyeing it there. They said, "Ah, we've got the culprit." They didn't even pull it out to see what it was, exactly. They found some bits of bone and other things around his encampment. They took him off and put him in a deep hole in the ground where he was forced to live for several years, the bare minimum of food and water being lowered down to him. He did not protest his innocence. Several years later, a man who was dying confessed, "I stole that calf. The monk in the hole is innocent." So they came back to the monk, lowered a ladder to him so he could climb out. They apologized to him. As the story goes, it was a monk who was said to have great power and the king of the realm was aghast that they had held this innocent monk in this hole for all these years. He was afraid the monk would seek some kind of retribution through his powers. So they wanted to appease the monk. "What can we give you by way of retribution for what we've done to you?" And the monk said, "No, it's okay. I did not steal this calf but I see that in a past life I did steal such a calf and I got away and an innocent man was punished. So now the karma is balanced."

It does all balance. It's important to understand this is not punishment. This is a form of teaching. In his years in this hole, this monk was able to forgive this past being that he was, was able to forgive the true thief in this lifetime and forgive his captors. He was able to resolve the whole issue so that there was no longer karmic energy around it which could entrap him. This gets into the whole question of how karma works. It's a very subtle, deep and detailed issue. But basically karma adheres to the energy stream. When the energy stream is distorted, it creates a kind of stickiness to which the karma attaches. It attaches to the illusion of self, of separate self. It attaches to the contractions of fear, greed and anger. When there is a spaciousness and an awareness of one's true nature, of the ultimate level of being, and also an awareness of the individuation, the individuated expression of being, but not identification with that, only compassion for the human dilemma, then there's nothing to which karma can adhere.

So we have these friends who were blown up. I don't want to just say, "Well, this was their karma." That's a very insufficient answer. But ultimately it does come down to that. Perhaps in that moment of death one experienced some degree of real clarity and kindness, some ability to offer forgiveness for all of this, and perhaps that will lead him into a rebirth free of the karma that trapped him in this lifetime. Remember, your work is not to survive life; no one can do that. Your work is to live with increasing clarity and love. Especially in the face of the violence done to them, can there be compassion and forgiveness, not a perpetuation of hatred and blame?

You asked another question, K. When beings are forced into violent situations, they have an alternative. They can say no. Throughout time, beings have done this. Many of them have been put to death for their stance. They have been willing to accept that violence against them rather than use their energy to commit violence on another. But this stance must come from a place of clarity which already forgives the ones who are putting them to death or imprisoning them, which is not taking some agenda to change things. Beings will be where they are. They will need to grow

Each time that a being can take this stance without grasping at making anything happen, simply planting the seed, being willing to tend the seed lovingly but not forcing it, it is a very powerful force for change in the world, a very powerful statement of the force of love. Certainly beings will be killed. We look at someone like Gandhi who did this work, eventually yes, he was shot. But the British soldiers did not shoot him. He is a wonderful model for this. He was willing to risk his life to say no. He did have a dream but he did not have an agenda which refused to hear others' views and that's why he was successful. I pause.

I am sorry to hear of the pain in your village. I know your love and prayers will support them.

L: It comes to mind that a good text on this topic is the Bhagavad-Gita, where Krishna and Arjuna are having this dialogue about Arjuna's reluctance to lead an army into battle. The conversation eventually leads to Arjuna finding enlightenment around this very issue …

K: There was a way to find enlightenment through an expression of violence …

L: Yes, it talks about karma and violence. He found enlightenment in this conversation.

Barbara: Aaron is saying that is one of the places where we do find enlightenment because, I'm paraphrasing him, he says in not grasping at one's agenda, in watching the grasping energy, the fear energy that comes up, and refusing to get caught in a relationship with it, one is shifted into this pure awareness mind which is the enlightened mind, and opens to the enlightened mind.

Any other questions?

Q: What about those who … I think of the beauty of Sedona. What is it in us that wishes to develop houses, business, in such a wondrous place? I personally always have much grief when I now visit the desert.

Barbara: I was feeling that grief too, seeing, I don't know when you were last there but there are many new housing developments under construction. They're coming close to some of these red rocks. They're destroying it. I could feel the fear, "Me. I want that." And I could see it working in me. I saw myself driving around seeing an occasional home site that was perched right back against the red rocks and thinking, "Oooo! That would be a good place to live! I want that." It's that greed and selfishness and how we've got to address that in a kind way, but understand that this is part of taking what doesn't belong to us. And even if somebody else is going to buy it, that's not a justification. The only way I can say no to it is not to buy it myself. Other people are still going to buy it and it's going to be spoiled. That's the way it is.

Q: I want to stop that!

Barbara: Well, that's one of the things one can do. One can go into a place like that and say no. People who sit with their arms around trees are saying, "No, you can't cut them down." We fought for years not to have this wetland behind the house destroyed. Not just because it backed up against our back yard but because it was a beautiful wetland and such a special place in Ann Arbor. The f fact that it didn't happen doesn't invalidate the fact that we worked to do it. And perhaps it at least convinced some people to more deeply value wetlands. Now there's a wetland bill and it couldn't have been built on. One year after the construction started, it couldn't have been built on. Before there were any houses, but they had leveled the land. The point is getting through. Aaron says, one loses the battles but one wins the war.

R: I was in my own life struggling with anger that seemed to justify whether it's somebody mistreating me personally or, usually it's somebody I saw as mistreating me or neglecting me or abandoning me. And of course, I think these energies get put into your body and sometimes it's hard to even identify them, those energies. I'm getting to more and more identify them, through meditation and through self-reflection. And I guess my problem is, I can't really get rid of it. I can discipline it. I wonder, sometimes I can get rid of it but mostly I discipline it and I work with it. And I wonder what Aaron would say about these energies, I think I'm not the only one who has them. Actually sometimes they get caught in the tissues of the body and are very deep and come from very early, early times. According to Graf it comes even before birth and the whole birth process. What to do with those angry energies.

Aaron: I am Aaron. We're back to the image of the burr that catches on your pant leg as you walk through the meadow. It's not a good or bad burr, it's just a burr, but it has sharp spikes and it gets caught. If it pushes through the pants, it will scratch your leg. It's uncomfortable. The impulse is to say, "I need to get rid of this burr" and to grab it and try to pull it off. Then it just gets caught on your glove. It embeds itself deeper and deeper. If you try to pull it off one hand with the other hand, it's on both gloves.

If you leave that burr alone, note, "Burr. Sharp, prickly, unpleasant," and just let it be, it will fall apart. The more you feed energy into it, the more you strengthen it. Anger is like this. When certain conditions are present, anger will arise. You cannot work with the result, which is the anger, you can only work with the conditions. Let the anger be. Trying to get rid of the anger is just more aversion, more anger. Note that the conditions include the delusion of separation. Fear. The desire to be safe, to be loved. These are some of the conditions out of which that anger may have arisen. Tend to those conditions. Tend to delusion of separate self through the wisdom arisen from your meditation practice. Tend to fear with metta and also to the desire to be loved, valued and safe.

As you bring kind presence and awareness to the conditions, then the thorn of anger, the burr of anger, has nothing left to sustain it and it will dissolve. This is the only way to work with it.

In the book "Path of Natural Light," and also in "Awakened Heart," I offer certain exercises for working in a skillful way with these unwholesome mind states that have arisen. These are not ways to get rid of the mind states so much as to bring awareness to the conditions which have supported them. You cannot chase the results; you must attend to the conditions. Does this answer your question? I pause.

R: I've been doing many things with it that have worked with me. But I still get angry.

Barbara: Anybody in the room who doesn't get angry? (Pause) Start to learn that it's okay that you get angry but you're not going to enact that anger in the world. And you're going to learn about the conditions that have supported the anger, to bring more kindness in. That's the best you can do. Once you get to that point where you're relating differently with the anger, there's nothing to support it any more and karmically it loses all its power and fizzles out. This is the nature of habitual tendencies. There's no self that experiences anger, there's just anger as a result of conditions. Not me, not mine. It has nature to arise, it has the nature to cease. I won't enact it in the world.

We're about out of time. Let's spend a few minutes with a short meditation …

Aaron: I am Aaron. Bring your attention to your breath, breathing in, breathing out. Allow the body to be relaxed, centered, comfortable. Bring to mind some contracted energy state of the past few days, some moment when you felt anger or desire, fear or even physical pain and aversion to that pain. I would ask you to literally hold out your hands, cup them, and receive that moment of contraction into your hands. Feel the experience of holding it there, not trying to throw it away or change it. Present in a kind way as witness to it. Give it the simple label of contraction. Or if it feels more useful to be more precise, label it fear or anger or whatever may have been, sadness, shame, grief.

Just hold it as you might hold some unknown flower or other object, a small seed or cone that you had picked up off the ground, allowing it to reveal itself. Breathing in, breathing out. (Pause) Label it again; here is contraction or grief, greed or anger. (Pause)

In a very symbolic movement, slowly bring these cupped hands with the object up to the heart. Feel this object in the heart, make space for it. Breathing in, I am aware of this contraction, shame, anger. Breathing out I smile to it. (Pause) Let it float in the boundless heart. (Pause) Note that, that which is aware of this contracted state is not the contracted state itself. There are two things happening here. There is this object, the contraction, and there is that which receives and make space in the boundless heart for that contraction. You have a choice with which you identify: the object or the spacious mind-mind which can greet the object with kindness. (Pause)

It's almost like finding a wounded small bird and picking it up, feeling it flutter in pain and fear in your hands. Holding that contracted bird gently, kindly. Bringing it very softly up against the body, up against the heart, to feel the heart's warmth and love. (Pause) Feel the bird relax, (Pause) feel its struggles cease. (Pause) Feel it allowing healing into its body.

You can each make the choice to relate to your difficult body and mind states in this way. It is a very powerful practice.

I thank you all for sharing yourselves tonight. I love you and wish you a good week. That is all.

(Taping ends.)

Copyright © 2000 by Barbara Brodsky