October 27, 2010 Wednesday Night, Halloween Stories

Keywords: fear, Halloween stories, consciousness, habit energy, Seven Branch Prayer, healing, John of God/Casa

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. You fill the room with your light. Thank you.

I'm smiling as I take this jacket off. Once at a retreat on the beach, Barbara had a beach dress on. It was very hot. I asked the students, is the dharma teacher in your culture permitted to teach in a bathing suit? So we shucked the beach dress. I trust there is no problem to remove jacket.

For many years on the week before Halloween I have told a Halloween story, usually at the end of the session. But this year I want to do it in reverse and tell the story first as a basis for my further words. So first you get the tale and then you get the teaching, rather than the other way around.

A long time ago, the being that I was lived in a tropical kind of country where there were many gems to be found in the mines. I had been raised in the country. There were caves near where I lived and I had explored them deeply. I knew that people were looking for diamond mines. For me, I was just done for enjoyment of exploring caves.

But one day as I explored I found something brilliant shining out. I didn't even know what a diamond looked like but I carefully dug it out, had it looked at. Somebody said, "Oh, it's a diamond, a good diamond. A big diamond."

I took it to a city quite far from the cave, learned what it was, and returned home. I thought, should I mine some diamonds? I don't need money; my needs are met. I am a simple man. I have some animals on my farm and I grow food, and I'm content. Why bother to mine diamonds?

And then I thought, I could mine a few and I could give away the money. There are many poor children in the town, orphans and so forth, so I could donate some of the proceeds from these diamonds. I won't spend my full time on it, but now and then, once or twice a month, I'll go in and see if I can pull out a diamond or two and sell them and donate the money. So I did that for several years.

Then there was an earthquake, a disaster, and many people were killed. There was insufficient money to provide new housing, medical care and so forth, so I thought of my diamond mine. I thought, I will invite some trusted friends to come with me. We will dig out enough diamonds to contribute to build the new facilities that are needed, to take care of people not only in our village but in the big city that was near us.

I suppose I was naïve. These were friends that I thought I knew well, and I thought they were honorable men as I was, caring to others. That was what I had seen of them. But as soon as they saw these diamonds, greed came up. There were 4 of them that I invited, 5 of us in all. I said, "There's plenty here. If you want to dig some out for yourself and sell them to have more money for your own families or needs, that's fine with me." They said, "But it's your diamond mine." I said, "It doesn't matter. There's more here than I could possibly want or need."

So I offered to them freely but that wasn't enough for them. Two of the men, the two I knew least, schemed to trap me in a deep cavern. They knocked the pillars that shored up the roof, inviting a cave-in at a time when I was further down underground. And then they called out to me, "Are you okay? Are you okay?" as if they had not caused this. I could hear them but I knew what they had done, and I decided not to answer them. They didn't really want me to be okay, but they didn't know how well I knew this cave system.

It was an interesting series of caves. If you can picture a steep slope; part way down the slope was the cave entrance with caverns that went down and went up, higher up on the mountain there was an outdoor lake. The lake had an outlet that fed down into the mountain, so within the series of caves there was an underground river that ended in its own lake. It was not a big lake, maybe the size of your football field. And then that also had an outlet, went further down and flowed out.

That meant I had fresh water and it meant there was a waterfall literally coming into the lake, and a little bit of light and fresh air, not much, far above my head, a hundred feet above my head, with no way to climb up there. But there was a little bit of light coming through. Some wood had come down through the waterfall, driftwood.

They thought I was trapped but I knew this cavern like I knew "the back of my hand," as you put it. So I simply took myself out, found what I needed brought it back in. There were fish in the lake. I knew how to make a fire with wood. I had a blanket. I had some beans and grain and other foods. As I said, my life was simple. I was quite content. I would just stay there and see what would happen. I understood now that they wanted me dead, and next time they might be more direct so I just stayed and watched.

I was lonely at times but basically I enjoyed the solitude. It took a year before they finally decided, he must be dead, and their greed drove them further in. Often I would come up and stand in the darkness out of sight and listen to them, the 4 of them, arguing about the money and the distribution of the diamonds. And then there were only 3 of them; one of them somehow fell off a ledge. And then there were only 2 of them; one of them drowned in that underground river. It was clear that of the 2 left there was soon only going to be one.

Together they broke through the debris that blocked my passage. I had to think about what to do. There were many times when I could have killed them if I wished but I was not a murderer and I had no desire to become one. If they wanted to be murderers, fine, but not me. And yet it was clear to me that unless I stepped in, the town was never going to get the benefit of the diamonds, and the people that I had envisioned being served would not be served.

By that underground lake I had found a skeleton, perhaps washed in, perhaps somebody who drowned in the lake above and it came in over the waterfall dead. Clearly it had been there for many decades as it was mostly just bones.

I strung these bones together with some sinew, just to tie the bones so they would hold and dressed these remains in my clothes, allowed my clothes to appear properly decayed, so that when they broke through they would find "me", my remains.

They broke through. They descended and found a way down this central cavern to the underground lake. And there I was, hanging, appearing that I had killed myself, in my despair. They looked and said the disparaging words, "He never did have any guts."

They settled in, looking around. Where will the diamonds be down here? We know there are many rich veins of them. At a distance I stood behind a hidden rock said, (spooky voice) "You will never find them." The skeleton was still hanging there. They were alarmed. "Did you hear that?" I repeated again, "You will never find them."

They were terrified but they still believed that there were rich diamonds to be found there, and a little fear was not going to dissuade them from looking. They began to find diamonds. If they had trusted each other they would have held on to their diamonds, but each thought the other would rob him in his sleep. So each hid the diamonds that he found, and I of course went to their caches and took the diamonds. The man would come back to his cache, the diamonds would not be there, and from a distance my voice would say again, (same spooky voice) "You will never have those diamonds."

There was no one central occasion that finally convinced them to leave. Just, after a year of digging they had no diamonds as I had taken them all and the cave was clearly haunted, so they left. At this point I had all the diamonds they had dug for that year and the year before while they had presumed me dying and dead, a lot of diamonds. There was really no need to do any more mining.

I went out. I found the families of the first two men who had been killed and gave them money to sustain them. The rest was given to rebuild the town, to build an orphanage, to build a place for sick people, and so forth.

People asked me, "Did you never think of revenge?" What is there to revenge? When people act on their own grasping energy and fear, their own conditioning, they will experience the consequences, as these men did. They spent 2 years of their lives and came away with nothing except terror. What revenge could I give that would be greater than that? But I didn't think of it as revenge, only that they created the conditions and they experienced the consequences. It was very clear. Our plan had been to mine diamonds to aid those in need. Now it was done.

So there was great joy in giving in that way, seeing the town become re-established and people have the money they needed to rebuild their homes, to buy new animals, attend to medical needs, repair the water supply and so forth.

Perhaps 10 years later – at this point I was married, living with my family, again on my same simple farm. I had kept enough of the money for myself to buy the farming implements I needed and so forth but I did not need luxury, I wanted to farm. So I was living there. And one of the men came back, returned to his home town and learned that I was there.

He was filled with fury, he thought I had tricked him in some way. He came to my house armed and angry, and said, "How did you fool me? How did you manipulate me?"

I said, "I did nothing. Whatever happened was your doing, your choice."

"But you lived," he said. "Of course I lived. What would make you think that I had died?"

"But that skeleton..."

"Think about it brother. That skeleton had been decaying for many years, there was no flesh on the bones. And yet my clothes were almost new upon it. You saw what you wanted to see."

"The voice," he said, " 'You will never find the diamonds.' That voice kept repeating. Was it you?"

"Yes, it was me. And I knew you would never find the diamonds because your greed and fear would not allow you to stay there and succeed; only love could allow you to stay there. There was no love."

He literally began to cry. "Two years of my life. You toyed with me, you took it from me."

I said, "What do you want? Do you want a diamond?" And I pulled a quite sizable one out of my pocket. "Here. Take it to the city and sell it. What do you need? Do you want a second one? I can give you that, too. Or go back to the mine and help yourself. There's plenty left there. You know where it is. You were told at the start to take what you needed"

Nobody else can steal your peace, only you can steal your peace. If I had felt, "They're trying to steal from me. They're bad people. I must overcome them," I would have lost my peacefulness and my joy in life. Instead, there was only compassion for these men.

If I had been filled with hatred I might have killed him, or I might have found some way to punish him, to hurt him, which would only have harmed me. This man, when I handed him the diamond, at first he couldn't believe it. He said, "I was going to kill you. And you're giving me these diamonds."


"What if I killed you now?

"I have no control over that. You will do what you will do. The diamonds are still yours and you know where the mine is. Others know where it is, too. There's enough for everyone."

Finally I got through to him. He just fell down on his knees, weeping, crying, apologizing. "I tried to kill you. I am so sorry." Then he wanted to make me some kind of saint, and I most certainly was not a saint. I was just a humble man who loved his life and found what he needed, and that was enough.

How much do you live your life grasping at things beyond what you need? To what degree do you blame others for your situation? What choices do you make that are based in fear rather than compassion?

It is not hard to live a joyful life, a fulfilling life in service to all beings, but you have got to meet the fearful part of yourself with self-honesty, see it for what it is, and make the decision not to live from that place of fear. That's hard work because fear can be strong. But that which is aware of fear is not afraid. One can live from that awareness.

When fear arises, the fear itself is not the problem; it's just fear. It has arisen out of conditions; it's impermanent. How do you relate to the fear? Can there be kindness when there's fear? When there's anger? When there's greed? When there's confusion? How much do you "should" yourself? I should be like this; I shouldn't be like that. I should experience this; I shouldn't experience that.

If there was a thumbtack on the floor and you walked across the floor barefoot, it would pierce your foot. There would be a drop of blood. There would be pain. Would you say, "I shouldn't bleed. I shouldn't have pain?" Or would you hold the foot lovingly, pull out the tack, wash the wound, and treat the foot with kindness?

But when you step on an emotional tack, so many different opinions come up. "I shouldn't have anger. After all, I've been on a spiritual path for 11 years. Why am I still angry? I shouldn't be angry." It's just more anger.

That which is aware of anger is not angry. Your work on the spiritual path is to be half way in each place, to be able to be deeply, compassionately present with the human who is experiencing emotions: fear, greed, anger, confusion, impatience, jealousy; not to act out the emotions; to learn how to watch them and be careful that you don't enact them, but not to condemn the human in whom they have arisen. That arising simply means that certain conditions have not yet been purified. Hatred will never purify those conditions; only love will purify.

So one foot is in that relative reality, human experience, and because of the depth of your meditation practice that increasingly takes you to a place of still center, one foot is in the still center. Your work is to bring it together, to live both.

Barbara and I have been talking a lot recently together and to others (about) this based on the chapter on consciousness in her book. She has a clear, beautiful chapter on consciousness with a chart that shows the states and stages of consciousness. It's a very neat chart.

Often people do experience a high stage of consciousness simultaneous with a high state of consciousness, but not always. There will be a brief period of a high stage of consciousness but you may not be able to maintain it.

In meditation you may move into a deep experience of emptiness, of no self, the dissolution of the ego, a deep unity experience, no separation from anything. Wow! Nothing is separate!

You leave the retreat. You get in your car. You drive out the driveway and onto the highway. And a careless driver zooms pass, cutting you off, honking his horn and giving you the finger. Anger comes up. What happened to that unity experience?

Stages and states of consciousness are different. You can experience and even often experience a high state of consciousness, but it's not stable. It's like a doorway; there's a kind of grace that allows you to see that state, like a mirage. Beautiful; truth. It's something you can rely on. But then you have to come back and do the inner work.

It would be like visiting the garden of a neighbor down the street whose backyard is very similar to yours in size. Your backyard is just a mass of grass and weeds. This backyard has a lovely pond and waterfall, beautiful plantings, rocks, some places where the elevation has been changed to give added interest. It's beautiful; it's peaceful. You look at it and say, "Oh, I want that."

Now you have the idea. "My backyard could also look like that." But you've got to go home and do the work; you can't just rest in the image. How will it be made manifest? In the same way, your meditating practice may lead you into that deep state of consciousness. Then you come out and you see that state and the corresponding stages of consciousness, and you know it's possible. What must I do to release the attachment to the lower stages of consciousness? Where am I stuck? Caught in my own beliefs and opinions; caught in my desires; caught in my emotions; caught in the whole sense of the ego, either that I'm better than everybody or inferior to everybody. What old myths prevail?

This is where the hard daily practice comes in, mindfulness practice. Watching. What is arising in this moment, and how am I relating to it? When there's anger, fear, confusion, is there aversion to these? Is there disdain for the human who is experiencing them, or is there kindness? If there is not kindness, what would invite kindness and what blocks kindness? Can one begin to see the habitual thinking, "I should be this way, I shouldn't be that way," and how these limiting beliefs keep you from expressing the divine self in the world and living from this core of love?

These men were so caught in greed that they could not see the reality that there was plenty for everyone. Thus, they were led to live their greed, and never look at the option to live from the place of kindness and clarity and for the highest good of all. When fear, anger or greed come, what blinds you to knowing them as illusion and returning to truth? What old habits create the veil of that illusion and what would release them? This is the learning for which you have come. You might want to remember my words, "you will never get the diamonds." The ego can hold them briefly but never fully own them. Love does not possess. All the riches are available to love!

I think that's enough of an opening talk. I'd like to just leave space here now for your questions.

(reading written q) If a fish is unaware it lives in water, can you help us understand how we are unaware that this physical life is really a dream? How to become aware?

The first step, brother, is that you become increasingly aware of when you are lost in the dream and when you hold the realization that it's a dream. Bring mindfulness to these two; awareness and non-awareness. See how they relate. Have you heard of lucid dreaming? (Q: Yes) Have you ever practiced it? It's no different. Each time you are aware that you're caught back into the dream, stop and breathe and note, "dreaming, dreaming."

Do you meditate? (Q: Yes) In your meditation do you sometimes reach spaces where you are out of the dream, where there's clarity? (Q: Yes) In the daily life, when you find yourself out of the dream, begin to watch the body. The body energy will shift noticeably when you pull back into the dream. Usually there is contraction, because in the dream you are not expressing the whole or divine self, just the small self.

The dream itself is not the problem; the belief in the dream as an ultimate reality is the problem. That which lives in the dream and is aware it is there, is not stuck in the dream; it simply agreed to participate in the dream. You agreed to participate. It's useful to the incarnation. This illusion is your place of learning.

The problem arises when you forget or deny that it's a dream. Watch what happens in the body when you shift into the, let's call it the consolation of the dream. It's painful but it's also a consolation. It's old, you're accustomed to it; it feels familiar. It's not safe but at least it feels familiar.

Start each day as you awaken with a reminder to yourself, "Today I am going to take part in the improvisation again. I'm just an actor on the stage. But I'm going to be a conscious actor today. I'm not lost in the improvisation." Just as the actor must retain some awareness that he is an actor on the stage so he doesn't turn his back to the audience or mumble his lines, but he must be in the part enough to play the part convincingly, so in the life dream, there must be awareness of the deeper truth and the dream.

This is exactly the balance that is needed. You came to try out the different levels of consciousness, all of these different experiences, primarily to learn compassion. Just stay awake within the play, and each time you find yourself falling asleep, note it and wake up. That which is aware of being asleep is not asleep.

So start each day with the memory, "Today I am going to be a conscious actor. My highest intention is – whatever it may be – "for the good of all beings, to live with love," whatever it may be. If you keep that intention in front of you, when you find yourself slipping back into unconsciousness, ask yourself, "What am I getting out of this unconsciousness? In what way does it protect me?"

Q: Aaron, if I can ask a personal question?

Aaron: Certainly, daughter.

Q: Am I understanding my guides accurately?

Aaron: Sometimes.

Q: What can I do to understand them better?

Aaron: Daughter, may I look in the Akashic records?

Q: Yes, please.

Aaron: You are an old soul and loving being, but you do not love yourself enough. You're very hard on yourself. I think there is some fear that if you hear and listen to the guidance, you will be asked to let go of some of that harshness to the self, and while on one level you want to do it, on another level, you're afraid, because you wonder what will replace it?

Anger still comes up, fear still comes up; greed still comes up. There is a mode of being in the world that says, when these come up I will control them, and that controlling mode is harsh, scolding.

So I think there's a fear that if you let go of that scolding, you might act out these energies. And there's such abhorrence of the possibility to act them out that you want to keep that controlling voice. And the only voice of control you know is the one that says, "No, no. Don't do that. Bad." So the cycle is perpetuated. Then you can't hear your guides because they're suggesting that you be more loving, and there's fear, "If I'm loving, I'll let go of control and the whole thing will crash."

What is needed is a gradual process. Simply begin to note, "self-judgment, judging, judging," and ask yourself, "If I were not judging right now, what might I be experiencing?" Bring attention to the anger, to the fear, and then ask yourself, "How can I relate to this emotion in a kinder way? What if judgment is not the answer, what could replace judgment? In this moment can there be compassion for this human who's experiencing strong emotion, and still the faith in myself to know I will not enact the emotion?" Can you see how that might work?

Q: I can try.

Aaron: This is what your guides want you to do but you keep drawing back because you're afraid of the damage you would do if you enact those emotions. And judgment seems to be the familiar tool with which to control emotion. Do you understand?

Q: <inaudible, probably not accurate> What can I do so that stage of consciousness becomes the same as the higher state of consciousness?

Aaron: It's gradual, there are no shortcuts, daughter. One works with, the Pali word is sila, moral awareness. This is not morality as "Thou shalt not," but just bringing attention to the habitual patterns that arise in the self. Each of you has, a friend calls them the Top 10 Hit Parade. For some it's greed, for some it's jealousy, for some it's self-judgment, for some it's judging others. For some it is helplessness; for others it is stepping into power. For some it is unworthy feelings; for others it is pride. Certain habitual patterns arise over and over again.

These are not problems; they are teachers. They arise as a way of helping you to wake up. As you bring deep mindfulness to habitual patterns, I would suggest choosing just one pattern, like impatience, jealousy or judgment, and watch it for several weeks. You're not trying to fix it. You're not approaching it saying, "This is bad and I'm going to get rid of it." Just watch; in what kinds of situations does this arise? How long does it stay? If I'm present with it, how long does it stay before it goes? When it has gone, what remains?

Let's use impatience as an example; it's something you all experience at times. At first one watches impatience and then one shifts and begins to watch patience. "Ah, I only think I'm impatient most of the time. Look, I was just very patient, and here again I was patient."

One starts to find that which is capable of holding those high energies of loving and to acknowledge, "This is also an important part of me." That which is aware of impatience is not impatient. We're back to that teaching again. There must be awareness that impatience has arisen and the clear intention not to enact the impatience.

But also if you get caught up in it and say, "No, I won't be impatient. I'm going to be patient," (said with teeth clenched and hands tightened into fists) that's just negativity and contraction. But right there, breathing in and breathing out, "Breathing in I am aware of impatience, breathing out I smile to the impatience." You're being patient with the impatience.

Gradually you start to experience directly that which is innately patient in the self. Or generous, or sympathetic, whatever the particular experience might be. And to trust, "I am that." Gradually the self-identity shifts and you stop being somebody who is fighting again the hypothetical situation, who's trying never to be impatient, never to be judgmental, or whatever. But rather simply noting, "when the conditions are present, this will arise. And if I relate to it with kindness it will pass much quicker than if I relate to it with anger."

So you start to see for yourself what holds these energies and what releases them. For some of you at that point you may still find they don't release, and you need to ask, "Why am I holding on to this?"

In, I believe it's my book Path of Natural Light, I speak about practices called the Seven Branch Prayer, and Four Empowerments. I think you can find these easily on the Deep Spring website without the book, but it's also in the book.

These are practices that helps people work with habitual patterns that tend to arise over and over, but for which there doesn't seem to be any deep karmic roots. Let's use an experience of unworthiness, for example. They have done a lot of work in meditation spiritually and done some psychological work to understand the roots of those feelings of unworthiness in this lifetime, and yet if that person spills the glass of water, shame comes up. "Oh, I'm bad."

There's nothing left in the psychology to understand, it's just habitual patterning. A triggers B. The Seven Branch Prayer and the particular part of the Seven Branch Prayer called Four Empowerments give you some specific practices with which to work to release that kind of energy, and I think this would be helpful to you. Okay?


Q: I find myself caught between being drawn to go down a certain path in my life, make certain decisions to take me in certain directions, and yet I feel conflicted about how that will impact the well-being of my children. How do I discern the balance there?

Aaron: Would you wish to be more specific?

Q: I feel the desire to be more on my own rather than actually having them live with me. They're young adults. And so I feel torn and have a hard time discerning, is that a legitimate soul need of mine or is it just a desire.

Aaron: May I ask how old they are and if they are self-supporting.

Q: They are 22 and 24. They do have some financial means to support themselves, in the short run at least.

Aaron: And are they newly moved back into the home or have they been living in the home forever?

Q: Been living in the home.

Aaron: First, whatever you do needs to come from a place of love and not of fear. The specific choice is less important than that it come from a place of love. If you tell them, "Yes, you may stay here," but there's discomfort about it, or even if you say lovingly, "Yes, you may stay here," but do not ask them to be independent, that's not necessarily more wholesome than to let them know, "I'm reaching a point in my life where I want more independence for myself. So begin to think about, perhaps in 6 months, moving out and finding your own place." Find it together if you wish, or find it independently.

"How do you feel about that?" you would ask them. "Does that frighten you?" Perhaps they would say, "No, that sounds wonderful." Who knows? I don't know what your home setting is. Perhaps a possibility is to find a different kind of home that is a two-family home where you can live in one half and they can live in one half, if they wished that. But maybe at that age they'd like to be on their own.

Back to the original question. How much of the decision is coming from a place of love and how much is it coming from a place of fear? And can you be honest about the fears? Can you be honest about the needs? Can you trust these adult children that they have the capacity to hear you as a human being? You are still their mother, but also, they are adults. And it may help them to grow to know that you trust them enough to give them your need and express it.

Don't get caught up in an idea that there's a right or wrong answer; get outside of the box. Not this way or that way, but what are the possibilities?

Q: Thank you.

Q: I have a cousin who is very, very ill and her uncle has wondered if certain types of energy healing could resolve her cancer. And I wonder, how do you know, how does anyone know whether, let's say this cancer, is part of what she's meant to experience here, or is it meant to be healed and removed? I think illness has purposes, but how do you know that it has a purpose or how do you know that maybe its purpose is to be healed? I don't know if I'm making myself clear with that.

Aaron: Daughter, it is always both. Any illness comes as a teacher. Any illness may teach and be transcended. Very seldom does somebody come literally to experience death through the illness, as the teacher. Sometimes but rarely.

If she came to experience death because of the cancer, then healing in whatever form it comes may not heal the cancer but will heal the karma. One does not try to heal saying, "Maybe I shouldn't heal because maybe I need this," but "I choose to heal, but I don't grasp at healing. I choose to heal and I choose whatever is for the highest good. I open to that which is for the highest good. I open to whatever learning may come." One begins to see the learning to which the illness points one, and the physical healing may come or may not come.

If I had a loved one in such a situation I would very definitely suggest that they go and see John of God in Brazil. This is energy healing drawn to a high point. Many people heal of Stage IV cancer and other very difficult ailments down there. But the healing is not just on the physical level but also involves the spiritual and karmic.

Healing is often not immediately. It's gradual. There's enough healing that the body is no longer threatened immediately to die, but there's time to do the spiritual work. Each being has free will. The being may say, "I choose not to do this work in this incarnation. I just want to go." One has to honor that. But if one says, "I choose to live," then support will be given.

I'm naming John of God and the healing entities that work through him because of my direct knowledge of their work. I'm sure there are others who also offer such really wondrous healing support.

They do not heal; love heals. You might suggest to your cousin, if he or she has not already read it, the book by Stephen Levine, Healing Into Life and Death. It is a very beautiful book. If you wish to hear more about John of God's work, stay afterward and some of the folks here will talk to you about it.

Does that answer your question?

Q: Yes, but I have one more. How is it or why is it that certain illnesses are present in a family or genetic lineage?

Aaron: It's often simply genetic and that you have agreed together in the family to work with this specific kind of catalyst, and to accept it as a teacher, not just for the one that is ill but for the whole family. Because when one is ill within the family, everybody is involved.

There is karma to it. For example, one of you who has always had a weak lower back or a bad knee, often this is linked to karma of a past lifetime. This is not within the whole family although it may be. Many in the family may genetically have that weak back structure, it's just part of the genetics. There are environmental causes for certain illnesses that occur within a family. Maybe there would be allergy to mold in the house or some other something in the environment that causes illness.

Q: So then is it possible to heal that genetic lineage through an individual?

Aaron: Yes. One person's healing touches all. As a simple example, most illnesses do have an emotional component. With cancer, one of the emotional components-- I want to speak very carefully here because people can misunderstand me and think I'm saying, "You caused your cancer by being angry," and that's not correct, the cancer has many reasons. But one of the conditions that supports the growth of the cancer is a certain way of holding anger and tension in the body. Depending on where the tension is held, the cancer may develop more in that part of the body.

As one observes the way one holds tension and how one has learned to hold the tension there from one's angry mother and so forth, one begins to know, "I do have a choice. I don't have to hold the tension in my belly anymore. I can release it." That gives the cancer the opportunity to heal. That doesn't mean it can heal; it may, but at least it supports healing.

We don't do the emotional work with the idea, "If I do it right I will heal," but, "I will do the emotional work because that's an equal need, that also needs healing. Then we'll see what happens."

One of the things I've particularly respected about John of God's work is his, when I say his, the entities that work with him, respect for free will. Each individual makes his or her own choices. That's why we don't come along and say, "I will heal you," only, "What is it you are seeking and how can I best support you in what you seek?"

An illness can truly be a rebirth rather than a painful difficulty. Barbara experienced this with her deafness. It was terrible; she hated it. Now she recognizes it was a great blessing. She still chooses to hear. Both are true. Do you understand?

Q: I do, thank you.

We'll take one more question.

Q: If there is not enough time to answer this question, I can ask at another session. But this question also relates to illness. I have a young friend who has multiple sclerosis. She's 30. She's had MS since she was 17. I've just started working with her to see if I can be instrumental in helping her release any held emotions. But my question is, do you have any insight or instruction or help in this situation? Or have you seen people with John of God healing MS?

Aaron: I have indeed seen John of God heal MS. One chapter in Barbara's book tells various healing stories including that of a vibrant young woman named Denise who came to the Casa in a wheelchair after years of being crippled by MS and now walks and moves completely free of any support.

What happened for her, she tells the story of the belief that she was trapped in this illness and had to fight the illness instead of choosing to see that within her that was also there that was whole. Gradually as she spent time at the Casa she began to consider this possibility of wholeness. She still needed her crutches and her wheelchair but she was considering the possibility.

Then one day was a holiday and a parade went by. She came out of the door of her pousada, her inn, and watched the parade. Some friends that she had made in the town waved to her and said, "Denise, come and join us!" So, she was out of her wheelchair at this point but with her crutches, began to walk slowly with the parade.

And suddenly it occurred to her, "I can walk slowly with my crutches or I can just walk." There was just a deep recognition, "This capacity is within me and I choose it." It's not that the illness was not real but at that point she simply cast her crutches aside and walked at the front of the parade for a mile through the streets. It changed everything for her because she realized, "I have a choice. All the ways I have been attached to this illness." One may email her. Barbara will have the email address. (from Barbara later; if you wish to contact Denise, send me an email and I will forward it to her)

One thinks of somebody who has broken a leg. It's very painful. They put a cast on it. They give you crutches. You walk on the crutches. After 2 months they take the cast off. The leg is weak and it's still painful so you still walk on the crutches. The leg never becomes strong because you hold on to the crutches. There's a fear, if I let go of the crutches I'll collapse. There is self-identity as the one who walks on crutches. The crutches protect you.

You can spend the rest of your life on crutches. You can choose and say, "I choose the wholeness that's coming and strengthening the leg." Repeatedly, every week, we see scenes down there where somebody approaches Joao in his wheelchair or on her crutches, – when I say Joao, the Entity that's incorporated, which may be one on one day and another on another day – and the Entity says to that person, "Get up and walk."

Barbara saw this at Omega when John of God was there in September. There was a young girl. She had cancer in her spine, which had damaged her spinal cord when she was 3 years old. For years she had not walked. She had to be lifted in and out of the wheelchair. She was the next to last person in the line to see the entity that day and Barbara was the last, so Barbara was standing there with her eyes open, watching.

The girl was sitting in her wheelchair, and the entity held out his hands. The girl stepped off the wheelchair onto her hands and feet. She could not stand up erect. She was not crawling on knees, but the feet were on the ground and the hands, and she crept up to him, one step at a time. She came very near him and he held his hands out and stood her up on her feet, and then had her walk those last 2 or 3 steps erect to him. Then somebody picked her up and put her back in her wheelchair. But now she knows, "I can walk."

Everybody was crying. It was very beautiful. And she was so filled with joy. She had been told by the medical establishment for those years, "You will never walk. Get used to it."

What happens here is that we are teaching the body, the energy field, the emotions, the karma, we're shifting everything. Suddenly a doorway is open and there's a whole new possibility. One may approach that possibility a dozen times before one is ready to accept it. It will take as long as it takes. Then the body begins to change, to release the old karma, to form new patterns, new neural pathways and so forth. The body has the ability to heal itself.

It's 9:20 so let us end here. Thank you for being with me tonight and giving me this chance to speak to you. Please keep in mind my first story. When you hear the little voice in your head saying, "You will never get those diamonds," hear it as the voice of fear and remind yourself, "I already have the diamond. It's right here in my heart."

There's a beautiful poem by Kabir.

The small ruby everyone wants has fallen out on the road. Some think it is east of us, others west of us. Some say, 'among primitive earth rocks,' others, 'in the deep waters.'

Kabir's instinct told him it was inside, and what it was worth,

and he wrapped it up carefully in his heart cloth.

The ruby is already here. Nobody can ever take it away from you. And the more you share it out, the more you have.

Good night. My blessings and love to you all...

(session ends)