November 13, 2013 Wednesday Evening with Aaron: Mediumship and challenging; skillful energy and effort; that which is aware of anger is not angry; states and stages of consciousness; angels in earthsuits; simultaneity of tension and spaciousness; energy awareness choreography; intention without the I; simultaneity of self and non-self; fear of dissolution of consciousness.

Mediumship and challenging; skillful energy and effort; that which is aware of anger is not angry; states and stages of consciousness; angels in earthsuits; simultaneity of tension and spaciousness; energy awareness choreography; intention without the “I”; simultaneity of self and non-self; fear of dissolution of consciousness.

Barbara: For the benefit of those who are part of the Intuitives group (many here tonight are  here for the first time, from the group, Intuitives Interactive) and looking into mediumship for yourselves, I want to speak out loud the process that I use to challenge before I invite Aaron into the body. We don't just want to say, “Hey, come on in!” Who knows what's there? So we need to be very clear what we're inviting to use our body.

I feel Aaron's energy, and one might think it has its own unique thumbprint, so to speak; how could I mistake it? But something that's an equally negatively polarized 6th density entity could really feel like Aaron. And I've experienced that, not often, but enough to make me very careful.

So I state my highest values. Feeling Aaron there. I feel his asking to use the body. I don't say, “Are you Aaron?” Somebody else could say, “Yeah, sure, I'm Aaron. If you want to call me Aaron, that's okay.” “Do you come for the highest good of all beings, with harm to none? Do you come in service for all beings, and with love?” And for me, I throw in-- for me the strongest connection is the Christ energy. So I say, “Do you come fully harmonious with the Christ energy?” But one can substitute what is appropriate for oneself. So I get three strong yeses. And then I feel him at the door.

Before I've started, I've invited the guardian angels, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Ariel, to hold the four corners of the room—north, south, east, and west, to hold the space. All beings have free will. I can't say to a negative entity, “You may not listen.” And I don't want to say that. If they want to listen, they may listen. But with this very highly positively polarized energy holding the space, nothing negative can force its way in to use the body.

Let me explain that a little bit further. They have free will. We have free will. If, given their free will, they want to come in despite this very high positive vibration, they may come in and listen. But for most negative entities, this high vibration is too uncomfortable and they will not choose to come and listen. They'll back away when they feel these guardian angels holding the space.

So I start with them holding the space. Then I feel Aaron's energy. Then I ask my questions. I get a strong yes to each question. And finally, I make the statement, “I consecrate this body to the light.” And as I say that, I literally project my consciousness out through the crown chakra and allow Aaron to come in. So that's what I will do right now.

(Aaron incorporates)

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. So I wonder, could any of you feel the difference between Barbara's energy and my energy, as I came in? Can you feel that jolt of energy? I am drastically reducing my energy, because if I let my full energy come through, I'd knock you out. So I'm just holding back, bringing forth enough energy that I can speak clearly.

We usually choose a topic for an evening. Or I choose a topic. Sometimes I tell Barbara the topic; sometimes I don't. Often I choose the topic depending on who is here. But today in the teacher training class we were talking about effort and energy. These are parts of the Buddhist Eightfold Path called Right Effort, Right Energy. I don't like the term “right” because it assumes there's a wrong. Let's just say a skillful energy, a compassionate energy and effort.

The way you are as humans and as mammals, it's both culturally trained into you, and also mammalian instinct, that has you push harder when something blocks you, becoming more and more contracted, pushing, pushing, instead of relaxing. We do a demonstration here of a tai chi exercise called Pushing Hands. (demonstrating with K) Now, for many humans,  if she pushed me (he pushes back hard)... Push harder... Or I would just collapse, that's the other option. Neither is skillful effort, is it? If she's pushing - and the world is constantly pushing you - are you going to push back or are you going to collapse? Can you see those tendencies in yourselves? What other response might there be? One can dance with that push. What I'm doing here is just letting her push go by. I'm not discarding the energy; I'm feeding it back to her. But I'm totally relaxed with it. Eventually she'll wear out. Can you see that there's no tension for me? There is tension for K; no tension for me. But as she releases the tension, eventually we start doing a dance with it, passing the energy back and forth. It's very easeful, restful, playful, responsive. Can you see the difference? Thank you, daughter.

So in your world, you are conditioned when pushed, either to push back or to step back, to  disengage or strongly engage. How do you stay engaged from that easeful place? As long as there's a strong ego trying to run things, you can't do it. You still think about, what should I do? How do I take control of the situation, or not be overwhelmed in the situation? Rather than just a deep breath, ahhh... Relaxing, opening. Here is something pushing me. The leak in my roof. The person that left a dent in my fender. The traffic jam. The 200 emails in your inbox. Ahhh... You feel these pushes every day. How do you relate to them?

Skillful living, living with loving kindness, means learning to relate to what comes to you with spaciousness and presence, not shrinking from it, not being afraid to say no when appropriate. But it's not the ego that says no, it's love that says no. When fear says no, everything becomes contracted. Do you then turn and run? Do you allow them to hurt you?  It's not compassionate to let people bulldoze over you. It is bad karma for you, bad karma for them. How do we say no to somebody who is approaching us with negativity, from a place of kindness?

Another piece of this. Many people come to spiritual practice because there's some kind of suffering—emotional suffering, physical suffering, simply overwhelmed by the cruelty in the world-- and wondering, “How can I affect this cruelty in the world?” There's sometimes then a thought,  “I have to fix it in myself. Therefore I've got to get it right.” Anger still comes up. Anybody here for whom anger does not still arise? No one? So anger comes up, and then the thought. “I shouldn't be angry. I'm on a spiritual path. I won't be angry.” Sound familiar? Do any of you do that, even occasionally? That “I won't be angry” is simply more anger.

When the conditions are present for something to arise, it will arise. It is harder to understand with an emotion like anger so lets regard the weather. You say, “I'm having a picnic. I don't want clouds.” But the clouds come in. “I won't have clouds.” (stamping feet) It's not going to scare the clouds away. You take your picnic indoors, light a fire, enjoy your friends and your meal, and much to your surprise, the sun may be out in an hour because the conditions have changed. When anger, fear, jealousy, greed, and so forth, arise, they arise because the conditions are not fully clarified. Clarifying and releasing those conditions means bringing attention to them, but a certain form of attention: kind, spacious attention, not fix-it attention.

How many of you have practiced vipassana? Many of you, good. The word passana means seeing. Vipassana means a deeper, clearer seeing. It's a way of seeing deeply into the nature of your experience. To begin, we watch the breath coming and going, coming and going. And then something pulls attention away from the breath. You move your attention to it, a loud sound or an itch. You don't have to find out what the sound is, or stop it. You don't have to scratch the itch. There's simply awareness, hearing, hearing. Or tingling, burning, itchy. With the loud sound there may be a desire to stop it or see what it's about. That impulse to move is not the sound. With the itch there may be a desire to scratch it. Wanting to scratch the itch is not the itch, it's just another object. A breath in, and the breath goes. Ah, itching, tingling, itching. Wanting to scratch. The itching is unpleasant. Wanting to make it go away. You watch the impulse energy. And then relax back into the breath as both the itch and the impulse to scratch the itch have dissolved. And then maybe there's something else that arises.

I'd like you to try something with me, here. I'd like you to hold your hands out, palm up. Keep the arm fairly straight. Right now it's not hard, is it? It feels like you could hold it that way for a while, easily. I'm just going to keep talking. Breathing in and breathing out. Gradually you're going to feel a very subtle ache in the arm—heavy, heavy. Noting heavy. Is there anyone who's not feeling that heaviness, even just a little? Okay, so, heavy. It's either going to be a pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral sensation. I assume it's unpleasant, even just subtly unpleasant. I'm judging by the energy I feel in this arm. Heavy, unpleasant. Can you feel yourself tensing around that unpleasantness? Stoic. “I'll keep my arm out.” Or, “Why doesn't he say to put my arm down? I don't like this.” I want you to notice any tension in your energy field. Ahhh... Keeping the arm out and noticing the tension. Now I want you to bring very kind, loving thoughts to this arm. Breathing in, I am aware of the achiness. Breathing out, I smile to the achiness. Breathing in, I am aware of this human feeling unpleasant sensation. Breathing out, I send loving energy to this human.

What I want is for you to feel the energy field reopening so that the ache in the arm ceases to be a story. “This isn't right. When will this end? I don't like this.” That's what I mean by a story. And simply becomes “aching, heavy. Unpleasant feeling.” In this moment, just aching, just heavy. Nothing to fix, nothing bad. Can you feel the spaciousness that comes as you do that? It's still not pleasant. There's just an unpleasant sensation in the arm. You may put the arm down.

This is what I taught Barbara 25 years ago. The deafness is just deafness. The stories about it are what bring the suffering. And then the effort becomes skewed, because the effort becomes contracted, to fix the pain in the arm, to fix the deafness. To fix the neighbor who talks to you with anger over the back fence. To fix the boss, or the situation with the boss where there's friction. Can you feel that tension? You can't just ignore it. And you don't have to fix it. Can you hold the whole situation with loving kindness? This is where we run amok of the mammalian reflex that says fight or flight. But you are humans, and hold a much higher consciousness. Yes, you're mammals, but you're evolving in consciousness into a much higher consciousness than that very primitive fight or flight reflex. Are you going to get caught in those old patterns yet again, or are you ready to step beyond those old patterns?

So we talk here about right effort and right energy, or compassionate effort and energy. Skillful energy is energy that is open. I'd like you all to clench your jaw, clench your fists, close yourself up as tight as you can. It doesn't feel good, does it? Now take a deep breath and relax and open. Feel the spaciousness. The important part of this is that these are not linear qualities. In other words, if you found yourself contracted and said, “I have to fix this. I have to get rid of the contraction and move into spaciousness,” that's very different than if you said, “Contracted. Where did spaciousness go?” It's never left. Where would it go? Just reopen to it.

Right there with contraction is spaciousness. It's not one or the other but both. As soon as you understand that it's both, you cease trying to fix and simply pay attention to the already existent spaciousness. If someone is angry at you and anger comes up in return, that which is aware of anger is not angry. So you begin to open to that which is aware of anger, that big mind, big consciousness, which is the essence of loving kindness. You don't do this in denial of the anger. The angry energy is still reverberating in you. Rather, it's a choice. I can get stuck in this reverberating angry energy, or I can breathe, choose spaciousness and ease, and then take care of the anger, which is shaking around and will settle.

There's a beautiful story told by Thich Nhat Hanh. He was taking care of young boy, 4 or 5 years old. The boy was outside playing, came in and said, “Uncle,”-- it's not his literal nephew but children often call adults in that culture “Uncle,”-- “Uncle, I'm thirsty.” So Thay poured him a glass of apple juice. This was not your bottled apple juice. This was literal apple juice with a lot of sediment in it. The child looked at the apple juice and said, “No, I don't like that. It's filled with sediment.” Thay said, “Well, I'll leave it here on the counter. When you come back, if you're still thirsty, it will be here.” The child went back out to play, and came in 15 minutes later, looked at the apple juice, and all the sediment had settled to the bottom. This very wise child said to Thich Nhat Hanh, “Ah, it's been meditating!”

This is what happens in you as you meditate. The angry energy, the frightened energy, it's still there. But you breathe and remember your immensity, your limitlessness. Instead of that angry energy being compressed into this small space, as you breathe out and open to your full being, there's just a little angry energy here, a little bit here, a little bit here, a little bit there. Gradually it goes. It goes because you're not perpetuating it by, “I shouldn't be angry. I won't be angry.” which is just more contraction and anger. So we practice kindness by remembering that inherent heart of kindness, and the intention to live with that kindness rather than get caught in the repetitive stories of anger, fear, greed, and whatever.

We still have to learn how to work with the impulses. I'm going to do another exercise, here. How many of you have ever swum in the ocean? You know that the ocean can have rip tides. That is a current where somehow the sand bars and levels of the water are such that a strong rip pulls out from shore, and if you get caught in it, it will pull you out to sea. The usual response to the rip tide from an inexperienced swimmer is to first try to force their way against it. The rip tide is a lot stronger than you are. There's no way you're going to be able to swim back to shore.

Now, I'm going to be the ocean swimmer, and I'd like four volunteers here to be the rip tide. (people come up) Stand in a line across. Hold hands. Now, you're coming toward me. You're pushing me out to sea. And there are four of you. You're stronger than I am and there's nothing I can do to fight against you. (Pushing Aaron backwards while he struggles). Keep pushing. I'm just going to move aside and let you go out to sea. This is what you do with rip tides, you swim across them. Let's do it again. I can't get under you, I can't push you out... I'm just going to swim past... Thank you.

Now let's take that as a metaphor. I would like each of you to think of something in your life that's been pushing at you, including simply the desire for enlightenment. The desire to be a more wise and loving being. The desire for spiritual attainment. The desire to be of service to all beings, and the feeling, “I can't do it well enough.” Or maybe the partner or boss who has some exasperating habit and is pushing you. Or your two year old who wants to crayon on the walls, or whatever it may be. What comes to mind is the bicycle with the chain that keeps falling off. Little things like that, pushing you.

Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, and think about how you habitually relate to this one ongoing push, this little rip tide in your life. And here it comes again and again. I want you to see that habitual contracted response, the place where you try to push back. What would it mean to swim around it? Or as I did with K earlier, to dance with it? The hard part is not the swimming around it or the dancing with it. The hard part is noting the place of contraction, and how deeply habituated it is, and pausing. When you see that contracted energy, stop. Put your hand on your heart. Breathe in. “Breathing in, I am aware of tension. Breathing out, I smile to the tension. That which is aware of tension is not tense. Without denial of tension, I rest in that spaciousness.” And in this way you swim around the edge of the rip tide. It will just keep pushing; no problem. If you're swimming on the beach, eventually you're likely to end up back in its path again. Just swim past it again. Can you feel how that works? Here is the distinction between the painful habitual pattern and a more wholesome pattern.

You are all evolving into higher consciousness. In Barbara's book Cosmic Healing there's a very clear chart on states and stages of consciousness. We talk about the magical and mythical consciousness of children, and then rational consciousness, which is where much of the world is today, but some still caught in magical and mythical consciousness. Then the shift into higher consciousness, subtle and beyond. You are all on your way toward non-dual consciousness. Most of you have not reached that point yet. There may be glimmers of understanding of what it means, but not yet ready to live from that place. But gradually you begin to work more with the subtle consciousness, with the intuitive self, and to know, “I am not merely this physical body, this mind, these emotions. I am this vast realm of loving consciousness. And it is not my consciousness but is interconnected to everything. I am That.”

You begin essentially to remember who and what you are. If you all knew yourself as angels, really knew that, how would it change the way you relate to these pushes, these rip tides, in your life? I call you angels in earthsuits. We do not deny the earth suit reality, but don't lose the angel. That's the essence of you. The earth suit is just the clothing of this moment. The earth suit was chosen for a reason. It's an important part of your learning. You came here into this earth plane to learn. Without the emotions, without the physical body, where would the catalyst for learning be? It's very easy in the heavenly realms, drifting around in a vast, loving spaciousness. How would you learn compassion if nothing ever pushed at you and aroused tension?

You are not here to simply rest in love and light. You are here to learn love and compassion, and that comes through being pushed, through the occasional rip tides, and making a conscious free will choice for loving kindness rather than for enactment of fear. So all of these pushes, these are your teachers. You don't want them, you don't like them, but you need them. They're your teachers.

With skillful effort, we need to keep coming back to this bigger self, seeing the old habit energy that says, “My body, my mind, my preferences, my opinions, my ego.” Sure, that's all floating on the surface. Open up, find the spaciousness.

Imagine yourself in an ocean with waves, lapping, some of them slapping you in the face. But you've got a scuba tank. Go down. The waves are still on the surface. Let them be. Move to the still space. You are all deep sea divers. You each have that still space. You don't go there to avoid the waves or to stop the waves, but to find a resting place, catch your breath, and then come up where the waves are and practice relating to them again.

Let's add to this illustration. Up on the surface there are 100 children floating in little rafts. Waves are getting rougher. There's a dock a hundred yards away, but you can only carry one child at a time, tow them to the dock and to safety. Suddenly the waves have come up still bigger. The children are screaming. You get a few to safety and you're exhausted. You're going to drown, yourself. Turn on your scuba tank, sink down, re-center. You're not going to save any more children by killing yourself. Rest. Reground yourself. And then, as soon as you're able, go back up to the surface, not as an ego out to save them but simply from a place of love. Grab a few more and haul them off to the dock. And a few more. And then, waves—can't catch your breath. Go back down again.

So we have to balance living skillfully in the world from a place where there does seem to be a self, and resting in the spacious emptiness of no self. Recognize the ultimate reality of no self, and that the relative self is part of this earth construct. We have to live with that illusion of duality.

I invite you to pull your chairs into a much tighter circle... Now, I have some lovely crystals. I'm going to take about half enough for this group. I'm going to pass one, and pass another. Pass them around. I want you to feel when you're reaching for something. Hold your hand out please, K. Can you feel that subtle tension? And as soon as it touches your hand, the tension relaxes. Then maybe a subtle tension, wanting to hold onto it. Passing it back to me, tension. Can you feel the tension in your own hand? “Oh, I want that.” And then feel the tension of receiving, and then relaxing.

The tension in itself is not bad. It's part of the whole energetic pattern of relaxing and contracting, relaxing and contracting. It's part of your breath, it's part of your heartbeat. But it has to be balanced.

What happens for the human is that when there is that tension, you move in one of several directions. The most skillful is simply to note, “Tension, tension. Not a problem.” But more often you note, “Tension. No, I won't have tension.” I want you to feel, if that thought comes up, the increased tension through the body. Don't pass the stone yet, just relax. That which is aware of tension is not tense. Come back into this tensionless space. Let spacious tensionless mind pass and receive the stone. But if there's subtle tension as it's received, and then it relaxes when you receive it, just watch it. We're not trying to fix tension or create a place of non-tension, but asking, how do I relate to this tension? What is my habitual pattern with it? Just that.

So pass them on. I'm not planning to pass enough here for everybody. And they can go both ways. Pass them around here a bit... You can look at it and appreciate it.

(exercise)

So just watch any wanting. “I want one. I didn't get one.” “Oh, I like that one, I want to keep it. Oh, I shouldn't want to keep it.” “I don't like this one. I'll pass this one on.” Just thinking, just thoughts, just energy. Can you relate to this from that inherent, deeply spacious, and loving place? There's nothing to fix. There are no good or bad thoughts. There may be kind or unkind thoughts, but no good or bad thoughts.

Sometimes you may have two. You may be passing one, going two different ways...

(exercise)

I want you to see the simultaneity of tension and non-tension. Tension and spaciousness. And that out of free will choice, you step into the spaciousness while taking care of the tension. Nothing to fix, just watching the tension.

(exercise)

Feel the enormity of spaciousness that holds a vast field around the tension, and into which the tension can dissolve. And if it doesn't dissolve, just let it be. It will go when it's ready.

(exercise)

It feels like you are passing separate crystals around, but of course these are all just expressions of Mother Earth. There's just one crystal and all its multitudes of expressions. These crystals all come from John of God's Casa in Brazil.

(exercise)

Can you feel the release of tension gradually as you bring attention to the tension and rest in the spaciousness? The tension arises from conditions. Getting caught in the tension is simply a habit. So when tension arises, we simply say, “Hello, tension. Have a seat.” It will go when it's ready.

The whole thought, “I want the pretty crystal,” or “I don't want to pass this crystal. I shouldn't feel greed about the crystals. I should be peaceful.” - these thoughts are just stories. They're breezes, clouds blowing in the wind. Don't become self-identified with them. Keep coming back to this clear space.

You may pass all the crystals back up here now. We're going to try another phase of this exercise.

Next phase of the exercise. Take the rope and pass it around. We'll see if it's long enough. As you did with the crystals, feel it coming to you, and feel yourself passing it on. You may have to extend your hands forward a little or pull your chairs in so that it will go all the way around. Let's tie these two ends together. Now, just as you did with the crystals, I want you to pass the rope. Just let it move through your hands and pass it on.

Gradually you become assured of the continuity of the rope. (passing) I mentioned with the crystals that they're just all different expressions of Mother Earth. The rope may have different energy in different places. For example, where the knot is there's a slightly different energy. Can you feel the continuity? It's not hard to pass it. It's not hard to receive it. There's really nothing being passed or received. No one passing or receiving, that's the next step.

I want you to merge with the rope, be the rope. As it comes into one hand, feel it literally running up your arm, through your heart, and out the other hand. You are the rope. (passing) If you are the rope, you are also every other person in the circle. (passing)

Feel the depth of that connection. Now I would invite you to lie the rope down. Left hand up, right hand down, taken hands. Sending energy out through your right hand, receiving energy in through your left hand. Let it come through the body and through the heart center, and then back out. Receiving, breathing it into the heart and sending it out. Bringing attention back to the left hand, receiving, breathing it into the heart and sending it out. Receiving, bringing it into the heart and sending it out.

There may still be an ego that says, “Oh, am I doing it right? That person across the room looks more relaxed than me. Maybe I'm not doing it right.” These thoughts will come. If the conditions are present, the thoughts will come. Rest in the spaciousness, no longer a personal self but begin to feel yourself as the group. Feel the expanded self. It's not free of a body. There's a body sitting here with hands. It's not free of ego, it's not free of thought, that's irrelevant. Sink deep into what you are beyond the body, the mind, the ego, even the energy. Feel yourself as the divine essence of being, which is the love that is moving around this circle.

Just letting it go, round and around. Ahhh... resting in spaciousness. Feel the energy coming up through your feet, up into the tailbone, up through the back, into the heart. Feel energy coming into the crown chakra and down to the heart. One energy, moving around this circle. Know yourself as part of this vast field of awareness, of love.

(sitting)

I am not suggesting that the notion of a separate self will cease, only that you see the simultaneity of that notion of separate self and this connection, and begin to trust and know this connection. The angel in the earthsuit. The divine essence that is not your essence or your essence, but the essence.

(sitting)

Some of you are interested in mediumship. You are always connected to everything. When seeking connection with your spirit guidance, you don't have to run after it, just rest in this centered space and open the self, challenging first, of course. Let it come for the highest good and with love. Feel its energy. Thank it for its presence. And then begin to ask it what it wants to communicate with you. In images, in words, in any way at all.

(sitting)

What is vital here is this effortless effort. No grasping. No contraction. But if there is grasping or contraction, just noting it as an object, unafraid of it. Just let it be until it's ready to go. The simultaneity of the contraction and the spaciousness, and the free will choice to rest in spaciousness without trying to get rid of contraction.

(sitting, someone joins circle)

You probably feel that ripple as we add a person to the circle. Can you feel the shift in energy? So, just settle, inviting his energy into the circle also. If there's a subtle ripple of disturbance, there's nothing to fix. Just let it be, let it subside. Whatever we hold with love will gradually subside and dissolve into universal spaciousness.

And now the energy has settled again. Can you feel that? So when there's a subtle energy jar of that sort, we don't have to fix it. Compassionate effort is just holding space and being present, paying attention. Whatever has the nature to arise has the nature to dissolve and is not of the nature of a separate self, arising out of conditions and passing away. And that which experienced the conditions is this vast, divine awareness, compassionate awareness. And this is your essence. You can learn to live from this essence.

(sitting)

You may drop your hands. You may want to bring your hands together as a gesture of bringing the self back into an intactness, not separating from the universal, but also in respect to this unique individual that you are. And with gratitude to the vastness of being. Can you feel as the hands come together how it brings the energy back into your heart, and into your lower chakras also? The group was very much in the upper chakras in the circle. Now bringing the energy back into the solar plexus, the spleen, the base, grounding yourself into the human.

Thank you. You may stretch out the circle again. I'll talk just for a few more minutes.

So those of you who aspire to live from a higher consciousness, I just want to remind you, there's nothing broken in yourself to fix. If there's reactivity, contraction, fear, emotion, you hold your highest intention to rest as stably as possible in that higher consciousness and remember it. It's mostly a remembering it. You get off track and you forget who you are. Then you become the ego, and the ego says, “No, I shouldn't be the ego.” It's just more fighting with yourself. Just rest in this divine spaciousness of being, this beauty.

I want to try one more exercise with you. For this I'm going to ask you to push the chairs all the way back against the walls so we have as clear a space as possible...

Now I would like you to stand up. Half at that end of the room walking this way, half at that end walking that way. Try to space yourselves out. First I want you to walk in a determined way. “I'm going to walk stably. I'm going to walk in a straight line.” The way the human normally determines, “I will do this.” So there's a bit of an ego and a somebody trying to control. Just walk. (walking) Back again. Go back and forth. (walking) Can you feel some tension that's doing the walking? That's enough. You may pause now. Can you feel the tension that is doing the walking? There's a somebody there.

Now I want you to take a deep breath. Spread out a bit through the room, some people more in the middle so there's space. I want you very gradually to move the feet, with(out) any clear intention, “I'm going here, I'm going there.” What I want you to do is feel your energy field and open it out. Not the small energy field, but feel yourself expanding out. Feel the vastness of your energy field. Let that vastness—there's not a core straight line but a vast energy that you are. Just begin to move through the room being respectful of others' energy fields. Move slowly. It's fine for eyes to be open so you don't walk into each other, but also feel each other's energy fields. Keep extending your energy field out. Your center of balance does not come as a straight line through the body but the vastness of the energy field.

Breathe out, expand. Move your arms a bit of you wish, dancing. This is what we might call energy awareness choreography. When you're deep into your own energy field and aware of others' energy fields, you won't collide. You will create a lovely dance together.

(exercise)

So there has to be an intention; in both cases, the intention to move. But one is an “I will move,” and the other is to allow your vast and radiant energy field to move through space.

(exercise)

So thank you for participating with me in all of these exercises. I appreciate your openness and willingness to join in. At this point I'm simply going to turn this over to you, anything you'd like to share of what you experienced tonight, any questions that you have.

Q: We talked about free will a little bit. Can you go into any details as to how much free will we're allowed in working out our next incarnation in terms of the spirit? And how we map our destiny for the next life, with the assistance of the holy spirit.

Aaron: I love your question, and I'm laughing— Do you want this in 24 words or less? Or may I speak for 5 hours?

Picture yourself all on a rooftop, a high skyscraper building and there's a low guard rail. Not a high guard rail, one hip high. You're all walking around. You're interrelating with each other. You have free will to walk only in the middle, or to walk to the edges, or to stand up on this parapet wall if you wish. You have free will to blunder into each other, or to avoid each other. You have free will to enact some negativity and purposefully bump into another person.; and you will experience the consequences.

Imagine yourself coming back to this situation a hundred times, over and over. You're the one that's not going to be pushed around by anyone, so you bump people, and they fall off. And then people get angry at you and bump you, and you fall off. Another incarnation, let's try it again. Same scenario, 20, 30, lifetimes. You keep going through the same personality.

Suddenly you're up there and you say, “I think I've fallen off this wall and died a hundred times. Maybe I can try this a different way.” And you start to be more respectful to other people. As you're more respectful to other people, they become more respectful to you. There are still those at the edge that are bumping each other and knocking each other off. Now you choose to be in the cluster in the middle, and safe.

Eventually you also experience the karmic consequences of that, because we are responsible for taking care of each other. If we do not act, we also experience karmic consequences of that refraining to act. So it's one step to act to stay with the group in the center and mingle peacefully. And you watch the people bashing each other off the wall on the edge. And then eventually you start to approach some of them and say, “Do you really want to get pushed off the wall, and push others off? Why don't you come into the center with me?” That person gets angry, and he starts to try to push you. As we did with the rip tide, you simply swim around. This person's not ready to hear this. You don't try to force him; you're opening doors. You're not trying to push him through the door. So it's your responsibility to hold the door open. But each person has free will as to whether they will go through the door or not.

Slowly you start to understand intuitively which ones are ready to be invited not to be so rough and push others off and get pushed off the edge. So you exert your free will in this way, the free will to choose kindness and compassion.

It can get tricky, and it's based on your karma. If in many past lives you bullied somebody and pushed them off the edge, you might see two or three people trying to bully somebody and realize, “I need to protect this person, even if it means that I'm going to get pushed off the edge.” And in some way, that is balancing old karma. So you stand up to the bully not with anger, not with hatred, but saying, “No, you may not push him off the edge.” And if you're able to draw that person into the safe center, you do. But if they push you off the edge, you know, “Well, okay, I forgive you. Even as you push me, I forgive you.” And that's balancing the old karma so that next time you won't get pushed off the edge.

That's a short capsule of an answer. Others?

Q: The focus in my life is business right now. A lot of what we learned here I would like to infuse into my business model. And I have a partner that's more pragmatic, more ego-driven. I'm more in the flow, ease, joy, play. I'm wondering how to merge those things... how to be practical yet in your awareness, I suppose, expansiveness.

Aaron: There is nothing the least bit unpragmatic about living in higher awareness. It is perhaps the most pragmatic thing you can do. But you must remember that other people may not be there. You have to meet people where they are and not where you would like them to be.

So if you're in a business relationship with someone who is driven by greed, ego or lust for power, higher awareness sees this, accepts them where they are, forgives them, and keeps trying to hold the door open. If you are angry at me and pushing me around, and I push back, it just invites more pushing. If you are angry at me and trying to push me and control me, and I keep dancing with that push —that pushing arms exercise—keep stepping aside, giving you an opportunity to meet me where I am, eventually you're going to step through. Or perhaps you're going to go someplace else where someone is willing to play your power games. Do you really want to be in business situations with people who are full of power games?  Assume your partner is ready to shift a bit or you would not be partners. And maybe you are ready to see how to be more direct, without fear or contraction.

It's not necessary to change your course. This takes us to a different place. What is it you wish to manifest? If you keep needing to invite business relationships, or any kind of relationships, with those who are playing power games and who are abusive, you're going to keep doing it, like the demonstration I gave to Q. When are you ready to stop getting near the edge where you can get pushed off? And then you invite people in to where you are.

Now, your first thought might be, “But then I won't have any business.” Well, of course you'll have business, that's just fear. Know the business that you want to invite to you, people of a higher consciousness, people who are openhearted. And not just trust that it will happen, but see how it's already happening.

The Buddha said this 2,500 years ago. “You are what you think. With your thoughts you make the world.” It's not New Age thinking, it's 2,500 years old. What are we thinking? Are we caught up in the ego and in this power game, money game, whatever? Or are we settled into a spaciousness that invites those to approach you to do work who are at the level of consciousness you're at? There's nothing wrong with being practical. Somebody's got to do the bookkeeping. That's fine. But make sure that what you're inviting is what you want, and that you're not inviting out of fear but from a deeply loving place that knows that what I seek is here, and I invite it.

Q: I'm struggling a little bit with this concept of the separate self. I understand it intellectually, but I'm not at a place where I feel like I am really living it. So what would the guidance be for someone like that?

Aaron: You say, with the concept of the separate self, or with the actual experience of no separate self?

Q: With the concept of no separate self.

Aaron: Because it's a concept, Q. You do vipassana practice, yes? Have you experienced dissolution of the ego at all in your practice, even momentarily? (Q: Yes) So you know there's a direct experience of dissolution of the self, you catch a fleeting glimpse of it, and then the self comes back. Dissolution of the body, have you ever experienced that, the whole body seeming to momentarily dissolve? (Q: Yes) And then it comes back.

Are you familiar with the term skandhas, or aggregates? (Q: No) In Buddhist teaching we talk about the synonymous words, English and Pali, the aggregates or skandhas. The form aggregate; the mind aggregate; the feeling aggregate, with feelings of pleasant, unpleasant or neutral; perception aggregate; consciousness aggregate. It's very easy to know, “I am not this body. This body is changing minute by minute.” Mind is changing. We're attached to consciousness as who we are. It's much easier to understand that the form and the mind, the thoughts of the mind, the perceptions, that they change, they're not solid. But consciousness seems to be who and what we are.


But as we deepen in meditation, we move into longer experiences of distinguishing between awareness and consciousness. Awareness being the vast field, not from a self, the vast field of our awareness, and consciousness being I, touching a table, seeing consciousness. Mind touching a memory, thinking consciousness. Any kind of consciousness.

We start to see from our experience that mundane consciousness  arises from conditions and is impermanent, is not of the nature of a separate self. When the conditions cease, consciousness ceases. But because this happens in practice, you get to see it. When consciousness ceases, that which is aware of the cessation of consciousness, what is it? We start to know and be more skillful in resting in that awareness.

The real challenge for people is not experiencing dissolution of consciousness but the terror at experiencing dissolution of consciousness. Will I annihilate myself? So we teach this in a progressive and skillful way, helping people to learn to ground more fully in awareness so they're more comfortable resting in awareness, watching mundane consciousness arise and pass away. Watching fear, “Will I annihilate myself?” Maybe not fear thought of in those ways, but just, “I'm at the edge of a cliff. Ah, fear, fear, it's just another object.” And gradually one breaks through until there's stability in resting in that field of pure awareness, empty of a self. And then we start to know, “I won't annihilate myself.” Then you can go further. But first you have to feel safe. So we do it gradually, we teach it gradually.

Others?

Q: My experience with the rope exercise was noticing the movement of the rope as I had my hands on it, but a few times stopped passing it and just felt it move. It had some tension in it. It was an interesting in-between place to hold the rope and feel a part of the whole movement, but then to just let it go without trying to pass it.

Aaron: That's the next step, nobody passing. It's just moving. And, if as it's moving, if everybody comes to that point, that's where it continues moving but without a mover. Then the rope is still everywhere. Does it really need to move? It's only moving on the mundane level. Energetically the movement is there, it's happening. And even that energetic movement can stop. Because the circle becomes one circle. (demonstrating) There's just one circle. Is there any hand to pass it to? It's all you. Now what if there are 20 of you? It's still all you. Where would it go? So at that point, intuitively everyone stops passing it because there's nothing to pass. Does that answer your question?

Yesterday a friend who was at the sitting asked me a question about the role of, I think he phrased it of chemistry and consciousness. I found it a very interesting question, one I've never been asked before. My answer to him will be transcribed, but I'd like to bring our thoughts into this, because chemistry as we know it is simply all the various chemical elements, all the elements that create the earth: gas, mineral, and so forth. At one point do these basic elements become conscious?

(holding up crystal) That is a conscious crystal. It's aware, it's awake. And yet I might pick up a piece of gravel from the driveway and find it not conscious. I'm not going to speak to this at length now, we don't have time. Perhaps next month. Actually no, because next month will be our Christmas stories. Sometime I will speak further to this. I'll wait until I have the transcript of what I said to him. But I'd like you to consider all the things that come into your life—metal, glass, wood, all the various elements that constitute these objects. What is the nature of consciousness in these different objects, in the chemicals the comprise these objects, and what awakens consciousness? What is your role in awakening consciousness in the world? In a world where consciousness has been asleep, how do you wake it up? How do you relate to a rock, a tree, a piece of metal, as something that's alive and capable of consciousness and of response to you? Simply consider this. We'll talk more about it at another time.

We have time for one last question, if there is one, or sharing of something you experienced in these exercises. I am curious to know, could you feel the difference between this more contracted presence -- coming from a place of self - and opening into the expanded self? Those of you who are seriously interested in helping to raise the earth consciousness, it would do you well to become more aware of how you sometimes move from a more contracted, individualized, and ego-centered consciousness, and when you are relating to the world from this more expanded consciousness, and why you're choosing to do that? Why you're choosing to move into this space, and whether it's just habit.

(small shout!) Could you feel yourself pull in? Could you feel the contraction?

Breathe. Open back out again. It's like a knee jerk. You're mammals. It startles you. You contract. Just because you contract doesn't mean you have to assume, “Oh, my nature is contraction.” Your nature is expansion, and you have the habitual mammalian tendency to contract when there's a catalyst. Some of you may have, in science classes, examined the small cells of a leaf under a microscope, and if you bring a pin to that cell, not touching it yet, but just bringing the pin to it with the intention to touch it, you can see the cells contract. This is life. But you of higher consciousness have the ability to watch contracted energy and not become caught up in a self-identity with it, but to choose again and again, expansion, spaciousness, remembering your wholeness and your vastness.

Could you feel the connected energy as it flowed through as you held hands? Wouldn't it be amazing if the whole world could focus at that level?

All right, let us end here. I thank you very much for you attention and time with me tonight. I have enjoyed being with you. Usually in December I tell what I call Christmas stories, about the life 2,000 years ago when I was alive, and many of you were also alive on the Earth when Jeshua walked the Earth. I had a friendship with him and much love for him. So I share some of my memories. Some of you may have read the 47 Stories..., and they're on the archives in their expanded form. So that's what we'll be doing in December.

Something aside from Deep Spring Center. Once a month, Barbara, as the medium, incorporates the entity we call the Mother. She is a mix of various very beautiful Divine Mother energies. Our focus at these monthly gatherings is what we call “remembering wholeness.” People come up one at a time, take her hands, look into her eyes. See the divinity of themselves reflected in her eyes. Not her divinity, but their own divinity, that she's reflecting back to them. People often have a very strong energetic opening, a very deep sense of joy, of love, of just opening.

We do this once a month in Jackson at Corinthians Center,.

m.

Aaron: People are invited, those of you who can sustain a deep meditation and hold space, because it takes a very high energy for the Mother and other Brothers and Sisters of Light that are at work in the room to do their work. So the volunteers come and sit and hold the space, and the Mother will meet with each of those in that first hour. The room is settled, the energy is high, and then we invite in the rest of the people. Those who are volunteers will stay there for the second hour or even third hour while the Mother meets with those who come. How long depends on how many come. It could be 20 people, it could be 80 people. She'll move faster through the group if there are many people. So you won't be there at 3 in the afternoon. But anybody who feels moved to come at 8:45am and hold the space, hold the energy, for the Mother, is welcome. You don't have to have had past experience of that, just trust your own ability to hold energy and space, and invite in loving energy. The rest of you are welcome to come at 10am and simply have darshan with the Mother.

There will also be a similar gathering in Jackson in December. But because we usually meet out in Jackson, it's nice to have an opportunity to meet in Ann Arbor where it's more accessible to people, and also handicapped accessible, if you know people in wheelchairs. Many of these Brothers and Sisters of Light are also working in the room and helping support, I don't want to say doing healing, helping the body to remember its wholeness and to choose wholeness.

Are there any questions? My blessings and love to you all. I am reminded here as I am speaking of scheduling that Barbara will be in Brazil in January and February. So we'll have this night with me in December and then resume monthly in March. You're all welcome.

Good night. My love to you. I'm going to release the body to Barbara...

(session ends)

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