March 19, 2014 Wednesday Night with Aaron: Basic introduction; angels in earthsuits; vipassana; practicing kindness; holding space for negative thought; why incarnate? fear of awakening; what is energy?; discernment; anger.

Basic introduction; angels in earthsuits; vipassana; practicing kindness; holding space for negative thought; why incarnate? fear of awakening; what is energy?; discernment; anger.

Aaron: (there are many new people attending tonight) My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. Were you expecting a 2,000 year old man with a long gray beard to suddenly show up? That's not how it works. I use this body. It looks like Barbara. People tell her that there are different facial expressions, that they can tell when it's Aaron and when it's Barbara. Perhaps you can, perhaps not; it doesn't matter. If you simply think it's Barbara having an hallucination that an entity is using her body, no problem. As she said, if my words are helpful to you, use them. If it's not helpful, discard it.

I am very delighted to have your son with us. Please do not be concerned if he makes a little noise. He simply is a 2 week old baby. I can speak above him. He's fine.

So, who are you and why are you here? Many of you are new here tonight so let's start with some of the basics of spiritual inquiry. And then, for the happiness of those who have been here many times, we'll go deeper. But let's start with some basics.

Are you this body? Are you your thoughts? Are you your emotions? Who and what are you? Clearly your body has changed in the past 10 years, much less the past month. Your thoughts change constantly. Because my background is in Buddhism, I think of it in terms of Buddha Dharma terminology, the aggregates of being: the body, the mind with thoughts,,  feelings of pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral, perceptions, and consciousness. All of these are expressions of the self, but they are not what you truly are.

Who are you going to be when you leave this body? Who were you before you came into the body? In a quiet moment when you're not thinking, what remains? Humans become so self-identified with the body, thoughts, and emotions. Your whole life begins to revolve around those and you lose touch with your essence. This is when you suffer, because you look at yourselves and so often you think, “I don't like this or that about me” I have to fix it.” Then you go into a great fix-it campaign, maybe taking some classes, maybe a meditation class. “This is going to do it for me. Finally I'm going to become calm. Here I am at my first meditation class. Follow my breath. Be calm. Be calm! Be calm!!”  (voice getting louder) Are you calm yet? Where do happiness and peace really lie?

We ask the second question that I raised, why are you here? Who are you, and why are you here? A slightly different answer from each of you, but for all of you, the primary reason for your incarnation is to learn to live with more love, more loving kindness, less fear. You are here to learn to more fully express your Divine Essence and radiance and bring it into manifestation. Fear is a learned behavior--that's not entirely true. You are mammals. Because you are mammals, fear arises. It's a mammalian instinct. But preoccupation with the fear is not necessary. When fear arises, it's just fear. If certain conditions are present—a rain storm comes, you don't say, “Why is it raining on me? Why is it picking on me?” It's just a rain storm. You happen to be in its path. When the conditions change, it will go.

So we look at this thought and know it is not of the nature of a self, it's simply the outplay of conditions. Your anger, your fear, your hatred, your shame, all of these emotions that come, they are the winds blowing. They are the outplay of conditions. Your work is to not be reactive to them. And yes, that is possible. But you can't cease reactivity by saying, “No, I won't be reactive,” because that's just more reactivity. Instead, ahhh. With meditation we find what we call a bigger container.

Imagine if we were all sitting in this room but it was completely bare of all furnishings. If I came in and put a tarantula down in one corner of a room this size, by the time I put it on the floor you'd be out the door, yes? Maybe we have one or two spider lovers in here; most of you would be out the door. Now imagine if we had a room ten times this size, again devoid of furniture. I put this fellow down in the far corner. He looks around and begins slowly to walk across the room. But you have all the space you need to move away from him. You watch him. He moves toward you, you step aside. He wanders around the room. He stays a distance from you; he's as uncomfortable with you as you're uncomfortable with him. Finally you sit down. You see him coming toward you. “What am I going to do?” Breathe. He comes toward you. He climbs on your lap. He looks at your face. He climbs off and walks away. You don't have to get caught up in the story, “It's a tarantula! It's a poisonous spider! It will kill me!Why should he? You're not threatening him. Let him be. He'll leave you be.

Can you see where I'm going with this? Those incessant thoughts of anger at another, anger at the self, shame, and so forth, feelings of unworthiness, the thoughts, “I have to be the best. I have to take care of everything,” there are all these different thoughts and you get so caught in their stories. What if you let that so-called spider of that story of shame or guilt or not good enough or anger-- “Why did he abuse me?” --what if you just let that thought be a thought, and instead of trying to fix it you just watch it, like the spider in that vast space? What are you going to learn about it?

Barbara related how when I first met her I said to her, “I'm here to help you understand the nature of your suffering around the deafness. Your deafness is not causing your suffering; the anger around the deafness and the grasping not to be deaf are causing your suffering. You can't let this go. It's like the sore tooth in the mouth. The tongue keeps going to it, jostling it, aggravating it.” What stories do you have that you keep aggravating and enhancing?

I was speaking to a friend recently who was in a minor accident, but enough that she went to have an x-ray. This friend was supposed to go on a trip, and thought to herself, “What if I can't go? What if they find it's broken? What if I can't take my journey? Why did that happen? It wasn't my fault; it's not fair. What am I going to do?” All of this inner commotion was going on. And the x-ray came back and they said it's fine; it's just bruised. Go home; enjoy your trip.

Well, she was suffering because she dreamed up this whole scenario. Does that sound familiar to you? All the scenarios; each of you have your own top hits. What songs do you play most often? The poor me, or I have to be perfect. I have to take care of everything and everyone.Or Life is not fair to me. I never get what I want.Or I'm not good enough.” Or “If only my parents had been different, I would be so wonderful. But I was so hurt as a child that now I can't be wonderful. So this is my burden.” “I'm too thin, I'm too fat. I'm too old, I'm too young. I'm too short, I'm too tall.” Are you suffering? Do you need to suffer with this self-imposed burden, or can you release it?

Then we come to the question, how do we release it? No, “I won't have any more anxiety.That's not going to work, is it? I won't have any fear.” “I won't feel ashamed.” “I'll stop feeling unworthy.” “I won't feel too fat, or too thin.” It doesn't work. The “wonts” only fuel the stories.

So with our vipassana practice we begin to know the habitual stories and learn to make peace with things as they are. That does not mean resignation to things as they are. If the roof starts leaking, we don't just say, Well, I'm just going to sit here and get soaked.” We move over, put a bucket under the leak, and make plans for a repair. That's wisdom, that's kindness. But if you have a cold, you're sniffling a bit, you're a bit uncomfortable, “I don't want this cold. I'll get rid of this cold,”  and there is fear and contraction, that will not help. It will pass. Everything arises when the conditions are present for it to arise and passes away when the conditions are no longer present.

I want to backtrack a bit. I used the term vipassana. This is from the Buddhist tradition, but here at Deep Spring we do not teach people to be Buddhists. The word “buddha” is simply a term that means “one who is awake.” We're teaching people to be awake-- awake Jews, awake Christians, awake Moslems, awake Buddhists, awake atheists. Awake in whatever tradition you're in. To be awake means to be fully present and engaged in life with an open heart; not to have the mind wandering and getting caught in the old stories.

There are many forms of meditation. Some forms use a concentration practice where they ask you to bring attention to one object and hold it pinned to one object. People often say to me, “I can't meditate because my mind moves after a minute,” or after 10 minutes, or whenever. But that's not the kind of meditation we're practicing. Anybody can learn, through great effort, to pin one's mind on an object, but you don't learn much that way except how stoic you can be. I'm not diminishing concentration practice. It can have some real benefits. But that forced concentration is not usually too useful.

Instead, we use what we call moment-to-moment concentration. We start people here just following the breath. The inhale comes in through the nostrils, and then the exhale. Inhale again, exhale. Four or five breaths, and suddenly the mind asks, what next? Ah, thinking. There's a thought. Note the thought and then gently come back to the breath. Concentration is present first with the breath, then with the arising of a thought, then with the breath again. Breathing, breathing, breathing in, breathing out. There's an itch. Ah, itch, and the impulse to scratch the itch, two objects. “This itch, it's unpleasant, I've got to scratch it.” Ah, interesting. I see how the itch arose and then the impulse to scratch it. Perhaps I don't need to scratch the itch. Perhaps I can just notice this unpleasant, slightly burning sensation and just watch it for a minute and see what happens to it. It disappears. Or maybe it intensifies and then there's the conscious decision, I will scratch it. Ahh, relief, pleasant. Ahh, and now it's gone. Come back to the breath.

So it's a gentle practice, to be present with what arises in the body and the mind so that we can learn how we habitually relate to our minds and bodies. Are you a despot, trying to control everything in your mind and body? Are you a helpless wimp, feeling out of control of everything? Most of you are somewhere in between. As we meditate in this way we begin to get an inkling of what's really creating our discomfort: for many people, it is the whole feeling “I'm not in control.” And the ego wants to be in control.

The ego is one of the superficial aspects of your being. It serves a purpose. It walks you through daily life. It washes the dishes, answers the phone, pays the bills. But it's not who you are. There is the physical body, a mental body, an emotional body, and a spirit body. By spirit body I basically mean, what remains when you're not so busy being the physical, mental, and emotional bodies. That doesn't' mean that the body disappears. It doesn't mean that emotions cease. It doesn't mean that thoughts cease. It means that the self-identity with these goes, because after some period of watching sensations arise and pass away, you're just saying, “I'm in a human body; there will be thoughts. I'm in a human body; there will be sensations. I don't have to get caught up in these.”

You are responsible to them. If an emotion of anger comes up, you don't turn around and thump somebody. You take care of your anger, just like you take care of your body. You shower, you brush your teeth. You take care of the emotional body too. And if there are incessant thoughts that follow a certain pattern, like a constant worry, you take care of the incessant thoughts by noting they are arising from conditions, are impermanent and not of the nature of a separate self.  

Barbara was visiting an elderly relative. She began a pattern true to her to worry, about different things as the weekend went on. Barbara was having cataract surgery. Her relative said, What if it doesn't work out right? A snowstorm was expected later this weekend. “Maybe you ought to leave a day early. I don't want you to get caught in the snow,et cetera, et cetera. Finally Barbara's husband Hal said to the relative-- I can't remember the exact play of the conversation, but she said, I'm really worried about this.And Hal looked at her and he said, “Do you think you really needed one more thing to worry about? Are you ready to put this down?” And finally she laughed. She finally got it. Just, she caught on: I've been worrying all weekend this won't be right, that won't be right.People were coming for lunch. They won't find the room,et cetera, et cetera. Put it down. Let it go.

Each of you have your own habitual tendencies, and as you meditate, you begin to get the hang of them. Ah, here is this one, worrying about perhaps not doing enough for others, or worrying about why others are not self-sufficient enough and are always leaning on me. Worrying about why I'm so angry. Worrying about whether I'm being a wimp. What is it you're worrying about? Do you really need to hold on to that? What are you getting out of it? You can ask yourself, what do I get out of this repetitive kind of thought? Am I ready to let go of it?

So vipassana gives us a chance to see deeply into the nature of mind and body experience, and gradually to learn who you are when you're not so self-involved with that experience. It takes you into the spirit body, allows you to experience the radiance of that spirit body. It's a place where thoughts may temporarily cease. Even the body can seem to dissolve into a vast realm of light. But you're not meditating to move into that realm of light. It's just another experience. You're meditating to simply see what's there.

And it's important that you investigate this always from your own experience, and not because somebody told you. If I tell you that you are not your mind, you are not your body, that's just words. But what does it mean when you really experience that space between thoughts, and a moment of “Ah, maybe there's something else here beyond everyday mind.”?

For me the deepest value of this kind of practice is that we live in a world where there is so much harshness, cruelty, pain, and confusion. And basically, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. What does it mean to be part of the solution? A, push me. It means instead of reacting like that (pushes back), I can respond with ease (swaying with the push)—she can just keep pushing. Eventually she'll get tired. It's not really bothering me. It's up to her. If she's upset and she wants to keep pushing, she can keep pushing. But at a certain point I can turn to her and say, “That's enough.And I can walk away. I don't have to say it with anger; I say it with compassion for this other human who keeps pushing.

We can learn how to respond lovingly in the world. Each of you has experienced so many times in your life where there has been something pushing at you, whether it's another human being, a traffic jam, a bad driver, a headache, these constant pushes. You get sick over them—tension, the whole body contracting because you don't know how to respond to all of these pushes. Just let it go by. But if I do that (pushes A back), we're just going to get into a pushing fight until one of us keels over.

You do it not only with others but with yourself. It becomes a dance, moving the arm. I don't simply collapse under the push, I feed the energy back. The push comes. I let it go past, and then I feed the energy back. It becomes a very smooth dance.

Sometimes the dance is with yourself and your own tendencies to fear, to anger, and so forth. --To control, that's a big one. Sometimes it's with others. People ask me sometimes, well what difference does it make, Aaron, if I act more lovingly or not? Well, simply put, would you rather live in a world where people are more loving or where people are filled with spite and hatred? You create the world you want to live in by the way you respond to yourself and your own thinking and patterns and to others around you.

What I'm advocating here is not to collapse, let it run over you and smash you to the ground. You are strong; you are radiant. I call you “angels in earthsuits.” You are a divine presence, and you can't forget that. And you are the human that feels pain in the body, pain in the emotions, and you can't forget that. But you are here learning to live your life with a higher energy, with more love, because it is this love that will transform the whole world. And each of you that gets it, even a little bit, and passes it on to another, that helps to transform the world.

Picture yourself driving and somebody cuts you off and gives the finger, and you look out your window and you smile at them. You don't have to get upset. You don't have to get caught up. Maybe that man just learned that his brother died and he's very upset, and he's rushing off to the hospital. And instead of his habitual pattern of anger coming out and bothering you, your gentle way suddenly stops him and says, “I forgot. There is kindness in the world.” And maybe he'll slow down. Maybe.

From my perspective, let me tell you a little about myself. You introduced yourselves. First of all, I am not Aaron. That's just a handy name. I have been many beings in many lifetimes. In one human lifetime I was a human named Aaron; he was a wise man, a loving teacher. When Barbara said, “What can I call you?”, “Hey you” didn't really work. So I took the persona of that being, Aaron, his personality, his skills as a teacher, and so forth. But I have been male and female. I have been of different races, different cultures. I am not Aaron.

In my final human lifetime, in the 1500s, I was a Buddhist meditation master in Thailand. Since that was my final human lifetime, the lifetime in which I no longer was karmically pulled back into a new body, the practice of that lifetime, vipassana, was very important to me. It was a practice that led me to freedom from this cycle of birth and death. So I teach from that foundation, but I've also been a South American shaman, an Australian aborigine, an African - I don't know the term in your language, let's just call it a shaman again. I've been carpenters. I was a pirate in one lifetime. I was a bartender in another lifetime. I've done it all. So have all of you.

What I teach is what I learned, through these lifetimes and in this period since, of the importance of living with love and the possibility of living ever more fully with love, of overcoming these harsh habitual tendencies and really finding the loving heart inside yourself.

From my perspective, you are all evolving. You don't have to believe in reincarnation. I said earlier: no beliefs required. For me it's not a belief, because I remember these incarnations, but you're here in this incarnation and that's really all you need to know. You don't need to know who you were in other lifetimes. If you had a habitual tendency of being a victim in other lifetimes, or of allowing people to push you around, you're probably still doing it. If you had a habitual tendency to have a quick temper in other lifetimes, you're probably still doing it. If you had a habitual tendency to constantly need to take care of everybody and put yourself last, you're probably still doing it. Who are you in this lifetime? What are the tendencies that are wholesome and beautiful and that you wish to nourish? What are the tendencies that hold you back, that are not so useful to you? And, seeing those tendencies, can you approach them not with a “get rid of it” attitude but and Ah, here is this tendency. Here is this habitual movement again, and yet again. Can I pause and just see the tarantula walking across the room, just give it space?Whatever has the nature to arise has the nature to cease. You don't have to fix it. You do have to take care of it. If the rain is coming in, you close the window. If the anger is coming up, you pause and breathe and hold space.

This is probably two years ago now. Barbara was leading a retreat out of state and was at somebody's house where there was a boy, I would guess he was 4 or 5 years old. He was trying to build with his Lego blocks and the structure wouldn't hold together. He was getting more and more frustrated. Finally he picked it up and threw it across the room. Barbara had been sitting and reading. She looked at him and said, You look very angry.He said, I am angry.She came over to him. She said, “Can I help you?” He said, “No, I'm taking care of my anger.And he sat and he breathed. She said, Can I sit down with you while you take care of your anger?” “Yes.First he was breathing heavily, then he quieted down and the breath smoothed out, two or three minutes. And then he looked up and said, I'm all done. We can play now.

You all have this capacity. Now, this child had parents who were meditation practitioners and had been teaching him how to do this. One thing we do with children is to take a glass jar and put some water and liquid detergent and sparkles, different kinds of sparkles out of which you make a sort of snow globe. When the child is angry, you shake it and you ask them to sit and just watch all the sparkles settle to the bottom, and to feel their anger settling in the same way. He's watching it all swirling around, and by the time it's settled, his emotions have settled. You're not too old to do this. Make your own glass jar and practice with it.

So we are learning to relate more kindly to the outside world and to our own inner world, and that there is a real possibility to relate to those parts of us that we've always been reactive to, harsh to ourselves and others, impatient, impetuous, judgmental, to relate with kindness. And only this kindness will release that habitual tendency.

If I had a bowl here filled with water, filled right up to the top, a clear glass bowl like a fish bowl, and I shook the table, the water would slosh over, yes? Seeing it sloshing, I put my hand on the top to stop it. Is that going to help? The more I try to stop it, the more it's going to slosh over. But if I just let it alone, it will settle.

One similar story, this from Thich Nhat Hanh. Do you know who Thich Nhat Hanh is? He's a Buddhist monk and, I think, a prize-winning poet. He's won a Nobel prize for something; whether it's his poetry or his peacemaking efforts I'm not sure. He's a Zen master. He had a young child living in his house temporarily. The child came in and said, I'm thirsty.and Thay-- that's what they call him, Thay means teacher in VietnameseThay poured him a glass of apple juice, the kind that has sediment in it. The child looked at it and said, No, I don't like that.So Thay said, Well I'll leave it on the counter. If you're thirsty you can come back and get it.The boy came back in about 10 minutes later, said, I'm still thirsty,and Thay pointed to the apple juice. The boy looked at it and said, Ah, it's been meditating!All the sediment had settled. How do we let the sediment in ourselves settle?

A few questions that came in during the week. Usually we leave questions until the last period, but I'm going to speak to these. Give me a moment here, I'm going to pause...

(tape paused)

Q: “If we're already perfect, why incarnate? If we are not already perfect, why can't we learn in our true form? Why incarnate here? Can't we learn the same lessons there without appearing on Earth?”

A: Well, you're already perfect and there's still a bit of tarnish around the edges. There's a favorite Buddhist teaching song, Flight of the Garuda, which has a lines,

Butter is made of the essence of milk,

But if the milk isn't churned, the butter won't form.

Sentient beings are made of  the essence of perfection

But if they don't practice, they won't be enlightened.

So we need to practice. The catalysts that come to you, all those pushes, these are part of the opportunity to practice. If you lived in an idyllic realm, never experiencing any physical, emotional, or mental discomfort, where would you practice? A heavenly realm sounds wonderful, and it could be very blissful. I'm not suggesting it would not be blissful, but your compassion grows when you experience those pushes and feel the discomfort in yourself, feel the discomfort of others, and learn that you are able to consciously choose to respond with an open heart, with loving kindness. So all of these nudges that you keep getting, or sometimes big kicks, can you stop and say, “I don't want this. I don't like this. But thank you. Thank you for this reminder to open my heart, to have mercy, to have patience for myself and others.”?

So you are already perfect, and you incarnate to reveal that perfection by the practice that you do, watching the habitual tendencies that come up that bring impatience, judgment, anger, fear, greed, and learning that you don't have to be reactive to these. Slowly learning who you are so that innate perfection can shine out, the angel in the earthsuit.

These are four different questions from four different people.

Q: “Do pre-birth humans ever plan to take on all the opportunities for growth that they can, but then realize that they have gotten themselves in over their head, and they do not have enough spiritual growth to be able to handle the circumstances they were certain they could handle?”

A: Yes, sometimes they do.

Q: “I have been feeling this way for a long time, so I'm interested to know what my best next step is...”

A: Basically, the next step is to be immensely kind and patient to yourself, to see the places where you are constantly getting caught. So many of you come to me with one area of pain or another: “I can't find a loving relationship. I can't find work that's suitable to me. I can't earn money. My body is always sick. Everything is always going wrong. The whole world is against me.” Look at the area where you most frequently get caught in, It doesn't work. What's wrong with me?” and stop and say, Ah, here is my teacher. Right here in this moment, with this body that isn't functioning the way I want it to; as with Barbara, the ears that are deaf, can this become the teacher instead of the adversary? When you relate to whatever it is as teacher, then you move past that stuck place. You are not stuck because you have taken on more than you can handle. You are stuck because you're not relating to what you have invited in a skillful way, and you're simply perpetuating the unwholesome karma, keeping the fight going with it. The more you push back, the more it pushes back at you, until you finally say, It's too much. I can't take it.But if it keeps pushing and you keep letting it go, feeding the energy back, and learning how to work with whatever it was, then you move past it and it will become a teacher to you. And finally it will become a past teacher, something you understand now and no longer need to learn about. Then you stop inviting those nasty people, angry people, abusive people, into your life. And you stop inviting those demeaning jobs, or whatever it may be. You don't need it anymore. You've learned how to relate to it in a wholesome way.

So you do not get in over your head so much as you bury yourself, because the situation keeps coming up and keeps coming up, and instead of saying, “Wait a minute, what's happening here?” you say, “I have to fight harder!” until you're exhausted and you collapse. Stop. That's enough. Come back into the loving heart. Remember you are the angel and begin to relate with love.

A third question.

Q:  “It feels as though I was born longing to be enlightened. I took myself to church at age 5 and had myself baptized at age 12. I was in a car accident that same year and had a near-death experience. I was never afraid of death. In some ways I longed for it, perhaps to the point of having an unconscious death wish. I saw life in the spirit as less painful and more joyful. While I am now more spiritual than religious, I have also come to love physicality. I treasure the sights and sounds and feel of nature, and the sweet connection with other human beings. It is as though I am finally comfortable in my own skin. Aaron's words allowed me to recognize subtle fear that fully awakening might take all of that away forever: ‘We are all Buddhas, ready to awaken. In awakening we become free, liberated from this cycle of birth and death.'”

A: I spoke to you just now of how in the 1500s I ended this cycle of birth and death, finding full liberation. That doesn't mean I died on the spot. I continued out the incarnation. And then it was up to me whether I would choose to come back into an incarnation, no longer pulled by karma but simply drawn by love. Now, I have not thusly chosen, not out of fear of being human but because I can serve better in this way. Because in these 500 years this consciousness has often worked through Barbara's body in this way and I have the, let's say the memories and the wisdom and the clarity as a teacher, to be more useful this way. But my intention is simply to be of service. But many beings do come back after they find that final liberation. Simply, they are no longer drawn back by their karma but have the freedom to choose.

One last question ;

Q¬†:“What is energy? What makes up energy? Does energy make up the elements of air, water, fire, earth, ether, or do the elements make up energy? How do vibration and frequency come into play?”

A: First, the elements that are mentioned: earth, air, fire, water, ether. The whole earth substance is made up of these elements. It's easy to understand the water element in a glass of water. But when you look outside today and see the rain falling, the water element is all around you. When you walk in the mud you see the earth element and the water element combined. Usually the elements appear together and not isolated. In your own bodies there's a very high  degree of water element. There is also earth element in the body. There's fire. There's air in the breath. The body is made up of all of these.

Energy pervades them all. They are not energy, but energy fills them. So energy fills your physical body, your emotions, your mental body and spirit body. Energy fills the earth. So what is energy? Everything is energy, but that's not really a sufficient answer.

Energy is love. Love is energy. I would say it first that way, Love is energy. The open heart that's capable of loving. Think if you will of something that you dearly love-- a person, your baby, a strawberry milkshake, a sunrise, something that, ahhh, just opens the heart completely. Can you feel the energy when you think of that? Love is energy. Then that energy takes a certain form. So that I take my love and I offer it to you. I take my love and I feed this person. I take this love and I gently massage another person's sore shoulder. I'm constantly expressing love as energy through the mind, through the body, through the thoughts. Love is energy.

That energy permeates all of the elements, but it begins in the open heart. It begins as love. Now, some of you will say, well Aaron, there's a different form of energy: hatred is also energy. Yes, hatred is a distortion of love. If you take love and pour fear into it, let's use a very simply example. What if I said, “Give me your baby! I'm going to throw him out the window!”, fear would come up, yes? You know I wouldn't do that, so there's not really going to be fear. But you understand what I'm talking about. If you feel attacked or something you love feels attacked, fear comes up, and it's an easy leap into hatred of that which you fear.

If we lived in a dualistic universe, there could be love and hatred, good and evil, as opposites. But we live in a non-dualistic universe. I am not suggesting that there is no negativity. There is a lot of negativity, a lot of fear, a lot of hatred, a lot of contraction. But it is not dualistic with love. It's simply love that has been pulled into the contracted, frightened heart to the point that it's locked in. And it comes out as a different kind of energy, like an explosion instead of a warm embrace of love.

So when I say that love is energy, we could add to that: fear as a distortion of love also carries love energy, but it's a distortion of that love energy. So everything is love and the expressions of love. This is why it's so important to work to nurture the loving expressions, and to take responsibility for and take care of the negative and frightening expressions so they do not overwhelm you, so that energy doesn't pour out in negative ways.

At one point, I think this is in the book The Aaron/Q'uo Dialogues, my friend Q'uo, another entity, and I were talking about negative and positive polarity and attempting to define them. Positive polarity expresses itself in service to all beings, in kindness, in the open heart. Negative polarity expresses itself in service to self, separating self and other. It's based in fear. But for me that highest distinguishing factor between negative and positive polarity is simply contraction and expansion. You live in a universe that is constantly expanding, energy moving out (moving his arms and putting his hands out). Energy that is constantly moving out, touching everything, expanding. Breathe. Feel your heart sending out loving energy everywhere, expanding.

Now think of an “I want this” thought and feel how your energy closes in. “Mine. I want this.” Can you feel that contraction? Begin to think of it in this way, simply noting when your energy field is contracting so that love energy can't be released by others, can't move out. When your energy field is open, expansive, allowing that energy as love to touch the world, to touch the small seedling that you're nurturing, to touch the dish you're cooking on the stove, or to touch the baby, can you feel the love in that? Watch the way she's patting her son; can you feel the love in that? So much love pouring out. This is love, this is energy.

So at this point I'd like to open the floor to your questions. We have another half hour here. Feel free to ask about anything that I've spoken about tonight or any new question, completely different than what we've spoken of. I sense that my last answer about energy may have provoked some other questions, and that's fine. Fine if not, also.

Q: What happens when I send love energy to my car?

Aaron: A car is an interesting object, as is any material object. It's made of mineral, metal. It doesn't have its own intelligence in the way a tree or a cat does. But any object that's made of any element vibrates at a higher vibration when it receives that love energy. So the whole of the car -and the car isn't just metal, it's got gas and oil and water and glass and different parts to it- it all loosens up. It responds at a higher vibration. If you were chugging along strictly like this (demonstrating contraction), it's very different than if you (exhaling) flow smoothly. It allows it to flow smoothly.


Q: My question deals with time and how it is partially our imagination, how we live in the moment and how it isn't measurable, it doesn't divide itself. So what is time?

Aaron: Time is an illusion. There is no such thing as time, there is only now (tap), and now (tap), and now (tap), and now (tap). But even that (tapping quickly) is far too slow. I couldn't possibly (tap) fast enough. Each moment, each second is an eternity. The human mind puts it together in a linear way. Time is simultaneous. All of those coming at once, compacted into themselves.

If you take all of the moments of the past week and stuff them into a container and reach in and pull one out, it seems separate from the others. But if you put it back in—let's use the idea of each moment as a molecule of water. You take a dropper and you drop them in so they're all in one container. Can you separate the drop of two days ago at 7:23am and the drop of four days ago at 4:19pm? They're all together. They're one unit. And yet in the linear human memory, you pull out this one, you pull out that one. You believe that this one served as the conditioning for that one, and in a linear way, it did, since your minds are fixed in that linear mode. But that is all part of the illusion.

What does this mean in terms of the way you live your life? You do have to live it as a linear flow. There is this moment and that moment. The baby is hungry, the baby needs a clean diaper, the baby is asleep, it's linear, but it's all one baby. When you go back into 3am and the baby is screaming for attention, 3pm and the baby is sleeping, cuddled against your chest, it's all one moment, though. Whichever one you extract, you can learn from that. How did I respond to the baby when he was screaming at 3am? Was I able to be patient with my own discomfort and with the baby's discomfort? How did I relate to the baby when he was sleeping in such a sweet way, cuddled against my chest? Can I bring that open heart into the moments when he's fretful and I'm fretful?

So we take those bits of linear-seeming time and blend them together and use one to learn and help us with the next one. But they are not truly separate. Does that make sense to you? Have you further question?

Q: (stating question quickly for signer to restate) If our emotions, our connection with our higher self, our intuition, how does one know if these emotions are that connection or if you're taking them on from someone else? If you're taking someone else's energy on?

Signer: How do you know if your emotions are your own or if you are taking them on from someone else?

Q: Our own or our own guidance, not really our own humanness, but our own higher self guidance.

Signer: So, if the emotions are your own or your higher self guidance?

Q: If they're our guidance or are they from this human realm.

Q2: I think what she's trying to say is, for example, when we have a strong urge, how do we know if it's our angels or something trying to guide us to avoid something, versus us feeling fear for our neighbors, certain negative energies...

Signer: If we have an intuition, how do we know if it is from our higher self or guidance or if it is from our own fear?

Q: Fear or anything human.

Aaron: When there's fear, how do you feel?

Q: I get anxious a lot, and I pick it up from other people.

Aaron: And you feel the tension. And when there's a deep sense of loving intuition, how do you feel?

Q: I'm not really sure.

Aaron: Others, how do you feel when you're resting in a space of loving intuition, how does your energy feel, how does your body feel?

Group: Open. Free flowing. Rich. Timeless.

Aaron: So you can learn a discernment about this by being mindful and watching just the states of contraction versus spaciousness. When there's contraction, simply know “contracting”. It's not bad, it's just contraction. When there's spaciousness and ease, be aware of it. Ah, here is the experience of spaciousness and ease. How do you know the color blue from brown? You've watched them enough that you've learned to identify blue as blue and brown as brown. But if you ask the baby, the baby can't tell you which is blue and which is brown. It comes from learning this is this and that is that.

As you pay attention in your experience and watch contracting, tension, fear-- ah, this is how it feels. Spaciousness, ease, joy, loving kindness—ah, this is how that feels. Then when there's what you might call either intuition or that you're picking it up from someone else, is it coming into a spaciousness and ease? I'm not talking about the tension that's compounded on it by the question, is this mine? That's a secondary tension. But at the moment that this thought arose, did it arise into a sense of spaciousness or with a sense of contraction?

And from that we start to discern, “Here is a thought coming into the spacious mind, the open heart,” or “Here is a thought coming into the contracted mind and heart.” If it's coming into the contracted mind and heart, don't act on it. Pause, breathe. Invite space, until you come back in touch with the clear intuition, the clear knowing that really is your higher self, your higher knowing, until you begin to trust it because of your experience. You start to see, when I respond to the world from this spaciousness, it's usually wholesome. When I react to the world from this tension and contraction, it's usually unwholesome. So when I feel that tension and contraction, I will pause, as the little boy did. Just breathe until it settles, because your natural state is spacious and the contraction is something imposed on that spaciousness by habitual pattern. If you relax, you re-enter that natural state of spaciousness. Get to know how that feels and then you'll have increasing confidence from it.


Q: So from what you just said, I think you said guidance from our higher self or from the higher realms never comes in the form of a warning. Is that correct?

Aaron: No, that's an incorrect interpretation of what I've said. Let's say you're standing by the road and a car is coming down the road and starts to swerve toward you. Higher self will say, “Move.” But it won't say it with fear. It's a warning but it's not a frightened warning, it's a wise warning. That driver has lost control of his car. Step out of the way.But there's no fear or contraction in it. You don't have to be afraid in order to move out of the path of the car. Can you feel the difference?

Q: You often say that love is energy, but also, anger is energy. And so often I hear you teaching in positive terms but not referencing the negative powers or the negative energy.

Aaron: Anger is energy but it takes a much more advanced being to use that anger energy skillfully than to use love energy skillfully. It takes real mastery to be able to transmute the anger into a positive energy. It can be done. But it is a more useful path for most humans to pause and not enact the anger in ways that could do harm if it's not perfectly transmuted, but to wait for it to settle and then come into the situation from a more openhearted place.

If something were to seriously anger me (speaking powerfully) so that I began to speak from the power of that anger, can you feel the energy coming through? A lot of energy! Now from that place of energy, if I say, I love you, but I cannot watch you harming yourself in that way,” (resumes normal voice) I'm speaking in a kind way, basically. I'm not speaking in a negative way, but I'm using the power of the anger as energy. But as I said, it's much harder to do that, because if the anger is with you and you have not fully transmuted it, little trickles of it can come out with a, “You're stupid! Why did you do that?kind of implication that can be hurtful. So it's safer for the human to do the inner work first, transform the anger into a more positive energy, and then let it speak.

But this doesn't mean to be afraid of the anger. The anger is not bad; it's simply not an accessible energy form for most humans if you wish the outcome to be positive, because it's too likely to do harm with it.

Q: Do you meditate, still?

Aaron: There are different forms of meditation. I no longer sit on a cushion, although I sit with Barbara. Who am I? Who is Aaron? I have no body. I have memories and I have thoughts, but I have no self-identification with them, so I don't have to go through the process that most humans have to go through of quieting the mind and body, because where I am it's naturally quiet. So my meditation is simply coming into that still space, resting in that light, energy, love, bliss, joy. I simply rest there.

You've heard me talk about the distinction between consciousness and awareness. You are all working with everyday consciousness. Occasionally in your meditation you touch the place of pure awareness. For me, as soon as I pause in the work I'm doing at this moment, of having to do anything, I'm simply resting in awareness, and I rest there so stably, more and more. It is easy because there has been no doer, unlike for you where there is still a doer. Spaciousness and presence do increase. I think the container for it gets, I don't want to say gets bigger because that would imply a personal container. My connection with the infinite container of the divine becomes more and more stable, so there is not a moment's question “I am That.” No separation. I'm not saying I am God any more than I'm saying you are God; we are all God. That which is God is flowing through all of us. In your meditation you may think about that and occasionally rest in that space where you know that connection briefly. For me, meditation is simply to sink back into that deepest knowing and rest there. And it's very joyful to rest there. And then when I am needed here, I emerge a bit.

One last question?

Q: When a loved one is directing anger at you, can you describe the difference between lovingly redirecting that anger back to them and walking away.

Aaron: Whichever you do, if you do it with kindness, it doesn't matter. Both are equally hard. It's as hard to walk away with love, but it's easier in some ways because you're disengaging from the person. If you remain there and try to flow with the anger in that way, you're still engaged with the person and more likely to get caught back into it. You have to be honest with yourself. If you're able to stay engaged without getting caught in the words that are going past, that's helpful. If you're not able to, at that point, there is no shame in saying, “This is too much for me right now. I need to walk away, because if I stay I'm going to regret it and get caught back up into the cycle of anger.

So keep holding the intention not to perpetuate the cycle of anger. You know the practice we've talked about of clear comprehension of purpose. What is my highest purpose in this moment? Is it to be right? Then I want to stay engaged. Is it to avoid the whole issue? Then I'm going to run, but with contraction. Is it to heal, to promote healing, understanding, loving kindness and communication, to help the growth of myself and the other person? Then I'm going to hold space for the pain and anger and confusion that are coming up as we talk, remain for as long as I'm able to and stay engaged. But if I feel myself contracting, to have the honesty to say, “I'm starting to get caught. I need to back off. I need space. We'll talk again later.”

We meet once a month. I don't know the date of the next one but Barbara or Amy will know. All are welcome, you're welcome to bring friends... I'm going to release the body to Barbara and she can make announcements.

My deepest love to all of you. I want you to realize I am love, you are love. I am spirit, you are spirit. We're not separate. I am no better than you are. I have more memory of certain things that makes me able to talk, to remember certain areas of wisdom, but that doesn't make me better. We're all of equal value. We are all angels, you in earthsuits, me without an earthsuit. Your work is to manifest this divinity as fully as you can, to remember who you are. Just that. I love you all.

(Barbara reincorporates)

(session ends)