April 16, 2014 Wednesday with Aaron: Interconnection; nonduality, co-creation, akashic field, manifestation

Interconnection; nonduality, co-creation, akashic field, manifestation;

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. And a special welcome to you. It's been a long time since we have spoken. (To Barbara's son, who is visiting from out of state)

One of the core functions of Deep Spring Center is the teaching of non-duality. People always ask me, what do you mean by non-duality? Well certainly you seem to be separate people, and yet at one level, you're all part of each other. Not in the bodies, each body is distinct, but in your hearts.

When the world functions as billions of separate egos, people are slamming into each other constantly, knocking each other over. When the world functions as one heart, there is a very different experience. Then the world is people connected, caring about each other, ... (pausing for late arrivals). When the world functions as one heart, and you know how directly you are connected, each to each, you are able to live from that heart and not keep crashing into each other.

Now imagine that you are all starving. I have a buffet table of delicious foods down there and you're all at this end of the room. I say to you, “Now you may go get food.” Are you going to charge to the other end of the room? Probably you're going to knock each other over in your stampede. A few strong ones will get the food; others will starve. What if you link arms and walk down? Will you stampede at the end?

Or, consider this possibility from an old Sufi story: what if each of you had no capacity to bend your arm? You're ravenous. There's food here. You have reached the table. But you can't bend your arm. How are you going to feed yourself? Can't do it, can you?  (child is mimicking leaning over and slurping it up) You could do that (gesturing), but what if it's soup? What if it's spaghetti? (to child) Could you feed your dad with your straight arm? Try it, with your straight arm—could you feed your dad? Yes. And he could feed you. Each of you could feed all the others in the room, and trust that you also would be fed.

This is not quite non-duality, but it's living knowing your interdependence, and that's the step that precedes knowing non-duality, to know that you are each dependent on the others. Non-duality takes it a step further. You are each other. Barbara once asked me, “Am I my brother's keeper?” And I said, “No, you are your brother.” It took her a while to work that out. Do you get it? When you live from the place of separation there will always be greed, aversion, jealousy, pride, hatred. But when you live from that place of connection, you deeply empathize with each other, because whatever you're feeling, the person across the room from you is feeling. You are each other. You are all connected.

When you try to resolve problems from a personal ego space, and you have this idea (gesturing)  and you (gesturing)have that idea, you really can't hear each other, and often you work against each other. But when you try to hear each other from a place of connection and act together, it's very different.

I'd like you to try an experiment with me;it's going to ask you to stand up and push the chairs back temporarily... For those listening in on the conference phone, I apologize, I don't know any way you can do this exercise alone. But listen and try to visualize it. Some of you have done this with me before. (counting off into groups) You seven form a circle. You eight form a circle.

You're going to each take your right hands and put them in the center. Now grasp somebody's hand who is across from you. Now take your left hand and grab another hand. Alright, now you're in a knot. This exercise is called the human knot. If each of you as a separate ego tries to unravel the knot, you're just going to have 7 or 8 people each pushing and pulling.

I want you to simply stand there holding hands for a few minutes. Feel each other's energy. Feel the connection. Start to really be each other, feeling how each of you is tied to the others. And when you are ready, I want you to begin to unravel the knot by ducking under hands, stepping over hands, doing whatever is needed to gradually and gently allow the knot to unravel. You may swivel hands as needed so that nobody gets a twisted arm or shoulder. Hands may swivel. So you don't let go but you may swivel.

So begin, and you have all the time you need. I want you to feel the distinction between trying to do it from separate egos and doing it from the place of interconnection.


The important thing here is not getting fully unraveled. The important thing is connecting with your hearts and feeling that way of working from an interconnected place. Thank you. You may pull the chairs back in.

Could you feel how that asked you to function from your place of connection rather than from the separate egos? There is an exercise we did several times, years ago. We had some large children's jigsaw puzzles with perhaps 64 pieces. We set a group down around them. We asked people first to just get the puzzle done. People were edging other people aside and grabbing at the pieces, and trying to do it. Then we had people trying it where two people had to lift each piece and put it in place. It moved around—these two, those two, those two, and so forth. People found it went together so much more easily when they were doing it cooperatively. So we're speaking here of cooperation from the inner heart vs. working from the ego and the intellect, “I know how to do this, let me do it!” Relaxing into this place of connection and releasing the controlling ego.

Sometimes you have family or friends with whom you can participate to work from that place of connection. Sometimes you're with strangers and you have to do it more energetically. When you sit in a room and pause, look at everybody, take the time to connect your heart to their heart, they don't even know you're doing it, but you're inviting them to come to the place where you're connected. Decision-making and action is so much easier, and more fun.

So we have several steps, here. First, knowing your inter-being with others. That means you may have a separate body but there's some part of you that's connected to everybody else. Getting to know that part of you. And then, moving deeper into the place of non-duality where it's not just interconnection with one person but truly inter-being with everybody. If everybody understood this, there would no longer be wars. But of course people slip back into the ego. “I want this.” “My idea is better.” “I'm going to be in control.” And then they fight with others.

For this sense of inter-being and non-duality to become more functional, you have to be willing to release control. But most of us want to control. We don't want to surrender control. Now I'm going to try another exercise with you. Five groups of three. With each group, you'll take turns in the different roles. Holding hands, one person leader, one person in the middle, one person at the tail end. Stand up and form groups of three. The first person in the group is the eyes. The next person is in the middle and the third person is at the tail.

Each group is going to take a walk,. Start where you are. You will walk around the outside of the chairs, through the middle, down into the library room and around the table, and back, so it's almost a figure 8. After you do it once, then switch so another person is the eyes. Remember, the person in the front with eyes open is responsible for the safety of their threesome. The other two's job is to relax and follow. The one at the end will find it hardest, because you are following another blind person, the blind leading the blind. The person in the middle is following one who can see. But the person with the eyes open has to be aware of the person at the end, take care of the person at the end. You are not three separate beings; you are one person.

Those who are on the conference phone, if you've got somebody there in your house or office with you, it only takes two people to do it. Three is fine, three is good, but two can do it. Grab somebody who's near you and say, “Come, try an exercise with me.” Or better, “Play a game with me.” They'll be more likely to participate.

The eyes are responsible for making the whole figure 8 and not crashing their tail end into anybody. Do you understand the path? Walking around the outside of the chairs, through the middle here, out through that pathway, then into the office, around the table, and then back where you're standing. When you finish the circuit, trade positions.

Each of you is part of one unit, not three distinct people. If you try to do it with three distinct people, it's not going to work. You're one unit. So go ahead. Relax and enjoy. If you feel truly connected to the eyes, not like it's a separate person, it's much easier than when you feel the eyes are somebody else and you wonder, can I trust that person?


Thank you very much for trying this with me. So I'd like to hear from you. What did you experience? How was it for you when you were the tail? How was it for you when you were the middle or the front?

Q: Toe-stubbing at the tail.

Aaron: You were stubbing toes. So it was hard to be a tail. The ease for the tail depends on the sensitivity of the eyes, knowing that the tail is truly its own self. Think of a long dog. It doesn't want to bang its back legs. Think of a centipede. A centipede is very careful of its back legs.

I don't want to criticize the eyes, here, but part of the ease of this exercise comes when the eyes really feel, “Those are my legs back there, my feet.” This is the kind of thinking I want to encourage for all of you, whether you're leading other blindfolded people or not. Everyone in the world is your feet and is your head and eyes. How do you learn to live your life that way?


Q: I had the urge to open my eyes when I was the middle.

Aaron: And were you able not to follow that urge, or did you open them?

Q: I kept them closed.

Aaron: But there was tension. (Q: Yes.) Was there tension because of fear for the self or fear for the tail? (Q: Fear for the self.) Did you have the same tension being the tail?

Q: No, I got used to it.

Aaron: I see, okay. So that's another interesting point. Once you stop trying to control and relax and trust that the universe will bring you safely through, you get used to the fact that you seem to be a bit adrift -- it's like you're at a giant pinball game where there are balls coming at all points. It's safe. But it takes some experience of it to know that you are safe. Thank you. Others?

Q: I felt more responsible when I was eyes.

Aaron: Which is natural, because you are the one that is at the front and needing to take care of others. And yet in our daily lives, we alternate constantly between being eyes and tail. And it's important to recognize that, and to be able to surrender being the eyes when it's appropriate to do so, and to pick up being the eyes again when that's appropriate. So that it's a constant picking up and then releasing of the roles. Thank you. Others?

Q: The first time we approached a door, when I had my eyes closed, I could still sense the door, and I had some reluctance to go through until I relaxed.

Aaron: Last year at the Emerald Isle retreat, which is held at a house on the ocean, we did this exercise. We gave people ten minutes to go anywhere they wished in the house and grounds. One leader led the group down the steps to the beach and over the beach to the ocean-- they were barefoot-- and into the shallow water. We had a bigger group, I think maybe 4 or 5 people, because we had a big space; we couldn't do more than three here. But people reported feeling the sand and hearing the ocean and knowing where they were going. Where is he taking me? There was a swimming pool. Coming up to the edge of the pool, and fear, will I fall in? We did it for a much longer time. People relaxed into the exercise, but gradually.

Learning to relax and trust. The point here being you are all interconnected. I used the pinball machine image before. Someday when I have enough space I'm going to let you all be a giant pinball machine, gently bumping each other and then rebounding; bumping into someone else. Each of you having a pocket that you're aiming for, see what happens; see how you push each other back into the pockets.

K, you were there for that exercise at Emerald Isle, yes? What do you remember of that, because it was slightly different with a larger group and larger space.

K: That we ended up being very trusting. (Says A and M were there too.)

Aaron: That's right, A and M were there last year, too. Do you remember that exercise? Maybe it was two years ago. I think it may have been two years ago. Others, what would you like to share about tonight?

Q: I felt more secure in the middle than at the tail, like I was protected at both ends.

Q: When I was a tail, I tried to match steps with the middle. That made me feel more secure.

Q: When I was the eye, it was the worst part for me. I had all these people I was guiding, namely the two (family). They could be injured. They could bang into a wall and a door, a table, a person. Look at all those threats! So the other two positions were more comfortable for me.

Q: I enjoyed being the tail and the challenge of sort of getting in synch with the other two.

Aaron: Anyone else? (to child) Did you most like being the head or the tail? (Q: The middle.)

Thank you, and thank you those on the conference phone for your patience.

Let's move a step forward now. We've talked a bit about the experience of non-duality, not so much the concept but the experience. Another aspect of non-duality is that everything is present at the same time. Where there's a lot of chaos and confusion, there's also stillness and ease.

Picture an ocean. It's a quiet time; there is no breeze. The water lies flat. Then a strong breeze blows up, creating some turmoil of current and waves. Big waves are arising and crashing down. There are high peaks; low valleys.

Now picture yourself with a scuba tank, and experienced, so it's not frightening to you to go down. As the water gets rough and you are being tossed on the surface, allow yourself to sink down. Close your eyes and do this with me as a meditation. A few feet down you're still pushed by the current. Go deeper and deeper until it becomes still.

You are wearing a mask; you can see. Look up. There is brilliant sunlight so you can see the waves breaking high above you, even small boats being tossed on the waves. If there's still strong current, go deeper and deeper until you come to a still place. Rest in that still place and see the current, and the surf, rising and falling high above you. All around you it's calm. Are the water or content of the waves separate from the content of the water around you? Same water, nothing separate. Yet in one place there's turmoil and in another place it's calm.

You can open your eyes or keep them closed, as you wish. I'd like you to think a happy thought, something that brings peacefulness and joy. Not great excitement, which is also tumultuous, but a calm, happy thought. Try to feel the ease and spaciousness in that thought. Pleasant, relaxed. Feel how the body is not contracted at all. Relaxed. Breathing in, breathing out. Feel the spaciousness and ease. (pause)

Now I invite you to let go of that space and ease momentarily and think about a situation in which fear or anger arose, a place where there was tension or sadness. It could be a scene where somebody was angry with you and you angry back; a scene where you wanted something badly and didn't get it. Perhaps it is a scene where there was something frightening for you, or watching a movie or reading a book, something frightening for others. I would like you to feel the tension in yourself. You may feel it just as the body contracting.

Offering an example, with contraction, I'm going to say “Boo!” in a loud voice. You know I'm going to say it. You're ready for it. And yet when I finally say it, it's going to come as a startle reflex because you don't know when I'm going to say it. When I do say “Boo,” feel the body and know “contracting, contraction, fear, startled.” Just allowing yourself to feel it—BOO!

Could you feel that contraction? The body is still contracted a bit. That which is aware of contraction is not contracted. That which is aware of being startled is not startled. Feeling the body - BOO! Feeling it still contracted. Less contraction the second time.

Come back to your peaceful scene. Re-invite yourself back into that ease and spaciousness. Feel the joy of it. It's no different than sinking down deep in the ocean to avoid the tumult of the waves. Resting in that deep spaciousness, ahhh...

Think again of the thought that was an angry, sad or frightened thought, and see if you can feel a difference as you; let's say figuratively dangle your feet into that deep, cool, still space. In other words, instead of going down where it's still or up where huge surf is breaking, I want you to find a place-- let's consider the possibility that instead of being 5 or 6 feet tall you're 100 feet tall. Feel your feet down in the stillness and your head up there where the waves are breaking. Allow yourself to be in both places at the same time, so that you start to feel how stable you can be, how at ease and happy you can be even while the waves are breaking over your head. This is another aspect of non-duality, the non-duality of the everyday ego self, and the higher self, the heart-centered aspect of being.

The everyday human will shake with fear or anger, cry, and yell. Yet you always have the possibility to rest in this deep heart-centered space, feet dangling a hundred feet down into the sea, where it's still and peaceful. Bring your consciousness down to your feet and rest in that stillness. But you still have to be enough at the surface to steady the small boats there in service to others, as the waves are breaking. Can you be in both places at the same time?

We bring the consciousness up to attend to what needs to be attended to at the surface. So we don't ignore the surface, the everyday experience. We don't hide in the depths. But we don't believe that we have to stay completely on the surface and be perpetually tossed by the waves. Let your feet dangle way down, anchoring you. Steady, calm. And then again bring back to mind that experience that was frightening or brought up anger or pain. I want you to see how strongly you can access that still depth and rest there while still attending as appropriate on the surface.

Imagine that there are people who cannot swim, holding onto small rubber rafts on the surface. They're screaming for help. You are a very capable swimmer. You have the scuba tank. You can't just go down 100 feet and ignore them. Stretching yourself that hundred feet so the legs are in the still, quiet place, can you reach the hands up to help the non-swimmers, to stabilize them on their rafts? I want you to feel how you can truly be in both places at once.

So this is another aspect of non-duality. First the non-duality with others and with the world. Second, the non-duality with the self, with the more emotional, intellectual self, and the deep heart space, the wisdom and compassionate mind.

Stretching the feet down a hundred feet, resting in the stillness, and then reaching the hands up to help in whatever way is appropriate. Waves breaking over your head. If a big wave hits you, bring the energy and attention down a hundred feet into the stillness. Re-center yourself and then come back up to the wave. Help that person get stable on their raft. That person is also you! Move back and forth.

Let's pause for a minute here. I'd like to hear what you experienced with this. Could you feel the possibility to be in both places at the same time? Was it easier to attend to what was going on on the surface when your feet were a hundred feet down in the still place?

Q: I was recalling a really upsetting phone call I had this morning, and I was able to remember it and feel more solid and less swayed by it. And I had the experience of my feet feeling very grounded in the ocean floor.

Q: I feel like, with everything that's been going on with me for the last few months, I tend to bounce up to the surface and then drop back down to that still, at ease place, rather than feel like I'm in both places at once.

Aaron: Yet I feel it would be very helpful for you to practice being in both places at once, because it will provide you with much less turbulence. It will help you be more authentic in the moments of the painful situations, from a place of calm, rather than getting caught up in the painful places, resolving them as best you can, and then escaping into a quiet place. So, will you try that? We'll send out a transcript of this in a week or so to remind you of details. For now, just try this meditation. Bringing up in your mind, not as it's happening, but bringing up the memory of a painful situation in your mind and how you reacted, how you were trying to deal with it from the ego self and from the surface; skillfully, but more from a “me” controlling it. Just invite yourself in your memory of it to sink down into the calm space, and then see how you might respond if that happened again, with your feet down in that still space, really anchoring, steadying. Okay?

Others? Anybody else who would like to share their experience with this meditation?

Q: I had difficulty with the fact that my head was up. I kept worrying about my head, to the point that I couldn't feel my feet down below. I knew they were there, but I couldn't feel them because I was worried about my head bobbing about.

Aaron: So, using the metaphor here, at that point, when you feel you're too much on the surface, everything assaulting you too much, with mercy to the self, let yourself drop down. It's not avoidance of the issue, it's simply allowing yourself to come into a more centered space and be more ready before you return to the immediate confrontation up there. It's a kindness both to the self and to others to allow yourself to drop down into a space that's supportive and quieter. Re-anchor. But also to know you have to re-emerge, you can't hide there. But you don't have to stay up there if there's too much tumult. You can back away.

Q: “With mercy to myself” resonated, made sense.

Aaron: It's that old, “I should take care of it. I should stay here.” If you walk into a war zone and people are throwing spears at each other and rocks, it's okay to back away. You don't have to stand up and say, “Hey, everybody, stop!” If they're out to destroy each other, you may just have to back away and let them taper off a bit. If they're out to destroy you, if you stick your head up, stones being thrown at you, it's okay to back away. It's wholesome to back away.

For each of you, this is different. You have to look at that “I should” energy. “I should be able to fix this. I should be in control. I should be calm.” But right now the authentic experience is not calmness but fear and tension. So we back away to come back to that place of more ease and space and quiet.

Vital here is the recognition we don't have to get rid of the agitation to find quiet. Gradually you find the ability to connect to that quiet, even while the agitation is racing through you. But it's a learning process, and you have to be honest with yourself where you are. There's no “I should be able to do it,” just “In this moment with this particular very stressful catalyst, I can't stay calm while I'm connected to this catalyst. But I can stay calm if I step back a giant step from the catalyst.”

Envision yourself with a large, angry, snarling dog on a chain. You come within a foot of the dog. He's lunging at the end of his chain, teeth showing. The chain doesn't look that strong. It's frightening. It's easy to say to yourself, “I should stay calm. After all, he's on a chain.” But the reality is, right there, there is fear. The dog looks very vicious, like he could and would tear you apart. It's very kind to step back; probably kind to him, too, because your presence right there in his face is agitating him. What happens if you step back, sit on a bench fifty yards back? The dog finally sees you are not going to approach further and he lies down. You begin to talk to him. Your agitation and his agitation both quiet down. Then perhaps you can go another ten feet closer to him. He gets up but he sees you're only coming ten feet so he does not become agitated. Then, as you approach closer in a calmer tone, he is less agitated. In the beginning he was picking up some of his agitation because you were so agitated. Can you see that?

Now this takes me to the next piece of this teaching. We are co-creating every moment with everything in our environment. If we're agitated, the literal or metaphorical dog is going to be agitated. We can invite that “snarling dog” to come into a spacious field with us where we begin to co-create a truce, at first, more ease.

I call this field the akashic field. It's something I've been teaching a lot about in the last two years. In the Tibetan tradition they call this the “All Ground”, the place where everything comes together. It's the place where, when I'm here and this (gesturing) comes toward me, these two conditions give rise to something new. I come near the snarling dog with a lot of agitation, and the dog starts barking and snarling and lunging at me; then I'm trembling. But I can enter that field seeing how this condition and this condition come together and lead to this. Like the waves on the surface: the wind hitting the water, big wave. If I want to co-create calmness, I must participate in the calmness. I can invite myself to that by sinking down into the still depths for as long as needed, then re-emerging.

You in this situation are not the tail end of the chain, you are the eyes. You have the opportunity to see, the way I am in this moment and the way the other beings here are, we're all interacting to create this. (pausing recording to attend to conference call disconnection beep; long pause; cannot reconnect)

So here is our catalyst, the conference call that's not working 100% smoothly. Tension coming up. We don't know: have we lost our callers? Maybe; maybe not. Since it's not your direct responsibility, there will be less tension for you, and yet some of them are our friends. You've gotten to know them. Some of them are in our Wednesday class. Some of them you've met when we've used Skype. You  don't want to lose them from the evening. Just feel the subtle tension.

Now here's a perfect opportunity to do what I'm talking about. Feel the tension, “Oh, we'll lose them.” It's not a huge tension but it's a small tension. Seeing the agitation in that thought, sink down and begin to envision the place where everything is perfect. The smooth flow of communication, loving energy flowing out to our friends across the country, ahhh... Really hold to that, not only possibility, but call it a probability, knowing that smooth connection, envisioning it. We can't ignore the possibility that there's a disconnection. Amy has to touch the buttons and make sure the phone is working. But it is not done from an agitated place. When you do it from a place of agitation, you are inviting exactly what you're trying to avoid. Do you understand that or do you need me to explain it further?

It's like with the agitated dog. If you run up to him just short of where the chain ends and he leaps at you, you step back and you wave your arms, you're inviting his agitation. But when you picture him just being still, and you go back and sit on your bench and send loving energy to him, loving wishes, then gradually move closer and envision the dog calming down and really starting to wag his tail, you are going into this field and creating different conditions, not the conditions for agitation. Or, in the case of the phone, not the conditions for the loss of connection, but the conditions for connection, for ease.

This work with the so-called akashic field; where do I get that term? We have the elements of earth, air, fire, and water with which you are probably familiar. Akasha is considered a fifth element, but it's different from the other elements. We experience these four actual elements and akasha as the container in which the elements rest. Can you picture that? The earth element, fire, water, air elements, these are things. Akasha is not only a thing, though it is that as well. It is also the container that holds these things. It co-creates them into being. It's the vast field of beingness.

Within this field, certain conditions meet each other: anger, fear, tension, ease, spaciousness, love. They come together; they meet each other. As the conditions change, the results will change. When you live from the akashic field, you are living from that space where your feet are dangling a hundred feet down and yet your hands and head are up on the surface. You're able to retract yourself, sink down into the calm space again, go up.

So we keep moving into and back out of that deep grounded place, coming up more into the ego, the intellect, the everyday, working from there, living from there, and then sinking back down into the akasha. Not losing touch with it. The akashic field is the place where, when I'm there and you're there, we're in the same place. It's the place that I hope some of you at least experienced when you walked in threesomes or when you did the human knot exercise. Based on those exercises, do you have a little sense of what I'm talking about, when I talk about the field?  Can you feel it a bit from your experience? Some yes, some no. It's okay if your answer is no. Now that you have the idea of it, you'll have the opportunity to watch for it.

So what I'd like you to do as you take this home with you is to reflect, in each moment especially when there's agitation, where is the field? Can I enter into that field wherein I am relating to everything as if it is me and as if I am it, interconnected with everything?

This is something that we will build on. At the June retreat we'll be talking a lot about this. The focus there is going to be the direct experience of non-duality, living from this field of the open heart.

I'm going to pause here for a minute, let you stand up and stretch, and then open the floor to questions and answers. Five minute break.


Q: ...In the deepest part of the water, where it was calm, it felt like the akashic field. Is that it?

Barbara: Yes. Could some of you feel that deepest part of the water, where it was just the still center before things arose? I experience it as the place of infinite potential.

Q: I wondered about the still area, the deepest part. When I feel the most of what I think is akashic, it is when everything is coming together, not just the silence and the stillness.

Barbara: The way I experience it is it's the place during, after and before everything. We experience how everything arises out of conditions. When the conditions are present, it will arise. Before the conditions are present, what's there?

Think of it this way; you have a little seed, the tiniest seed, and you have fertile soil. The soil is dry at the moment, and it's night, there's no sun. You drop the seed in the soil. The seed is there, the soil is there, but there's no water, there's no sun. And then a soft warm rain begins, and the sun comes out the next day and warms the soil. Gradually the conditions are present for the seed to germinate, and then the plant starts to grow and grow.

In that moment, just as you have the seed, before you put it into the soil, or as you put it into the soil, all the conditions are ready but not yet connected. Anything could happen. You could crush the seed and destroy it. You could lose it in a patch of thick weeds or clay soil where it doesn't have potential to germinate. There could be drought, or it could be stormy for days and no sunshine. But when the conditions all come together, then the next step can happen.

That container, where all the conditions are coming together, is the akashic field. The wonder for me is that all conditions are there in the akasha, so there's not just rain but there's dryness. There's not just sun but there's freezing temperatures and darkness. There's not just fertile soil but there's thick clay. All possibilities are present.

Our hearts and the intentions of the heart are part of the conditions. So when we, from our hearts, invite, we hold the intention, we envision this plant growing--it's a tiny tomato seed-- how it's going to grow into a tomato plant and grow tomatoes. I might intend that I will have thousands of tomatoes. It's not just one seed, I have 50 seeds, and I'm going to have thousands of tomatoes. And I'm going to give tomatoes away to everybody who needs tomatoes this summer, thousands of tomatoes. I envision this whole circle of sharing and joy and beautiful rich tomato plants, and how good it all is. That's a part of the conditions. So is our intention as we come into the akashic field.

When our intention is from an ego place, “Me, I'm gonna grow all these tomatoes and people are going to put me on a pedestal and love me and worship me,” it's a very different intention than a deep caring. Because I see there are so many people who are hungry, I'm just going to grow all these tomatoes, and I'm going to give them away, and I'm going to make gallons of tomato sauce and give that away, just for the sheer joy of doing and sharing, and feeling people's delight in it. Can you see that there's a very different input? A related but constricted condition is the thought, “If I don't do this well, people will starve.” This tension is what we call the “near enemy” of the joyful creation. They look almost alike but one intention is grounded in love and one in fear. With the second, instead of knowing the fullness of the tomatoes' growth, I am more attuned to the lack, or fear of it.

So we enter the akashic field knowing that all the different conditions are present. If I have the intention, “Me, from my ego, I'm going to do this,” but I also have the intention, “I don't want to feed my ego, but my ego is really carried away with this idea,” at some level I may invite a drought, because I want to grow the tomatoes but the ego isn't ready for the success of growing those tomatoes, and I really can't release it at the moment, so I say no at some level, “No, no tomatoes. Drought.” And the possibility of drought is there right along with just adequate moisture or flooding to wash the seeds away. However, I'm not that powerful. I'm inviting this with lots of other people and with the environment. The front, middle, and tail end. What do we co-create together when we learn how to go into that field together and envision?

Throughout last summer we did a four-part workshop based on this. I think the last weekend, but maybe the third weekend, we had the groups come together and hold a vision together of the world they wanted to co-create, and then dream up, using materials at hand, however they wanted to do it, creating how that world would be experienced; going into the akashic field and really drawing it up. And people had all kinds of wonderful constructions. One used toilet paper, also a part of trees and nature. One group went splashing into the lake and smeared mud on themselves, feeling they were co-creating with the water and the mud and the earth. People took it in many different directions. But this is the feeling that I want to help people get into, the real power that we have when we go into the akashic field, to create the world we want to experience.

Q: As an athlete, I've sometimes had the experience of a sweet connectedness with whatever it is that I'm competing at. Athletes refer to this as being in the zone, where literally in team sports especially it seems as though one knows what's about to happen a split second before it actually happens. The <trained activity> becomes almost infallible in not missing the shot or making every pass or catch. Is this the akashic field? Is this connection to the akashic field?

Barbara: From my experience, yes, but let's let Aaron talk about it.

(Aaron incorporates)

Aaron: Thank you for your question. Yes. For the most successful athletes, whether team or individual sports, working from that so-called zone is being in the akashic field and pursuing your sport from within the akashic field.

Now the interesting thing is that in the akashic field there's only one self, there's no other. So the opponents are part of yourself. And you start to be able to know exactly what the opposition is going to do, because you're both in the field together and at some level there's an agreement: “Well, I'm going to make this basket now and then you're going to make one.” “I'm going to move the ball 10 yards.”

There is still my will and your will; my will to win the game, your will to win the game. It is possible but very difficult to stay in the akashic field and play a game where each side wants to win, because there is no predetermined result. Usually what happens is that the team that is most able to stay in the field will win. The team that starts playing more from the ego will lose the whole flow of it, make some mistakes so that they lose the game. At some level, by stepping out of the akashic field, they've agreed to lose the game. But I don't think it's something that's really taught in the playing of sports and it's too bad, because it could be a wonderful opportunity for practice.

Q: It is emerging as a training technique, where there's a crossover with consciousness training and concentration, meditation, and visualization, and then applying that to physical training and rehearsal. It's emerging.

Aaron: I think this is the greatest contribution that sports can make in our culture at this time, and that it can be a significant support to this whole transition into higher consciousness.

Q: Did the ancient Greeks have a greater awareness of this capacity, this potential in their view of human kind?

Aaron: Not the Greeks. They had it intellectually but not internalized. We see it pre-Greek, long ago; long before the Greek times. The Lemurians did not play football, but the Lemurians did play games, sports. They competed with each other. But it was competition from a very different place. But after Lemuria and Atlantis, and even some of the civilizations, I'm thinking here even of the Essene communities where they were bringing in some of these skills of much higher consciousness, some of the games or sports they played were based on interconnection of consciousness and knowing non-dual consciousness.

Q: I have a pet theory that many sages got their start as jocks.

Aaron: Reviewing some of the great sages of history, it seems to me that most of them competed in some sort of, I hesitate to use the word sport, it was not necessarily an organized team sport, but in a physical pursuit, even simply racing or jumping or climbing, that required them to train the body to a point that they were deeply consciously connected with the body, and the body with the whole field around them. If you're climbing a big cliff, you must be connected to that cliff. You as ego can't climb it successfully; you must co-create the climb with the cliff.

Thank you.

Other questions?

Q: How can two people best co-create the sense of non-duality when hypothetically going through a divorce?

Aaron: By continuing both when they are together and separately the practice that I taught you previously, “What I hear you saying is...” So that you hear your own, “But I want it this way...” and the other is saying, “I think that we should try this.” Watching the ego jump in and say, “No, not that.” “What I hear you saying is that you think we should try this.” It may not happen while you're in conversation. It may happen when you get home and the ego says, “No, I don't want it that way.” What is the other person really saying? Not just the idea, but what's behind the idea? For somebody to promote this idea, what might she be feeling? Can I connect with compassion to what she might be feeling? I might not agree with her idea, but can I hear it with compassion?

Compassion is the threshold of non-dual experience. When you can hear each other compassionately, you may not agree, but you come into that place where you're holding the same intention, although you have different ideas of how to attain that intention.

Others? It's getting late so we'll take just one more question here.

Q: Do you know much about Findhorn and how they co-created with nature? Findhorn is a community in Scotland that grew a garden in a soil that didn't grow anything.

Aaron: Some, yes.

Q: Can you speak about that?

Aaron: They simply connected deeply with the various nature devas. In Findhorn they were living very simply on the land. They felt that the land could produce a lot more, for their own benefit and the benefit of those for whom they could provide food, to create a truly sustainable environment. Gardens in the neighboring area produced some; they were not barren, but not highly productive. The group gathered, especially the leader but others also, and began to talk with the nature devas, asking, “What do you need in order to flourish?” Sometimes they'd be told we need more of this or that in the soil, we need to be thinned, we need different things to happen. Really both guidance received in the way that I'm a guide and also asking the plants directly. Going out to the garden and looking at these scrawny corn stalks and asking, “What do you need?” And trusting what they heard.

So they might hear that they needed more manure, compost to enrich the soil. “Where am I going to get that?” Ten minutes later there's a farmer driving a big cartload of cow manure down the road. “Where are you taking that?” “To the dump.” “Would you dump it here?” “Of course.” So they were literally co-creating in all these ways by trusting, holding the highest intention, asking, and listening. The garden flourished beyond all expected possibilities. People came from long distances to see the amazingly abundant and fruitful  garden. They did not use pesticides. They talked to the pests and asked them to leave. They planted plants that would not be inviting to certain pests, spaced in between the other plants, to help deter the pests. It truly is a wonderful—I say is, it still exists—a wonderful co-creation of human and earth, and spirit. Thank you for bringing it up.

This is an aside. In our workshop in October, let us bring enough small plants in little pots for each person and have them tend them for a week, and see what happens as they really connect with this small plant.

We need to stop. It's later than we usually end. Thank you for being with us tonight. We have another night like this May 14 and I hope you will join us. After the May meeting, we resume in September.

(session ends)