September 17, 2014 Wednesday, Evening with Aaron; living from our true nature; the angel and the earthsuit; balance

Balance; the open heart; living from our true nature; the angel and the earthsuit.

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. Welcome! New friends and old. Actually, no new friends, just friends we have not yet met in this lifetime.

When I speak, please don't put me on a pedestal as one who is better than you, or knows more. You must use your own discernment. If what I say resonates as truth to you, use it. If it doesn't, then release it. It's as simple as that. I can only offer you what I see through my own perspective. It's not Right with a capital R; it's just what I see.

Each of you is a radiant light, beautiful and whole. Each of you is divine. When I ask you to use your own discernment, I don't mean the ego's discernment but that which is the deepest core of your being, that heart of love, that part of you that knows who you are and who everybody else is, and lives with that degree of love and respect.

We're offering a class that starts next week called “Be a Lamp Unto Yourself.” A lamp-- the light shines out of it, a lot of light, but there's got to be an electric connection in the center. The bulb isn't the light. The lamp is not the light. There's a connection, wires plugged into the circuitry and to the source. You're plugged in, all of you, but you don't know it. So the ego dances around trying to make the outer bulb burn bright, and you forget that you're always connected and how to live that connection. The question is not how do I create that connection; how do I create that inner light, but how do I uncover it? How do I reveal it?

This is one of the things we learn from the Buddha, who did not create the dharma but revealed the dharma. He did not meditate on that night of his enlightenment and say, “Oh, wow—now I'm going to create something I'm going to call the Eightfold Path, and I'm going to create the awakened mind.” Rather, he said, “Ah! There it is! I've been looking all over for it. Now here it is, I found it!” Have you found it? Have you had some moments of touching in on it?

Are we connected to the conference phone people? Welcome! I'm told there are 13 of you out there, wherever, scattered throughout the country and the world. I love the fact that we can draw you into this circle and share with you in this way. We have, I believe, new equipment this year, and we would love feedback on how it's working. Our intention is to welcome you fully into the circle, but it may take a bit of patience as we learn how to use the equipment.

It's easy to fall out of balance. It happens to all of you. I'd like you to, in your seat, just sway back and forth, quite a distance to each side. What reminds you to move back the other way rather than keep going so you topple over on the floor? Can you feel yourself just at the edge of losing balance?

And then, close your eyes so you don't have a visual reference, rock not just back and forth but all around—forward, back, sideways, and gradually bring yourself back into center. Feel what it is within your knowing that knows center. Can you feel that place of center? What knows it? How do you know when you're centered? Q, how do you know when you're centered?

Q: It feels like I'm in line with an energy.

Q: My head is balanced...

Aaron: So what happens if you keep your head still and move your body? Do you feel unbalanced or do you feel balanced?

Q: I dance.

Aaron: Do you stay balanced when you keep your head more still and the whole body moves? So that helps you, just keeping the head still.

Q: Similar to what Q just said a moment ago, I'm feeling balanced—actually, I feel like there's a <> in front of me.

Q: With me it's not a physical feeling. It is an energy feeling.

Aaron: So the body can be going any which way, but as long as the energy is centered, it doesn't matter where the body is going.

Q: I guess I agree with what has already been said. It really is an energy feeling, a knowing.

Q: I feel uncontracted in my heart, and I feel at ease.

Q: I feel like my spine is made of rubber, so I will always attempt to go back to center.

Q: I notice that even when I topple over, having lost balance, the presence or balance is still there. And then the toppling over is just happening, sensation.

Q: I feel my balance more as a center in my belly that is spherical, and like was said before, the body can move any which way around it, but it always is balanced.

Aaron: Thank you. I'm hoping that those on the phone can hear these responses through this mechanism. We'd appreciate feedback later on that. (we have now learned we can invite the conference phone attendees to unmute their phones and share too; next time!)

So now I'd like you to try something, all of you. I'd like you to stand up. Feet apart or together, as is comfortable. Bring both arms up and sway...

Picture yourself on a beach. It's stormy and the wind is blowing, blowing sand and ocean spray into your face. Feel the wind pushing you. Be a human, as you are. Be a tree, as you prefer, or simply a small piece of sea grass. Feel yourself blowing in the wind. If a tree, it's a bit easier. The tree has roots. So spread those roots deep down into the ground, not with fear but with loving connection to the earth.

The small plant also has roots. The human does not have the physical roots, but you have the ability literally to ground yourself, inviting your energy deep into the earth. So as tree or grass or human, continue to move and sway, wind blasting you, doubling you over almost. Is there a joy in it? If there's any fear, note that fear is present. You don't have to fix the fear, just note, “Here is fear.” Feel the contraction of fear that you're going to be swept away. If you feel that kind of fear, put your hand over your heart, inviting yourself into the heart center. But perhaps you feel delight in the wind, the rain, the ocean spray. Just moving with it all.

Now I would invite you to bring attention to the breath. Breathing in, breathing out. Keep swaying at whatever speed. Breathing in and breathing out. If anybody needs to sit down, you may do so and just keep swaying. Bring the breath down into the base chakra, down into the base of the belly. I want you to feel a ball of energy in the base chakra. Energy, light, power. Not your power, the power, into which you are tapped. The power of the ocean, with 20 foot waves pounding the shore. The power of the almost hurricane-force wind. Intermittent moments of driving rain, sand blowing at you. You are not finding your ground but the ground.

Shift your attention now for a moment and become the ocean. Pause the movement for a moment. See the ocean with 20 foot waves breaking and then become it. Feel the wind blowing you, driving you hard against the beach, and the strong surge of undertow, each wave a powerful force. Feel the motion. Be the motion of the ocean. Be the breaking wave. And as the wave recedes and pulls back into the sea, go with it. Pull back into the deeper waters: twenty yards from shore, fifty yards from shore, one hundred yards from shore. Feel yourself moving in this way and deepening.

Out there a quarter mile from shore there are still big swells. You are the sea, you are the swells. Now drop your feet down, not to the bottom of the ocean, but go down and down and down and feel the water becoming increasingly still. Ground yourself in that stillness, in the depths.

Come to rest in the depths, knowing the ocean surging above you. And yet, at this depth, feel the stillness also, the potential for movement, yet here free of movement. Everything arises from conditions. When the conditions cease, that arising will cease. Movement arises from conditions.

When we drop down into the depths of the ocean, we move into the layer beyond the conditions for frantic movement, and yet the space still has power. Can you feel the power in it, in that depth? Is it the wave before it arises, the 30 foot wave before it arises? Nothing comes from nothing. The wind, the currents, the water, the weather, all bringing forth the arising of this wave out of the stillness, and then this big swell settles down into a trough and into stillness again.


Now let the wave that you are wash into shore. Not a human surfing; be the wave. Feel it picking up momentum and coming in toward the shore, hitting the sand. If it were hitting a rock wall, there'd be an impact. But as it hits the sand, it simply runs up the beach and soaks in. Let yourself do that.

Again, anybody who needs to sit may sit, and then stand again when you're ready. Others keep standing, if you're able.

Be that water soaking into the sand, water element and earth element merging together. Go deep into the sand, the water soaking deep into the earth. Feel yourself becoming the earth, grounding, deep. How deep must you go before there's no more water? Or perhaps when you go deep you find groundwater. Who knows what you'll find?


Now become the human again, standing on this beach; the occasional wave coming up to run over your feet; the loud roar of the surf; the strength of the wind; the rain suddenly driving even harder.

You are one with the water, one with the wind, one with the earth. Earth, air—we have left out fire here because the sun in this scenario is not shining, but of course fire is energy, so you're one with that, too. Again, let the body move with the wind and the waves, and feel your feet growing roots, grounding deep into the earth. Let the arms move again and the body sway, and begin to feel yourself deeply grounded, centered, finding that still center.

Use the base chakra to help you. Bring energy and breath down to the base chakra. It's not so much about the feet but the energy. The tree that's deeply rooted, its roots hold it in place, yes, but also energetically the tree's energy goes through the roots and into the earth. If the roots were dead, not energized, they would not hold the tree.


An even stronger gust of wind—whoosh! Feel it against you!

If seated, let the arms and body still continue to move...

Gradually the storm passes. The clouds begin to blow away and break apart. On the horizon we see the sun. The wind dies down. The waves begin to quiet. Feel yourself coming into that quiet place. Breathing, releasing, relaxing. Please sit. We'll sit in silence for just one minute here. Feel that center.

(longer pause)

Now we're going to follow this up immediately by another exercise and then we'll talk about it. I want you to pair with somebody, ideally not the person you came with. Turn your chairs so they're facing each other, and from this place of deep center I want you both to speak. I want you to share, each with the other, something that's deep within you, something that you value. It can be as simple as saying the flowers or the blue sky today were so beautiful. Or, I value the ability to love and be loved. I'm giving you a few suggestions, but I want it to come from you. Take it slowly—one speak and then the other speak. Listen to each other. And I want you to see if you touch this deeper space, not the ego speaking, but the heart speaking, words can come from a truly deep still place within you. How does that feel?

For those listening on the conference phone, I have two possibilities for you. If there's somebody in your home you can invite in, they're not in that still space but you can still speak to them from that still space. Or if you have a mirror handy, speak to yourself. I just want you to get the feeling of speaking your deeper truth from a still space, and how that feels different than speaking from the ego. We'll spend about 5 minutes with this.


Sometimes words may not even be necessary. It may be enough to simply look into each other's eyes. Take a look at the body. Is the belly soft? When you speak from your heart, the belly is usually soft. When you speak from the brain, there's usually tension in the belly. Explore that.


Please draw your chairs back into the circle. I hope those of you who were on the conference phone were able to do this in some way with a partner at home or just with yourself in the mirror.

So let's start with the questions 1) what supports you coming into this place of center, and 2) how does it feel? Let's look at that first, and then we're going to ask the question, what pulls you out of it, and how do we work with what pulls you out of it? But let's start with simple identification. How does it feel, and what supports your being there?

I said when you're speaking from your heart, the belly is soft. And as soon as it starts to come from the ego, the brain, the belly tenses. Could any of you feel that? It's just an interesting barometer. You don't then say, “Oh, I have to soften the belly.” That's just more ego. Just an ability to remember, “Ah, the belly is tense. I must be talking more from the ego.” Let the energy drop down into the base chakra. Bring the energy into my heart. Take a deep breath, and then resume talking again.

Who would like to share anything about this experience?

Q: I got sick to my stomach when I fought it.

Aaron: When you fought what?

Q: Trying to stay in charge.

Aaron: When you fought the ego, you became stick to your stomach?

Q: When I leaned into the experience, I wanted to stay in charge. And when I surrendered...

Aaron: The ego wanted to control, and then--when I use the word surrender I don't mean that you surrender to some other power—you are the power, you are the divine power. Letting go of the ego so you surrender into the higher self, the deepest wisdom, the Buddha nature, the Christ consciousness.

Thank you. Others?

Q: What supports me when I'm feeling uncentered is to remind myself that everything will be okay. And through my experience over the last year, I've realized everything will be okay. It's easier to remind myself of that.

Aaron: And the ego says, “But what if it's not okay!?” It's been a strong year of transition and change for you, and everything is okay. Thank you. Others?

Q: I was remarking to Amy during discussion that you talked about the storm. I thought it interesting that I was at the beach 12 days ago when the storm hit. I felt like I was there now. I found it very remarkable that I saw this incredible storm. I didn't stay at the storm at the beach, but it's just nice to be taken back there. It was probably my favorite place on the planet.

Aaron: Yes, thank you. And could you feel yourself being part of the wind and the waves and the rain? (Yes.) Others?

Q: It was interesting imagining myself as ocean, as the quiet after the storm, water seeping up the sand. I recognize that (inaudible). And it was so expansive and relaxed. And interesting how when I became human again there was a tendency to believe I had forgotten the stillness.

Aaron: We do forget the stillness, again and again we do. Why? Why do we forget the stillness?

Q: I noticed I would suddenly contract into a really separate self, whereas the water was more (expanded and connected).

Aaron: The ego is afraid, and there's such a strong habitual pattern to be a somebody, a self, protecting, separating. There's more I want to say here but first I want to hear more feedback from you and then I'll come back to this.

Q: (inaudible) a huge difference between the beginning of the sharing moment and the end. At the end it was a very beautiful sharing moment, a moment of (inaudible). So it ended as the sharing from the heart, but it started right from my brain. So for the first couple of minutes, all I was doing was thinking that this is not what I wanted to do, or this is not going well. It was like a first date going bad. This is not how I want it to go. This is not what I wanted to happen. This is not how I want it to be. It finally just clicked, that it was just beautiful as it was. And that actually if it had been what my brain wanted at the beginning, it probably would not have been so meaningful and so interesting. So I could see the difference between the vision from the brain and the vision from the heart, but I had to go all the way to the end to see that they were different. I thought I was doing it from the heart at the beginning, but I was actually not. So it was a very nice experience.

Aaron: Very wise words. Thank you. I'm curious, did others of you have that same, “This is not what I want,” a moment of resistance? --Not so much. I'd guess that some of you had that, although maybe not so strongly conscious. Others who want to share?

Q: I can still feel my lower chakras open and energy moving so much more than before we did the exercise.

Aaron: Can others feel that? You habitually live in a closed-off separate place. You all long for intimacy and connection. You seek, depending on your spiritual practice, to move into a deep experience of Christ consciousness or Buddha nature, to rest in the Unconditioned. And yet there's fear because this is the way the human is. Part of you is this separated self. You are both.

If you only believe, “I am the essence, the divinity, the ground of being, and nothing else should intrude,” then you don't give permission for the human experience. If you attach to and hold onto the human experience, say, “I am this and nothing else,” you don't give yourself a chance to experience the depth. Your work is not to hold onto either side but to find that balance, knowing yourself as human, with the deepest compassion for the human. Knowing yourself as that divine essence, without denial of the human.

I call you angels in earthsuits. You are the angel and here is the earthsuit, and the earthsuit is undeniable. Your human work is not to make one be predominant over the other but to bring them into balance. The challenge is that, for most of you, you've forgotten the angel. And there is such a deep habit to maintain the earthsuit, to maintain the armoring, to maintain the separation, that you then say to me, “Aaron, I feel so alone. I long for intimacy, but I can't find it in the world. I feel so separate from everything.” Well, why are you holding this armor? What does it feel like to begin to let go of the armor?

So my intention here tonight is to help you see that you have a choice. It's not bad that the armoring arises. This is simply part of the human experience. But when it arises, you don't have to ride along on it. You can just feel that contraction in the belly, hardening, moving into self, separation. Judging mind comes, planning mind comes. Ahh, bring energy back into this still center. This area (pointing) is called the hara. Bring energy into this area.

Breathe into the hara. Breathe further down into the base. Feel the energy begin to circulate. Send your energy down into the earth. Send your energy up into the heavens. Just take one minute to feel yourself more still and centered and able to co-create with the universe, and then come back to the situation at hand. Somebody said to Barbara, as she was getting herself seated, that it looks like she's getting a flat tire. Barbara's first reaction was, “Oh no!” And then she just began to send loving energy to the tire and said, well, it will be okay, it will work out. The human tenses and then the heart says, “It will be okay.” It will be okay. Trust it. She understood, “if there is a flat tire, there will be a flat tire; my tension does not have to add more discomfort to the situation. But I cannot force away tension, only note it and hold space for it. That which is aware of tension is not tense.”

You have the choice. Nothing can push you into this armor except your own habitual patterns. You always have a choice.

There's a beautiful practice that's an accompaniment to mindfulness called clear comprehension. It has four parts. The first is clear comprehension of purpose. Just asking yourself, in this moment, what is my highest purpose? Is it to fight against the world, or is to find intimacy with the world? Is it to fight with my flat tire or leaky roof, or the boss who is angry, or the traffic jam? Or is it to relax and know my connection and know my power? Know my heart of love?

Part two of clear comprehension practice. 1) Clear comprehension of purpose. 2) Clear comprehension of suitability. Is what I am about to do suitable to that purpose? If I'm about to wave my arms around and scream, well that's okay, but maybe it's not suitable to the purpose. What is it I really want to do here? And can I acknowledge the human really wants to scream and stamp her feet, and still not have to do it?

Clear comprehension-- this one has a technical term-- of the domain of meditation. That simply means taking  this into meditation and seeing that whatever has arisen in this situation literally has arisen out of conditions, is impermanent and not of the nature of a separate self. There will be feelings and physical sensations, thoughts, impulses. We can watch them coming and going and not get snared in a self-identity with them.

Clear comprehension of the dharma. Whatever has the nature to arise has the nature to cease and is not me or mine. So I attend to what arises that's uncomfortable but I don't have to panic or fix it. I don't have to armor myself. I don't have to shift from the belly and the heart up to the brain and the ego and become the one who wants to be in control. I can watch the one who is afraid, who wants to be in control, with compassion, and not get hooked into believing that this is all there is.

I want to take this a step further. Your earth is going through an amazing period right now, literally a vast change in consciousness. You are all evolving from rational consciousness and lower-- I don't like the word lower because it implies inferior, but more fundamental forms of consciousness, into a higher vibratory, non-dual consciousness. Just as you as individuals can feel a sense of panic and want to move into control when something doesn't feel safe, so whole cultures and nations can move in those directions. So that as cultures around the world that are more steeped in fear and control see other cultures moving into a place with more heart-centered depth and freedom, they become even more controlling and more violent. But the answer to violence is never violence. You cannot heal violence by violence. Or as the Buddha says in the Dhammapada, hatred never heals hatred. Only love heals hatred.

Your work then, what you are doing for yourselves, will feed out into the world everywhere. Your work is to move through this transition of consciousness yourself, this ascension into higher consciousness. To watch the part of you that panics and the ego that says, “Is it safe?” and to keep coming back to that centered place, that open energy place. As you do that it literally spreads out. Others watch you and they learn it's safe.

We can't tell how long it will take. Do you know the story called the Hundredth Monkey? A monkey finds his food is sandy. There's a stream there so he washes the food in the stream, washes off the sand and eats it. Another monkey watches him. He's never seen this action before. He watches and then he takes some of his food and dips it in the stream. Mmm, that's good, takes the grit off. A third monkey watches. Three or four monkeys come down, they all begin to do it. They're looking at each other and they all begin to wash their food.

Somewhere in a different location, another monkey washes his food, and a second one watches. Suddenly this is happening all over the world. The phrase “hundredth monkey” is a metaphor; it will not be specifically a hundred. It could ten, it could be ten thousand, it could be ten million, but there's a certain point where it catches on and becomes the norm instead of something new.

A few of you are old enough to remember the time when people simply tossed papers and soda cans and so forth on the ground, opened your car window and tossed it out. Nobody was much concerned about the environment. The first monkey said, “Whoops, maybe our litter is going to harm the environment.” Gradually it caught on. There's nobody in this room who would think of reading a newspaper and then just tossing it out on the ground. You don't even put it in the trash, you put it in your recycling bin. This has become the norm.

Living from a higher consciousness is gradually becoming the norm. Each of you has the responsibility to attend to that in yourselves by watching the place where the belly closes up, the ego starts to plan and think and judge. I'm not saying it's bad to plan. Planning can come from the heart. You can feel the difference when it's contracted and trying to fix and trying to get it just right versus just relaxing and letting it flow. It takes a lot of trust.

Your meditation practice is so powerful because as you sit in meditation and a thought comes up, maybe a judging thought, you can note: here is a judging thought. Ah, don't believe everything I think. It's just a thought. It grew out of conditions, it's impermanent. Come back to the open heart. But there's this impulse: “But I want to judge this person.” Why? “I'm angry.” Okay. Anger has arisen. Open the heart and invite space for the anger. Gradually as the anger resolves, also the judging mind resolves and there's much more space. And then you're more able to say to the person at whom you are angry, “What you said hurt me. And I need to let you know that. I feel sad that you had to speak to me in that abusive”—let's not even use the word abusive because it's a judgmental word—“in that strong a manner. I assume you were feeling a lot of pain, and I'm very happy to hear about your pain. But please don't judge me as the result of your pain.” So we become able to talk to each other and connect. This is talking from the heart.

I introduced the practice of clear comprehension. What is your highest purpose? Is it a world where one being is constantly trying to control another, where you have to become more and more personally powerful to stay on top, or is it a world of harmony, joy, and peace? Is the way you are living your lives in your reaction to your emotions and thoughts and impulses suitable to your highest purpose? And if not, what can you do about it without trying to fix it? How can you bring the whole body of response and reaction into your heart? Make space for it, allow space for it, and then respond in an openhearted way?

Those of you who have come to meditation classes, we often ask, why are you here in the class? And occasionally people say, “I want to wake up.” Some people say, “I want a bit more peace in my life,” or “I want to not be so reactive.” But a lot of people say, “I truly want to wake up.” What does waking up mean? I use the word ascension, to ascend from mundane consciousness, rational consciousness. I have nothing against rational consciousness. The brain is a helpful tool, an important tool. But to ascend from a life stuck in rational consciousness, ascending into higher levels of consciousness.

I don't know if any of you have read Barbara's book Cosmic Healing. On page, perhaps 253, begins a chapter on consciousness, and some of you may find it interesting to read. There's a very clear chart on the states and stages of consciousness. So you're not here doing this work just for yourselves, you are truly helping the whole universe to live from a higher consciousness and from the heart. You are being a force for peace in the world, rather than a force for war and oppositionality, a force for love. It's up to you.

I'm going to pause here, let you stretch for a minute, and then we'll welcome your questions.


We're continuing, and I welcome your questions.

Q: Does what you talked about tonight work with money? The connection to All That Is compared to the clenching of, “Can I pay my bills?”

Aaron: I have two seemingly different answers to this. You've probably heard of something called the Law of Abundance. Is that a familiar term, for most of you? (yes) Everything you need is there-- abundance. But this can be misused from a place of fear that puts the self as over other people.

Obviously there's enough of everything for everybody, but there won't be enough of everything for everybody if everybody wants to live in a multi-million dollar house on 200 acres of land that must be maintained by many servants, and so forth. So if we say, “Well this is what I want,” that “I want” may come from a place of separation and self and fear. And perhaps you can create that goal. But when we think of the deeper level of the Law of Abundance, it's a deep knowing: all beings' needs can be met. Am I living my life in such a way to support my own and others' needs being met? Not to take what doesn't belong to me, not to grasp through fear, but to invite what I need.

When that intention comes from the heart rather than a place of fear, if your primary focus at that point is to become a millionaire, certainly you can probably do that, and you'll give money back into the system and create many other jobs and help other people. It's coming from a place of love, not of fear. But if it's, “I don't care about anybody but me, and I'm going to become a billionaire,” then you create suffering. And you can do it, but you'll pay for it karmically.

I do not know if that answers your question.

Q: Yes and no. What if it's not the millionaire dream but just paying bills?

Aaron: What blocks it? If you're unable to live your life in this existence in a comfortable way, paying your bills, having your needs met, then something is blocking it. Maybe at some level—I'm offering some hypothetical answers, not your answer, but maybe at some level you have that billionaire dream and you feel guilt about it so you cut yourself off from the flow of abundance. Or maybe there's a deep belief in unworthiness. If you have the abundance that you seek, if everything you need comes in to you, it's going to wreak havoc with that belief in unworthiness.

The belief in unworthiness is a life jacket, of sorts. Some of you have been wearing it for a long time and it's terrifying to think of letting go of it even though you now know how to swim, so you hold onto it. What keeps it going?

This is a lot of what we're going to be looking at, at the Geneva workshop at the end of October. Looking at what holds us to limiting beliefs. Working with vipassana practice. Working with darshan with the Mother; connecting with her, and her reflecting your own radiance and perfection back to you so that the shadow that you see of yourself, the limiting beliefs, the unworthiness, the fear, are in sharp contrast to what you're experiencing of yourself through that reflection of the Mother. Then you take it back to the meditation practice and begin to reflect, why am I holding onto this? What if I just let go of a little bit of it? What if I open a bit more? And because we have 5 days, we have a chance to go really deep with it.

It's something you can do, of course, without that kind of workshop, but bringing it all together is very helpful. It's important to stay focused with it.

All of you have limiting beliefs: “I don't know how to change the fuse.” “My car has a flat tire; I'm not sure how to change a tire.” I'm not speaking of Barbara; she's good at changing tires. “If I speak out at work, people might not like me. My boss may think I'm too outspoken.” “I don't know enough.” “I don't like the way the schools are run. I could run for the school board but I'm not smart enough, I'm not articulate enough.” What are your limiting beliefs? Why do you hold onto them?

We ask the question, what does this belief protect me from? If I did not have this belief in this moment, what might I be experiencing? And for most of you, and this was said very beautifully, I can't remember who said it, I know Mandela* spoke these words in a speech but they did not come originally from him: You are not so much afraid of your limitation as your power. What if you really are as powerful as I say you are? But that terrifies you, because you have not yet fully resolved the heavy emotions. Anger, greed, fear, pride, they all come. What if you're all-powerful, truly all-powerful, and yet you still have these heavy emotions and you're reactive to them? And again, so much of your work is to cease to be so reactive to these emotions

*Marianne Williamson is ascribed to authorship of this quote, used by Nelson Mandala in his Inaugural Talk 1994

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate...

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

Do you have the book Human handy there? We just published this book last month. It was actually published 20 years ago but simply in a spiral-bound form, so we finally have a beautiful format for it. And I'm going to read you the first three pages. There's very little text on the pages, a very simple book.

My friend, you are human, and yet you are also spirit.

To be spirit is to rest in the core of being that is birthless and deathless.

To be human is to contemplate the cessation of your conscious existence.

To be spirit is to live fully in the heart of love.

To be human is to know fear.

To be spirit is to offer everything.

To be human is to experience the fear expressions of greed and clinging.

To be spirit is to know divine compassion.

To be human is to know the fear expressions of judgment and anger.

To be spirit is to know your completion.

To be human is to hunger for it.

Yet to be human, and to be spirit, are not at all incompatible.

For you are not incarnate to abolish fear and its expressions, but to learn to draw them into the heart of love.

Walk by my side for a while and I will teach you.

Those are the opening pages. This is what you're here to learn, not to abolish fear but to know the heart of love.

Let's hear another question.

Q: You may have answered my question a moment ago. But I may have a more intellectual question just in terms of, you mentioned us being the earthsuit, meaning being a human, and you talked about uniting human with spirit. But my question is, how much is appropriate for a human to know what is beyond human existence, i.e. on other planes of existence, life beyond earth?

Aaron: Some things are useful to know and some things are not useful. The ego wants to know because it wants to be in control. It wants to know all the details, what I call the “furniture of heaven.” The heart simply wants to know its completion, to know its divinity, to know its true connection with all that is. It doesn't need the encyclopedic facts. The experience in meditation of connecting with the divine, and knowing oneself to be part of the divine, this is the birthright of every human.

The rest, it's information, and if it's helpful to you, it's fine to seek it. But make sure it's not fear and desire for control that is seeking.

Q: I had wanted to ask another question and had realized it's just my ego that wants to know. It's a spiritual question about, I don't know, I want to ask it but I completely welcome you to say that's not useful information. But I live here in British Columbia. A woman recently, who was entering dementia at 85 years old, took her life in a beautiful and gentle and honest and caring way. She took it with complete permission and honoring of her family. So my question is, when she took her life at 85, re karma, the karma that we make in our life, is this considered against what the Buddha taught?


Aaron: ...Let me ask, she knew what she was doing, the dementia was not progressed to the point where she did not know what she was doing, is this correct?

Q: She did know, but she was told her dementia was about to get to a point where she would no longer know herself or her family. So is it against what the Buddha taught? Is it good karma? Or is it something that she will suffer from in her next life?

Aaron: Everything involves karma, every action, every word. It is not the deed itself that brings the karma but the intention. The degree that this woman's intention was based in fear, terrified of losing control, terrified of losing the ego and the self, that will bring a certain unwholesome karma and certain kinds of results. The degree that the intention was based on true desire not to put herself and her family through this suffering, I'm not saying she was right or wrong, that's irrelevant; if her primary intention was to do no harm, to avoid harm and suffering, this will bring wholesome karma. So in a future life she may find herself having to work with the ego that wants to be in control and that is terrified of losing control, to the point that in this lifetime she suicided to avoid that experience of dementia. And she may also be in a situation in which she is deeply honored and loved and respected by those around her because of the degree in which she cares for others.

Now it's not all one way or the other. You said it was with the honoring and agreement of her family, so I have to assume this is so. But perhaps there were one or two people in the family who said, “Mom, we want you to stay around, even with the dementia. I'll take care of you.” Was their asking her to stay based in fear, or was it based in love? That is their karma.

So, karma is based in intention and not in the action. Does that answer your question?

Q: Yes, thank you so much.

Aaron: I am delighted to know that we're reaching out to British Columbia. Wonderful! Other questions?

Q: I have a comment. What Aaron said about the choice we have in every moment, to choose fear or love or old habits versus not turning to those old habits, resonated with me, because a year ago, let's say, my default was the old habits, the old lifejackets, and now it's the reverse, where it feels wrong or odd or uncomfortable or not right to default to (them). I recognize the old habits and the old life jackets. Now my default is being more openhearted.

Aaron: I'm delighted to hear that. And I know and I honor that you have worked hard to come to that. It cannot be done by will. It can be done by intention and hard work. For those of you who do not have a meditation practice, I strongly recommend it. What Q is talking about comes from that hard work. What is there that you have better to do with your time? So begin to meditate, if you don't already. Come to a class or retreat, if that would be helpful to you. Or simply practice at home in your living room.

Another question?

Q: When the stomach tenses up and there's contraction in a moment of interaction with others, is it enough to just be aware?

Aaron: What else would you do? If the contraction remains and gets stronger, ask yourself, am I fighting this contraction? Breathing in, I am aware of the contraction. Breathing out, I smile to the contraction. I hold space for it. That which has the nature to arise has the nature to cease and is not me or mine. It's just contraction, arisen from various conditions. Nothing to fix.

And then we move to the second place, that awareness. That which is aware of contraction is not contracted. Not to escape the contraction, never for escape, but to bring equal time to the uncontracted. Right here in this moment of fear, of contraction, of tension, can I find that, what you all did at the beginning of our session tonight, can I ground into that spaciousness, that stillness? Then you find that they're simultaneous and you no longer have to fix the contraction, you can just let it be until it resolves. And then it stops unless you hit it again. (I'm hitting the knee to make the foot jerk.)

Let us end here. My blessings and love to you all. Please join us again. October 15 will be the next one. Let me just say before I release the body: go out and be angels, with no denial of the earthsuit. Cherish the earthsuit and be the angel. And I'll be right there with you. If you need someone to hold your hand, ask. “Aaron, this angel is a little shaky right now. Hold my hand.” I'm there. I love you. Thank you.

(session ends)