California Retreat
July 11, 2008

Friday afternoon session

Keywords: Guidance from spirit, Earthsuit/True nature, Compassion, Habit energy, (depression), Non-duality, Stages of/shift to higher consciousness, Dependent origination, Past lives; Barbara's introduction

Barbara: I'd like to begin by telling you a little about myself. I've always been on a spiritual search, but had never thought about channeling, spirits, past lives and so forth. I was looking for what life is about, probably the same kinds of questions many of you have asked. I've been practicing meditation since the mid-'50s. In the '50s and '60s I came to meditation as a Quaker. I am a member of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting. So my practice was more reflection and prayer, but it soon became clear to me that I needed to get into a more quiet place. I had never formally met the dharma but the practice simply evolved into a choiceless awareness practice, at first with the breath and then really just present with whatever object presented itself and moving into very deep spaces.

Quakerism had felt like a spiritual home to me for many years, but even there I wasn't able to find the answers I sought. So I was looking for something, I didn't know really what I was looking for. I was very happy in my life, happily married, pregnant with my first child. I had work I loved. I was a sculptor, I taught sculpture at University of Michigan and was successful at my work. Had worked at large galleries and museums and exhibits around the country. It just seemed, there's got to be something more. What am I missing?

Then, just after my first son was born, I lost my hearing. This was traumatic. I wasn't just my hearing that was lost; because it affected the nerves in my middle ear, it affected my balance. I spent several months literally being unable to walk, lurching like a toddler holding onto furniture. I was very dizzy for about 6 weeks, I couldn't even focus my eyes for people to communicate with me with written words.

So, I was really cut off from human communication. There was so much fear and anger. Why me? Why did this happen to me? My mother came and helped take care of the baby. We got through those first 6 weeks until I was able, literally, to crawl down to his room and pull myself up and lift him out of his crib and sit on the floor and nurse him. That was about all I could manage, change his diapers sitting on the floor. No balance.

I felt totally cut off from the world. It was like sitting outside a glass window watching people talking to each other, and I was on the outside. My deepest meditation experiences told me that nothing is separate, and here I was experiencing this horrendous feeling of separation. So much anger came up.If I went out with a few friends, and one simply holding the menu–"Are you getting the tomato soup or vegetable soup?"–"What are they saying?!" So much grasping came up, so much fear.

I worked with in all the skillful ways one might. I learned how to lip-read. Fingerspelling as you see L doing is just the alphabet–(fingerspelling) a, b, c, d, people, spell, the, first, letter, of, each, word. That gives me a clue because so many words sound alike. I don't know if you could see it from across the room but watch my mouth with the sounds p, b, m and t, d, n: pay, bay, may; toe, doe, no. Only one third of the sounds in the English language are visible so it's guesswork at best, so the fingerspelling gives me a way to get the first letter so I can get the words kind of all in place. And sometimes I make pretty ludicrous mistakes, but part of this is the learning to laugh at myself and not take myself too seriously.

So I saw a therapist for awhile and we both agreed that my grief and anger were appropriate. I was functioning well in my life. There was just this anger. And there was an increasing sense of isolation despite the fact that most of my friends learned to fingerspell and one-on-one communication was fine. I almost started to see it as an existential issue, the need to get past this whole idea of separate which my deepest meditation told me is not real anyhow, that nothing is separate.

Some years went by. I coped with my life and the way I coped, really, was to shut off a lot of my feelings–to shut off my anger, to shut off my fear, sadness. But I was in a downhill spin. My work was still good. I had 2 more children. I was very happily married. Last month my husband and I just celebrated our 40th anniversary. I had wonderful friends. But there was still fear, tension and isolation. So I was suffering and I felt like the cause of my suffering was my deafness. If only the deafness wasn't there, we could go back to how things were, everything would be perfect.

Finally one day I prayed for help. I just said, "I cannot do this myself, I need help." I had no idea what kind of help I was expecting; it certainly was not for a discarnate entity to appear in my living room! I had no frame of reference for this, really no information about channeling. I had read that such existed and I had not even really considered, is it real or not. It didn't concern me; it was just something out there.

The next morning I was meditating in my living room and as soon as I sat there was a strong feeling of energy. Do you know the feeling when your back is to a door and you feel somebody walking into the room without hearing their footsteps? Coming very quietly but you can feel the energy. It was a very strong energy, and I could see him. He had a very high forehead, Biblical-looking features, long white hair and white beard, radiating white light.

It startled me! I said, "Who are you?" He said, "You asked for help!" I had. This wasn't what I expected. I got up, and went into the kitchen for a cup of tea. I figured there are 2 alternatives–either I'm hallucinating or this is real. At some level I knew that I wasn't hallucinating but I almost wished I WAS hallucinating because the alternative, that it was real, seemed more than I could deal with at the moment.

I came back in. I sat. And there just was a loving feeling about this energy, which was still there. Three days went by. I just sat, did my meditation practice in silence. There was no pressure of any sort from him; he just sat there with me. Finally I was ready to say, "Okay, you said you're here to help me–how are you going to help?" He said, "You're suffering. Let's start there. Let's look at the nature of the suffering."

We went through a very intense 2 months. I had 3 young children. I would get up early in the morning, like at 4am, and meditate for a few hours, get them up and send them off to school. I had just installed a big outdoor piece of sculpture and my studio was empty. I had no work that was pressing. I had enough money in my pocket not to need to work for a couple of months. I just spent all day until the children came home from school working with Aaron. So in the morning I did a silent meditation and then after the children went off to school, we talked. It would be an alternating talking and meditation, talking and meditation; he led me on, step by step.

The biggest insight was that he pointed out that the hearing loss was just hearing loss, which of course is a big thing, but all the stories of, I'm abandoned, I'm cut off, poor me, what will happen to me, these were stories that the mind was making up. I know a couple of you have been dealing with cancer. The cancer is cancer. It's real. It's something you need to deal with, it's part of your everyday reality. And yet all the stories–will I survive? What will I have to go through? What will people think? What will I need to do?–there are so many stories that go through the mind. And we get so tense about, "Can I do this? Will I be safe? What will happen to me?" And this is not the direct experience of the illness. So the direct experience was simply not hearing.

So he talked to me about hearing. Ear touching an object, contact, consciousness, hearing consciousness. Sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant. But if there's no ear organ, there's no hearing consciousness. He explained that this is all that was happening, and the rest were all the stories I was building upon this. So, the sense organ touches the object, contact, and with contact, consciousness arises. Feeling, pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. Perception of what the object is. These all come together. And then if there's an unpleasant experience, we shift into aversion. If it's a pleasant experience, we shift into grasping.

He explained step by step how this was happening for me. That in the moment of not hearing I was then making the projection, "I should hear" --grasping, expectations of hearing, and that this is where the suffering was. What would it be like if not hearing was simply not hearing?

As we worked with this, this became very clear, how much I was escaping the experience of not hearing by going off into the stories of, "I'm cut off, I'm alone, why me, it's not fair," and so forth. The more I was able to stay with not hearing just as not hearing, I won't say the easier it became but the less struggle was there. In an inverse way, also the more sadness but it was a wholesome shift. I realized somewhere in that period that I had never allowed myself really to grieve for the deafness. I felt, "I have to cope." And if I cope, I just have to suppress the feelings, suppress the fears. So learning to open my heart and just be present with things as they were. The sadness was just sadness. Not hearing was not hearing. And there was no more grasping.

Three months turned everything around. At the end of 2 months I got a flyer in the mail for a weekend workshop in North Carolina. Some of you have probably read this man's work, Stephen Levine. He writes some very beautiful books about healing and presence. First I said, "No way!" Aaron would never push me into anything. He said, "It's your choice. Think about it."

The idea of sitting in a room with 100 people and listening for 3 days to something I can't hear, of being faced that directly with my deafness, was overwhelming. But I realized I was ready and needed to do it. I wrote to Stephen and I said, "I want to come to your workshop. I'm deaf. I'm not coming to hear it, I'm coming to NOT hear it." And he understood exactly what I meant. He said, "Come on down." They sat me in the front row and now and then he would just smile at me. His wife Ondrea was meditating and she said, "If it gets too intense, just focus on me and meditate with me." And I sat there and didn't hear.

The first day there was grasping, no surprise. "I've got to hear this, I've got to hear this." And Aaron kept saying, "He's not saying anything you haven't read in his books or reflected on in your own meditation. There's nothing new. Relax." The second day there was much more mindfulness with the grasping. By the third day, the miracle was not that I was hearing but that there was just somebody up on the platform speaking and somebody in the audience not hearing. And there were no stories. I realized there's still sadness not to hear, but all of the emotional flak that's come along with this is gone. There was no craving. Things were just as they were.

Clearly the work wasn't finished. I came home and said to Aaron, "What next?" Up until then, he had not been teaching much about vipassana. He had told me that in his final lifetime in the 1500s he was a meditation master in Thailand, and that he taught from that perspective. But he said, don't get caught up in Buddhism or any kind of ism, just do the practice.

So in the beginning he wouldn't tell me, "This is Buddhism." I said, "What is vipassana?" He said, "You don't need to know, just be with your breath. Be with the objects that arise. Watch them arising and passing away." He didn't want to label anything. But finally at this point he said, "Okay, it's time to start looking deeper into Buddhism." He asked me to read the sutra on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and it made sense.

Soon after this, friends seeing the differences in me began to ask me if they could talk to Aaron. I guess so–how? Aaron said to me, "Just listen to my thoughts and just say what you hear me say." So at first he was not incorporating in my body but did what we call conscious channeling. First he gave just yes and no answers and then eventually fuller answers. And somebody said to me, "You're channeling." What's channeling?

I had some confusion at this point–was it real? Was I making it up? But he had so much insight into things that I knew nothing about, knew things about people that I had no way to know, and was helpful to people. So this was a big shift in my life. I was a sculptor and I was teaching sculpture at the University of Michigan. And after 20 years as a sculptor, I was successful. I had worked in big galleries and exhibitions around the country. I was doing work I loved. I had no intention of doing something else, but clearly the universe had other plans for me. Aaron never said, "You *should* do this," he simply said, "If you want to do this, I'll speak through you. It's up to you."

My friends were also asking me if I would teach them more about the meditation I was doing. People saw the changes in me. So I started teaching, at that point just in a small way. I also started to teach the meditation practice I had been doing for years, in my living room in small groups. It seemed to go along with what he was teaching. I've been teaching now as guiding teacher of Deep Spring Center for about 20 years.

Basically after that summer, I never went back into my sculpture studio. This may seem odd after so many years of developing myself as a sculptor, but it was clear to me, this is what I need to be doing with my life.

So this is what I've been doing for the last 20 years. It's been wonderful. I literally travel around the world, sometimes meeting in living rooms like this with groups like you, 10 to 20 people, or in large auditoriums with 100 or 200 people. We've done this in Tokyo, in Mexico, so not just in the U.S. but many places. And it gives me so much joy because wherever I go people are asking the same questions, looking at the same issues. It really comes down to who am I? Why am I here? How do I live my life with love? And this is the heart of what Aaron teaches.

He tells us in the 1500s he was a Buddhist meditation master in Thailand. That was his final incarnation, and that he found liberation, the end of karma that would bring him back into a new cycle of being. But he also says he's been in many cultures, many races, male and female, different skin colors, different religions. That there's no one path; it's just a waking up. Whatever path we commit ourselves to will take us. The issue is to commit ourselves to wake up. By waking up I mean to really know who we are and why we came, which is within all of our capacities to understand.

I always felt that I would hear again despite the fact that it would seem impossible. The nerves from the ear to the brain are gone. Many opportunities were put in front of me. This healer, that healer, people who wanted to pay for my trip to this or that place. Nothing felt right to me.

Then in '02 I got an odd email from somebody I didn't know whose mailing list I had crept onto somehow, just synchronicity. It was about her trip to John of God. I had never heard of John of God. I read her email. Her story was interesting. I opened the Friends of the Casa site, and saw this picture of Joao and there was such a strong resonance, and I knew immediately this is where I need to go. Then the next step was how to get there because I couldn't even find Abadiânia on a map! Where is this place? My husband was very reluctant. You're going to someplace in central Brazil that's not on a map?! Finally one of my sons offered to go with me and 2 students decided to accompany me, so we went down there. It was a very powerful trip.

One of the things I asked the entities aside from the healing of the deafness was to help me become a clearer medium and not be so exhausted at the end of channeling sessions. They said to me, "You're working with 2 different frequencies on the body, your lower frequency and Aaron's very high frequency, trying to be in the body simultaneously. You've got to work first to bring up the vibrational frequency of the body Then you've got to get out of the body.." And they gave me various exercises involving toning, chanting, working with colors, different exercises. But also, "You've got to get out of the body before Aaron comes in," and they taught me how to do that. So the shift came at that point to Aaron incorporating in the body, which does work much better. I'm very grateful to them.

I've had some amazing experiences there. In 2004 I was in a bad surfing accident. I wasn't standing up on a surfboard, I didn't have the balance for that, but I was lying down on a short surfboard, riding waves, and a big wave caught me wrong and dumped me down to the bottom of the ocean. I was knocked unconscious, near-death experience. Many broken bones, broken ribs, back injuries. Almost as I hit I felt the entities holding my neck. Somehow my neck wasn't broken but bones in my face were broken. I lost the vision in one eye. And the bleeding caused very bad vision in the other eye, so suddenly I was not only deaf but blind and deaf. This eye was 20/400 vision which is legally blind. The other eye was 20/100, very limited vision. Needless to say, it was very scary.

I had learned something finally the first time around and I didn't get into all those stories, there was just the experience of not seeing and that was enough; hard, scary. So I came down to the Casa with this lack of vision. I left a month later. The blind eye went from that 20/400 to 20/100, which is workable vision, and the other eye went from 20/100 to 20/20. I still have 20/20 vision in this eye. So not only did this help enormously for my life, that I was no longer blind and deaf – I still have low vision in this eye but, I can't see the details of faces but I can see the colors and how many people. It's usable vision – But the more important thing is it gave me faith because they said, "You will hear." Yeah, I will hear, but okay, if they can help me with this, then I can trust them. If they say I will hear then I will hear. And I have no doubts about that now.

During my visit in '07, I heard thunder for the first time in 35 years. I was sitting in the Current Room and suddenly there was a noise and I realized it was thunder. I went out dancing in the rain. Since then I've been hearing quite a lot. I don't hear voices yet but I'm hearing things like car doors closing; even when I'm driving, hearing if a truck passes me, the noise from that. Hearing even softer sounds.

There was one day this year at the Casa when I was talking with somebody, two of us having a dialogue and one of the group was sitting behind me and she started laughing and I turned around! And she gave me a big smile and she said, "You heard me!" I could not say consciously that I heard her but I know at some level I heard her because I turned around instantly when she started laughing.

One of the entities gave me very specific instructions for a set of tuning forks a few years ago, exactly what frequency. And I just sound them each day (chanting) "Om..." and then the other ear. There are tuning forks that match the frequency of each chakra but also they're teaching my body to hear. They said to me your hearing will be different but full hearing. So they're training the body to hear.

So for about 3 years I've been doing this as a daily practice, spending half an hour or so just tuning with the tuning forks. And I'm told by people with good hearing tone that I'm in tune, that I'm really able to hear these and sing them in tune, which is quite amazing. So I can feel how the whole body is learning to hear.

This year in the Current Room on my last day there was loud music playing. I was sitting meditating and I suddenly started to feel a rhythm–bum, bum-pa-bum, bum-pa-bum-bum-bum–and tuned to it. And I felt, I'm imagining it. But the more I sat there the more I knew I wasn't imagining it. And when the session ended I turned to the person next to me and asked, what was the music? Was it similar to this at the end? And sang what I felt I had heard–"Yes."

So it's coming, it's coming. And I know now I will hear. It will take as long as it takes. So I've really let go of grasping at it, just relaxing and letting it be as it is. And it helped my balance. This year when I came with my walking sticks that I often used to balance, the entity said, "Get rid of those!" And I said, "I'll fall over!" He said, "No you won't, you only think you will!" So I walked for a week without the walking sticks. And I came back the next week and he said, "Now ride a bicycle." I rode a bike all over town for 2 weeks, something I have not done for over 30 years! So it's all coming back.

So at this point I would like to simply give you Aaron, let him incorporate and talk to you and spend the afternoon with you. You understand when he's in the body I'm not in the body. So he will be using the body, and I'll read the transcript.

Aaron: My blessings and love to you. You sit there wondering, who is Aaron? Who are you? You have a body; I have no more need of a body. I am spirit; you are spirit. I come to you as spirit to spirit, one soul speaking to another. There's no denial here of the heavier bodies. There is a physical body, an emotional body, a mental body, but you humans often forget the pure spirit body, and this is the essence of what you are.

I call you "angels in earthsuits." You need the earthsuit; that is part of the incarnation. If you were already finished with the work you are doing, you wouldn't need these heavier bodies. So while they are sometimes chafing and uncomfortable, they are also the tools for your awakening. Sometimes you despise them. Try to learn to love them instead, to love the heavy emotions, even, rather than constantly condemning the physical and emotional body.

Each time you come into a new incarnation there's a strong intention to release some of the old karma, to awaken more fully, to live your life with more love. How many of you have seen the movie Groundhog Day? That's a good example. He keeps waking up every morning into the same exact scene. He keeps trying, first the same thing and it doesn't work, then trying something else, then getting frustrated, and finally–ah, an insight, there's another approach! Then things start to resolve.

That "other approach," this is the approach to be with the self and the world with love instead of condemnation and negativity. I am not suggesting that there should be or will be no negative thought, but when negative thought arises, it's just negative thought. If you took a bare patch of lawn out there, added fertilizer, watered it, put in grass seed, had warm sun on it, grass would grow–would you expect anything else? This is the way the world is. So when conditions are present, there will be a certain response.

If there was a tack on the floor and you stepped on it barefoot and it bled, is there anybody here who would say, "I shouldn't bleed"? This is the way the body is. If the body is punctured, it will bleed. If you stub your toe, that's a condition, and you feel the pain. But when you stub your emotional toe and anger or judgment of some sort comes up, somebody says something you don't want to hear, maybe something abusive, or something comes up that frightens you, then most of you have at least some level of self-judgment–"I shouldn't feel that." Of course, sometimes anger and fear will come, sadness will come, confusion will come. How do you deal with these?

You are in a process of evolution. My view of the universe and of human evolution is this. There are eight, what I call, densities. The heaviest, the lowest density, the heaviest vibration, is mineral, gas, rock. Second density is vegetable and animal, from the very simplest forms of vegetable to the increasingly complex and finally self-aware animal. With that self-awareness comes readiness to progress into third density. Third density is human.

The span of third density is enormous, it's everything from the animal who is first self-aware to the human who finally shifts from taking self-awareness as self-centeredness to knowing self-awareness as connection with all that is, so that limits of the self fall away and you find that you're everything. At that point you're ready to move on, but you're still only moving into the 4th of 8 densities.

Most of you have heard the term "New Age." The meaning is very simple. We are moving from the age of rational man into the age of non-dual awareness, where each of you are starting to know your deepest connections with the earth and with each other. Your third density life experiences give you the opportunity to practice through the body, through the emotions, to watch the recurrent thought of "me against that", and instead begin to understand that the heart can open in compassion, connect to whatever seems separate, and yet work with it if it's something unwholesome.

So if there are people doing, let's use damage to the environment, instead of hating the people or saying helplessly, "Well, it's them doing it, there's nothing I can do," you recognize whatever anybody is doing, you are also doing at some level, and when you hold the whole situation with love, you open the doorway to shifting the situation.

When I say "holding the doorway with love," I'd like you all to think of something that angers you, something difficult. Bring your attention to it. Perhaps something unfair that somebody said to you, something hurtful. Can you feel your energy close up when you think about this? Tension, tightening in the body, contraction. The angel aspect of you is in a permanent state of non-contraction, and the earthsuit goes into contraction.

Now think of somebody that you deeply love or admire. Think of some exchange between the two of you that brought warmth into your heart... Can you feel the contraction dissolve? Can you feel the heart opening? The energy opens. When you are contracted, you move yourself off into a place of separation and thereby you set limits, because as the personal self you are indeed limited. But in this greater self there are no limits.

I am not suggesting that the personal self is non-existent. There is indeed a personal self and we honor and cherish that personal self. But we don't ignore the greater self and choose the personal self as the only thing that's real, any more than we ignore the personal self and choose the greater self as the only reality. How do you hold it together simultaneously?

I'd like you to try this exercise with me. Hold your hand up in front of your face. Wiggle the fingers, move the fingers. One is the body, one is the thoughts, here is emotions, here is planning or judging mind, it's all there. Stare at the fingers. That's it, that's the personal self, constantly rushing around!

Now keep the fingers wiggling and look through them, look right up at me. The fingers haven't gone anyplace, but look beyond. (pause) Look back at the fingers. When you focus on the fingers, you can't see the spaciousness. When you open into the spaciousness, you don't ignore the fingers. If one of the fingers suddenly started bleeding, right there while looking through you still can take a tissue and wipe it.

This demonstrates the simultaneity of the personal self and the greater self. So much of what you are learning in the incarnation is to hold that non-duality. You do that in your personal emotional work, for example if a judging thought, self-judgment or judgment of another, if a judging thought arises, you note, "judging, judging, here is a judgment." I want you to think hard about my next statement. Some of you will get it quickly, others of you may not get it right away: that which is aware of judgment is not judging. Do you understand what I mean by that? That which is aware of judgment is not judging.

When anger comes up the body tenses. There is heat, pulsation. Here is anger. That which is aware of anger is not angry. Now you've got to be careful. There's no denial of the anger. The anger is the direct experience of the moment. There's also a commitment not to enact the anger in the world, but in order not to enact anger in the world you don't have to combat the anger or defeat it, but rather to open your heart to this human that's experiencing anger in this moment.

When there can be kindness for the self and the experience of anger, there can be kindness for another. Then there can be kindness for terrorists across the world. Maybe compassion is a better word. Non-judgment, non-hatred. Compassion is strong, compassion doesn't simply say, "Okay, if you want to terrorize the world, I'll just step back and let you do it." Compassion holds the commitment to non-harm and to not judge another, and it knows how to say no in a loving way. As you practice in this way, you develop the ability to relate in your personal lives in a kinder and more openhearted way.

Let's look at an example where you're walking down the street and you see someone walking toward you with whom you've had a very difficult relationship, a person who seems chronically angry and frequently takes out that anger on you, with verbal abuse. Your first instinct is to cross the street–let's get away from him. But even as you start to step to the curb, he starts to step toward you and clearly he's going to intersect with you. Uh-oh.

Picture these two different possibilities, radically different possibilities. In one, you bristle, "Now what are you angry at!" What are you inviting with that response? What if you say to him in a softer voice, "You look angry today. What's going on?" It's a very different response. His answer could be, maybe he's your neighbor, "Your dog littered on my front yard again!" Rage. "Okay, I hear you, I'll work hard to make sure the dog doesn't do that again, and I'll be glad to come over and clean it up." Or maybe he's got a completely irrational reason for his anger. Or maybe he says, "My boss just fired me." You tend to take it personally. You see the anger. The stories build up and you believe, "This is about me and our old angry relationship with each other," and there's no compassion in it.

The primary lesson of the human incarnation is compassion. It's as simple as that. In order to practice compassion, you need to be aware of two things: the times when your response to the world is not compassionate but is caught up in the old stories of "not fair," "why me" and "how do I keep myself safe?," and that the compassionate heart does not have to be created, it's already existent.

Let's look at windows. These windows are not a good example because they're sparkling clean. But what if they were covered with mud? Would you believe you needed to break away the glass and install new glass? The ever-perfect window is there, it just needs to have the mud washed off.

When there's strong anger or any form of negativity, the loving heart is still there. If you forget that the loving heart is still there, you make a different effort, which is to try to get rid of the anger, to try to get rid of something, to use force, contraction. But when you can remember, "Yes, this is here but that's still there," the loving heart is still there, is always there, then you can relate to what has arisen from a much more openhearted place. The more you practice this, the easier it becomes.

It really begins with a commitment that I think all of you have or you would not be here today, to learn how to live your lives with love. Once that commitment is in place, then very gently you begin to look at the places that seem less than fully loving. This may be for many of you especially about yourself. How many of you frequently judge yourselves? You don't have to put your hands up but I would guess that most of you do.

Just the reminder–I like the term, when a judging thought comes up, "Is that so?" "I should have been able to do this better. I'm not good enough." "Ah, is that so?" You start to see this thought is just the judging mind, is habit. What does the loving heart say, the angel in the earthsuit? Can we let the angel come through more fully and express this innate capacity for love?

Dharma students ask me, they're looking for liberation. How does karma end? As long as there's a self trying to fix this or that, you're giving off this message that it's all coming from a self and that somehow, somewhere you're going to conquer this thing we call existence. There's no freedom on that route.

When you relax and get to know this divine radiance of being, you learn that there's nothing to conquer. The move into fourth density, for the human--we said that 4th density, this "new age," is really a shift in consciousness in which the whole earth is involved, non-dual consciousness. In this state of non-dual consciousness, every being is telepathic. If everyone in this room was telepathic right now, would that be okay with you? Any problems with that? (smiles and nodding yes) So we have thoughts that we have a bit of shame about or another's thoughts that we might feel uncomfortable with.

As compassion develops and we no longer judge ourselves, we no longer judge others, there's clear understanding, these thoughts, they're just–back to that patch of grass. One dandelion seed fell into it so up comes a dandelion. Okay. That's the way it is. That's what's growing in this moment. I don't have to hate the dandelion but I can get out a trowel and dig it up by the roots. I can attend to it.

The way we dig up the negativity in ourselves by the roots is with kindness, deeply opening our hearts and knowing, this, the dandelion, didn't just appear and it's not trying to do me in. It's here because some dandelion seeds fell on the earth and that happened because the wind blows. Would you stop the wind from blowing?

We simply attend to conditions with an ongoing resolve toward loving kindness, toward compassion. And we watch the mind and its stories with the intention to soften ourselves, to uncover this loving heart, wash away the dirt, in effect, so the clear radiance of being comes forth.

This is your work. All of you are involved, consciously or unconsciously in this shift to a higher consciousness. The Earth has been evolving through consciousness through many millennium, from a more of a magic and mythic consciousness many thousands of years ago into the rational consciousness and now it's evolving into non-dual consciousness.

If you did not intend to participate in this work, you would not have incarnated. Some of you may not believe that and some of you may not feel comfortable even with the idea of reincarnation and that's okay. For whatever reasons, you are here. And so we stay with that basic question: how do I open my heart with love in each moment with whatever physical, mental, or emotional catalyst presents itself?

Okay, I want to leave us a lot of time for questions. I promised a short talk today. So at this point I'd like to simply invite any questions that any of you may have.

Q: What is my next step in helping others to prepare for 2012?

Aaron: To more deeply resolve the emotional body, as I have been talking about. By this I do not mean to stop the emotions but to find greater equanimity with emotions. The reason that this is the next step is twofold. First, that you then serve as a model to others and many look to you to be that model. And second, as long as there is still even subtle self-judgment that is identified with, you're holding onto this self-identity on a personal level, not allowing the deeper level of your being to be predominant.

That pure heart, that's what has to lead. The mind and the emotions, they follow. This really relates to manifestation. As long as you are reacting from any place of contraction, even the contraction of trying to combat the judging mind, there's still contraction. But when you make friends with the judging mind, it becomes like a parrot squawking in the background. You don't really have to pay much heed to it. And eventually it will get bored and fly away. Do you understand?

Q: Yes, thank you.

Q: I have depression. I would like to know how to live with it better.

Aaron: Do you meditate? (Q: Yes.) What form of meditation do you use? (Q: Buddhist.) What school? Vipassana? Zen>? (Q: Some Zen, some to do with the Twelve Step Program.)

There are many paths. The path with which I'm most familiar and I find a very viable path is that of vipassana. I'm certain that there are vipassana groups found in this area. With this form of meditation, we watch how different object arise and pass away. Some are pleasant, some are unpleasant. We watch the whole chain whereby when an object is pleasant, there's grasping after it and when it's unpleasant, there's aversion to it.

Depression is generally a closing-in of the self and one's energy, and it often relates to trying to suppress certain kinds of feelings. The more you suppress, the more it closes in. The whole energy field gets locked in, the energy isn't moving along all the chakras and meridians. This state is frequently diagnosed as depression. It has an organic outflow in the emotional and physical. But it can be turned around as you begin to see the experience of depression, just as Barbara spoke of seeing the experience of not-hearing. In not-hearing, just not hearing.

Depression is an uncomfortable feeling. Imagine yourself visiting the beach and being buried up to your neck in sand. Tight, confined. Can you visualize how you might first feel, sitting in that hole up to here in sand, locked in, tense, and how you could breathe and relax and just be there, just somebody sitting in a pile of sand? It still might not be pleasant, it would be cold and damp, or hot, gritty, trapped, but it's just sitting in sand.

As you relax around it, you don't need to push against the situation. The vipassana practice starts not with something major like depression but just a twinge on the little toe. Unpleasant. Itch, wanting to scratch. You watch these different sensations and thoughts come and go and begin to see how you monitor and judge and try to control, and just gently to let go.

When you are ready, you begin to work with the experience of depression itself, but not until the practice is stable. Two things are likely to happen. First, what you request, that you start to be more comfortable with depression. It's just depression. And second, you begin to see the factors that are creating the depression. You begin to allow yourself to go deeper and see the fear, pain, sorrow, whatever might be there, with that same fearless, open heart. Be willing to say, "Okay, this is here, this is here;" you don't have to condemn the self for any of it. At that point there's nothing to hold the depression in place anymore.

There are some of my books in there and there are a number of chapters on dealing with depression. I think you'll find some help from those.

Q: Is my contribution in this incarnation having to do with my new book?

Aaron: There are many levels of contribution and work. There is the outer work in the world and there is the inner work in the heart. I would say that it has less to do with the book itself, although that is a contribution, than it has to do with you using the book as a catalyst to you asking yourself, how do I feel about it? Do people endorse the book? Are they pulling back from it? What are my hopes and fears? What comes up for me as I offer this child out into the world? Because this is a place where you are able to look at the personality self and the stories, the most deeply embedded habitual stories, and release some of it. So the book is a gift out into the world but it's also a catalyst for the personal work.

Remember that love and fear are simultaneous. So there is the offering of the book out with love and there are also the fears that come. Can you regard fear with kindness? Can you avoid being captured by the stories of fear? This takes us beyond this specific question and into the whole question of how we manifest anything in our lives.

If you have a new endeavor and you are focused on getting it just right, controlling it in some way, concerns–What if this goes wrong? What if that goes wrong?–in a sense you're planting the seeds. There's some part of you that is wanting, I would not say wanting but at some level, inviting the possibility of these things going wrong because there's something that still needs to be resolved around it. So you keep the whole cycle going.

But at that point where you're able to say, "Okay, this fear is old and I'm not going to enact these stories," the story might still come, "What if the book doesn't sell? What if people reject it in some way? What if I get some bad feedback?" Instead of going into that story, "How can I fix that before it happens?" just note fear, wanting so much for this work to be important to people, wanting so much to be liked. That's part of it, wanting so much for acceptance. Can I embrace this human with all its human qualities? So there's a commitment not to go into fear's stories, not to perpetuate the stories. Then there is no longer reason for anything to go wrong. You're creating a different possibility. So I think this is the more important aspect of the work because what you learn here you will teach others.

I want to see something here. (Aaron walks away from mic to Q2.) May I put my hands here? I want you to take a deep breath. Lower down into the belly. Are you aware of how shallow you're breathing? Bring the attention to it. The part of you that's not willing to let the world come into you. I want you to envision as you breathe in, open your eyes–do it for me now, all of you can try this. Breathe in, breathe the whole world into one self. And release. Letting go of the separation, letting yourself remind you it's safe to bring the whole world in. I think just that act–try that again –– I think just that act is going to change your energy. It will be a force in helping to release the depression.

Q: Thank you.

Q: I believe in spirit guides. I want to know how to best work with my spirit guides.

Aaron: Do you have conscious contact with your guides?

Q: No. I do feel a presence every once in awhile.

Aaron: Child, there is no wall between us from our side. From your side, you keep the doors closed. You have to learn, all of you, to open the doors. You all have guides. You all can connect with your guides.

Here's a very simple exercise with which many people have had success. Begin with a notepad and pen. Think about a question that's very important to you, something that you don't as of now have any understanding about. A question like, "Why am I here in this incarnation?" or "What is my next step?"

Putting the notepad down, then--write the question, put the pad down. Sit quietly and state your highest intentions, whatever they may be. They will differ for different people. For some, it could be as simply as, "To be safe and happy in my life." For others it might be, "To be of service, the highest service possible to all beings. To live my life with love."

If possible, think of a great Master with whom you feel a resonance, Jesus, the Buddha, some other being. Feel the resonance and the commitment that the way you live your life will be in harmony with the teachings of this Master.

Then, having stated your deepest values, you ask for help. Say the question. "Whatever help may come must come in harmony with my own deepest values." It's a very important statement because there is a negative energy out there. You don't want to just open the door and say, "Free beer!" You've got to make certain whom you're inviting in. You do that by a clear statement of your highest values. Make that statement, pick up the pad and just sit.

When you write, usually your brain thinks of what you're going to say. Here you're just going to feel an impulse and just start to write. Don't monitor it in any way. It could be 3 words, 3 sentences, 3 pages. As long as you feel this flow of energy, just keep writing without reading back or thinking about what was written. Just to try to keep a clear channel. When the flow stops, you'll feel it, a distinct, "That's it."

Then read it. Read it with discernment: does this come fully in harmony with my own values? It may not be something you're happy to hear. It may be pointing out something that needs work and that's frightening, something you are working on, but it will resonate as truth.

If it does not resonate as truth, you immediately put it down and make your statement of values again. Make the statement, "This comes with a kind of negative twist to it. This doesn't feel right to me. Again I'm asking for guidance, for the highest guidance that I can hold, that can flow through me, in answer to this question." And if more energy comes, write again.

When you feel it resonates as truth for you, if there's a question that it raises, ask the question. Get into a dialogue with this being, and before you close the contact, ask, "Do you have a name? How can I reach you?" It may simply give the name "Teacher" or "Friend" or it may give a specific name. Very likely it will give certain instruction about raising your own vibrational frequency along with the reply to your question, something like visualizing certain colors and bringing them in to further tune the chakras and the energy field. I don't know what. It may give very specific guidance.

Work with the guidance. What the entity is doing is helping to raise your vibrational frequency so that you can clearly hold that energy, that vibration, so there's no static on the line between you. You want to connect with this entity through writing 2 or 3, or even 4 or 5 times, before you're ready to put the pencil down and just hear the thoughts.

All of you have guides. You all have at least one and usually several personal guides. Some of your guides are simply third density beings like yourselves in between incarnations. Some of them are much higher vibrational beings.

I see this, if I may use this as a metaphor, like the university system where you have students, TAs--teaching assistants–who are just out of school themselves. Assistant professors, full professors. There's a flow from the full professor down to the TA. The student may not even be able to understand the full professor, speaking a different language, so to speak, where the TA speaks the student's language. So a higher density being is not necessarily a better guide for you than the third density being between incarnations.

People ask me, "How can another third density being know any more than I know?" Picture yourself walking with weighted shoes into the water. You just keep walking. You have a long snorkel tube. Laid out is a maze that you are to follow. You don't have a mask--once you're underwater there's a veil, you can't see. There are flags on the surface but you can't see them, you're underwater. This is the incarnate experience for many people. But your third density guide is sitting on your shoulders with their head out of the water. Eventually you develop the vision to see underwater. The water clears, the veil vanishes.

Don't grasp at a higher level guide, simply ask for the highest level guidance you can stably work with and trust that as you are ready for a higher vibrational guide, it will be available because they're part of a family and you all meet each guide in turn as you are ready for them. No one level of guide is best.

Another area to consider here is that some of you say, "I want to meet my guides, I want to learn," and yet at some level there's resistance because you're aware that the guide is going to ask you to look at things in your life that are hard to look at, to clean up areas of your life, perhaps, that you've not wanted to attend to.

So if you have a self-image, for example, of being one who is unworthy, and it's very frightening to see yourself as a powerful being–people get into this, for example, because they have a lot of anger. They don't know what to do with their anger. They're frightened by their anger. They feel how powerful and negative that anger can be, so they move themselves into a place of seeming limitation, powerlessness, and feelings of inadequacy. They hold that self-image of themselves because they are afraid of their power.

What if you are open to a guide that invites you to look at these feelings of inadequacy, invites you to look at the reality of your own unlimitedness and power–is that okay? So you've got to acknowledge there may be some fear. You've got to be honest with your guides and say, "I want this and yet I'm also afraid of it." YOU are in control. You always have free will. You will never be led at a pace that you feel is faster than you can handle, and you can always say, "I need this to slow down." Remember that. This is safe. The intention of positively-polarized entities is to help you to realize your own radiance and unlimitedness, never to harm you or force you back into darkness. Ask for the help you need.

Other questions?

Q: What is it that I am to be learning at the present time?

Aaron: To find your voice. Not to be afraid to speak your truth. There is a desire to be loving, a wholesome desire to please others, and sometimes you pull back thinking it's compassionate to hold silent rather than saying no from a compassionate place. You are here to learn to speak your truth more fully and to learn how to speak that truth from a place of compassion. Do you need to hear more about that or is that sufficient?

Q: Yes, sufficient.

Aaron: As I am saying these things to you, please know that I am saying them with the deepest love and respect, knowing each of your capacity to more fully awaken and radiate that angel that you are. I respect your asking these questions and your willingness to attempt(attend to) this work.

Q: What would be my best career path?

Aaron: What are you passionate about?

Q: A lot of things! Travel? Helping people? Relaxing at the spa.

Aaron: Daughter, you are an old soul, do you understand what I mean by that? You came into the incarnation to do work toward bringing love to the world and opening your own heart in love. This is the primary work, healing the self and that which chastises the self, judges the self. In choosing a career, I cannot tell you this or that is your career path, only that it be something about which you feel passionate. There are going to be times when the work feels arduous or boring. The question is, am I making a choice out of love, not out of any judgment of, "I should" do this or that.

There will always be some balance, part of you that says, "Yes, this!" and part of you that says, "What if it doesn't work?" or "Maybe I should choose something else." Instead of getting caught up in the "Maybe I should choose something else," come back to the "This resonates for me. My heart opens to this." It's the same thing we were talking about just a few minutes ago, in manifestation, not getting caught up in the negativity, not getting caught up in the fears. If there is the fear, as there is for many, of "What if I don't succeed?" then you keep repeating the process of not really succeeding.

When you look at relative reality, of course you've got to be realistic. For example, you're not going to open a spa up in the most northern areas of Alaska. Nobody's going to come! But when there is a reasonable degree of knowledge or skill about the proposed intention and the heart resonates with this, then whatever fears come up, whatever stories,-- "But I might not make it!", "Maybe it's not service-oriented enough, maybe I should choose something more creative or more of a gift to people, etc, etc, etc," just note fear–"fear, fear" and come back to the fingers, come back to the open spacious heart that says, "No, this is what I intend to do and I open to this with all my heart and all my love." Visualize it succeeding, succeeding in all the ways you want it to succeed. People coming and being truly helped, finding joy or whatever kind of help they may find, better health. Finding yourself adequately rewarded financially that your own life is comfortable. Feeling the enrichment of sharing whatever it is that you're sharing with people–whatever it is.

I am not saying to abolish fear, you cannot abolish fear without suppressing it. But to be mindful of fear and to know it simply has arisen from conditions and you do not have to get caught up in its stories. The fear is just fear. Use that little, "Is that so?" That really breaks things open. "I might not have enough skills." "Oh, is that so?" "People might not come." "Is that so?" These are stories.

So feel the intention to open the heart more and more completely to what you're pursuing so that you're pursuing it with passion, with the highest intention for the good of all beings including the self, and with the intention that it add to the healing of the self, the healing of these feelings of inadequacy, the feelings of self-judgment. Does that answer your question?

Q: Yes.

Aaron: Do it with love, that's all. Do it with love.

Q: Can we elaborate on past lives--well maybe my past lives, and how I can learn from that now?

Aaron: Where relevant in a private meeting, we will offer past life information, but here within the group, the most important thing I can say about past lives is to look at the prevalent habits in this life. If there is a strong ongoing pattern, probably that pattern has existed in a past life. Without seeing the past life, simply invite up whatever intuitively comes to mind. Let yourself simply visualize a being in a challenging situation with the pattern that you see in the present self and its challenge.

And then in your meditation, speak to this friend who has come. It doesn't have to be an accurate portrayal of that past life, but speak to this person. Somebody caught up in confusion, fear, or anger; somebody who's reactive in a certain way. Somebody who wants to, and these are hypothetical, not to you, somebody who wants to save everybody, take care of everybody, and feels helpless because they can't. What would you say to this person? What would you say to this, let's not call it a karmic ancestor but a friend? As you speak to them from your own soul's wisdom, you teach yourself.


Q: My question is, I'm very concerned about what I see as the political and moral breakdown of what our country was founded on.

Aaron: You are all here to learn. Whatever choices you make, there will be consequences. When a young child is building a pile with blocks, sometimes the child will consistently put a block on out of balance so the pile topples over. The parent comes over and shows the child how to put it on the center. The child puts it back on the side and the pile topples over, the child may even cry that it topples over. But at some level the child understands that he's not trying to make a pile of blocks, he's learning about balance. He will need to keep it toppling over until he's learned what he needs to learn.

You are all children in some ways experimenting with how to build the society, the world, that you say you want to build, and how to deal with the individual self, the ego, that fears and says, "But I want my share." So each of you is trying to learn how to release the ego's fears and connect with everyone else, and simultaneously to say no to those who are still caught up in self-centeredness and selfishness. Sometimes people have to experience the consequences, the whole world has to experience the consequences. How bad does it have to get before enough people are ready to say no and take a stronger stand to recreate the, I would not call it moral awareness so much as non-dual awareness, the non-separation awareness, that everything, whatever you send out, is going to come back to you. What are you sending out?

I don't think you're going to destroy this earth, but you're going to continue to suffer discomfort until enough of you learn to create a different future. I would not worry about it. Rather I would become active in clarifying the self and the places where self-interest and world interest seem to conflict, and working with such groups that feel harmonious to you, who are trying to do this in the world. These will be groups who are not approaching others with judgment or anger but are truly trying to heal the world with love.

It seems people are getting tired and ready to move around a bit and to stir the energy up. Shall we end, then? If we're finished, I will release the body back to Barbara.

My dear ones, thank you for sharing yourselves and your hearts with me here today. Please remember that you are angels. Don't get caught up in the earthsuit to the degree that you forget that you are angels. You are radiant, you are unlimited, you are cherished. And you must care for the earthsuit because that's where the angel is living right now.

Stop regarding the body as a heavy diving suit that you must lug around and instead begin to regard it with great cherishing because it is the teacher for the incarnation. The physical body, the emotional body, the mental body, these are your teachers. They're not problems.

I wish you knew deeply how much loving guidance surrounds all of you. You can trust that. You are not alone. You are cherished and your work inspires others, not just on the human plane but on many planes. You are literally teachers of compassion to the universe and yours is the place of learning to deepening compassion. If compassion had an end, could go only that high and that was the limit, there wouldn't be much point in the work, but we find that compassion is endless and you truly are inspirations of compassion.

When you go to a play and you see a character in the play in a difficult situation, and the character is able to respond in a clear and loving way, that inspires you, doesn't it? In a sense the universe is watching you and inspired by you, and you have volunteered to come into this incarnation and do this work for your own selves and in service to all beings. Keep that perspective before you and it will make the challenging situations seem a little less weighty, less burdensome. In every burden there is a gift.

Thank you for permitting me to share my thoughts with you tonight. My blessings and love to you all.

(session ends)