Evening Talk
June 25, 2008
Emrich Retreat

Keywords: Karma (habit energy), compassion, four bodies

Aaron: Good evening. I hope you have had a day that has taken you deeply into your heart and wisdom. Many questions have been asked about karma. What is karma? How does it work? If there’s no self, whose karma is it? We talk about free will and yet karma seems to imply some kind of predestination, that because there is karma, this or that will unfold. This is a misunderstanding that many of you carry. So I’d like to speak to some of these questions tonight and I hope it will provide more clarity.

Many of you taking notes…. May I suggest you just stop and listen and I promise you an eventual transcript that you can read. Let your heart hear these words, not the mind. When you’re taking notes it’s coming through the mind, not really connecting through the heart. If there’s just a phrase or two that feels important that you want to write down, that’s fine, but not constant notes.

Barbara had a teacher in college who would watch everybody taking notes, say some outlandish things, and then tell them at the end of the talk, “One third of what I told you is untrue.” Let go of the notes and listen with the heart.

Karma. First of all, karma and intention go together. I’m trying to figure out here how to give an orderly talk, but this topic is so fragmented it’s hard to know where to start.

Picture two men walking on parallel streets. For each of them there is a man walking 10 paces behind him. Both of the front men suddenly stop, clutch their heart and fall to the ground. Eyes are glazing over. Heart attack. One man walking behind is a heart surgeon. He immediately rushes to the fallen man, recognizes the symptoms of the heart attack, and knows that the only hope of saving this man is literally to cut open his chest and do some kind of heart massage. He has nothing with him but his pocket knife. He has the courage to cut into the man’s chest and try, although it seems to him the man at this point is not breathing. No sign of life. But if he has any chance, he knows this is the only thing he can do. It will take too long for an ambulance to get there.

So he cuts into his chest. The intention is to save the man’s life. There is no inner intention, “I’m going to be a hero.” He would be happy just to be anonymous, to bring the man back to life, have an ambulance come, and to disappear into the background. His attempt doesn’t work and the man dies.

On the next street over, the second man has fallen with an almost identical heart attack. At first the eyes flutter open. The man behind him is a thief. He sees and opportunity to steal the man’s wallet. The man, in the midst of his heart attack, has enough awareness to clutch at his wallet and say, “No,” so the man takes a knife and stabs him. The man dies also of a heart attack, not of the stabbing wound.

So what is the karma here, for each of these two men? The physician has no unwholesome karma at all in this situation. His only intention was to be of assistance. There was no inflated ego that thought, “I know what to do even though I’m not a doctor.” He was a heart surgeon, a specialist. He knew his responsibility. “If anyone can save this man in this moment, it’s me.” And he was willing to take the risk of his own reputation and so forth to try to save the man. Here is wholesome karma. The karma is very specific, it’s either wholesome or unwholesome, kusala or akusala.

The man one street over did not literally kill the man, who died of a heart attack. Still, he has accumulated quite a bit of unwholesome karma, karma related to greed and self-centeredness. The karma is very specific.

Let’s say the first man, the doctor, acted with the deep wholesome intention to help the man but there was also a thought, “If he lives, I wonder if people will notice me. Will I be in the papers? Will people pay attention to me?” Perhaps he’s a man who feels that he’d like more attention in the world. That wanting attention did not drive the act to save the man, it’s a secondary intention–wanting to save the man, the primary intention, and the secondary intention, wanting some recognition. Regardless of whether the man lived or died, the wholesome karma would be in the selfless attempt to save him and the unwholesome karma would be in the repetition of the pattern, trying to claim something for himself.

This reminds me of a question that came up many years ago in a group in which we were talking about karma. One of the group mentioned a boy in her neighborhood who was not well liked by the other children. He was shy, he was small for his age. He struggled to make friends. One day she saw him on a brand new bicycle so, seeing him out her window, she went out of her way to speak. She came to her door and said his name, “Your bike is beautiful!” This was wholesome karma, paying attention to somebody. And then she was aware of the fleeting thought, the boy’s mother lived next door, “Did his mother hear me? Will his mother appreciate me?” The karma is specific. Wholesome karma; unwholesome karma.

Your negative habit patterns perpetuate unwholesome karma. Your wholesome patterns deepen wholesome karma. There’s a beautiful sutra in which the Buddha says, “Abandon the unwholesome. If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it. If such abandonment brought suffering, I would not ask you to abandon it. But as the abandonment of the unwholesome brings happiness and peace, I ask you, abandon the unwholesome. Cultivate the wholesome. If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it. If such cultivation brought suffering, I would not ask you to do it. But cultivation of the wholesome brings happiness and peace, so I ask you to cultivate the wholesome.”

We could talk at great length about abandon and cultivate mean. That is another talk. To abandon the unwholesome simply means to turn your back on old unwholesome patterns of body, of mind, of action, speech and thought. When they arise, literally to say, “No, I’m not going there now,” and let it go again and again. When you do that, you cultivate the wholesome. If greed has arisen, and the awareness comes not to act out that greed, you are abandoning the greed. Perhaps there’s a strong impulse energy, to take something. Someone’s baked cookies in the kitchen, there’s one left on the plate, and the impulse comes up, “Ooh, I want that chocolate chip cookie.” Abandoning greed in that case could mean looking at the others and splitting it in 3. Seeing the inner impulse, “I want that for me.” Changing the intention to generosity. So you begin to see that abandoning the unwholesome and cultivating the wholesome are part of each other. When you abandon the unwholesome, you cultivate the wholesome.

But each thread of karma is specific. It attaches sometimes to the mental body, sometimes to the physical body, sometimes to the emotional body. It attaches literally to the cellular tissue of the body, and appears and again and again and again. Some of you feel you have been born with a bad back or bad knees, or a stomach that upsets easily. Almost certainly this is a carryover from past lifetimes. It does attach to the cellular tissue of the body.

How does this happen when you have a different body? How does it happen when there’s no self with whom it can attach? I’ll come back to that question. I want to talk a bit more about the specific nature of karma.

There’s a tale about men who are building a beautiful temple. The work was very hard and the pay was very low. In the end there was not really enough money to finish it. The men had to give up their paychecks so the available money could cover the materials. They worked very hard. There was one man who very much begrudged his work on the temple. “It’s not fair. They’re not paying me for this labor.” He recognized the temple was beautiful but he was surly in his work. He spoke in negative terms, “Why are we building this temple? Who needs this?” But finally in the end, when it was finished, he saw how beautiful it was and he saw the people coming to use it and how much it was appreciated. He regretted some of his surliness, so he went out and bought a beautiful bell from his own money and hung it at the temple, the sweetest-sounding bell.

In a future lifetime, this man was born into a woman’s body, and the story goes that she was the ugliest woman that you had ever seen. Nobody could stand to look at her. Just terribly, terribly ugly, expressing the ugliness of that anger and surliness. But she had an exquisite voice. They used to invite her to sing behind a curtain so that nobody would have to look at her but people would appreciate her voice.

Now I can’t tell you if this is a true story or not but it does illustrate the specific nature of karma. I ask you to think of an ongoing habitual pattern that you carry. It doesn’t have to be the strongest one. Maybe it’s something like wanting to control things. Maybe even though you actually are a fairly generous person, the first thing that comes up when somebody asks you for a favor is fear, “I might need that,” holding back. Maybe it’s the pattern of unworthiness, feeling unworthy. Many different kinds of patterns, many different kinds. Think about this habit energy and my statement, “Abandon the unwholesome, cultivate the wholesome.”

At the beginning of the retreat, Barbara asked you to choose one precept that seemed challenging to you, and follow it. That precept probably connects with a strong habit energy. The question here is, let’s use stinginess, self-centered greed and fear, vs. generosity. The question is not so much what you do but how you do it.

If somebody asks you for something and fear comes up and you work in a conscious and loving way with the fear and are able to give even a portion, that helps to release the karma, to balance old karma.

If somebody asks you for something and you get in a dither and say, “No, I might need it! I can’t!” and then an hour later–maybe someone wanted a bite of your apple, finally you almost finish the apple, you’ve got a bellyache and you realize there’s a little bit left and you walk up to the person and say, “Here, you can have the rest,” well that’s not generosity, is it? You have not cultivated the wholesome or abandoned the unwholesome.

By the same vein, if the fear comes up, “But I might need the apple.” Then some inner insistance, “I should give. Here, take it! Take it!” That’s also not generosity. You’re not really opening your heart in any way. This is not abandoning the unwholesome, this is digging a whole and burying the unwholesome and trying to pretend it’s not there.

We heal and balance karma by this combination, bringing awareness to the pattern, opening our hearts to ourselves and to others, truly understanding what would be wholesome in this moment, and doing the best that you can without expecting perfection. Doing the best you can to lean toward the wholesome. Each time you do it, it gets a little easier.

I asked you to choose some pattern that’s challenging for you. I’d like to you imagine yourself in a situation where that habit energy comes up strong. Do you try to bury it and force it aside? Do you try to ignore it, just turn your back and say, “My apple,” figuratively? The way you resolve the karma with it is to pay attention. Here is an opportunity to practice, to abandon the unwholesome and cultivate the wholesome. What would be wholesome in this moment? And of course, it varies.

If somebody is speaking to you very abusively, the wholesome is not to stand there and say, “You’re right. Why don’t you punch me in the nose, too?” That’s just creating a different kind of unwholesome karma. The wholesome is not to punch them in the nose, either. For each of you it will differ. What is the habit energy that needs to be softened and released?

So in that situation, the wholesome might be to look at this person and say, “I hear how angry you are.” And if the person continues to speak to you in a very abusive manner, say, “I do hear your anger but it’s not okay to take that anger out on me in this way.” You say it with kindness but you make it clear, “You may not abuse me. You may not throw things at me, words or objects.” It’s unwholesome karma letting somebody hurt themselves by hurting you. It is bad karma for them; it’s bad karma for you.

Abandoning the unwholesome means understanding what wholesome means in this moment, and sometimes that’s challenging. Sometimes we don’t understand at first. But in more situations, you do understand, you just are afraid to do it. I’m not condemning your fear, I’m simply reminding you that you’re keeping the karma going. You have a choice.

To what does the karma adhere, especially if there is no self? There are 4 bodies: the physical, emotional, mental, and spirit bodies. The spirit body, the pure spirit body, does not carry karma. The heavier bodies with the lower vibration carry karma. When you meditate and move into the spaciousness of pure awareness, dissolution of the body and the ego, no sense of a separate self, no attachment or aversion coming up, there still might be some pleasant or unpleasant. If you’re standing outside in the pouring rain and it’s cold, there may be an unpleasant sensation there but there’s no strong aversion to it. Aversion is not necessary in order to move yourself to shelter; kindness moves you to shelter. You’re outside the thinking process. The mental body is subject to karma but this pure awareness, there’s no karma there.

In the dzogchen tradition, people come to see that when they’re resting in awareness, rigpa, resting in that space, they’re literally outside the karmic field. It does not balance karma, it simply takes you outside the place of karma, but you still have to balance the karma eventually. And you also, most of you, are not able to live your life in a place of pure awareness. Eventually you come back into the karmic field. Resting in awareness, there’s no self and there’s no karma.

So it’s the whole self-identification process, with body, with mind, with emotions, which creates the karma and makes it stick. On the ultimate level there is no karma. If you can live there, you’re free, you’re finished. On the relative plane, there is karma.

Beside the heavy density of the physical body there is what we would call an energetic body. An energetic template of the physical body. The karma literally attaches to the energetic template of the physical body, likewise to the emotional and mental body. So it transfers through different lifetimes.

Barbara has mentioned to you the period in which she had cellulitis in the left leg and was hospitalized with a badly infected leg. For over a week she lay in bed with a grossly inflamed and painful leg and had plenty of time to reflect on the karma of it. She saw that as her leg became more and more painful, the infection was spreading, she was separating from the leg. Not MY leg. They were talking about the possibility of needing to amputate the leg because the infection was spreading up the leg, and the antibiotics weren’t stopping it. There was fear. But there was also a feeling, “Before they cut this leg off, I’m cutting it off.” Not literally of course, but just closing the heart to it.

In meditation she saw deeply into a past lifetime in which the being that she was, was a woman who was captured and to stand trial, a nun was convicted of heresy against the church because she believed in a direct approach to God. She knew she was going to be tortured and probably burned at the stake. They had a leg iron on this leg. She could not get away from the leg iron; she was chained, dragged through the day by men on horseback and chained to a tree while they slept. She began to see very clearly how that nun that she was literally cut off her own leg to escape in the night, believing she would die very quickly from the loss of blood. She would not be taken and tortured.

How do you cut off your own leg with no anesthetic, with no knife, just a sharp stone? Imagine the pain. The only way she could do it was literally to completely separate from the leg. In her mind, she thought it had to become a piece of meat, almost, just cut it off. So she had the purpose of freeing herself in that way, but she died with that sense of separating from that which is painful. The karma was literally carried in the leg. The leg blowing up as it did, the infection was right where that band had been around the leg.

There were a number of factors that helped to support the healing, but an important one was that she finally began to open her heart to this leg. A woman was brought into the next bed whose leg had just been amputated. She watched this woman just post-surgery, just coming out of her anesthetic, the doctors working on her; she was moaning in pain. She could see the freshly cut stub. And suddenly she realized, there’s just one leg to heal for us all. Bringing the leg back into my heart, reconnecting. And this literally balanced and released the karma.

The karma is very specific. You don’t have to see past lives to work with it. If there’s an area in your body that has been consistently troublesome through your life, without needing to see a past life, simply begin to know, there’s something that needs to be healed here beyond simply the sore knees or sore back or frequent headaches or bellyache. In what way am I habitually not relating to this body part with love? In what way can I be more present and openhearted with this part of my body? Whatever past lives there have been where there has been a closed heart and negativity to this part of my body, my intention is to release it.

Sometimes you will experience karma in a part of the body, not that you have mistreated in yourself but where there has been mistreatment of others. This is not punishment. At some level of consciousness there is awareness of your own need to experience this pain for your own healing. Nobody else is bringing it onto you. In other words, somebody who has been a violent person in past lives, brutalized others, may find himself being brutalized, never as punishment but because at some level the decision has been made to experience, to release to heal. And there’s some need to experience it directly in oneself, to understand what one has put onto others. And also as part of the balancing of that karma.

There’s a famous story of a man named Angulamala, who was a thief and murderer in the Buddha’s time. He had a necklace of fingers, a mala of fingers. He cut the fingers off his victims and strung them on a necklace. People were understandably terrified of his cruelty. One day the Buddha came into a town and somebody called to him from a house, “Come! Come to shelter! Angulamala is in the town! He will kill you!” And the Buddha said, “Thank you for the warning,” and he just kept walking.

Sure enough, as he walked down the street, a voice came behind him, “You there, stop.” The Buddha kept walking. The voice said again, “Stop! I said stop!” He kept walking. “Don’t you know who I am?” And Angulamala ran around in front of him. “I said stop!” The Buddha just looked at him and said, “I have stopped, it’s you who have not stopped.”

This so startled Angulamala, he immediately saw his whole situation and became enlightened. He understood, “I have a choice and I have not been acting on the wholesome side of that choice, but acting only in ways that are self-centered and acting out my fear.” He begged to become the Buddha’s disciple. He was one of the most enlightened of the monks. And yet whenever they traveled and they came to a town that he had terrorized earlier in his life, people threw garbage and rocks and other things at him, left him badly hurt and bleeding. And he understood, this is a part of the balancing of that old karma. Forgiving them, he also forgave himself.

At a certain point, people began to understand that he was changed, he was different, and they stopped. One could ask, would it not have been more wholesome for the Buddha to step in and say stop? Were they not creating unwholesome karma for themselves in throwing garbage at him? I’ll leave that one to you to figure out.

The karma attaches in a similar way to the emotional and mental bodies, and it moves with you from lifetime to lifetime. Whatever insights you have as you move through the lifetime and the transition at the end of this lifetime, you do not lose them. Whatever you deeply understand stays with you. Whatever negative habit energies you have that are not released, they also stay with you. You do not lose anything, not the wholesome, not the unwholesome.

During that time on the astral plane, your guides will meet with you and talk with you, help you to see the unwholesome habit energies you enacted while in incarnation. You may not be enacting them on the astral plane but will need to come back to the human experience and try it again here. But the things that you got right, you know them.

So let’s use an example here. In the retreat we’re working with watching the arising of negative thought, seeing that arising, let’s say fear, seeing it as an object. Instead of acting out the fear, just holding space for it, breathing with it, allowing yourself to be intimate with it, to really experience it, not to try to push it away and not act it out, until you see it dissolve. When you do this often enough, finally a deep equanimity with fear arises. There’s a oneness;, the fear is just fear. You don’t have to be afraid of fear anymore. It’s just another object, it arises and it dissolves. The same will be true of greed. You don’t have to be afraid of greed, You just have to watch it and not to act it out.

At the point where there’s equanimity with this object, you’ll release the karma with it. Fear and greed may still arise if the catalyst is present, it may not be completely resolved, but it will then finish its resolution on the astral plane. It will not come back as a strong object to work with in future incarnation. It’s released.

The scriptures speak of the different levels of enlightenment and which negative tendencies are released with each level of enlightenment. There’s a lot of dense material you don’t need to know. Simply, when you break through to the point where there’s clarity, that the aggregates are not self, and you stop acting in the world as if the aggregates ARE self, but act much more from the centered place of love and for the good of all beings, you shift the habit energy, you shift the karmic tendencies, and they fall away, regardless of whether we’re talking about this life or many lifetimes. They dwindle and fall away. You can see this in yourselves in the habits of this lifetime.

Let’s use the habit of the person who always has to have a quick response to things, wants to be in control. That person is a meditator and he starts to see how that quick response, sometimes as a sharp, hurtful retort, comes from his fear. Because he’s paying attention, when the impulse to give that sharp response comes up, he won’t do it, he just watches the impulse. The more often he doesn’t do it but practices with holding space for the impulse, the softer the impulse is. The more he rests in a centered and spacious place that’s able to simply watch this impulse, which still does come up, without acting on it, the smaller becomes the impulse. Eventually it ceases to come up because there’s nothing feeding it anymore.

This is why the practice of, how can we name it, reverse affirmations, is not helpful. If one has a strong feeling, “I am unworthy,” and one begins to say, “No, I am worthy, I am worthy,” or perhaps for somebody who is working with poverty, “I do not have poverty. I will have enough, I will have enough, I will not have poverty,” in a sense they just keep creating the poverty or the unworthiness. It’s a reverse affirmation. You’re working so hard not to be the one with poverty–“I won’t be the one with poverty,” or “I won’t be the one who is unworthy,” but you’re stuck in the mode, you’re still thinking, “At some level I’m really an unworthy,” or “At some level I really am in poverty,” rather than knowing your wholeness.

This is the truth Barbara’s talk spoke about the other night. Her statement was about letting go of being the one who is deaf. Acknowledging, on the relative plane the ears do not hear. But instead of being the one who is now deaf and someday not going to be deaf, to acknowledge, “I am whole.”

When you work with something like being the angry one or the unworthy one, you’ve got to see how solid that idea is and how much of the karma of that idea holds you to a place of being a somebody who is angry or somebody who is unworthy or greedy or whatever. And right there to find the person who is not greedy, not angry, that aspect of yourself exists that’s openhearted and free.

So the karma gets stuck with the self-identification–“I am this and I’ve got to fix it,” and that fix-it energy carries a contractedness that takes you back into the small separate self. This whole non-dual and interconnected self has no karma. It’s just awareness, just love. But the small self with all its contraction, that’s where the karma is carried.

So much of karma relates to contraction, literally. As soon as you’re in a contracted place, unwholesome karma is being created. When you’re in a non-contracted place, you’re outside the karmic field. In a less-contracted place, you may still be creating wholesome karma, which still is involved with the sense of a self. It’s easier to resolve the wholesome karma, but there still is a self there.

I spoke about the specific nature of karma. The generous one who is always kind and loving to others, there’s wholesome karma in that but there’s still this subtle unwholesome thread of “I am the self, the person who is always generous.” So that you always have to be the generous one. Here is a little bit of fear, a little bit of contraction. Unwholesome karma comes with fear. When the generosity is from a place of no-self, not “I will be the one who is generous,” just generosity expressing itself, then there’s no karma.

Let us get to the last question. You always have free will. Let me give you an example of how karma works with free will. Let’s say there is a person with whom you’ve had a very difficult relationship. Every time you meet this person, he’s abusive, angry, always critical. And his criticism and anger brings up a lot of anger in you. You won’t get into a fistfight with him, but you sling hostile words at him.

But now, 6 months has passed since you’ve seen him and you’ve been practicing meditation. You’re learning to make more space for your anger and not be reactive to that. You’ve forgotten this man until one day you’re walking down the street and you see him across the street. You turn your head, hoping he doesn’t see you. But sure enough, he sees you and he crosses the street, walking toward you. He’s glaring, he’s angry. Uh-oh. What brought that on?

You can feel his anger triggering your anger. Let’s look at this in a very detailed way. Eye touching the object, an angry face. Seeing; seeing consciousness. Perception; anger. Seeing anger, there’s an unpleasant feeling about it. Touch, body energy, contacting his energy field, feeling the anger pouring out of his energy field. Perception; feeling myself surrounded and engulfed with angry energy. Unpleasant. Ear, hearing his voice filled with anger. Perception; an angry voice. Unpleasant. You’ve got an assault on at least 3 of the senses–the body, the ear, and the eye. Energy, sound, seeing.

So there is contraction. In this moment we come to what we call the active moment. This is the moment of choice. You feel the strong impulse energy, wanting to lash out. “Now what are you angry about? You’re always picking on me.” It’s the desire to protect oneself, to express one’s anger, different kinds of habit energy, different aspects of karma coming up, different threads of karma.

Without having to identify each thread, we simply watch the impulse to act out the anger with voice, with action. And also the acknowledgment, “This is not going to get me anywhere. I’m trying to learn to be more spacious with anger in my life, my own anger and other people’s anger. I’m not going to get pulled into his anger.” That’s the karmic push, to get pulled in. No!

“If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it.” If you did not have the free will to do this, there would be no reason for your lives. It would just be a treadmill. When something got started, there would be no way off. The Buddha said very specifically, liberation is possible. He’s not misleading you.

So in that active moment there’s just one small shift: before you react you bring awareness to the arising of anger and the impulse to react based on your practice. You take a breath instead and you look him in the eye and say, “You look very angry. What’s happening?”

Maybe he’ll look at you and say, “I’m so glad I saw somebody I know. My boss just fired me. Thank you for being here. Can I talk to you?” Who knows? He might surprise you. Or maybe he’ll yell at you, tell you, as is his habit, how bad you are. At that point you’re able to step back and not take it personally. You might listen to him for a minute or two and say, “I hear how angry you are. It doesn’t seem like we can resolve this. I need to go.” And walk on. If he’s more abusive, you say, “No, you may not abuse me that way.”

You’re shifting the karma. You always have free will no matter how strong the habit energy. As the monk with his mala of fingers, the Buddha said, “I’ve stopped, it’s you who hasn’t stopped.” Wake up! I have a choice. He’s such a beautiful example of this.

You have free will. You always have a choice no matter how strong the habit energy is. And when you shift the habit energy, you resolve the karma. As you resolve the karma, your life will give you opportunities to balance the karma. If you’ve been in a pattern where you’re strongly reactive to your own and other people’s anger, perhaps the balancing will come in being a counselor who listens to people’s anger and helps them to work their way through it. Perhaps it will find its way through being a kindergarten teacher who helps young children learn to handle anger skillfully. There will be many possibilities. Perhaps you’ll be a boxing instructor helping your student learn how to fight without fighting from a place of rage in which they cannot be clear-headed. There will be a way to balance it. First you resolve it, then you find ways to balance it.

I see that we’re almost out of time. There is much more that I could say about karma. I’ve given you a lot of details and I fear I have not clearly pulled it together, but it would take me another 2 hours to do so. I think this is enough to give you guidance as to how to work with the habit energies in your practice, and how these habit energies relate to karma, how to relate to the karma in your body and in your mind in a more wholesome way, and how the shift into emptiness truly does resolve karma.

…Reflect on your questions and tomorrow during the instruction period I’d be happy to speak to any questions about any of this talk.

Thank you for hearing me. Thank you for having me here at your retreat. It gives me much joy. Thank you for the hard work you are doing here at the retreat. May it lead you to freedom.

A thought here, something that I’m fond of saying and have not said yet at this retreat. Hopefully you are not meditating just to become more comfortable, you are meditating for liberation. You are all capable of this liberation. It is possible now, in this lifetime. So keep doing your practice, not looking for comfort, not looking just to get away from unpleasant feelings, but asking always, where is liberation?

Liberation has, I would say, a sweet scent. It’s like you’re walking past a building and the smell of wonderful cooking wafts out. Mmmm, that way. If it has a sour or rotten smell, it’s probably not liberation! (laughter) Thank you. Good night.

(recording ends)

Copyright © 2008 by Barbara Brodsky