April 25, 2011 Monday Evening, Emerald Isle, Barbara's Dharma Talk

Barbara: It's funny, looking back through the years. There were times when I would spend literally hours planning a dharma talk, writing notes, being very clear what I was going to talk about; finding quotes in scripture to back me up, etc. Today, giving the morning instruction, then the morning group interview, then the afternoon talk on the beach, not knowing until mid-afternoon whether John was going to give the talk, (John has been sick, with high fever) or I was... I came upstairs at 6:15 and thought, I can either plan a dharma talk or I can take a nap. And the nap won out!

I'm going to ask us all to sit for 5 minutes quietly while the dharma talk that needs to give itself comes to me...


Let's look at the question together, why are we practicing? What are the fruits of practice? We talk about suffering and the end of suffering. People ask me, “Does it really end?” And I say, “I don't know, I'm still suffering!” But I see the vast shifts in me, and that my suffering these days is a fraction of a fraction of what it was 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago.

So many people come to me with strong levels of fear about different kinds of things, fear they'll never be loved, they'll never be in a relationship, they're not good enough. Feelings of unworthiness, feelings of shame. People who perform superbly in the world yet who feel inadequate. People who run marathons and say, “I'm not healthy enough. I'm not strong enough.”

It's so easy to see our limits and so hard to see our innate perfection. I remember a meditation class many years ago when I asked people to make an even list of qualities they felt were positive about themselves and qualities they felt were negative about themselves. People would write down something like, “I'm generous,” but reflect, “Well, I'm only generous sometimes.” They would think of a time when they were stingy and think, “Sometimes I'm stingy.” They would write “I'm generous” in the Positive list and “I'm stingy” in the Negative list,  look at the two of them and cross out “I'm generous” because how can one be both generous and stingy? “If stinginess is enacted one time out of a hundred, I'm not generous.” We have this idea it's got to be perfect.

So we don't see deeply into the beauty of ourselves, into the goodness of ourselves. We carry around this personal sense of flawedness, limitation, wrongness. I have what's still a painful memory-- not so painful, more sad, when I look back and see who I was.

I remember being dropped off at a Sweet 16 party at a big nightclub in Philadelphia, a Saturday afternoon performance of some big rock star or whoever of that time. My mother dropped me off there. It was a grown-up, dressed-up party. I got out of the car, my mother drove away, and I realized I had left the birthday gift in the car.

I was dressed up. In those days younger girls didn't wear high heels, so at 15 I was wearing my first high heels and fancy dress, and I remember running for about 8 blocks, chasing my mother's car down the street, trying to catch it to get the gift out of the car because I felt, “I will not be accepted, I will not be loved if I come without a gift.” It had to be the perfect gift, and in order to be acceptable at that party I had to have that gift, to hand it to the hostess, to the birthday girl.

I couldn't catch the car. I remember walking those 8 blocks back to the nightclub crying, not knowing what to do. Feeling, “I really can't go in. What should I do?” And finally reason got the better of me and I went in, but there was so much shame, to come to this party without a gift. I wasn't acceptable, I had to have the gift.

Probably most of you have some kind of similar memory, a place where you felt so unworthy; you felt so much shame. Why do we do this to ourselves? We are so deeply conditioned by our culture to be good-- well, not all of us but many of us. People who end up at retreats like this often come with the conditioning to take care of others, to be good, to put our own needs aside and take care of everyone else.

We're taught, “Don't be angry.” I was taught that back when I was 5 years old. Were you? Were you told, “Don't be angry.”? What do we do with our anger? What do we do with our feelings? We turn them on ourselves, and then we want to fix ourselves,  we don't know how, and we suffer.

For me, the dharma has been a gateway. When Aaron first told me these Four Noble Truths, of course they already resonated. I knew there was suffering, but I really didn't know there was a path out of suffering. And it was so powerful to hear him say, “Yes, there is a path out of suffering,” and to point out to me, at that point it was mostly about my deafness, why I was suffering. That it was not the deafness that was the issue. It wasn't even the aversion to the deafness that was the issue, it was the aversion to the aversion. I shouldn't be angry, I should accept this stoically and gracefully, and I can't. Therefore, I'm bad. And somewhere there's to got be an answer, a way to fix it, a way to fix not only the anger at the deafness but the anger at the anger and the whole experience of anger. If I could stop feeling anger then everything would be fine. How do I shut it off?

I told you this is a completely unprepared talk, I'm just talking from my heart and from what comes to me, maybe with more pauses than usual.

So when he asked me to look at the feelings of anger and to see how they arise out of conditions, not take the arisings so personally, it was just a total eye-opener for me. You mean it's okay to be angry? You mean it's okay to have feelings?

Those of us who are on a spiritual path are very intent on not doing harm in the world, and we do see how our energy is all connected. We're constantly passing on loving energy, angry energy. We're sharing it in the world; we're all connected.

I think this for me is one of the roots of my early fear of my anger. I had a very loving father, he would do anything in the world for me, but he had a big temper. And when he lost his temper, the house shook. He never hurt anybody. He did not speak abusively in terms of, “You're shit, you're bad,” he just said, “I HATE THIS!” with a huge voice. He had no trouble being angry!

I think if my mother had been comfortable with his anger, I would have learned to be comfortable with it, but my mother would visibly recoil, although he was not abusive to her. He wouldn't yell and say, “Dinner is horrible!” or “Why don't you learn to cook!” or anything negative like that. Just, something would push his button and he would explode. It was never against anybody.

But I saw the hurt that came out of his explosion, and it made me very sure I was not going to blow up like that, so I swallowed my anger. A lot of us swallow our anger and a lot of us end up with stomach problems. I somehow didn't end up with stomach problems, I just learned to swallow my anger; suppress it; hold it in.

In the instruction period this morning, I read you Aaron's first words to me, maybe the first week with him, about anger. He spoke of how to be present with anger; how to be present with any feeling. Today I was sitting by the ocean just watching the waves, some of them looking big as I sat on the beach, as I sat at the water's edge looking up at them coming, yet there's nothing there but water. They come in, they dissolve. There's nothing solid.

When we can relate that way to any object that comes into our experience, we stop taking it so personally. For me, this was the biggest early fruit of practice. I stopped taking my experiences so personally. If somebody was angry and said something in an angry voice, instead of saying, “What did I do? How can I fix it?” I just noted, “This person is angry.”

Sometimes I was partially responsible for triggering that anger. Maybe I was responsible in an unwholesome way, like expressing my own anger in an unskillful way. Maybe I was responsible in a wholesome way by saying no to something they wanted but needed to be said no to. But I didn't have to be responsible for fixing their experience, I could hold space around their experience.

When Aaron began to talk to me about anger, it was so powerful to see that whatever was going on around me, I was okay. For the most part in those early years, Hal's anger at my deafness was the trigger. I learned that just because he was angry that I was deaf didn't mean I had to fix anything. And instead of being angry back at him, or right along with being angry at him, there could be compassion.

Many of you have heard me give a dharma talk on anger as a catalyst for compassion. It's very powerful to learn that when anger arises in us, when we have compassion for ourselves, we can have compassion for others, and then the energy we're sending out in the world is very different. Instead of sending back anger, “Don't you dare be angry at me because I'm deaf! It's not my fault!” my heart can open to him and say, “Gee, it's really hard for you to have a deaf wife. I can see how cut off from me it makes you feel. I really can feel your pain.” And that shifted everything, because instead of his feeling unheard, he began to feel heard. I was sending out a different energy.

I want to share something with you, here. Last weekend in Seattle J gave me a wonderful toy. It relates to energy. I'm going to ask a couple of you to come over close so we have a closed circle here... And turn off the big light. J bought this in a science store. She bought one to take to her class. I want you to be able to touch hands, be close enough to touch hands. Put a finger on that point, right there, and I'm pointing a finger on the other contact. (buzzing, laughter)

This is our energy moving around... Amazing, isn't it? We're all literally connected energetically. Thank you.

This is a light with 2 electric contact points, and in this case it's electrical energy we're passing around. We were curious to see, maybe we'll play with it some more, does it get brighter if we increase our energy? What happens? We also wondered if we could just hold hands near each other; no (demonstrating something) you actually have to make contact for this one, so it's not picking up the same kind of energy.

We're all connected energetically. When we pass out anger, there's an energy to it, and others feel it. When we pass out kindness, there's an energy to that and others feel it.

There is an end to suffering, and we begin to see that end when we see the causes of our suffering, which is, in part, taking everything so personally, grasping and trying to fix, unwillingness to be present with things as they are. Is it because we have the ancient misconception that we've done something wrong, that we're not good enough; that if only we were different or something was different, everything would be fine?

It's not anything out there that needs to be different; it's opening our hearts in a very profound way to the human experience. When we do this, we begin to see ever deeper into what we might call our true nature. We talk about that window that has dirt on it. We're all like that window. Through the years and lifetimes we've become encrusted with different kinds of mud. We have the misconception we have to break out the window and put in new glass, but the window has always been clear and perfect. Our true nature is this innate purity.

How do we get a glimpse of that? When I sit in meditation and watch objects arising and passing away, and shift from the focus as everyday mundane consciousness that watches the mundane realm into a broader and more spacious awareness, the glimpse comes. We keep saying, “That which is aware of anger is not angry. That which is aware of fear is not afraid. That which is aware of sadness is not sad.” We start to allow a shift in who we know we are. Notice I'm using the word “know,” not “believe.” We start to let go of the old beliefs and start to know our innate radiance and divinity, and to trust our ability to live from that place rather than from the everyday self. Again, there's much less suffering. I'm not saying the end of suffering but much less suffering; much more connection.

Practice deepens and we have some profound experiences into our deep connection with all that is; this can be life-changing. So there are different phases in our practice. The first stage of practice is seeing the nature of mind and body awareness, that the physical senses touch an object and thoughts arise related to that object. The thought is not the object. So if I see something that's upsetting to me and anger comes up, the anger is a mental formation based on the experience. There's a physicality-- eye seeing, ear hearing, touching. Rupa, physicality, and nama, mentality. The mind touches that contact and consciousness and pleasant, unpleasant or neutral feelings arise. Perceptions arise. And then mind usually grabs hold of old stories, old conditioning.

So the first breakthrough is seeing deeply into the nature of mentality and materiality, how each functions separately and that we can stop taking it so personally. The world we experience is just all arising from conditions.

The second phase of practice, I think, is once we're at a place where we truly see how objects arise and pass away, and we're not taking them so personally, there's a deepening sense of compassion for ourselves and for others. And this profoundly influences the way we experience the painful objects. As I said about Hal in those early years, instead of hearing his anger, getting caught up in it, the mind thinking, “I shouldn't be angry at him. He shouldn't be angry. How do I fix this?” I became able to simply know, “it's all the result of conditions”. With deep compassion I was able to say to myself, “This is painful.” And to him, “This is painful. I hear your pain. I hear how hard it is for you,” instead of being angry at him for his pain. There was still some anger because his pain reminded me of my pain so I wanted him to fix it! But there was much more compassion for us both

At that point, with compassion, there's the possibility of healing. We're still dealing in the mundane realm, though. The third stage, for me, was seeing deeply into the awareness that holds this whole package. Not MY awareness, THE awareness. The beginning move into non-dual experience. This all comes from just sitting on the cushion.

As non-dual awareness deepens we start to experience the whole body dissolving. I described sitting at the ocean today, to those of you who were there, and after awhile of practice-- we were sitting in the ocean, shallow, on the sand, sun beating down-- and it ceased completely to be my body. It was just, I was the salt water, running through my veins, filling my cells. The earth element in my body was the sand, and the dunes behind me. The fire element in my body was the sun. The wind element in my body was the air, the breeze blowing, the breath. And my body literally disappeared.

Of course, it's not the first time it's happened. It's not even the hundredth time it's happened. But as you practice you do find the body does begin to disappear. There's still awareness there but you no longer can take things so personally. So when there's something like a splinter or a twisted ankle or ears that don't hear, you don't take it so personally. You simply attend to it. Love attends to it. Again, practice deepens and we find ourselves able to relate so much more compassionately in the world.

I want to read you something here from Cosmic Healing. I'm reading from page 291. I was in another state leading a meditation retreat. The night before the retreat was to start, I had stayed at somebody's private home. I had never met them before, a family that had invited John and I to come and teach and had organized the retreat. John was staying in one place; I was staying in another place. I had only met the parents; there were 2 adult children in the house also but I had not yet met them.

The son had an alcohol problem. The parents had mentioned that to me. They didn't think the son would be home that night. But he came home late and drunk and began tearing the house apart, throwing furniture. Broke the china cabinet completely, there were big glass doors to the china cabinet and he threw chairs through them. All the dishes were broken. The parents were distraught. The parents were very filled with shame in front of me. Here I am, the dharma teacher come to lead a retreat, and their son has come home and is breaking up the house.

The drunken son left about 6am and the parents and sister began to sweep up, saying, “It's only glass, china, whatever. ...” What numbness was there? What right have I to make any attempt to draw them out of that numbness? What fears did I have that led me to wish to join into their numbness?

It was clear that they all loved one another. However, there was also tremendous hostility, fear and betrayal from one to another. None of them could see it. The young man was too drunk for coherence so I was speaking with the family. I saw that the only way to hear them and help them to hear one another was to hear all of my own fear. This was my son, my husband or father. I was these parents and siblings. How do we find compassion and forgiveness for all the denials and defenses of our own lives? How do we keep our hearts open to all that pain? How do we learn that we can't always do that, and that that also is okay? We really are fine, just as we are. With that insight, I took a broom and began to sweep.

Aaron said to me later: The work is to hold both: the real pain and that which is truly beyond pain. There is nothing to fix, only love to be offered; yet one must still sweep up the ruins, embrace those who weep, and be fully present as a human. At first as the young man was raging, you believed that you had to fix the situation, but there was no way to touch his anger or the family's fear and grief. When you tried to fix it, it seemed to backfire, creating a gap between those who suffered and you who did not. Only when you acknowledge that this was your family, your sons and parents, and stopped fixing -- when he says “your family”, I'm not suggesting here that my family got drunk or threw furniture, but I described how my father would lose his temper and how much pain it brought. This was my family, certainly with my children, raising 3 children there were times when there was yelling, anger in the house, pain. Only when you acknowledged that this was your family, your sons and parents, and stopped fixing-- just opened the heart and were present knowing the fear and sadness--could you also touch that which is not sad or afraid in the self, that of unconditional love. Then your calmness and centeredness allowed them to find their own calmness, to talk to the young man in ways that could reach him and to one another in ways that took them beyond despair.

So this is one of the great fruits of practice for me, that gradually we learn to find our own centeredness and to live and speak from that centeredness. We never get it perfect but it gets easier as time goes on because we're more and more willing to be honest with ourselves, to acknowledge our own pain and helplessness and to go through it and beyond it to that which is not afraid, that which is not helpless. And rather than seeing it as either/or, to know it as both. There is pain and there is that beyond pain. There is helplessness and there is one that knows and can hold and take care of a situation. We have both.

So we begin to step beyond the belief in our limitedness as we become increasingly honest with ourselves, just sitting on the cushion and allowing ourselves to experience the hard stuff that comes up without hating ourselves that it comes up, without hating what comes up. Simply seeing, this is all the flow of conditions and it will pass.

The more we do this, the more we release and balance old karma. Instead of having a panicked reaction when something comes up, we start to see, “Ah, you again. Have tea.” We smile at it. We just wait for it to pass. It's not even patience, it goes beyond patience. It's knowing, “I am responsible to this. It's part of this karmic stream. But I don't have to be afraid of it or fix it. And I can rest in that unlimited spaciousness and love and just let this be, and be willing to pick up a broom and sweep up the remains.”

These things stop coming up. I was thinking about that birthday gift story because several months ago I went to a party and got there and realized I had forgotten the gift. Okay. It was a friend's birthday, I gave the friend a hug and said, “Gee, I'm sorry I forgot your gift. I don't have it together tonight but I have a gift for you and I'll bring it to you sometime this week. I'll drop it by.” And there was no fear that she would not love me or that she would kick me out and say, “You can't come to my party.”

Each time we do this work--I'm using that one example but of course there are thousands of examples, all the times that feelings of shame or unworthiness come up-- instead of getting caught in the story, we simply note that this has arisen, that there are still certain conditions that give rise to this experience. They're not yet fully purified so the experience still arises. Each time we do that, we further purify the conditions until it literally does cease to arise.

I used to feel so much unworthiness. Years of therapy when I was 19, 20, 21 got me to the point where I knew how to live with the unworthiness. I could push myself out and be with people and talk, and not act out the feelings of shame and unworthiness I felt, but they were intense. It was hard. And I can't tell you the last time I felt a feeling of unworthiness, it just doesn't come up anymore.

These old karmic streams do become purified. They release. They're simply not active anymore. Of course, there are still karmic streams that are active for me. I'm still doing my work. I'm not fully liberated. But each time one comes up, I've learned that I can respond with kindness, without belief, “Oh, this is me. I have to fix this. I'm bad.” Just to offer love. Just to be present. To ask myself, “Where does the heart further need to open, here?”

I'm learning to do this with my body. I mentioned today, we were sitting on the beach and we were talking about what we had experienced when we were watching the waves. I've been working with osteoarthritis in my shoulders, physical therapy to get more movement in my shoulders, and very strong tendonitis down my arms that seems to be a result of the physical therapy, in part. A result, I don't know of what, but the tendons here are all tender.

After we did the exercise on the beach, we swam for not that long, 10 minutes, but I was very conscious as I was swimming of moving the arms with the waves, enjoying the motion. Really, going back to that experience I had had just a few minutes earlier of dissolving into the ocean. Letting this whole body dissolve into the ocean. Asking the body, what does it need in order to release the inflammation in the tendons? Inviting in more water element, more air, more space. Not being afraid of the fire energy but bringing it into balance.

I can't tell you how much better my shoulders feel in these couple of hours since swimming in the ocean, because there was a conscious practice there. Being aware of where there was pain, opening my heart to the pain, working in a skillful and knowledgeable way with the pain. Bringing in balance.

We have the ability to bring healing to our emotions and our physical body. Often the question is that in some way we're blocking it, we're holding on to our old tendencies, but we find some kind of protection from them, armoring of some sort. What does not being able to use my arms freely protect me from? I don't know. Probably something I need to investigate. I've investigated such questions before about other parts of my body, about my hearing.

Working with my hearing, I had to ask that question, what if I could hear? I was actually at the Casa and the entities said to me,  “Why do you want to hear?” And I said I want to hear all the beautiful things in the world. I want to hear birds singing and children's laughter. He nodded and smiled and said, “Sit in my current.”

The next day, coming through the line and asking again, he said, “Come back tomorrow.  Why do you want to hear?” Well, I want to hear all the beautiful things but I'm willing to hear pain. “Go and sit.”

It took a couple of days before I was able to say to him, “I want to hear it all,” and it had to be an authentic “I want to.” It had to come from a deep place that said, “Okay, I'm ready to drop the armor. I really want to connect not only with all of the world's joys but all of the world's sorrows. So I'm ready to open my heart to that.”

When I said that, he smiled at me and he said he wanted to see me at lunchtime that day. They brought me into the surgery room and laid me on a table and worked on me for about half an hour. It was very powerful. They were just working on my ears.

But before that I had to get to that point where I said not only I'm willing to, but I want to, I choose to. What allows us to choose, to choose our wholeness; to choose to let go of the old beliefs that have limited us and to fully open our hearts to our true being? None of us are going to find any degree of enlightenment until we're ready to let go of limits and really choose to awaken. That choosing is vital. In what ways does not being awake protect you? Are you ready to choose to be awake?

There's a lot about this in the book but I think I'm not going to try to find the passages and read them, just to speak here from my heart. You can read the book at your leisure.

Choose to be awake. Let that choice come to you this week. For those of you who want to serve the world, it's the most loving choice you can make in the world, to choose to let go of the old limiting beliefs and be awake, and know that it's possible.

Thank you. Are there any questions?

Q: I just have a comment. I want to thank everyone for the beauty of their practice. It is very inspiring.

Barbara: Thank you, Q. Are there any other comments or questions?

Q: I'm not sure that I actually want to ask this question, but because you've asked twice if we have any questions (smiling)...

Barbara: Sometimes we need to hear things many times before we get them! That's what I'm here for.

Q: I guess the truth is I'm not sure whether I want you to answer it, or whether I just needed to make this inquiry. So the question is, when you say, “Choose to be awake,” who chooses?

Barbara: The already-awakened aspect of oneself. The higher self, the awake mind. Awareness. Love. Love chooses. Not the personality self.

Q: I am feeling like this is going to be a really weird comment or question, but I'm going to ask anyway...

Barbara: Weird is good!

Q: Aaron has talked about this somewhat. As one becomes more positively polarized, more in line with unconditional love and light, he has said or I have heard from other sources as well that this tends to attract negatively polarized stuff and entities and things to that light. And that scares me.

Barbara: It's very reasonable that it would scare you. The thing is, when we're wishy washy, then nothing much is too attracted to us because we're wishy washy. Let's take it out of the spiritual space and put it simply into, I don't even want to put it into a political arena, let's talk about schools in your community. You're neutral and you don't care and nobody bothers you. You go to a school board meeting and you speak up about the necessity for improving the schools, and some of the old fuddy duddies who really want the status quo start yelling at you.

Q: That actually happened!

Barbara: It's the same thing. With the negative polarity, as you become more positively polarized and find the real strength that you have and a deep inner spiritual strength, negative beings take a look and say, “Hmm, here's some power. Maybe we can win it over to our side.” So if you become a strong spokesman for improving the schools, the people who want the schools to remain the same to cut the costs, not to attend to special needs, whatever, so, “Here's a woman who has a strong voice and knows how to speak well, and if we could only win her over to our side we could use her as a good spokesperson.”

You listen to them and you say, “No, thank-you. Your views are not resonant with mine. I don't want anything to do with what you're trying to promote. Thank you for asking me.” You don't yell at them with fear, you just say, “No, thank-you.”

Q: We don't have to fight this negative polarity?

Barbara: Fighting is what they want. Would you fight those school people or would you just say, no, thank-you? The more you're able to simply put yourself in their place, understanding that they have very strong views, that they have a lot of fear about spending money or doing anything special, and can say no with compassion, just, “No. I don't agree with your views. They don't resonate for me so I need to go my own way. But thank you for considering me.”

Q: One of the reasons I bring this up is because of a memory of talking with a roommate years ago who said that she had encountered a dark spirit and had to fight for her life. And I thought, “Well, do you have to fight?”

Barbara: All I can say is, she was in a very confused place. We do encounter negativity. We don't fight for our life, we say no with love. We simply consider it an opportunity for practice. Any time that negatively polarized beings, spirit or human, find chinks in our armor, a place where we're not really being honest with ourselves, where they feel they have some access to us, they'll use that, whether it's human or spirit. That's just an invitation to look more honestly at ourselves and heal those chinks so we're not accessible to negativity.

Here's a good personal example. This probably goes back 20 years. Leading a retreat in a distant state. It was one of the first retreats I had led, 1989 or 1990. A man came up to me and asked to meet privately with me and told me at the beginning of the private meeting that he had been a child abuser, that he had ceased doing this, had worked with counseling. He really was over it, he felt, but he didn't know how to forgive himself and how to work with his past history. His revelation brought up so much anger in me, personal anger; how could I tell him how to forgive himself when I couldn't forgive him?

That night I was in a little cabin all alone in the woods. John had a cabin, I had a cabin, we were about 100 yards apart with dense woods around us and a little trail, and the retreatants were in another lodge, separate, a couple of hundred yards away. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling so much negativity. My hair was standing on end. There was such a feeling of negativity. I wanted to turn on all the lights. I wanted to scream for help but there was nobody to scream for help to.

I did turn on one light and I just sat to meditate. And I realized that what I was feeling, there was a negative entity there who was trying to persuade me that I was right to hate people who had abused children. It was using this chink in me, this place that was not healed in me, to try to get me into a negative stream. And Aaron of course was there and helping me, but I understood that what I needed to say to this being was no, it's never right to hate. And in talking to this being, I ended up thanking him because he showed me clearly where I had a weakness that needed to be healed, and allowed me to heal that weakness. I stayed up most of the night doing metta for myself.

I would add here that somebody dear to me had been abused as a child and I had seen the pain that that person had experienced. So there was still a lot of anger in me, and not forgiveness or even compassion for the person who had abused this dear one. There was so much healing. It wasn't that something negative came hoping to get at me. But it was a gift because it allowed me to go deep into my own process, forgive what needed to be forgiven, let go. And then the next day I was able to talk to the man and offer some clear insights.

We don't have to be afraid of negativity, and if we are afraid of it, we have to be honest with our fear and offer compassion to our fear. Bring ourselves back into the light. If we hate our fear and we hate the negativity, then we're pulled off into negative polarity. It just comes as a teacher.

Q: Do you think that that healing that you did created more space for transformation of that kind of negativity for all beings?

Barbara: Yes, absolutely. It was one piece of my karmic stream that needed to be healed. And I was able after the retreat to talk to the person who had been abused and had not been able to open his heart to the situation, who was still judgmental for himself and the abuser, and it helped him to gain insight. So it led to healing for me and I was able to pass that on both to the man who had abused people, who came to the retreat, and to the person I knew had been abused. Kindness just spreads out.

Let's stop here. We'll have more time for questions another night, but I want us to get back into silence and practice.

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