April 27, 2011 Wednesday evening, Emerald Isle

Every citta takes an object, basic Abhidhamma1. Are you familiar with Abhidhamma? This is one of the baskets of scriptures, one of the areas of scripture. It's a very precise teaching that is highly logical. It appeals tremendously to some people and has very little appeal to other people. You don't need to know 98% of it, but you do need to know the term citta, and that citta is the active piece. It is that which perceives. Think of it as a verb. A verb needs a noun, citta needs an object.

So we have everyday consciousness, which is what we usually begin with in vipassana practice. Eye touches an object, contact, and seeing consciousness arises. Feeling and perception arise with consciousness, then mental formations may arise. Ear touches an object, contact, consciousness, feelings and perceptions arise, and mental formations may arise.

If you were to ask me, I would say yes, that's sufficient, that's all you need. People ask me, did the Buddha teach all of this? Yes, he taught all of it, but all he emphasized was contact, consciousness, feelings, perception, and mental formations. That's all you need because the Theravada path that uses vipassana as a tool is directed primarily at seeing the impermanence and non-self nature of objects, and how suffering arises when those objects are taken as a permanent or a self-centered nature. Thus it is essential to begin with the focus on these mundane objects.

When you see how everything arises and passes away, arises and passes away, out of conditions and is not self, then the practice shifts. This is all also spelled out in the scriptures and the Visuddhi Magga, the whole path that is basic to the Theravada tradition.

Insights, a whole stream of insights, insight into mind and body, nama and rupa. The body touches the object, the mind thinks about the object. There are mental objects and physical objects. Deep insight into impermanence and conditionality. All you have to do is sit and watch this stream of thoughts, of sensations. How long can you sit there claiming them to be self and thinking them permanent before that illusion shatters and you see into the deeper truth?

Then one stops looking in the world of conditions for liberation. In this chain of Knowledges and Insights, the scriptures call this, in translation, "change of lineage knowledge." You're changing from the belief in a separate self and that the answer can be found in the mundane realm, to knowing, "What I'm seeking is not in the mundane realm, I've got to look elsewhere. Looking at the fingers, the answer is not there, I've got to look through."

At this point, the Lokuttara citta become available. This is the level of consciousness that is capable of perceiving the Unconditioned. We don't need any talk about akashic fields or even about the Unconditioned itself. One is able eventually to have direct experience of the Unconditioned.

This is the traditional way of teaching it, but you are not who you were hundreds of years ago. If you had been monks with me 500 years ago, that's how I would have taught you. Now you have a much bigger concept of who you are and what the world around you is, much more awareness of the simultaneity of conditioned and unconditioned.

The real problem with this Theravada path is that it's a linear path that goes through the conditioned into finally finding the Unconditioned rather than seeing the simultaneity. Losing that simultaneity, you think in dualistic terms. For as long as I have known Barbara, very early, the first teachings in the book Cosmic Healing, I spoke words to her such as, "That which is aware of anger is not angry." This is the simultaneity of conditioned and unconditioned. I began teaching her dzogchen meditation, the formal practice of which she had not learned in this lifetime, very early on, in 1989 or 1990, because it felt important to me to remind her that Pure Awareness is always there. It's not something you are going to come to at the end of many years of practice so much as to be with it now, simultaneously with the relative, everyday mind.

These citta, kuttara (mundane) and lokuttara (supramundane), are not at opposite ends of a long pole but are simultaneous. The relative within the ultimate...(Aaron is displaying a visual aid, two canisters to represent relative and ultimate; the relative container fits inside the ultimate one. Inside the relative canister is a small teddy bear. Usually he is in there with the lid on tight). And if we were to display this really correctly, we'd have a third cylinder that went inside the relative that we also call the ultimate. The ultimate contains the relative, contains the ultimate. It all fits together.

Here at Emerald Isle and also years before, at Emrich, we began teaching dzogchen practice at first, only to experienced vipassana practitioners but then increasingly, to everyone. My reasoning was thus. Imagine if I take you in by helicopter and land you on the edge of a cliff in the mist so you can't see anything; you can hear the ocean. I take you to the edge of the cliff and say, "Okay, now jump!" How many of you are going to be able to jump off into the unknown?

Resting in pure awareness is a bit like taking you on a walk down the trail to the beach, wading into the ocean with you and swimming around to the base of the cliff, saying, "The cliff top is above us. You can see there's no surf to pound you against the rocks. There are no rocks. The water is calm and clear here. It's safe to jump. Now let's swim back around and go up the path and then we'll jump off the top." It's still hard, but it's a lot easier than doing it blind. You know what's there.

Resting in pure awareness, or using the Tibetan term rigpa, we begin to know this Big Mind, to feel relaxed resting in Big Mind. We cease to be totally identified with the everyday mind, and begin to see that both are there and that they can be accessed simultaneously.

Increasingly you become able to make choices that are grounded. (opening the canisters) You begin to pop out of relative reality and begin to make choices that are much more grounded in both. You're very well balanced between them, (demonstrating the little bear with a leg in each canister) sometimes rocking more to one side, sometimes more to the other, but you start to know the simultaneity of both, and you begin to trust the experience of that Big Mind and not feel so caught in everyday reality with the lid on. This means that you are more at ease in everyday reality because you're not locked into it. You see from a bigger perspective.

The Theravada scriptures do not go into this at all. Visuddhi Magga, the commentary, does not go into it, but it does not surprise me at all that most of the senior Theravada teachers in your country, not the Asian monks but those born and living in this country, most of them are teaching this simultaneity of relative and ultimate.. Ajahn Amaro wrote a beautiful book, Small Boat, Great Mountain, that is about this coming and going between the two.

The first dzogchen retreat Barbara attended in perhaps 1992, there were about 200 people; perhaps 100 of them were dharma teachers. About 40 or 50 of those were dharma teachers in the Theravada tradition, all exploring this overlap because everybody had been coming to the same conclusion: we need to get out of the rut of simply processing relative reality and move into a bigger space. It's helpful. It's skillful means. It was not skillful means perhaps 100 years ago but now it is because people are growing in their understanding and readiness.

Certainly there are those who are completely committed to the traditional path; I think of a Burmese teacher like U Pandita Sayadaw, for example. And there's nothing wrong with that path; he is a great master. I simply find it easier for people to jump off the cliff into emptiness when they've had a taste of what that emptiness is going to be like through resting in awareness.

We have looked together at other kinds of consciousness such as access concentration. This is basically, when the mind focuses deeply on the whole process of objects arising and passing away, arising and passing away, there comes a point where the mind is very stable, and everything that comes into the experience-- physical sensations, thoughts, everything-- is seen so clearly as arising, simply coming into being and then passing away. 2 There is no going out to it or shrinking back form it, no sense of a self, no thought about the objects. This is access concentration, so named because herein the lokuttara citta open and one becomes capable to access the Unconditioned.

For the most part we've not taken any reflection beyond that. People have asked me, what do things arise from? Where do they pass away to? And I've simply said, "the Unconditioned," because there was no need to go into more detail.

But now you're becoming increasingly sophisticated in your ability to discern subtleties. Technically each object does arise from the Unconditioned and pass away into the Unconditioned, but there's an in-between step, and that in-between step is the akashic field. The akashic field is the doorway or hallway from the Unconditioned into the conditioned.

I'd like you to picture an image with me. For those who are interested, this illustration comes from the Project Light teachings back in the early 1990s, working with body energy and healing. People are at present cleaning up and assembling those talks. They're just about ready to go into that Deep Spring spiral-bound format so that people can read the transcripts. People have spent a lot of time cleaning up hundreds of hours of talking and cutting out the unnecessary questions and repetition.

Within those transcripts, I ask people to imagine an absolutely pure spring. It's untouched, and it has a film over the top; if you remove the film then fallout from the relative plane is going to fall into it and pollute it. We may call it the ever-perfect. You can't just plunge your hand in. Your hand is muddy; the mud will get into the water. And yet the water still is accessible. How do we access that pure spring?3

What we practiced in the Project Light class, working with energy, was the energetic step: being first in everyday awareness, everyday consciousness perceiving the spring as "over there," then moving into pure awareness but still balanced, one finger in everyday awareness. Forming the intention to access the pure spring, and just before you formulate the intention, you withdraw the finger from everyday reality. You come more fully into pure awareness.

Awareness still perceives objects, but it does not yet fully penetrate and pass through the object. Going deeper into pure awareness, dropping all sense of a separate self, yet there is that slender thread that still holds that intention to access. Intention reaches in, scoops out the water without disturbing the sterile field of water, without disturbing the complete purity, and brings it back into a place where it becomes accessible to relative reality. In those teachings I didn't use the term akashic field because we had never talked about those things and it was too much terminology for the students over 10 years ago. The vipassana was not yet sufficiently developed to allow such terms.

Basically what one is doing is shifting from relative reality, opening into the akashic field, and within that akashic field that ever-perfect pure water is available. One can reach into the Unconditioned and draw out the Unconditioned. That's not really a good way to express it. I said we need 3 canisters, ultimate, relative, ultimate. The Unconditioned is here already but everyday mind cannot access it.

Access concentration can access it but not bring it out. Access concentration is a form of consciousness. It accesses an object, the akashic field. It also accesses the Unconditioned, which is pouring out from the akashic field. There must be an increased letting go of the mundane as one reaches into the supramundane.

So the everyday mind can only know the Unconditioned conceptually or intellectually. As you allow yourself to move into these deeper forms of consciousness, there's increasing access both into the akashic field and into the Unconditioned. The akashic field is a hallway into the Unconditioned. Picture the limitless Unconditioned and then a passageway – relative reality here and a passageway leading you in. Access concentration is one form of citta that allows you to access that hallway.

Rigpa, non-dual awareness, to some degree lets you access the hallway, but only well developed rigpa. If there's a lot of self in there coming and going, you can't access the opening fully.

Within the Theravada path, dissolution of body and ego, and that point where the lokuttara citta open, allows you to access the hallway into the Unconditioned, but you're still not accessing the Unconditioned directly. You need to fall through the hallway, in a sense, and you also need to learn how to fall through the hallway with enough intentionality to maintain mindfulness as you tumble into the Unconditioned and can learn something there that you bring back. For most people, the first times they fall into the Unconditioned, they just come out of it with, "Wow, what was that?" No sense of what it was about.

So part of learning about the akashic field is learning how to be in that space with an almost complete ego dissolution and often an almost complete body dissolution, but still to maintain some degree of intentionality. You ask me, whose intention? Love's intention. You asked me the other day, who serves? Love serves. There's nobody there but there is still intelligent love, an intelligence that can direct effort and energy for the highest good of all beings and without personal stories.

With practice you learn how to direct that subtle stream. Imagine there are many parched and dying people and there is only muddy, germ-filled water. People are saying, saying, "I see the pure water! How can I get to it? There's a film over it!" You've got to be willing to release the ego, release the body, come into this place where you so clearly see objects arising and passing away, and that which is beyond, fall into that field, and move through that field into the Unconditioned. And then bring back what is useful.

What I'm speaking of here is not necessarily the path to becoming an arahant, it's the path to profound service and an end to suffering.

It will not necessary immediately eradicate all karma, so it's not the direct Theravada path, but for those of you living in this world today, while certainly some of you might say, "I just want to be free of suffering, I just want liberation," I think most of you would say, "I want to be of service in the world. I want both." And this is the shift in your path today. I think today there is not as much room for the one who simply wants personal freedom and, poof! "I'm gone, I'm out of here," because your world is so interconnected. You've got to take care of each other. That doesn't preclude liberation but includes it. This is liberation willing not just to fall into the Unconditioned but to bring the Unconditioned back into the world.

So that is what I have been teaching recently. I welcome your questions. Let me add here, what I have said is by no means complete. We could call it a general outline. It would take days to give a complete analysis of it.

Q: My understanding is that to reach the Unconditioned, one enters through the Dharma Gates. Can a parallel be drawn with the akashic field? For me to access the akashic field, I look at the emptiness of self and I am able to enter it that way. I would imagine one could do that with impermanence and with suffering.

Aaron: Yes. To enter the akashic field, impermanence is a strong path because one sees objects arising and passing away, arising and passing away, and begins to ask, where did it come from? Where did it go? Am I ready to follow it?

Emptiness is also profound because, as these objects are seen arising, it is noted they are not of the nature of a separate self but are arising out of conditions. Curiosity, if nothing else, sends one looking: where is the field in which these conditions collect, and out of which they express? If you're not looking for it, you won't find it. When one starts to look, one finds it. It's there. However, awareness is looking for the Unconditioned, not the akashic field, so there may not be understanding about what is being seen.

Suffering is a little harder path to finding the akashic field. It is a viable path, but a harder one.

Q: I'm wondering what it would look like to bring back something useful, and the use that would be made with it. I wonder if you could talk about that.... What you'd do with it.

Aaron: You bring it back with some sense of responsibility of how it will be used but knowing that you cannot fully determine that. I think here of those who in a sense brought back information about nuclear energy from the akashic field, and brought it into the world, knowing the world was ready to use or misuse this form of energy. It was not originally conceived of as weapon but as energy, and yet of course it can be terribly misused.

I would simply ask you to trust that there are many guardians watching what is withdrawn from the akashic field. You have free will; you may go in and take whatever you wish. And yet, those with highly positive polarity will generally find that guidance suggests to them the world is or is not ready for this. They'll find some blockage to their access and some clarity that love is what is blocking, "Not yet, not yet."

In a similar example, for years, for decades, for centuries, the dzogchen teachings were restricted teachings. They were only available to those who studied with a highly accomplished lama and had moved through the basic practices of the Tibetan tradition, were deemed ready for these higher teachings. But now the state of the world is such that people need to know pure awareness, so it's being released to the world.

With the dzogchen teachings, the challenge is, when you're resting in rigpa, you're out of the karmic field. People of negative polarity who access pure awareness see that within pure awareness they can become all-powerful, can do enormous harm from a place that's outside the karmic field if they truly master pure awareness. For most people of a strong negative polarity, there is not yet full mastery of pure awareness, there's still some self in it. This is one of these reasons these teachings were finally released, because it was understood, "It's probably safe. Most people of strong negative polarity will not be able to do this because you must allow ego dissolution, and somebody with strong negative polarity is not ready for ego dissolution."

But these teachings become available as they are needed for the world. And there is truly a brother/sisterhood of light that is available guiding, never controlling-- you have complete free will-- but guiding. And those of you of a positive polarity generally have a sense of what your present limits are, how much power you're able to hold safely, what you're able to do.

If you had the power to simply go, Zap! and something would simply disintegrate, do you have enough control of your negative emotion never to misuse that in a moment of frustration? Anybody here think they do? Nobody? No, I don't think so, either. And that's why you have not remembered this power. You will remember it in time, if not you then those who incarnate along your own karmic streams some time in the future. Right now you're not ready to hold that degree of power and you wisely understand that.

Are you ready for the degree of power that knows how to stand up and say, "No!" clearly and fearlessly, with love? Even knowing that you might be killed for that "no"? There are some of you who would say yes to that, and I think that's true. And some of you would say, "I don't think I'm ready to do that," and that's okay. You're learning.

Zap! comes after No!

Q: After considering the horsefly story, I think even Barbara is probably not ready for that!

Aaron: Barbara might have zapped the horsefly if she'd had that power, but more likely she would have merely strongly considered it. She did have the power to swat it, and she restrained herself, but there was still strong impulse energy to do it. How strong is the catalyst?

Q: How can a being be negatively polarized without any self? What is negatively polarized?

Aaron: The higher you move into negative polarity, the more subtle the self becomes, but it's still there, just repressed, whereas the being who is ascending in positive polarity is constantly thinning the self. It's not that it becomes subtler; it's that it truly disappears. But because positive polarity is defined as service to others, the being moves through the experience of the inter-being of self and other, and the sense of separation of self and other falls away. That's the hallmark of positive polarity.

Negative polarity is service to self. Even here, if it sees that self and other are interchangeable, it sees everything as self, but it only thinks of this self, and the service to this self. So the ego can become increasingly subtle, but it's still spinning around a contracted sense of service to me, what I want, what I need.

Q: Does that mean that there's an ultimate limit to how powerful a negative being could be?

Aaron: Yes, negative polarity cannot move past 6th density. It cannot move into 7th density. However, a very powerful 6th density negatively polarized being is extremely powerful.

Q: Is there self in 6th density?

Aaron: Is there self in 6th density negative polarity? Yes. A very self-polarized identity. We can think of a being like Hitler, who was a 3rd density being, not 6th density, as a being very negatively polarized, yet he believed what he was doing was a service to all beings. He truly believed that these beings had to be eradicated for the highest good. But his sense of highest good was what he wanted, not without the filters of self on, and opinion and prejudice.

Q: Is it like Valdemort in Harry Potter?

Aaron: Yes... Highly negatively polarized non-6th density being, but still accessing all that power. Darth Vader, that's another one, able to access all that power and zap! There is desire to use that power, focused only on what the self wants, what the ego wants. And sometimes carrying the illusion, "This is the best for everybody." But how can one say that killing everybody else is the best for everybody?

Whereas positive polarity is very open to hearing all the different views, taking time to sort them out and help people understand and choose with free will choice what best supports the highest good.

Q: This past Passover we talked of course about freedom and liberation, and it was a big subject about several countries in the Mid-East where the people are going through a lot of struggle for freedom and liberation. Is this something that's part of, just the changing pattern?

Aaron: You're asking, on the topic of freedom, is it just part of a changing pattern?

Q: In the Middle East-- Syria, Egypt, lots of civil unrest and people wanting a free democratic government...

Aaron: Each being's freedom must respect every other being's freedom. Negative polarity says, "I am right, they are wrong. Forget their freedom and well-being. It's just about me and my people." Positive polarity says, "Everybody's needs must be met." Right now, the Middle East is so highly polarized into "OUR needs," "No, OUR needs," that few voices of sanity have been able to come in and help mediate. It's not that there are no mediators, it's that so many people are not ready to hear that mediation.

However, the vision of freedom for "my people" is an important step, for that vision can then be expanded to "all people." Here we have an issue of states and stages of consciousness. Many of the people in the Middle East, especially in countries like Afghanistan, for example, are still very much in a magical state of consciousness, not even rational consciousness. I would define this consciousness as the belief, "We are right. We have the path to God. We have the One Way." Fundamentalist Christianity is also on a very magical/mythical consciousness level. "We have the only way." I'm not speaking about Christianity, I'm talking about fundamentalist Christianity, and the fundamentalists of any religion.

The difficulty then is that these people are still not matured into a level of consciousness where they're ready to be rational, much less visionary. They simply have not yet evolved to that state. And people of that level of consciousness are taking birth and rebirth again and again in those countries, trying to make them a stronghold of lower level consciousness. It is basically a negatively polarized consciousness.

I'm not saying magical and mythical consciousness are negatively polarized. They can be. But when enough people of those levels of consciousness get together and justify each other's killing of others in the name of God or in the name of righteousness, then higher negatively polarized beings use them as pawns.

The question then is how you of higher consciousness can speak with clear compassion that knows how to say no but does it with love, in these tumultuous parts of the world. It's not much different than how you say no to a 3 year old who is also in magical or mythical consciousness. "I want my cookie! I want my cookie!" What are you going to do? Reason doesn't work. Love works. They may keep crying for awhile but eventually if you pick them up and hug them and tell them, "I understand how much you want it but you can't have it now, would you like to play a game? Would you like me just to hug you?" The child is yelling, screaming. You reply, "No, I can't let you do that." But when it's done with love and compassion for this human being who is suffering, eventually the child calms down. Eventually the child learns to hear that "no" and to understand, "You've already had your cookies and those are for your brother."

This inadequacy of communication I think is the most important issue to address in your present day world, how you learn to truly hear and allow yourself to be heard by those of these lower levels of consciousness. I am not using lower in a derogatory way at all. The 2 year old is in no way lesser than a very wise 50 year old; simply not yet mature.

Jim Marion's second book, The Death of the Mythic God: The Rise of Evolutionary Spirituality4, is very much about the different levels of consciousness and this communication problem. His first book, Putting on the Mind of Christ, is also a wonderful book, talking about not so much Christianity but being the Christ, putting on that mind.

One more aside, here. Many of the things we've been talking about are in the Aaron/Qu'o Dialogues that will be published in December. Qu'o is channeled by Barbara's friend Carla Rueckert McCarty, who also channeled The Ra Material. Qu'o is one step down in vibration from Ra as I am one step down in vibration from Ariel, so that Barbara and Carla can channel us in a much easier fashion. The vibration is not so high as to endanger their bodies.

For perhaps 10 years, Barbara and Carla got together several times a year and held a weekend gathering. These Aaron/Qu'o dialogues emerged from that material, went through a several-year editing process, and the same publisher who published Cosmic Healing will publish them in December. You'll find many of the responses to things we have been talking about tonight, in those dialogues. Barbara will let you know when they become available.

We have time for perhaps one more question.

Q: How does a 3rd density negatively polarized being evolve to a 4th density negatively polarized being?

Aaron: Basically there must be a certain degree of service to self, a very high level of service to self. It's harder to evolve into 4th density negative polarity than into 4th density positive polarity. One must be very acutely service to self.

If one becomes that pointedly service to self, one loses all... let me try to explain this in a different way. There is still a karmic field but the karmic field depends to some degree on a belief that one is doing something wrong, around which there is contraction or guilt. If one is totally convinced, "I must kill everybody who doesn't have the same skin color as I do, for the salvation of the world," one is in denial that this is a self-centered opinion and that those of different skin color would not approve. One moves into such a one-pointedness that one simply temporarily obliterates the need to move back into human experience, and pushes ahead further and further into negative polarity.

However, by 6th density, this now very powerful and negative being finds that to open into 7th density it must allow itself to become as the drop of water falling into the sea and dissolving into the sea, but it believes it IS the sea, so how can it let the self dissolve into the sea? It meets that barrier and it can go no further. It may stay in that space for, in your human terms, eons, or it may be a short time, but eventually it realizes, "I've hit a dead end," and it must release all its self-centeredness.

At that point, the karmic field re-announces itself, and the being has the opportunity, it doesn't move slowly back into 5th , 4th, and then 3rd density, it simply comes back into 3rd or even 2nd density, ready to make that shift into positive polarity, or ready to look at the possibility of that shift.

Its desire for power may be the first thing that motivates that moves it because it realizes it cannot go into 7th density, cannot become more powerful. So it backs up, looking for a different path. But then the path that shows itself is one of positive polarity, and gradually it realizes that this is the only path. It will not find infinite personal power; it will find the full interconnectedness, which amounts to full power. You are all-powerful. You already are all-powerful. But you, as Q, are not all-powerful; you as the divine self are all-powerful.

We talked on the beach today about limits, somebody mentioning a belief in a personal limit, and I asked if anybody felt that they could walk out on the ocean. And everybody said no. And I said, if Jeshua materialized here beside you, took your hand and said, "Come, let's go for a walk over the waves," do you think you could? And everybody in the circle said yes.

Now, I recognize that some of you may not be Christians with a deep love for Jeshua, and yet you still recognize him as a great master who understood the unlimitedness of experience. But this is not about Jeshua and His power, but about the power of each being, when he/she knows his full divinity, knows the Inner awakened one.

Just as you're not ready to go zap!, you're not ready to walk across the ocean. When you are ready, you'll find you can do it.

Let me say good night and send you back to your practice. Thank you for this opportunity to share. My blessings and love to you.

Thank you for doing this deep work in your meditation practice. We have had much talk about akashic fields and negative and positive polarity. All of this is not unnecessary frill, but also not absolutely essential. All that's essential is sitting and being still, allowing stillness, living into that stillness and recognizing your true nature. If I did not believe it was possible, I would not be here with you, speaking to you.

Thank you. Good night.

The Ever-Perfect and the Seed Level -1997

Aaron: I am Aaron. My love to you all. I want to talk about this not only as it pertains to your bodywork but as it pertains to your own spiritual practice. Once you deeply understand it, you will use it not only in your work with yourself and others in the physical body but with all of the bodies.

I ask Barbara to read a sentence here.

Barbara: On the first page in the middle:

"Dharmakaya, unconditioned truth body, is that core out of which everything expresses. Its nature is to express itself. It enters into the world of conditions while remaining the unconditioned. In other words, the conditioned expression does not in any way change the unconditioned nature of the essence."

Aaron: In order to express this in a way that the intellect can comprehend, I must substitute a conditioned object for the unconditioned. While it may help you to grasp the nature of this movement, there is an innate unsatisfactoriness in that I must use a conditioned object as subject of the metaphor.

Let us take an absolutely pure river. Somehow this river has been untouched by any kind of dirt or contaminant. The water is absolutely pure. It emerges out of an underground spring. As it flows, various pollutants enter into the river. Some are objects such as trash, whether human trash such as garbage or paper, and tires and so forth, or natural trash, such as tree branches and leaves. As it flows past a farm, fertilizer flows off and runs into it. Here where somebody tossed in a little oil can, there's a little bit of oil floating on the surface.

With this metaphor, we're really back to the crumpled piece of paper, the perfect sheet of paper always exists. The perfect water still exists, but one must attend to the pollutants.

If you want to compare the water you're cleaning up to that which was from the spring and perfect, you take a jar of that right from the mouth of the spring and then you compare it visually, chemically, and so forth, always trying to bring the water you're cleaning up back to the nature of the perfect water.

The most perfect water is that which is deep underground, where nothing has been able to touch it. But there's not really any access to that. I would call that inaccessible source the Ever-Perfect. Where you can get at it is right at the mouth of the spring where it comes to the surface, at that moment before any contaminants have touched it. So we could call that the seed. I pause to be sure that this is clear. I pause.

Aaron: You can see that the Ever-Perfect is behind that "film" that all of you experienced in meditation a month or two ago. You cannot get to it. You know it's there. You know the nature of it. But parallel to the fact that it cannot be contaminated is the thought that you also cannot get into it. You cannot have a direct experience of it while remaining outside of the film. In other words, in order to have direct experience of it you've got to <shed> yourself and dive down to the bottom of the spring, outside of the phenomenal world. You can get down to that source, but when you're down there, you can't simultaneously work with the various contaminants that are affecting the stream outside.

But right there, at the mouth of the spring, you have access to it. This is what I would call the seed level. It is child of the Ever-Perfect. We might say it really is the Ever-Perfect in its very first expression in that particular direction.

The question has been raised, is there ever a time when you want to go down into the Ever-Perfect itself, when that is of more value than working with the seed? To move into the Ever-Perfect itself is temporarily to let go of all the expressions and the various distortions of those expressions. It is figuratively to enter down deep under the earth into the deep heart of the spring, where there's nothing else but that first source of water coming up, absolutely pure.

As you can well understand, it's very healing to rest in that space. You are immediately surrounded by the Ever-Perfect. There's nothing else there, there's no space for distortion. This is the space of the deepest resting in rigpa. When you are resting in rigpa, various distortions may arise but there's absolutely no energy contraction about them. They are on the other side of the film.

When you come to the seed, you are still resting in rigpa, but it's in a place where you have access to the outside world. I do not want to suggest that rigpa has different parts to it. I found Barbara's experience of a cornucopia is clear and may be helpful to you. In meditation, she experiences a literal cornucopia-shaped energy. The unconditioned is down at the core. It moves down to the heart of that stream to a place of absolute stillness: nothing arising, nothing dissolving. It's a place of profound peace. As she moves out slightly, she becomes aware of arising and dissolution, but there is complete equanimity about that. When she sits on the edge of this cornucopia, in some ways she visualizes it-- an aside here, in some way she visualizes it like a tornado or storm swirling around with an absolutely still center, it's sweeping around and pulling everything into it, expressing everything out of it. There's nothing that expresses out of it that is not direct expression of that still center, nothing "other than".

Resting on the edge, still resting in rigpa, she is able to see the various expressions and the ways that they may move into distortion as they are touched by external conditions. Please note these conditions are also not "other than". They are coming from the same cornucopia. But when A and B contact in a certain way, then C may arise. If A is you and B is you, if you both are sitting absolutely still and suddenly you erupt out of this cornucopia in such a way that you crash into each other, discomfort may arise, fear, irritation, pain.

Sitting on the edge, you have the ability to tend what swirls out, what expresses out of the cornucopia without mistaking it for being "other than" and you have immediate access to that seed level as a mirror. Just before you crashed into one another, where were you? You need to get back to that pre-pain, pre-distortion moment.

I think the most useful process here is for me first to answer any questions and then for you to begin to do some bodywork, working with some specific distortion on one of you, and for us perhaps at times to pause and move into meditation to try to experience both the Ever-Perfect level, the film on that Ever-Perfect, and the seed level, to get some direct experience of when it is most useful to touch one or the other, to use one or the other for support. It may seem to you that I am spending an inordinate amount of time on this issue. I do so because I do not consider you to be here only to learn bodywork but that all of you have been my students in a much wider realm. The learning of this, as I said at the start of today's session, is something which will profoundly affect your meditation practice and your way of being in the world. I pause.

Q: I feel as if I am missing what is new about what Aaron is saying. Is Aaron saying something new here?

Aaron: I am Aaron. Not really new, only the distinction between Ever-Perfect and seed, which we had not yet even found precise labels for, has been a largely conceptual one. I want to help you shift it into an experiential distortion. I pause.

Q: I was following Aaron very well until he had us flying out of a cornucopia and bumping into each other! I lost his track...

Barbara: All he was saying there, and perhaps it was confusing because he started with A and B bumping, A and B as two objects, that he then just chose you two. He says all he is saying is, as things express from this cornucopia, they are not only the truth body but the form body, which become conditions which affect other things. The B as a perfect B expresses out, and the perfect A expresses out, and the B brushes by A and feels fear so it <swings at> A. And the whole thing is just a play of conditions. Whereas before it expresses out, it is free of conditions.


Barbara: Ever-Perfect vs. pure awareness ...

Aaron: I am Aaron. These are related but not synonymous terms. The highest level, let us call simply the divine self. It is limitless. It is nameless. It is the unborn, undying, unchanging, uncreated. It cannot be imperfect in any way and thus we call it the Ever-Perfect. The Ever-Perfect is simply one name which marks an attribute of this unnamable energy.

At the place where each of you is resting in that divine essence of your being, you find what I would call the Ever-Perfect mirror of that which is manifested out into the physical plane. We worked with this last year, observing that place where there seemed to be a film, moving the dharmakaya and finding there was a film there. We couldn't completely penetrate into it and still retain the conscious mind. The only way to enter fully into the dharmakaya, into this divine, is in a place where the self, the body, the ego, has completely dissolved. We used the image last year of this as being the underground spring, and the only access you had to it was where it bubbled to the surface.

When you are fully within this spring, you are resting in your awareness. As you stabilize that pure awareness, you enhance your ability to draw it out into the conscious realm. This is the point where that which we have called Ever-Perfect, where the underground spring first touches through the ground onto the surface. There's nothing there that is not the Ever-Perfect. But slowly it's expressing way out into the world. Pure awareness, as it is commonly used, is the personalization of the Ever-Perfect. If you think of the Ever-Perfect as the divine itself, then pure awareness is that energy stream which moves from the Ever-Perfect out into the conditioned realm without ever losing its heart of Ever-Perfect.

Please be aware that these terms are very difficult to translate. I am attempting to approximate what I consider to be the purest meaning of these terms from their original language. Others might not fully agree with my specific form of translation. But we do need precise language in order to be able to communicate well. I think it's more important that the word evoke a deep innate understanding of the meaning of that word so there's not hanging onto the specific symbol of the word itself. If I say to you "tree," each of you is going to image in your mind a different tree. If I say "ancient towering spruce tree" with lower trunk bare of branches, bending in the strong wind, then you're going to come to a closer specific image, each to the other.

The best I can do with pure awareness and innate perfection is to paint such a picture for you so that you start to get a feeling for what this might mean. I pause.


Aaron: I am Aaron. Again, the lack of words stymies me. Think of what you would experience as the Ever-Perfect of the seedling of the spruce tree...Think of that perfect spruce. I'm going to shift this, let's use an oak. Think of that two-inch high perfect seedling oak. Think also of the acorn itself, and within the acorn the seed for the Ever-Perfect seedling, and also for the Ever-Perfect giant oak, ancient oak. Think of the Ever-Perfect of the ancient oak. Are they any different, these three: the ancient oak, the seedling, and the acorn? Can you see that while on the surface they are different, at one level there is something we might call oak-treeness which resides equally in all of them?

The seedling needs something to reflect to be the perfect seedling. The sapling needs something to reflect to it how to be the perfect sapling. But they all need something that reflects to them also "oakness" itself. Each different stage is a form of oakness. Just having the mirror for oakness is insufficient. What stage of oak is it going to manifest? Just having the mirror for that stage is insufficient. What is it when it's not in that stage, that's still part of it? So there are these various phases of the Ever-Perfect, from the finite into the infinite. I pause.

Aaron: I am Aaron. The connection from this to the physical body work is that you may always reflect what to the tree would be its oakness. At times it is more or less skillful to reflect simultaneously the particular phase. To reflect that body without cancer to the one with cancer is always skillful as long as you allow them to choose whether to use that reflection or not. Thus, to the one with cancer you might reflect both the ultimate Ever-Perfect to them and down at the physical body that particular phase, and even at the cellular level that particular spot where the tumor is and the reflection of it when it is balanced and free of cancer. Each of these is a subtly different reflection. They are like the dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya. There's no dividing line between them. One is simply THE Ever-Perfect, and then the intention level of the Ever-Perfect blossoming out into the material form. I pause.


1 An excellent basic book on Abhidhamma is Abhidhamma in Daily Life,Nina Von Gorkom, Triple Gem Press, 1997 version.

2 See the DSC archives from the series of classes given by Barbara and Aaron, "Consciousness and its Objects" DSC/ archives/ Aaron/ class series/ 2007/ insight meditation classes fall 2007. This material continues in 2008.

3 See attachment

4 See inside the book on Amazon or order it there.