October 10, 2011 Monday Evening, Seattle Retreat

Barbara: It's Monday night, with our big conference call (Skype). I'm not sure who is on, but many Venture Fourth people...

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. I want to repeat about five minutes of my talk. You'll all be able to read the transcripts so I don't want to repeat it at length.

People come into a spiritual path because there is suffering in themselves and in the world, and usually a desire to attend to that suffering. At first they see division, themselves and the world, but gradually they come to realize that it's one suffering, one being, really-- you and all beings.

I have a fuzzy visitor at my feet... He is a lovely tiger cat. He is always attracted to my energy. Hello, Rousseau...

For years most of you have worked with vipassana practice, learning to be present with objects as they arise and pass away and not self-identified with those objects. Many of you found yourself entering into a vast spaciousness wherein you could see objects arising and passing away, but the spaciousness became stable. With pure awareness practice you learned how to rest in that spaciousness with one foot and stay connected to the world with the other foot.

Now we're taking it a step deeper. All of these tools are still vital. There must be mindfulness, awareness of what arises and passes away. There must be a deep intention to service to all beings. But you've discovered that when you try to serve from the physical plane, it becomes me fixing that, and that you cannot always rest in awareness and serve from that place of emptiness. You've discovered that sometimes you feel you might do harm trying to serve because the emptiness doesn't feel stable, because the ego comes in.

The wonderful thing about working within the akashic field is that you cannot access the akashic field from the ego, you can only access it from the place of emptiness. So that when, I hesitate to say you, but when loving intention works within the akashic field, there's a certain safety device there. There's not going to be any unwholesome karma or any harm. You can delude yourself and convince yourself you're within the akashic field when you're not, but you're all too honest to cling to that delusion for long. It would be apparent to you. (laughing)

So, going into the akashic field is the logical next step of our Venture Fourth focus of service. There are many different ways of accessing the akashic field. No one is correct to the negation of the others. We worked to some degree with the Circle of the Sun, which provides a clear and well-documented path working with togyal, but that path relies on a lot of Tibetan visualizations and empowerments which are not familiar to most of you and are not a central path to most of you.

(laughing again)There is a rocking chair outside on the deck, rocking vigorously because the wind is blowing it, but I'm also aware that there's a whole horde of spirits sitting there listening!

Q: Tell them to come in! It is raining outside.

Aaron: So there are many different ways of accessing the akashic field, and today we focused on some of the different ways each of you access it and how it feels to be in the akashic field. And finally, how it feels to work, or practice, or lovingly intend within the akashic field. We have not had a chance in this smaller group here to talk about that last step.

At this point, I just want to pass the microphone to all of you, as it were. If you would like to share your experience, how it feels to enter the akashic field to you, please share it, or ask questions about that.

We started today by reading parts of a journal that Barbara sent out in August, with Barbara and John out on their boats, floating on the lake. They had both been meditating for an hour, each on a separate craft, and then they came together and I began to talk with them. So Barbara began by reading aloud, at my guidance, some of the sections of that that I especially wanted to discuss. My statement of entry into the akashic field, how it feels, how it differs from the experience of rigpa, and so forth.

I pointed out there that rigpa is consciousness, awareness. The akashic field is an object of consciousness. Awareness touches the akashic field. The akashic field is not a consciousness in itself. That statement seemed to help people understand it better.

So, I pass this to you...

Q: I wanted to make a statement. If I am correct, when you check your bank account tomorrow morning, I deposited a million dollars in each account!

Aaron: That sounds good! In relative reality or in the akashic field?

Q: Akashic field!

Aaron: It will take some time to filter down from the akashic field to this earth plane.

Q: (a couple of minutes have passed) No questions...

Q: I think we know it already, no questions!

Q: When I was in the akashic field yesterday, I sensed S‘s need (D's 3 yr old daughter, who has been home with a cold) . So I wanted to do tonglen with her, but how do you do tonglen from within the akashic?

Aaron: It's a different practice, but actually tonglen is quite appropriate for working within the akashic field because you simply see what seems to be a distortion, and while recognizing the innate perfection within that distortion, you also see that the experience, the outer appearance of distortion creates suffering. You release the vision of innate perfection into that whirlpool of distortion as you breathe out, and as you breathe in, you draw into you that seeming distortion and release it. Not really any different than tonglen.

Q: But in the akashic field, there is no “I”.

Aaron: There is still intention. Intention does not have to involve an “I”. This is the primary difference. With tonglen as it's usually done, there is a self seeing the suffering, intending to release suffering and bring in light and ease and space. But even at the best level of tonglen, when the sense of a self and separation dissolves, the nondual experience is not fully stable.

Here, because it's only awareness that's in the akashic field and not the ego self at all, but that awareness that came into the akashic field came in with the intention for the alleviation of suffering, the transmutation of distortion. Not the release but the transmutation. This is another difference.

With tonglen we see the distortion as something negative and breathe light into it, inviting it to release itself. With practice within the akashic field, we see that the seeming distortion on the back side of itself has the innate perfection. We invite it to use the energy of that seeming distortion to transmute the disturbance, the ripples. So it's really the energy of the disturbance itself that brings you back into the perfection.

Q: Is it possible to connect with the akashic field via the open heart?

Aaron: Absolutely. That's one of the most direct pathways into the akashic field.

Q: When Dipa Ma walked through walls or floated in the sky, was she aligning her intentions with the akashic field?

Aaron: My conjecture is that several things were happening. Yes, Dipa Ma was very connected to the akashic field, but she also had developed the ability to move into the astral body. And the astral body knows itself to be non-solid, simply molecules. It has no problem walking through walls.

I want to make it clear that in both of these cases, everybody with an open heart is not thinking in terms of connecting with the akashic field. They may do it subconsciously. Dipa Ma may not have been familiar with the term “akashic field.” It doesn't matter. There are many stories of Mahara-ji, Neem Karoli Baba, spontaneously appearing in one place or another; he's moving through the akashic field. The akasha is the medium that carries all this energy.

Q: How does utilizing the central channel help to access the akashic field?

Aaron: There are various pathways. The open heart is one, intention merged with the open heart. The three channels is another direct pathway. As soon as you open into these three channels, there is no self. There is a very purified energy, which finds itself fully open to the akashic field, and from which the akashic field becomes fully accessible. If you remember back to the first shamanic journeying canoe voyage with Heather, drumming was a way of entering the akashic field. A drumming circle is a way of building up energy and entering the akashic field. What we did today up on the roof, holding hands, holding the intention and the open heart, opens the akashic field. Were any of you trying to work with the central channel in any way? One person was, the rest not. Did most of you feel you experienced the akashic field? (Yes.)

Q: I experienced something. I am assuming it was the akashic field.

Aaron: It was. So, all five. I was not incorporated in Barbara's body, so there were five humans there and they all experienced the akashic field through four entry ways.

Q: The experience was so powerful, working together, that I found I did not need the central channel.

Aaron: Because your combined intentions took you there. I would liken it to a situation where four people were sitting on a dock just watching the sunset, with a small child floating on the lake in a raft 20 feet out from the dock, and suddenly the child tumbled off the raft into the water, came up screaming “Help!” and thrashing around. There would not necessarily be a self directing it; loving intention for all of you would rush in to get the child. Let's assume water was over the child's head but not over your heads. Each of you alone could rescue the child, but that combined intention would carry a certain power that would probably have the child floating before you ever reached her!

Q: During Venture Fourth's two-year program I thought I had an idea of what the akashic field was, but now I'm lost. What are people's experiences of experiencing the akashic field?

Aaron: They'll talk to that in a minute. Let me read another question...

Q: I also use the central channel, I think, to connect to the akashic field.

Aaron: So let's hear from those who are here and experienced it so deeply today. And to others of you who also experience it, what is your experience of it? How does it feel?

Q: The experience today was different than previous experiences. Today in the guided meditation, you guided us to a door. I saw these light beings who were guiding me to that door float through it, and I found myself turning into a light being and floating after them. As soon as I went through that door, there was this big beautiful ocean, which was even nicer because only then you said, “Notice the big blue ocean.” (I noticed the ocean and then you said, “Notice the ocean.”!)

So I was gliding over it sort of like flying very low to the water, just over the surface. And then you said to penetrate that surface and go deeper. And I did. I remember sort of asking for permission to just swim around, and feeling like an otter. And then you guided us to see different eddies and whirlpools and streams, and to see beings who are stuck in that illusion of the whirlpool and being sucked into the whirlpool. And just working with that.

So I worked with that for awhile and then I worked on my own stuff for awhile. But this was different than my previous experiences, which I now know that, at the time when I was experiencing these things, I didn't realize that this was the akashic field.

Q: The first time I experience the akashic field occurred at Sunnyside when Aaron gave us those two exercises to use water-drinking. In the second exercise, my partner gave me water to drink and I drank it. I thought, “The water tastes just like water here at Sunnyside,” but my awareness was of being in a place really created by the Uncreated-- joyful, clear, and filled with wonder.

Aaron: Others, what are some of your experiences of the akashic field? Hearing others' experiences can help you understand your experience of it.

Q: For me, I don't usually see things visually. And I felt everyone's presence and just meditated. Went into rigpa, expanse, clear, open, heart open, and, I can't say how but I found myself sensing light, sensing distortions.

Aaron: It's almost a rip in the smooth fabric of the spaciousness. I would think that all of you at some point have been in a quiet place, reading, even napping, listening to music, and suddenly felt some kind of strong contracted energy somewhere around you. Parents, you've felt that and gone to another room and found that your child had fallen, was crying, and you didn't hear the cry. You didn't hear the fall, or perhaps it even preceded the crying. You felt that energy. You're feeling that disturbance in the akashic field.

Now as a parent, the way you relate to it is to go in and pick up the child lovingly. On another level, you are feeling such distortion in the akashic field, just the enormous suffering. At one point, Barbara, as she was meditating today in the circle, was strongly aware of the terrible pain of orphaned, hungry, homeless children. Not one child, but a huge mass of children, and how deep a distortion that cut through the akashic field.

Her response was not to get up and leave the roof and go off and try to join some food crusade for homeless children. Her response was simply to hold the space lovingly, and to envision the very real possibility-- because in the akashic field, everything is possible-- to envision the possibility of all beings fed and cared for and nurtured.

By holding that possibility instead of rushing off in fear to say, “Oh, we've got to fix this,” she's not giving energy to the distortion but to the possibility of healing. The ego wants to say, “How do I fix this?” Not just the ego but also the loving human, but still coming from a sense of self. But at a deeper level we attend to the distortion almost as the tonglen that was mentioned, just sending loving energy to it, and simultaneously seeing the innate perfection.

The togyal practice is helpful; the practice means leaping over. You do not go into the distortion but you in a sense circle the distortion and come up on the other side, recognizing at some level: this is perfect. Not the pain itself, but the pain is also part of the ground for compassion and for healing. Love holds this whole thing in the light and reflects back to it the enormous possibilities that can come from this hunger, this loneliness, this despair. And in that way, offers the possibility for the ones thus caught in the disturbance to choose healing rather than further cycling into the disturbance.

Q: I think my clearest experience was at Emerald Isle when I sat quietly and looked at the ocean and could see its aliveness in such a dramatic way that the waves looked like big lumbering creatures being formed from the water element and expressing outward. I asked, “What am I seeing?” The answer was, aliveness. I think that was the akashic field.

Aaron: Yes, I would say so, Q, and that's a beautiful illustration of it.

Q: When I lay down with my son, waiting for him to fall asleep, I know when he falls asleep because I feel a dropping kind of sensation in my mind. I felt it with a different child, too. Is that the akashic field?

Aaron: Yes. You're experiencing the child falling asleep within the akashic field, the shift in consciousness of the child.

There are two parts to this; experiencing the akashic field and getting to know how it feels to practice within the akashic field, and then the actual practicing within the akashic field.

One of the things we did today, I asked people to feel themselves as part of a great circle, all of the bodhisattvas of past, present, and future, and note any feeling, “I'm not worthy to sit in this circle.” Seeing that as just conditioned mind. Holding the intention for the highest good and coming back to the circle, and allowing yourself to feel the presence of all those billions of other beings that are part of the circle and all that energy support. You do not do anything; rather, you in a sense join in the group mind, the group consciousness or awareness that holds all of the suffering in the light and knows that it will continue as long as the conditions are present. And all you can do is to hold light to help offer a possibility to support the release of the negative conditions, and even more, to “leap over” them.

Q: When we hold light, are we not offering the possibility of changing conditions?

Aaron: Yes. If a being is in a dark room, staggering around, saying, “I can't find my way out,” and you turn the light on, you're offering them the possibility to see where the door is.

Q: That changes conditions.

Aaron: It doesn't change conditions; it allows them to bring attention to the variety of conditions and of possibilities. They could keep their eyes closed and keep staggering around the room saying, “I can't find the way out.” By bringing in light you remind them, “There is an alternative to lostness, here.”

Beings will keep suffering going as long as it serves some need within them.  Beings are conditioned to think suffering is inevitable and to keep floundering around in it, looking for a way out and yet not accepting the real possibility of a way out. This is why there are so few awakened beings. That awakening you seek is right there. But you've got to understand and accept that it's there. (BB while reviewing this transcript: Aaron is speaking to me of the fun house hall of mirrors. Of course there is a way out, but we move into the illusion of being stuck. In the fun house, it's part of the fun. But we re-enact that drama in everyday life)

So this kind of practice within the akashic field is a way of mirroring the innate perfection of everything, and also acknowledgment that the distortions do exist; I use the idea of a whirlpool, an energy to it that's pulling down, and that this energy, rather than being something you have to fight is something that can be transmuted and therefore, used. So the practice in the akashic field is not fighting against or fixing but transmuting by wholeheartedly embracing the distortion with its flipside, darkness and light, and simply reflecting back the light.

Right there with anger is compassion. Am I ready to step out of my anger, my bitterness and sense of judgment and blame, and open to the compassion that it offers me? And when I do that, the anger goes. I've transmuted the anger through compassion, which was triggered by the anger, catalyzed by the anger.

Q: It seems to me that the akashic field is immediately available to the extent that I can drop my distortions(unfinished)...

Aaron: ...Exactly. That's why we're creating a bit of a fallacy by talking about how to enter the akashic field. You do have to get into it to discover that it's always there, but it's more like rigpa. You can't lose rigpa after awhile, it's always there. You just have to remember it.

When you're in a situation in which people are angry with each other, the most helpful thing you can do is to drop into the akashic field, not to get caught up in the dialogue between them and the emotions, but to drop down and hold the space that expands the space within the anger, explodes it, so there's nothing solid to it anymore. You're not doing that to fix the anger, you're doing that as a natural outplay of compassion. They will pick it up or they won't.

Q: Can you explain that again? Expand on that?

Aaron: I'm going to use an image that Barbara has provided in the past. A sit-in in a small southern restaurant, in a town where there was extreme segregation. People had been beaten trying to sit-in inside that restaurant. Barbara and the other three people involved knew it was dangerous to try.

They came into the restaurant. They sat in meditation, centering themselves. Barbara did not think of this as akashic field, at this point. This is over 40 years ago, I don't know how many years,1961, 1962, almost 50 years. But they centered, and for Barbara the experience was, she could hear the people yelling, insulting, crude words, rage, outside, and sinking through that rage, beyond the place of people's fear, people's need, people's discomfort, to love, and holding it all with love.

It would seem to me that the other three people involved also reached that place. They were all within the akashic field, and all of them could see the possibility before they stood up and walked out the door of walking out the door and the crowd separating, of them not being attacked, wounded, maimed, killed. They could see the possibility.

And then they walked out the door. And they were able to meet each person's eyes, to see the fear with compassion and hold the power of the akashic field and the transformational energy of it. The crowd just parted.

How much more powerful when you understand the use of this tool?

I was referring earlier today to the book Barbara is reading, a book she first read over 20 years ago; she didn't understand it then to the present understanding. It's a novel called The Fifth Sacred Thing by a writer named Starhawk. She was prompted to pull the book off the shelf as she left the house and read it on the airplane. Much to her surprise, because she didn't realize it 20 years ago, it's all about working within the akashic field. It's a theoretical situation of the future where people are holding a beautiful town, with water and abundant food and so forth, in a place surrounded by violence and hardship. They have no weapons. How are they going to greet the soldiers that come? Are they going to take everything apart that they've developed and create weapons? Are they going to run off into the forest? What are they going to do?

They go into the akashic field. The nine old women, who are the defense council of the city, dream the answer, they go into the akashic field. They will greet each armed soldier and each person who has run off from the army with the words, “There is a place for you at our table if you would care to join us.” This angers some of them and they kill people. Each time they kill people, somebody else steps up. “That was my brother you just killed. He was so good to me. He read me stories when I was a child.” Bang. Shoot this one. Another one comes up, a child. “That was my uncle you just killed. He taught me how to ride a bicycle.”

They keep going. How long can you resist that? Eventually the whole violent movement against them collapsed. And this is the same basis for Martin Luther King's work in the south or Gandhi's work in India. The whole theory of ahimsa and of satyagraha is based on working within the akashic field.

Let me come back to your questions...

Q: It seems like for me there needs to be trust that I'm in the akashic field. I feel like I look for it but maybe it's there.

Aaron: It is.

Q: When I am doing body energy work, I open awareness to what feels like a vast field of light and possibilities, checking my connection by feeling this expansiveness through all my bodies and beyond, including all the beings present. This seems to offer the space of possibilities to those present. In this space for example, I have felt some part of the person I am being with explore whether to live or die. Does this sound like the akashic field to you?

Aaron: Yes, definitely. And it's a very powerful experience to observe another exploring whether to live or to die, and to trust, “They have to make that decision. All I can do is hold up the light and possibilities.” This is the akashic field.

Q: Today when we worked in the akashic field, I had a sense of love tending to distortions. I was one with the love, or a vast, loving consciousness tending to the distortions. There was no doing, just offering love.

Aaron: And nobody offering love, love offering itself.

Q: Love offering itself. Today at lunch I had an insight I would like to share, which was of a garden that I, or love, is the gardener, tending to the garden with love without an agenda or without doing. Weeding, cultivating, caring for the garden with the good of the whole garden in mind. Not getting anywhere or trying to do anything, just love tending to the garden.

Aaron: That is a beautiful image. Thank you. Some of you, some few of you since most of you are not from Ann Arbor, may remember an ongoing class I led some years ago in which we had a project at the beginning of the semester to draw the heart garden, how it looked. Some of you drew very small gardens or gardens with a lot of thorns. And then through the whole year I asked you to tend the heart garden. We didn't talk about akashic field, but I asked you not to try to fix. We spent a lot of time different weeks talking about contracted energy, not fixing, but attending from a place of emptiness. Part way through the year, you drew this heart garden again, and once more finally at the end of the year, in June. And these later heart garden drawings were magnificent, flowers, vibrant colors, because you were all attending to the heart garden.

Q: Your remarks about the dreaming Indian women brought to mind a dream I had last night. It occurred rather abruptly in my dreaming state and was quite vivid, clear and almost Technicolor 3D. The image was of several ET beings in anguish of being slain. They were tall willowy ant-like creatures with segmented torsos of exquisitely formed shapes. My mind felt their beautiful ability to broadcast wonderful feelings and emotions in those around them. I was appalled that they could be in danger from anything because of their exquisiteness. I don't think they were calling me, just calling out to someone for help. How can I help?

Aaron: You were in the akashic field. In your sleep you are often in the akashic field. Lucid dreaming is one experience of the akashic field. In the dream state, you move into the astral plane. When you travel astrally, you're traveling in the akashic field. So this was astral travel in the akashic field, and because of your open heart, you picked up the call from these beings.

And can you really help them? Yes. Your loving energy can support them and help them replace despair with hope and new possibilities. So instead of the fear of being slain, they see the possibility to remain alive and vibrant. You broadcast that possibility to them and remind them, “I have a choice. I don't have to be slain. Being slain is simply the old nightmare.”

You help simply by hearing them and sending love. And you recognize that this disturbance in the akashic field, this specific one of these beings, is a reflection of a million other disturbances in the akashic field. And that the more you can rest in awareness, holding that space lovingly and reflecting back the possibilities for wholeness, love, healing, and goodness, the more that possibility becomes real for people, until they're ready to choose to enact it for themselves and for others.

Q: You said that our process or practice is to reflect back the possibilities, and we do that by just loving? How?

Aaron: In the beginning you do it in a more conscious way, like tonglen. But after awhile you don't need that conscious thought, which does take you into the separate self more. You simply do it from the place of holding the open heart. That's it.

You're intention has so much power. It has to come from human energy field, though. You are surrounded by all our loving guidance, but we can't do it. I can move into the akashic field and hold loving energy there, but there's a different vibration from the human holding it in the akashic field that makes it far more accessible to beings. This is why your work here on the earth plane is so important and part of the reason why you incarnate.

Q: I was wondering why in the heck we are incarnate in the first place, because it seems like a lot of trouble.

Aaron: It's to learn and to serve, to mature. It's your path to evolution. When I say to evolution, to the release of self-identity with the negative vibration.

Q: Speaking of this, I wanted to share my experience from today on the roof. I guess what I wanted to share were mainly two things. One, at the first, when I was connecting with the guides and elders and loving energies, there was also something coming in that was very dark and it had pointy ears and a tail but stood on two legs. Just to make sure, I called on my “bouncer” guide who is Anubis, just to have him there. And I told the dark being that he can sit and watch. So he sat down kind of outside the circle but like at the knees of the elders. I wondered if this being is drawn to such light because it is possibly ready to transform. I have seen it before. So that is one thing.

Aaron: When you were feeling that, could you feel the power of the circle supporting you?

Q: Oh yeah. Toward the end there was a central channel in the circle. I was going to ask you, Aaron, what is that thing in the center of our circle? And I started thinking of it and realized it must be our combined central channel. Did you see that?

Aaron: Yes, I think that's accurate.

Q: Today, toward the end, I experienced powerful energy flowing through our circle, and I also perceived a column. I perceived it as a vortex of our energy.

Aaron: All of these are correct. I don't know how to say it. Simply, different people will perceive different things, and it's all real. There were many beings there, mostly positive, some more negatively polarized. Because there was such a strong circle of light around you, the negativity could not break through in any way. You were in no danger from that negativity. What happened was that what was extremely negative dropped away because it saw that it could not break through. What I call mischievous spirits, some of them chose to sit there and listen and consider. So there was teaching going on. It was an illustration of the power of grounded light, and of the knowledge of non-duality, non-separation, that you are all one thread holding this light.

I want to raise a question here. Now that we see we can do this, I know J and AM have been facilitating this in some way at Deep Spring Center with the present class, and now we see we can do this with a Venture Fourth group. J and AM, do you feel you have the skill and knowledge, or with consultation with D, that we could plan this perhaps once every 6 weeks and have a Venture Fourth circle for all of those who would like to join in, and ideally do it earlier, maybe try to do it at 5 o'clock... 8-10pm on the east coast, 5-7pm on the west coast, and whatever is in between, so it's accessible to all of you. We'd have to work out the proper timing. Perhaps a Saturday morning would be a better time. But is there interest to pursue this? (Yes.) J, do you have the knowledge that's needed to pull this together? (Yes)

Q: Can we do this with Barbara and with you leading us again?

Aaron: You mean, do a guided meditation with me leading it again with all of you in separate places, no hands joined physically, but the guided meditation? Yes, certainly.  Those who live in Ann Arbor could come together in one place to hold a ground for it, if they wish to, and then the rest of you on Skype.

Okay. Barbara is quite tired and has not had any dinner, not able to eat before my incorporating for this length of time. So I'm going to let the east coast people go to bed, and Barbara to eat.

My love to all of you. We'll send an email, we'll figure this out with AM and J, perhaps to try to do it in later October or November.

Good night, and my blessings and love to all of you. Let me add here, before you hang up. Now that you have a clearer idea of the akashic field, move into this in your meditation. Begin to explore it, and then we can share. That's all. Good night.

PAGE  11