June 4, 2011 Saturday, Stonehouse Retreat

Three kayas; lifejacket metaphor; release of limiting beliefs; simultaneity of conditioned and Unconditioned; sambhogakaya and akashic field; choice and habit. Liberation in everyday life.

Aaron: Good evening. My blessings and love to you. I am Aaron. The topic of this retreat is about letting go beyond limits, into the infinite,  into liberation, so I will speak of this.

Picture yourself in relative-land, a place where people may be aware of their bodies, of their emotions, of their thoughts, but not much sense of anything beyond the separate self. In relative-land, there's a strong sense of self-identification with what arises in the body and in the thoughts. Sometimes what arises is pleasant; sometimes it's unpleasant. There's also a questioning; what is life about? What is the meaning of this existence, but there is no insight into the answers.

(Demonstrating with red relative/ultimate containers and teddy bear) You live your life in this small space, in the form body-- that is, in the physical form, the mental form, in relative reality. So you live in this little box we call relative reality, usually with the lid on, and that's where you stay most of the time.

If you're a meditator, once a day you sit yourself down on your cushion, allow the mind and body to settle, release some of the self-identification with what's arising, and occasionally you find yourself jumping into ultimate reality. (moves the bear) “Wow! There's space! It's blissful. I see my deepest connection with everything. The separate self has dissolved. This is wondrous!” Then your timer rings; time to end the sitting. Out you jump, back into relative reality. Out of habit you usually close the lid again. There you are (bear back in the smaller container).

You spend months and even years hopping back and forth; it becomes frustrating. You begin to wonder, how do I combine the two? The world of relative reality is the world of limiting beliefs. The world of ultimate reality is the world in which you know there are no limits because nothing is separate, so how could a limit exist? But how do you combine the two?

One day while you're hanging out in relative reality and beginning to meditate, you suddenly have the insight that the relative is within the ultimate, but they still seem to be two separate containers. One is holding the other, but how do you get from one into the other? It still seems there must be a choice.

Buddhism has some terms that are helpful here. The word kaya means body. Nirmanakaya means form body, the world of physical forms, thought forms, emotional forms, the world of everyday reality. Dharmakaya means truth body, where you are in the ultimate box, seeing the deepest truth of how things are, the Unconditioned, your true nature. With dharmakaya and nirmanakaya, there still seem to be two separate boxes. How do we combine them? The third kaya is called sambhogakaya, often translated as wealth body, as in riches. It's the transition body; it's the bridge between the other two.

Imagine yourself in a small village in a poor country. There's been some drought and not enough food. There's a river and your village is on the bank. Across the river, it's not so much that there's more rain but that there is a different emotional climate, with people sharing goods, people having worked together to build irrigation channels in from the river to bring in water, so there's abundance. It looks like a heaven realm. When you view it with your binoculars from your side of the river, people always seem to be at peace there, happy, well-fed. You think, “I want to get there.” How are you going to get there? You can't swim the river for there are piranha. How are you going to get there?

You build a bridge. Imagine you dig deep foundation posts on the shore on your side. Since the people on the other side live in a state of connection they are happy to help you.  They dig deep foundation posts into the shore on that side. Big pillars are put in and then ropes are slung across, and finally wooden planks are tied into the ropes.

At what point do you step from your side of the river to the other side? At what point across the bridge do the attitudes of interconnection rather than separation and competition begin to resonate as truth? Must you be all the way across, or does it begin with the first step? Do you have to get off the bridge on the other side to be on the other side, or are you touching the other side as soon as you put a foot on the bridge? Can you see how that's so? The bridge connects the two. Sambhogakaya is given the name “wealth body” because of the wealth within it of possibilities. You are no longer limited in this small container.

In meditation, we first find ourselves exploring the world of physical conditions and emotional conditions, aware of body sensation arising, sometimes very unpleasant sensation; aware of aversion to that unpleasant sensation; aware of judgmental and comparing thoughts as you look around the room and everybody else seems at ease. “Why am I struggling? What's wrong with me?” One becomes aware of the judging mind, aware of unworthiness, aware of anger, sadness, frustration. These all come up in your practice, and there is, for meditators, at the beginning, a feeling of a linear path, with the thought, “If only I can learn this practice skillfully, finally that will be my bridge and I will be on the other side.” There's still an image of linearity.

What happens when you traverse that bridge and stand on the other shore, look around and see that the people there are no different than the people on your side? But all of them have learned much more ease with their grasping and fear-based minds. There's no more water there than on your side, but people have learned to work together to irrigate the crops instead of grasping, each in his own selfish effort. It is not a different place; the difference is based on wisdom and the open heart.

You begin to see the possibilities on your side of the river. You've got a thousand people in your village. This village on the other side can't sustain another thousand people, but your own village can sustain you if you can learn that wisdom and heart opening.

So you go back and begin to transform your own village, or in meditation, to transform yourselves. The transformation is not about fixing anything but more about seeing deeply into the illusions, the illusions that something is wrong with you or your village, the illusions that you have to acquire or attain something, the illusions that you have to get rid of something. Gradually you begin to see yours and your villagers' innate perfection, and that everything you sought was right there, has always been there.

The Dharmakaya, the Unconditioned, that God center; it is not a place on a linear flow. Rather, it's right here. Now we've got one piece missing from this setup-- there should be another container, another cylinder, within the relative container: a second ultimate container. One ultimate container holds the relative, and then the whole thing holds another ultimate container. The ultimate realm that you're seeking is right here within relative reality, but as long as you keep searching elsewhere, you're not going to find it.

We work with our practice, then, to observe how objects arise from conditions and pass away, how we have become caught up in the idea of a separation between ultimate and relative, and of some place to go, something to do, to fix, to get rid of. We start to see the perfection of this now, this moment, when we rest there, and to understand the enormous possibilities.

Two things happen, at that point. The first is that you learn to straddle the two containers, to be in relative reality without losing touch with ultimate reality; in other words, to rest on the sambhogakaya bridge. At times you may be almost completely in relative reality with just a handhold into the ultimate, but you keep awareness open, stay present, learn to stay deeply in the relative and attend to the relative without losing touch with the ultimate.

We do that often with pure awareness practice. This is one of the reasons we teach it. Resting in pure awareness and yet able to attend to the world of conditions. It's not falling into some deep crater of pure awareness, but connected. You learn during those times of deep pure awareness, perhaps you find yourself upside down (demonstrating with the little bear) and there's a toehold into the relative, but you're still connected with the relative, you don't lose touch with it. So the practice is deep.

I like this little bear. Perhaps he'll stick an ear into the relative, grounded in the ultimate but the ear listening in to the relative.

This all comes through your practice. We combine these practices of vipassana and as the vipassana practice deepens - we don't teach this usually at a short retreat like this but at longer retreats - working with resting in awareness. As you learn to rest more deeply in awareness, at first you're just there in the ultimate container. Gradually you become stable and can stay in the ultimate container even when it's shaking around. And finally, you learn to balance and keep some part of you connected to the relative. Then your work in the world is no longer from the relative end of the bridge only, and you're also not cut off from the relative and hiding away in the ultimate with a lid on, but you're on the bridge, you're connected.

Let's call that place a field of possibilities. Within that space, all conditions are arising and passing away and everything is possible. Within the relative you only see what logic brings you. It's hard to see into the infinite possibilities. Within the ultimate you may see all of the possibilities but there's no way to carry them back to the world of nirmanakaya. To integrate the two, you must stay on the bridge.

That means your meditation practice deepens, leads you to a deep knowing of who you are and how you interconnect with everything, the nature of your being, of all being, of the divine. But you don't do that with a mask over your eyes to avoid the world of conditions,  but with full cognizance of the enormous suffering in the world, the enormous delusion in the world, the emotions of fear, hatred, and so forth, and with the ability to attend to what happens in the world from this place in the ultimate.

If I'm in here (relative container) with people who are starving, I might dash around, frightened, looking for food. If I'm in here (ultimate container) and there are people who are starving, I might pull myself further down and ignore it. When I'm straddling the two, I'm deeply grounded in this knowing of who we all are and how we interconnect. It is that love and wisdom that allows me to do service in the world. Then my actions and speech no longer come from a place of fear or trying to fix or control, but from a place of centeredness that sees deeply and with compassion, just how things are.

People often ask me, how do I balance between the relative and ultimate? How do I bring what I see in my meditation out into the world? Now, this is a tricky question, because the ultimate by its definition is the ultimate, the Unconditioned. There can be deep seeing in meditation as you rest in that space, but the level of consciousness that understands in that space is not the same level of consciousness that's able to bring it back to the everyday world.

It's as if you were in a foreign country and somebody explained a concept to you in their language, in Spanish, perhaps, but you are not fluent in Spanish; you have a very basic grasp of it. You start to understand what they're saying but you don't really have the words for it. Then you go back to your own country and they say, “What did you learn?” “I just don't know how to say it. I don't have the language.” So we need this bridge as a place where we can create the language that brings the insights of the unconditioned back out into the relative world, and holds the connection.

There's another portion to this. You've all heard me make remarks such as, that which is aware of anger is not angry; that which is aware of fear is not afraid; that which is aware of illness is not ill. This phrasing is in no way a denial of the present experience of anger, fear, or illness, it's only a reminder: you do not need to get caught up in self-identity with the aspect of being that is at this moment experiencing fear, anger, or illness. They're real; they're real experiences for this relative human. But there is more to you than the one with fear, anger or illness.

If you just cut yourself off, go into the ultimate container and close the lid, you can stop experiencing fear, anger, or illness temporarily, but eventually you've got to come back out. When you cultivate that insight, “that which is aware of...,” you begin to see the simultaneity of the relative experience and the space. This is part of what we were doing in the meditation hall this morning, with this morning's instruction. Aware after an object dissolves, instead of racing back to the primary object, just resting in that spaciousness. How many of you could experience that, even very momentarily? Many of you; not all, but many. So you understand experientially what I'm talking about.

Now, this is the beginning of learning how to rest in that spaciousness. You become increasingly stable there. In that place, let's call it the sambhogakaya bridge, the bridge of possibilities, you see, for example, both anger and that which is not angry. At that point, some deep awareness can ask  the self, “Where do I want to go, here?” Or more clearly, “Where does this mind/body/spirit want to go?”

It's almost like seeing different films playing themselves out. What will happen if I keep enhancing the anger? What will happen if I collapse and refuse to acknowledge the anger, deny it, push it away? What will happen if I allow the experience of anger without getting lost in its stories, experience it slowly dissolving and its negative contracted energy dissolving, and seeing the spaciousness that's there? I use the word “I” here but it is not really an “I” who asks, but awareness.

A thought of unworthiness arises. That which is aware of feelings of unworthiness is not unworthy. See all the films playing themselves out on this bridge of possibilities, this field of possibilities. What will happen if I continue to indulge these stories of unworthiness? Can I see how they sweep me further and further away from where I want to go? What will happen if I deny this? “No, I am not unworthy. I've never been unworthy. I won't have these feelings.”? And finally, what will happen if I open my heart to this human being who is experiencing these deeply conditioned feelings? What if I no longer experienced feelings of unworthiness? Wonderful, and terrifying because you're so used to it. It defines who you think you are. The unworthy one, the caretaker, the healthy one who's never sick, the sick one who's never healthy; these are all limiting beliefs. One sees the one who's never angry; the one who's always angry; the one who's filled with greed; the one who wants nothing. Limiting beliefs.

Each of you has your own Top Hit Parade of limiting beliefs, the ones that play incessantly in your mind. You put a penny in the slot and that record starts to play. It doesn't need the penny, really; it just plays freely. So you can begin to look at these limiting beliefs. Look at your deepest, most heartfelt intentions and ask yourself, what if? What if I bring myself more into this place where I am resting in both ultimate and relative reality, and begin to see not only where I'm stuck but the possibilities for being unstuck?

For most of you, much as you want to be unstuck, it's the fear of that that daunts you, because it's comfortable. I don't want to repeat myself unnecessarily; is there anyone here who has not heard my lifejacket metaphor? A few, okay. I'll tell it briefly.

It's a hot summer day, like today. You come to the lake and all your friends are swimming, very happily so, but you don't know how to swim. I happen to be on the dock and I see your longing, so I hand you a lifejacket, show you how to strap it on, and stand with you while you climb timidly down the ladder. I ask you to let go of the ladder. There's fear, but you see, “This supports me. Wonderful!” After a minute or two you begin to doggy paddle a bit and take yourself out into the lake where your friends are playing.

Day after day you strap in this lifejacket. You begin to feel secure in it. Ten years go by. I come back to this dock and see you strapping on this moldy, mildewed old lifejacket. It's rotten. It's waterlogged.

“Hey you, what are you doing?”

“I'm putting on my lifejacket so I can swim.”

“But it's waterlogged.”

“Oh, no; I need it to swim with.”

I remind you of what we did 10 years earlier and I ask you to climb down the ladder, let go of the ladder, and see if it supports you as it did 10 years earlier. You let go and of course, glub, glub, glub, down you go. You bring yourself to the surface. You tread water there for a minute. I remind you the lifejacket is not supporting you; you're treading water. Come on up here and take it off!

Can you see that it's still not easy to take it off? There's still an attachment to it. You've proved to yourself it's waterlogged, you've proved to yourself that you do know how to swim, but there's a certain old security in it.

So many of your limiting beliefs run the same way. You want to release them, you want to be able to swim freely, and yet there's a fear, “What if I let go of this belief about myself? What will happen?” The belief, I've got to take care of everyone-- that came up several times in our groups today. If you let go of that, is everybody else going to drown? What will happen?

The belief that you're unworthy: If you take off the lifejacket, stop believing in that, stop acting as if you're unworthy, are people going to expect more of you than you felt able to give? What does the myth of unworthiness protect you from? Where did the unworthiness come from, anyhow? Perhaps from parents who kept telling you, “Oh no, you've got that all wrong.” Or  “Why don't you get the same grades your brother got? Why aren't you happier? Why aren't you a better athlete? Why can't you change the light bulb more easily?”

So one picked up those beliefs. There was probably a lot of anger at the parents for that kind of verbal abuse, but one could not acknowledge the anger at the parent; it did not feel safe. So one turned the anger on oneself, proving, “I am unworthy”  by repeated mistakes and feelings of shame. So if you let go of that lifejacket, what are you going to do with the anger that the unworthy feelings masked? One doesn't want to go there so one just clings to unworthiness and says, “I can't help it, I feel unworthy.” At one level, you genuinely want to move past it. At another level, that idea holds terror.

It doesn't matter what we're talking about, these different feelings-- feeling unworthy, feeling shame, feeling overly proud and ashamed that you're so overly proud-- “I'm better than everybody else,” feeling anger, greed, confusion-- these are all normal human experiences. When we investigate them in the spaciousness of this sambhogakaya field, seeing the ever-perfect self at one end and the floundering human at the other end, and this sea of possibilities in the middle, we begin to know that we can make more skillful choices. We see all the possibilities including our fear of change, our fear of letting go of what we've clung to. And we begin to see how unlimited we really are.

A common issue at meditation retreats is, “I want to awaken but I'm not worthy yet to awaken. I'm not experienced enough to awaken. Not good enough to awaken, not kind enough to awaken.” There are a lot of excuses. What if you're already awake? What does it mean to be awake? It's wonderful and terrifying. What if you find yourself in that kind of freedom? No more lifejackets to support you? But the idea, “I need support,” doesn't disappear.

There are supports in the dharma: the Triple Gem of Buddha, dharma, and sangha, for example. These are not lifejackets but a much more wholesome kind of support because they're based on knowing one's wholeness.

But for the most part, although all of you give lip service to the idea of awakening, there's still a lot of resistance to it which holds you locked on one side of the bridge yearning for the opposite shore on the other side of the river. And not knowing how to get there because, as the Buddha put it, you're not yet willing to get go of the raft. You row the raft across and then you don't know what to do with it so you row it back to your side again.

The liberation you seek is present within you. The release of limiting concepts and conditions, and the potential for that release, is present within you. This is a lot of what Barbara's book is about, her moving through this experience over two decades, of letting go of limiting beliefs, and what supported her, and pointing out a path.

I think the greatest support is in intention. Moving deep into the intention to live one's life as skillfully and loving as possible, for the highest good of all beings. Every morning, when Barbara first wakes up, before she even opens her eyes, there's a kind of “Good morning, world,” and asking for support to live her highest intention to be of service to all beings, to live with love, to release any fear and negativity, any self-identification with fear and negativity that come her way so as not to act them out in the world. So there's a constant reminder: this is my intention. She knows she will not live it perfectly, but the statement of intention is vital.

Then when you find yourself hooked into a place where letting go of the lifejacket is hard, coming back to my metaphor earlier, there you are, standing on the dock saying, “Yes, I see it's waterlogged and it's pulling my down, but I can't let go of it.” But it's not strapped on at that moment, and suddenly you hear your best friend calling out, “Help, I've got a cramp! I need help!” Are you going to take time to strap on the moldy  lifejacket? That within you that knows the lifejacket is pulling you down, knows that you can swim, that one who knows will dive into the water and swim out to your friend, carrying something that does float for her to grab. Can you see how you could do that? It grows out of your highest intention.

You've got to be honest about your intention. You can't push something that you're not ready for. But just because you're here at a retreat, most of you are ready to give voice to the intention to live your lives with compassion and wisdom, and in service to all beings; to start to know your own true nature and that of everything else, and how it all comes together.

Intention is not the only support, of course, but it's a powerful one. The vipassana practice that takes you deep into seeing what arises and how you relate to it, is a powerful one. Resting in spaciousness. We develop all the parts of the practice, metta, opening the heart, and the other Brahma Vihara practices. Gradually these parts come together until suddenly one day you realize, “I've been living on that other shore for a long time and I never realized it. Here I am, I'm home. And I see people back on the other side who are still crying with hunger and pain so I'll walk back across the bridge and see what I can do to help.” But it's not “I” who is helping, it's love who is helping; a very different experience.

There's a lot more that could be said about this. Amongst other things, I've been talking a lot at retreats recently about this field, calling it very specifically the akashic field. You've probably heard the term “akashic records”. The akasha is one of the elements. You don't really need that name, just think of it as this field of spaciousness. The dharmakaya, or Unconditioned, the world of conditions and the bridge, and within that bridge or field, the infinite possibilities.

When you grab hold of one of those possibilities in denial of others, you keep recreating that possibility. The thoughts,  “I'm not unworthy. I won't let anybody make me feel I'm unworthy.”  That's just promoting the whole idea of unworthiness. Then it seems there are only the two choices,  either “I am unworthy,” or “I'm not unworthy.”

“I am angry; no I won't be angry.” What about that which is aware of anger or the feeling of unworthiness and rests in a separate spaciousness?

You have choice. You are literally unlimited, radiant, and divine, and you can come to know that through your practice.

Thank you for hearing me, giving me the opportunity to speak with you. I'm happy to hear questions for about 15 minutes.

Q: I wonder if this sense of spaciousness and not self while at the same time an activity is going on, I think I've experienced that when I'm dancing, when I'm painting or writing.

Aaron: You're saying you've experienced this sense of all the possibilities in art.

Q: Yes, and then something is happening, there's paint on the paper, but I'm not doing it. Some of the time, not all of the time.

Aaron: Yes. It's as with your dancing when there's no ego driving the dancing, just body movement; the blank canvas, painting itself.  There can be an ego painting it, but it can also be love painting it. It expresses. I'm not sure what your question is.

Q: Is that the spaciousness you're talking about?

Aaron: Yes, yes. It shows so clearly in creative acts.

For those of you who play tennis, it's the moment after you have hit your ball, the ball touches on the other side, and your opponent is about to swing, and there are infinite possibilities. It's also the moment just before you hit the ball, that field of infinite possibilities. I've called it primordial ooze, just infinite spaciousness, infinite possibilities. You look into the primordial ooze and you could see a beautiful fish or you could see a sea monster; what are you drawing to you? What does your habitual energy demand?

If you move into that ooze, you might feel there will always be monsters. And so you invite monsters. Or there will always be something beautiful, and you invite that. What are you inviting through your habits and is it what you choose. All possibilities are there! There's a beautiful teaching story of a man who is moving from his village to a village some distance down the way. Outside the gates of the village, he saw a man sitting in the shade so he stopped and asked him, “What are people like in this village?”

And the man responded, “What were people like in your home village?”

“Well, they were often very nasty, mean, selfish.”

The man sitting in the shade replied, “I think you'll find just the same here.”

A little later another traveler came through and asked the same question, and the man sitting in the shade asked the same question in reply.

“Oh, the people in my home village were so kind and generous. Everybody was friendly.”

“Well, I think you'll find people to be the same here.”

What experience are we habitually inviting? It's all there within the field.

Q: So how again do we work with that, with our negative habitual creation of the same stuff?

Aaron: With mindfulness, of course. Just being aware, first of what arises habitually and frequently. What are the most frequent visitors, like anger or feelings of unworthiness or shame? And how do you usually relate to them when they arise? Do you get a stick to try to chase them away? Do you invite them in with a feeling of helplessness? Or do you simply note, “Ah, this has arisen in me. I will make space for it.”?

Barbara mentioned to someone earlier today an experience where she was visiting in a house where there was a 4 year old. She came into the living room and the 4 year old was sitting on the floor, scowling, looking very angry, so she said to him, “You look very angry. Can I help?”

He looked up at her, angry, tense, but he said, “I'm taking care of my anger.”

She said, “Can I sit down with you and keep you company while you take care of it?”

“Yes.” So she sat and just meditated with him for less than 5 minutes. She saw his body opening and easing, and finally he said, “I'm all done; now we can play.”

You can learn this. If a 4 year old can learn it, you can learn it. It's actually harder for you because you've had so many more years to deepen the habit of holding or trying to fix the anger.

Are there further questions?

Q: I read a book recently called The Wisdom of Yoga, and Stephen Cope talked about sankharas. which sound to me like the deep ruts that are representative of our habituations. And so I'm wondering if you're suggesting that the more we love ourselves around the habituations, the more we become familiar with them, the more we can continue to accept them in ourselves. That we can somehow reduce the depth of the rut.

Aaron: How many times do you have to fall into the same rut before you realize it creates suffering? If there's no kindness to the self, then you'll just let yourself keep falling in. At a certain point, if there's kindness to the self, that kindness will extend itself to the idea, “I don't have to fall into this rut. I have a choice.”

There's a poem:

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

~ Portia Nelson ~

(There's a Hole in My Sidewalk)

I've led a guided meditation, and you can look it up on the Deep Spring archives, of rafting down a river where you come to a fork. One fork goes over rough rapids with rocks and the other fork goes around a much smoother, gentler path. But you have to be mindful when you come to the fork. You have to be sure you're ready to paddle out of the direct current and into the new channel, which is much calmer. The first few times down you get stuck. You end up getting pulled down that rocky, harsh water-flow, getting abrasions and cuts. Finally, kindness to the self brings enough mindfulness to say, “Now I'm going to catch this,” and each time you catch it and go off onto the calm fork, you heighten the habit to make that skillful choice.

If you look at the Deep Spring website under Archives, there's a way to find a specific thing in the Archives (a Search button), maybe “guided meditation for habit energy” (try “rafting”), I'm not sure where it would be, Barbara can find out and email it to you. You might like to read and practice that meditation. We won't do it now because we'd need 15 or 20 minutes for it.

Other questions?

Q: I think I missed the connection between the akashic field, how does that relate to awareness and what we're practicing?

Aaron: I'm going to be brief here. There are 4 heavier elements: earth, air, fire, and water, and the fifth element of ether, or akasha. Akasha is unlike the other elements. It's the container, the space, in which the other elements rest and out of which the other elements express. It's just like, as I sit here eye sees the object of a zafu-- eye seeing the zafu. Then there's a space before the seeing and after the seeing. The akasha is the space, as it were.

We talk about what we call the akashic field, the whole field of that space. It's still an element but it's the element of space. I used the term “akashic records” because the akashic records are the record of all your old karma, of everything's old karma, within that akashic field. Everything is within that akashic field.

It relates to awareness in that when we think only of relative or ultimate, we're either here or we're there, dharmakaya or nirmanakaya. But when we become aware of this bridge, it doesn't matter whether you call it sambhogakaya or akashic field-- they're not quite synonymous but close enough for our uses here, tonight-- we start to see the infinite possibilities and not get hooked into one end or the other end, but see that we're always connected at both ends. Then we're free of thinking, “If only I can conquer this tendency, then I'll be over there.” It takes the linearity out of it.

For those who want more information on akashic field, there were 6 talks about it at Emerald Isle and several talks about it at the recent Intensive 6 of the 2-year Venture Fourth program. They're all on the Deep Spring website under Archives. Look under Archives/Retreats/2011/Emerald Isle, or Archives/Venture Fourth/Intensive 6. You'll see about 8-10 talks about the akashic field in order, giving you a deep sense of how I use this term and how to work within the akashic field. This will interest some of you but certainly not all of you, and that's fine.

We'd best stop here to give you time to walk a bit and then sit. Thank you for inviting me into your meditation hall tonight and for this opportunity to speak with you. My blessings and love.

(session ends)