June 20, 2012 Wednesday Afternoon, Emrich Retreat

(Barbara notes the tape recorder is showing it's picking up noise—there is wind distortion on mic throughout the session, some words may be inaccurate or missed)

Barbara: We're gathered under the catalpa tree. We'll begin with a short guided pure Awareness meditation:

Eyes soft and unfocused. Let the mouth gently open, tongue not touching the roof of the mouth or the teeth. Let the soft out-breath flow out on a gentle ahhhhh....

(pauses between instructions not noted each time)

This is called non-meditation so don't try to do anything. Just relax. Mind and body completely at ease. Ahhh... Look up through the branches, bits of green blowing in the wind. See patches of blue sky. See the branches themselves through the leaves, brown, green. Don't try to bring anything into focus. Let the eyes be soft, not seeing separate leaves or branches or sky, just a whole pattern of seeing, seeing. No place for the eyes to over focus. No object to pull out. Ahhh... Resting in deep spaciousness.

For me, as soon as I look up I see a lot of light. Not the sunlight but a great deal of light, glittering everywhere. Almost like little coils of light everywhere, glittering, glittering. The leaves as they blow in the breeze are glittering with light. The light has a high vibration. Just resting in that light, in space. Deeply at ease.

If something comes up and pulls your attention away from the spaciousness, simply note it with a gentle, “Anything here other than spaciousness?” What is seen is just one expression of the Unconditioned, a specific sound or the touch of an ant on my leg. It's all the play of the Unconditioned, nothing else. Knowing that nothing-other-than, come back into the Unconditioned. The vastness of the Unconditioned, seen through the eyes of open, luminous Awareness. Ahhh...

If any object that pulls at your attention, allow yourself to experience it as expressing out of the field, the bright boundless field of Hongzhi's poem, the akashic field, whatever we choose to call it; the Unconditioned. Instead of focusing on the object that's arisen, note the object, and as it's no longer predominant, come back into the field itself, so that Awareness begins to know the unlimited radiance and power, the fullness of that field.

If an object persists in pulling your attention, for example for me right now, the tickle of little ant feet on my leg—touching, tickling. There is the simultaneity of touch and spaciousness. Now coming back into this boundless field. For me, the little tickling of ant feet crawling over my leg has pulled my attention away as an object, and feeling it as an unpleasant object—tickling, tickling. When I relax into it, there's nothing really unpleasant about it, it's just a little tickling sensation.

As Awareness drops any sense of separation, it returns into this boundless field filled with love and with ants and with everything. Everything is pouring out; nothing to fix or change. But if I want to gently brush the ant off, that's fine. There's no ‘self' brushing it off. There's love brushing it off. There's no contraction in the energy to brush it off.

So I experience that little blip of irritation, “ant, don't want ant,” as a small ripple in that infinite field. And as the ripple subsides, I return to the infinite field, just resting in that spaciousness, in that clarity and radiance. But if another ant crawls over my foot, tickling, tickling, it may again be experienced as unpleasant. It's more old conditioning that says, “No, no ants!” Just watching that whole flow of a subtle ripple of disturbance.

Visually I see that ripple as if I was looking at a very clear stream of water flowing, and then put my hand in and swished it through the water so that the current rippled for a moment. And then it comes back to its natural flow. Whatever arises is simply, this ripple of disturbance. But if whatever catalyzed that ripple of disturbance was something that could be harmful then I can gently release it. Let's say it's a red ant that can bite. So I might sit up and gently brush it off, not harming the ant, not with malice toward the ant. Love brushing it off. And then Awareness comes back into the field again, into spaciousness.

Consciousness expresses both as mundane consciousness and as supramundane consciousness, which we call Awareness. The form of citta that we call Awareness takes a supramundane object. The form of citta that we call mundane consciousness takes a mundane object. I'm momentarily pulled out of Awareness into mundane consciousness; it feels “ant, ant, tickling, tickling; unpleasant,” or even pleasant, but based on old conditioning. If there is any contraction around it, seeing it as that ripple of disturbance. Allowing myself to come back into Pure Awareness, open to the whole field, and then, from that place of Awareness, opening to the presence of this tickle, from Awareness perspective, and gently removing the ant. But there's no contraction there. I'm not creating further distortion.

(longer pause)

So we experience mind going back and forth between mundane consciousness and Awareness. And we begin to see the simultaneity of mundane consciousness and Awareness until we become stable in Awareness, watching the arising of mundane consciousness into the field of Awareness, and also not contracting around the mundane consciousness. Just knowing, here is a sensation, pleasant or unpleasant, with or without aversion. Here is mundane consciousness. Watching the human functioning within the vast field of Awareness.

When there's no contraction around what has arisen, we slip back very smoothly into the field of Awareness. And the object of Awareness becomes this “bright boundless field,” this akashic field. Moving back into the experience of the akashic field.

If the squirrel runs on a branch overhead and drops a big acorn on my head, mind notes, “hitting, hitting.” Jolted back into mundane consciousness. The path can go either of two ways: the habitually patterned way of moving back into a self that's going to fix or do something, that's contracted and emitting ripples of contraction, or into Pure Awareness that simply notes squirrel, acorn, thud, hitting, hitting. Maybe a moment of pain, discomfort, startled. But very quickly moving back into Awareness, not caught up in fixing anything.

And yet if there was a whole crew of squirrels running overhead, dropping objects on me, Awareness is able to pick up my towel and move it 10 feet away and settle back down. When I move from that place of pure Awareness, within rigpa, there's no karma. The body moves, acting outside the field of karma. This presence is not creating new karma, and it is healing old karma.

So we keep going in this way. It's a very powerful experience because we settle deeper and deeper into that Awareness, and begin to really be able to move and live from that place of Awareness.

(longer pause)

I spoke of three parts of the practice: view, meditation, and action. First, the view; we did that earlier in the week. Today we're talking about the meditation, which involves noting each time we're pulled out of Awareness, or rigpa, and asking, Where is Awareness here? Mundane consciousness is clear: then ouch!; acorn on my head. Unpleasant. Aversion. All these contracted ripples of disturbance. And then from the deepest intention not to enhance old karma, and to release and any old karma, to come back into the heart of kindness, reopening into that place of Awareness, but not pushing away mundane consciousness. Mundane consciousness exists within the field of Awareness but there's no ‘self' experiencing on that mundane level, only the body experiencing sensations, the mind experiencing thoughts. All is arising and passing away.

I'm going to be quiet for 10 minutes now and let us practice.


Reading from Flight of the Garuda, Song 17, partial

“At the time of resting evenly in the view, do not become entangled in a net of concepts, thinking, ‘I am now resting in a state of Awareness.' or ‘I am now being overpowered by dull and rampant thoughts. Relax into a free vastness of unimpeded clarity, a state of translucent and wakeful Awareness, devoid of any object or reference point.”


Letting objects arise, knowing that the nature of conceptual mind is to touch those objects as sensation or thought. Don't build a self on what has arisen, but as soon as you come back to this state of pure Awareness - it's not that the self dissolves, it's that the self is also seen as simply a conditioned object, and it doesn't have power anymore. It's there, and it goes. We don't try to hurry it away, nor do we hold on to it. Simply rest in Awareness and let whatever arises, arise and go past.

Often I've brought a jar of children's bubbles out to these sessions and at this point we blow bubbles. You see these hundreds of bubbles rising up and floating off. They're there, and yet there's nothing solid. Poof! They're gone. One doesn't get entangled in each bubble thinking, What is it? Where did it come from? How long will it last? It's simply the expression of conditions. Let it go. One may pop right here and another may drift off a half a mile into the sky; leave them alone.

When we practice in this way, we learn to shift out of the solid self, out of the field of karma and realize the spaciousness of the already awakened mind. Rest in that spaciousness. The more we practice this, the more objects arise to pull us momentarily out of Awareness. Then we can ask, “What is it?” and know without any doubt it's just arisen from conditions. It's impermanent and not self. It's an expression of the Unconditioned. Let it go. The more we learn how to come back stably into this already-liberated pure Awareness, the easier the flow becomes. We're not trying to stop anything, only to really see it for what it is.

From Flight of the Garuda: song 15

“The belief that meditation is only when the mind rests quiet and maintain that there's no meditation when the mind moves is proof of not knowing the core of stillness and movement, of not having mingled stillness, occurrence, and Awareness. For this reason, fortunate and noble heart children, whether moving or still, mind is the continuity of Awareness. When you have fully comprehended stillness, occurrence, and Awareness, then practice these three as one. This is how stillness and thought occurrence are non-dual.”

Please sit up now and let's share some thoughts. Let's hear about your experiences. Remember that this was a very short time to practice, and I was talking through it. So to really get this you need to come back out here or on the shore of the lake or wherever and practice without a constant voice coaching you, but really take it in deep.

The beautiful thing for me, here, is how well this meshes with the vipassana instructions, where we see an object arising, and at first it's a strong conditioned object and unpleasant, like a sharp pain in the body or hearing a loud noise. I contract around it, and as soon as I contract, I'm sending out these ripples of disturbance that are further disturbing the smooth flow, the ripples of distortion in the field. But when I note, “Oh, just hearing, hearing,” discerning mind might note “plane overhead” or “door slamming.” There's nothing to fixate on. No problem. But if there is a, I don't want to call it a problem, but perhaps what's heard is the pouring down of rain, and I'm lying indoors near a window and I feel the rain coming in, kindness and Awareness get up and close the window. There doesn't have to be any story to it or any solid self. The window is closed and the human body sets itself down again. There's no creation of new karma. Thus whatever distortions there were, whatever ripples of disturbance in the karmic field, are healed and resolved and much less likely to come back the next time. I'm settled ever deeper into the stability of that field of pure Awareness and presence with everything, with an open heart.

Let me hear your questions and comments and experiences. Aaron will probably come in at this point, but you start and when it's appropriate for him to come in, he will. What did you experience?

Q: Today I see a lot of auras. I don't see those ripples that you were talking about (remainder of longer comment inaudible)

Barbara: You can feel the energy of the radiance, the vibration.

Q: I can feel it and I can know it really deep inside of me. But it's not really seeing. Is that something different?

Barbara: That's fine. Are you hearing nada?

Q: I'll have to watch. I wasn't aware of it.

Barbara: But you are feeling spaciousness and high energy. These are all equivalent direct expressions of the Unconditioned. Each of us has certain karmic leaning toward experiencing some of these direct conditions more deeply than other ones. No one is better than the other. If you don't experience luminosity, just rest in the high energy, rest in the joy.

For me, just now there was a very strong sweet smell. And I wondered at one point, is this simply decaying catalpa blossoms or is this that sweet scent of the Unconditioned? And then I let go of the wondering and just rested in that scent.

Q: My experience last night with hearing and being aware of spaciousness and then the <bodies> moving out from where we were meditating felt very much like what we talk about the (inaudible). It's almost like I can see the spaciousness. I can see it, and then the “noise” is kind of a, it stirs it up. And then it stills again. It's not really a distortion (inaudible).

Barbara: I think you're grasping after seeing luminosity. Note that grasping, contracted energy, and just come back to whatever is there. No one expression is better than any other. Each of us has our own karmic tendencies that will lead us in a certain direction. Some may experience very little of luminosity, of nada, of scent, of energy, there's just a sense of deep peace or joy. Whatever we're experiencing is okay. We're not trying to make any special experience out of it.


Q: I was looking up. All of a sudden my whole field expanded. (remainder inaudible, hearing something like a musical chord)

Barbara: That's natural. The conditioned eye is one-directional. Awareness is multi-dimensional. So as you shift into the field of Awareness, there's a multi-dimensionality to it. It's not just in vision, it's in hearing, it's in touch. This is because the solid self dissolves, so there's no point of reference for looking ahead or behind.

Q: There's no one kind of perspective.

Barbara: Exactly. Others?

Q: Thank you, Q, for putting it into words, because that was my (inaudible)... and when I let go of that, I realized that I have always been able to feel it, to feel the energy of it. One question. This might have been asked yesterday. Is the term ether the same thing as akasha?

Barbara: I'm asking Aaron... They're two expressions that come very parallel together, but the akasha is the medium, and the ether is the energetic expression of that medium. Ether has more energetic flow to it, whereas the akasha is more the stillness. Aaron, would it be safe to say the ether is the movement and the akasha is the stillness? Let him speak.

Aaron incorporates.

Aaron: I am Aaron. My love to you all. The akasha is the container, but it's more than the container, it's the fullness of the container also. And the ether is the energy that moves through that container. So ether is more bound in energy and energetic expression, and the akasha more the stillness. Akasha can express, and ether can be still. But more often it's experienced as the akasha being the container, stillness, and the ether being the movement within the stillness. I wonder if that accords with the experience of those of you who do various kinds of energy practices. Is there anybody who's familiar with akasha and ether in these ways? Is there anybody with that experience?

Q: I have had that experience, but I didn't realize that I was actually working within the akasha. I didn't have a name for it. But my experience with that was being in that state of pure Awareness.

Aaron: Let me add something, here. You are all always in the state of pure Awareness. You're in the situation of people who have their backs turned to a window and wonder what happened to the view. You need to turn around and look out the window. There needs to be a conscious intention to reopen into Awareness, but Awareness doesn't go anywhere.

We come back to this: (holding up open hand with fingers)  If you're focused on the fingers, you can't see the view. There has to be a conscious intention to go beyond. Then, letting go and moving into the spaciousness.


Q: What I like about this is it's like having vipassana practice on the (move). We do it with eyes open and just stay relaxed and aware.

Aaron: This is why this practice melds so perfectly with vipassana practice, and why we work with view, meditation, and action. The view being much more like your sitting vipassana practice in the meditation hall. But the meditation reminds you, when rigpa is gone, you can turn around and ask, Where did rigpa go? Because it's always there. In what way is consciousness closing off to it? As soon as one closes off to it, into the small self, one begins the whole flow of karma again. One reenters the field of karma. As soon as one rests in Awareness, there's no self anymore. There's still mundane consciousness, but it's so clearly seen as related to the illusion of the solid self that one lets go of the whole flow of concept. And yet there's still an intentionality that can take care of what needs attention.

Q: So it's like practicing presence.

Aaron: Yes, but slightly different because we call it a non-practice, a non-meditation. When you practice presence there's a subtly contracted effort to be one who is present. Here you're just resting in Awareness. There's a different quality to it. There's absolutely no contraction, at least in that moment of resting in Awareness.

Q: But can it be done walking?

Aaron: It can be done all the time, 24/7. Bring it into your dreams.

Q: One more question. Are there any boundaries to the field? (inaudible)

Aaron: No boundaries.

Q: But we're only aware of what's (inaudible)

Aaron: Correct, correct. But as Awareness opens further and further, you begin to see the limitlessness of it. You experience, for example Barbara sometimes experiences, when she feels a moment of anger, some catalyst that arouses anger, she brings attention to that anger. She feels the contraction to it and how it brings up a self, an object, anger at this or that, or anger at the self. She feels the energy of it. And then, with the intention to come back into Awareness, she begins to see how that ripple of anger, as long as it's rooted in what seems like a solid self, is going out and bumping into things, creating a great deal of distortion here and there, perpetuating the whole flow of negative energy throughout the whole universe. And how she is then inviting that to come back to here. Back and forth, back and forth, like a ball that bounces against the wall and comes back.

Seeing that flow of negative energy as it relates to the self, she invites mind back into Awareness. Because of her intention not to perpetuate negative energy, she sees the whole flow of negative energy just die away and fade off. Releasing the karma, releasing the whole karmic flow of it.

Q: (inaudible)

Aaron: Awareness cannot pick up negative energy with any sense of a self. Mundane consciousness picks it up with the “self” stories. From the perspective of Awareness, the negativity is seen as mundane object and is released.  It is not taken into the self as negative energy that “I” should fix or attend to, or respond to, or do something with, or absorb, as does an ink blotter. These movements occur from the level of mundane consciousness, not from Awareness.

Those of you who do body work - there are a number of you here - when you work with a client who's experiencing some physical or emotional distortion and there's a lot of disturbed energy, you know how easy it is if you come to it from a place of self, to pick up that energy. There might be the idea, “Well I can pick it up and I know how to release it.” But there's still an “I” to it. But if you come to it in the field of Awareness, you see that it's simply a little cloud of dust. The wind blows on the dusty place, spirals it up in the air, it swirls around. You don't have to catch it and set it down. It just blows away, like a bubble. Pop!

Awareness holds it in spaciousness and supports the release. So as you work with your clients, you feel yourself supporting the release of whatever negative distortion there may be. But it's Awareness that's doing it, not a self that's doing it. Am I correct about your experiences with this? This really is what you're doing. Consciously or not, you're working in the akashic field.

Q: Is that the same as doing tonglen?

Aaron: Tonglen is most effective when you do it from the place of Awareness. Tonglen is sometimes done from the place of mundane consciousness. Me, a self, I will feel the negativity. I will bring it into myself, purify it, release it. I will feel the high loving energy and send it out. That can be effective; it can be helpful. But often you'll end up in some kind of difficulty doing it that way.

This takes us back 16 or 17 years when Barbara was first learning to do tonglen and not yet skilled at doing it from a place of Awareness. A man came to see her who had had major abdominal surgery. It wasn't healing. He was in a lot of pain. He was still hooked up to machines that were pumping out gastric acids and so forth. The doctors had tried over and over again and had not been able to get him off the machines.

As he was talking to her, and she was hearing his pain, from a place of loving intention but still a place of more mundane consciousness, she began to do tonglen with him, drawing in his pain and the distortions in his body. Bringing them into the heart and releasing them. Sending out loving energy to him. But there was still a sense of a “self” doing it, and she was not fully releasing.

That night she began to develop severe stomach pain and ended up in the hospital for two weeks with a, I don't remember what it was called, the bowel was twisted. This man, meanwhile, called back the next day and said, “I feel better than I've felt in 10 years! All the pain is gone.” In a week the doctors had removed all the tubes. Well, in part, it was skillful. Barbara was able to help. But if she had done this from a place of pure Awareness she would not have brought that into herself.

Q: (inaudible, something about double vision in meditation) Is that just the eyes not relaxing?

Aaron: I think the double vision will go away gradually. Are you taking your glasses off? Yes. Just note the double vision, and if it's uncomfortable, try to relax with it and it will go. Sometimes, depending on your individual eyes, some degree of astigmatism and so forth, sometimes there will just be double vision.

Q: I also tend to keep closing my eyes, and I assume that's just kind of laziness. But do you have any suggestions for that? I want to have the eyes really open.

Aaron: Wear strong dark glasses. That will help. And if it's too bright looking up, sit up and look in a place where it's not so bright. But try to keep the eyes open.

Q: I don't feel it's from bright light so much as I just feel the eyes either want to be closed or open all the way. It's hard for them to balance in the middle.

Aaron: Bring mindfulness to it. Just bring it back into the vipassana practice. This impulse energy, wanting to open, wanting to close; just watch it. Who wants to open the eyes? Who wants to close them? Be aware of the emptiness in that doer. It's just the flow of conditions. Simply relax around the impulse energy without needing to fix it. You're not fixing it to keep them open, you're simply making a clear statement: this is the way I choose it to be.

An exercise that we often do with people for impulse energy and it may be helpful to you. I ask people to take a swallow of water into their mouth. Swallow it mindfully. Then bring a second mouthful, a good-sized mouthful but comfortable, and watch the strong impulse to swallow it. The body is so geared when there is water in the mouth to swallow it. So I ask people to just sit with it and watch the impulse and note that the impulse can be there without needing to obey the impulse. Then eventually mindfully swallow. Take another mouthful of water, do it again, until there can be relaxation that watches the impulse from a place of Awareness; simply sees it arising out of conditions, seeing the whole flow of the akashic field. There is nothing that needs to be done. But of course if you start to choke, then swallow. So try that.

Q: I don't think I have lots of difficulty experiencing pure Awareness. But in my life, instead of feeling as if I'm experiencing that and that conditioned things arise out of the akasha and then fall back, it's the opposite. It's as if I'm constantly paying attention to conditions, and I have to make an effort to practice in order to experience pure Awareness. Also I find it extremely frightening unless I'm surrounded by my sangha. The small self finds it frightening.

Aaron: Let me address two different parts to this question. One, I know your vipassana practice so I know that you have the ability to watch objects arise out of conditions, not solidify a self around them, watch them dissolve and come back into spaciousness. Not to move back into a mundane object but back into spaciousness. This is basically all we're doing here. We're simply giving it a set name: pure Awareness, and the akashic field.

Your question also indicates to me that there is some fear of getting lost in that spaciousness unless you're surrounded by the loving energy of your sangha. So it would be helpful to simply look at any fear that if you go deeply into this pure Awareness and let go of the small self, that you're going to disappear, if I could put it that way. We've talked about this before, the whole fear of annihilating the self by going so deep into Awareness that one loses the power of control of the conditioned self. For some of you this conditioned self and its aspect of being able to control is a very predominant feature of your everyday consciousness, and you're a servant to it.

So, seeking freedom, each time it comes up you can note “fear, fear.” Open your heart to the fear. Feel where the fear is in the body, the sensations of the fear. You're not trying to get rid of fear. It's an opportunity to come back into spaciousness and let spacious Awareness see and know the fear as one more bubble coming up. Poof!

Q: I thought I understood field and view, but it appears that I don't understand it.

Aaron: I think that you do, Q, I'm just using new words. The view is the citta, the pure Awareness itself. And the field is where the pure Awareness rests, not just on one mundane object but within the whole field; seeing the vastness of interrelationships and movement and stillness.

Q: I guess I thought the fingers were somehow related, here. That maybe that was the view?

Aaron: Conscious mind, self, mundane consciousness, and then shifting into Awareness. The field of conscious mind is just this (pointing to fingers), the skandhas; the mundane world. The field of Awareness is that, infinite vastness (pointing to the space beyond the fingers).

Q: (inaudible, about citta and energy)

Aaron: Citta means consciousness. It's either mundane consciousness or pure Awareness. Mundane or supramundane consciousness. Citta in Pali simply means consciousness. Kuttara, mundane, or lokuttara, supramundane consciousness.

Q: How does the akashic field fit in with “bright boundless field”?

Aaron: I'm really using them interchangeably. In Hongzhi, he talks about the bright boundless field. I'm using the term akashic field. In the beautiful dzogchen teaching of Circle of the Sun he uses the terms All Ground and primordial purity, which are different but which are both part of the field. Different systems name them differently. I'm trying to get you past terminology and into the direct experience of this innate spaciousness and ground. It's both the stillness and the movement, together.

The akasha is not identical with the akashic field. The akasha is the substance—your English language doesn't give me the words... We can look at the word ocean. Is the ocean really the water? Or is the ocean more than the water? Is the ocean the fullness of the base underneath the water and all the currents?; the wind hitting the surface, the saline content? But ocean also simply means, “here is the ocean” in its totality. The akasha to me is the simple water of the ocean, where the akashic field is the wholeness of it.

Q: What is the akashic record?

Aaron: Akashic record is the energetic flow of all the various resolved and unresolved karma, remaining ripples of disturbance and the stillness, written by each of you and held within the material of the akasha. Just as the water in the ocean may contain different ripples and currents, so that if you understand the ocean, you can read the currents, both big ones and small ripples, so we begin to read the akashic records. Water comes in this way and it creates a rip tide. When we look at the akashic records, we see these various ripples of disturbance. We can read them back into precise occurrences, just as with the rip tide one can see how certain sand moved in and created a sand bar that gradually, with various current and flow, created a rip tide.

So when experiencing the rip, or seeing it from above on a boat, one sees the whole happening of it. In the same way, in the akashic records I can look into the akashic records (and some of you can look into them) and see the, how shall we call it? The various habitual patterns that created a particular rip that's creating a challenge for you. And also where the release of that particular rip is, the particular sand bar and so forth.

Q: Others may have had similar experiences, dreams of flying (inaudible), feeling of being able to do or go anywhere, jumping up over a tree and then staying there, moving to another place and landing (inaudible...) euphoric. And I find myself waking up and wanting to go back to sleep. I've experienced the same when I see luminescence, almost an out-of-body experience when I see the light. Is this the same conscious/subconscious?

Aaron: I hear several questions here. First, in these dreams, usually you are astrally projecting out of the body, but not always. Sometimes it's an astral projection. Sometimes, for you and some others of you, there's a clear memory of living on a quasi- or non-material planes where you were unlimited in that way, where consciousness had the ability to project itself wherever it wanted. It was still an astral projection but based on memory, as it was the normal mode of being for those beings. There was no concept of limitations.

Some of you lived in, I would hesitate to call it this planet but what was then this planet during Lemurian times when there was a completely different mode of operation. Consciousness understood its unlimitedness. There was no distinction made between mundane consciousness and Awareness because there was really no mundane self, there was just Awareness. There was a deep intention for the highest good, and the ability to project oneself as necessary to move into the fulfillment of that highest good.

Gradually, as the shift occurred from that high level of the Lemurian being grounded in a crystalline base into the carbon-based human, there was the intention to learn deeper compassion. There was the willingness to invite catalyst for compassion; the willingness to move more into the everyday self, into mundane consciousness. In this sense, you created mundane consciousness as a tool, entering the illusion of self/ other  to learn compassion.

Let me find this in the book. Flight of the Garuda says this beautifully, although he does not say it in terms of Lemurian experience. But it's a beautiful and clear statement, from Song 5.

“During the primordial era, before everything, there were no terms like samsara or nirvana. Everything remained as the primordial ground. Now hear how Awareness manifested from that ground, as a crystal only becomes manifest when lit by the sun. The Awareness wisdom” - he's using Tibetan terminology, but essentially he's saying it opened up and broke out of that profoundly pure essence. “Its spontaneously present luminosity then shone forth like the sun at dawn, and manifests as Buddha fields and kayas and wisdom. At that time, this Enlightened One knew this to be self-display.”

By self-display we simply mean the expression of conditions. “And in that instant, the outwardly manifested kayas” - bodies—“and wisdoms were dissolved into inner clarity. Thus he was fully awakened in the original ground of primordial purity. There was nothing that was not that primordial purity. He was fully awakened into that. But we did not recognize the nature of these spontaneously present displays to be self-expressions. And this unconsciousness and blank state of mind is known as co-existent ignorance.”

“Then a perception arose, fixating on luminosity of the ground displays in a dualistic way. This is known as conceptual ignorance. This was the time we strayed into the narrowness of ignorance and dualistic fixation. After this the habitual patterns gradually multiplied, and samsara in its entirety came into existence.” 

The kilesas, the negative distortions. Again, Tibetan terminology.

“Then gradually unfolding until now we have been experiencing joys and sorrows, spinning around in samsara as if on a potter's wheel.”

Basically that's enough.

Now, this is not something that was done to us. But each of you by your own free will intended to move into this dualistic fixation in order to move beyond any possibility of being owned or controlled by that fixation. It's the difference between a newborn infant that sees only oneness. It doesn't see any distinction between itself and the mother, for example. It doesn't distinguish different objects. And then it must move through a period of distinguishing separate objects and grasping after some, pushing others away, before it finally is an adult. Through its meditation it may move into a mature deep non-dual Awareness. The infantile non-dual Awareness is very different; it's not mature, yet. So each of you at some point in your evolution made the decision to move out of that non-dual state back into this mundane consciousness, experiencing dualistic distinctions in order to finally break through that duality.

Coming back to what you were saying, many of you lived in these Lemurian times. This is all in the Deep Spring archives in much more detail. Go to www.archives.deepspring.org/Aaron and look up Lemuria. You'll find a number of talks about it.

There was a free will decision to evolve through moving out of this plane of complete non-dual experience into being willing to experience duality. There was a shift at that time to the opening of negative emotions, which offered you the whole possibility of choosing not to put your consciousness in negative emotion. Most of you are still working your way through this. You might think, “That's a lot of time,” but it's not. Evolution is a gradual process.

What's important here is that there is a conscious decision at this point no longer to perpetuate negativity; but to ground yourself deeply in positive polarity. But it's done from your own free will, not because there's no choice. The power of that choice allows you to become a ground for positive polarity that literally can shift the balance of positivity of the polarity in the whole universe.

There was something else that you asked about... The luminosity. In the dream you'll see that luminosity because you're astrally projecting out of the body and are in a deep place of pure Awareness. But the human is not yet stable in it. So the luminosity that you experience from the human perspective is similar but not quite as deep. With practice, it will deepen.

Q: (inaudible) that bridge place between the food and the water, and the akashic field. And it felt like when I went into that (inaudible) from one into the other, that there was not a separation. And that I could influence the food and the water with my Awareness <>.

Aaron: Yes. Perfect. I don't hear a question. This makes sense to me. I spoke yesterday of the three kayas: dharmakaya, nirmanakaya, and the sambhogakaya that's rooted in both. Mundane, the nirmanakaya, the form body. Dharmakaya, let's call it the radiance body, the clear body. And the bridge that touches both. This is basically what you're describing. It's useful to get used to these terms as you begin to notice sambhogakaya experience. My pole meditation is basically a sambhogakaya practice.

Q: (inaudible, sharing an experience, and a statue of the Buddha)

Aaron: Thank you for sharing. Yes, you're basically seeing into your own true nature which is radiance and light. You and the Buddha are not separate. Looking into that awakened mind. You are the Buddha; you are the awake one. And all the qualities of the Buddha such as radiance become available.

Q: (inaudible)

Aaron: Thank you for sharing this. I'm glad you had that deep an experience. With that kind of experience, it's hard to go back into negating the self as unworthy.

We'll end here; we'll pick it up tomorrow. Thank you for joining me...

(session ends)