October 20, 2012 Saturday Evening, Howell Retreat, Aaron

The first 37 min of the talk did not record, just a buzz.

We have been reading the mala reflection sheet and Aaron has offered dharma comments.

Aaron: ... I spoke about the heart sutra... So we move into the precepts. The precepts, the intention, “Do no harm. Do only good. Do good for others.” This is the ground of all of your spiritual practice. It grounds your intentions. It grounds your service in the world.

Please read on, the 85th to 89th beads, The Precepts. (tape paused?) So we have read through 101.

I'm going to tell another story here. This one is not my story, but Barbara's. Ideally I would have her tell it for herself, but I don't want to have her come out of this trance and tell her story in a somewhat, not fully back in her body way, and then have me reincorporate, so I'm going to tell it for her.

It's a lifetime that she has seen from a long time ago, from which she deeply learned. The being that she was, was a young boy who grew up on an ocean coast in Japan, in a poor family. When that boy was an adolescent, sea pirates came to the village. He admired them. He asked to go with them. They said to him, “Yes, but first you must bring us something of value.” “What do you want?” They told him that she was to go into the temple and take some of the relics or precious items there that they could sell, and bring them back to them.

The priest of the temple had been his priest through all of his childhood and was a loved teacher, more so for this young man than any other human.  But he felt, “The Temple has a lot of wealth. I can take something. It won't harm him.” So the lad made his way up into the temple. He expected to find it empty at that time of night. It was dark. He took a valuable piece from the altar. Stumbling in the dark, he found a person blocked his exit, and that man grabbed at him. The boy was startled; he had a knife. In his alarm at being grabbed and without thinking, he stabbed it into this human, not intending to kill him, just to push him away and escape.

The light of the lantern this man had been lighting came up as the boy stabbed him, and he saw the man's face. It was the old village priest. This boy took the priest in his arms, aghast at what he had done. He looked up at the boy with very open eyes and said, “I forgive you. May you learn to forgive yourself.” And with those words he died.

Barbara considers this old priest as her spiritual father, that he awakened in her the power of love and forgiveness through his sacrifice. He knew that the boy was coming. He heard his footsteps. He could have stopped him. He probably knew he had a knife. I can't say he willed himself to be killed, but he allowed it to happen, to awaken in this youth the power of forgiveness and the power of the precepts, the power of sila.

The boy spent some time crying, holding the priest in his arms. Asking, “How can I ever forgive myself?” He looked at the statue he was holding and the other valuables, put them down. Went back down the hill. He could have run off. They would not have known who killed the priest. The pirates would not have known what happened to him and wouldn't have been concerned. But he went back down to the pirate boat. He said, “I killed the priest. I did not bring you anything. I will not come with you. What you do is evil. May you learn to forgive yourselves.” And of course, they killed him.

But in this karmic stream that Barbara is in now, it was her first true awakening. The body died. The awareness moved on into a new body with a new karma, awakened to the power of love and the power of forgiveness. Still, in this lifetime, she dedicates whatever service she does, her teaching, any good deeds, to this priest and to the merit of this priest, that he may find nirvana. That he may be free of suffering.  So all of you share that with her, because as you learn from her, the power of your learning helps this being, who perhaps does not need help anymore, that is already fully freed.

Let us read on to the bodhisattva bead.

(tape paused?)

Please take this with you and practice with it in whatever way feels appropriate to you. Read it weekly or monthly, or just as the heart suggests. Don't try to figure it all out. Just use it as a reminder, a reflection, to the many aspects of the dharma and the way they hold together in a sacred container.

May all of you find freedom from suffering, be happy, and find peace. And to quote the Buddha, if it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it. Know it is possible, and you are on the path. My blessings and love.


Aaron: The question is on the lines 20-23, the nature of karma... Karma is action, energy, and thought. Karma is like an ocean wave, pushed by the currents, pulled by the tide. Whatever forces are behind it, once it's set in motion it will keep rolling until it rolls itself out on the shore.

When the intention comes from a loving space, that karma moves itself into positive results. When the intention comes from a fear-based and self-centered space, it repeats on itself, digging its way deeper until finally loving kindness comes forth to release it. The being that I describe that Barbara was in that lifetime had spent many lifetimes in self-centered ways, service to self, not caring if she stepped upon or harmed others; not even considering the suffering of others, only his own well-being.

That lifetime, which is very far in the past, that lifetime awakened sensitivity to others in this being. The seed was able to be nurtured by some seeds of wholesome karma within that youth. There was the desire to become a pirate, to have that fame and glory for himself, material goods for himself. But there was also the boy who had loved the priest; who had had the wholesome karma of growing up even thinking he might become a priest. He was not the priest's son, but had been taught by him as were many of the boys in the community. He was loved and guided by the priest, and reminded of the value of service to others, and good deeds.

So in that moment, the unwholesome karma came forth, of greed, to kill, to strike out for what he saw as his own good. And the wholesome karma, which brought him and the priest together in that moment, with the priest's blessing, “I forgive you. May you learn to forgive yourself.” So it was the result of the wholesome karma that led him to be able to go down and confess. He knew that if he did not tell the pirates, but told the villagers he had killed the priest, he would be put to death by the villagers. He determined to use this situation for the highest good that he could. He was an immature boy. Somehow he thought he could say something to the pirates that would make a difference, and maybe he did. Who knows? But he died without fear and without hatred, but love in his heart, and from then on, capable of love and forgiveness in future lifetimes. Does that answer your question?

Q: I don't know. I'm sorry. I have to think about it some more. Thank you. I just have, I guess, an older, maybe, belief from before I was studying Buddhism, that evil, that is, an intentional harm, destroys itself. (Signer: ...That harm in the end destroys itself.)

Aaron: I agree with you. It does, because negativity is conditioned and positivity, or love, is an expression of the Unconditioned. But it can be kept burning for a long time before it burns itself out. Loving kindness dissolves it much faster.

You might like to look at The Aaron/Q'uo Dialogues. This is a series of dialogues with my friend Q'uo, channeled by a woman named Carla Rueckart, a series of 10 workshops through a number of years in which Q'uo and I spoke of different spiritual principles, including karma, the nature of karma. One of the points we bring up in the book is that eventually what I call negative polarity, that is, the being that is deeply intent on service to self and not at all caring about the way it harms others, can only progress so far. We talk in the book about different stages or levels of being, the human being 3rd density, and 4th  and 5th, and 6th densities. The higher density being is no longer human; it's a high spiritual energy, a very negative 6th density being, but it cannot go further. It cannot move into 7th and 8th density. It must reverse itself and come all the way back to 3rd density, shift its polarity from negative to positive polarity, and only then can it progress through 6th density and into the 7th and 8th densities that you think of as full enlightenment.

So that even the most powerful negatively polarized beings cannot progress beyond 6th density. It's negativity, as you suggest, will eventually burn itself out. The book explains this is in much more detail.

Q: Thank you...

Aaron: So, it's 10 to 9... Good night. My blessings and love to you all. What I was just saying about polarity: each of you has some mix of positive and negative polarity. All humans do. But if you are deeply intended to loving kindness, to service to all beings, even though negative thoughts still arise, the negativity can lead you further into compassion and positive polarity, because you attend to it with kindness. The more you attend to negative thoughts and experiences with kindness, the more deeply you stabilize yourself into positivity. The more you do that, the more the karma comes from the wholesome rather than the unwholesome. The encouragement of this process is much the basis of our practice.

That's all. Good night.

(session ends)