September 18, 2011 Sunday Afternoon, Interfaith Circle

September 18, 2011 Sunday Afternoon, Interfaith Center Cosmic Healing Workshop

Barbara: I'm going to start with a few minutes of guided vipassana meditation, because there are a few more people that will be coming in...

Guided vipassana meditation (beginning not recorded; instruction to be with the breath, then to move attention to anything that arises to predominance, like a physical sensation or emotion, and just note it and stay with the experience until it changes or dissolves; then return to the breath.  If a thought arises, note thinking   - planning, remembering, judging, whatever- and then return to the breath since the mind is no longer holding that thought.  There may be desire to return to the thought though; if so, note that as grasping or wanting. As we watch objects arise and pass away, start to bring attention to the stillness that is right there with the arising and passing object.)

It's like the ocean. The nature of the ocean is fluidity, and there's a vast stillness to it. When the wind blows or the currents are present, waves will arise. When the wind stops, the waves will settle down. Whatever arises into your experience, let it be just as it is. Sometimes it's pleasant, sometimes it's unpleasant, sometimes neutral. If it's pleasant, be aware that it's pleasant. If it's unpleasant, be aware that it's unpleasant.

When an object is unpleasant, there's sometimes aversion to the object and we want to push it away. You're not going to do that in this practice; there is nothing to be pushed away. But if there's a wanting to push, be aware of it just as tension. “I don't want this.” Tension, tension. As the tension fades, if that object is still predominant in your attention, be with it. If the object itself has also gone-- for example, a brief pain in the back or the knee-- feeling discomfort, unpleasant, aversion, “I don't want this,” tension, tension. And then the tension fades.

Sometimes the pain is still there, sometimes it's gone. Let it be just as it is. If it no longer holds your attention, come back to the breath. Sometimes a very pleasant object like joy may arise. Feeling immense joy, light, ease-- pleasant, pleasant. And then sometimes there's a wanting to hold on to it. And wanting to hold on to it, there's also tension. So if that arises, be aware of that tension too. Can it be noted gently, with an open heart?  Tension, tension.

As it changes or dissolves, come back to the breath... There can be an endless stream of visitors, pleasant and unpleasant body sensations, pleasant and unpleasant thoughts or emotions-- a joy, a sadness, fear. Feelings of bliss, anger, loving kindness-- each will come in its turn. Rumi has a beautiful poem in which he talks about these visitors and says, “Invite them in. They are your guests. Invite them in.” Whatever is there, present with it.

The Guest House by Rumi  translated by Coleman Barks, from The Essential Rumi,

(San Francisco, Harper SanFrancisco) 1995, p. 109

This human being is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

See if you can move into the space beyond the objects without abandoning the objects. They will come, they will pass away. What remains? Find the vast spaciousness of the loving heart/mind, the vast spaciousness and ease of being...


Nothing to change, nothing to fix. Everything perfect, just as it is, sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant. Just letting it be and resting in the loving heart. Use the breath to help you center. So, as objects pass away, attention back to the breath, feeling the direct physical experience of the in breath and of the out breath. Know if it's a short breath or a long breath, fine or coarse, aware of the texture of the breath. Aware of the texture of the body in this moment.


Resting in spaciousness. Nothing to fix; nothing to do. Just watching this passing show. If at times movement stops and everything becomes still, don't try to hold to the stillness. Know it as the innate nature of your being and simply rest there with joy and ease.


If suddenly there is strong restlessness or tension again, simply greet it. You can even raise your hands and bow to it. “Hello, restlessness. Hello, pain. Hello, tension. Have a seat.”

(long pause)

This full presence with all that arises is the true meditative state, opening to that infinity of being and the ever-open heart.

(bell, bell, bell)

So let us get started here by bringing Aaron in...

Aaron: My blessings and love to all of you. I am Aaron. Thank you for joining me today. The topic of this workshop is very central to my heart, and to all the work I've been doing through all these decades with Barbara.

Most of you live within a box of limiting beliefs. There are many kinds of beliefs. Each of you will have your own Top Ten Hit Parade. So most of you have certain beliefs that have been with you throughout this whole incarnation, and often through many incarnations. Some of you believe yourselves to be unworthy. I would not ask you for a show of hands, but my guess is most of you have experienced this at least frequently in the incarnation, feeling inadequate or unlovable in some way. Others of you have had a belief that you must be the caretaker, must be the good one and carry ten thousand pounds on your shoulders, constantly.

Your beliefs do not necessarily lead you into harmful choices. In other words, the one who feels they must be the caretaker may offer its energy very lovingly in service to beings. The being who feels itself unworthy may work all the harder to prove itself worthy and seem to be doing great service to beings, but there's a lot of pain there. You did not come into the incarnation to experience that pain and belief in limitation but to know your unlimitedness and wholeness.

Some of you may live within the framework of a limiting physical belief. For Barbara, one limiting belief that came to her in the early 1970s when she lost her hearing was based on the medical world's statement, “You will never hear again. You will never have balance again.” Well, if this is what the doctors told her, okay. She will learn to live within that box. Some of you may have been told you have this or that physical issue, that it simply is incurable, and it's a box you learn to accept and to live within. To some degree, equanimity with the existing situation can be helpful because you're not constantly banging your head against the wall and fighting with your experience.

But there is a big difference between equanimity and resignation, and, for many of you, what poses as equanimity is really resignation. Can you feel the difference? Equanimity is spacious, peaceful. Resignation usually carries tension and contraction in it.

There are so many different kinds of beliefs that I cannot begin to touch on them all, but many of them do center on physical body states and a resignation with a present physical perceived limitation, or an emotional resignation: I'm just not good enough, or I'm not smart enough. I have a learning disability, I can't learn well or quickly. I'm bipolar and my energy is jumping all over the place, and it's always going to be that way so I have to learn how to control it, and I can't. I'll always be dependent on various sorts of medications. I'll always be dependent on my crutches or my walker.

We can't say whether one will be dependent on the crutches or walker, maybe that will happen. If you live with the belief that you will be, then it will never be otherwise. But it's very frightening to consider the possibility that you could let go of those crutches.

We ask the question, “If I did not need these crutches right now, what might I be experiencing? What do these crutches protect me from? What does this particular perceived limitation protect me from?” If you believe you're unworthy and have been unworthy all your life, are not really lovable in any way, what does it protect you from? It probably means you don't try to form intimate relationships, and in that not-trying, you don't have to suffer the experience of rejection. What if you open yourself and allow yourself to be vulnerable and then people still don't love you? “See, it just goes to prove I'm not lovable. I'll move deeper into my shell.”

What if I truly am-- I don't want to use the word “worthy,” there is no worthy or unworthy-- what if I truly am as capable of being loved as anybody else? What if I really don't have any horrible flaws? What if I open to that truth and allow myself to be vulnerable? But because I've been hanging out with a crowd of angry people, they still don't like me very much. They're threatened by my vulnerability; it reminds them they could be vulnerable. Am I willing to take the risk to open my heart and be present with things as they are, seeing how I have created the ideas of physical or emotional limitations with compassion for the human who has created those ideas? But not caught in those ideas. No belief in those ideas. It's just an idea.

By way of simple example, a friend many years ago who grew up in an abusive home. He was very angry, but each time he was angry and expressed his anger he was scolded or even beaten, and told repeatedly how bad he was. The anger had to go someplace, and it was not safe to express it toward the adults in his home, so he turned it onto himself with a deep belief, “I am no good.” And then he set out to prove that by being an angry person in the world, hurting people, getting into fights and so forth. You all know this; it's basic psychology.

At this point, as an adult, he had gotten past some of it but he still carried around this sense of unworthiness. He was no longer hostile in his life toward others but was still hostile toward himself. So we asked him, “What does this hostility protect you from?” As he began to look, he began to see how terrified he was of his anger and the power of his anger, and that he might use that anger to do harm to others, so the only safe place to aim it was toward himself. So his meditation practice, then, needed to lead him into presence with anger, seeing how anger was an object that arose when certain conditions were present and was impermanent, and that he did not have to create a self-identity with the anger, he just had to take care of the anger. And you can learn to do that.

Some time in the past year, Barbara was staying at the home in another state where there was a small child, 4 or 5 years old. He was playing with the Lego blocks and they wouldn't click into place, so finally he picked up the whole pile of blocks, the vehicle he was trying to build, and threw it across the room. It caught Barbara's attention who was sitting there near him, and she said, “You look very angry.”

He said, “Yes, I am angry.” At this point, he threw the Legos and he sat down on the floor. (breathes heavily) His fists were clenched and he was breathing hard.

Barbara said, “Can I help?”

He didn't even look up at her. His eyes were squinted shut. “No. I'm taking care of my anger.”

So he breathed (breathes heavily), and she asked him, “May I come and sit with you while you take care of your anger?” He nodded yes. So she came and sat on the floor with him. For about 5 minutes he breathed, and gradually the breathing tapered down to a more normal breath, and the fists unclenched, the body relaxed. And finally he turned to her and he said, “I'm done now. We can play.”

These are such basic skills, but few of you are taught this in childhood, to take care of your anger, your grief, your fear, your pain, without despising the human in whom these have arisen, but with great compassion for this human, but on the other hand, without taking it personally and building a self-identity around it: “I am the angry one. I am the deaf one. I am the helpless one. I am the caretaker who must protect everyone.” These ideas will come. Can you take care of them with compassion and without self-identity to them? That is the beginning step.

Today we're going to do a guided meditation to start, to ask each of you to invite in some habitual limiting belief, something that comes to you frequently. It doesn't have to be the predominant belief; choose one that feels workable. And then we're going to do some different kinds of meditations, introduce some different kinds of tools to help you see that there is the possibility of freedom from that belief, that you don't have to be bound by it and live with it.

How many of you have read at least some of Barbara's book Cosmic Healing? Many of you. The predominant thrust of the book is Barbara's experience of losing her hearing, the despair that threw her into. The rage that she felt, “Why me?”, and how this feeling of being cut off from the world played on the key patterns of this and past lifetimes, creating a deeper sense of isolation because she could not hear, leading her to feel abandoned.

In meditation she saw the beliefs that were coming up but she didn't know how to find freedom from them. The book really talks about the whole process wherein she moved past the idea, “I'm unworthy, I'm unlovable,” and finally, even “I'm deaf.” So she talks about her experiences in Brazil with John of God and the fact that she is beginning to hear, and that she now has the balance that lets her ride a bicycle, despite the fact that the doctors said, “You'll never have normal balance. The middle ear nerves that control balance are dead.”

You can move beyond these limiting beliefs. Not only can you, but really it is a major part of what you came into the incarnation to do, because in this shift beyond limiting beliefs, you are learning the truth of compassion in your being and how to bring it forth in the world.

My dear ones, you are spirit. You are here in a human body and we cherish and respect the body. You have a mental body and we respect that. But the essence of what you are is spirit. The ego is superficial. You come into one incarnation after another seeking to evolve in the capacity to love, in compassion and in wisdom. You are not here to become a better lawyer, engineer or gardener. It's fine if you have these capacities, to be the violinist or the dancer-- beautiful! But those are just the outer movements of the lifetime. What you came here to do is to learn how to love. That starts with yourself. To learn compassion for the self and all who struggle in this heavy density earth plane, both humans and all sentient beings.

I speak to you here as humans because that's the form you are in right now, but much more, I speak to you as spirit, as brothers and sisters of light. And my hope is to awaken your knowing of your true being in yourself so that there is an ever-deeper experience of the light within you and how you can bring that out into the world.

If each of you learns to bring that light into the world, you remind others that they also can do so. If each of you holds that light back out of fear, you mirror that option for others. Do you want to live in a light-filled world or a dark world? What's your preference?

It's important here that we not lose track of the simultaneity of the myth, “I am flawed in some way,” or “I am crippled,”  - a myth that really may be taking itself out of the expression on this plane; the person who can't walk well, or the person who seems to be uncontrollably angry - and the core of divinity that is your essence.

A teaching that I repeat a thousand times a year: that which is aware of anger is not angry. That which is aware of fear is not afraid. That which is aware of sadness is not sad.

We do not turn our backs on what has arisen; in this moment, as we did in the vipassana meditation we did in the beginning, we acknowledge the experience of tension. “In this moment there is tension. Breathing in, I am aware of the tension. Breathing out, I smile to the tension.” Not, “Breathing in, I am aware of the tension and I'm going to get rid of this tension. I hate it!” That's just more tension. “Breathing in, I am aware of the tension and I smile to it. I open my heart to this human experience.” With the mindfulness practice, we watch how we have created the self-identity to that particular mind or body state, and we ask that gentle question-- gentle!, “If I was not experiencing myself as an angry person right now, what might I be experiencing? If I was not experiencing fear or vulnerability right now, what might I be experiencing? If I was not experiencing strong aversion to this body situation, this lameness or pain or whatever, what might I be experiencing?”

This was part of Barbara's journey in Brazil. (Story of being asked why do you wish to hear-- see 9/21/11 transcript)... She had to get to that place where she saw how her deafness was protecting her from experiencing the depth of agony in the world, not wanting to hear that agony, and not to say, “I'm willing to,” but, “I choose to hear it. I choose to open my heart to everything.” And only at that point did the Entity say, “You will hear.” And at that point, she started to hear. The hearing began to open, with the hearing of the song “Amazing Grace.”

It's very hard. You've lived a lifetime avoiding certain experiences because they feel so overwhelming, creating a protective armoring about yourself. What if you loosen that armoring a bit? It can be terrifying.

In a few minutes we're going to do a guided meditation to help you with this. For now, I want you to sit for about 5 minutes and I will offer a few words, but not constant words, asking you to identify one box that you'd like to work with today, one box that seems both to protect you and to hem you in from being all that you can be.

Coming back to the vipassana practice, sometimes there's an immediate knowing of what that box is about, sometimes not. Without trying to grasp after knowing, just let the body and the heart tell you. Breathing in and breathing out... Breathing in, breathing out...


Now, my dear ones, I am telepathic. I will not invade your privacy, but I cannot help but pick up the thoughts, the immediate thoughts from several of you. “Oh, I can't do vipassana, my mind runs all over. I'm no good at this.” Aha! There's a limiting thought! Breathing in, and breathing out...Present with whatever is predominant in your experience. If it is pleasant, know it as pleasant. If it's unpleasant, know it as unpleasant. Can you let it be just as it is and not try to hold on to it, fix it, or chase it away? It has arisen out of conditioning and it will go when the conditions are no longer in place.

Let the body be at ease, relaxed. Breathing in, and breathing out...

A few of you have peeked with one eye, seen others sitting calmly, and had the thought, “Why is everybody else able to sit so still, and I can't?” Aha, another limiting belief! ...

From some of you, a competitive attitude, “I've got to be best at this. I'm going to do this right.” Another box...

From a few of you, the thought, “Is this going to be safe? What is he going to ask of me? I may not be able to do it well.” ...

A friend calls this the Top Ten Hit Parade. You each have your top hits, the attitudes of mind that come back again and again and again...

Some of you are indecisive: which attitude should I choose? Dear one, it does not matter. As you learn to work with one attitude and help it to resolve, that learning will spread to other attitudes. There's nothing here to get right, just choose something that seems important, that comes up often for you...


By now, most of you have chosen something, some of you with much feeling of uncertainty as to whether you've gotten it right. But at least you've gotten some sense of what you might want to work with.

You may open your eyes.

I'm going to share with you what I call my lifejacket metaphor (not transcribed since transcribed many times elsewhere; this was taken from 050309SIC.doc)...

It's a hot summer day. You come to a lake and all your friends are out in the water swimming, but you don't know how to swim. You sit on the dock and look longingly, “Oh I want to be out there with them, they're having such a good time.” I come out on the dock and see you sadly sitting there. I pull out a lifejacket and say, “Why don't you put this on and go out and swim?”

I show you how to strap it on. You're doubtful. “I can't swim.” But you follow my guidance, go down the ladder, and find, “This supports me.” You begin to move with your hands and feet, first 5 feet from the dock, then 10 feet, and then you're off. Every day that summer you put on your lifejacket and swim.

To a certain degree we can see this is skillful. It gave you the opportunity to participate in this joyful activity. What was unskillful that at another time of day you did not take swimming lessons, so you kept going with the support of the lifejacket. You held on to the illusion, "I can't swim."

Ten years go by. Every day you strap on this lifejacket. Every day you swim. Now, the lifejacket has gotten mildewed, moldy, and waterlogged. I come back 10 years later. I see you strapping on this rotten lifejacket. “What are you doing?” “I'm putting on my lifejacket.” “But it's mildewed. It's waterlogged.” “Oh no, I need it.” If I said to you at that point, “Oh no, take it off,” can you see how you'd clench it to you?

But if I ask you, “Descend the ladder. Remember what we did 10 years ago. Now, don't move your arms and legs, just see what happens.” As you sink, you begin to kick with your feet and lift yourself to the surface with the understanding, “Oh, it's not supporting me any more. I can swim now.”

For many years you had been swimming. As the lifejacket lost its usefulness, you had been swimming. But you neglected to notice you had been swimming, so you still believe you need the lifejacket. Now seeing that you do know how to swim and that it does not support you, do I have to tell you to take it off? I think you would take it off quite easily, cheerfully, nice to be free of that encumbrance. And yet there still may be fear and resistance, based on old habits.

Your habit energies are just like this. So many of you have outgrown the reasons for which you put on certain kinds of habits. Strapping on the idea of unworthiness, for example. Am I touching home with anybody here? Holding onto the habit of having to be the good one, the one who takes care of everybody; holding onto the habit of judging yourself or others; the habit of quick anger or impatience; the habit of fear. Sometimes these have not been outgrown yet and you need to do more work investigating them. But often, as Barbara has been finding with her habit to back out of discomfort and to turn to a book, if there is no book and she's right there with the discomfort, she's fine, it's not a problem, because she's learned how to open her heart and connect. It's no longer seen as “my discomfort” and something that has to be fixed. There's no fear around it any more but a softness of the heart, and that heart softening is essential for spiritual growth.

Can you see the way this metaphor fits whatever tendency you decided to look at? The idea that you have to take care of everyone, or that you're unworthy, that you're not smart enough, that your mind is too disorganized to function well, that you must always carry this physical weakness. What does this myth protect you from? As with Barbara, the way she wanted to hear, but the deafness also protected her from the pain of hearing all the agony in the world. Not just the agony but, I am laughing here, and if I will be forgiven for this example, when her husband was angry at her and yelling, one way to get the last word is to turn to him after he's finished and say, “I'm sorry, I didn't hear you. Would you mind repeating that?” That's getting the last word, to the extreme. So, certainly she wanted to hear but she also used the deafness both as armor and as a crutch, and letting go was frightening. Even to consider the possibility of letting go.

What supports our letting go? There's a beautiful Buddhist teaching called clear comprehension. It starts with clear comprehension of purpose. What is my highest purpose, in this moment? If it's to be safe, I probably don't want to take off my armor. If it's to be invulnerable, I don't want to let go of my anger. But what if my highest purpose is toward harmony, connection, joy? Is holding on to this particular old habitual tendency suitable to my highest purpose, or not? Clear comprehension of purpose, clear comprehension of suitability.

Over two decades ago, when Barbara was considering beginning to teach, and she said, “I don't feel ready,” I asked her why. She said, “Well, I'm probably going to make a fool of myself.” I agreed, probably, sometimes you will. What is your highest purpose? Is it to share the dharma? Or is it to avoid at all costs making a fool of yourself? If it's to share the dharma, are you willing to take the risk that at times you will make a fool of yourself and just go ahead and try?

What is your highest purpose? Again, I ask you to reflect a bit on this, on the habitual choices you make that are based on these old habitual patterns, these old life jackets-- are they suitable to the highest purpose? If not, how do we let go of them?

The first step is compassion, a deepening compassion. Compassion for yourself, for others, for the world. What I'm going to do here is lead you in a guided compassion meditation, then we'll have a break. When we come back from the break I'm going to teach you some very specific exercises, tools, that can help with breaking loose from habitual pattern-- gently, with kindness, not banging yourself with a stick, but gently. We're going to have some time for dialogue, giving you a chance to ask questions. Since we're a small group, really a chance to ask questions about these particular habitual patterns and the ways you might find freedom from them. So, some discussion, some questions, some exercises, after the break.

For now, before we start the meditation, just sit up in your chairs. Stretch your arms out for a minute. Move your body just a little... This guided meditation is in Cosmic Healing... It's something I recommend you do often and not just once.

(guided compassion/karuna meditation, 15 min)...

Remind yourself at this point of what your highest purpose is, and that you are capable of releasing this old life jacket that's been drowning you, dragging you under the sea. That it's no longer suitable to carry it around. That you choose to know your wholeness, your worthiness, your beauty, your radiance, your infinite capacity, and not to be afraid of these. Let yourself say to yourself, “I choose this. I know this. I allow it.”

I'm going to stay in the body for a few minutes, if anybody wants to come up and talk to me...but in the next part of this session we will have much more dialogue and personal discussion... Thank you for sitting so quietly for 90 minutes...


So, we've looked a bit at this box you've put yourself in. Now I want to look at it from a whole different perspective. You are angels in earthsuits. We've been looking at the earthsuit perspective, this human that closes himself or herself into a box. But this must be balanced by the angel perspective. Each of you is a divine and radiant spirit, and spirit is filling this room, supporting you, loving you.

I'd like you simply to take the hands of the person nearest you... Make sure the circle is complete... I'd like a complete circle, here...If you would, please uncross your legs for this particular exercise, letting the energy flow through you.

Breathing in love and light. Feel it coming through your left hand, from the person on your left, and into you. Breathe it in deeply, and with the exhale, send it out from the right hand. Then again, breathing in, feel that, not just the love and light of the person on your left, but that too, but the love and light, the radiance, of the whole circle, coming in from your left hand. Breathing in and releasing out through the right hand.

Breathing in with the thought, “I am love.” Breathing out with the thought, “I offer you love.” Breathing in with the thought, “I receive love.” Breathing out with the thought, “I offer love.” See if there is any subtle place of armoring in the heart that creates a detour, passing the love around but not fully taking it into the heart. Is that another kind of box?

Opening... Breathing in and fully receiving that love and light. What does it mean to be that radiant, that powerful? The radiant sun that each of you is. An orb, glowing and filled with light. Taking it in, allow yourself to feel gratitude, a warming and softening of the heart. That love and light filling the heart. Then breathing it out and offering it to the person to your right, and to the whole circle...

In a full day workshop, if we had several hours more, I would spend half an hour here doing a Sufi dance wherein you change partners and each hold a hand over the other's heart and look into the other's eyes, dance in a circle for a minute or two, and then move on to a new partner. While our time prohibits us from doing the whole dance, please do it in your hearts.

Right now, holding hands just with two or three people, but begin to feel the energy across the room embracing you. The heart open... Bring gentle awareness to any resistance to letting this energy in. What is my highest purpose? Is that resistance suitable to my highest purpose? And if not, might I just consider the possibility to release it, to draw in more light?

There is a beautiful song we often sing at Deep Spring. Barbara does not have the ear for music so we cannot sing it, but the words are simply: All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you.  And repeat it. (Group repeats words.) And then Isk Allah, ma bud leh la, Isk Allah ma bud leh lah, ...which mean, God is the Lover and the Beloved. Say it with me.

All I ask of you is to remember me as loving you...

(repeat whole song several times)

Thank you for those who were willing to do some contortions to hold the chain.

So, we aspire to let go of these boxes, to see them dissolve away and to step beyond them. There are numerous tools to help. One is just connecting with love and opening the heart. You remember that others are in the same situation as yourselves and you find support through their inspiration, each angel here in its own earthsuit and doing its own work with so much love and courage. And always there is guidance.

Some of you have found ways to connect with your guides. Yes, you all have guides. One most simple practice I know is to first align yourself with the light. Make a clear statement that your commitment is to the highest good and with harm to none. Then state your dilemma. “I don't understand how I can be kind to this person to whom I feel so much anger,” for example, and ask for help.

In the beginning you'll find it helpful to have a notepad in front of you. “This body is consecrated to the light. Only that which is an expression of true light may speak. How do I open my heart to this painful situation?” Normally, when you start to write, you plan what you write. You think about it. Here there will just be an impulse coming through. Automatic writing. It might be a few words, it might be a few sentences. Don't read it or reflect too much on it until the impulse to write stops. Then read what you have written.

Often it will suggest a new track. Barbara talks about this in Chapters 1 and 2 of her book Cosmic Healing, meeting me. She was feeling very stuck, caught in her anger. She didn't know what to do. She asked for help, and she opened herself enough that she allowed herself to feel my energy and hear my thoughts. And, she wrote them down. Hence they were available for the book! Now, I'm not suggesting you're all going to write books, but it's helpful to write it at first because it gives you more opportunity to look at what's coming through and ask yourself, “Is this positive and helpful or not?”, because there may be some fear, even alarm. “What is that that's talking to me?” So, relax. If you read it and it says, “Well, you were right and that person was wrong and you should just keep hating them,” “Ah, sorry, this is not the kind of guidance I'm looking for. I only want a positively polarized entity that can help me understand the teachings of love.” Then try again. Make it clear what you stand for, because just as there are many kinds of humans, there are many kinds of entities, and what you are calling upon is a positively polarized high-vibration guide.

You will connect with this guidance. Each of you has such guidance readily available to you. The hard thing is not to connect; the hard thing is to trust what you're hearing. To trust yourself, really, more than trusting the guide.

After a few connections like this, you'll find that you can put the pencil aside and just listen. Ask questions. If the guide says something simply like, “Try to love them,” it's fine to ask, “How? What do I do with my anger?” Invite dialogue and hear this loving guidance.

You did not intend to come into the incarnation to do this alone. You have this support available to you. Why not make use of it? So many of you feel, “I should be able to do this myself,” but that was not your incarnation plan. The plan was to connect to spirit, to know yourself as spirit, and to feel the support around you and use it. Because, that spirit has the same intention as you: to deepen the compassion and loving kindness on this heavy density earth plane and raise the vibration here through the teachings of love and the manifestation of these teachings out into the world.

You've got to do your part. You don't have to believe, “Oh, of course there is spirit,” you only have to be willing to put aside doubt enough to say, “Okay, let's just try it and see what happens.” And you may be very pleasantly surprised.

Perhaps 18 or 19 years ago we gave a weekend workshop on meeting your guides and beginning to channel. We had about 15-20 people there. Hal, Barbara's husband here—I hope I don't embarrass you, I apologize if I do-- was part of that circle and he fully believed in my reality, but him channeling? No. But he suspended disbelief and tried. And the result was that he began to channel. There's a wonderful episode of This American Life created by one of Barbara's and Hal's sons called “The Other Man,” in which David talks about growing up in a home with spirit as part of the family; me, sitting at the dinner table with them and people would ask me, “Aaron, what do you think about this?” Sometimes as boys they would ask me, “Who's going to win the football game? What do you think about the team this year?” But we would talk. So David goes on, in “The Other Man,” about living with spirit. And there's a piece in the show about Hal channeling his guide. If Hal, who was skeptical, could do it, you can do it. Yes!

You don't have to channel for other people, as Barbara is doing here, the point is to connect with your own guidance and hear it enough that it becomes a reliable resource. Always your own discernment is primary. If anything comes through that sounds off in any way, say, “No, this does not feel right to me.” Just because it's a discarnate entity doesn't mean it has the top hand in wisdom and compassion. So if something comes through that seems off, be ready to say, “No, this is not what I believe. This is not in the nature of loving kindness and compassion.” Then ask again, “Is there guidance there that can give me a more compassionate direction?” If you're persistent, it will happen.

So, we have here a few steps. Once you've seen the box you're in and you want support to get out of the box, know yourself as loving, radiant spirit, as that angel in the earthsuit, and not just defined by the earthsuit. Ask for help. Find the guidance and ask for help. Prayer and devotional meditation can help. Chanting, chanting the names of God, chanting in whatever your own religious tradition. This is a way of reconnecting your smaller self to the true self and finding the true self's connection to the divine, and resting in that connection, becoming stable in it, so you don't find yourself adrift so often but can really feel yourself connected, tethered, as it were, to that infinite radiance and love, no matter what's going on.

So often life seems to push at you in ways that are uncomfortable, and the first impulse is to push back. (pushing arms demonstration and explanation, see other Cosmic Healing transcripts; when pushed, we can push back, which is often the habit, or we can relax, let that energy go pat, and then give it back, ‘dance with it' in a sense. )...

(tape off and on)

We've just lost several questions. We will go on. (Continuing with Milarepa story, inviting your demons in for tea.)

We invite the demons in for tea, AND, seeing them sitting there, we don't get caught up in their stories. We just let them be. They'll finish their tea and they'll go. The only thing that keeps them there is your getting into a dialogue or argument with them.

Another question, please.

Q: I had difficulty meditating and conjuring the images that you suggested.

Aaron: Are you talking about the loving kindness, the compassion meditation?

Q: Yes... I'd like you to comment on that in terms of technique...

Aaron: Son, it's not necessary to envision or visualize anything. What's necessary is to engage the heart. Start with somebody you love. Invite them into your heart and wish them well. It's as simple as that. Then invite yourself into your heart. Feel yourself in the heart. Wish yourself well. And see what resistance there may be to that. Invite in somebody who's difficult in your life. Feel it. You don't have to see the person, just feel. Feel the heart closing up. Put your hand on your heart and breathe. Feel that possibility of the heart to be more open. What if I let myself be touched by this person? Just take it a step at a time. No visualization is necessary.

As for concentration, if the concentration wanders, it says to me that at some level there's some resistance that is not being honored. It's important if there's resistance and the concentration is running around, to say, “Here is resistance. I don't want to get close to this meditation. There may be fear what it will ask of me, that I'm not ready to do that.” Then just come back to yourself. “I am suffering. In this moment I am suffering. There's an intention to do something and I can't do it.” Feeling stuck. Feeling the tension in the body, can there be kindness to the tension in this body? What does it feel like to bring real kindness in? Again, put the hands over the heart. Feeling the possibility of kindness for this mind and body that right now is feeling uncomfortable.


Q: So there is this aspect of the self, the Holy Spirit of the self, that we can go to for guidance. Could you compare that to discussing with the discarnate entity...

Aaron: Okay, if I understand you correctly, son, you're asking about the distinction between your own higher self and guidance that would come from another entity. Each of you has this aspect of yourself that we might call the highest self. It is the deeply wise and compassionate aspect of yourself. Sometimes it's easier to hear your own higher self; sometimes it's easier to hear guidance from outside of yourself. Many of you eventually learn to connect with both.

Barbara is very aware of her higher self. For whatever reason, she finds my guidance is more helpful. I can't say why because her own higher self is also wise and loving. But yes, I am a fully enlightened being, and I do see from a large perspective.

What I find most important here, son, is that the level of guidance you need will be available. That you ask for the highest guidance, the highest vibration you can stably work with. By vibration, I mean the vibration of your body energy field. A higher vibration is harder to hold than a lower vibration. Sometimes people want to go into a very high vibration but there's a lot of static and they can't hold it. So I'm not suggesting one settles for a lower vibration, but the highest vibration one can stably hold.

Often what spirit will first do with you in your work is help you raise your own frequency, to help you to tune in to a higher vibration. Then what comes to you can be of a higher vibration. But don't worry about whether it's higher self or external guide.

Do ask, “How can I raise the vibration of this mind/body/spirit to a point where I can stably hold the high vibration of loving energy around me?” And this takes, for many of you, a lot of inner work, looking at the places of fear, confusion, greed, and so forth, and being willing to release some of that.

Q: I connected to the last question, I heard the Holy Spirit, or if I were praying or asking for guidance, I might say just say God. Is that what you mean (by) the highest guidance? I might assume that that would be the highest vibration.

Aaron: There are all forms of guidance. Some of you will tune in to guides that are beings between incarnations, simply on the astral plane and tuned to you as a guide. Some of you will tune into a higher level guide.

I see it as a university system where there are assistant professors, full professors, teaching assistants, grad students. The student may be better able to speak with the teaching assistant, the TA. They may speak more the same language. The full professor may be somewhere else. You can't really tune in to that.

But as you become more ready for that level of guidance, it's always available. So each of your guidance comes in teams, of sorts. There's always somebody above the present guide able to step in and help if your present guidance is not adequate to the task. You don't have to arrange that, you just ask for the highest guidance you can stably hear and hold, and trust that it will come forth.

Q: So an example would be, I would pray, “God, help me” for guidance regarding something, and then I would hear a song that would remind me, would feel like it was answering my prayer.

Aaron: Exactly, exactly. And we're not going to say what you're hearing is God. It may be a representative of God that's at a level you can hear, because the vibration of the Divine may be something too high for you presently to hear. It doesn't matter.

My teacher is a being known as Ariel, one of the Archangels. He has a very high vibration. Barbara has trance-channeled Ariel on some occasions. It was very stressful to her body. It was such a high vibration that she could not hold it easily. It was decided that it was not useful for her to try to do that anymore because anything Ariel can tell her, I can translate for Ariel and tell her. I am a very high vibrational being, what one might call 6th density, but Ariel is higher.

Some people tell me they hear me and some people do hear me in part, but what they really hear are expressions of me that are steeped down into a lower vibration that they are able to hold.

So now it's 5 minutes to 5 and we did not do our pushing arms exercise. I think it's a valuable exercise but perhaps now is not the best time for it. I'd like you to consider trying this with a friend at home. Feel the push and the desire to push back, or the desire to back away, and see if you can just let the energy come in and then gently feed it back.

Reflect on that when a life situation pushes you. Instead of rushing into your box, can you dance with that situation and see if you can keep yourself out of the box? The box is the old habit. If you learn to dance with what's come up, to attune yourself to your highest vibration, to ask for help, you're going to find more and more that you can discard this life jacket without fear. That you learn your wholeness. That you truly can swim, so to speak.

I would answer one more question, if there is one, or we can simply end with a few minutes of silence. Is there any last question?

What I hope for each of you is that you come to know yourselves as the angels that you are without contempt for the earthsuit, only respect for it, caring for it. But do not be governed by the earthsuit. Come into your wholeness. Know your unlimitedness and radiance. Start to live from that space. This is the true healing.

There will always be things pushing you back into the small self. Like Milarepa, learn to say to your demons, “Come in. Have tea.” Gradually you will come to know your whole self and the infinite healing that is possible on every level of your being. Explore those places where you are attached to old beliefs. Work with clear comprehension: does this belief support my highest purpose? If not, what are the ways I can just shake myself loose of it a little? Your loving persistence will accomplish this. Your fear and anger will never accomplish it.

Thank you for allowing me to be with you today and share these thoughts. For those of you who have not read Cosmic Healing, I think you'll find a lot of what I've said today is written very clearly in the book, and you may find it helpful. Also, my book Presence, Kindness, and Freedom.

My blessings and love to all of you. Our thanks to all the brothers and sisters of light who have been filling this space and supporting us today.

I'm going to release the body to Barbara...

Barbara: If it feels appropriate, thank Aaron and the other spirits who have been supporting us today. Gratitude is a very powerful emotion. Thank you all for coming today. Much love to all of you.