Mediumship Workshop March 19 all

Mediumship Workshop March 19, 2016 at Deep Spring Center

Full transcripts, flyer and program for the day; group sessions and exercises not recorded

Mediumship Workshop

Led by Aaron, Brothers and Sisters of Light, Barbara Brodsky and Dan Muir.

The focus for this workshop is mediumship. There's a difference between vocal channeling and mediumship. Mediumship is one necessary skill for vocal channeling, but our central plan for this day is not to develop vocal channeling but mediumship.

We're all mediums. When I channel Aaron or the Mother, those are aspects of mediumship. The chef is a medium, co-creating with the ingredients to create a delicious and nutritious meal.  The gardener is a medium, working with the co-mediums of soil, sun and rain to invite the garden to grow. The body energy worker is a medium, connecting with his/ her higher self and guidance and the higher self of the client, to invite the highest good for that body, mind and spirit and for his/ her own. The painter, poet, dancer, writer, gymnast and athlete are all mediums.

There are several requirements for clear mediumship, which we will explore at the start of the workshop. Such mediumship must be grounded in the core of our being, not in the ego or every-day mind. The limited mind may arise, but we develop the capacity to differentiate, release ego, and focus in on the true self. With that in mind, we bring the intention for the highest good of all beings and harm to none, to the mediumship. Vipassana is an excellent foundation. We have learned how to observe objects such as thoughts and emotions arise and to not get caught in their stories. A requirement for participation is completion of at least a beginning level vipassana class or introductory workshop. These skills will aid our discernment of what comes through, and our trust of the high quality of that guidance.

Mediumship involves service in some way, including to the broadest aspect of ourselves. I ask each participant to reflect on why he/ she wishes to develop as a medium. It may be as simple as to learn to love more fully, to deepen abundance or tranquility in our lives, or to develop a certain capacity or trait. This holding of our intentions, and clearing the way for access to the higher self and our guides will be our starting point.

We'll practice as a group with guided meditations to meeting your higher self. We'll break into small groups to share our heart-centered intentions. We'll explore ways to connect with spirit (higher self and/or guides) and invite their support. We may do some vocal channeling of this guidance. My hope is that you will leave with a clearer connection to your guides and/ or higher self, and knowing you have that support as you invite fulfillment of your aspirations.

Final program plan

9AM: Barbara; Opening. Guided vipassana meditation; Begin with primary object: then a focus on watching objects arise to predominance, offering them our openhearted attention, and watching them dissolve. The issue is not about what arises, but learning that we can relate to everything with kindness.

Objective: establishing the ground of vipassana, based in kind attention to whatever arises. If it is uncomfortable or unpleasant, can the texture of attention still be uncontracted, openhearted and kind? If aversion and contraction arise, can we observe those too with kindness.

9:30: Aaron, opening talk on mediumship, mindfulness and intentions.

Objective: to clarify the intentions of the day:

-What is mediumship?

-How do mediumship, mindfulness and intentions interrelate?

-The importance of working as much as possible from a place empty of ego, but if some ego is present (as it probably will be), the importance to return to the awareness that can watch ego, not be caught up in its stories.

The power of intention as we do the above.

10:00:pass out shuffled group cards (Max. 6 / group).Gather with your group and share some of your highest or most heart-centered intentions. What blocks the fulfillment of these intentions? How do you see them manifesting? Mediumship is a tool; how do you wish it to support you? Upon registration, I asked:

Mediumship involves service in some way, including to the broadest aspect of ourselves. I ask each participant to reflect on why he/ she wishes to develop as a medium. It may be as simple as to learn to love more fully, to deepen abundance or tranquility in our lives, or to develop a certain capacity or trait. This holding of our intentions, and clearing the way for access to the higher self and our guides will be our starting point.

Objective: sharing helps us look deeper at our own intentions.

10:30Aaron: very short talk: what blocks the fullest expression of these intentions? Often, just habit.Brief guided meditation of Four Empowerments.

Objective: to give a tool to help release old self-centered habitual tendencies and offer a way to open more fully to the highest intentions.

Four Empowerments: Step one:"finding the support." - finding something in which you take refuge. This can be the Buddhist triple-gem of Buddha, dharma and sangha. It can be Jesus or Virgin Mary. It can be God itself. It can be goodness or kindness. When you look to this sup port, it's not something out there, but you find that same lovingkindness and goodness within yourself. It's a reminder that yes, this bodhicitta is within me and I can access it. It's good to practice this before the heavy emotion arises so that when the heavy emotion comes up and you feel yourself being swept away by it, you can enter into that loving heart, that heart of the Buddha, heart of Jesus. So, step one is support.

Step two ...Compassionate regret!Whether the emotion was or was not enacted, we simply reflect upon how it arose and come deeply to understand the ignorance or delusion which led to this strong arising. This is not to be used as a cause to criticize yourself. You've not done anything bad. But there has been something unskillful that happened, and here you have the time to reflect with kindness on the various chains of fear and misunderstanding which led to the strong experience of this emotion. Recognition of the way negativity has arisen leads both to a regret and to reflection on how it happened. Within "regret" is not self-castigation and guilt, but an allowing to rise from the heart the strong aspiration not to allow the self to be so possessed by such energies in the future. There is true sorrow for what has arisen. Within "reflection" is the ability to see how the self's delusion was condition for the investiture into the emotion. Thus, one cultivates wisdom.

step three, a resolve not to repeat these unskillful words or actions,or even the resolve not to be ensnared by your anger in the same way, not to be caught by misunderstanding, even if the misunderstanding was not enacted. Here there is clarity that because you experienced the self as separate, because fear arose, and other conditions were present, certain emotions followed. So there is a deep resolve to work in more depth with penetrating the delusion of separation, to really bring non-dual awareness into your daily life and begin to see everything as made up of non-self elements, so as to be less likely to move into such fear and delusion which give birth to anger. Again I emphasize this is not a statement that what has happened before is to be met with condemnation. It's simply clear-seeing that what has happened has been painful and there are more skillful ways to do it, and that within this great heart is the ability to do it, the readiness for such responsibility.

Step Four: applying antidotes to what has arisen, used skillfully, and various purification practices. Most religions teach certain purification practices, some of them more effective than others. In the Christian church, one goes to confession and then might say a number of prayers at the request of the priest. This is a kind of purification practice. In Buddhism one might do a number of prostrations. These do eventually create a certain kind of purification when they are done skillfully, but often they are not done skillfully but as punishment or recompense. Performed in this way, they do not really get to the heart of the issue. This four-step process, then, is very profound and deeply empowering.

stretch

11:00Exercise #1: giving and receiving: join with a partner. Take turns mindfully feeding each other grapes, banana slices, rice krispies or other GF small food. How does it feel to give? How does it feel to receive? If resistance arises in either position, can one apply the four empowerments? What happens then?  Metta is another support; also "Clear comprehension".  Followed by discussion of the exercise

Objective: 1) observation of resistance and contraction around giving and receiving if it arises and

skillful practice with it.

2) if no resistance, can we experience the joy of giving and receiving?

11:30 Exercise 2: trust and letting go; observing tension and contraction.  Groups of 3. Two lead the "blind" one. Take turns. Followed by discussion of the exercise

Objective:1) observation of resistance and contraction around letting go and trust if it arises and

skillful practice with it.

2) if no resistance, can we experience the joy of letting go deeply

12:00  Some further discussion and summing up from Aaron; the importance of noting  any contraction honestly and with an open heart. Contraction WILL arise. It is not a problem.

Objective: Emphasis on not creating stories and a solid "self" when objects enter our experience that seem contradictory to our highest intentions.We need this base or mediumship becomes an exercise in ego.

12:30 lunch.Possibility to sit with groups?

1:30 Five-minute silent sitting, then a talk from Aaron about finding support.

Objective: Start with statement of intention, and challenge.

Like exercise 2, letting another take our hands; working lovingly with any resistance.

Like exercise one, the experience of receiving.

2:15Break into small intention-groups (picture groups)

Guided meditation to meeting our guides or higher self.

Holding our intentions and asking for support

Objective: practice at meeting our guides or higher selves.

Support of hearing and watching others do the same.

Sharing experiences builds trust in oneself.

3:15sharing in groups; what did you experience?

Objective: deepening our learning and trust of the connection.

4:00 Closing talk from Aaron.

4:30end.

March 19, 2016 Saturday Morning, Mediumship Workshop, Part 1

Barbara on Basic Vipassana Instructions, Aaron on Introduction to Mediumship

Barbara: Vipassana is a simple practice, but not an easy practice, because it asks us to do something we rarely do in our lives: to be present in the moment. In the Pali language, the wordpassana means seeing andvipassana means deeper, clearer seeing. This is all we're really doing. If we go too fast, we don't see. We need to slow down.

Pauses are spaced within the instructions, not noted)

We start by placing attention on a primary object; the breath, or for some of you who are more experienced, nada, that sound of crickets chirping, the cosmic OM, as it's sometimes called; luminosity, radiance seen with the eyes closed. You can't create the radiance; you see the radiance that's always been there. You hear that cosmic OM that's always been there because you slowed down. Some people may use energy as the primary object.

For people who are newer, I suggest the breath. Just breathing in and breathing out. Feel the warm exhale on the upper lip, and then the cooler touch of the inhale on the nostrils and upper lip. Don't follow it all the way down to the belly, just note touch as "touching, touching". Being with the breath is really being aware of touching,

Probably very quickly something will pull your attention away from the breath. (tapping) Hearing, hearing. Don't try to force attention to stay with the breath. (tapping) Awareness of hearing. Then the sound stops. Hearing is no longer predominant. Come back to the breath.

Something else may arise in your experience, and pull your attention away again. Maybe it's the same sound. (tapping) Then it stops. What is predominant?  This time, noting hearing and that it pulled your attention away from the breath, you realize that it was an unpleasant sound. You come back to the breath, but there's tension now: is that going to happen again? The whole body is filled with a "when will the other shoe drop" kind of tension. The breath is there but it's not predominant; tension is predominant. Bring your attention to the tension: breathing in, I am aware of the tension, breathing out I smile to the tension. Just present with it with kindness. How many breaths will it take, how many seconds or minutes will it take? We're not timing it, just, as long as it takes. Gradually the tension slips to the background. Spaciousness comes back. Ahh... Can you feel the difference?

I want you all to tighten your fists, clench your shoulders, pull yourself into a very tense posture. Tighten your jaw. Tension, tension. And then relax, open the fists. Ahh... Watch the body coming back into spaciousness. It does not happen instantly. At the point where the body is open and spacious, bring the attention back to the primary object, to the breath.

Just sitting, breathing out and breathing out. It may be very pleasant...

Then, let's use our imaginations here. A big itch starts somewhere in the middle of your back where you can't reach it. Intense itching. Imagine how that would feel. Don't try to ignore it and stay with the breath. Bring attention to the sensation of itching, itching. Breathing in and breathing out, and aware of the itch burning, tingling, however it feels. And it probably is unpleasant. We begin to see when a physical or a mental object is unpleasant, we armor ourselves and harden against it. Unpleasant.

And the itch subsides, it's gone. But sometimes a story lingers. It's really a mental story. "What caused the itch? Did something bite me?" Can you see the subtle tension in that question? Just note, this is where the mind has gone, into a story. Mental, thinking, worrying. But it carries a tension with it also. Tension. Again, just present with the tension. We do not try to make it stop. We do not try to force attention back to the breath. Our practice is one of guiding us to be present with whatever is predominant in our experience with kindness, and experiencing the freedom that this brings, that we don't have to get wrapped up in the stories.

One of Aaron's books is titled,Presence, Kindness, and Freedom, and that pretty much sums up what the practice is. But usually we're not so kind with what arises. We try to fix it. We try to get rid of it. We suppress it.

Each time we do any of those things, we're enhancing this separate self. When I say separate self, I don't mean we don't exist. But we're all expressions of something, like an octopus' arms all belong to the octopus. Let's simply call it all-that-is, divine, God/Goddess, Buddha nature, Christ consciousness. This is the essence of your being, and the essence of my being, which are the same, although they may have different names.

When we try to fix or suppress what arises, when we get wrapped up in stories about it, it pulls us into self-identification with this container– for me, we call it Barbara. For you, whatever name yours is– and we completely forget who we really are beneath that name.

We start with this practice because if we wish to practice mediumship in any form, and we're not aware of the presence of the ego, we get caught in self-identification with it. We're not trying to make the ego go away. The ego isn't bad. But it's not the boss. So we want to practice mediumship from this essence of our being, and vipassana gives us a tool to do that.

We're going to sit silent now for just about 5 minutes. Practice what I've just been talking about. Whatever arises, note it, be present with it. When it changes or dissolves, come back to the primary object. Note the texture of the presence. If the texture is one of contraction, fear, or whatever, note that. That is really what's predominant. Whatever arises, can we be present with it with kindness, with spaciousness? Just treating it as a visiting demon. Very unpleasant looking. Serve it tea. No conversation with it. Just, "sit there, drink your tea", and when it's finished, it will go.

Silence now...

(sitting)

Aaron: Good morning. My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. Thank you for joining me here today. I'm very enthusiastic about our program. I want to clarify several terms.

Mediumship. In order to channel, as Barbara is doing here, she has to be a medium, but every medium is not channeling vocally. Mediumship takes different forms. If we had 2 or 3 days, we'd practice many forms of mediumship. This afternoon we're going to be practicing opening to our higher selves or spirit guides.

But if you were a gardener, you might want to open to the plant devas; to be a medium asking the tulip bulbs– "Where do you want to be in the ground?" The daffodils– "Where do you want to be?" You are the hands that place them in the ground, but they have to communicate their need to you and you need to listen.

Many years ago, a subdivision was to be built in the 100 or so acres of woodland and meadow behind Barbara's house. There were many beautiful small evergreens. Barbara was told that everything was going to be bulldozed. The rolling land was going to be leveled, the ponds filled in, the giant oaks felled. Everything would be destroyed. She was given permission to take anything she wanted before the bulldozers arrived.

So she, her husband and her sons went out, looked at the closest trees that they could transport, dug them up, brought them back into the yard, and planted them; maybe 12 or 18 small evergreens. This was in the fall. In the spring they were all dead. They were planted with care but not one survived. Why?

I said, "Go out and ask which trees want to come and live in your yard." So they went out. They sat on the earth in an area where many small evergreens grew, closed their eyes and meditated. They sent out loving invitation to the trees. They were being mediums, hearing the trees. Some trees said, "No, I'm going to die here and take a new rebirth." Others said, "I'll come! I'll come!"

They dug up those trees, only the volunteers. They brought them back to the yard. They had pre-dug the holes, the holes where the other trees had died and had been removed. But some of these trees, as they started to put them in the hole, they felt, "No! I don't want to be here. I want to be over there." Again, they had to be mediums hearing the trees and planting them, and also able to say no to the tree that wanted to be right there in the middle of the meadow that was the children's baseball field. "No, you can't be there. You can be here; or you can be there."

So mediumship doesn't mean that you simply obey orders. You have a say also. But you co-create. In order to be such a medium, you must be in a centered place where your ego is not the predominant force. If it were just the ego, they would have said, "No. These are the holes you're going in," and the trees probably would have died. Now they are, how tall are they? 30 foot, 40 foot trees? There are big spruces all along the subdivision edge of the property and on the other side of the property. Very beautiful trees.

To be a medium is to step out of the self so that you can hear whatever it is that you as a medium, are connecting with. If you're a cook, you need to be a medium connecting with the food materials, the ingredients and also the heat. Those of you who cook frequently and with love know that you have to talk to the ingredients, to cherish them. To ask the soup, "Do you need a little more of something?" Your ego doesn't decide. The soup might come out adequate if your ego decides, but if you want that superb soup, you have to talk to the soup, to co-create.

The person playing an instrument. You have certain skill that you've developed, how to play that instrument, how the fingers move, how the bow moves. But you've got to really hear the music and be a medium for the music, if you're going to play it with the beauty that it deserves. So, all artists are mediums. All cooks are mediums. All farmers are mediums. All athletes are mediums. Connecting, stepping out of the self. Athletes sometimes talk about being in the zone. This is being in that place where you're free of the dictation of the small self.

What we are going to support you in today is the practice of clear mediumship, in whatever form most speaks to you. But with an emphasis today on meeting your higher self and/or your spirit guides. I say guides plural; each of you has at least one but mostly several guides.

You're probably not going to vocal channel them as Barbara's channeling me, although you may do that. The intention is just to feel their presence. In order to do this, we need to lay a foundation. As I dictated this plan for the day to Barbara– I say dictated it, but after I dictated it, then we co-created with it. I didn't just say, "This is the day." She was a medium channeling me as I dictated the plan, and then it went back to her and we co-created. She read the plan and she said, "Aaron, how about this? What if we put that here?" And we rearranged. So we co-created the day together.

In order to be a medium, we need to lay the foundation. So she said to me, "Aaron, we're only spending a few hours of the afternoon doing the actual mediumship work. Shouldn't we be doing that most of the day?" I asked her, "Would you build a house without a foundation?" We need to lay the foundation. It's all an essential part of the mediumship. If we just start with inviting your spirit guides, who are you going to invite? You all have highly loving, positively polarized guides. But if you come from the wrong intention, "I'm going to find a guide who's going to make me powerful," you're probably going to invite something that's highly negatively polarized. Is that what you really want? No.

So we start with these foundations. Mindfulness. How we relate to what arises within us. Intention. I asked on the website announcement– how many read that instruction?– to please reflect on intentions. Many, not all. So you'll have a chance to do this together. What is your highest intention? If you're going to choose to be a medium today, what kind of support do you choose to invite in? If your highest intention is, for example, to become powerful and suppress others, you're going to invite a certain kind of energy. If your highest intention is to be of loving service to all beings, including yourself, to do good work in the world that helps people, to bring joy to yourself and others, to invite abundance for yourself and others, you're going to invite in a different kind of support.

We're going to explore laying this foundation together. How we center in that which is positive and loving in ourselves, express that as our highest intention. How we relate kindly to anything that's negative that arises in ourselves. But firmly, that, "No. Sit quietly, drink your tea."

This tea invitation comes from a story by the Tibetan saint Milarepa. He was sitting by his fire, drinking his tea, when suddenly the demons of fear and hatred, greed and anger appeared. They were terrifying, ugly brutes with bulging eyes, big fangs, and long claws. The skin hung from their bones in shreds and gore dripped out. They had a foul stench. What would you do? Run screaming? Grab a stick and hit them? Milarepa looked up and said, "Oh, I've been expecting you." Do you expect that sometimes greed, anger, and fear will arise? Of course it will. But you don't live armored, saying, "No, don't let this happen!" Just, if this arises, this too I can open my heart to. This may arise in my experience.

Milarepa said, "Sit by my fire, have tea," and he served them all graciously. They started to talk and tell him all their stories. "You should accumulate more. You should hate this and that." "Shhh. Drink tea, but we're not going to have a dialogue. I'm not going to get into an argument. I sit here in my calmness with my heart open even to you. But I will not get into "– dialogue is not a strong enough word, "a relationship with you. I simply am giving you tea. You can sit here as long as you want. You can leave whenever you wish."

We establish this foundation because when you begin to practice mediumship, sometimes a strong separate self is going to arise. Sitting in that meadow, there was one tree that was so beautifully shaped, just an exquisite tree, and when they asked for volunteers, it didn't volunteer. Barbara's ego came in. "Well, I want that!" And one of her sons said, "Yeah, we want that." They went and sat by it. They invited it. She could see how strong the ego was that said, "This tree. I want this one in my yard." The tree said no. No. How to respect that? How do we not get caught up in the ego and dictate conditions onto the world, but co-create with the world, because that's the essence of mediumship?

We're going to break into small groups of perhaps 4 or 5 people. I'm going to give those groups a chance to share their intentions with each other. Some of you have prepared this, some haven't. As intentions, there may be a statement such as, "I become impatient very easily and then I react, taking it out on others or blaming myself. I have a deep intention to be more patient, to be more loving to myself." That's one kind of intention.

"I would like to bring more abundance in my life but I constantly live in fear, hoarding things, afraid that my needs won't be met. I hold an intention to trust that my needs are being met, to trust the universe, that I have the ability to invite in what I need and release what I don't need." That's another kind of intention.

One person may feel, "I always walk around feeling unworthy. When I see people talking, I think they're talking about me. I don't feel capable in my life. I invite in the intention to open my heart to myself, to be more loving to myself. When stories 'I am unworthy arise," I invite the intention to note those stories and not get hooked into them but just to be able to see it and say, 'Oh, here is one more ongoing story.'"

I love the statement, "Is that so?" So when a story arises, "I'm not worthy," or, "I'm too impatient, I could never be patient," or, "I'll never have the abundance I seek," – Oh, is that so? We begin to see into it, that it is a story. Is that so? No, it's just a story. With "Is that so?" – the ego may say, "Yes, of course that's so. I'm just unworthy." "Ah, this story is really embedded, really stuck. Breathing in, I am aware of the story. Breathing out, I hold love for this woman who is so hooked to this story."

Think of the fish swimming in the sea. The fisherman casts out a nice juicy worm on a hook. The fish sees it. He's got it! He's hooked! He manages to spit it out. "I'm not gonna do that again." He swims around a bit. Plop, comes the next worm. Grab! He's hooked again! How many times do you need to get hooked before you stop biting at the worms? How many times do you need to get hooked on your stories of "I am unworthy, I am not a kind person, I am impatient, I am too judgmental," etc., etc., before you see: this does not serve me or others? Instead of getting hooked, struggling, and finally spitting it out, can you finally stop taking the hook?

So, forming your intention. These are a few kinds of intentions, but you are certainly not limited to these, but any intentions that you might have. There might just be an intention to be kinder. An intention to be more gentle to yourself and others. An intention to be more on time, not always late. An intention to plant a beautiful garden this spring.

I'm going to stop here. We're going to pass out symbols that will designate your group. You will gather in 5 groups of 4 or 5.  You have half an hour in which I want you to gather and share in small circles. Talk about your intentions. Each person should have 4 or 5 minutes. Try to avoid too much cross-talk, but let each person share deeply, even for 2 or 3 minutes, and then come together. What did you learn from each others' intentions? Does what you learned help you clarify your own intention? The result at the end of this half hour is that you will have some clear sense of your intention. I'm not suggesting you have only one life intention, but the one you want to work with today, find support with today. The one you're going to ask your guides and your higher self to help support.

Are there any questions?

(recording ends)

People break into groups of 4 or 5 persons to share intentions.

March 19, 2016 Saturday, Mediumship Workshop, Part 2

The Four Empowerments

Aaron: We continue... So you've shared beautiful intentions from your hearts. Why should they not manifest immediately? What blocks the manifestation? Usually it comes down to fear, in one form or another, fear.

There are many practices we can use to help, not get rid of– we need to be careful. It's the ego that wants to get rid of. To help loosen the grip of this kind of fear so that we can come back to that heart-centered place from which these intentions spring, and really rest in that heart.

One is the practice of loving kindness. When fear arises and one feels oneself caught in the fear, just to stop and wish oneself well. Wish all beings in the world that are consumed by fear, that they may have freedom from fear, that their hearts may open and flower. So we can practice in that way.

We can practice with a non-dual practice. That which is aware of fear is not afraid. We can ask ourselves, in this moment where I'm gripped by fear, can I touch in on that which is literally not afraid? Can I give myself permission to experience fear and not get caught in its stories but simply know this fear arose out of conditions. It's impermanent. It's not of the nature of a separate self. It's just the fruit of conditions. When the conditions change, it will change. The predominant way to release the conditions is not to keep repeating them with more fear, not to fear the experience of fear. That fear simply enhances the original fear. Letting go of fear, opening my heart, I change my relationship to fear.

I'd like to introduce you to a very helpful practice, the Four Empowerments. I'm simply going to read this with you.(handouts distributed) We don't have time to do it as a meditation, unfortunately. The extra 10 minutes you spent discussing intentions was the 10 minutes I was going to use for a guided meditation here. But you don't need it as a guided meditation and that time was well given to intentions. I do want to review the parts.

You have an intention. And you see that every time you try to open to that intention, you pull back. "I'm going to be so generous. I'm going to give things to people. But what if I need it?" "I'm not going to be angry... Anger just arose. I'm not going to throw my anger at others. (loudly) What do you mean, you don't blah blah blah blah?!" Anger comes up. Clinging and craving come up. Okay. These are so deeply rooted as habit energy, they just keep coming up.

Because of the deeply loving intention not to perpetuate this particular hurtful pattern, we ask for help, and we can try a practice like the Four Empowerments. Many of you come to spiritual practice with a deep intention to be loving beings, and so you are doubly hard on yourself. Many people in the world, when they're angry, they're just angry. If they punch somebody, they just punch somebody. If they drink too much and come home staggering drunk and kick the cat, well, it happens. But at a certain level of spiritual maturity, you learn this doesn't serve oneself or others, and you need to say no. But you feel so stuck in the habitual patterns you don't know how to say no.

Read this with me.

Step 1. Finding the Support. Finding something in which you can take refuge. This can be the Buddhist Triple Gem of Buddha, dharma, and sangha. It can be Jesus or the Virgin Mary. It can be God itself. It can be goodness or kindness. When you look to this support, it's not something out there, but you find that same loving kindness and goodness within yourself. It's a reminder that yes, this bodhicitta (awakened heart/ awakened consciousness) is within me and I can access it. Bodhicitta, the open compassionate heart. This heart of compassion is within me. Bodhicitta.

It's good to practice this before the heavy emotion arises, so that when the heavy emotion comes up, and you feel yourself being swept away by it, you can enter into that loving heart, that heart of the Buddha, that heart of Jesus. So Step 1 is support.

Take a moment now to reflect on the support that would best assist you. I'll be quiet for a minute or two. It can be as specific as a being like Jeshua or the Buddha or Mother Mary. But it can also be your direct experience of the compassionate heart. A memory of a time when you were feeling deeply loving and compassionate toward all beings. So find the appropriate accessible support for yourself.

(tape paused)

We move on to Step 2. Compassionate regret. Whether the emotion was or was not enacted, we simply reflect on how it arose and come deeply to understand the ignorance or delusion which led to this strong arising. This is not to be used as a cause to criticize yourself. You've not done anything bad. But there has been something unskillful that happened, and here you have the time to reflect with kindness on the various chains of fear and misunderstanding which led to the strong experience of this emotion again and yet again.

Recognition of the way negativity has arisen leads to both a regret and a reflection on how it happened. Within regret is not self-castigation and guilt but an allowing to arise from the heart the strong aspiration not to allow the self to be so possessed by such energy in the future. Thus there is true sorrow for what has arisen. Within reflection is the ability to see how the self's delusion was conditioned, for the investiture into the emotion. Thus one cultivates wisdom.

So, for example, there is the intention to be less judgmental to oneself and others. To be more patient with oneself and others. Strong judgment arises in a certain situation. One has connected with a support, so immediately upon noting the power of that judgment, and the intention not to be consumed by it and carry it further, one turns to the support, asking for help.

These supports are what we are going to connect with this afternoon, in the mediumship portion of the day. But for now, simply turning to the idea of the support, if not the direct experience.

Then the compassionate regret. Here again is judgment. It's so powerful in me. It's such a deeply embedded energy. I see it comes from fear. I see how I repeat this pattern over and over again, whenever I feel attacked or unsafe.

Holding this human with love, that feels thusly unsafe, and is caught in this very hurtful pattern to myself and others. But there is regret, and the regret helps support the intention not to repeat the pattern. I am willing to move on from this. I intend to move on.

Step 3. A resolve not to repeat these unskillful words or actions, or even the resolve not to be ensnared by your anger in the same way. Not to be caught by misunderstanding. Here there is clarity that because you experienced the self as separate, because fear arose and other conditions were present, certain emotions followed. So there is a deep resolve to work in more depth with penetrating the delusion of separate self; to really bring non-dual awareness into your daily life. And to begin to see everything as made up of non-self elements, so as to be less likely to move into such fear and delusion which give birth to anger.

Again, I emphasize that this is not a statement that what has happened before is to be met with condemnation. It is simply clear seeing that what has happened has been painful, that there are more skillful ways to respond to similar catalyst; and that within this great heart is the capacity to do it, the readiness for such responsibility.

So we start with the support. Compassionate regret for what has arisen. Then the intention. Intention is interesting. It can be phrased in positive and negative ways.

"I will not get caught in these stories of self-anger or judgment. I will not be so impatient with others." "I will stop this." Those are negative statements. How about, "Patience is within me. Seeing how impatience has arisen, I hold the intention to practice patience."

Seeing how anger has arisen, I hold the intention to practice resting in the loving core of my heart, even as I watch anger move through me, its energy and power move through me. I trust my capacity to rest in the loving heart.

A deep feeling of unworthiness has arisen. Instead of saying, "No, I am not unworthy," try, "I choose to step beyond worthy and unworthy, to know them both as stories, and to rest in the spaciousness of the loving heart that knows the innate beauty and radiance of myself and all beings."

So I want to state the intention in a positive way. Not as a negative, not getting rid of anything, but opening to something which is brighter, beautiful, and that's already there. The small seed is there. We're watering and nurturing the seed.

Step 4. Applying the antidotes to what has arisen. This needs to be used skillfully, and there are various purification practices. Most religions teach such purification practices. Some of them are more effective than others. In the Christian church, the Catholic church, at least, one goes to confession, and then one might say a number of prayers, at the request of the priest. This is a kind of purification practice.

In Buddhism one might do a number of prostrations. These do eventually create a kind of purification when they are done skillfully. But often they are not done skillfully but as punishment. "I'm going to fix this by doing this practice." And that only leads you deeper into belief that this misunderstanding is your essence, instead of going to the radiant essence.

So we apply antidotes such as, if strong unworthiness has arisen, doing metta with oneself. Breathing in, I invite kindness for this being. Breathing out, I release pain. Breathing in, I invite the radiance of the universe into my heart, to flow into my heart strongly. Breathing out, I release sorrow and fear. And so forth.

If what has arisen is strong anger at another, rage, really, we might try the antidote of, well, to ask oneself what will balance it best. This is a hard one because it differs for different people. We don't want to fix it but to offer a balance.

I would ask: right now, where is that which is not angry within me? Ask yourself to reflect on a moment of great joy in the past few weeks. Something that brought peace. Maybe holding a little kitten or a beautiful flower, looking at a sunset. How did that feel? What was the direct experience of that?

So applying the antidote here is not, "I'm going to get rid of anger," which is just more anger, but I turn to that which is innately radiant, peaceful, and beautiful, which is not contracted. Anger is contracted., I turn to that which is open within me. Invite the experience of that and sit in meditation for a few minutes, not avoiding the anger but serving it tea and just letting it sit there while you come back to the loving heart, and start to trust the presence of that loving heart; that it always has been there and always will be there. Touching in on the loving heart.

If the question is about abundance, there's usually greed and clinging. An antidote might be to freely give. Not, "I must give," but just to feel a little bit, how does it feel to give? Giving and receiving are big issues for many people. We're actually going to practice this in the exercise that follows. I'll talk about that in a minute.

Greed, anger, clinging, aversion, fear, self-judgment, impatience. You can begin to see what balances these. If impatience is the issue, I choose to express the innate patience in me. "But he's already 11 minutes late!" Tension. Breathing in and breathing out. Can you focus on the tension, the fear, "My needs won't be met." The balance, the antidote: begin to reflect on something in the past few weeks where you were not sure that your needs would be met, and how wonderfully they were met. That in some way or other, exactly what you needed was given.

In this moment, can I trust that perhaps this person is late just to give me the opportunity to practice being patient? And if he doesn't show up in another 10 minutes, I can just get up and leave. But impatience is optional. Can I sit here with the open heart, knowing my needs are being met, now and always? Reflect on a real situation where your needs were met, even though you were uncertain that would happen, until you relax a bit and trust, "My needs will be met. I don't know how it's going to happen, but my needs are being met." Opening, giving.

So these are the Four Empowerments. We're going to work now with two exercises, flowing from one to the other. I think it would be useful to start with the symbol groups that you were with... I'm going to describe both exercises without a break in between so you can simply flow from one to the other. Then in an hour we'll come back together for a brief summing up and a little discussion.

The first exercise. On the table out there, you'll find several bowls of different kinds of food– grapes, banana slices, almonds and such. You'll find bowls. I would like each person to take a bowl. Take anywhere between 8 and 12 separate items in your bowl. This is going to be the bowl from which your partner will feed you. So you are choosing what you will be fed, but you won't feed yourself. Then you will pair up with your partner. You will trade bowls with your partner. Decide which will go first. One will be the giver, one the receiver, and then you will switch. Do it slowly and mindfully. You take your partner's bowl and the spoon, take one item, feed it to your partner. Give them time to chew and swallow. Then when they nod that they're ready, take another item. Eight items should probably suffice.

Be very mindful of how it feels to be the giver. Is there any over-eagerness or any reluctance? Any fear I won't do it right? Or maybe an awareness of how you often are feeding people, figuratively. Are you one of those who constantly has to feed people in order to feel good about yourself? So be mindful of the feeding.

Be mindful of being fed, and any resistance. We're going to tie this in this afternoon to how it feels to open to your guidance as they begin to nourish you, to feed you. Is there any resistance? Can you work consciously and lovingly with the resistance here in receiving food, and then remember that this afternoon, when you are asking your guides and higher self figuratively to feed you? But literally feeding, just not with a spoon.

When the group has finished this exercise, broken into pairs for this, the next exercise will ask that you form into groups of three. Each group will take turns with two guides and one blind person. You can move in this room, you can move in the other room, you can even go outside. Two people will take the hands, one on each side, and one will be with eyes closed in the middle. If you go outside and there's a step, tell them, "You're going to step down." But other than that, no talking, no coaching them through it. Not, "We're going to turn right, we're going to turn left."

Just holding the hands, and again, watching any resistance. And, as we've been practicing all morning, relating kindly to fear and resistance. Not, "I should be able to do this," but "I choose to do tis", said with a smile. You can even ask your partners to stop, to pause. "I need a few minutes," a minute, three minutes. "I just need time to breathe because I'm feeling fear at letting myself be led." How can you open to your guidance and ask for support and guidance, if you cannot open to the resistance of being led. I'm not saying that there will be no resistance but learn that you can work skillfully with it, with patience and with kindness; to find that which can be supported and led. Of course, your guides don't just lead you; you co-create together. But you have to be willing to connect with them.

So these two exercises are practices for what we'll do this afternoon. Are there any questions? Start with the small group symbols and find a partner... Then, finishing that, simply move into groups of 3... That's all, and I will see you back here at noon...

(session ends)

People break into small groups for two exercises:

March 19, 2016 Saturday, Mediumship Workshop Part 3 (Barbara)

Barbara on Co-Creating Healing with Spirit

Barbara: If you did not already know it, and most of you already know it, sometimes contractions arise. (shout!) Did you contract? How did it feel? What's the experience of contraction? Can you feel the trembling of your body, or contracted energy? Can you feel the contracted muscles? The issue is notif contraction will arise but knowing that when the conditions are present, it will arise. How do we relate to it? Can we relate with kindness?  When we're able to relate with kindness, it changes everything. Because yes, these contractions do arise, but it's just one more object passing through.

The importance of this, when we're inviting spirit's support– our own guides, our higher self, or if we're working as a medium with, Aaron says he talked about my trees. "I want that one!" Contraction arises. We can't really work on this higher level, and try to co-create from the small ego self. The dilemma is, part of our being IS the small ego self. We're not trying to get rid of it. But we're not speaking and acting from there. At least, most of the time. Probably when I take out the garbage– well, I don't take out the garbage, Hal takes out the garbage– if I had to take out the garbage, I would be doing it from the small self. "I don't want to carry this out, it's midnight and I want to go to bed." Okay, stopping. I want a clean house. I don't want any smell of garbage in the house. Just pick up the bag and take it out. But with compassion for the small self that says, "Naw, I don't want that." Well, in fairness to me, I clean the toilet. He takes out the garbage. I don't want to clean the toilet!

Opening to that contraction with kindness; this is a foundation. We practice giving out from ourselves from this clear, centered space. Receiving from the same space. There's no self. So when I receive, if it's useful to me, I take it in. If it's not, I pass it on.

I just spent 5 weeks in Brazil at the Casa, John of God. I went down there with very severe spinal stenosis, which had been causing me huge pain for a year. I'd seen specialists at U of M. It was clear if I was not helped in Brazil I was going to need some major back surgery here. A big part of me said, "Yes, I want this healing. I invite this." And part of me said, "What if it doesn't happen?" I was really afraid of this very major surgery. A dear friend of mine died this year, two years after having back surgery that became infected. She suffered 2 years with this infection before she died. So I saw my reaction: back surgery, no way! And it is a major surgery.

So I went down there, and the first day down there, immediately he said, "Operation." Is there anybody here who's not familiar with the Casa, at least with some idea of what they do there? (one) Okay, excuse me, I'm not going to talk in depth about it. But occasionally they do visible surgery where they make an incision of some sort, but mostly it's real surgery but it's invisible. So when he says, "Got to surgery," they're not going to lie me on the table and cut me up. I sit in a room with 20, 40, 50 other people, meditate for half an hour, and there's strong energy. I trust they know what my needs are. It's such a valuable place to learn about receiving. I have to be open. They'll give whatever I'm ready to receive. If I'm not ready to receive, they won't give it, because they won't force it on me. Receiving, opening.

Each Wednesday morning I went back through the Revision (surgery review) line, and he looked at me and said, "Surgery this afternoon." Five weeks, five surgeries. I spent a lot of my time down there flat on my back in bed. But they did the surgery. (walking; applause) There's no more pain. I started physical therapy. I'm very weak. That's why I"m still using the walker. But all the pain is gone.

But in all those weeks lying in bed– not all week, but for about 36 hours after each surgery and 2 or 3 more days quiet, and then one  or two days when I went outside, went swimming, came back, and the next day surgery again. In all of those weeks, I spent a lot of time looking at the question, in what ways am I completely open to the idea of this body being strong? Really visualizing myself hiking, dancing. The body being strong. In what ways am I still holding on to any image of the body as distorted?

So my intention was to heal. But I really had to attend to the part of me that said, "What if?" What am I still holding. I saw past lives. I saw in this life, the bad wave accident that some of you know about, that occurred 12 years ago. The back hitting the bottom of the ocean, and really, temporary paralysis of my legs, and much damage, broken ribs, other damage. But I saw that I was holding in my spine, around the lumbar spine where the stenosis was, something that looked like black gunk, like black tar.

I had a near death experience. I was drowning. When something pushes you like that and you're drowning, you move into survival mode. I closed down. Impact, drowning, dying, can't breathe, can't get to the surface. Can't move my arms because of broken ribs, can't move my legs. Head impact. I'm moving in and out of consciousness, drowning. I just closed down. I closed down all the energies to the spinal column.

I lay there in bed, hour after hour, gently inviting this black gunk to release. Then bringing light through the crown chakra and in. Asking the entities' support, but knowing– they keep saying, down there, "You do 50%, we'll do 50%." Knowing I had to do my 50%. They couldn't 'fix' this spine. I had to do my 50%, and they were there helping. So this is the way I related to my own resistance, the old habitual energy. I did a lot of the Four Empowerments practice, just releasing what was locked into the spine that wasn't needed.

Bringing in light, literally. Really feeling strong light and energy flowing through my body. And then asking the entities for support. Helping to bring in light, and using the light to literally clear out the place of damage. As it opened like that, they were more able to deepen their surgery.

What happens with stenosis is, places in the spinal column where the nerves come out have bone growth that closes in so bone is pinching the nerves. So the nerves were being pinched. The pinching nerves sent erratic impulses to the muscles, so the muscles cramped up. Up the back, down the legs, and sometimes the legs would collapse and I literally couldn't walk. I would just fall to the floor. So there needed to be surgery, here in Michigan or at the Casa.

Well, then came the next issue: trust. Are they really doing the surgery? Each week I felt a little better. But the night after the second surgery, I got out of bed to use the bathroom and my legs collapsed. I immediately thought, "Oh, I haven't done anything." Spirit just said, "Work in progress. Go back to bed." It takes time to create a literal change in the skeletal structure of the body.

I'm sharing this because so much of what I was doing down there was asking support from spirit; co-creating the healing of the body with spirit; trusting the body can heal; envisioning this ever-perfect whole body, this body that CAN stand up; the legs completely pain-free. My knees are weak, but I can move like this and there's no pain. I was in such agony for a year.

So, really trusting what can happen. It doesn't have to be about the physical body. Maybe it's about the emotional body, and some terrible pain within the emotional body. Inviting support. Knowing, this can happen; this can change and can open. But you have to be willing to be fed, to release control enough to be led, and also to speak your own truth, and to co-create and to say: "Not this." If it's too much, too fast, if something more than you feel you can do is being asked of you, you need to say, "Slow down." You are sharing the process of this both emotional and physical, spiritual growth and change. We're all emerging into a higher consciousness at whatever speed we're able to.

So that's my brief talk here. After lunch, Aaron is going to lead us in a guided meditation to meeting our guides or higher self.

Q: Would you share with everybody who hasn't heard it what your surgeon said when you returned?

Barbara: I had an appointment the first week back with Neurosurgery at the hospital, with the man who would be doing this pretty major operation, like a 10" incision on my back. Hal went to the hospital with me to talk to him and see what his recommendations were. I have an MRI from before, from 6 months ago, but not a new one since returning from Brazil.

He came in with the MRI, ready to recommend surgery and to ask me, am I ready for it now and when are we going to schedule it. I told him about where I had been. I demonstrated that I could now stand erect and could walk with out pain. He did a muscle exam. He looked at my back. He had me walk again. First he said, "There's no incision. How could they do it? There's no incision." But he said, "Clearly they've done the surgery down there, because the stenosis symptoms are is gone. So go start your physical therapy and come back in 6 months; cancel the appointment in 6 months if you don't need it."

He was very open. I was impressed with him. He was open-minded and willing to consider the possibility that they really had done the surgery down there with a totally different paradigm of surgery than he has.

We're going to spend a few minutes taking any questions, or offer out things you want to share. Then an hour for lunch, and when we come back, Aaron will lead us in a guided meditation to meeting our guidance or higher self...

Any questions or things you would like to share, questions to Dan, me, or Aaron?...

Q: I was led by something you said just a little while ago. You were talking about co-creating and that we have to be willing to be fed, led, and supported in order to co-create. That's easier said than done!

Barbara: But this is where the practices like metta and the Four Empowerments come in. We all have the resistance so deeply ingrained in us. And it's just old habit. So we don't have to fix it. We have to go to the place that's not caught in that resistance, and know the resistance is here. Serve it tea, and come back home. Learning how to come back home for me is the hard part. It takes conscious practice. But if each of you reflects on times when you've really felt yourselves to be resting in that space, even for a moment, you know what it feels like. And then we practice.

It's like, how do we walk? We have to know what balance feels like. If we know what balance feels like, we can walk. But if we've forgotten what balance feels like, then we're all over the place until we remind ourselves how to come back into balance.

This is why we're doing these support practices, because yes, it's easier said than done and there's going to be resistance, that's a given. How do we relate to the resistance? And for many of us, the old habitual way of relating is, "No, I won't have resistance." And that doesn't help.

Others?(no questions)f

There's a beautiful practice called clear comprehension, that's part of mindfulness. Clear comprehension of purpose: what is my highest purpose in this moment? You might say, well it's to be safe, it's to be comfortable. Okay, that's a reasonable purpose. But sometimes that prevents me from reaching beyond what I believed to be my prior limits. If I want to stay safe, I'm not going to step beyond those limits. Then I can't see what's possible. I'm stuck where I've been. How about a highest purpose, to grow and still come to no harm?

Is what I'm about to say or do consistent with this higher purpose? If angry words are arising, we begin to see maybe it's not consistent to voice them. If fear is arising, maybe its not consistent to live by the fear and limiting beliefs. Maybe I need to let go of some of my old beliefs.

Taking it into meditation is the third step. Really seeing how these old limiting beliefs have been around me for so long, and I've started to be so self-identified with them that I can't see anything beyond. Moving gently into the possibility that there's something beyond. It's like stepping off the edge of a cliff into the mist, you don't know what's there.

Clear comprehension of the dharma. Really understanding how everything literally is arising out of conditions and passing away, even this particular area of fear, limiting belief, or resistance.

I love this clear comprehension practice. I use it probably a dozen times a day. Just a quick pause when I feel myself contracting about something, or when I'm about to respond in anger. What is my highest purpose here? It doesn't take long to go through it.

Aaron leads a beautiful guided meditation where he asks people on a very misty day to follow him. We approach the edge of a cliff. You can hear the sea down below, waves splashing against the cliff, the rolling of water. You can't see the water. You can't see anything. And he says, "Okay, jump!" Can you jump? I couldn't.

Then he takes us all on a gentle walk down a hillside, down to the beach and around on the sand to the edge of the cliff. The water is not smashing, it's just little wavelets hitting the base of the cliff. He invites us to swim. It's solid fog, but it's warm; we get in the water and we swim. We come around in a minute or two to the edge of the cliff. It's not a high cliff– 10, 15 feet, not 50 feet. We come around. He says, "If you jump, this is where you'll end up. Swim around here, see that it's safe." Now we swim back to shore and up the path and back to the edge of the cliff. And he says, "Okay, jump."

Can you jump now? It's still a little scary, but now you know what's below. When we step beyond limiting beliefs it's like this. We have to go back and trust where we're going to land. So we use our prior experience. We know this fear has arisen out of old conditioning. We're not going to be jump when there may be jagged rocks below. We want to make sure to land in a safe place.

But if we have a strong believe, say of feeling unworthy, and we're going to step beyond it by going into a situation where we'll be meeting new people, if we're afraid of rejection– what will happen, will it be safe? Ah, this is based on old conditioning.

We look at experiences where we have been safe in situations with new people. We trust, okay, maybe I can just take this leap, walk into the room and see what happens. If I expect everyone's going to hate me in there, then I'm probably going to invite that energetically at some level. If I walk in, not saying, "Everyone will love me," but just, "This is safe," and begin to smile at people, I'll find it's safe.

I want to share very briefly with you. I grew up with a very strong experiences of abandonment and unworthiness. As a teenager and young adult, saw a therapist for a number of years; got

to the point where I could push myself into meeting new people, although it was never comfortable. In any situation where unworthiness feelings might arise, they still arose, but I no longer was ruled by them.

At a month-long retreat over 20 years ago, everyone was in silence for the whole month. The instruction was not to make eye contact with people. If people make eye contact with you, to look away. So I started to make eye contact with people, and they would look away and shame would come up. What's wrong with me?! Well, nothing's wrong with me. They're following the retreat instructions. This is like Aaron's walk down and test the water. There's nothing real here. There's nothing to be afraid of. It's just old conditioning.

So I did this over and over and over and over, for the month. Throughout that month, finally I stopped experiencing any sense of shame or unworthiness when someone looked away. It was just someone looking away.

Thirty years ago I had taught sculpture at U of M so I learned how to sit in front of a group and talk, but it was never comfortable for me, whereas here I'm completely relaxed. I don't feel like you're judging me. If you are, that's up to you! I'm not afraid of it. There's no sense of shame or unworthiness or fear. It's just me sharing the dharma with you, and if it's useful to you, you'll use it. If it's not, you'll let it go. It's not about me. This practice works.

Time to break for lunch

(break for lunch)

March 19, 2016 Saturday, Mediumship Workshop, Part 4

Guided Meditation to Meet One's Guidance

Aaron: Good afternoon. I am Aaron. I'm going to change a bit of the program here, just reorganizing it a bit, to try to cover what's most needed.

We've looked this morning at intentions. We've looked at resistance and how to respond kindly to that resistance so that it doesn't become the boss. It's just resistance. We have asked how to come into the heart and find the true heart of intentions. You've reflected on some of your highest intentions.    (tape paused)

I'd like you all to come back to your deepest intention, the one that you discussed with your group. After we do this whole exercise, you're going to return to those groups for sharing, working with meeting spirit and then sharing. For now, hold whatever that intention was in your heart:

I ask support to lead me into the manifestation of this intention. I visualize this intention coming to fruition.

If "I can't" thoughts arise, don't pay too much attention to them, just note, ah, fear, resistance, and come back to the positive, to holding the intention and seeing it, so beautiful, expressing out, whatever it was. To be kinder, more patient. To be a better cook or musician. Better is not the best word– to be a truly sensitive and loving musician or cook or gardener. To be a truly loving and sensitive partner or friend.

I want you to make a statement with me now:

As I invite guidance, whatever comes must be fully harmonious with my highest values.

Say this to yourself, and you can be more specific if you wish.

Whatever comes must come for the highest good of all beings, in service to all beings, with harm to none.

I want you to phrase this in your own way.

Whatever comes must be fully harmonious with the Buddha, with the Christ. I ask the deepest loving kindness to be present in my own heart and around me. And I release anything that is based in fear or negativity. I open myself to being fed. I extend my hands and allow myself to be led, guided, only in those ways that are truly free of harm for all beings, for the highest good of all beings. This is what I invite and choose to manifest.

Now I'm going to lead you in a guided meditation. (there are frequent pauses, not noted; please pause and spend some time wherever you feel led to do so)

We've sat in a clearing in the woods, and just done this first stage. Now we are going for a walk through darkening woods. The sun has gone behind clouds and it's a bit cold. The woods grow thicker. The path rises into a steep climb.

There may be doubt, "I am not ready to walk this path." Just note it as a thought. Give it that little, "Is that so?" Keep walking. I am with you. You are not alone.

Climbing, climbing... The sky darkening. The trees thick around you so the path becomes hard to follow. "I choose love, and I will walk through the darkness into the heart of love. This is my choice."

The going has been arduous. If there is any place of tension in the mind or body, pause and put your hand over the heart or wherever the tension specifically resides. Breathe into it. "I choose love." Opening yourself. Trust the process.

But you feel so alone. Somehow you have lost the path, lost the way where the others are, and as you look around you cannot see or hear any of the others with whom you started this climb. But you've been told the way is upwards. Keep climbing.

And now it is growing dark, and a heavy mist wets the body and brings cold. With the darkness, you begin to hear the cry of wild animals, perhaps wolves. They approach, closer, closer.

Climbing almost vertical, now, hands and feet. The cry of the wolves so close to your heels that fear comes. Perhaps a thought of defeat, "I cannot do this. I need help." Let yourself ask for help, not knowing what kind of aid will appear. "I ask for help."

And then you feel something lifting you up, taking your hands, lifting you. Don't try to see what it is. Just say thank you. Lifting you... up over the deep canyon that you needed to cross, the wolves back on the other side. "Thank you."

But then a very clear question: "Do you come for the highest good of all beings, and with love?" Pause and listen. Assuredly the answer will be yes, but you always must challenge it. "Do you come consistent with my own highest values, with harm to no being?" It is so dark you cannot see, but feel the answer coming to you: "Yes, yes."

Not seeing this guidance, you simply follow it through the dark woods until you come to a small shelter where there is a blanket, and you lie down to rest. The guidance not leaving but withdrawing a small distance. You feel safe here, and you sleep.

Awakening, then, to see the dawn lighting the sky. The rain has stopped, and you are at the edge of a clearing. You have passed safely through the woods. You long to see the guide, but no one is there. But here lies a lovely path with flowers on its borders, wildflowers growing everywhere. Their sweet scent fills the air.

It leads you through the meadow and down the hill. Pause here at the top. You see beings walking. Some are human or almost human in form. Graceful and lovely. Clothed in radiant garments. You are too far away to make out the distinct faces. But you also see butterflies, birds, and wonder of wonder, trees that seem to walk and to move and converse with the human forms. Animals like deer also seem to converse. Even a unicorn here, an elephant there. A snake. What looks like a moving flowering bush. You look with wonder; so beautiful.

You feel a call into your heart: "Come to me! Come! Come down the path, I await you." As you begin to walk, one being pulls itself apart from the group and approaches your path, approaches the foot of the hill, arms extended to you in love.

It may be a being that you recognize. For example, someone no longer living on earth, beloved relative, friend, teacher. It may be a Master like Jeshua. It may be a tall panda bear or a graceful deer, or even that slithering snake, but radiant and filled with love. It may be the moving tree or flowering shrub, butterfly or a bird. This is your special friend. It is one of your guides.

Allow yourself to pause and feel the joy of that being's presence, to enter into the embrace with that being. To feel that being's love. You don't have to ask for a name; the energy pattern is its true signature.

If you have come with me this far, come down the hill and do not find anything or anyone waiting for you, know that they are there but your eyes are misted and you cannot see them. Just pause and sit and ask for the mist to be removed so that you can truly connect with that entity.

Perhaps you don't need to see them. Perhaps it's enough to simply feel their energy. But a few of you may not even feel the energy, and may feel, "I can't do this." Well, of course you can, but this is where you can begin to ask for help. "Help me to break through any blockage so I can more directly perceive you."

I'm going to be quiet here for 5 minutes and ask you to simply sit with and make the delightful acquaintance of this beloved spirit. So I will pause and keep it quiet for 5 minutes.(tape paused

Sitting, inquire to yourselves. Close your eyes and reconnect with this beautiful and loving entity reaching out to embrace you. I would like you to use a form of sharing, where each of you impromptu, not interrupting, just each speaks from their heart. Share with the others; who is welcoming you? What do you see or feel?

We have an hour for this segment; plenty of time. So sit quietly in your groups. It's okay to say, "I don't experience anything." If that nothing is your experience, take the Mother into your heart. If anybody is truly stuck and not experiencing, raise your hands. I or the Mother, one of us will walk over to you and somebody will take your hand and help you to feel that embrace and energy more directly.

Once you have established some sense of connection and shared it briefly with the group, hearing others will help you. Hearing others' doubt, hearing others' comfort at finding a guide– "Oh, there's a butterfly," whatever it may be– this will help you.

And then the next step. Asking that entity to support your intentions. Listening and again sharing with your group, as you shared your intentions this morning, sharing with your group whatever you feel coming to you, whatever kind of support you are feeling from this guidance.

We will do this now. As I said you have an hour. We'll let you know when you have just 15 minutes left. Take it slow. If you feel stuck and not experiencing any kind of support, raise your hand and The Mother or I or another entity will come.

(tape ends)

March 19, 2016 Saturday, Mediumship Workshop, Part 5

Guided Meditation, Energy Circle(the group is gathered in a circle); Jeshua Speaks, Mother speaks.There are numerous pauses, not noted.

Aaron: Once gain, my blessings and love to you. Spirit is here, is with you, is real. We're going to try a meditation here. The left hand receiving, face up, the right hand sending, face down. Together, let us invite in our beloved guides and spirit friends. Let us begin with a group question:

My intention is to be of the deepest loving service as possible on this earth. To cease to be reactive to fear, and to negativity of any form; but to use my energy for the highest good of all beings. I ask, each of us asking our own guidance, I ask for support to manifest this intention.

I have phrased it in this way because I know this is an intention for all of you. I want you to feel your guides' energy coming in through the crown chakra. Literally feel this being's presence surrounding and embracing you. As the energy comes in, offer it out through your right hand, to your right-sided partner's accepting left hand. And simultaneously, receive in through your left hand, bringing it into your heart. Say thank you and send on not just what you have received but your own guidance, your own energy, your own love. So this energy is moving around the circle.

It's coming from each of you as humans, from your higher selves, from your guidance, and from your guides' guides, up to those fully awakened beings. All of it flowing down. You might envision some of the highest awakened beings sitting up above, simply dropping lotus flowers down on all of your heads. Sending their loving energy and support. Who do you think is your guide's guide? How about that higher level guide's guide? How high up the mountain can you see? You probably can't see the top. Go as high as is stable for you. Bring it all in.

Breathing in and drawing that light and energy into your heart, and sending it out through your right hand. Accepting that loving energy from the left hand. It ceases to be this guide or that guide, but simply loving guidance sweeping around the circle, with love.

As a group now, in your heart asking for support: to live my life with as much love as possible, in service to all beings and with harm to none. We're not asking a question here. We don't need a mental level answer. But begin to allow yourself to feel the love that surrounds you, and which melts contraction and fear. Can you feel the power of that love? It's as if your heart was encased in ice, and this love melts the ice.

Breathing in, I offer myself love.

Breathing out, I offer you love.

Breathing in, I offer myself love.

Breathing out, I offer you love...

There is so much love in this room. The question is not having it here but allowing yourself to be vulnerable to feel it, to drop away the armoring of lifetimes so you can feel the power of this love.

One who many of you regard as a beloved awakened being will come in. As the Mother said, we're learning the practice of interchangeably using the body, and another coming in without me going out. But he will use the voice...

Jeshua: Many of you have seen me as an embodiment of love. But you are also that embodiment. There is no difference between me and you except that I know that we are all embodiments of love. And I do not see myself as limited in any way, or as special, or different.

This awakened consciousness is part of us all. I'm sending it off with my energy, and asking it to make the circle along with your energy...

Be the awakened one that you seek, for you are love and you are light.

If you cannot feel me, cannot feel my presence directly, ask me for help. Ask your own guidance for help, or ask me directly: "Help me more deeply to experience your love, and to know it as also my own love, THE love, the heart we all share."

You have my words written in your texts, your holy scriptures, that there is nothing that I can do that you cannot do. Know that it is so. You are radiant, beautiful, divine. Why are you so afraid of that? Can you be who you truly are? This is where giving rise to the intention and asking for guidance is valuable, because your guides know your old habitual patterns, and will help you release them so you can be who you truly are.

Don't put me on a pedestal; join me up there. Let us play there together. The mountaintop is a very beautiful place. Come climb with me.

I love you all. Can you feel my energy? Be with me here. Don't hold yourselves small. It does you and no one else any good. Be with me here and be all that you are. For you are sacred and beautiful. I love you all, and offer my deepest blessings to each of you on this journey.

May your loving hearts and sacred intentions bring you home.

(bell, bell, bell)

I'll release the body, here.

Aaron: I am Aaron, and my thanks for spending this day with me. I'll be curious to hear afterward whether it's disconcerting, as Barbara had questioned, for one entity and another to pass through the body without any real pause. If we announce ourselves who we are, is that enough? So you can share that with Barbara at the close.

Mother: And I would add myself to this mix also– can you feel the difference in my vibration? So we can easily come and go from the body. We can share the body, because contrary to her prior belief, and I'm not talking about size here, but this body is big enough in energy and vibration for all of us and more. The skinniest of you can also hold us.

So each of us, myself as the Mother, Aaron, Jeshua, each of us offer our love.

Aaron: I am Aaron. We're doing this somewhat in demonstration. You all have many guides that are accessible to you. Let them flow back and forth. Don't try to hold it to one. Don't try to figure out who they are at the start. Just challenge, and when you know it to be positive, invite it in.  Do check with each one and challenge: do you come for the highest good and harm to none? Do you come with love? If you feel the slightest hesitancy, then challenge it or say no. But I think for all of you, you're going to find you have access to a number of guides in various forms, including the butterfly who may land on your arm as you're sitting in your garden. Speak to your butterfly. Thank it. "Have you come to teach me something?" And be with it. The breeze, the breeze can be a guide. The scent of grass being cut can be a guide. The grass releasing its energy and sending it to you. Guidance is everywhere.

Cherish your beautiful intentions and ask for support. I thank you and offer my blessings and love. I release this body.

Barbara: Thank you all. So thank you for sharing this day with us... (announcements)

(session ends)