September 28, 2013 Saturday Afternoon, Trainings Workshop Three

Barbara: We're gathered here by the lake. The ground is wet so our canoes are going to be picnic tables. This is an ancient ceremony derived through many different traditions. We think of it as Native American, but Aaron has had experience with this in Australia, in the Pacific Northwest. He's saying, even in the Middle East. Really, worldwide, very ancient.

One of the rules Aaron gave me over 20 years ago is, he will not teach through me what I can teach myself.  (smiling) I'm asking him, are you sure you wouldn't like to introduce this? He says, You have also led this many times, only you don't remember. But he has done it with me, and he is going to lead the journey. I'm just giving the introduction. He really pushes me to the edge! Which is good.

This relative reality we live in, ordinary space time, linear time, is the time of “this follows that.” I put this down on the table and I expect it will be there a minute later. Non-ordinary space time is not the same as ultimate reality. Ultimate reality contains ordinary and non-ordinary space time. Non-ordinary space time is the place where, if I put my clothes and medicines in a basket in my kitchen, knowing I'm going to put them in the car; can envision having put them in the car, but they're not in the car...(Barbara arrived this morning and found she did not have the bag she packed with clothes and medicines; probably still on her kitchen counter) In ordinary space time, I forgot them. In non-ordinary space time, I simply need to go and retrieve them. They are not lost, just elsewhere in space-time.

When we experience a trauma, either personal or as a country or world, we may lose something. In the Native traditions they call it losing a part of our soul. So the phrasing used is ‘soul retrieval.'  In the Buddhist tradition, Aaron, what would they call it? Aaron says, “misunderstanding. (laughter) Nothing can ever be lost. It is simply somewhere else.” Whatever we call it, however it happens, we need to go and get it. There are a number of ways in which we can do that. I called a friend and asked the huge favor to go by my house and pick up my basket! Basket retrieval!

Working with the akashic field, we open into this immensity of everything together, and we find the place where what we seek already is, where it was never lost. I have poison ivy on my arm. Itchy; unpleasant. I find the place where I don't have poison ivy, the perfect skin. It's there, it's always been there. It's here in this left arm, why shouldn't it be on this right arm? So with the akashic field, we open, putting the appropriate ointment (which is in the basket to be retrieved!)  on the mundane world poison ivy, but not trying to fix the poison ivy; rather, knowing the ever perfect and opening to it.; moving into the ever-perfect. This is one approach.

Today we'll explore a parallel and very related approach. The reason we're teaching this today is many people find doing this kind of journeying a helpful way to understand the akashic field, which is a parallel. And also, for those of you who don't get the akashic field, you may get the journeying. For those of you who don't get the journeying, you may get the akashic field. They're parallel ways of entering into this alternative space time.

We started the journeying this morning with the  “I Have a Dream” discussions. Were you able to share your dreams, and share some places where you come together in your dreams? (yes) We're going to start with that. For some people, the heart of the dream may be intensely personal. I have a dream to be released from deafness, to be released from whatever traumas have led to certain physical body distortion, emotional pain, whatever. I also have a dream of a world where there is no more suffering. I have a dream for real world harmony and peace, a world where people truly hear and love each other. You will likewise have personal and universal dreams.

That hearing or its equivalent and universal love are both already there, but some trauma has caused us to lose touch with them When we look at the US and Iran and the 30 or more years of conflict, oppositionality, not hearing... (pause) In one linear reality, there's a... (someone reaches for Barbara who is aware of something that has leaped on her head)  What was it? A cricket on your head. ... In another reality there's no oppositionality.

The cricket is discovered to be missing a long foreleg. People take turns holding him, then release him to the grass.

We're going to go together into a non-ordinary space time in an attempt to release the distortions and to retrieve those fragments of ourselves and our world that have seemed to be lost. To invite them back with the intention not to fix but to reintegrate, to find the wholeness.

We're going to divide into 3 groups. About a third of you will be paddlers, literally sitting on the outer bench paddling. About a third of you will be drummers, rattlers, whatever, following M who will be our lead drummer to show the pace. Work with M, but you don't have to follow him precisely. Follow your own pace, and his. About a third of you will be dreamers or visioners in the middle of the canoe. Those who have a personal distortion with which you would like the group's help on this visioning journey are invited into the center of the canoe. Those who have a strong sense that they want to hold the whole group vision will be in the center of the canoe.

Now, this sounds like three separate segments, but everybody is holding the vision. As you're drumming, you're holding the vision. As you're paddling, you're holding the vision. And when I say paddling, you're not going to sit there imagining you're paddling, you're really going to be moving your arms. We can take paddles from the boathouse. So you're going to really be paddling. Suddenly you're coming to a waterfall—sloooow. Then, paddle faster!

The paddlers and drummers may switch on and off. We will have an equal number of paddlers and drummers, Aaron has described a number of these journeys to me that he's led as shaman in various lifetimes. So we're building on his experience here.

Each paddler and drummer will be a pair sitting side by side.  You may switch on and off if needed, just switching drum and paddle.  You may not switch at all. If you feel moved to switch, you can switch. You don't have to.

The visioners, dreamers, will hold the center. We'll have them sitting or lying down in the center of the canoe. Aaron, is there anything else that they need to know? Any questions.

Q: My question has to do with positioning. ...

Barbara: ... arranging the positioning,. Discussion of who chooses which part.

Let me get a rough idea, how many of you feel moved to start as paddlers? 11, probably need a few more. How many of you feel moved to start as drummers? How many feel moved to start as visioners or dreamers? Okay, we're roughly one-third each. Aaron says the visioners or dreamers stay put, but they may sit up and begin to drum. You all brought some kind of a shaker or drum. So the visioners or dreamers... one moment...

Aaron: I am Aaron. I am not incorporated, just speaking through Barbara. If you have a deep personal trauma, something in this or even a past life, and there is a sense a soul retrieval, to go after and retrieve the soul part that was lost during that trauma, would be of benefit, we would like you to be lying down here in the center of the canoes. We can probably accommodate ten to twelve people in the center,

So we have two kinds of dreamers. Anyone who has that need is welcome to ask the group for support. The group is not retrieving a part; the group is not healing you. Rather, you are ...

(Aaron incorporates)

... That's better! I'm directly in the body. Otherwise I have to run my thoughts through her and she has to try to find words for them, and that's awkward. We are not fixing you. But if there is somebody who experienced some severe trauma in this life or even in past life memory -- it doesn't have to be a trauma like being brutally beaten or raped or whatever. It might simply be a birth trauma, which many of you have experienced. You can use this journey as support to remember wholeness and retrieve what seems lost. I will be helping you. Your power animals, your guides, other spirits will be helping you to bring back that which seems to have been lost. But you are responsible. Nobody is fixing you. Do you understand?

You will be lying down, because for you there will be a need for meditation and moving deep into the journey in meditation to see what was lost, and as we move through this experience, to feel yourself able to reach for and retrieve what has been lost. And if something has been taken into you that needs to be released, you can release it. So it's really a meditation practice, but everything is heightened by the power of the drumming and the energy. We'll have some of you as that kind of dreamer.

Others of you, more Earth visioners. Barbara started to say earlier, seeing the conflicts between the US and the Middle East for many decades. The hatred that has arisen, the distrust that has arisen...

(A grasshopper lands again on Barbara's shoulder and Aaron leaves the body; Barbara coughing)

Barbara: I want to ask a question here. Aaron, why did you leave the body? Aaron says, because you have some discomfort with any kind of insect, not just spiders, and I thought it would be helpful to you to return to the body and experience a grasshopper on your shoulder; I have no need of that experience. (lost to laughter)...

(Aaron reincorporates)

Aaron: I am back. So Iran, and the hope opened with a phone conversation between presidents, a new start  toward understanding after 30 years of separation. Envisioning the vast traumas of your earth. The tsunami in Fukushima two years ago was a great trauma to the earth. I'm trying to think of some major ones. A tsunami in Thailand and Sri Lanka. There was a terrible hurricane that inundated the city of New Orleans. These are different kinds of earth traumas. Some are man-induced such as the Chernobyl nuclear explosion. Places on the earth where there have been natural trauma, man-induced trauma, or trauma induced by people coming together in conflict. There are the traumas of war, felt by both people and the earth scorched by bombs and feeling the human terror and anguish.. So each of the dreamers will be holding a piece of this trauma and what was lost, which is the capacity for love, trust and faith. You don't have to have a common vision, except knowing the place where it comes together is for the highest good of all beings and with love. Releasing the separation and inviting re-knowing of wholeness.

So we have two categories of dreamers, paddlers and drummers. That's as much as you need to know right now. Once you're settled in your places I'll begin the meditation and describe what comes next. I'm happy to hear questions.

Q: Are the paddlers sort of transmuting discordant energies with the stroking of the paddles? Should they intend for that?

Aaron: The paddlers are, I would not say transmuting discordant energy so much as offering energy that can be used by the group for wherever it's needed. So that as they paddle, when we come to an open sea with big waves, and it needs big paddling energy, the big waves relate to the traumas washing over you, and instead of being helpless, the paddles help to provide the energy that pulls us through. I'll be describing this literally as a vision, holding the vision for the whole group. When the sea is calm, the paddlers are just paddling slowly. As the waves begin to build up, the paddlers begin to paddle harder, providing energy to take us as a whole group through whatever blockages and traumas there have been, and to take us into non-ordinary space time to retrieve anything that has been lost. I'll be talking about this gradually through perhaps a 45 minute journey. I will hear you and build on your various needs.

The drummers are also providing energy, and the drumming in itself is also calling to and inviting spirit to support you. Other questions?

When I finish talking, as we get the tables arranged, those of you who need to go and get your drums or cushions to lie on... if there are a few cushions or blankets that the people lying down in the middle of the table can rest on, that would be helpful.

Q: Can we drum and hold the group vision and hold a personal vision all at the same time?

Aaron: No. You can drum and hold a group vision at the same time. Those holding a personal vision I would like to just be quiet and feel the energy around them and work with it. If you feel strongly moved to sit up and drum some, while doing that personal vision, you may do so. But for the most part, it will have more value not to use your energy that outward way, but to use your energy to go inward more. But those holding the group vision may also drum. But they will not change places with paddlers. Those who are drumming and paddling are also holding the group vision, however.

Q: If you're holding a group vision for the world, is that what you mean by group vision? Or group of all something?

Aaron: That's what I mean, but it may be more precise than that. Not just the highest peace and harmony in the world, but the healing of this or that particular part of the world, leading to greater harmony. Everything is resultant from conditions. As we establish more peaceful conditions in a place where a tsunami has knocked the shore askew and killed many people, holding a vision of harmony for all the seas of the earth, that contributes to harmony everywhere on earth. So you may not have the precise same vision. But the vision is always related to “for the highest good, with harm to none, and with love.”

Q: If your wish is for something for the whole earth, but you also need something with yourself, do you work on healing yourself first, so that you then can do the healing for earth?

Aaron: Yes. And there may be too many of you to do that all today. I'm sure each of you could put yourself in the center of the canoe and take this healing journey. You will find personal healing as you hold the group vision. But when we disband here for a few minutes for people to get their drums and cushions and whatever, I would like those who have a personal need to speak to me. It's not selfish to ask. It's not, “I'm elbowing you out, I want this.”, but you know who you are. I know who you are. Those of you who have some place of trauma of you that despite all the inner work you've done, it still seems stuck there; something that has seemed missing forever within you.

So we can add a few tables. We can put two people in the center of a table. We can probably accommodate up to 10 with those personal visions, but not more than that because we need the energy to keep the whole thing moving.

Those of you who have that need, come up to me now, or to Barbara when I release the body, and we will decide for each of you what is most suitable for you. So if you feel this is probably what I need, just come up and let's see what is needed. But if all 40 of you come up, it's not going to work! Be honest with yourselves.

Barbara: Aaron is saying that one of the important things here is that you are learning a process that you can use at home, yourself or with a few friends, to do this kind of journeying, and with your power animals and spirit, to find the support you need.


people are re-gathered and ready to begin.

Aaron: We invite all the creatures of the air, all the creatures of the earth, and all those who walk upon the earth, all beings with bodies and all beings without bodies, all loving spirit, to come together here to support this healing journey for individuals and for the Earth. We carry, I think, 12 of our brothers and sisters in this canoe who specifically seek healing for themselves, to find a lost part of themselves, or to release something that has been picked up and needs to be released.

We travel into non-ordinary space time. We'll put aside our use of the term akashic field for now, and use the language of that mechanism that we're using. So, non-ordinary space time. In that space time is everything that we seek, including the energy we need to release everything that needs to be released, and including the ability to find and reunite with that which needs to be found.

In a more traditional shamanic journey we would have just one or two people in the middle of the canoe, with the shaman. By shaman, we're simply talking about somebody who knows how to move back and forth easily between ordinary and non-ordinary space time. So in a traditional journey I would be in the middle of the canoe with just a very few people, or one, and would journey with you into that non-ordinary space time and help you retrieve what has been lost, or help you to release what has appended itself in an unwholesome way.

Today we're going to work a bit differently. Each of you has a higher self and one or  several guides. Each of you has power animals. So I'm going to be here as a central resource in leading this. I'm going to be working with those lying down, with each of your guides and power animals, helping to support your journey. But it is your journey. I am not going into that non-ordinary reality to retrieve something for you. I am supporting your doing it. That is the difference between this and a more traditional journey.

It will be no less useful, no less powerful, but you have more responsibility. That means these dreamers lying on the benches, you need to do your work, to go into the place that needs to be gone into, knowing you are supported. To feel what is missing, reach out, and invite it back. To feel what has stuck to you and feel the readiness to release — my old lifejacket metaphor. Are you ready to take it off, release it?

Along with this, simultaneously — I've done these spirit canoe journeys for the highest good of a large group or the world. I've done individual spirit canoe journeys, but never tried to bring them together. But I see no reason why we can't. Everything is possible. — simultaneously, we will be seeking that which seems to have been lost from our world through trauma; trust, open-heartedness, compassion, deep hearing. Can we invite these back? .

You're going to be drumming (quiet drumbeat) quietly at first when we're paddling, really drifting, down a river, very smooth. But, at times when the pace picks up, or when we get out into the open sea and there are big waves (fast loud drumbeat), we're going to be with the energy of the waves. How does it feel to need to paddle our way through those waves? Now, I recognize that my voice may not be audible for all of you above the drumming. So I'm going to ask M to watch this. When I put my hand up, M will stop drumming. If your eyes are open and you see me put my hand up, stop drumming. If you hear M stop drumming, he's leading this, and B also has a big drum; you're leading us too, when I put my hand up, the two big drums here stop drumming. The others stop drumming, so you can hear me. I'm not going to keep this arm up the whole time I talk, it would be too painful for Barbara's body. But when I'm finished talking, I'll nod to M and he can pick up the drumming again. Are there any questions?

Q: People want to know if they should have their eyes open or closed.

Aaron: Generally eyes closed will be more helpful. But if you need to open your eyes, you can open your eyes. M and B, if your eyes are closed, I can simply touch your knees like that, both of you, to indicate stop drumming.  When you hear the drumming diminish, please pause  so my voice can be heard. When I stop talking, resume drumming.

When the drumming stops, the paddlers may continue paddling or not. If you need to pause to listen, that's okay. I will be describing the ongoing journey. So at times it will be important to keep paddling. If I want to say, “There's a big wave lifting us,” and the drummers stop, the paddlers need to keep going! But if you stop for a minute, that's okay. Remember, we are in non-ordinary space time and we can simply stop and take a pause, and then move on again.

Those of you who are lying down, some of you have rattles or drums. If you feel moved, you can use those. Are there any questions?

Let us begin, then (with pauses, not always noted)... (slow drumbeat)

Moving gently down a broad river. We're near the delta of the river where it opens into the sea. The water is quiet. We are paddling with our brothers and sisters, with the intention for the highest good for all beings and harm to none, to release the personal traumas and the traumas of the whole Earth.

We are paddling to a land that we can see just dimly in the distance. Far across the sea there are very high mountains. Between us and those mountains, on that distant land, is a vast sea, and we must cross that sea. The sun is rising now, and in the far distance you can see the pink caps of ice covered mountains reflecting the dawn light. They are tiny on the horizon.

Somewhere between here and there are parts of ourselves that we have lost. You don't know if you will find them in the calm waters or in the highly thrusting and wild seas, on the sea bottom or in the heavens. We will look and invite. .

Gradually the river draws us out through its mouth and into the vast waters. You must paddle a little harder to move through the waves breaking upon the shore.

Moving out into the open water. Gradually the land recedes behind us, and it feels like we are alone on the open sea. It is a beautiful day. The sea is calm with just the normal swells of the ocean. Paddling... Rising and falling with the ocean swells.

As in life there are tides pulling in and pulling out. The boat moves with the tides.

The weather begins to change. Clouds roll in. The swells grow larger. (faster drumbeat) They begin to slam into the sides of the canoe, rocking it, evermore more violently back and forth. Those lying in the center might like to rock back and forth a little bit, just gently moving the body, feeling the motion. All of you dreamers feeling the coming of trauma into the world. This is a small trauma within the greater world, yet significant to some. Allow yourself to feel it.  The boat rocking up and down... straining at the oars. (fast drumbeat)

Use your energy not to fight the sea but to move skillfully with the waters. (pauses, not noted) The sea is not your enemy. Yet there is a feeling of violence, waves cresting, hitting the boat hard. They rock you back and forth. Thunder comes from the horizon, black clouds. Thunder booms! Lightening streaks through the sky.

If there is some fear, allow it to be present. (drums pause)

Do not try to stop the fear, but watch the fear, holding space for it; not losing a part of yourself. Simply breath with the fear.

(drums resume) Loud thunder, boat rocking and creaking... Waves breaking over the bow, soaking you. Boat taking on water... You try to keep it perpendicular to the waves so it will not turn over.  (Asking spirit's help to keep the boat perpendicular to the waves)... Fear, and space for it.

(longer pause while we do)

Then the storm blows past. The turbulence diminishes. So the paddlers may not stop their paddling, but rest, with slow, easy paddling, feeling the deep stability of this canoe. This is the world. It may creak, rise and fall, fill with water, but it will not abandon you. Begin to feel the safety here.

Pause to rest in this spaciousness. Drums quieter.

We are paddling across this vast sea. Let's think of it as a vast inland lake with the mountains you can see in the distance on the other side. Gently making progress, paddling across.

Suddenly the sea is alive with fish, big fish, as big as your boat, leaping high out of the water and splashing down... Feel your belly clench in fear of this unknown creature.

Just holding space for them, these “monsters of the deep.” Just hold space for them... Yet they are not landing on the boat, and they have a real magnificence and beauty.

Drifting, the drums still going, the paddles more still,  just holding space, drums soft. Watching these leviathan creatures burst out of the sea and drop back. Feel the awe and the fear with each one. What if it lands on the boat? But they're not landing on the boat.

I want you each to go into this place of contraction, this, “What if it lands on the boat?” this place of drama and helplessness, and feel what may have been lost from the person, the individual, from the group, from the Earth, through that fear contraction. Opening up now, with that contraction. Breath deep into the belly. Those who have lost a part of themselves, I want you to see these great sea creatures not as adversary but as helper.

There are so many of them, some only 4 or 5 feet tall, some perhaps 15 to 20 feet long. When you are ready, and when one passes by I want you to reach up and grab its tailfin. I know this is hard. Let yourself be lifted up. Hold on and let it carry you high up and then down into the depths. You can breathe. It imparts to you its own ability to breathe in the sea. Once you are holding it, you will not lose it. It will not try to shake you loose. It is a healer, and it is here to help.

Go down with it through the lighter water and into the black depths, seeking for what is lost. Ask your guides and power animals to help you. Do you want to retrieve that part of the self, or is there fear? “Who will I become, if that is retrieved?”

The boat is more or less holding still so it will be easy to return to the boat. Paddlers paddling gently.

World Dreamers, what has the Earth lost through becoming caught up in fear, contracted and separated? You also grab one of these fins, to go into the sea, finding what calls to be found. You may find different things. One looks like a treasure chest, or coming through the darkness into suddenly a lit place at the bottom of the sea, filled with crystalline structures, beings living down there underwater who smile at you, who may even take your hand and lead you to a sacred space, to find what needs to be found.

Your safety, your wholeness, your open heart, your courage, your love. It is all being offered to you. When you have found what you seek, and the paddlers participating, the drummers, everybody, the boat more or less holding steady in the water, ask the creature whose fin you hold to bring you back up to the surface and, flying over the boat, to gently drop you back. Take your time with this.

Begin to resume drumming when I finish talking. If it feels like you need more energy, then the drummers begin to drum a bit louder to bring up more energy. If the energy level feels good, then, just as it is. Paddlers using your energy to direct, seeing that source of light, the heart of light and love, and using your energy to draw your craft to that heart of light.

Those who are lying on the benches and tables in the middle, know that you are lovingly attended to. Everything you seek is there, whatever has been lost. Here it is, offered back to you. The hard thing is not finding it but receiving it, because you have lived your whole life with a belief in lack of wholeness, and suddenly you're being told that you are whole. The lost parts of yourself brought back,  and you are intact.

For many of you, you will need to release something in order to bring back that lost part. To release an old belief, limiting belief. To release old hardening of the energy field.

Begin drumming again now, as suits the inner movements.


Pick up the energy a little bit. (fast drumbeat) Ask for what you need. If you need help, literally put your arms up, asking for the help you need, for the possibility to receive that. (inaudible about holding arms out and energy, guides) that we are supervising (inaudible). Hold that which is for the highest good. Being willing to receive it, to bring it into the self with gratitude. (steady drumbeat)

Quiets momentarily

I am not suggesting there will be no fear, but there is space for fear. Feel the transformation that is possible as you are increasingly aware of your wholeness, and have brought these lost parts back. I almost hesitate to use the term “lost part” because truly nothing has been lost, only misplaced, the back turned upon it. Nobody and nothing has come into you and stolen a part of yourself. It is you who make the decision, “I am whole, and I receive everything I need.”

Drumming for some time.


Those who have journeyed underwater now return, coming back up into the boat filled with light. Gradually the last of these large sea creatures swimming off beyond the horizon, some of them leaping like dolphins, playfully. Our canoe family is back together, and we begin to paddle again.

We can see that distant shore, those mountains now closer to us., We approach that far away land. The waves now pushing us into a broad open river mouth and bay. High above are snow-capped mountains. Lower down the slopes, beautiful colored rocks. Moving up a broad river, it will take a bit of paddling and energy because we're going upstream.

We are in a new land, awesome in its beauty, filled with silver light. Entering a place where loving beings like yourselves have never been. Everything is new. Everything that pours off of you will affect this land. When love and openheartedness, non-contraction, are sent out, that's what the land experiences. When contraction and fear are sent out, that's what the land experiences.

Steady drum beat

So we paddle and paddle and paddle. Hours pass, and only gradually the river becoming a bit narrower. The river shores are gaining in height, becoming cliffs. In the distance you see what looks like a black cloud. You're unable to tell what it might be. So we paddle.

Steady drum beat

What are you going to bring to this new land, fear or love? Note the “What is it?” about the black cloud. Release contraction.

Steady drum beat

As we come around turns in the river, a large volcano reveals itself, smoking, spewing ash, flames. The course of your river will come close to it. You have a choice. You will have lifejackets and you can jump out and float back downstream to the big lake, away from the volcano, or you can keep moving forth, sending loving energy to the earth, feeling the disruption of the earth, the fire energy and various elements creating this volcanic force. It is not bad for a volcano to erupt, but in this place and time we have the power to still this energy, bring the earth back into harmony. All who wish to stay in the boat, keep paddling, keep dreaming, keep drumming, and let us literally transform this volcanic energy through our love. For those who leave,  it is not wrong to choose to leave and return to the peaceful bay.

Loud Drumming

As you approach the volcano, the water gets rougher. You have to paddle harder. Your work here is to enter this whole field of disruptive energy with love. Feel the possibility to do that. Having retrieved what was lost, retrieved the patterns of love, courage, trust in yourself, infinite power offered for the highest good, now you know that you have the ability to co-create with the earth for the highest good.

Seeing around you animals fleeing the volcano. Seeing all the plant life that will die if it erupts. Co-creating with the earth to bring quietness. Let all the ash diminish, the flames diminish, the rumbling of the earth diminish. Reach out in whatever ways you choose. Ask your guides or your power animals for help. Some of you may literally choose to journey, levitating out of the canoe and up onto the mountain, right there to the rim of the volcano, and sending cool, healing energy into it. You have forgotten how powerful you are. You do not force the volcanic activity to subside; you invite it for the highest good. Others can simply stay in the boat, paddling the boat upstream, offering love, until those who have levitated to the top of the volcano are ready to return. Do what calls to you.

I am only partially incorporated in Barbara's body so she can follow this journey. She has described her long-time power animal, a silver stag, to you. He is standing tall, right there at the rim of the volcano, just holding a radiant space, offering her courage. She's finding the volcano in herself, mostly in the solar plexus, the spleen chakra, and quieting it; opening the chakras and helping the chakras to feel harmonious and open. She is finding the power available, not to push or force, but to co-create and invite. She is speaking to the distorted fire energy of the volcano, knowing that also in herself, asking it to mingle with the sea, to cool and stabilize itself. She is holding all of this fire energy and cool energy in the heart chakra, inviting the volcano into the heart chakra.

And she is also aware of a distant past life that she has seen before. She was a child who died in a volcanic eruption. She is aware of the terror and the part of herself that was lost when she was that child. Eons of fear of separation and abandonment accompanied that experience. She has healed most of it; she can tell you of that another time. Now, knowing, “The volcano and I are one. And the volcano does not need to erupt. I bring this all into the loving heart.”

If you have special need of help, raise your hands, and help will be there with you. Your guides will be there; I will be there. Your guides are with you completely, all through this voyage, but I will also come to you personally as I see your hands raised...

Those with hands up, breathing deeply into the solar plexus, bringing in light and space. Where there was some personal trauma, there is also sometimes guilt and shame, thinking “I was weak, I could not stop this.” When the tsunami rolls in, how could you stop it? We find our personal wholeness, that even though the outer self is battered by that tsunami or washed over by the volcano, bludgeoned by the angry person, is never destroyed, but is intact, radiant, and beautiful. Releasing fear, shame, guilt, and anger.

Lighter drumming

Those who have gone up to the top of the volcano are returning to the canoe. If you're paddling, hold space. The volcano is quieting down, flames diminished, earth rumbling stopped. Right there in the heart of fire and power, if you are still seeking something you have lost, feel the possibility of going right into that heart of fire, taking what you have lost and bringing it back to yourself.

So we have retrieved what was lost from the bottom of the sea and from the heart of fire, restoring it into the loving heart.

Everyone is back in the boat. We're going to turn the boat around. You need to literally paddle to turn it around. There is a conscious decision to return home now. Returning to the sea, going directly to the river mouth, a broad bay. The river is quiet. Let the current carry you downstream.


Quiet water; setting sun. Above you are beautiful, enormous butterflies with 6-foot wingspans, floating so beautifully in the wind. Perhaps you are still experiencing some lost part of the self. Eyes may remain closed, but in imagination, see the butterflies, and above, vibrant arched rainbows. Invite that butterfly to become your personal power animal, and assist you to fly up into the rainbow and bring you back what is needed: the hand of a friend, the unconditional love of the mother, the joy of laughter, safety. Know your infinite power as a part of all that is, without fear of that power.

Soft but steady drumming

See these magnificent creatures. They're really scooping up chunks of rainbow and bringing them back to you. Reach out your hands to receive them and bring them into your body, wherever they need to go—to the head, to the belly, to the chest, wherever they need to go. Fill your body with that light. If it's a multi-colored rainbow piece, put it into the heart. If it's more blue, put it up at the third eye. More red, put it down at the base. Keep asking for more until it feels complete.

Whatever is needed, this wonderful array of butterflies  will bring it to you. There are also some powerful birds, like eagles. Here and there, a little tiny ladybug, carrying a tiny gem of rainbow crystal. Ask for whatever you need, because there is an infinite array of rainbow. Feel the chakras open. Invite that energy into whatever feels depleted.

Drumming intensifies as we do this for a time, then stops as Aaron talks again

You're in this broad bay, as the sun begins to set. Look out at the sea over which you traveled. Look back at the river, the green hills, rising into mountains. The current has settled. Gently, the waters around you begin to shimmer a bit, and there is some subtle disturbance in the water. Beside your canoe, not too far distant, observe the arising of crystalline shapes coming up out of the water. Here is a land with towers and turrets, pyramidal shapes. The rainbow reflected in the crystal.

Gradually this new crystalline body of land expresses. You're still in that great bay, and this crystalline land arises like an island within the bay, beckoning you. It is an island of crystal with its own bay.  Onshore, you begin to see radiant shapes, people, animals, all crystalline, radiant, beckoning to you with their eyes, their arms and energy. Begin to paddle into the bay, feeling the welcome. For each of you there is one or several beings—your guides, power animals, beings that love you deeply. And they are welcoming you home from your journey.

Let the boat be pulled up to the dock. Paddling can stop. (drumming ceases except for soft tapping) The drumming diminished or stopped. I want you to sit here in silence for a few minutes, feeling this loving welcome. Feeling how deeply you are loved. Connecting with your guides, your power animals. Finding the crystalline essence of your own being, your innate perfection. Here there is no distortion, nothing missing. Feel the power of that love. I will be quiet for a few minutes. It's fine to reach your arms out, to feel embraced by this love, if you wish. Or not, as you wish.


We give thanks to all those loving beings who supported us on this journey. We have gone out into the wild sea. We have gone up to the mountain filled with flame. We have found what has been lost, and released what had attached and was unnecessary. And now we come home, safely into our home. Beloved and safe. Welcomed. We offer the energy of that loving welcome out to all in the world who lack such love.

I'm reminded, here, of your Statue of Liberty:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send those, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

You are each the Statue of Liberty, each of you. You are each the golden door. When you know that in yourselves, when you come home and feel able to rest, loved, at home, then you can reach your arms out and draw others in who are desolate, afraid, bereft.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. Remain seated or lying down for as long as is suitable to you. I would suggest for those that get up that you spend at least 10 or 15 minutes more in quiet. You can go and sit by the lake, go and get water or use the bathroom as you need to. We'll meet back here at 5pm for some sharing. For this 25 minutes, stay quiet. Thank you.


Beginning again after the break.

Aaron: I have been asked what I was experiencing during this journey. As I said, this was a first for me in doing it with a group in this culture. Other cultures where as a shaman, I have led beings on such a journey, the people knew the journey almost as a ritual. It was not new to people. And I have always done it in either of two ways, but never brought together. One way with a smaller group and one person, two or three people at most, seeking some personal healing, usually the soul retrieval, what is called soul retrieval.

I was not fully incorporated in Barbara's body, so she was able to follow and do this with us. She was hearing me at one level. As part of her journey, when we came to the volcano, it brought her to an image of a past life image she has seen and with which she has done a lot of healing, a life of a child who was inadvertently left behind when the volcano was erupting on an island in Greece. The ships left. The adults thought, “Oh, the child must be with the mother/ with the father.” - “He must be with them.” He must be on this boat, he must be on that boat—but he was left behind. He experienced abandonment and then the volcanic eruption. It did not kill him immediately; he was on a high place with hot lava flowing by, burned, and exposed to fumes, and eventually died. There was what is sometimes referred to as a soul loss, a fragmentation of the soul, where this boy felt himself split off the part of himself that felt angry and that he had been abandoned because he was bad.

Many years ago in meditation, when Barbara uncovered him, I asked her to hold him. She said, “How can I hold him? He's me.”, “Don't argue, just hold him,” I replied. In holding him, she changed his experience. He was no longer alone. He died. He suffered burns. But he was comforted. Changing his experience, she changed her own experience.

In this meditation she was able to take it a step further. Being there at the edge of the volcano. Her silver stag was there and invited her to come and stand with him and watch the volcanic lava, and feel herself, that past aspect of herself as the little boy, feel his fear, his pain, his rage that he had been abandoned, and how he had fragmented himself. With her stag here, she could reach into the volcano and pull out what she needed, her own “fire” that she had abandoned so long ago.  She understood how to use the fire energy of the volcano not to burn, but to complete, as energy, to transmute. It was wonderful to watch her experience that process.

When I have done this before, it's been either with a small group, journeying to find some part of themselves, one person finding a part of themselves in that way, or it has been with a big group, when we had a situation like a drought. Going into the spirit canoe journey, inviting the rain to come. Inviting the healing of the earth, whatever might be called for. But I'd never fully put it together in this way, so you were a bit of an experiment. I'm happy to say that as I checked in with each of you, it seemed like you were able to hold both the group energy and the personal energy. So I learned something through you, and I appreciate that. Probably one can go deeper going one way or the other way, but I'd say it worked to put both together. Others?

Unless there are other questions for me, I'm going to leave the body to Barbara so she can hear the feedback. Question to me? Yes.

Q: I'm wondering if this is similar to crystal baths. And if it is, if you can speak to that a little.

Aaron: The similarities between the spirit canoe journey and crystal bed. For those who are not familiar with the crystal bed, this is something from John of God in Brazil. You lie down on a table or bed, and there's an apparatus that has light coming through different colored lenses, through crystals—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, etc., reflecting on the chakras. And the lights turn on and off for about 20 minutes in different patterns, offering energy to you.

There are similarities, but they are not the same thing. First of all, that's a private journey. The similarity is in that you are co-creating the healing with spirit. You are working with body energy and with a conscious intention, but it lacks the power of the group. I have often wondered what would happen if we could have a, I don't know how it would be devised, but a big crystal bed apparatus that could shine on a dozen people. And obviously it could not come directly above the chakras. You would have to invite it into your chakras. The whole group could hold that energy together and participate with the crystal.

Q: Several people in this group have heard me say that I had a spontaneous soul retrieval maybe three years ago when I went to the back yard of my old house. I felt this tremendous energy when I walked into the yard. I'd lived there 15 years and never felt it before. But there was this tremendous energy that then came, at some point started coming toward me, and it was like a (sound effect). Aaron has said a part of the soul was returned.

Aaron: When there is trauma, the individual sometimes is so overwhelmed by it that it seems to need to break itself into pieces. It just can't hold itself in an intact state anymore. It may move out of the body and release the body, what you call death.  It may retain the body but experience amnesia, or just release a part of the self that it can no longer hold.  It may move into an altered state. Anything that triggers a memory of that trauma can lead to a reenactment of that fragmentation.

In psychotherapy, the therapist often helps to client to bring back bits of these memories that caused the fragmentation, but this does not reunite you. It simply gives you an intellectual knowledge, so that you're able to say, “Ah, this was caused by (that).”

Using Barbara here as an example, again. She was raised in a loving home with loving parents. She had a nanny who was a primary caregiver, and her parents thought that was the best way to take care of their child. They meant no harm but only for her highest good. They had busy lives. The nanny's whole job was to take care of the child. But the nanny became sick when Barbara was about 5 or 6 years old and had to leave. It's not that the parents sent her away. The doctors said, “You must resign your job. You must go and live in a quiet situation.” But it was not explained to Barbara. Barbara was sent away for two months to summer camp at age 6, came back, and Nanny wasn't there. “Where's Nanny?” “Well, she was sick, she had to go.”

This was a very powerful trauma to the child, this loss of the primary caregiver, and also being told, “Don't be angry. It's not her fault, she was sick.” “Well, if it's not her fault, it must be my fault,” thought child Barbara. “I must have made her sick in some way. There's something bad in me.” So again at that age, in this lifetime, she fragmented parts of herself. This related to the child and the volcano, at about the same age. The child by the volcano who felt rage at the parents for abandoning him, but felt, “I must have done something wrong. I must be bad in some way.” So again in this lifetime at age 6, Barbara was experiencing this idea, “Something is broken, flawed in me. So I must take this part of myself and get it far away, this poisonous core, so it will not hurt others.”

When we speak of soul retrieval, please understand that there are various aspects to this. What was lost in this case was not a fragment of the soul, but the sense of wholeness. “I am okay. I am whole. I am radiant. I am beautiful. I am loved.” Rather, the thought was, “No, there's this flawed piece; get rid of it.” Interestingly, about a year later she had an emergency appendectomy. She was not prepared for it at all. She was rushed to the hospital and nobody told her there was going to be surgery; there was no time to prepare, just to save her life. She woke up saying, “I have a hole in my stomach.” And the doctor said, “There was something bad in there but we got it out.” And of course, she knew they had not gotten it out.

She had separated from this aspect of her self, the one who is angry, the one who is afraid. Through these past 40 years, she has done enormous healing of that wound She is no longer at all frightened of the one who is angry, no longer at all disturbed by the one who is afraid. She knows her wholeness. But there was still this little piece, finding this little boy at the volcano and just hugging him again. Finding herself at the volcano and knowing, “I have the courage to go into whatever that volcano brings. The silver stag is with me.” The silver stag for Barbara represents her own courage and wholeness, her own radiance, her own strength. Knowing, “I am whole. And even a fiery volcano, it doesn't have to frighten me anymore. Nothing frightens me anymore, I just open my heart to it.” I shouldn't say nothing—spiders perhaps, but not much else.

Then the next step for Barbara, I think, in meditation will be looking inside to see, is there anything that remains in the volcano, any part of me that I need to pull out? Is there any part I can not reveal fully? Can I fully enter that cauldron, that fiery place, and just be there until it just burns away? Because there's nothing there. Like your fire, it will just burn away to ash.

I'm explaining this and using Barbara as an example to give you some idea of the process. And I said this is just a start of the sprout for many of you. As you take this into meditation and work with it, you'll feel increasingly the results of the work. It ties into your vipassana practice, of course, and that's a vital part of it. But there are many different ways to work with it. Life will bring what you need. When Barbara traveled to Greece 10 years ago, she visited archeological ruins on an island, felt pulled to go there. As they walked into the old city, she KNEW it; it was the city destroyed by the volcano. She knew exactly what was round each turn, and began to cry. Here was the path the boy had run down crying, “Don't leave me.” here was the rise where the lava flowed beside him There was the shore from which the boats sailed. She was able to sit there for several hours, do forgiveness meditation, and release it all, the pain and the old stories of wrongness. Life will bring this in one form or another when you are ready. Vipassana helped to support the readiness.

When you're doing vipassana and something comes up and it's unpleasant, tension arises. It's good to have a lot of different tools for working with that old fear, old tension, old pain, sorrow, helplessness, wrongness, or whatever. Not to fix it, just to see deeply into it. It never was, not any real wrongness. The idea originated out of conditions. We'll release it. What's left when you release all of these old beliefs? What remains?

This was a long answer to a short question. Is there other discussion?

Q: I wanted to share the experience that I had as one holding the intention for the world. At one point, like a basket of seeds, and I knew they were what are commonly called first seeds, the pure seeds. The basket appeared, I knew fully what it was. And then it was as though a hand began to scatter seeds. And everywhere they dropped, like Jack and the Beanstalk, these enormous plants grew up.

Aaron: Thank you.

Q: I think the picnic tables were arranged well.

Aaron: Thank you. All right, I'm going to release the body to Barbara and we can have further discussion after dinner. Let me release the body and let us decide what will come next.

(Barbara reincorporates, tape paused)

Barbara: We're talking about trauma. We learn how to be present with physical, mental, and emotional objects that come to us. We see the old way we handled it. Like Aaron was talking about me and the process of feeling abandoned. Well, nowadays, if I'm in a situation with people and they suddenly say, “I'm leaving,” for a moment there might be that old, “They're leaving me!” - ahhh, bit I know that's just old conditioning. All that's happening is they're going home for dinner! It's not about me.

So we remind ourselves and come back to the present, because of the power of the practice, because this comes up in practice. Not about somebody leaving so much as—well, it can come up with that too. But with anything. Physical pain—“What's happening? Why is this happening to me?” Just hold space for it. So we start to learn different ways of handling strong catalyst so that we don't get pulled into the stories, the repetition of the childhood stories, and the further enactment of the trauma. Then we literally find what we need to retrieve, to bring back, to remember our wholeness. We bring it back only on the relative, because on the ultimate plane we've always been whole. But there's this idea that we're not.

Q: Could you repeat your initial answer to her question about trauma being how you process it, so that can be recorded.

Barbara: That the word trauma, and the experience of trauma, is an experience. Whatever the catalyst, it's about how you experience that catalyst, not about what the catalyst is. So, for example, I had an enormous catalyst of being knocked unconscious by a wave nine years ago. A near-death experience; most of you know about this. Hit on the ocean floor, unconscious, many broken bones, many severe injuries. But it was not registered as emotional trauma. There was still serious injury, but it was not registered as emotional trauma.

Right there within the pain of the experience and the near death experience, seeing this tunnel of light and knowing, “I can leave now,” and making a conscious—I can't say conscious, I was unconscious, but at some level a conscious decision, “I choose to stay alive. It's not fear holding me back, not fear of death, but my work is not done. I choose to stay here. I know I may come back to a severely injured body. I choose to stay here.” Then there was not trauma as part of that. There was just pain that needed to be dealt with, injuries that needed to be dealt with. Can you feel the difference?

Q: I think just the physical shock of major injury...

Barbara: There is the physical shock, and my body absorbed some of the trauma as trauma, that's true. It was not an emotional trauma, but I'm still healing the physical trauma to the body. The physical body is of a heavier vibration and trauma can stick to it longer.

Okay. We can talk more after dinner if we want to...

(session ends)