Angels in Earthsuits
Mini-workshop, Part 2
July 23, 2004

Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. We begin where we left off yesterday.

Humans are creatures of habit, as no doubt you have already discovered. When you walk from point A to point B, often you walk the same path. You like things to be reliable. There is comfort in knowing what will happen, knowing how things work. Humans tend to be uncomfortable with uncertainty, it's just the way humans are. However, you live in a world where there is infinite uncertainty, for every mundane thing is impermanent and changes. When it changes, your energy contracts. For simple example, Barbara hung a towel on hook on the back of the bathroom door after her shower this morning. When she came into the bathroom at lunch time, washed her hands and turned for the towel, it wasn't there because the cleaning people had come and put out clean towels. There was a towel folded over a towel bar. There was just a moment of contraction, "Where is my towel?" Then with the next breath she realized, ah, clean towels! Contraction released.

The contraction itself is not bad, and does no harm when it is quickly released, balanced, but you hold those contractions in your body and mind, and create a habit energy of contractedness. You are infinitely connected to God and all things, but when you contract, you lose track of that connection. So many of you come to me dismayed by the feelings of separation from others, from God, from yourself, but you enhance the tension and feelings of alienation through further contraction.

Contracting energy is not a problem. This is just contraction, and it releases. Believing in the fearful stories of the small ego self and ignoring the deeper truth, this is what gets you stuck.

Let's look for a few minutes at energy. Here I want to draw from an ancient tradition of energy work, shiatsu. I use that as a template, not because it's better than any other tradition. Simply, it's one with which I am familiar from several past lifetimes, and the terms are very clear.

I ask you to hold out your hand expectantly, palm upwards, as if I were going to walk around the room and put something there in each hand. Can you feel the subtle tension in the hand? It's not a strong grasping energy, just a small tension. Now take the other hand and lay it gently in the upturned one, fingers touching the palm. Can you feel the tension relax with that receiving? Raise the intention to draw the hand in to the body and lap, and feel the tension arise again. Settle it down on the lap now and see the release of tension.

Can you feel that? Tension; then release of tension. Let's try it with the breath. Breathe in, and out, relaxed. Be fully present with the drawing in the of breath, and keep drawing it in until tension arises, need to release. And then at that moment of release, feel the ease. Push the breath out; it goes through a neutral phase, and then tension picks up again. Pushing it out, feel tension begin, needing to inhale. And then as it turns, as the in breath begins, tension releases. Can you feel it in the breath?

You might want to visualize an ocean wave building up, white froth on top, deep black belly, just about to break and then slapping down. You can feel the energy of it as it slaps down and rushes up onto the shore. Then it stops. There's a brief moment where it's at rest. Then it begins to draw back out, building up momentum, building up more tension, curling into the belly of the next wave. Again there's a point just as it reaches the top and before it rolls over, where it stops, a fraction of a second, building up and it stops, then movement again, crash! Can you see how the breath does the same thing in a more subtle way?

This is balanced energy. Jitsu is what we call energy that's in motion, active energy. It has a certain tension or contraction to it. Kyo is energy at rest, stilled energy. Your bodies, your minds, and the entire universe are a balance of kyo and jitsu energy. If you would visualize the yang and yin symbols and the way they curl into each other, this is the picture of perfect balance. Jitsu energy, tension, is not a problem. Kyo energy in itself is not a problem. An imbalance of kyo and jitsu creates much mental and physical stress.

When you move into an imbalanced jitsu state, or an imbalanced kyo state, there is discomfort, and the habit energy for the human is to not want discomfort, even to believe something is wrong when there is discomfort. Then the habit energy of fix-it comes.

Fear can express as a kyo or a jitsu pattern. Sometimes when there's fear, everything freezes, stops. Sometimes mind and body become hyperactive, jitsu. Sometimes they become so hyperactive that you get a logjam of sorts, so much energy in motion and no place for it to go that it gives the appearance of being frozen. It's really a super-jitsu state. It has the confusing name of hyper-kyo which gives the idea that it's a kyo state but it's not. It is gridlock, too much all locked together. Fear tends to be a jitsu energy, extending into a hyper-kyo, gridlocked energy.

Let's lay this entire bundle of thought temporarily to one side. The ego, the small ego self, is very attached to its continuation. It does not want to see deeply into oneness because at some level it believes that the small ego itself cannot thrive in that state of oneness. The small ego is a bit like a young child here; it whines, it clings. It does not want to trust that once it allows the experience of oneness, it will not disappear. Really, it just wants to be safe. It doesn't want to deeply consider its interconnection. It fights against the experience of connection, not knowing it to be its own true identity.

Let me illustrate; what comes to mind is a point in Ontario, Pt. Pelee. It juts out into Lake Erie. Water comes from one side, water comes from the other side as waves. The predominant wind and the currents come from two directions and at the tip of the point they smash into each other. They don't know they're just lake. At that point it's like a sea, it's so vast. But waves and current don't know they're just water. This wave crashes into that wave, each vying for power.

Your small ego self conflicts with the higher self, wanting power. It doesn't recognize higher self as it self, doesn't yet know it's true nature. There's a denial of the experience of oneness, I think because there's a fear that the self really will dissolve. People ask me in meditation, "If I keep going, Aaron, I feel like I will annihilate myself." No, you only dissolve the delusion of a separate self. But the body continues to function as a body, the breath breathes itself. If you spill a glass of water, the hand reaches out and turns it right and wipes up the spill. You smile and cry as appropriate.

Meditation takes people into a deep experience of no self, or perhaps better said, no separate self. When there is an ongoing spiritual practice, there is a way to integrate that experience, but for people who don't have an ongoing daily spiritual practice, if they come into this no-separate-self experience, there's fear. I will annihilate myself. The ego doesn't like it.

One of the habitual ways that many people have to keep the separate self going, to keep the illusion going, is to move into imbalanced kyo and jitsu patterns. The pattern is uncomfortable, but in some way it seems safe because it's familiar. In perfect balance, and perfect ease, we tend to lose the sense of separate self. In the imbalance, we find that uncomfortable self again, but ah, it's a relief in some way, to find it is still here. What would you be without this self, the body, the mind, emotions, all the parts with which you identify as "me"?

Fear is a primary source of that kind of contraction into imbalanced energy. So we repeat the stories of fear over and over. You become like the prisoner who has lived locked in a cell. The door is opened at last. He steps out and there is all the space of which he has dreamed. Vast space, freedom. Too big. He ducks back into his cell!

It's just habit. You have developed the habit to be slaves to the small ego self rather than allowing the divine self to come forth and inviting the small ego self to serve as a very willing and helpful servant. We're not out to destroy the ego. Ego is not bad. We're out to resolve the idea that the ego is the boss. Who are you when you know you are not the ego self?

Habit energies arise in different circumstances. If somebody is rude to you with words or pushes you, the whole body tenses, either to fight back or to flee. What happens is an imbalanced jitsu experience, and then further tension saying, "I should not be tense in this way." Here is the judging mind, just more contraction. With contraction, you are ever further from knowing the greater self of which you are an essential part. With contraction, you further shut out sacredness.

Think of a long rubber balloon. You blow air into it, inflate it. If you squeeze the end, you cannot blow in more air. If you twist that tube in the middle, you create 2 separate sections. The air is locked in. It cannot release or move from one section to another. Once you pinch it closed, no more air can move.

Take this to the human. You are all energetically linked to the divine. The physical, mental, and emotional bodies are linked thru the chakras. Energy comes in through the crown chakra. Your energy fields expand beyond the heavy bodies of course, but the material plane shows one level of the energy.

When there is fear, and fear becomes predominant, the energy field contracts. Instead of the energy moving through the chakras and the aura shining out, it's like the pinched cylinder of the balloon. Nothing can move. That contracted energy is very uncomfortable. But you are so familiar with the contracted sensation that you retreat into it for safety. Now it's not really safe, and it's very uncomfortable, but it's familiar and therefore less threatening. So the dilemma is that your true nature is to be uncontracted, and your habitual posture is contracted.

The retreat into a place of separation when there is fear, anger, greed, or other uncomfortable emotions, or body discomfort, is all that keeps you from knowing your true oneness. I think a difficulty that many humans have, is that you see that the light of the divine is so radiant, so brilliant and clear, and you see the shadow in the self. It feels like that shadow can never become pure enough to merge with the divine radiance. You don't recognize that it already is the divine radiance, and the divine is it. Instead you see in dualistic terms. The more strong the shadow appears, the more you feel you must beat it into submission, sometimes with recognizably forceful practices like guilt or shame; sometimes with less recognizable forceful practices, the fix-it energy. You think, "I'll start to meditate and I'll meditate every day, and if an hour doesn't do it, I'll meditate 2 hours until finally the shadow goes away." Can you feel the negativity in that statement? I'm exaggerating, of course, but you all know this fear, with all its self-improvement schemes. "Finally I'm going to get rid of my anger!" Ha. Anger can never resolve anger; only love can resolve anger, hatred, and fear.

So the work is to learn how to bring loving energy where there is negativity, despite the present habit to bring force to that negativity. First we need to know that there is a negative thought, and that there is the tendency to self-identify with the thought. You need to know that that self-identification is not necessary. The thought arose out of conditions, and when the conditions pass, the thought will go. Anger will arise out of conditions, and it will go. It's just energy. Your work is to be careful that you don't spill it over in ways that do harm.

A pot of boiling water is just a pot of boiling water. It has a lot of energy; it's actively boiling. You're going to carry the pot and pour it into cups to make tea. Wonderful, just don't spill it on people; use care. Anger is just energy. Greed is a related contracted and fearful energy. Know it when it arises; don't spill it on people.

So the first step in a progression of practice is to become aware of the energies that are moving through you and of your habitual relationship to them. Is the habitual relationship to negative thought more negative thought, or is it kindness and compassion? You can train so that compassion arises, no matter how strong the catalyst.

There's an instructional story told about a Tibetan saint, Milarepa. He was sitting in the doorway of his cave meditating. He was a great yogi, with many spiritual powers. So he sat there in the doorway meditating, and the demons of fear, greed, and anger appeared. They were hideous; skin hung in shreds from rattling bones, gore dripped from the tissues. There was a foul stench.. They carried bloody knives and swords. Milarepa took one look at them and said, "Hello, I've been expecting you. Come sit by my fire, have tea." "Aren't you afraid of us?," they asked. "No, your hideous appearance only reminds me to be aware, to have mercy. Come, sit by my fire, have tea."

This mix of awareness and mercy is the first step of your practice, to literally learn how to invite your demons in for tea. Don't get out a stick to beat them away. They are the result of conditions. They arose into your experience because of your old karmic conditioning. Be aware of them. Invite them in for tea. And make sure they don't act as bullies, bossing others around. Attend to them.

Milarepa also did not get into a dialogue with them. When anger appears, we don't get caught up in the stories it presents. We hand it a cup of tea and say, "Shhhhh, just sit there." Eventually it will go. You don't have to fix anything. You do have to attend to it.

After some time you become quite competent, and really create a new habit energy with these frequent visitors. When they come there's not such a sense of surprise, just, "here is anger, here is judgment, here is impatience," and then, "Shhh, here's tea."

Then there is more equanimity with these mind states, but the habit for their presence is still there. When someone pushes you, does anger arise? (Aaron begins to push playfully at Hal, inviting him to push back.) What happens when you are pushed? So the first phase is to see what the habit energy is. The second phase is to work with these habit energies to see what brings balance to them, what shifts the conditions so these mind and body states no longer are experienced through duality, and the tension of them perpetuated.

After our break I will introduce you to a very beautiful, simple practice that can be used to work with habitual mind and body states. It's very important that you do not work with this practice in order to get rid of the states, but simply to attend to them with love. By this I mean if you find a habitual energy, for example, that every time you're waiting in a supermarket line or traffic, impatience arises, first you must make peace with the impatience, and be able to say, "Sit by my fire, have tea," until there is no fear of the impatience, no sense this is wrong and you must fix it.

Greet the impatience with a smile, "Here it is again," driving to work, late, traffic, feeling the self getting tense, "Ahh, here is impatience coming again, here is tension." When there is the ability to greet that tension and impatience with spaciousness and an open heart, then this practice can be helpful. The specific practice that I teach you here is as taught in the Buddhist tradition, but both Judaism and Christianity have very parallel practices. I do not wish you to think of it as a Buddhist practice, but simply a spiritual practice. It is a practice found in many different spiritual traditions.

I'm going to summarize briefly, then pause to let you stretch, teach you this practice and give us plenty of time for Q&A. My teaching of it will be rather brief. I would like to add that additional in-depth instruction and discussion is in this free newsletter on the table, in two talks I've given.

In summary then, fear and contraction come together and are part of an ego-based habit energy, which keeps you feeling cut off and separate. The habitual reaction to that sense of being cut off is to create further contraction, to go ever further into an imbalanced energy. I emphasize this because you are here in bodies, and the body is such a valuable teacher to you. People sometimes tell me, "I don't know what I'm feeling, Aaron." But the body will tell you. Is the belly tied up in knots? The jaw hard? The shoulders tight? Watch the body.

Seeing the habit energy of fear held in the body in this way, the second step. What is the habitual reaction, the habitual response, to this knotted up feeling? Is it more negativity? If so, can you make a shift here? Take this whole habit energy - to contract around negativity - and invite it in, offer it tea. In other words, relax with the habit energies and stop judging them, and thereby deepening the sense of separation and contraction. Simply take care to attend to them so as not to enact them in the world. An angry response contains anger, but anger does not necessarily lead to angry response.

This is the beginning of practice with habit energy, to develop a kinder relation to habit energy, while you learn to trust the ability to respond with skill. . And then third, seeing this habit energy as the result of conditions, we work to shift those conditions through the Seven Branch Prayer practice that I will teach you. Many other practices have the same result, but I find this one very helpful. The compassion meditation we did yesterday is also a valuable way of releasing habit energy.

Let us pause here while you stretch.


Seven Branch Prayer

A: I am Aaron. I would ask you to bring into your mind some repetitive habit energy that has felt troublesome to you. Perhaps it's the mind that's so quick to judge oneself or others. Perhaps it's a habit like biting the nails, or moving tension into a specific part of the body until there's pain there. These are just a few examples. Choose one frequent visitor with which to work.

First, we acknowledge that this habit has arisen and experience what I call compassionate regret. By that I mean that there is no fierce anger with the habit, just a reflection, "Here it is again," and recognition, "This causes pain for me and for others," compassionate regret.

Invite the intention to touch the conditions out of which this habit energy arises in such a way that it ceases to arise. So we have compassionate regret and the offering of intention.

We ask for support, turn to whatever great masters, teachers, whatever beings you feel can best support your intention, to Jesus, to the Buddha, to your own personal guides and teachers. Asking for support. We reflect in that asking, that these great masters were able to free themselves of negative habit energy. There's a beautiful line in one of the Buddhist scriptures. The Buddha says, "Abandon the unwholesome. If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it… Cultivate the wholesome. If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it. " This is a beautiful kind of support, the recognition that it is possible. This human has done it. Remember, no matter how he was born, Jeshua was a human. He experienced pain, sadness, and fear in his life as Jesus. If cut, the body bled. The Buddha was a man. All of these great teachers overcame the habitual negative tendencies through the power of love. We recognize that such support is available to us. We ask for help, and we express gratitude that that support is available.

Gratitude is a very powerful emotion. It opens the heart. It is almost impossible to maintain fear in the face of gratitude. With gratitude, we open up that pinched balloon and we allow the energy to begin to flow into us again, allow ourselves to begin to experience that divine flow of love and light.

Then we come to the central practice, which has 2 parts, a relative phase and an ultimate phase. On the relative level, we offer an antidote or balance. What this means is that if anger has arisen, we consciously bring in a balance. For example, we find that the offering of loving wishes balances negative thought. It's hard to maintain anger at another person and authentically offer the wish, "May you have well-being, may you be happy." To offer that wish with honesty demands that we willingly release some of the constriction of anger. If greed has arisen, generosity is a balance. For example, if you are afraid that your needs won't be met, it can be a powerful practice to attend to other people, to ask, "Who else has needs here?" and help them. All of these are practices that bring the energy field back into balance, that release the habitual constriction.

I cannot give you a sheet that says, here is the issue and here is the balance; you need to be intuitive. But each of you very certainly has the capacity for that intuitive knowing of what brings balance. If there is impatience, you might want to just stop and breathe, consciously relax. If there is lethargy, you may want to bring the mind into more mindfulness, to be more present as a balance to that sloth. If there is confusion, focus and the arising of insight will dispel it.

This is the relative practice, the willingness to bring in the balance. Such willingness challenges our attachment to the state. That may sound like an odd statement to you, "attachment to the state?" But I have explained earlier this afternoon the ways the ego self attaches to anger and other negative emotion, the ways it has served as an armor or to give a sense of empowerment. So here is the statement. "I'm on to the small ego self. I'm not going to continue to perpetuate this state but to stop; to ask for support; to offer compassionate regret for the presence of this habit energy; to experience the gratitude for the help that is offered; and to offer balance."

There is one danger here. It's so easy to slip into that fix-it mode. Anger comes and we go through these phases and say, "I'm going to conquer my anger," as if it was something solid and eternally threatening if not vanquished. The other half of this bringing in balance is the ultimate portion. On the ultimate level, everything is already balanced. You have heard me say already this week, that which is aware of anger is not angry. I often use anger as example because I know it is a state with which everybody is familiar. But we could substitute any experience. That which is aware of impatience is not impatient. That which is aware of judging does not judge.

Here is the statement of willingness to touch that deepest aspect of your being, to find that which, side by side with fear, is not afraid. In the conscious, everyday mind, fear arises, and in the higher self there is no fear. Both are true. This side of the practice also has a danger. One can hide in that divine spaciousness and deny the human experience. But there must be no denial, just as there must be no fixing. Rather, there is an easy resting between the two. On the ultimate level, there is no anger, and yet I must attend to this anger in this relative being. Small ego does not attend to it with "fix-it". Rather, the higher self attends with loving compassion, with spaciousness, with caring, holding a space in which the human fear may be recognized, respected, cared for, and allowed to resolve itself. But here you do not buy into the story of being the one who is afraid and who must either act out the fear or suppress the fear or fix it. It's just energy; it's just fear.

Both halves of the practice must come together. You cannot ignore the human response and hide in the ultimate. And you cannot turn your back on the ultimate and simply keep pounding away at the relative experience with a stick. You hold them together: one container, no duality.

After you have done this, there is again the offering of gratitude for the support you have received, and the offering of whatever goodness has come from this work out for the good of all beings, sharing this field of love.

How would this look in actual practice? Let's use the example of the judging mind. You're sitting by the pool. Somebody jumps in the water, splashing water on everyone, almost landing on a child. Big splash! As you're splashed you look up and the mind judges.

There may then be a secondary judgment: I shouldn't be judging. Aha, more judging! So you see, "here is the judging mind. It is habit energy in me; when something offends me, disturbs me, mind moves into judging mode." Compassionate regret, this has arisen.

Invite the intention to bring balance to the tension of judgment, seeking support, offering gratitude. And then you bring your attention to that person who has jumped and is now in the middle of the pool making great splashes. Lovingkindness might be helpful here. Breathing in, sending out the wish, "May you be happy." Breathing in again, "May you have peace." Breathing in and with the exhale, "May you love and be loved." In, and with the exhale, "May you have well-being." Offer them also to yourself, and to all who were splashed.

As you offer these wishes, you begin to feel a release. Then it's time to reach out to the part of yourself that is not judging. To find that awareness that can see the whole big situation, a very hot and impulsive young person, younger than you thought at first glance. Not quite aware of other people yet, not mature enough to be aware. I don't mean age, just not emotionally mature, nor spiritually mature. There was each of us, once upon a time. We find the place free of judgment, a place of true compassion. So we both work to bring balance, and we find that which is free of judgment, fear, anger, or whatever might be present. Feeling the energy constriction release, again offering gratitude, and offering whatever good has come from this practice for the benefit of all beings. "May all beings find this freedom and lightness. May all beings come to live in the loving open heart, in connection, in truth."

It sounds like it would take quite awhile, and at first it will take you 5 or 10 minutes. But with a few repetitions of it, you will find you can do it in just a minute. That's all it takes. The regularity of the repetition of it is what's important. I would urge you not to try to do this with 17 habit energies at once. Pick one you're going to follow for a few days, and every time it comes up, work with it with this practice. One minute, 2 minutes at most.

Feel the possibility of release, feel the release. And you will see after awhile that that negative energy doesn't come up as strongly because you are touching the conditions, not just trying to shift the result.

At some point when you feel that some shift has happened and there's a different habit energy that's a recurrent visitor and is troublesome, start to work with that new habit energy. Take them one at a time. There is nothing to fix. This is simply a kind way of inviting yourself back into the expression of your essential radiance and love, of reminding yourself of the truth of your being, and of your highest intention to express that truth in the world.

We'll spend a few minutes now in silence. Choose one habit energy. Offer the compassionate regret that it arises so frequently. Ask for the support of all those great beings who take delight in offering such support. Offer gratitude for their presence, for their modeling of the possibility of love. Feel the space in that gratitude. Again, focusing on the difficult habit energy. Compassionate regret and the intention for balance. On the relative plane, what will balance this energy?

Try it. (pause)

Watch for any "let's fix this" kind of tension. As you work with balancing, also bring awareness to the larger perspective, to that place where there is already perfection, nothing to fix.

If there is fear, right there find fearlessness.

If there is anger, right there find love. These are not someplace other than with fear or anger, but right there with far and anger.

Offer the relative resolve to bring in the antidote, the balance. And the ultimate, resting in the spaciousness of the Ever Perfect.


It usually it will not feel balanced completely, just nudged a little bit. That's enough for now. Again offer gratitude for great spiritual teachers and practices of love that lead us to this opening to the truth of being.

"Whatever good may come from this practice, I offer it freely for the benefit of all beings. May all beings be happy and have well-being and peace."

At this point I would expect you will feel less constricted, at least. Now just go on. Whatever you were doing, go back to it. If that habit energy comes up again, work with it in the same way. Be prepared for a lot of repetition. It took you a long time to learn that habit. Be patient as it releases. Work with it with patience and kindness.

Thank you for your attention. I will pause here and leave the remaining half hour for your questions. I'm happy to hear your questions about this practice, about what I said earlier today or yesterday, or about anything that concerns you. I pause.

Q: When my habit energy came up, even in this moment I felt like I got consumed by it, and I couldn't remember what to do, it was so strong. And it related to fear, so I wondered if Barbara could repeat the steps.

Aaron: I am Aaron. I want to simplify the steps: -Recognition of the habit energy, with compassionate regret. -Asking for support. -Gratitude that the support is available. -Offering of the intention to look clearly at this habit energy, and to touch with kindness the conditions out of which it arose. -The doing of that, the relative/ultimate level resolving. This is two steps. -Again, the offering of gratitude and the sharing in the blessings of the work.

Please do not choose the heaviest habit energy in your life with which to start. A weight lifter trains by starting small or he'll develop a hernia. Don't give yourselves a spiritual hernia. Take something that's workable. Build up the muscles. If something that feels too big comes in and feels overwhelming, my immediate response would be, if you have developed any kind of a vipassana practice, to take it into that practice, and explore the experience "feeling overwhelmed."

"Feeling overwhelmed" is an interesting thing. It's like a small knob covered with Velcro so that everything sticks to it. In itself, it's perhaps heavy but not unworkable, but when all the different stories stick, it becomes enormous. When we know the direct experience, "feeling overwhelmed," free of any of the stories of "What am I doing wrong? What will I do? Will I never get it right? What's wrong with me? I'm hopeless," what is this experience, "feeling overwhelmed?"

We see that it is a mind and body experience of tension and contraction that arose out of conditions. We depersonalize it in a sense. It's not "my" experience, although this mind and body are experiencing it. But it is not owned by the deeper aspect of the self, nor does it own that higher self.

Feeling overwhelmed is part of the human experience. You share it with every other human being on earth, those moments of feeling overwhelmed. So without the extra weight of the stories, there can be space for compassion to develop for this human in this moment experiencing this tension. Then watch the tension. No tension stays the same for long periods of time. It will change; it will shift. Right there in the tension of feeling overwhelmed you may begin to find real strength and joy, just in your capacity to hold space for that rock of overwhelmed. Ah, I can do this. And a bit of ease comes. I pause.

Q: What I was failing to do was to go back to my breath and just be the observer instead of thinking of the steps and trying to deal with the process.

Aaron: I am Aaron. Yes, breath is the key, but do not deny "overwhelmed" and escape to the breath; rather, allow the breath to become the spacious container wherein the observer can watch the mind/body experience "feeling overwhelmed" without building a personal story about it. That in a sense is just what you said, the need to return to the breath. I pause.

Q: When we get to the step of the habit and recognize the condition causing the habit, which one are we supposed to find balance for, the habit or the condition?

A: I am Aaron. You are not looking for the condition causing the habit. You need not go back that far. It may be literally rootless. Sometimes it's just habit energy. For example, if you are walking in a crowded place and somebody bumps into you, the body will reflexively contract. Anger energy may arise. We can't say what caused this; it's just the way the mind and body are. When you're bumped, you contract. The question is what will bring balance to this contracted energy. And in this case it would probably be lovingkindness. There are many ways of offering lovingkindness to oneself and others. One is just to note, "contracted," and come back to the breath.

If the mind wants to go into what caused this, what's going on, wanting to fix, please see that as a different habit energy. There is an impulse, wanting, grasping. This may be based on a habit, when there is contraction, of thinking one is wrong or bad because there is contraction, and that it must be fixed. It may be the habit of wanting to control. These are different habit energies than the simple contraction when bumped, or anger when bumped. Again, the balance is just to offer love, much like the compassion meditation we did yesterday. Be aware that you are feeling fear. You might say, "Breathing in and aware that I am feeling fear. Breathing out, I smile to my fear. Breathing in, I'm aware that I am feeling discomfort. Breathing out, I smile to the discomfort. May I be free of fear, free of discomfort, free of pain." Just that. I pause.

Q: I'm still confused. The habit I was looking at was craving caffeine. And I thought the balance might be exercise.

Aaron: I am Aaron. To me, offering exercise as a balance to craving caffeine is a fix-it pattern. The key is that there is craving. Feeling that craving, the habit energy is either to follow up and take what it wants, or to think, "No, this is bad," and deny the want. Rather, can one just watch craving and get to know it as it is. So the balance here is patience, perhaps, and kindness to the self who craves, releasing judgment. What is the direct experience of craving that needs to get what it wants.? Feeling the tension and neediness. Is there a fear that without caffeine you won't function well? Then you'll judge yourself, or others may judge you. I think the balance for all that would be just the wishing of lovingkindness to the self. May I have ease of well-being. May I know my ultimate safety. May I feel happy and peaceful. It would be the recognition, fear is present. Can you see that? And on the ultimate level can you see that aspect of being that knows it doesn't need caffeine, that the craving is just craving, an energy form, and will pass? I pause.

Q: (To Aaron) Yesterday you said you enjoyed the movie Groundhog Day. Do you watch many movies?

Barbara: I think Aaron watches a lot more movies than I do! He uses other people… other people offer him the use of their senses to watch. I watch captioned films, usually on TV… But I find that Aaron has seen movies that I haven't seen. (To Judith) Does that happen with you and Jeshua? Has Jeshua seen movies that you haven't seen? (Yes.) Fascinating.

Q: This discipline has helped me to work with the remnants of emotional habits that still come up on occasion. This allows me now to deal more directly with that habit energy. Thank you.

Barbara: I'm glad to hear that. There are several chapters about habit energy in Presence, Kindness, and Freedom that I think would help. We all have a lot of habits. The emotional habits can be very, very strong. I think it's important to differentiate between habits that still have psychological roots that we need to uncover and understand, and habits that are just knee-jerk kind of responses. They yield very well to this kind of practice. For me, working with vipassana practice, I begin to see the arising of habit energy without taking it so much as self. I see it just as habit. There's much more spaciousness with it. I don't get angry with myself when anger comes up. I say, "Here is anger again" or "here is fear" or "grasping." But we still eventually want to be more free of these patterns, so we still want to find ways to attend to and balance them.

Q: My one big habit energy is judgment. (Barbara: Anybody else have judgment as a big habit energy!? All hands are raised! ) One of my teachers has shown me how to deal with that. And yet, the small tentacles of the knee-jerk still come up. So this discipline has really helped me.

Barbara: Good. It does help.

Q: The Alice Bailey books say the masters are not really available often to individuals because they're busy with larger plans for the world. Yet you advise us to seek them out.

Barbara: Aaron says if you will excuse his language, Bullshit!

Aaron: I am Aaron. My dear one, you are infinite. I am infinite. I know it. You don't yet know it, that's the only difference. Let me ask you a question. Rain is not infinite, of course. But if you have a rainstorm and it waters this portion of the garden (pointing right), does it mean that it's too busy to water that portion of the garden (pointing left)? How could that be? I cannot ever be too busy because that infinite energy of which I partake, and which is most truly what I am, is simultaneously everywhere. I am unlimited, as are all the masters, including yourselves for you are also masters, only you have yet to realize that truth. I pause.

Q: I'm staying with a family this weekend that has many, many problems. Drugs, alcohol, money, emotional problems, and they want me to help them. What should I say to them?

Aaron: I am Aaron. This is a vast subject and we can just touch the tip of it here in the time we have. It's the subject I would call dynamic compassion. Sometimes people believe compassionate response is only to do, and to do more and more and more, and they fail to see that withholding the doing can sometimes be a more compassionate response. People may be determined not to do harm. They may act because they think that refusing to act is a way of harming. Other people may withhold the action because they're not certain, and they're afraid they will do harm if they act. But you can do harm through action or through refusing to act. What is needed? You have to trust your heart, trust your deepest intention to do no harm, to serve others with love, and ask yourself, what is helpful here?

Where there is a lot of pain and anger, kindness is always helpful. Kindness can take many forms. Simply listening without taking sides, without talking much at all, just listening can be a form of kindness because as you listen you help others to hear themselves. Buying a bag of fresh fruit could be a gift of kindness. If there is money problem in the house, and drugs, you don't want to give money, but some healthy food could be a gift of kindness. Non-judgment is a gift of kindness, not jumping to conclusions but stepping back enough to see the whole situation and hold it in a prayerful and loving space. Working with your own confusion or anger is a gift of kindness. Often when people are suffering like this, they want to invite people into their pattern, into negative reaction. Refusing to be drawn in, that's a great gift. I pause.

Barbara: One last question.

Q: Yesterday you talked about the history of the earth and you mentioned 5 angels that worked with forming the energy of the earth. You named four of them. Who was the 5th?

A: I am Aaron. This is the one you came to know as the "fallen angel." This one loved and wished to protect what he had created. But he became caught in the fear vibration. Because of his fear, he moved into a negative bias.

We need to look at what we mean by positivity and negativity. Negativity is the contracted state and positivity the uncontracted state. One definition of them is that negativity is service to self and positivity is service to others, but we reach a point where self and other disappear. So that description is valid for some length of ways, but beyond that I find that contracted and uncontracted are a better description.

When I say the contracted state, the imbalanced contracted state where the contraction is held and not released or balanced. It moved into that imbalanced contracted state and literally brought that vibration of fear to the earth plane where it had been unknown before. Others then shifted into the fear vibration and wanted to fix what this archangel had brought forth. And wiser others, from my perspective, said just let it be. Trust that the human will also use this fear vibration as a ground for learning. Trust that in the ultimate sense it is not harmful, although it will bring forth pain and struggle.

There cannot be positive polarity without negative polarity, because there's no duality. This was the largest issue around which trust was, and still is, lacking.

So this now negatively polarized archangel moved into a more and more negative pattern, always looking for a way to gain power. But love is more powerful than hatred, and it will always be so. So this one can never find the power that it seeks through hatred, no matter how deep it goes into hatred. This one continues to go deeper and deeper into negativity, exploring negativity. It still hopes to find the way to ultimate power through negativity.

Remembering that there is no ultimate evil, we see that this fear vibration is simply a distortion of the love energy. It has no strength on its own. It came into being because he loved in a distorted way, because he was not able to trust, wanted to protect. Each of us sees that fear vibration in ourselves and sees that we can perpetuate it through enhancing the fear, or we can know it for what it is and hold it in a container of love. Each time we do this, we serve as models to that negatively polarized energy which does exist, to show them the way out of their negativity, to invite them back into positivity. And in this way, each time you do work on yourself, you literally serve all beings.

It is past the hour, time for the bodies to stretch and relax, and the beings to play a bit before the evening. I thank you for sharing yourselves with me these two days, and look forward to our continued conversations through the weekend. Please feel my love with you.

(taping ends)

Copyright © 2004 by Barbara Brodsky