Wednesday, September 15, 1993

Aaron's talk

I am Aaron. My greetings and love to you all. It is a joy to feel your presence once again. I hope you have had a joyful and growth filled summer and have returned inspired and ready to work.

What I would like to do here tonight is to define our work together, as I understand it, offering many leads of directions that we might take on these Wednesday nights. Those of you who know me know that I am willing to talk about metaphysics, but that I do not consider metaphysics of primary importance in our work together. Of far greater import to me is the fact that you are here in incarnation for a reason. This earth is your schoolroom and you are here to learn.

What is that learning about? How can we help it on its way? There is not a human on this earth who does not suffer fear, pain and bewilderment at times. Pain disorients some of you more than others, but there is not any incarnate human who has not experienced some degree of fragmentation, and who is not seeking healing and wholeness.

I have spoken about the four bodies, physical, emotional, mental and spirit bodies. I'm not going to go into details about this now; it's readily available in transcript. (See 'The Universe According to Aaron.') Your work as a human is not to get rid of the emotional and mental bodies-not to stop thought, not to stop emotions-but to cease your reactivity to these, so that you may function more fully from the spirit body, which is non-separate and understands its interbeing with all that is. It is the reactivity to the emotions and thoughts that leads you into a deluded sense of self and separation. In time you come to enjoy those physical, emotional and mental aspects of the incarnation without identification with them as self. You find and rest in your true self, your ultimate perfection.

We are working in two directions, the horizontal and vertical, as I will explain. On the horizontal plane we are dealing with each human, its suffering, neurotic tendencies, fears, dreams and hopes. We regard each being trying to find the healing for which it took birth. And yet if care is not given one can create a more solid sense of self and separation as one does that work. There is so much 'somebodyness' in being the one who is mindful, who is suffering, who is healing.

So the ideal path combines the horizontal work of dissolving the fragmentation and the vertical work of moving into true understanding of emptiness of self. Most of you have related to the world from a center of 'me.' That is the root of so much of your suffering. You know that. You have each experienced the difference when you come out of that 'me' and move with a truly compassionate heart that experiences its connections with the earth itself and all of the beings that reside on the earth. How do we find that true self within us? Not the small ego self, but the Buddha or Christ consciousness, Pure Awareness, the pure, illuminated mind. Tibetans call it Rigpa. Call it what you will, that space where all is connected. It is a space all beings experience at times, but you are not taught to recognize the experience.

Once you identify that space, stabilize your understanding and become more and more able to live from within it, the reality of your ultimate, true being consistently penetrates the illusion of 'me,' so that when you see yourself grasping and afraid you know that is relative reality. Then the experience of true self comes in and says, 'There's nobody here to be afraid, there is nothing to be afraid of. It's just old mind doing its thing. Just that.' Then you begin to know your fear as illusion.

I want to give you an example. First I ask you to visualize an image with me. Picture a brand new, totally flat plane of earth that has never been marked in any way. One raindrop falls. It must go somewhere. It runs downhill, from high ground to low ground, etching just the very finest scratch on the surface of that new earth. A second raindrop falls and hits in the same place. It also runs down, deepening the scratch. Fifty, one hundred, one million raindrops. First you have a stream, and then eventually the Grand Canyon. That canyon was carved not by an atomic blast, but by a series of raindrops, each one making just the slightest deepening of the present indentation.

This is how karma works. There is a reaction to some catalyst and it creates a scratch. If there is not attention to the forming of that scratch it becomes a tendency to react that way. And then a habit. Then the habit hardens into character and will grow into our neurotic patterns, the ways we relate over and over to one another.

Let us look at unworthiness in this way. I don't think there is anyone in this room who at one time or another has not felt unworthy. We don't need to look for original cause; indeed, we can not find original cause. It is not useful to search for it. We simply accept that somewhere along the way, in this and certainly in prior lifetimes, there was a reaction (if you're not comfortable with the idea of prior lifetimes, that's fine: just in this lifetime). Somebody frowned at you, or there was a sense of feeling excluded from a group. Whatever it may have been, the mind leaped to the idea: 'I am unworthy. I am inadequate to this situation in some way.' Probably there was fear and strong emotion. That sense of inadequacy was part of the protective device shielding from the intensity of the emotion. Attention was not paid to that first scratch. It became like a scratched record where the needle catches in the groove, each time deepening it and eventually creating the Grand Canyon.

Now you come into a situation of feeling excluded in a group and your reaction is that old mind experience of 'I am unworthy.' On the horizontal level we look, through our meditation, at the experience of feeling unworthy because in order to work with it you must know what you are feeling. You begin to experience the ownership of that feeling, 'My unworthiness is me,' the perspective of the ego-self.

Then you might ask yourself, in the vertical direction: 'What is really happening in this moment? Who is unworthy? Is unworthiness what's happening? No. Those people are just talking together; they don't know me. Or, perhaps they are, indeed, excluding me. That doesn't mean I'm unworthy.' The unworthiness is old mind conditioning. It never was real. Nor is worthiness real. There is no worthiness or unworthiness. There is only being; in this moment, there is just being.

When we look with bare perception, freeing ourselves from mind's old patterns, we see that there is no worthiness or unworthiness in this moment. And there truly is nobody, no self, to feel worthy or unworthy. There is just this mind stream that has gotten caught in the pattern of feeling unworthy. It's not 'me' it's just a pattern repeated over and over. You penetrate that illusion of worthiness/unworthiness, of self.

At that moment you find yourself able to truly rest in the pure mind awareness of connection, totally devoid of fear. Pure awareness may only last an instant, but it cuts through all the illusion of worthy/unworthy, good or bad, acceptance or rejection. It cuts through the illusion of 'me.' Both the horizontal work and the vertical work are necessary. One finds healing through what I am calling horizontal work, through the many practices that we introduce here. One also cuts through this fog of illusion and sees that there was never anybody who needed to heal in the first place.

What we have here, essentially, is relative and ultimate reality. You must live in both. You stand astride a threshold; one foot in relative reality, one foot in ultimate reality. When you begin it is as if there is an infinite wall spread out from that door frame. You think you see relative reality when you look this way and ultimate reality when you look the other way. Light and darkness, white and black, but there is a wall that separates it. The wall is illusion. It is built of the illusion of your fear. Much of our work here is to come to know that wall as illusion, to come to know that you can stand with a foot on each side of this doorway, and that there is no wall at all. The darkness and the daylight meet at dawn and dusk.

In terms of your human life you have heard me say many times that you must always do everything in your power to attend to suffering. That is the relative reality. The ultimate reality is to approach that suffering without attachment, to know that you can not fix another, or the world, and that you don't understand what is really happening. But you still must work with as much wisdom, skill and love as you can in the world. You do not disassociate yourself from the world. As you work, you stabilize a sense of equanimity and letting go, knowing that ultimately it will work itself out as it needs to.

Attending to one's own suffering, there is the relative side that chooses to take care of itself, to protect itself. And the ultimate understanding that there is never anything separate from the self, so there is nothing from which you need to defend yourself.

I see our work then as finding that balance between relative and ultimate-the horizontal plane of healing and the vertical plane of knowing there was never anybody that needed to heal. With wisdom and pure awareness, that whole sense of self dissolves. When you find that Christ or Buddha consciousness, that higher self, within you, you know it was never in need of healing to begin with. It has always been perfect, always been whole. The whole notion of fragmentation was an illusion, but it is the illusion of the relative reality, and the suffering within that illusion must be attended to. The human manifestation needs healing.

I'm going to keep this opening talk short. That is the essence of the work I hope we will be doing here this year. Obviously there is much richness within that essence. Last year we began to explore some wonderful metaphysical questions like simultaneous time, UFOs, different religions of the earth and many, many different kinds of questions. We also discussed dreams. Something I'd like to get into with you this year is called lucid dreaming (knowing when you are dreaming) and some different kinds of dream work with fear. Also, more work with body energy, becoming more aware of the chakras and starting to understand better when they are blocked and how to work skillfully with that blockage. We will relate body energy to the energy source and the Light Body. I want you to understand karma more clearly, and to understand its relationship with energy and intention. I want to be receptive to your questions and needs. Together, I would like to create a program that is less scattered than it has been on Wednesday nights in the past, something that will lead us into a continuum.

We will pause now for a break. After the break, during question and answer time, I hope that we can build on the more rapid dialogue that we began in the spring, allowing more give and take. Remember that I am not the only teacher here, so I hope that you will find time to hear one another as well. If there is a question asked that I answer and some of you have thoughts you would like to share about it, please do so. Let us all learn together.

It would also be my hope that these Wednesday night sessions can be transcribed as quickly as possible rather than taking months to do so. If we do have some continuous learning experience happening here and there are those coming regularly and those coming irregularly, those who are not able to come every week can read these transcripts and move with us. That is all.

Questions and Answers

Question: It seems to me that the more refined my feelings become, through meditation and spiritual practice, the more sensitive I become to the ultimate pain of loss and change. There is more joy and, paradoxically, more pain.

Barbara: Let me speak to that briefly. Yes. It's not that there is more joy and more pain, but that we are letting go of the barriers that we have had to protect ourselves. We're allowing ourselves to feel it all more fully. When we allow ourselves to feel the joy, we also allow ourselves to feel the pain.

The core of it is in the statement, 'the more sensitive I become to the ultimate pain of loss and change.' One of the hardest things to accept is that nothing is permanent; there really is nothing to hold on to. Everything that comes into our experience is ultimately unsatisfying in that we can not hold on to it. No matter how wonderful it is, we can't keep it. It's not that the experience itself is unsatisfying, but we create that dissatisfaction through our fear that we are going to loose it. You're eating something delicious, or you're having a wonderful conversation and feeling so connected with somebody. Can you hold onto those forever? Would you want to? What if you kept eating, or kept that conversation going for weeks? How long would you want to? So, it's not that the experience in itself is unsatisfying; that meal, conversation or symphony that you're listening to, those can be very wonderful. But you can only experience the beauty of it when there's no attachment or holding on to it.

So, that's the core of what we are trying to learn. How do we live our lives, really opening our heart to what we're experiencing, but not getting attached to it and trying to hold on to it, which creates so much of suffering? A real sadness for me is when I see people around me enjoying something for awhile and then they hold on and what was joy turns to sorrow. It hurts to see how much suffering people create for themselves, and to know I can't fix that. To me that's the deepest pain. It shifts, from that which is beautiful to that which is terrible, in an instant, because our mind shifts from just being with it to grasping.

Aaron: I don't have a great to deal to add to what was predominately a statement and not a question. Only to agree with what Barbara has said, and to raise the question: once we accept that life is pain as well as joy and learn to live with an open heart which doesn't push away pain or grasp at pleasure, does that not reduce the suffering? There is still going to be pain. We have talked here many times about the difference between pain and suffering. Pain is a given, as long as you are in human form. But it need not lead to suffering. Your suffering grows out of your resistance to that which life gives you.

What truly will break your heart is to understand this and see that you can not make another understand it until they are ready. Each being holds on to its own suffering until it's ready to let go of it. All you can ultimately do is live your life with as much love and compassion as possible. And be willing to have your heart broken over and over and over again, without closing that heart and thereby limiting your ability to love. You can also live the dharma as clearly and purely as you can and allow your lives to reflect to others that there is a choice. Suffering of attachment and aversion are not the only options. I wonder if there is some useful discussion of this amongst yourselves. How do you experience it? Do you also find that as you move deeper on a spiritual path you experience more joy and more pain?

Barbara: M has said, 'Yes.' Aaron asks, 'Is that okay?'

M: It doesn't matter if it's okay, it just is. It's hard to differentiate between my personal sorrow and world pain, the pain of all beings on earth. Since I've been doing metta meditation for two years now, the sense of identification with the suffering of earthly beings has grown deeper; sometimes I am overcome with deep sadness and don't know why. Was it just triggered by longing for someone, or something someone said at work which made me worry about keeping my job, or is it all a continuum? One pain, one sadness, a realization of our wholeness and non-separation, our connectedness to all life on earth? I cannot tell the difference anymore. It's just such a sudden and deep sorrow that comes over me. Most days of the week, sometime during the day, maybe several times. But it is tolerable. It's a softer feeling than the anger I used to carry around constantly, it seemed, and with equal intensity. So, having suffered the pain of that anger and separation, this is just okay. I am experiencing joy at alternate times, perhaps deeper joy.

Aaron: What happens, M, is that all of you constantly swing back and forth from the relative 'I' to the ultimate 'I,' from small ego self to higher self-to pure awareness, let us say. And so what you have claimed as 'my pain' becomes 'our pain,' the pain of us all. That de-personalizes it, and the depersonalization defuses it, so that it no longer boils the emotions in the same way. There is pain, but there is no ownership of the pain, so there is nothing that needs to be done about it. No striking out against it in quite the same way.

This is precisely the point that I was making in my opening talk, that coming to that realization is what allows skillful, compassionate and wise action in the world without attachment to results. When one is working in a place where there is terrible suffering, disease, starvation and famine, one can be personally devastated by it if one takes each death personally, thinking 'It's my fault. I should be able to fix it.' How could you fix it? All you can do is work with what's in front of you. If there is disease, one might be a physician and work skillfully with that disease but not be able to cure it. What if there is famine and you are there to try and help and give out food, but there is simply not enough food to feed all the bodies? How do you work with that intensity of suffering which surrounds us in the world, unless you can let go of the personal?

But the pain is still there and if you deny the pain then you are closing your heart in protection. When you know you are closing your heart, then it becomes possible to open the heart again-to allow yourself to feel that hurt, to be vulnerable over and over and over again. It is possible only when you transcend that small ego self that resists being hurt and cease to need to defend in that way.

There is a very beautiful story in a book that Barbara once read. ('The Parable of Mushin' in the book Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck.) The story is about a young man who had just lost his job. He came home to tell his wife he lost his job and there was a note saying, 'I've left.' He was feeling terrible pain and he decided, 'Well, I'm going to become enlightened.' He had done some reading about meditation, a book about 'How to catch the train of enlightenment.' So he studied the book, then went to the railroad station and decided, 'I'm going to just sit here on the platform, follow the book's instructions, and see if I can't move myself on to this stream of enlightenment that goes by.'

Others came and asked, 'What is he doing?' They decided to sit with him. After a while he had a community there. The young man was still trying to meditate and catch his train. Slowly he was forced to open his eyes and see that people were there who were not being fed, people that were ill. People had brought their children but were so intent on finding enlightenment that they were not caring for their children. He said, 'Somebody's got to do it.' So he ceased meditating and he began to organize food preparation, schools, games and other activities for the young people. He spent increasing amounts of time on this.

Sometimes he would look around with some resentment, see all the people meditating and say, 'Why can't I do that? But these people are hungry and these people are sick and the young people need somebody to organize their activities. We need more housing,' and so on. He stopped focusing on catching the train and began instead to focus on alleviating suffering, helping others. He put 'self' aside. He worked, and he meditated, and he worked some more, just doing what needed to be done.

One night when he was very tired from a full day of work, he sat down on the station platform. There was a full moon and it was a lovely evening. Though he was exhausted, he just sat. He decided to sit all night. This train of enlightenment had streamed through everyday without stopping. He no longer grasped at catching it; he was too busy.

Now he sat and along came the train; it stopped and he got on. Suddenly he realized he had always been on the train. He was the train. It was his grasping that prevented him from recognizing it. He learned that by giving himself fully in service to others he transcended this small ego self that was attempting to escape suffering. He simply gave himself over into whatever pain there was and allowed himself to be undefended with that pain. Then the small ego self dissolved and he discovered the true meaning of enlightenment.

I've greatly reduced the story. If any of you are interested in reading it, Barbara can direct you to it.

M: I had an experience of intense joy and wondered: what if I become caught in this joy and thereby lose the experience of others' suffering, what if I forget about that?

Aaron: You must look deeper, M. Joy and pain are one and the same. While allowing yourself to experience joy, ask yourself this: am I using this joy as an escape? Is there denial in it? Or is it simply joy? Only if you experience the joy of your connection with others, through your teaching or in other areas, can you experience the pain. So, no, you are not denying the experience of suffering. Denial takes tremendous effort; it is very painful work. But I would ask you to look deeper into that place where joy and pain come together. Do you understand?

M: Yes.

Barbara: D is speaking of a time when he was less aware and of the intensity with which he sometimes feels today's pain. The denial of his feelings can sometimes be appealing because today's pain is so intense. Is that correct?

D: Yes, but that is a minor part of it. The point I wanted to make is that being more open to my pain is, indeed, painful, but overall I find living with awareness and acceptance of my pain to be easier than living in denial.

Aaron: In an earlier talk (in newsletter, Nov. 12, 1992 transcript in Vol. 1, No. 1, and also in introductory newsletter), I spoke about empowerment. Surrendering the self does not mean disempowering the self, but is actually empowering, because you surrender the small ego self, which is helpless anyway. You come into full contact with the higher self, or Christ or Buddha consciousness. From that place of connection you are empowered, not as small self, but as divine self. When you live with awareness you live with at least some sense of the expression of that divine self. It is that empowerment which makes it so much easier. Painful, yes, but there is no longer this sense of complete helplessness.

Barbara: I'm now paraphrasing Aaron. He wonders if you experience it that way?

N: Awareness is very powerful. I would not have thought of it in that way. My perceived pain has lessened, really lessened. I have a greater understanding of it and somehow it's all okay. There's not this up and down, up and down. I'm almost 'blah.' But that feels very good. A steadiness. I have come to realize how it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. It's different.

Barbara: There's so much more space around it. What Aaron was just saying about empowerment, it's the difference between feeling trapped in your pain because you claim ownership to your pain, or no longer owning it. It's just our pain and there's space for it.

N: And the awareness that D spoke of, the awareness is like-'Oh, yeah, ah-ha!'-it's that kind of thing. It's nice. I want to grasp it.

Barbara: It's not graspable. The minute you grasp it you get into the personal, with the small ego self there trying to grasp. And that sets off the whole chain of suffering again! Lets move on to the next question, which Aaron says is related.

(Reading question.) I have a neighbor who consistently violated my boundaries this summer. He finally so blatantly violated my space that I had to say something to him. I was very angry at him. While I was feeling this anger and rage I tried to convince myself that there was no need to be angry, and to see it as something I could step aside from. It worked for a few minutes. But compared to the several hours I was enraged I don't feel like I'm imbibing the concepts that none of it really exists very well.

Aaron. Who says it is nonexistent? On the relative plane, that pain and anger are very much present! My dear ones, anger is energy. It is neither good nor bad; it transcends good and bad. Your reactivity to your anger may cause harm. But the anger, in itself, is just energy. We must not confuse equanimity with complacency. Equanimity is a sense of acceptance of what is, which allows for anger when there is obvious injustice. There can be skillful response to anger, which helps to alleviate suffering. Or there can be unskillful reaction to anger, which increases suffering.

One does not choose whether to be angry or not to be angry. Rather, one works with the anger, knowing that this mind/body is experiencing anger. What are you going to do with anger? To put it aside is not a choice. It's not like a light switch. You can not turn it on and off. But you can understand how anger arises in you, become aware of how it pulls in the personal self that needs to defend. Begin to see how reactivity to anger occurs, and to work skillfully with your anger.

In this way you become able to say no when somebody is using you as a doormat in some way or the other. You don't need to be a doormat. But you can say no with love rather than fear. This is the core of it. You are not avoiding your emotions; or if there is a tendency to avoid, you know that there is a tendency to want to avoid, because of the discomfort emotions bring up. Be mindful of what is present within you at any moment and work with it with love, not fear-love that permits you to feel your feelings, and to say 'no' to another. That 'no' does not have to be 'I hate you.' 'No' is just 'no.' It shares respect for the self with respect for the other, because it comes from a place of awareness that there really is no self or other. You are not saying 'no' to the other, you're saying 'no' to the situation in which another is misusing you because of their own fear. Essentially, you are saying 'no' to fear. It is the courage to say 'no' to fear which inspires others to say 'no.' This is where anger becomes a catalyst for compassion instead of hatred. Again I would welcome further questions or discussion.

Barbara: Someone just said her anger is uncomfortable. She said that she would rather get in touch with the fear underneath. We can do that. We can see the source of any emotion that's arising in us. If it's greed, if it's anger, whatever it is. If we get in touch with the fear, shame, loss or whatever is the root of that emotion, then often we can find a lot of compassion for ourselves and it's so much easier. Because there's not judgment about fear. We don't judge ourselves for being afraid, but we do judge ourselves for feeling greed or feeling anger. This process can lead us to making space for even the anger.

M is saying she thinks that it's different by gender, how we react to different emotions.

Aaron: This is true, M, and is part of the reason why you sometimes choose a male body and sometimes choose a female body. You choose the body that is most appropriate to work with that which you need to work with in that lifetime. Do not neglect the fact that how you react to different emotions also varies by culture. You choose birth within a culture that will give you the most access to the opportunity to practice. Some of you, then, feel 'It would be so much easier if I had been born into a different sex or a different culture,' so you wouldn't feel some emotion so strongly. Precisely; it would be easier! But you are not incarnate for 'easier.' You have been born as you have been born just so that you will feel it strongly, so that it will be a catalyst for growth.

Barbara: R has asked: what if there is anger not because you are being misused but because there is selfishness, or fear that there won't be enough to give to meet others' needs.

Aaron: This is why we emphasize mindfulness. Whatever the anger is about, know that that's what the anger is about. Then it becomes workable. If it's anger because of being misused, know there is anger of being misused and a fear that you will be hurt. If there is anger that another is asking for something and fear that you can't give it, know that you are feeling anger because of fear that your own needs will not be met-that too much will be taken from you. Simply know the fear. Identify it, be with it. Offer yourself compassion, to this human that feels fear. You are not gods, you are humans. Fear exists. It's okay to feel fear. This is the crucial point. When you give yourself permission to feel your feelings, it all becomes workable. What is the judgment about?

Barbara: Here's a different kind of question. (Reading question.) In my throat is a blockage which is ready for healing and release. When it constricts I say, 'I choose light here.' I'm tired of this. What can help me?

Aaron is going to lead a guided meditation. He's going to ask us each to find the area of constriction in ourselves. The person whose question it was, focus on the throat.

Aaron: I would talk a bit before we fully enter the meditation. Where is healing to be found? What blocks healing? Each of you carries the pains not only of this lifetime, but of so many lives. Often, there is a desire to open an area that has been blocked. But simultaneously there is fear, because that blockage was originally conceived to offer a sense of protection. Granted, it did not work, but nevertheless there is the illusion of protection.

The primary example here is the barricade that you build around your heart. The heart is always open, but we build walls to protect that vulnerable space within. It is proof of the heart's sensitivity that one needs to build walls. If the heart was not always open and knowing its intimate connection with God and all that is, there would be no need for walls. So, when you feel the heart closed in and say, 'I want to open it,' you must also ask, 'If I open it, in what way am I making myself vulnerable to this increased pain? Is there a part of me that wants to stay defended because it fears this pain?'

What I would like to do with you now, for just a few minutes, is a variation of Tonglen, the meditation practice we have done of breathing in light and sending it out to suffering, then visualizing that suffering as a heavy, black mass, breathing it in and releasing it to God, to the universe, whatever feels appropriate to you


(Pause at dots. Longer pause between each paragraph.)

First I want to you to simply experience yourself sitting in a cylinder of light.

As much as is possible, feel the presence of the divine or eternal, the deathless, or whatever name you wish to call it. Feel that light surrounding you like a cloak, touching the crown of your head and entering deep into the core of your being … flowing off your head and down your shoulders, enveloping your body.

I would ask you to envision as the source of that light that which is the deepest personal embodiment of truth for you. You may simply call it God, or it may be the Christ or the Buddha; it may be a living teacher or a past saint. You may find it most comfortable to simply envision God, as light, sound or energy, or it may be easier to step that God energy down into an embodiment of whatever being you choose. But be aware that the same divinity resides in the God energy itself, in the teacher and in yourself.

See that divine light moving through this embodiment of love and truth, and then shining out of that heart directly to your heart … Feel yourself fully enveloped by that divine light, and rest in it.

Resting there, allow the experience of your own divine nature. Infinite love and compassion. Infinitely pure and brilliant light. Rest in it as much as you are able.

Do not worry about whether you are resting in it perfectly. Let go of concepts of how much of that light you can let in; just connect your heart to the beloved's heart. To the heart of God … Breathing it in … Exhaling all separate self … Breathing in love and light … Become your highest self … Rest in pure mind.

Now, I would like you to visualize the human that you are, sitting here complete with fears and perceived limitations.

Without much thought about it, move awareness to the area of most blockage in that physical or emotional body.

Let your first thought of location be where awareness comes to rest … Trust your heart, trust your wisdom. No agonizing over which spot to use.

Move awareness back to the divine self. It is this aspect which does this meditation.

Breathe in that perfect light. Let it flow through this master, teacher or guru into this highest aspect of yourself, the divine self. Breath it out to the mind/body, to the place of fear and blockage in the human aspect.

Now, see that blockage in the human aspect as a heavy blackness. Allow the divine self to breath in that heaviness.

With the inhalation let it run through the heart, and release it to that embodiment of truth and of God itself.

Breathe in light and send it out to that human's constricted place.

Breathe in the fear and heaviness of that constriction and release it.

Breathe in light.

Filling yourself with that divine light and with a heart of tenderness and compassion to this human who feels fear and constriction, send that light out to where it is most needed in that human.

See it spread its warmth around that place of blockage. See it illuminate and dissolve the blockage.

Breathe in that blockage itself, the fear, the constriction, with a heart of utmost compassion for this suffering human.

Hold this heaviness in the heart of your highest self for a breath or two, and feel the presence of the Christ or Buddha or whatever being you choose … Ask for that being's help in the releasing of this heaviness to God, to the universe, to the eternal.

I'm going to be quite for a few minutes now and ask you to work with this process on your own, so that you may stabilize it and make it your own.

(Several minutes of silent practice.)

When you become aware of a constriction in the physical body, bring awareness to it in this way, touching it with love rather than judgment, working compassionately to touch that fear with light and allow its gradual dissolution.

You will find that this is a very real, useful tool in attending to your own blockages. It can also be used for an area of the body where there is physical pain such as a neck ache or back ache, because that pain often does signify energy blockage in that area.

As we end this mediation, may we draw our attention to all beings in the world who are suffering and offer them the same light which we have offered to ourselves.

May all beings find an end to suffering. (Bell.)

May all beings find their hearts opening in love and compassion. (Bell.)

May all beings everywhere find perfect peace. (Bell.)