Wednesday, June 15, 1994

Aaron's talk

Good evening and my love to you all. I am Aaron. I want to start tonight with a simple exercise. We've spent much of this year looking at ways that you shield yourself when fear, anger, desire, or any unpleasantry, arises. We've often talked theoretically about the truth that you are unlimited in your deepest essence, and about that of you which is divine and is connected to every other bit of divinity in the universe. In this way you truly are one. We've watched the coming and going of walls. We've learned how to notice those walls as they are in process of being built. You watch, not to get rid of them nor with judgment against them, but simply to notice that the walls herald the arising of fear and a sense of being threatened. You ask yourself if this fear is realistic in the present moment; if you need to defend yourself here, or would it be more skillful to relax and let down your boundaries again, to reconnect?

We did an exercise here one night in which I asked you to look in each others' eyes and then withdraw your gaze. Tonight I want to do something much simpler. I'd like you to join in pairs, facing one another, eyes closed, holding two hands with your partner. Allow your connection to be expressed through your hands.

(Dots (…) denote short pauses.)

Breathing in and breathing out … Focus simply on the connection that you feel … Be as aware as you can of even the subtlest degree of shielding; the subtlest withdraw from the other's energy; or unwillingness to fully open your own energy … No judgment about it, or if judgment is there simply notice that as well …

If you notice some resistance to opening yourself fully, simply label it, 'resistance, resistance.' You're not attempting to get rid of this resistance, just to know it's there. Softening your energy around it … You may visualize your energy fields, or feel them … Just allowing the flow of energy between the two of you …

Does the question arise: 'Can I trust this other person? What if I allow myself to be completely open and vulnerable, and then they hurt me in some way?' … Now, certainly in this situation they can't really hurt you. But you might feel, 'What if I sense a grasping of their energy, a pulling of myself into them?' … Do you fear losing yourself? … Just look at what's there. … Or is there a desire to hold on to the other's energy? …

Please note that all of these fears arise on the egocentric self level. Within the divine self there could never be a betrayal of trust, so you are allowing yourself to open your own divine-self energy to that of your partner …

When I finish talking in just a moment I would like you to drop your partners hands. I want you to notice as you drop those hands how it feels. Is there a sense of lost connection? Or is the connection maintained without the physical touch? Do you feel abandoned by your partner, although the dropping of hands is a mutual experience? Is there any sadness, or perhaps a sense of relief? There's no right or wrong way to experience this; whatever you experience is fine. Just watch closely and see what's there. Please drop your hands now. We will be silent for a few moments while you investigate this. (pause)

Can you come back to feeling the other's presence? To allowing your own energy to be open without the physical touch? … Once again, take your partners hands, very mindfully, aware of what arises in you as you reconnect physically … (pause)

There is no right or wrong way to experience this. I merely want you to move into deeper awareness of the ways that you shield and open your energy, and how it feels. With as little turmoil as possible, I'd like you to drop just one hand and turn in such a way as to form a circle, so that we are all holding hands around it.

Feel the safety and loving energy of this group. As much as possible allow yourself to drop the shielding and fully open to the energy of this circle … Of course, it doesn't have to be perfect; there is no such thing as perfect. You'll be as open as you can be … Simply resting in that energy, feel yourself cherished by that energy … Some of you are experiencing a sense of sadness because it's so good to rest in the energy of this circle, and you wish it could be humankind's constant experience. And some of you are feeling an intense joy as you allow the energy to move into, through, and out of you, and share it.

Very gently now, I'd like you to keep your eyes closed and slowly withdraw your hands just an inch or so from the other, then a bit more … I want you to see if you can feel the presence of this energy and maintain whatever degree of openness you can with it, while letting go of the physical contact. Your energy fields do not need physical contact to connect; you know that. When you walk into a room where there is anger, you feel that anger immediately, you don't need someone to hit you. When you walk into a room where there is love, you feel that love.

For many of you, when another withdraws its immediate attention, its physical contact, gaze or conversation, you experience a contraction of your energy field, a sense of abandonment … It may be very brief, but it is a repeated pain in your lives. It's true that at times another does withdraw its energy. It is not rejection of you when another withdraws its energy, it is simply another withdrawing its energy … If that being is angry at you, and its withdrawal is a form of rejection or threat, it still doesn't mean that you are bad or unworthy, only that the other has withdrawn …

Such coming together and withdrawal of energy through human, animal and plant, is your constant, daily experience. Through the summer I hope that you will be aware of the ways you contract and release your energy in a constant dance in relation to that which is around you, and that you may begin to relax a bit, and allow other energy to withdraw itself when it needs to and return when it needs to, without drawing judgments against that movement. Without fear of that movement, but keeping yourself open and connected. Connected to the others' joy or pain.

May all beings everywhere come to know their deepest connection with all that is. (Bell.) … May we all learn to keep our hearts open, that we may not fear another's pain, but meet it with compassion. (Bell.) … May we all love and be loved, and in that way express our deepest truth. (Bell.)

Tonight is our last meeting for the season. There have been many very specific teachings through this year. I'd like to devote tonight just to answering questions and giving you a bit of homework for the summer. Especially I'd like to guide you again into that which we ended with last week. That is: the idea, 'There is nothing broken,' even though there are places where the world seems to be in ecological disaster; where there is violence; war and crime; even though there is illness; there is nothing broken. We learn to trust the universe we live in.

The second half of that is: 'so fix it.' Fix it not with a sense of fear, of 'It's broken, it's wrong, I must change it,' but with a sense of love, which allows you to meet that which causes pain in your world with love rather than hatred, and to give your energy skillfully to movement in a new and more joyful, peaceful direction.

I explained this last week, I'm not going to speak about it in depth tonight, only to remind you that I offer you these two exercises for the summer, to be aware of your energy and the ways that it opens and closes, aware of what you are offering to the world and receiving from the world. And parallel to that, to notice whether you view the pain of the world as, 'Damn it, it's broken,' forgive the language, but with that sense of outrage, or whether you greet it with a sense of sadness, concern and willingness to open your heart even more to that place of distortion and misunderstanding, to keep your own energy open and loving, so that that which is distorted may undistort itself naturally, through the power of love.

This doesn't mean there's not hard work involved. Somebody's got to go out and campaign, perhaps; alert the world, talk about the environmental disasters and so forth. It takes courage and hard work. But it doesn't take hatred. It most certainly doesn't take a confinement of your own energy but a release of your energy. So this is where we start, just with the simple exercise that you did tonight-noticing when you are contracting in the face of any catalyst, human or otherwise, and teaching yourself how to release that contraction and re-open so that you may work with that being or situation, joyful or painful, with love. That is all.


Barbara: We are asking what people experienced during the exercise.

A: I was feeling very connected to M while we were holding hands and when the entire group began to hold hands. It's always very pleasant for me; I really like this energy.

Barbara: What happened when you dropped hands with M?

A: I still felt connected. Maybe not as intensely, but definitely connected to her.

Barbara: Aaron is asking anyone: with the dropping of hands did you feel any sense of abandonment by the other and a closing up of your energy?

C: No, because we were all told to do that, so it's quite different from having someone suddenly walk away.

Barbara: Okay, for you it's different. Aaron is saying, for some people it's a totally illogical response, you know you're not being abandoned, but the withdrawing of another's energy makes you tense up. He is asking if anybody here is conscious of experiencing that.

M2: Not tonight, but definitely sometimes. Even if I'm just shaking someone's hand or putting my arms around somebody, when it stops … I know it has to stop, I can't walk around for the rest of my life with my arms around someone, but I feel that separation and pain.

Barbara: So, it's not abandonment, specifically, but pain.

Response: Tonight, while we were being very conscious of the energy fields, it was very easy for me to continue to experience the energy fields. I was experimenting with moving further and further away and I could feel your energy; I was sitting in your energy field, I didn't have to be touching you at all. I have been very aware of how large energy fields are; over what large distances we can connect when we choose to. I think that there is some kind of mental opening to it in order to be able to experience it. I assume that those energy fields are there all the time, but somehow, with intent, it is stronger or more powerful or something. I would enjoy having Aaron's comment on that.

Barbara: I think those energy fields are there all the time. I remember when Mike was at the North Pole. We tried an experiment; there were weeks when mail communication was not possible and I was going to try to tune into him. I got many of the images that he later described to me in person. There were times when I really felt his energy and they coincided with the times he had written in his journal that he had sent it. That's the only time that I tried that long of a distance.

C2: I tried it when we were with Mother Meera. The darshans were at particular times. Both C and K were specifically focusing on connecting and when I connected mentally with those two, it was stunning how powerful it was.

A: I felt a sense of loss when I left Seattle on this trip because I wasn't going to be able to see N as I had been, but in a subsequent meditation there was a very strong link and it was as though she was in the room.

Barbara: Other sharing about tonight's experience?

Response: The feeling of fear. I have just described how I can and have experienced connection over space, and yet I do experience that kind of separation, very strongly too. I know it's a difference in me, but I'm curious about how that works, energetically.

C3: I am also curious about … I believe that same kind of connection with God or the divine, the light line that Aaron has been talking about, similarly is always there and similarly I am often not feeling the connection. Is it the same kind of connection and lack thereof as with other people?

Barbara: Aaron has described in detail that when we close up and contract our energy, we squeeze this light line, in a sense. He says it is an illusion; we really can not prevent that divine energy from resting in us, it's always there but we lose the touch of it. It's like touching something and, if you're focused on it you really feel how it feels, but if your mind is wandering you can be touching and there is no sense of being with it. When there is fear and contraction we lose the sense of that divine essence in ourselves and others, and we move into the notion of self and other.

C3: So that description of squeezing off the light line is similar with other people? Do we have light lines between us?

Aaron: I am Aaron. Sometimes there really is threat. Here is an angry person and he wants to hit you. Here is flood; the waters in the river are rising and they are going to overflow, destroying many homes and, perhaps, claiming lives. There are many very real threats in your life. I most certainly don't want to lead you into judging yourselves when there is a contraction of fear because of a real threat. I want you to see how that contraction is a learned, patterned response and that it's not helpful to the moment. At the time when a fight or flight reflex might save your life, and the rising adrenaline of fear reaction helped you to fight harder or flee faster, the response was useful. You've simply carried it over lifetime after lifetime; it is habitual response.

What we're talking about here is looking at that which we claim as human nature and coming to understand it is not human nature, it is patterned conditioning and you can free yourself of it. When you understand how fear arises in you, how it cuts off your energy field, you also begin to understand that you don't have to do that. That doesn't mean that you don't work as hard as you can to sandbag against the flood. It doesn't mean that you don't respond as skillfully as you can to this one who is approaching with clenched fists. But is it skillful to hit back or to flee? Sometimes it may be skillful. Does the fleeing need to be with hatred for that from whom you flee, or can you flee with a sense of compassion for what has hurt this being so much to make him attack you in such a way? Must there be hatred of the river? Or can there be understanding that this is the nature of the river? The more you live your lives in hatred, the more contracted is your energy, the more separate you feel and the less purely you can manifest your energy in the world.

There is a wonderful story about Mother Theresa. Someone commented on how many people she feeds and how much housing she offers people; how much real physical help she offers. She said, 'Yes, but any agency could do that. We're not here to feed and house people. We're here to teach love.' This is the core of it. When you begin to understand your own patterned responses, your own conditioning, and find freedom from the conditioning of fear, you can begin to live your lives in love and to teach others. That does not mean being a doormat for other people. When somebody makes a request of you out of their own fear, pushing you up against a wall, you have a right to say no. Is it necessary to hate them? The more closely you watch every minute arising of fear in small, unstressful situations and begin to understand how it works in you, the more freedom you're going to find to respond with love in traumatic situations .

A: Was the lessening of intensity that I felt with M when we let go of hands a form of contraction?

Aaron: I am Aaron. Not quite a contraction; more it was a lack of trust that the energy that flowed between you still flowed as intensely. Perhaps one could say, yes, it was a minor contraction. There are two ways to talk about it. As I watched you the open energy moving directly between you dropped a bit, but not immediately. You let go of hands, the energy continued to flow as strongly between you; then each of you had the thought, 'Can it maintain that intensity?' and, perhaps, a bit of distrust that it couldn't. With that came a small contraction in the energy; not of feeling abandoned or going away, but a fear that you couldn't maintain the connection. With that fear you couldn't maintain the connection and the energy level dropped. It is not that the real energy level dropped; it was still there, you couldn't feel it. It was like you had put gloves on and couldn't feel it anymore. Does that answer your question?

C: You talked about fear arising when we dropped hands. I am wondering if anyone else experienced fear when beginning the exercise?

Barbara: To the group: Did anyone experience fear when beginning the exercise? (Several people answer affirmatively; someone says, 'resistance.')

C: I felt a lot of pain around being with a young male, and knowing that it had nothing to do with F, who is open and loving. But old mind, feeling invisible and dismissed by many.

Barbara: I think that's, perhaps, something true of our generation of women; a sense of invisibility. What do you think?

A: I think that, to a degree, yes, that's true. Or that we should disappear.

Barbara: I am older than other women here, besides C. I think that we were taught to be invisible and had a great deal of resentment against that when were children. Do you know what I mean?

C: … with young men, and yet it puzzled me because on two of my previous trips a young man became very friendly with me and both times called me 'Mom' in a very open, loving way. (Tape is turned and some was lost.) … most of the time, and I tried to feel his face and let that be okay, and not judge it.

Barbara:(Some lost.) Sometimes there's fear. I think it's very important to understand that it's not the existence of fear that causes separation, but our relationship to the fear. There can be fear and a kind of openness about the fear. A compassion for ourselves with the fear that allows our energy still to stay open.

Aaron wanted me to talk about something related to staying loose. A couple of years ago Peter went on a class trip. I took him to the train station. The kids were all there waiting for the train. I said good-bye and stepped out from the platform onto the parking lot when somebody tapped me and I turned to talk, with one foot out in the parking lot. I was turned and talking when a car started backing up and rolled over my foot. People started screaming, 'Stop, stop!!' so the driver stopped, on my foot! She opened her door and got out, saying, 'What's wrong?' She saw the car on my foot and said, 'Oh, my God!' She ran back into the car and couldn't get it started because she was so over-excited. She finally did get it started and pulled forward. It was very painful.

I was able to just be there with this car on my foot, feeling my fear that my foot was going to be mangled, without resisting. I was just breathing with the pain, staying soft, keeping my energy open. When she drove off I sat down. Some people asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I wiggled my toes and everything worked; I got up and walked on it. I drove myself to the doctors' office, where it was x-rayed. The doctor said that she couldn't believe that it wasn't broken. I told her the story and she said it was because I had remained completely relaxed. If I had tensed at all I would have had many broken bones in my foot.

If there's a car on your foot, there's a car on your foot. Getting angry and pulling, while it's a natural response, is not going to do any good. As you can see the fear that wants to pull and resist and shove the car away, and just relax around the whole situation, then things don't have to get broken. If you can't relax and there's tension, just know there's tension. We don't need tension about feeling tension!

Is there anything else that people want to share about this particular topic or about the exercise before we go on?

C3: I was talking to M2 and A about it and I think that we came up with some good ideas, but I'm curious. When Aaron talks about being able to be sad or angry, or whatever, and still be open, not constricted, does expressing the feeling in a way such as crying or screaming or something effect our energy in itself, as opposed to sitting and watching it calmly. I know it's an area in my life that has had a lot of confusion, so I am asking out of curiosity. Does expressing emotion outwardly effect our energy in itself, as opposed to just sitting with and watching the emotion in a calm way?

Aaron: I am Aaron. I hear your question. Emotions are something that you experience, not think about. Within the experience of the emotion, the anger, for example, may feel so built up, so strong, that it's got to be released. If there is that feeling and you allow the release of it, it's not necessarily practicing your anger but experiencing your anger.

This is subtle. There are times when the anger simply pours out of you, like a pressure valve letting go. As it pours out another part can be watching it pour out. It also does not have to be directed at something. The anger may be at another being, for example; but you don't have to scream at him or her. You can go out and kick a stone or hit a pillow. Yes, in a sense it's practicing the anger, but if it's done mindfully it's just opening the pressure valve.

Here's the subtle difference. If you are present with that anger you may sense the need to release it and be able to shift your focus from the anger itself to the discomfort with the pressure of the anger and your desire to get rid of it by releasing. Seeing that, you may understand that you don't have to release it, you can just notice how uncomfortable it is. The release of the anger, then, becomes increasingly less necessary the more mindful you are of the distinction between the anger and the discomfort with the anger. It's not the anger itself that leads you to release it, it's the discomfort with the anger.

This is a process, then. When you're first working with these emotions you notice the emotion and allow yourself to fully feel it, and if in that fully feeling it needs to be expressed, you go ahead and express it, taking care not to harm others through that expression. As you get closer and closer to the full experience of that anger it breaks into its parts of the anger itself and the discomfort of the anger. You find less need to express it and more ability to be there with the intensity of that discomfort.

In direct answer to your question, yes the expression of it is a form of practicing of it and, ultimately, it's not the solution. It's one step on the path. If for a brief period of months or even years you must practice your emotions in order to fully be aware of and experience their existence, then that's what you need to do. Slowly you learn to be more skillful with it. You do not desist from expressing the emotion with a judgmental, 'I shouldn't do that' you simply become aware of the discomfort of the emotion and learn to make enough space for that discomfort so that you no longer feel the need to express the emotion; there's just the emotion and there's just discomfort, and each one passes and then it's gone. It's a process of learning. Does that answer your question?

Question: Can Aaron speak a little about the fear that some people were feeling with the exercise earlier?

Aaron: I am Aaron. You're each unique; so there are many kinds of apprehension and resistance. Basically they tend to fall into two parts. A fear of being harmed and a fear of harming others. When there is fear of deep intimacy and sharing of energy, it generally relates to both of those fears. First is fear of being hurt. If you open yourself to another and expose the depth of your need to be loved to yourself, allowing yourself to feel how much you want intimacy, you will feel more pain if you are deprived of it. So, you don't allow yourself to feel your desire for intimacy in the first place; you won't take that risk, you'll stay just a bit defended. When I speak of intimacy please remember that there are 360 degrees in a full circle Most of you in this room are somewhere between 200 and 300 in your ability to open to intimacy. You have learned to open yourself to another. You're not social outcasts. None of you in human form is going to reach 360 degrees. You're simply working this brighter/dimmer switch; allowing more and more open energy to flow through. Acknowledging that one can always be more open, that there's always going to be some slight barricading of energy, one may observe the fear: will I be hurt?

There is also amongst most of you fear or suspicion of yourselves. You know the depth of your own anger and potential for violence. It may be abhorrent to you that there is such potential for violence within you. So there's some degree of fear and you wonder: 'If I fully allow my energy to be open to another, am I going to harm them in some way? What if they accept my invitation of my open energy and open their energy, and then this potential for withdrawal, for selfishness, for greed, what if that pulls me back into myself? What if I hurt them? I don't think I'll risk it; I'll stay a bit closed.' All of you experience these thoughts in differing amounts. Watch those fears in yourself. Would you like me to speak further on this, or is that sufficient?

C3: I've been working a lot in my life with that balance of noticing fear of hurt if I stay open and yet not wanting to shut down. And I feel like I've heard it before but I think I would like to hear Aaron again talk about the balance that we are working with as humans; that we can never be fully 360 degrees open with each other. And when one being is more open than another, I guess it's just watching the feeling of rejection if the other people aren't able to open. But, my primary question is: is it always better to open? I know it's not if there is a real threat, like he was talking about earlier, but I have confusion around that.

Barbara: Let me speak to this very briefly before Aaron does. I am aware, when I am working with somebody who is feeling a lot of pain or anger or going through something traumatic, that if their energy is very strong I sometimes need to shield myself against it. I can shield myself without being afraid of their energy; it's just a skillful thing to do. It's like if somebody was throwing snowballs at me and I had a piece of plywood, and say they were icy snowballs that would really sting; I don't have to be afraid of them, or hate the person throwing them, but it makes sense to hold up the piece of wood. The problem that we get into is that as soon as we hold up the plywood and are shielding we also start to feel anger: 'They shouldn't be doing this to me,' and there is a sense of separation. Shielding does not have to lead to separation if it's done skillfully and lovingly. It's part of this whole unwholesome codependency issue; that we don't have to get into negative codependent patterns with people so that we're hurting them and ourselves by being doormats for them, but we also don't have to hate them. How do we find the balance?

Aaron: I am Aaron. I ask you to look at the whole issue from a much broader, spirit perspective. We come back to the basic fact that this earth is your schoolroom and you're here to learn. You are moving through third density and preparing yourself to graduate from this plane, to move into fourth density, to be more fully spirit, without the physical manifestation. We've spoken of fourth density experience as that of coming together as group energy, much as you did tonight. On that level all beings are telepathic. I've asked you here many times: if everyone in this room were telepathic this evening and could read all of your thoughts, would that be okay? It's not that the thoughts are bad or good, but that all of you have thoughts about which there is some shame. The thoughts themselves are just thoughts. When you contract around those thoughts and judge them, feel guilt or shame against them or pride about them, then your feelings of shame and pride cause pain to yourself and others. The same goes for others' thoughts. If somebody in this room was thinking something negative about you, not liking your hairstyle or whatever, would that cause you pain?

Your readiness to graduate from this plane is not an ending to emotion but equanimity with emotion, a sense of complete acceptance that sometimes there is lovingkindness, patience, generosity and joy within you, and sometimes there is jealousy, greed and pride, and it's all okay. That does not mean that it's okay to act it out, but it's okay that it arises; it's natural for a human.

The earth plane experience gives you your opportunity to practice; it's as simple as that. When there are others with conflicting energy fields, when you feel threat from another and your energy field contracts, you are given the gift to learn to work skillfully with that contraction, not judging it, just watching it move through you, seeing the old mind conditioning that's given rise to that sense of fear, asking yourself, 'In this moment, am I really threatened? In this moment am I really unworthy? In this moment do I really need to defend or is it old conditioning?' You begin to see how often it is old conditioning. You learn to recognize the difference, old conditioning versus real threat or need.

You learn to act skillfully without fear or grasping. Perhaps you're freezing or shivering and somebody offers a blanket; you respond, 'Yes, I need it.' That 'Yes' doesn't need to come from a place of grasping or fear. Suppose that you are with someone who had fallen through a hole in the ice and is not only cold, as you are, but wet. You may be able to look at your fear that you're going to get sick, for example, and very lovingly offer the blanket to the one who's wet, knowing that, yes, there's discomfort, your teeth are chattering and you're uncomfortable, but you don't have to grasp at this, you're safe. Or, if you are the one who fell through the hole in the ice and are literally in danger of severe hypothermia, then, yes, it's fine to say 'I need the blanket.' Again, there doesn't need to be fear around it, or clinging; just a clear statement of your need right now.

There is a tremendous difference between the contraction of energy through fear and the contraction of energy simply because the physical being is responding to hunger or cold or pain. You learn to see the different ways your energy field is. To know your needs and be comfortable stating your needs, without grasping. You come to know what makes you uncomfortable and be able to step away from that, without hatred of it.

Then the energy field reacts differently; it doesn't contract anymore, it simply moves. On the astral plane you will still be confronted with those beings with angry or greedy energy. If you haven't done this work and you're fully telepathic with that being, you're going to cause each other tremendous pain. On that same astral plane, when you have done this work and there is one whose energy is angry or wanting, it's simply going to lead you into deeper compassion.

One of you is asking, 'Why will there be others with these emotions on the astral plane?' I repeat, very few of you fully grow beyond the rising of emotions on this human plane. Your graduation to the next plane of your being does not necessarily imply the cessation of emotion but equanimity with emotion. On that plane you're still going to experience the arising of emotion; you're not going to be ashamed of it and need to mask it. You're not going be frightened by it and need to express it. At that level of your being you learn from each others' experience because there is no sense of shame; nothing to be denied or forced upon another.

There is one more thing that I want to say in relation to C3's question. This is a shift to another topic. When you are sexual with another being and share your bodies in that way, your energy fields become very, very open. They remain open for some time after you have finished the sexual act. Sometimes the acute force of that openness is frightening. Immediately afterward there may be a sense of fear of having been that open which causes emotional withdrawal, a constriction of that light line; a sense of pulling away from the other. Each of the partners, feeling that withdrawal, may feel further pain. It's important that you begin to understand the mechanism.

The bodies respond in the following order of quickness: spirit, mental, emotional and physical. Where there is that intense sharing of energy and then it's over, the mental body pulls away first; then the emotional body pulls away and finally the physical body. Understanding that, you can watch it with more of a sense of relaxation and enjoy that physical feeling of the very literal connection of your physical body energy fields. See how your emotions play with that; there's either clinging to it or aversion to it, depending on your own emotional makeup. I mention this just because it's a source of discomfort for many of you. All the bodies don't react at the same speed. Accept that as a natural part of being human.

The reverse is also true. When you move into physical relationship with another being the spirit and mental bodies pull together first and the physical may not yet have moved into full harmony with its partner. You may ask yourself, 'What's wrong? I'm feeling so open and loving but not yet ready to express my love physically.' Well, the physical body moves slower. Very literally the physical energy field moves slower; give it time. Are there further questions? That is all.

Barbara: Aaron is suggesting that if there are no specific questions he would like to talk a little bit about joy.

Aaron: I am Aaron. Some of you regard your spiritual work with a great deal of solemnity. Certainly the work that you are here to do is a serious matter, but if you regard it as drudgery it's going to make it that much harder. I'm not suggesting that you paste on artificial smiles, only that you begin to allow yourselves to come into contact with the very real joy in your lives. This is not denial of the pain in your or others' lives on your planet.

Remember that you are these angels that we keep talking about. The divine is within you, and the fullest expression that I know of the divine is that of joy, of song, of love. Each of you has that as your core. So my final challenge to you as you begin your summer break is: can you get in touch with some of that joy within you?

You are not betraying yourself to feel joy. You are not betraying the earnestness of your work and the deep aspiration that you have to manifest your energy more purely; instead you are allowing yourself purer manifestation of your energy because joy is the purest manifestation of your true nature that I know of.

You might ask yourself the simple question: what blocks this joy? What gives me the idea that I ought to walk around feeling sad? Where did I learn that? How did I come to that misunderstanding?

Give yourselves time. Stop and be present with the sunset, a flower, a child's laugh; with raindrops, with grass growing, with the smell of newly cut grass. Stop and be, instead of racing through your life trying to fix everything that's wrong.

This comes back to that earlier assignment: nothing is broken-everything that is 'wrong' on the earth is a gift for your learning. It is a distortion that is present precisely because it offers somebody what it most needs to learn. Knowing that nothing is broken, that on one level everything is perfect just as it is, you need not fight your lives but can come back to those distortions with love, with joy and fix it with love. Let it touch your heart; let yourself feel the pain of it and come to know that your pain and your joy are one, are non-dual. When you open your heart to your deepest pain and begin to work skillfully and lovingly to rebalance that distortion, you begin to find a tremendous depth of joy in your work and in your world. Allow yourselves to know it; it is not a betrayal but the fullest expression of you.

As you begin your summer, I ask you to bring these teachings with you, to watch your energy fields with mindfulness, to be aware of the arising of contraction, to watch contraction with increasing equanimity and allow the release of that which is clearly not needed in this moment but is merely the voice of old mind's fear. But above all, I ask you to practice joy, to find the core of that joy within your own fear, unlimited selves. As much as is possible, dance with life throughout this summer; enter it fully and dance!

I thank you all for sharing so deeply of yourselves this year. I look forward to resuming our work together at the end of your summer. Please remember, as you go through these months of summer, that you are not alone; if you only knew now dearly you are loved you would never again feel lonely. Go with joy and courage, laughter and tears, and have a full and rewarding summer. That is all.