Wednesday, May 18, 1994

Aaron's talk

Good evening and my love to you all. I am Aaron. I am here with Barbara, working with the exercises we've been doing, helping her to see the contraction of the energy stream and how it's cutting off the energy flowing through this light line from the Source. There's nothing terribly the matter with her, but several hours ago she bid farewell to her son for the summer. He's off to Europe for three months. Although she has a bit of nervousness about a 19-year-old with absolutely no itinerary simply wandering through Europe for three months, deep in her heart she knows he'll be fine.

More than that, through the day of helping him pack and organize himself and letting go of him, she was looking at the closeness that she's come to have with him these last few years, that they have become very dear friends of one another. So, a part of her was grieving his absence, feeling a sense of something that was present being taken away.

On the relative plane, you do lose things. On the ultimate plane, you never lose anything. Both are true. It was not my intention to talk about grief tonight, but about prayer and affirmation. But, in a sense, they are opposite sides of the same issue. Prayer and affirmation connect you with what is, on the ultimate plane. Grief also connects you with what is, the fear and constriction of the relative plane. Your lives are a constant continuity of welcoming-in and letting-go, or else they are a continuity of suffering of resistance to letting whatever it may be move in and resistance to letting-go.

I want to share with you a few of the things Barbara is experiencing because I think it will help you understand your own energy fields better. I ask Barbara here to move into a deeper state of trance. (Long pause.) The arms do not work so well at this level of semi-trance channeling, but it is easier for her to channel material which concerns her when her mind is far less involved in the act of channeling it.

Barbara has many friends, feels loving to many people and loved by many people. So her son's leaving was not a matter of fearing loneliness. There were many issues that arose. One for Barbara is an old sense from childhood of abandonment, one that she has largely grown past. She was able to see that issue and that it is simply old conditioned mind. And yet, it did contract this energy stream. Perhaps more important was the judgment, 'I should be happy for him, I shouldn't grieve.' Well, she's astute enough to catch that one as it comes through.

What happens as these different catalysts pass through one after another is that there is a physical reverberation of that old fear held in the body. No matter how quickly you catch it, the physical body, which carries the densest part of your energy, reverberates from that old fear. I'd like to use the visualization of a stringed instrument's string vibrating. When something plucks it, it vibrates and it takes it some time to still itself. We've been talking about this energy stream as balloons, open or contracted. Another visualization that might be helpful is a thousand strings tuned in such a way that when one vibrates another begins to vibrate, and they catch it from one another. Can you feel that within yourselves? Somehow when you are already afraid or sad or angry, you are much more vulnerable to other catalysts that might have been easily released at another time.

I'm using this example of Barbara's experience because I want you to see that, while she was not deeply caught in the sense of abandonment nor worry about it nor feeling loneliness, and each of those could easily have been let go of had they come alone, she experienced what seemed to be a multiple attack which heightened the sense of contractedness. When such occurs, you must become aware that when the mental and even the emotional body release these contractions. the physical body, which is the densest, holds onto them. The muscles are tight. There's just a sense of contractedness.

What do we call this? It's very hard to name it. It's not quite anger or fear or grief or desire, it's some combination of them all. We talk a lot here about labeling. Perhaps the clearest label for this is simply, 'Contracted.'

In meditation class Monday night, Barbara read from a book a metaphor of humans as ice cubes, how they slide around bumping into one another, knocking with their hard corners, sometimes shattering the edges of each other. But some of them begin to soften and, eventually, to melt. Two ice cubes cannot merge together while they're frozen. When they both melt, they come together. You cannot merge with life when you are frozen. When you begin to melt, you find everything within you and you within everything.

The author goes on with the analogy, talking about how when one becomes mushy, one never gets fully hardened again. What is happening with many of you is that you are coming to that stage of 'mushiness' or even 'extreme mushiness,' really thawing and moving out, letting go of your limits. And, because that experience is so frightening, you contract. It's not the same ice cube anymore. It's rather a puddle of water that's gotten frozen on the outside; it's not frozen all the way through.

But it bewilders you. You say, 'I thought I was supposed to be healing and finding more joy and, instead, I'm feeling more pain. What's happening?' You condemn yourselves. You condemn the practice. But you do not look into the obvious, 'This physical vessel does contract when it feels pain. Even when I understand the pain, the body still stays contracted. Then I worry and fuss over the contraction, judge it, and pull in the emotional body again as well.' I hear that from so many of you, not stated that way but describing this issue: 'Just when I think I'm learning, why do I seem to get slammed in the face?'

Let's look at this from a different point of view. You know that I call you 'angels in earthsuits.' You are angels. You're not becoming angels, you are angels. That divine essence is what you most truly are. You're also wearing earthsuits, everybody in this room except me and I'm not truly in this room, I'm only speaking through it. I can present you with my perspective here out of the earthsuit. I can try to carry you into that perspective. But each of you must come to see in yourself the part of you that wants to cling to the illusion of the earthsuit. It's sometimes very hard to hear what I'm saying because it's very threatening.

You have created this 'ice-cubeness' about you, this armor about you, to keep yourselves safe. Until you honor that desire for safety instead of greeting it with contempt, there is going to be constant resistance every time the armor gets holes pricked in it.

You have all developed strategies from early childhood for staying safe. Many of your strategies are grown from many previous lifetimes as well. There are basically three strategies: to be aggressive and fight back at that which seems to hurt you, to move into a passive state-to smile and try to win over that which tries to hurt you-or to withdraw or deny. Each of you has a preferred one of these methods, but most of you use a mixture of all three.

This week I spoke to three different ones of you who in childhood were 'good' children, children who tried to control the world by smiling, being nice and winning affection in that way. For all three whom I spoke to, that technique didn't work. It worked to a point, but all found that after a certain point they were still threatened, they still were not safe and in control. And no matter how nice they were, it didn't change anything. Underneath this 'niceness'-not only posturing of niceness, because in all three of these beings there was a genuine love for the people around them and a desire, not just to please others to be safe but to please others because there was love for others-there was denial of the sense of fear and a posturing as well, a posturing which hid a deep rage when being nice didn't work, a rage grown out of the fear, 'I'm going to be hurt, my needs aren't going to be met.' Each of these three people, in somewhat different ways, found that they would shift from being nice to being very angry. Some expressed their anger, some hid their anger.

Look at this in yourselves. See if you can see what your own mechanisms are for staying safe.

As you do deeper spiritual work, you come to the point of understanding both 'I have always been safe' and 'Nothing is ever safe.' They are both true. Do they sound contradictory? When you are truly open and connected you know there is nothing outside of you that can hurt you on the ultimate plane. When you are honest with yourself, within this earthsuit you are wearing, you know that your own earthsuit and those of your loved ones are not permanent, that there's nothing that can keep you safe in terms of the small ego self.

For many of you who have done deep spiritual work this is where the problem arises. You don't know what to do with the seeming contradiction and you being to disparage that small ego self that feels frightened and seek refuge in ultimate reality. Then you move into the third coping mechanism which is denial. You may feel, 'I have to believe that I am safe. It doesn't matter if I die, I'm connected to everything.' You may give lip service to that. But the small ego and personality are inside screaming, 'I don't want to die! I don't want my love ones to die! Or go off on trips for three months! I don't want my life to change this way!'

You must begin to look at these four aspects of yourself and understand they all bear equal weight. The spiritual body may be the deepest truth of yourself, but you cannot be in incarnation and hide in that spiritual body. My dear ones, you are incarnate! You are here! The mental body can become a wonderful escape mechanism. It can figure things out, it can use intellect to control and thereby screen out the pain of the emotions. The emotional body is totally illusory on one level but totally real on another, and it causes tremendous pain. And the physical body in which all of these are carried is so dense that it carries the high vibrations of the spirit and the lower vibrations of the ego, thundering against each other with distortion. It's a wonder you don't break apart, some of you who go from these high vibrations to low ones, back and forth like a yo-yo!

Our work is to integrate all of this, not to consider any one aspect of yourself better than any other. Yes, the spirit body may be the essence of you, but the spirit body has sought incarnation. In your deepest wisdom at that point of moving into incarnation, you knew you needed the catalysts of these other bodies. So, why not accept them? To accept them means to accept even the pain of feeling like an ice cube, the pain of that contraction. The only way you're going to find peace is to stop trying to get rid of those contractions and to embrace them.

This in no way contradicts the work with the energy stream that we've been doing. That's also a reality. The contraction exists and, when it is noticed and treated with kindness, it begins to open.

Barbara had the image, when she was sitting this evening, of pie dough that she was rolling out and some of it was still lumpy. You can't take a piece of dough which has lumps in it and pull it apart or it breaks. You touch it with gentleness, gently smoothing out those lumps into the surrounding material. When there is a contraction of fear, jealousy, anger, desire, you can't attack that contraction, but, in the ways that I have been teaching you, you can work very gently and lovingly with it, just rolling, stretching, smoothing it out.

It takes tremendous courage and honesty to recognize each lump in the dough and to have patience with it. The reward is that you start to understand that these contractions are going to happen again and again and again. To come back to our metaphor from the reading, the more you melt and lose the solid edges of the ice cube, the more you flow into everything else, and the more you do flow into everything else, the more ego is going to assert itself for fear it will vanish.

Ego doesn't give up easily; the ego self is a useful tool of the incarnation when you understand that it is a tool. You're not trying to get rid of ego, only to see ego in its proper perspective, to befriend it and allow it to teach you compassion. You are never going to get rid of this contractedness of the energy stream. When you're feeling very contracted, burning with anger or jealousy or desire, quaking with fear, it's simply a reminder: Have compassion. Just that. Have compassion.

You do not need to be afraid of these contractions of the physical body. You do need to remember the physical body is the slowest to respond. I've said that the emotional body is the slow learning child. The physical body is even slower. Long after there is clear understanding from the mental and spirit bodies, the emotional and physical bodies are still reverberating.

So, we take these images from past weeks one step further. Each week it becomes a bit more complex. I've spoken of this light line coming from God, this silver cord that connects from your highest aspect-up into the Source/down into the physical body-and how that carries energy into you. Through that you experience the truth and the abundance of the universe. When your energy field is choked with fear and heavy emotions that cause it to contract, it squeezes the light line so that nothing seems to be coming through. We've taken it that far in past weeks. Please note my phrasing, 'Nothing seems to be coming through.' Actually, it's always coming through.

This is the new step: How do you begin to recognize that it's always coming through even when it seems to be choked off? We've used a number of different meditations and visualizations to reconnect with that source and re-experience the opened energy. Sometimes the contraction is so severe that you can't experience it. You simply feel cut off from the light. At that point, you are going to have to simply remind yourself: 'The emotional and physical bodies are slow to respond. They're still caught in this quaking and contractedness of fear.'

It takes tremendous faith to know that the divine is always there, especially when you least experience it. It's easy to trust that divine when you can move back into the experience of it, when your meditation reopens the energy field and you feel the flow strongly. I don't talk much about faith because there's no way I can teach you to turn it on or open to it. I can only suggest that at a certain point you're going to have to have faith and let yourself know, 'I am connected.'

At this point, I would appreciate it if somebody would read this card that is in front of Barbara about affirmation.

An affirmation in its purest form is a statement of truth. It is not an appeal to the self to feel differently.

When we use affirmations to change how we feel or to create a desired feeling, we misuse them, as transforming emotion is not their purpose. An affirmation, properly employed, serves as a reminder of who we are and becomes a beacon, offering light and understanding, that we may more clearly discern the most skillful response to our present situation. Emotions may shift and we may become more peaceful as a result of our use of affirmations, but that is a secondary response to new conditions and not the primary purpose of skillfully employed affirmations.

Aaron: We will speak in more depth about prayer and affirmation another week. I only want to say in response to this card that perhaps the primary affirmation, the primary truth, is 'I am connected.' It is the soul's answer to the ego which wants to affirm its separation because only through its sense of separation can it continue its old methods to stay safe.

What are you going to do with that ego? It's like a two-year-old having a temper tantrum! How do you learn to love that two-year-old when it has continual temper tantrums at the most inconvenient times? The simply affirmations, I am connected to all that is, I am connected to God, I am love … It doesn't really matter whether you're just quoting it because you think you should or whether you believe it as you say it, somehow the simple statement of it serves as a reminder to the soul. It's like taking that two-year-old and rocking it a bit, reminding it of the love in its world.

It's the ego's job to be fearful. Without the ego's fear, what would be your catalyst for learning about connection and love? Instead of hating that ego, can you begin to love it? Thank it for doing its work so skillfully. If on one day it erupts twenty times instead of the usual five, thank it twenty times. Allow each eruption of ego to take you back to that affirmation and to that deepest sense of truth of your being.

I want to speak more to the statement on this card another week, or perhaps to answer questions during the question period. The card states no question so it needs no answer. It is a very clear statement of a truth for which I thank the writer.

I'd like to end this talk with a meditation. Last week we began with flowers and connection. This week I want to begin at the other end. I want to ask each of you to do something a bit painful or difficult, which is to think of something very uncomfortable that happened to you today or yesterday. Perhaps something embarrassing or physically or emotionally painful, something which led you to feel attacked or vulnerable. Just bring it into your mind.

If you're very observant, you may notice the contraction of the energy field. You may feel your heartbeat speed up a bit, your breath quicken. These are the body's mechanisms for coping with attack.

We can approach this fear in two ways. We have been learning to move back into the light line, to allow the energy field to open. But sometimes, when the fear is intense, the energy field doesn't want to open. Then we may work with faith and affirmation. The only rule here is that the statement must be true. 'No matter how contracted, separate and in pain I feel, the divine always moves through me.' 'I am loved.' 'I am connected.' 'The physical and emotional bodies reverberate with my pain and cut me off from the experience of that connection. Then I must use the mental body to remember: I am loved. I am not and never have been separate. I am loved.'

Can a bit of the memory of that love, a bit of the truth of that love, begin to soften the contractedness? The emotional and physical bodies will need as long as they need to quiet down. Can you be patient with them? Even if you sit for hours without feeling the energy field open, can you allow the mind to have faith in the truth of the affirmation? 'I am loved. I am connected.' Please sit as long as you like with that affirmation. (We do.)

Barbara: Aaron is asking, can you feel that the truth 'I am loved' with its sense of connection, and the contraction of fear, can exist side by side? The force of the contraction has led us to believe that with fear this light line must clamp shut and that we truly are separated, but now we can start to see they both exist: the illusion of separation, the very real contraction of the energy stream, the fact that it does squeeze the light line but, no matter how squeezed the light line is, energy can always come through it. We are always connected. So, can you feel the way that both can be true simultaneously, that that can give us more patience with the feeling of contraction, less fear of that contraction and need to get rid of it?


Q: I have been having an emotionally difficult time this past several weeks. I have also been having physical pain-backache and headache-quite often. I try to treat the physical pain by relaxing my muscles, let my energy expand, and to allow the emotional pain in. However, I have only limited success in relieving the physical pain. Also, I tend to avoid medication. Can Aaron suggest other ways to work with physical pain?

Aaron: I am Aaron. Your physical pain is of two basic sorts. One is from the immediate energy contractions and one is from those contractions that are habitual and have created ongoing distortion in the physical body.

The first pain that I mentioned, that which deals with immediate energy distortion, it often manifest as something like headache. There's usually no ongoing physical distortion creating the headache. It's just a patterned habitual energy response. This kind of pain doesn't need as much intervention. When you learn how to work with the emotional patterns that are distorting the energy and creating the blockages which lead to pain, the pain usually dissolves itself.

For example of the second type, a constant, habitual contraction can create various distortions in the spine which lead to back pain. Clarifying the energy doesn't necessarily clarify the back pain. The distortion still must be corrected. Correcting the distortion does not heal the back pain; if the contraction continues, the distortion re-creates itself. In order to deal with the back pain, one must work both with the physical body to correct the physical distortions creating the pain, and with the energy body so as to be able to maintain those physical corrections.

We first need to ascertain what kind of pain is present. Is there physical distortion? This is something that most individuals may find it difficult to decide for themselves; a professional's help may be useful here. A chiropractor or a body worker has the training to distinguish whether there is physical distortion.

If you find that there is physical distortion, as is often the case with back pain-not always, but often-you may need outside help to help clarify that distortion. No matter how expert the help, the distortion is not going to stay balanced as long as there's an energy blockage. Mudra meditation is the best tool I have as yet discovered for working with this kind of energy blockage. There are many related practices. When I say it's the best tool, I am speaking of the ease with which it may be learned, that you're not sticking needles in yourself, which process of acupuncture can be very effective in opening energy blockage if you're knowledgeable and very harmful if you're not knowledgeable. Mudra meditation is at best helpful and at worst neutral, but will not do any harm. Because there is a reasonable good book available, it's easily learned. (Aaron is speaking here of The Book of Life by Kennett and MacPhillamy, published by Shasta Abbey Press.) Should you prefer to have help, work with a body/energy worker skilled in a technique such as polarity therapy is also useful, but the helper cannot retain the opening of energy; only you can do that.

My preferred way of working with this is to use the mudra which touches all the base chakra points in the body and the primary meridians. It is likely that you'll be able to tell where there is blockage as you work in that way. Once you find the point where the blockage exists, further mudras can be worked with that intensify their focus on that particular meridian.

Other than this more technical practice, one may simply draw attention to the area-for instance, the head-and feel the pounding or burning or tightness there, and aversion to that sensation. First work to relax any judgment of the aversion, not dwelling in the aversion nor pushing it away. The aversion is not the sensation itself. It must be attended first. Then attend the energy contraction itself; bring in energy or release it as seems appropriate.

A very simple practice is to lie down on the floor as if you were lying in a stream bed. Visualize, and allow yourself as much as possible to feel, the warm sun coming down on you. As you lie in the stream bed, the rocks don't feel hard, they just fit the curves of your body so that it's very comfortable. The water is not icy but just refreshingly cool, and there's a strong current. Your head is upstream. Allow the feeling of the water hitting your head, flowing over the skin of the body and down past the feet. Also, take that water into you. Feel it washing through, feel it washing against the headache, simply soothing from the inside and washing it away. If the ache is in the back, let it wash straight through the chakras, down through the back and through the base chakra and then down the legs and out through the feet.

A similar practice may be done in the shower, combining visualization and the actual experience of the water.

The point of this practice is twofold: one, it truly does allow you to shift the blockage aside a bit and allow the energy to begin to flow again; two, it gives you a powerful tool to choose to release pain. One must be careful that there's no getting rid of the pain, just a willingness to lie down and let it wash away. Usually we feel out of control when there's pain, helpless in the face of pain, so there's something very empowering about knowing, 'I can make the decision to release it.' Truly you don't need to do this meditation at all. One might almost call it a placebo, but it's an effective placebo. It's not that it's useless, it does bring your mind and energy into the focus of moving through the blockage and releasing blocked energy. It's simply that it's not necessary to do the visualization, but it's a tool.

I'm confusing some people here. You are in different places in your work with energy. May I be more specific than I usually am? J and C (who are massage and polarity therapists), if you are doing this kind of work on others, there's obviously no need to move into any kind of visualization, you're simply guiding the energy. When you are guiding that energy in others, it may also be helpful for you to give them a visualization which empowers them and helps them to understand that you are not shifting their energy, you are opening the doors so that they can shift their energy. If you simply tell them that they can shift their energy, they're not going to believe you because they've tried to do it and they couldn't. They need somebody to point in the right direction, to help guide it. But if you offer them a visualization to work with simultaneous to your work, it helps them to understand that they can do it.

In response to the others here who are not polarity therapists and body workers, exactly the same thing is true. You don't need the visualization, but it helps you to believe and feel empowered. Dare I say there is blockage and there has also never been any blockage? Can I throw that one out? But your body has believed the idea that there's blockage. At a certain level, you're not unblocking anything, you're only allowing your body to know that there's never been any blockage. As long as the body thinks there's been blockage, it's going to act as if there's been blockage which, on the relative reality level, does create the appearance of blockage.

J: (Not all on tape.) … and that Jesus was a very powerful healer. Now, aside from the fact that he was deeply connected to the Source, was part of the reason he was able to be such a powerful healer because he understood that there was no blockage there, never had been blockage, and so he was able to easily move and guide energy? In the Bible there are stories where he healed lepers and raised the dead and all of those healings he performed.

Barbara: Aaron says yes, and that what we're trying to do is to help people to understand that there's never been blockage and simultaneously, to relate lovingly to the blockage.

J: That's what's so hard when I have pain.

Barbara: Aaron says this relates to what he's been talking about with the light line and the way it seems to constrict and teaching us to open the energy field, which, in a sense, is a relative practice. Tonight he came into the ultimate practice, saying there's never been blockage there. No matter how much it's contracted, it's never contracted. But we experience it as contracted.

What he wants us to begin to learn is how to balance that. We feel pain because we rest in the illusion of the blockage and, on the relative plane, that does create a sense of blockage as you can experience in working with people's energy.

Aaron: I am Aaron. As long as you are trying to fix that blockage in yourself or another with a sense, 'If I open it, then I (or they) will feel better,' you're falling into the illusion. Anything that can be fixed, can be unfixed. If they need to come to a healer to fix it, when it blocks again they're going to have to come back. They're in a trap. When you direct your own energy to the ultimate reality that there was never anything blocked, you allow the person to reconnect … we come back to this wrinkled piece of cellophane of the sub-light body … you allow people to simply move through that and into the perfect light body which is already perfect.

The more one remembers that it's already perfect, the more one begins to manifest perfection for oneself, not needing the healer. But if you hide in the ultimate reality that it's already perfect and deny the pain, even though the pain is created by an illusion, it's still real pain. Thus, we need to rest in both simultaneously, which is what the affirmation and meditation was about tonight. It's a direction we will be moving in increasingly: How to rest in the reality of the light body and the reality of the pain simultaneously, not trying to get rid of or hold onto one or the other, just knowing that they're both real.

You come more and more to see that you have a choice: Where do you rest your attention, on the wrinkles or the perfect sheet of paper? As you deepen your clarity of the reality of the perfection that's always been there, increasingly you see the blockage as illusion and simply shift your attention back to the perfect light body where there's nothing that was ever blocked. Then one starts to understand that this semblance of blockage was simply old habit.

Those of you who play a musical instrument, you can learn a piece perfectly, no wrong notes, you're playing it beautifully, and then once, as you play that piano, your hand slips a little and instead of playing F you play F-sharp. Somehow when that mistake is made once, by your worry as you play it through again-'Oh, am I going to get the wrong note?'-you get the wrong note. And suddenly, four times out of five you're playing the F-sharp instead of the F. But the perfect piece was already there.

Can you see how your hand goes to the wrong note precisely because of the worry, 'Will I play the wrong note?' You're focused on the wrinkle. When you rest and simply know, the right notes are there-for a dancer it's the same thing: the right movements are there-then you don't need to repeat the wrong note. Your body doesn't need to repeat this physical contraction and distortion. Increasingly, there is connection with the perfect light body template.

Do you have questions? That is all.

J: Is that why my back keeps hurting every morning?

Aaron: I am Aaron. F-sharp! That is all.

Barbara: Aaron is asking, can you all see how you do that? How the perfect light body template is always there and we can be connected to it at one level, but as humans we can never maintain perfect connection to it. But as soon as we slip and are not connected, then we get so contracted around the distortion, that we keep repeating the distortion.

He says there is a term in Freudian psychology, 'repetition compulsion.' This is repetition compulsion of the physical body, just as that is repetition compulsion of the emotional body. He would like to explore the karmic roots of repetition compulsion in the physical and emotional bodies.

C1: Repetition compulsion means our tendencies to repeat patterns which we have learned from our families, in our relationships. It's just a very, very basic human pattern. It would be very interesting to have Aaron talk about that.

Q: In the discussion of repeating patterns physically, F-sharp can also be noticed in relationships. Then you started talking about it, so … I can be able to respond openly and lovingly to something, but if I have felt hurt about it in the past, then I can worry that I will again and I will again!

Aaron: I am Aaron. What seems most important here is to see how you get a hold of this F-sharp, be it physical or emotional, and worry about it like a cat playing with a mouse. You're fascinated with it. We've talked about some of this before. I have said that you like your problems. You're very attached to your problems. They're part of who you think you are. The ego self doesn't want to let go of them. It's not that it enjoys having problems, but that it enjoys being able to solve problems. Then it feels empowered. So, what you need is a new way to feel empowered without needing to invite problems in and solve them for that empowerment. When you can feel empowered by simply moving into the truth of your connection to the divine, then the problems become totally irrelevant. There was never a need to be a problem-solver.

As long as you're in human form, though, the contractions are going to keep coming up. It's got to be a two-pronged approach: compassion to the human who's feeling anger, confusion, physical pain, and, simultaneously, awareness, not that this is illusion, but that in ultimate reality I can cut through the heaviness of these contractions and reconnect to the perfect light body template, I can rest my focus there, not in denial of the physical and emotional body's contractions, but in a spaciousness that also includes those. There's nothing to deny.

Part of the denial is the desire to escape from the ferocity of that contraction. It's painful, it burns. So the mind starts playing with, how do I get rid of this? And you simply forget, I don't have to get rid of anything, just move through it and back up to the deepest connection and rest there.

We keep coming back to this: Rest in your own deepest truth. And if there's pain, there's going to be pain. When it's ready it will go. But when you find yourself able to rest in that truth, from that place of truth the pain isn't necessary anymore, so it goes faster. And there is more space for it, less fight with it while it is present. But you can't do it because you're blackmailing the pain to try to get it to go faster. That doesn't work. Just making space for it and reconnecting. That is all.

J: Every morning at about 4:30 my middle back is in spasm. This has been happening for three months, every night. Once I get up and move I'm fine. I fall asleep. The next night I'm not in pain, but I wake up.

Barbara: How many hours can you sleep before you move into a spasm?

J: About five.

Barbara: Aaron is suggesting that you set an alarm for about an hour before the spasm, that you get up and do some gentle yoga for about fifteen minutes and go back to bed. Not anything very active, just moving and stretching. Do it with your eyes closed, half asleep. He thinks then you may be able to go back to sleep for three or four hours.

J: What is interesting to me about it is, it's not freaking me out. It's been okay on a certain level. There seems to be space around it. But there's also a sense of wanting it to stop and, I guess, get rid of it. I have been swimming, doing yoga, getting polarity massages, acupuncture, doing all kinds of maintenance stuff to help strengthen the muscles because it still feels like the aftermath of my surgery and my body's trying to find some balance. It feels like what's happening is that after I fall asleep my body is somehow still contracting as a memory to protect my insides.

Barbara: This is the core of it, I think. There are all these memories of ways to protect and the holding of the body in a tensed way to protect creates the spasms. Aaron is saying it's like going back to the piano and the finger keeps hitting F-sharp by accident and it just becomes such an ingrained way of doing it, that … He says what you need to do is take the F-sharp key off the piano, literally, so you can't play it wrong.

J: It's like a skip in a record.

C2: What works for me is I accept pain and then it tends to go away.

Barbara: That's another very good way of doing it, just to wake up and know how much pain there is and see how much aversion to it there is and ask yourself to relax, over and over. How do you accept it? What's the process you go through?

C2: If you don't, it will hurt anyway.

Barbara: So, what happens to the fear at 3:30 as part of your mind is saying, there's going to be pain in a little while?

C2: There's going to be pain, whether you think that or not.

Aaron: I am Aaron. I thank you, C2. There's going to be pain anyway. It's kind and loving to the body to find patterns that avoid the pain where it's possible. Sometimes it's just not possible. One must ask oneself, how much of the pain is related to fear of the pain? What happens if I just lie here? J, you say you get up at 4:30. Two different approaches: the one I first suggested and simply waking up and lying in bed, feeling the power of this pain and trying to understand how much the fear of the pain is creating the pain.

What I mean by that is that within the sleep there is a small spasm. Then the body contracts more to fight the spasm and the spasm enlarges. The bigger it gets, the more tension to fight it. In effect, your body is still fighting the trauma of the surgery, as you noted. It feels back pain and reads 'Abdominal pain; contract; protect.' A different kind of retraining than arising and stretching to avoid it altogether is to begin to greet that first spasm with an 'Aha, here is the spasm.' Very gentle, very loving. Notice any contracting around it. Ask for help. Ask for spiritual energy workers and body workers to come and massage and gently release the contraction around the spasm. That original spasm is going to keep shrinking and shrinking and shrinking.

You can do it with lucid dreaming. The spasm does enter the dream and, at that point when you're still asleep, you can remind yourself, 'I need to be very relaxed about this pain, to focus love to it in all the ways I've learned.'

Ultimately, this is much more where healing is to be found than getting up an hour before the spasm. Both can be effective, but this will lead to a deeper knowledge of how to work with the spasm. The getting up is a way of connecting to the ultimate reality that there never was a spasm in the first place. It breaks the pattern. So, I don't want to say that one is better than the other, they're just two different approaches and the learning will be different in each. One is more of a relative practice, one more an ultimate practice. Do you have questions?

Barbara: Aaron is asking, can you see the difference, all of you, between the two practices of getting up, breaking the pattern by changing it, and accepting the pain and just learning how to relax into it. He says they are not mutually exclusive. You can do one some nights and one other nights.

(Talking about Aaron's statement that the physical body is the densest. How can we use that fact to relax tension?)

Barbara: I find when I wake up with my mind contracting-worrying about what I have to do, how I will get it done and am I doing the right things-if I shift from the mind questions to the physical sensations of the emotions, which for me is right here in my abdomen, then it changes it completely. It's just a physical sensation. The emotion doesn't have that much force anymore. My focusing on it was giving it solidity. Suddenly all that's there is a thought and a physical sensation. It becomes much more workable.