Newsletter, Volume 16, Number 2, Spring/Summer


Letter from Barbara
Barbara Brodsky

From the Board President
Curt Fish

Volunteers Needed
for Social Committee & Aaron Archives

Are You a Good Person?
Spiritual Inquiry Class Excerpt
November 28, 2007

Grasping & Aversion
Dianne Austin

The Seven-Fold Prayer
Guided Practice: Bodhichitta
January 15, 1997

The Angel and the Earthsuite
Excerpt: The Aaron/Q'uo Dialogues
November 22, 1996; Weekend 9, Part 1

Aaron Quote

Letter from Barbara
Barbara Brodsky

Dear friends,

In mid-February I returned from five weeks at Casa de Dom Inácio in Brazil, the Center headed by a man named João Teixeira de Faria, affectionately called John of God. João serves as a channel for approximately 31 different entities that incorporate into his body, one at a time, to do what often seems to be miraculous healing. For more information see and my own web site,

Many people have asked me to tell about this latest trip. In addition, I’m often asked about my present spiritual practice. I’ve spoken so much about my spiritual experiences in Brazil with a growing focus on faith and the open heart, and about the spaciousness of Pure Awareness, that people ask me, “Do you still practice vipassana?” and, “Are you still a dharma teacher?”

Yes, a thousand times yes, and yet that answer must be expanded. Dharma to me is the realization of how things are. This understanding begins with the great truth of the impermanent and non-self nature of conditioned objects that exist simultaneously with the Unconditioned, what the Buddha calls, “The Unborn, Undying, Unchanging, Uncreated” [Udana 8:3]. Further, Dharma understands the fact that dukkha (suffering based on the unsatisfactory quality of conditioned experience, unsatisfactory simply because it arises from conditions and we cannot control it) exists, and comprehends the causes of suffering and the path that leads us to freedom from suffering.

I learn about these truths through meditation. For me, the center of meditation is presence in each moment with kind, spacious awareness. The Pali language word ‘passana’ means seeing, and ‘vipassana’ means a deeper, more penetrating seeing. The practice of vipassana asks me to open the heart in each moment to whatever is predominant, and to watch the movements of mind and body as they relate to that moment. Are the heart and body open or clenched tight? Is there ease and joy or fear and need to control? We can’t choose what will arise in the next moment; sometimes it’s pleasant, sometimes not. Sometimes there is great pain of body or emotion. Only through the inviting of full presence and kindness can we invite the heart to stay with such pain, and only in that presence is freedom to be found. This is the freedom not to react from old conditioning, not to invoke old patterns, but to allow the heart and deepest wisdom to join together in each moment with more love.

Many strengths come together to support that moment of open-hearted clarity. We can train toward full presence, but may not be able to open the heart and trust enough to touch the most painful moments. We can never force it. There must be full intimacy and kindness as we attend to these impermanent, yet sometimes very painful, objects. The natural tendency of so many years, of lifetimes even, is to flee. What allows the fullest presence? When strong fear and negative thought come, what sustains us?

My experience with Pure Awareness practice, sometimes labeled as Dzogchen, helps me here. With each object that arises, I see the immense space that surrounds and accompanies the object. Aaron uses a metaphor here: he asks us to imagine sitting in a tiny box while he approaches with a tarantula, and points out how quickly we would leap out of the box. But imagine a much bigger box and we see the capacity to stay and observe the tarantula, even to befriend it. Eventually we come to know the infiniteness of that box, which is the Unconditioned itself, and learn to rest in the spaciousness of the Unconditioned with full intimacy with the conditioned objects that challenge us. The balance of heart and mind allow both full presence and non-self-identification. We attend not to fix but just to witness and hold the space until they dissolve. Herein we open to the true experience of freedom.

We rest in the pure awareness mind, Big Mind, and watch the everyday or mundane consciousness with its preferences, fears and opinions, and don’t take all that quite so personally. Finally, we can hold both the ultimate and relative reality and know that both are true. Fear may be present—the direct experience of fear that shakes us. That which is aware of fear is not afraid. Both are there. Anger may make us tremble, but that which is aware of anger is not angry. There is no denial of the anger here, only the recognition that non-anger, deep peace and equanimity are also present. It is not alternating but simultaneous.

It’s with this background and practice that I first came to the Casa de Dom Inácio in Brazil in January, 2004, with the hope that I might hear after 32 years of deafness, and with the invitation of whatever healing might be found in other areas of body, mind and spirit. My trips there have challenged me in many ways, and the spiritual practice has been there to support the work with these challenges. For that practice I am immensely grateful. On the first trip, Dr. Augusto who is one of the Casa Entities speaking through João, said, “Possibly we can help.” The second trip he told me, “Probably.” Was there grasping? Yes, and letting go, again and again. The third trip another Entity who has been working with me regularly, Dr. Valdivino, also said (speaking through João), “You will hear,” but this brought up new grasping and a quandary. If I will hear, what delays that hearing? Why is it not “Now”? It was at this point that I finally began to investigate my beliefs in limitations and how I was living my life in subservience to such beliefs. To believe I am limited, less than whole, unworthy, or otherwise incomplete, leads me to enact such beliefs, to keep the scenario repeating. This is reminiscent of the movie “Groundhog Day,” where the character keeps replaying the scene over and over, as though stuck in a groove from which he can’t escape. There’s a book title I came across years ago, “That Which I am Seeking is Causing Me to Seek.” The title tells the whole story in a capsule. We stay in the rut, giving ever-increasing energy to holding things the way things are rather than glimpsing the reality of freedom from the situation. That which is aware of the rut is not caught in the rut. But when there is no awareness, all we see is the rut, from which we desperately try to escape. Yet we keep recreating the rut out of the belief that it has some ultimate reality. We can’t escape precisely because we can’t see that there never was a rut, except in our closed-minded belief. We become attached to the rut. It’s uncomfortable but familiar; true space may look even more uncomfortable.

When I hold a belief of myself as unworthy, for example, I begin to use my energy to prove myself worthy. I keep inviting situations in which I actually feel unworthy, and then repeat the impulse to prove I am worthy. I can’t prove I’m worthy without a situation that says I’m unworthy, so I keep the cycle going. I believe I need the feeling of unworthiness in order to somehow, finally, prove I’m worthy. In some ways I’m attached to that feeling of unworthiness, painful though it is, and to the fight to overcome it. Similarly, if I have a belief that anger is bad and I must conquer it, I continually invite situations that provoke anger so I can try to destroy it. But here I am merely giving my energy to the anger. I never see and nurture the non-anger, but stay focused on trying to defeat the familiar enemy of anger.

Now I was faced with what seemed to be a reality, not just a belief, that I am deaf. These ears have not heard for 35 years. The nerves in the middle ear and those that conduct sound to the brain have been medically declared dead. There is no response to any kind of impulse. Yet the Casa entities have said, “You will hear.” My experience with them has led me to profound trust. If they say it, it will be so. I found myself believing the “You will hear,” but that “will” means in the future; thus, I cannot hear now. Here was a belief that it needs to happen in linear time, slowly. But if I will hear, I already do, as nothing can happen that is not already present. Just as non-anger is right there with anger, hearing is right there with non-hearing.

In confusion, I began to grasp at the healing I sought. I asked inwardly if I was unworthy of that healing, doing something wrong, or simply being rejected. I even went to João with Dr. Valdivino incorporated and asked if I was doing something to block healing. He said no, I was doing exactly what they asked, and doing it perfectly. Then why does it not happen?

I went through a very painful few hours, mind doing gymnastics, seeking a way out. But I am profoundly deaf, and mostly blind in one eye, and in this moment, that’s how it is, no matter how much I want it to be different. Vipassana gives me the tool to see the grasping without self-identification to the endless stories of “Poor me” or “How can I fix it?” It is through infinite hours and days of this practice that one finally realizes the capacity to just stay present with pain and not try to get away. But that day I realized I wasn’t fully present, but was still insulating myself with the concept of deafness and the work to heal.

No matter how many years I had lived with deafness, I had refused to let it touch me completely. Now I let myself fully experience deafness, and the sorrow I felt at how lack of ear-hearing cut out so much of the world for me. I cried for a few days as I watched branches sway in the wind, saw bird mouths open and close in unheard voice, watched the soundless rain on my roof, and saw humans speaking, laughing and crying. As that experience deepened, some profound wisdom finally said, “That which is aware of deafness is not deaf. Instead of being deaf in that moment, can I simultaneously allow and invite that which hears?” In the days I asked this, two things happened.

Since I lost my hearing in 1972 I’ve had a visual balance. The delicate middle ear nerves that support balance were oxygen starved and destroyed. The past three years since I lost my right eye vision, lost binocular vision, my balance has been precarious. I could no longer walk at night without the support of two walking sticks. Even in daytime I frequently used the walking sticks, and found them necessary on an uneven surface. When I came to the Casa in January of this year, I walked from my pousada (inn) to the Casa with the walking sticks for support. In the second week, the Entity said to me, “Put them aside and walk without them.” I feared I would fall. I was requested to walk and allow them to energetically support me. I would not fall. I walked and did feel their momentary support when balance went, holding me until I felt centered again. It felt like an energetic force field under the arms, just there enough that I had a moment of support to re-center myself and feel the true balance of the body. As I began to believe I could balance without the walking sticks, I started to trust my body’s intuitive balance, which I have not relied on for 35 years. Within a week I was doing something I have not done for over three decades—taking long, easy strides and walking in a sure-footed way.

At the end of one week of walking, I had a new invitation. “Rent a bicycle and ride it,” the Entity suggested. With some trepidation I rented the bike, and promptly fell over trying to mount it. “That which is aware of imbalance is not unbalanced,” Aaron reminded me. Find the balance right there with the lack of it. “Don’t think, ‘I will become balanced’ but rather know, ‘I am balanced.’ Know the innate balance and trust it.” I got up from the ground, swung my leg over the bike seat while allowing myself to feel the real balance, and rode off. For the remaining two weeks that bike went with me everywhere. I felt like an eight-year old discovering the freedom of wheels again!

I was also rediscovering vision. The first day at the Casa this year I was sent to surgery. A week of recuperation followed. My right eye vision deteriorated after surgery, which has been the case in the past two years also. There was only dark and light to be seen. Then the vision began to return and I was urged to work hard with the eye exercises I had been given last year and had done through the year. Again I was reminded, “Know that which can see and cherish it. Do not think yourself blind, but know the vision that is there.” By the end of my stay, there was fair vision, blurred but without any blind spot, what I have thought of as a black hole. I was urged to close the good eye and walk, to depend on the right eye for seeing and to express gratitude to the eye for the real vision it was offering.

Looking back, I see that these two areas of healing were offered, not just to heal balance and vision, though that was real, but also because I needed these demonstrations in order to trust the reality of hearing. In 2007 at the Casa I heard thunder for the first time in 35 years, yet I still believed that was all I could hear. This year as I sat in the current room, with my heart opened to the pain of the deafness yet with the real knowing, “That which is aware of deafness is not deaf,” one of the entities asked me to relax and listen. “Your body has become an ear,” they said. “You must learn how to hear with it.” They play many different kinds of loud music in the current room. As I sat there that day, I began to hear tones and rhythm. It felt like music. I listened with this body-ear for about half an hour. When the meditation session ended, I asked someone sitting near me, was there music with this kind of rhythm and melody, humming what I had heard? “Yes; yes.”

Through the weeks, I found myself turning repeatedly to face what seemed like loud sounds. Frequently they were confirmed as a truck rolled by, or I saw a person who had just set an object on a table. So finally I was beginning to intimately know the “deaf” of so many years’ relative reality, but also the “I hear,” which is a greater reality, Not, “I will hear” but “I do hear, right now.” No, this is not yet hearing voices, but it is real, and helps me move into this new reality. I am not a deaf person. I hear. Let’s come back to dharma and the practice of meditation. Aaron has repeated so often through the years, “That which is aware … is not self-identified with the experience of the moment, but can see it clearly with spaciousness, and still with intimacy with the relative experience of the human. The heart is open, yet not creating a self around that experience.” For so many years I understood this conceptually, but had never truly gotten the full meaning. I could not have allowed what happened at the Casa this year without this background—not the balance or the seeing or the hearing. But also, these experiences lead me back into the dharma. Relative and Ultimate reality are not dual. There is no duality. Rest in completion, in perfection, and yet with compassion for the human who does experience the limitations and distortions. When they arise, know they are not the full reality. Rest in innate perfection, with the heart open to the experiences of this moment, and let them pass away. Release limits, and the belief in limits, and live the ultimate reality. We are here to express our divinity and perfection. There is no need to continue to express the illusions of limits, brokenness and fear. Rest in love and allow it ever more fully to express.

When distortion remains, we don’t need to believe we’re doing something wrong. That distortion may be the perfect place for us in this moment, in service to all. So this isn’t about some concept that says hearing is better or more right than not hearing. The body may not heal. Moving beyond limitations doesn’t just mean moving past deafness; it may mean moving past the idea that hearing is needed. Both the hearing and deafness are part of this non-dual reality. However, I am no longer holding the distortion through fear. It will remain as long as it serves some good. My prayer is not to hear, but to serve, for the highest good. But the ever-healed that is already present will show itself. Fear no longer holds onto limits.

A letter from a friend with chronic illness, writing from her bed, says it beautifully:

…In all my experience, the quiet mind comes from dropping down into perfect mind, perfect heart, perfect assurance and knowing all is well. This is the only thing that removes the temptation to worry, fret, try to figure out a solution, et cetera. …

My life and my days are dedicated to serving Him. If this is my situation today, then this is right where I need to be to serve most fully. As I set my intention to give 100% of my self to Him today, I know that “This is the day which the Lord hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

My deepest thanks to Aaron and all those loving beings, human and discarnate, who continue to guide and teach me.


From the Board President
Curt Fish

March 2008

Deep Spring Sangha,

What a long, cold winter we’ve had. Every time it warms up a little, it seems another wintry blast comes along.

Still, warm, open hearts like those at Deep Spring melt the winter chill. Whether it’s donating to the Holiday Fundraiser, building a new accessibility ramp for the center (with donated materials), volunteering to help with the Aaron Archives project, or any of the many other ways the people at Deep Spring volunteer and contribute, the spirit at Deep Spring brings warmth even in the coldest of times. It is indeed an honor to be involved with this organization.

As noted above, our Holiday Fundraiser was a great success. More than $10,000 was donated during this year’s drive. This generosity is greatly appreciated, and will provide much-needed support during the coming year. Metta to all who donated, and all who wanted to donate.

In technical news (a personal favorite of mine), Deep Spring Center now has high-speed wireless Internet access! Yes, that’s right: the center is a WiFi hotspot. One important benefit is that committees that meet at the center can now use the web during meetings. But more than that, anyone who would like to access the web can bring in a laptop and connect. This wireless uses the existing Internet service, so there’s no charge. Just connect and start surfing. The information needed to connect to the wireless network is posted on the bulletin board.

We’re also making progress on the Aaron archives. Several volunteers have come forward to offer tech services, read and categorize transcripts and coordinate efforts. We’re currently in the process of developing the web site and laying out the process for getting documents into the archive. We’ve still got a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re off to a good start.

There is now a policy in place to make the process of publicizing events much more efficient, minimizing confusion over event classification. If you’ve been involved with this, you know it’s is a big step forward. If not, here’s what you need to know: if you have an event related to meditation or spiritual inquiry and would like Deep Spring to publicize it, send an e-mail to Susan Weir ( for consideration. Each month we’ll gather up the announcements submitted by the 20th and send out an e-mail listing those events of interest.

Key areas of focus for the upcoming months will be: assembling and approving a budget, deciding on a path forward for class calendar coordination, renewing our lease (or finding new space), and filing our tax return. Look forward to reports on these and other areas next time.

With metta,

Volunteers Needed

Social Committee

Help Deep Spring And Have Fun too!

The Deep Spring Center Social Committee is looking for two (2) new members to replace current members Linda Longo and Bilha Rivlin, whose terms of service are ending.

It’s a commitment of time not money—and an opportunity to serve the sangha. The Social Committee’s aim is to coordinate and facilitate a variety of events and outings throughout the year to give the people of our Sangha, their families and friends, an opportunity to meet and get to know one another in fun, relaxed surroundings that support right practice.

Over the last two years, activities such as the annual picnic, kayak trips on the Huron River, movie nights, a Christmas party, bowling, walks through the Ann Arbor park system, a bonfire, and more, have all taken place or been planned.

If you have any questions, or are interested in serving, please contact one of the current members listed below before April 30, 2008.

Be happy, be happy,

Linda Longo email:  phone 734 668-1735
Bilha Birma-Rivlin email:  phone 734 330-9376
Tom Slank email:  phone 313 347-5843

Archives – Aaron Transcripts

Deep Spring needs volunteers to bring the Aaron archives to the Internet. We want to make all of the Aaron material available on the web in fully indexed and searchable form. To do so, we need volunteers to help.

Index Volunteers These volunteers receive Aaron transcripts electronically, read them and identify appropriate key topics. The amount of time to be committed by each volunteer is flexible.

If you wish to participate, please email Phil Harding at

Are You a Good Person?
Spiritual Inquiry Class Excerpt
November 28, 2007

Book referenced is Climbing Jacob’s Ladder by Alan Morinis.
See Spirituality in Daily Life: November 28, 2007 – Class Three for the entire talk.

Aaron: A simple question: are you a good person? (pause; class mostly nodding yes) Do you sometimes have bad thoughts, thoughts that are angry or selfish? Anybody here never have bad thoughts? Negative thoughts, let’s call them. None of you? You all have negative thoughts? I’m not surprised. Does that make you a bad person?

Chapter 5 in the book is about good and evil. I understand what he’s driving at, but I don’t see good and evil in such a duality. Every being has the immense capacity for doing good from a loving heart, and every being has the capacity for acting in self-interest, even if it will harm another, for acting out anger and greed and fear.

I find it too simplistic to talk about good people or bad people. When we think of the archetype of a bad person, we think of Hitler. And yet Hitler, perhaps he had a dog to whom he was very kind. Was there a small streak of kindness in him? What if that kindness had been cultivated from birth? What if he had been raised in a different way to encourage that kindness and bring it forth? What if he had been taught when he had self-centered impulses, prejudicial impulses, fear-based impulses, to recognize the nature of such impulse and not act it out? Might another side of him have developed?

Let’s look at a person like Gandhi, who we think of as a good person. What if he had grown up in a very prejudiced, angry home where he was constantly told he was not good, constantly set upon to be competitive with others and be better than others, so that his only protection for himself was to attack others. Would he have grown to be capable of the great good he did in the world?

I’m not suggesting it’s entirely conditioned. You do come into the incarnation with inherent tendencies, and with the human trait of fear, but you also come into the world with the core possibility of kindness. So I don’t believe that the human is only kind because he is taught to be kind. My experience is that the human in whom kindness is allowed and encouraged will learn to bring forth that kindness because the seed is there.

Let’s say there was a beautiful apple tree that gave ripe, delicious, fragrant fruit. Somebody gave me seeds from that tree. I brought it to another place and planted the seeds. I planted them in good, fertile soil, but I never watered them, only the sparsest of watering. And they didn’t receive much sunshine. What would happen to those trees? Suppose one grew for 5 or 6 years into a spindly kind of tree; maybe in 6 or 7 years it had 1 or 2 blossoms but there was not sufficient energy to bring forth the apples. The soil is good, remember, and the seed is a replica of its parent, filled with potential.

Then, one year I began to water it regularly and removed the tall weed-trees that had shaded it so it received abundant sunlight. Every day I watered it and I spent time just visiting it, offering it loving energy. Do you suppose that spindly sprout my suddenly blossom? It has the potential which can be brought forth or may not be brought forth.

The human is the same way. There is the potential to do enormous harm, to do what you may call evil. I don’t like the word evil, I’d rather say to express strong negativity in the world which does great harm. The human has that potential, and the human has the potential to blossom, expressing radiance and love. This is what you are. You have free will. You are that beautiful seed, that as a child, other people nurture and as an adult, you nurture. Even if the seed was not well-nurtured for the child, you as the adult now may begin to nurture it, knowing, “This radiance is within me and it’s my intention to bring it forth.”

If your habit energy is to withhold the water and the sunshine, put yourself into a dark place, you have the ability to remind yourself, “I choose radiance. I choose light. I choose love. What do I need to offer myself to bring forth the fruit that is my birthright, the fruit of lovingkindness?” It takes careful attention, because the habit energies to reactivity to fear can be very strong.

He (Morinis) offers a quote: “The Talmud warns us, first the evil impulse is like a passerby, then he is called a guest, and finally he becomes the master of the house.” You have to be deeply aware of that, let’s call it negative impulse, fear-based impulse.

The Buddhist teachings state it in a very similar way. First comes the thought and the following of the thought, the action. The action follows the thought. The action hardens into habit, and the habit, into character. So watch the thought with care and let each thought be based in love for all beings. If a thought is not based in love for all beings, be aware that it’s not. Note it as fear, as grasping, as anger.

Everything arises out of conditions and is impermanent, is not self. Certain conditions are present and that thought expresses itself. In just such a way, a person who grew up in a very prejudiced home where there was racial, religious, or cultural prejudice may grow into an adult who, when he sees a person of a different race or religion or culture, has a negative thought, “That person is not as good as I am.” Or, “That person simply is not good. That person is to be feared.” Such a thought may arise.

But if the training is there, one notes the thought and says, “Is that so?” Here’s a thought and I’m believing it. “Is that so? That person of a different skin color, he’s not good, he’s not trustworthy. Is that so?”

Through this kind of work, we begin to see the habit energies that are predominant. When you say, “Is that so?” and wisdom says, “No, it’s just a thought that comes up because my grandmother and grandfather and my mother and father and my aunts and uncles always said it was so. It arose from those conditions. But I am free, I don’t have to believe that thought; it’s just a thought. Then you begin to explore; you befriend people of that other race or culture, and you find out how loving, trustworthy and goodhearted they really are. Finally the thought ceases to arise.

It’s not a matter of good or evil, it’s a matter of training. It starts with the intention to live one’s life with kindness, with non-harm to all beings, to be aware of negative thought, to understand the conditioned nature of negative thought and not react to it. To hold space for it. As you hold the space for it, to literally watch it dissolve into the spaciousness of the open heart.

Grasping and Aversion
Dianne Austin

A styrofoam interior is painted reddish as a base chakra color for survival. It is covered in hooks, symbolizing the constant “I want” of the mind. I see it kind of oozing through space trying to hook onto anything in its path. Identification with this constant craving to have more, or to have things different than they are, is the source of suffering.

Perched on a precarious base that is cut through many times, the organism has both sides bent down and under, trying to protect itself. There is no solidity to this fear reaction: it is reaction to not wanting things as they are. The nails are anger or "get away or I will hurt you" type energy. The metal scales are armor against any incoming information that is threatening. The underbelly is lighter and very vulnerable.

The Seven-Fold Prayer
Guided Practice: Bodhichitta

January 15, 1997

Excerpted from January 15, 1997, Bodhichitta Part; see The Awakened Heart, Part 2, for the entire talk.

Aaron: What I teach here comes from an 8th century Buddhist teacher named Shantideva. It is not unique with him. He wrote it out in a very beautiful poem, but he did not originate it. It is the practice of bodhichitta, or awakened heart. This awakened heart is not something you must seek to create; it is something that has always been there but is obscured by the clouds of delusion, ignorance and fear. So all I am teaching you is a way to more deeply open to the bodhichitta already present within.

We begin in a very specific way a practice that is variously called “the seven-fold prayer” or “the seven-branch prayer.” There is a very similar practice in ancient Judaism, whose Hebrew name I will not attempt to offer. I would ask you at this point to sit erect for meditation and I’m going to take you through this process step by step.

The function of this process is to help to open the heart, to help to nurture bodhichitta, or this fully awakened and loving heart. When you have access to this heart, it is a tremendous support in your resolve to move away from the old habits of fear and negativity. Seven steps. The one we have just reviewed, that which I taught in December, is the third step and the most intricate. The others are far simpler.

First. I would ask you to bring to your heart and mind the image of one whom you regard as teacher, or if there is no specific being that fills this function for you, simply bring in either the thought of all beings who have preceded you, who have done this hard work that you now do, have clarified their energy in that way. All of these are your teachers! Or bring in the image of Light itself, the Ever-Perfect, the Divine, in whatever form you experience it.

From your heart, open to your willingness to honor this energy, be it a specific entity or a collection of energies, or be it this core which we call Ever-Perfect. I’m going to be quiet for a moment and ask you to offer this love, this devotion, to the principle this entity stands for and, if applicable, to the entity itself, from your heart.


The second stage is one of offering. You offer all of yourself to this energy. This that is all-good, all-beautiful: what do you offer it? You can offer it the white snow and clear mountain streams, moonlight and sunlight, flowers and the laughter of children. No, these do not belong to you but you are a part of these and they are a part of you, because you are interconnected to everything, and so you can offer sunlight and laughter. Offer also that which is immediate expression of the self—your body, your mind, your energy. There needs to be a fervent wish here: whatever I have that can be used by the forces of light for the alleviation of suffering, I freely offer it. Use me. Let me be a channel for love and for light. Again I will be quiet.


Then we move on to the third phase. The term that is sometimes used here is confession, but I think that word may have negative emotional connotations of a demeaning of the self, rather than simply as “surrender,” for some of you. This step is simply an opening of your heart that acknowledges, “I have used my energy in ways that have harmed others. I have acted, spoken, or had thoughts that were unskillful, and if fixated upon and perpetuated, would lead to harm.” This is the four-part practice of which we just spoke: support, then reflection and regret, and so forth. You have already done the first part, which is support. Then this reflection and regret; then resolve not to perpetuate those habits and a willingness to seek out and apply the antidotes, and to purify the self. I will be quiet while you do this.


The fourth step is to move out of yourself. When you look around you see that there are other beings who have done harm but there are also vast numbers of beings who have done good. The fourth phase is a nurturing of sympathetic joy or mudita. Some of you met this word last year when you worked in meditation class with the heavenly-abode or brahma-vihara practices.

This is simply looking around at those who are able to greet heavy catalyst with an open heart, without greed or jealousy or fear, and instead of feeling threatened by what they do, you allow yourself to experience a deep joy that beings are able to open their hearts in this way for the good of all beings including yourself. Of course if there is jealousy in seeing that they can do this and you can’t, then you simply work with the jealousy, not attacking it, just recognizing it and seeing it as another cloud, seeing it as a habitual cloud. Offer the self deep kindness that it arose, but also offer the intention to move past this particular pattern and a willingness to apply the antidotes.

We’re touching here on that old question, what if I wasn’t feeling fear, anger, greed, separation or whatever? What might I be feeling? As you have worked with that question through the years, you’ve learned to be very honest with yourselves. Fear is a habit. It grows out of the illusion of separation. You need not continue to practice this habit. This practice of sympathetic joy is an essential part of the seven-fold teaching, and is also quite valuable to practice independently.

In practice of it now, what I would ask you to do is to bring to mind something that happened in the past day or two, somebody who acted in a loving way, somebody who could have been greedy but was generous, somebody who could have acted as if they were threatened but instead was kind and receptive to criticism, and so forth. Choose just one situation. Observe how that person opened in a way that may have been difficult for you in the same situation, and as much as you can let your heart open to what they gave and offer thanks for it. I pause.


The fifth step. This is to offer thanks that there are those such as the one you just reflected on who are teachers of love, and to ask them to remain available to you. Let us do this.


If it is useful to you to address these thoughts to a very high being such as the Buddha or the Christ, of course you may do that. Please recognize, though, that you are addressing teachers at every level, and asking that they continue to be available to you. And the following step, which may be merged with step 5, is from deep within your heart to ask to be taught. You have acknowledged that there are places where you’re stuck. You have acknowledged with joy that there are teachers. Now you ask to be taught. Within that asking there’s a sense of surrender; you are not going to cling to old patterns, but offer a willingness to learn. I pause while you do it.


The seventh step is what is traditionally called “dedication of merit.” You simply ask from the heart that any value that grows out of the work we are doing not be kept selfishly for the self but be offered in love to all beings.


This then is what we call the Seven-Fold Prayer. If it feels appropriate to you, I suggest you use it at the beginning of your meditation on a daily basis. It doesn’t need to take long, but also you’re not taking time away from your meditation. This simply becomes the beginning of the meditation and gives you great support for the practice that follows. Please feel free to amend it to fit your own situation, your own particular religious path.

The Angel and the Earthsuit
Excerpt: The Aaron/Q'uo Dialogues
November 22, 1996
Weekend 9, Part 1

This talk is excerpted from a series of nine weekends of joint channeling, Aaron through Barbara and Q’uo, through Carla Rueckert McCarty. The entire transcript may be found at

Aaron: Q’uo has spoken of the two aspects of your being. These are what I call the angel and the earth-suit. You are angels in earth-suits. If you wanted just to be angels and manifest perfect clarity, you would not have chosen to incarnate. Any being can manifest its energy with great love and clarity as an angel. Can you do it in the earth-suit? Even more important is what happens when you bring the balance of these two together. For you are not only the earth-suit. No! No! No! You are the angel in the earth-suit.

It is through this balance of taking the constant catalysts of the earth plane and drawing them into the heart of love that you not only learn for yourselves, but that you manifest your energy into the world with increasing purity and love and thus offer that energy to all beings. Very often you become lost enough in the earth-suit catalyst that you lose view of what you are really doing. You are simply forging ahead blindly, and yet sometimes one has to do that.

Speaking of her drive to perfection, once, with this instrument, I asked her a question. I said to her, “Imagine that you are with a group of people on top of a mountain. You are walking, when suddenly the weather turns, clouds roll in and it begins to snow. Where you had been hiking was very steep, with many precipices. You feel that you cannot walk because of the density of the weather, and yet you recognize that you must get off the mountain. What you really want is someone to come along from the group and say, ‘I know this mountain so well. Follow me and I will lead you down.’ But no one comes. Everyone sits down and shakes from fear and from cold. You are fully aware that in less than an hour of exposure to this treacherous wind and cold, people are going to enter into hypothermia and people are going to die. You do not know the path. You only had a glimpse at it as it lay ahead, just as the clouds rolled in. What are you going to do? Are you going to wait there for somebody else to say, ‘I know the mountain. I will lead us,’ or are you going to do it yourself? What if you are not perfectly prepared?”

When is it ego to say, “I will lead”? When is it love? More correctly phrased, when is it the voice of the small self who acts in service to that self, perhaps to enhance it or to self-inflate? When is it the voice of the large self that acts in service to all beings?

First you must allow that both voices are going to be present. You are this angel in an earth-suit. While the angel’s voice may come through loud and clear, the human voice also must be present or else you are not having a human experience. Perhaps the angel’s voice says, “I think I can do this. If I move very carefully, I think I can do this.” Then you hear the ego’s voice saying, “Oh, won’t everybody make a fuss over me when we get safely to the bottom.” Hearing that second thought, you may surmise, “This is not my deepest truth that says it can lead the descent. This is only ego.” If you strike out in anger against that ego’s voice, then you cannot hear love’s voice. You become so much at war with the small-self aspect of you that you shut out the existence of anything else.

On the other hand, you can hear that small self’s voice and just say, “Aha! Here is the self that wants recognition. Here is the self that feels pain and wants to be a hero. Shhhh, I hear you. I hear how afraid you are and I hear the ego-self grasping at this opportunity for some notice.” When you treat the small self with kindness, its voice quiets. Then you have the opportunity to reopen once again to the voice of the greater self that is still insistently whispering, “We must get these people off the mountain or people are going to die. It will take courage from all of us, but it can be done.”

When you ask, “How can I become a purer channel?” that absolute purity is always accessible within you. Confusion and distortion are also always there. If my friends who have heard this example before will pardon me, a very simple illustration of your being is to take a very smooth white sheet of paper with absolutely no wrinkles, wad it up into a ball and tightly squeeze it so it becomes wrinkled, then open it out again. The sheet appears to be filled with wrinkles. Look at that sheet of paper. Can you see that the perfect sheet of paper still exists? It has not gone anywhere. The wrinkles also exist. We are not denying either truth. Which do you choose to practice? Do you choose to practice the wrinkles or to practice the perfect sheet of paper? To practice that perfect sheet does not mean to deny the existence of the wrinkles, only not to need to enact them; and even further, not to fixate on them in any way. This is of tremendous importance.

This shadow aspect of the self will exist. Do not fixate on it in any way and do not deny it. You do not need to be ruled by it and you do not need to fight against it. Your work is to draw it into the heart of love. When the conditions have ceased that gave rise to that particular wrinkle, it will go if you are not relating to it in a way that gives it further conditions from which to perpetuate itself! It will go. You do not need to push it away. To fret over it is a way of practicing it. Can you see that? When you are busy attacking the wrinkle, you are giving solidity to it. In karmic terms, your energy contracts around that particular wrinkle and it plants the seeds for the next moment.

I think it is very important to understand how that works. Let us use as a hypothetical example, such as the thinking of the self as unworthy. This concept is the wrinkle. To strive to become a worthy person sets up a pattern of contractions every time there is an opportunity to be generous or kind. The generosity and kindness are gifts to another, of course. And yet, if there is a strong somebody being generous and kind, it sets up reverberations which solidify the self. That somebody who is struggling not to be unworthy is struggling to be worthy. In either case, it solidifies this self who must push away unworthiness and grasp at worthiness. It does not acknowledge the deeper truth that there is no such thing as unworthy or worthy. How could any human or any being on any plane be unworthy or worthy? One might be generous or perhaps wise/unwise or skillful/unskillful; but worthy/unworthy?

Even such a movement as generous or greedy can set in motion this pattern of solidified self. You may see yourself as clinging or greedy and make the decision, “I’m going to defeat this wrinkle. I’m going to become generous each time fear arises.” And with this decision comes a clinging pattern. You castigate yourself and say, “Look how bad I am to have this fear energy. I’m going to be generous,” and you push yourself to give.

So long as you are fixated on being the generous one, you are going to continue karmically to enact situations in your life in which clinging or giving is primary. The mastering of this lesson does not involve only freely giving, even when there is fear. That giving will come naturally when there is no obstruction to it. The idea of the generous self, here, serves as an obstruction. The entire notion of the self as a giver or clinger or as a self which must be “fixed” must be released. Freedom from perpetuating this pattern comes when you can release fixation on the whole movement of clinging and giving.

Note the fear from which these patterns arise. Note that certain conditions give rise to that fear. Observe the self which is fearful with a great deal of kindness and compassion. Then this solid self is no longer the one who is giving or clinging. Then the heart knows what to do. There is no more giver and no more clinger. Giving happens. There is no subject and object. Nothing is given.

The fear does not automatically disappear any more than our would-be guide on the top of the mountain loses its fear when it says, “Follow me,” and takes the first step. The fear may be immense. That is just it! If you were just spirit, Pure Spirit, giving or leading people down the mountain, there would be no fear and there would be no challenge. The challenge is not to be fearless. The challenge is to bring love where there is fear.

The work is to cease to fixate on getting rid of anything, such as fear, jealousy, greed or anger, but instead to draw all of these emotions and the causes for them into the loving heart. Then you can watch these patterns come and go in yourself. A loving heart knows what to do. As Q’uo said, the brain stops directing the show and the heart becomes the ruler.

At this point I would like to pass the microphone back to my brother/sister/friend Q’uo. I pause

(Carla channeling)

Q’uo: We are those of Q’uo and are again with this instrument.

We can sense all of you experiencing these thoughts, feeding them back into your consciousness and sorting through them as through items at a rummage sale. We appreciate the bewildering effect of so many old and new ideas intermingled.

But have faith! There is a part of yourself upon which you can rely that overarches and interpenetrates all of your self and experience. You already know that which is needful for you at this particular juncture. So relax the desire to comprehend while practicing the trust in your own deeper intuition that constitutes one way of expressing things.

We would like to describe for you an entry into that portion of self that has its self-ness in faith. It lies within the heart center. It is literally and figuratively at the heart and of the heart.

As the energy moves into the physical body through the feet and up into the root chakra or energy center at the joining of the legs, it encounters a beautiful crystalline structure. We give this instrument a picture of a geodesic dome, which is a structure in time/space that enables the ready energy of the Creator to express energy through that co-Creator’s red ray energy center. And as the energy gathers, that energy becomes more crystalline and transparent to that love/light that is expressing into manifestation from unmoved love.

Moving upwards, it encounters another beautiful crystalline structure that resides in the belly itself, which contracts against dangers of association with the self and with the complexity of dual and triple or completely unusual and conflicting needs of the self and one other self. As the seeker gathers experience, the choices made can more and more energize this nexus of energy.

And the energy allowed through moves up to that place where belly meets chest; that omphalos of power. [An omphalos is defined by as a “navel; umbilicus.”] This is the plane of your Earth. This is the social energy center where the self deals with society and its associations, whether the experience is as a member of a family, as a citizen of a country or as a member of any group in which you are working with distortions of the yellow-ray energy center. And again, the choices that you make can, through the incarnative experience, help to crystallize and make transparent this center.

As one works with all of these energies to balance them, one is literally making more room for energy from the Creator to pour in its original strength into the heart center.

The problem with attempting to work in consciousness with ascended masters or entities such as we is that one is working from the top down, whereas the stable basis of energy shall always first depend upon the amount of energy that comes into the heart from the root chakra upward.

No matter how much energy is called into the system from the heart, it must move downward to the place where the energy from the Creator has originated its entrance into the mind and body complexes. Thusly, you see seekers who find themselves in desperate straits because they are attempting to open the heart by inspiration, and yet they have no home in which to place this inspiration. And so, like a bird, all that is felt from contact with that source flies away like lost hope and is gone when the eyes open and the entity is once again within the busyness of everyday life.

Come with us into the heart, just for a moment, where we feel that there is the need to experience love. We wish to tell you that you can do this at any time. But come with us now. Feel that energy coming through those distortions in each center, yet moving upwards to the heart. See that energy coming from above, as it were, that calls for inspiration and flows like liquid into the heart.

And these two meet where lions guard the door. And you bow to the lions and you do not say, “I deserve to be here.” You say, “Have mercy on me, for I seek love.” And the lions bow to you and the door opens and you walk into this room, this holy of holies. This is the open heart. Sit down. Take your shoes off. You are upon holy ground. Now you are with the Creator, who can give you rest. You are loved with a passion that creates and destroys worlds. Oh, how you are loved!

We turn the microphone back to our beloved friend Aaron.

(Barbara channeling)

Aaron: I am Aaron. Where is that place of most brilliant light and love? Is it somewhere out there? Is it something you must attain through self-purification or other types of pursuit? No, it is within. It is that perfect sheet of paper that still exists, even though the wrinkles are also there. That Pure Heart-Mind is always available to you, my friends. It is not the existence of the wrinkles, of the shadow, that keeps you from that brilliant inner light. It is your relationship to those wrinkles and to that shadow.

 I am back to the same point. The wrinkles will come and go. You are human. If you step on a tack, there is going to be pain and contraction of the physical and emotional bodies. If somebody screams at you insultingly, rudely, there is going to be a contraction of the emotional body. If you are very hungry and somebody takes away your meal, there is going to be fear. These movements do not prevent you from resting in that light, nor do they hinder you in manifesting from that brilliant and loving heart. They are simply fear, desire, anger and confusion. They need no reaction from you.

You cannot get rid of these by forcing them out. By strong will power you can rid your outer experience of them. But they still lie hidden in the ground, simply waiting for a break in your fierce suppression so that they can sneak through. But if you learn to allow these kinds of emotions and confusion, which are the human experience, to move through you while never losing that place of center, then you need fear them no more. You know you will never lose the awareness that you sit in the light. The Pure Heart is always accessible!

I would offer an example of what I have just said, and even more, of what Q’uo said preceding me. Returning to our guide on the mountain, you are this guide and you have said, “Stand up and walk with me. I will lead us to safety.” For a while you follow the path. The snow has not yet obscured it. Then the snow drives harder and the wind is stronger. You become aware that you have lost the path. What are you going to do? You stop and acknowledge, “I’ve lost the path and don’t know where I am.”

Fear may come up very strongly for those of you who aspire to live your lives with love. It might be a very fierce, self-critical fear which said, “You knew you couldn’t do it. It was all ego that said, ‘I’m going to lead.’” So what are you going to do, just tell everybody to sit down in the snow and die because you made a mistake?

What if it was fear that said, “I will lead”? Are you denying that there was also a deep wisdom which said, “We must make an attempt to get off the mountain”? It is certain death versus a possibility of survival. As soon as you open your heart to yourself and as soon as you hear your pain and fear, you reopen into the wisdom and the clear heart. And the clear heart says, “Okay, I made a mistake. I got lost.” That does not mean that negativity was leading, even if negativity was there. The loving heart was also there. Coming back to the loving heart, you simply pick yourself up, trail or no trail, and begin moving slowly down the mountain. On the trail it is easier. Off the trail it will be a little harder. The task is the same: You have got to get down from the mountain.

There is a teaching in Buddhism of the Three Kayas. The word kaya means ‘body.’ It talks of the “Truth Body” or Dharmakaya, the ever-perfect. And at the other end is the “form body” or nirmanakaya. This is not just the material body. By ‘form’ I mean any kind of form. A thought is also a form, as is an emotion. This is the outer-expression body. There is a bridge that joins them, called the “wealth body” or sambhogakaya. I call this the “transition body.”

Think of the ever-perfect. Think also of the final expression. The wealth or transition body is a bridge of intention, of karmic force and of other elements that serves as a vehicle for the ever-perfect to express itself into the world.

A very simple example would offer the sun as a metaphor for the ever-perfect. The expression of the sun on the earth plane might be the heat that you feel on your back when you sit in the sun or it could be a patch of sunlight on the grass. The atmosphere, the clouds and so on carry the particular qualities of the sun and permit them to be expressed onto the physical plane. It is not a perfect metaphor, but you can see the two ends and center of it clearly.

In Christian terms, within the Trinity we can substitute Father for ever-perfect, Son for the form body and Holy Spirit for the wealth or transition body, which is the intention energy level. This is not a perfect match but is quite adequate. You may think it is an uneven match because the Son contains God and is a direct expression of God. Yes! And the nirmanakaya contains the dharmakaya, too, and is a direct expression of it! I find this a very valuable teaching for this reason. No matter where one looks on your physical plane, you see the self-display of the divine.

In the teachings of both Buddhism and Christianity, the inner core and outer expression are not separate. In Christianity, the Son is voice of the Father and the Son is the expression of God in the world. In Buddhist teaching, everything on the form level or in outer manifestation is an expression of the ever-perfect. You cannot separate them. This is vital.

In the transition body, we pick up the many energy streams, which may offer some distortion of the absolutely pure core. Please remember that within this core are the possibilities of distortion, or else distortion could not occur or would be dual with the core itself. The negativity in you is not in dualistic opposition to the divine. It is simply a distortion of the divine. Love is also a distortion of the divine.

Some distortions, when you play them out in the world, may do harm. Then, clearly, you are responsible for that harm. You must clean up your spills. Some distortions may be of great service to others; nevertheless, they are distortions that carry adhering karma and must be attended. They are all a display of the divine. My dear ones, you do not have to be afraid of what moves through you. There is nothing there but God. When you ask, then, “How can I manifest my energy more purely in the world?” remember that there is nothing there but God, sometimes being expressed with distortion or even great distortion. You have asked, “How can I come to a reduction of distortion?” You come to this state by offering forgiveness and kindness. “Hatred will never dissolve hatred and negativity. Only love will dissolve negativity.” [These words are the opening lines of the famous Buddhist teaching Dhammapada.] Only love will dissolve confusion and distortion. Whatever distortion expresses itself, you must bring it into the heart of love.

Ah yes, the question is, “How do we do this?” Perhaps that is best left for tomorrow’s discussion. I would leave you tonight with only this thought: There is nothing which is not God. Therefore, when you see in dualist terms, it is an invitation to remind yourself that what you are seeing is itself a distortion and is the voice of fear. Instead of trying to chase it away with a big stick, do as this instrument would do: Hold out a goody in your hand and invite it to come and take a taste of it. Offer it lovingkindness. Embrace your fear in that way. Do not hate it and order it away.

The distortion-free place is always accessible to you. When you are reacting from a place of fear, which is creating increasing distortion in the outpouring of the energy that flows through you, it is not a statement that absolute clarity and love are not available. It is only a statement that you are increasingly practicing the wrinkles. Then you must come back to the ever-perfect. As I said, I would prefer to leave the how of how we do that to tomorrow so as not to overtax here with too many different thoughts.

At this point we close, with great thanks for your willingness to hear us and open your hearts to these thoughts.

Aaron Quote

“… love which is manifest in the face of fear is a far more transformative love. It is transformative because it touches that fear with kindness and teaches you the ultimate lesson that there is nothing to fear. Only through practice with fear do you learn that you do not have to be reactive to your fear but may relate to it from the ever-opening heart.”

Your fear is not an obstacle. Your fear is wisdom itself when you abide with it, smile to it and are not ruled by it. It is then that you truly begin to live in the heart and to express from that heart out into the universe.

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