I won’t pretend this concept isn’t foreign — bizarre, even — to many of you. I also approached this assignment with a fair amount of skepticism. I’d been eyeballing this Observer calendar listing for years. Barbara Brodsky channels “Aaron, a being of light,” who offers a talk and then answers personal and universal questions. And have I got questions.

The room in the Deep Spring Center where the monthly channeling sessions are held is painted light blue with an altar at one end. Lots of folks are sitting on cushions, some in chairs. Next to my chair is a shelf with a little sign that says, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

Barbara — or, rather, Barbara speaking for Aaron — is leading the group through a meditation or visualization. After the visualization, Aaron fills an hour with talk of things like different levels of consciousness, how we are all beings of light, and how to use generosity, kindness, and gratitude to open a heart that’s clenched in fear and anger. He acknowledges this is difficult to do — to be present with kindness in the face of painful feelings. He encourages us to consciously use gratitude in the upcoming week to be able to “relate to the world around you with kindness and loving compassion.”

The idea of talking to a disembodied spirit may be foreign, but the message sure isn’t. I begin to make connections to all of the fight-fire-with-water and only-love-can-dispel-hate beliefs I have. Listening to Aaron speak through Barbara (who, by the way, met Aaron after she became totally deaf in 1972 and prayed for help), I begin to believe I can actually live a more peaceful, wise existence.

I’ve been on the verge of this for a while, looking around me in bewilderment at escalating war, poverty, and despair, at religious fanaticism and overall chaos. I don’t want to be a part of it, but I don’t know how to be part of the solution. I also don’t want to perpetuate the hatred and anger, even though these people make me so damn mad! But Aaron’s message makes an incredible amount of sense to me, encouraging us to live with more wisdom and compassion, with loving kindness and nonharm to all beings.

Later, Barbara encourages me to hear Aaron’s message as if I have found a book with the cover torn off and don’t know the author. I should consider the message rather than the messenger. Do the words “resonate” with me (I love that term)? Hell yes, they do. These words are just what I’ve been seeking.

The next Channeled Spiritual Discussion Group is at Deep Spring Wednesday, November 23.

[Review published November 2005]