Book reviews

An Extraordinary Absence – Reviews


“This is, quite simply, the clearest expression of the way non-duality really is that I’ve ever read. This is the end of mental certainty, specialness, tales of blissful states, catty infighting about non-dual terminology, ‘no self’ mantras, and so many other traps and myths. Here you get a no-bullshit, raunchy, loving, honest, nitty gritty message.

This is the destruction of the one who would try to own non-dual realization in any way. This reveals that the mind’s attempt to land on dualistic opposites is futile. This is nothing appearing as everything including everything ‘you’ would like to reject or call ‘unspiritual.’  This is the end of non-duality as a religion that divides. This is about what non-duality really is once the mind stops trying to own it. It is total and unconditional love of what is. All inclusive. This is everything from death, to washing testicles, to the beauty of a flower, to tears welling up as a woman tells her dream of owning a bed and breakfast, to seeing a lover the way she really is, to Britney Spears filling the universe, to excruciating pain in the anus. Somehow it is all love and that is what Jeff conveys. In Jeff’s usually vibrant style, he expresses that every experience, state, thought, and emotion comes and goes,’ is embraced totally while it is here, and leaves without a single trace. This is not about detachment. Only a self could be detached. This is about total intimacy with whatever is appearing.

When you pick up this book, leave your beliefs behind. Leave your ideas about non-duality behind. Leave the idea that you are a self or not a self behind. None of that helps you here. This is a full on collision of opposites, leaving only a love that knows no opposites but appears as every opposite. Nothing is excluded. This truth can never be expressed. Jeff makes no claims of being able to express it. These are not his words. These are the words of love. In this place, even the word non-duality makes no sense anymore.”

Scott Kiloby, author of “Love’s Quiet Revolution: The End of the Spiritual Search”



“Jeff Foster is a young and gifted confessor or sharer of what is. Jeff’s words are full of space. This book is incredibly effective in getting “you” to see there has never been a “you.” There’s only this.

I like the writing styles: Question and answer; confessions of what is; some writing structured as poems; and a fourth kind of writing that is set off by its own font, a courier typewriter style font, that gives a sense of “happening now.” This fourth kind of writing appears throughout the book under the heading “this”; here’s an example:

“Silence. I have no answer for her. This is empty of questions and answers. I am a child, I know nothing about nonduality. All I know is car horns, the whiff of aftershaves, the blowing of noses and aching of feet. This is where I live. Right here, not in some other dimension. The mouth opens to speak, even though I have no idea what to say.”

An Extraordinary Absence is a book of beauty but it’s not pretty. Jeff talks about pain, including his own extreme physical and emotional pain. He writes about the spectrum of humanity from “A little red-faced toddler in blue dungarees” to a man with terminal cancer:

“He is losing control of his bowels … I don’t tell him there’s no suffering, I don’t say `I’m enlightened and you’re not,’ I don’t even mention nonduality, I just wash his testicles.”

The Foreword by Kriben Pillay and the Introduction by Philip Pegler are themselves worthwhile documents on nonduality. Especially Kriben, a writer, observer, researcher, and publisher of nondualia since the mid-90s, makes strong statements:

“Much of the current nondual scene is … engaged in layered deceptions…”

It is essential that nonduality constantly check and undo itself. If the worldly construction of nonduality — as it is known in books, websites, forums, gatherings, conferences, satsangs, all media — if it can’t stand up to its decimation, what good is it?

Something else I like about this book is the quotations. They balance the book.

By around page 90 came the insight that I was reading a classic, even a potential screenplay with Jeff starring and doing the voiceover.

I also like how Jeff brings in Zen, Advaita, and Christianity. The emphasis on Christianity and crucifixion convey that Jeff knows Jesus the man, and resonates with the pain and the utter humanity exposed in this book, and yields this confession:

“Waking up from the dream of separation, there is a death, and that death, as Jesus said, is the only salvation. You have to lose your life to save it. And so when there is no-one, there isn’t an empty void, a lonely and joyless black space devoid of all qualities, no, no, no. That void is full, it is bursting with life. … And in that, all the concepts in the world dissolve.”

Read An Extraordinary Absence and watch how you become comfortable with wonder.”

Jerry Katz, www.nonduality.com

 


“Closer to a Hymn of Praise than anything else. An awed expression of love and wonder and joy. Comes very close to representing the paradoxical essence of being….  Many books of this ilk sit in lofty abstraction, exquisitely beautiful yet remote and inaccessible to the reader. An Extraordinary Absence remains intensely personal, grounded. It eschews mysticism, yet somehow captures the mystery of creation. A true feat.”

- Josh Levin

 

An Extraordinary Absence – Amazon Reviews

“Brilliantly written with an unassuming and sensitive rhythm; this beautiful expression is one of the most profound and insightful books ever written! The author is obviously gifted with a radiant intellect, yet instead of shoving that in your face, he consistently sets it aside allowing it to be outshined by the shimmering humility and happiness of authentically liberated life.” – T.H.

“I got it around a week ago and it is one of my favorites of the growing list of advaita books. Cuts right to the core, simple, readable, and enjoyable! The end of seeking – just Be. He uses examples from his own life and tells of his “awakening” and how he saw things differently, like seeing his father for the first time not as “his” but as just another character in the play.” – B.L.

“This is one of the best books I have ever read on non-duality, and I have read my share. It’s so easy for the mind to want to search for something ‘out there’. Jeff makes it plain and clear that all the looking has kept us from ‘seeing’ that what/who we are is as ordinary and real as that which is typing this review. I cringed as I would turn a page because I did not want it to end. I laughed, I cried, I celebrated, and when I got finished with it I started it over. Five stars just doesn’t do it justice, but it’s all they would let me give.” – J.B.

“Although words cannot touch the awesome mystery that is life itself this book comes as close as any book I know to describing the indescribable. It manages to avoid those tedious non-dual cliches which annoy the hell out of me such as ‘there is no self’, ‘nothing exists’ or ‘there is nothing to do’ and it stays away from glib one-size-fits-all answers to life such as “be present!” or “get rid of your self!” which to me sound just like marketing gimmicks. Reading An Extraordinary Absence you get down to see what it really means to live a full, open,, compassionate life without seeking and without getting bogged down in ‘the story of me’. The depth of clarity and compassion and the balanced nature of the writing compared to many Advaita texts left me with a deep and all-encompassing appreciation of life and a taste of real unconditional love, something I have tasted frequently but rarely been able to communicate. I especially appreciated the final chapters; Jeff seems to be able to balance the personal and impersonal in quite a striking way. Something deep inside me was touched although of course I know there is no ‘deep’ and no ‘me’, but still, as we are constantly reminded ‘it’s not about the words’. Indeed, if we are to follow Jeff’s advice, we should read the book and then burn it! – presumably to remind ourselves not to get too attached to any words about the unknowable. I will burn this book – but not yet – I’m not quite ready! – it is too dear to me at present. One small concern: however much I love this book, I do wonder whether one should attempt to talk about non-duality at all? But I suppose this is just the old mind asking questions again. Perhaps as Jeff says, the answer is ‘why not’. Maybe it is all perfectly fine as it is.” – R.C.

“I found this book exceptional. It gives a clear visceral feeling of what it must be like to perceive this world from an “enlightened” perspective. Jeff is very clear and eloquent about what it means to perceive Reality and shoots right through the myths of just what so-called liberation, self realization really is. I had no idea, after studying “spirituality” for nearly 35 years ! Highly recommended for true “seekers” who really would like to know the TRUTH” – D.D.

“With “An extraordinary absence” Jeff Foster has written a book that cuts straight to the chase and tells it like it is. It’s a book whose main message is that of oneness and the illusory nature of the separate person. That’s hardly a new message, but it’s rare to get it expressed in such a coherent, simple and profound way as in this book. The problem with many books that deal with non-dualist philosophy is that they tend to be full of cliches and banalities, but that’s definitely not the case with this one. A distinct clarity rings out to the reader from start to finish and even though it’s written in a simple and straightforward style, it’s still a book full of truly profound insight. This is one of the few books on non-duality I’ve read that I would classify as a page turner. It really is that good. There is something innocent and unpretentious about the way Jeff Foster writes. He interweaves incidents from his personal life into the text, but it’s done in such a way that it highlights the basic message of oneness in a way that’s easy to relate to. No word can express truth, but “An extraordinary absence” is an excellent pointer in the right direction. “An extraordinary absence” presents the ancient philosophy of Advaita, or non-dualism, in a way that is suitable for our times without compromising the integrity and essence of the teaching. Very highly recommended for anyone who is drawn to truth and spiritual awakening.” – P.S.

“Awakening is not even an accurate phrase. I read the book like a novel, scarcely wanting to lay it down. It is the clearest and most moving story of the disappearance of the illusory “me” and the opening to the full presence of life I have ever read. I highly recommend to anyone on the spiritual search who is ready to lay the burden down.” – Amazon Reviewer.

“This is a specialised subject. This is book that lets you be an observer sitting inside the mind of one who has had an awakening…. What I was hoping to get from this book was the journaling of the journey afterwards. Awakening can happen to anyone. Its what happens next that determines the full experience and embracing of the moment….The book refers to non-duality, ie not separate beings. Non duality goes further to suggest that there isn’t actually a someone inside us. We live in a dreamworld that hints strongly that this life is totally real, but through observation and to a degree logic, non-duality refers to the absence of someone….Jeff Foster explains that non-duality teachings are just pointers. One should not get hung up on the exact code of the language. Once awakening has been achieved, perhaps use the teaching to find the correct mind-setting and then let it go…. Jeff’s mind-setting is that he expresses that there really is no real Jeff. Jeff is part of the dream, the play. Jeff responds to calls, to conversations, pain, joy but is certainly not separate from the connection of everything….He walks us through his life. He reveals his torture as a human being and the extreme unhappiness he experienced. He then gets the ‘spiritual search for the meaning of life’ flame. He devours many books, shuts himself off completely, physically and mentally. Eventually he arrives at a point of complete void. He feels nothing…. He then passes through this phase and ‘matures’ into connecting with everything as an observer. He feels everything. Nothing is excluded from the love that passes through him…. I guess I found a resonance with Jeff’s observations. I could see the logic to let go and stop pushing out. Trying to fire up thoughts that perhaps aren’t ripe yet. To let life run through you. Its an old cliche but really it can be like this. I think one evolves into this state. Awakening is the first step. Ego could very well be the next step and then you’ll be bringing the veil back over your eyes once again. So having a bit of background information like Zen, Non-duality you can perhaps try a few different settings. What helps greatly is no huge attachment to who you think you are and your own importance in the world…. But its up to each awakener to have their own experience. There’s no right or wrong. Each personality plays a different tune. Personality doesn’t mean that there is someone, its just the personality of the instrument….This is the first book on this subject I’ve managed to finish. Perhaps I was ‘ripe’. Or perhaps its not trying too hard to give all these steps to becoming awakened. It lacks this big ego in it. I think thats what I realise. Some of the others I sense the ego and it feels a bit evangelical, in that we are all fools until we really get ‘this’…. Jeff is not hiding in solitude to protect his ego from those who will condemn his book. He lays it out. He had a surge of energy that wished to write the book, it felt right to do so….I’m glad he did. I really think I will be able to move closer now to having some guidelines of letting go. Just dissolving….The book is written in a style that breaks up the communication with the reader. He walks us zen-diary style through a day. He has a section on an interview. He takes us into the past. He expresses what he sees now and how he relates to that. He tackles the paradox of non-duality language. He invites the reader not to think too hard….. I guess if the reader surrenders to the writing it will connect directly to the silent experiencer within.” – S.L.

“This is going to be two firsts for me, writing a review and reading a book on non-duality. For a while now I have been the typical spiritual seeker that Jeff addresses in this book but I have never found enlightenment. I have been drawn to the title of this book for a while and last week made the decision to buy it, and I’m eternally glad that I did! This is not a book about finding enlightenment, it is just a realisation that life and everything in it is amazing. A fresh perspective that is difficult to describe in words. Jeff Foster is also great in the sense that he is not a teacher, he encourages you to realise that he is not a guru of any sort, but just a normal guy reminding us of something we already know. I read the whole book in two days (I couldn’t put it down!) My fear of death has dissolved and a whole new appreciation for life has been ignited. If you do anything today, BUY THIS BOOK!” – L.S.B

“I think this is going to be renowned as a ‘spiritual classic’. It reveals a life without concepts, without beliefs (and that’s now a concept and a belief isn’t it?). If your serious about continuing your spiritual search then avoid this book because after reading it you may find that there isn’t anything to get, no-where to go and no-one to be. The questions ARE the answers and I’m back where I started, where I always was.” – M.L.

“Jeff’s writing is so alive it pops out at you. It stops you and draws you into life. The words have an intimacy, like life, and the great thing is that we’re part of that, too.” – J.B.

 

 

The Wonder of Being – Reviews

One could argue that Jeff Foster is the Jerry Seinfeld of enlightenment.  Open up one of Jeff’s books and, in similarity to the television show “Seinfeld”, you might say it is about nothing.  Jeff would probably take that as a compliment!

Specifically, we are reviewing Jeff Foster’s book “The Wonder of Being.” This a a combined and revised edition of his two earlier books “Life Without a Centre” and “Beyond Awakening.”

Jeff Foster is a master of relaying the viewpoint of the awakened state.  He is like a doctor with a specialty.  While other writers on the subject may be good general practitioners or have specialties in other areas, Jeff is the author to read if you want to see where it all leads.

The reason for the allusion to Seinfeld, is that Jeff Foster’s books and teachings are remarkably simple.  One could try to sit and read this book in a few days cover to cover, but it wouldn’t do the book justice. The paradox is the simplicity is very meaningful.  There is much to ponder and contemplate over.

Jeff’s core teaching is that your everyday experience is who you really are.  You are life itself.  If you remove the thought that the character you identify with is you, then what is left is just this moment.  As written in the book, “Truth looks like this: breathing, a cough, a bird landing on an electricity pylon over there, the wind blowing….the warmth of the mug in your right hand, a thought popping up about last night’s football match, the buzzing of the television.”  He uses the terms “just this” frequently and he is referencing everyday experience.

There is also quite a bit of inquiry type questions throughout the book.  Again, this is good for contemplation. Questions like: “Will you be present at your own death? Who will you be at the moment of your death? Who were you at the moment of your birth?” can be thought provoking or mind stopping.

“The Wonder of Being” isn’t for everyone.  If you are just starting on your spiritual journey, this book could be maddening.  The ego isn’t going to want to hear that everything is “just this.”  Buy the book anyway, and pick it up when you feel like it.  Everyone will come to a point during their search where this book will be extremely rewarding.  Once you’ve dropped your concepts of enlightenment being something supernatural, making certain people special and others not, you will welcome the simplicity and truth found in this book.

We largely review books that we like and think others will find helpful, and this book is no exception.  The Enlightenment Dudes give “The Wonder of Being” a 9 out of 10 on our Infinity Scale.

- EnlightenmentDudes.com

 

“This book’s like finding a spring of cool, fresh water on a long walk; drink it in. I sometimes wonder if we haven’t really run out of things to write down, but I’m very glad Jeff Foster set these ones to paper.” – R.B.

“For anyone who would like to wake up to a joyful way of living then all of Jeff Foster’s books are highly recommended especially this one & ‘An Extraordinary Absence’. This book ‘The Wonder of Being’ is mainly a re-edited version of his first two books (they were so popular they are out of print!) – however it contains some new material making the whole edition a most delightful enlightening inspiring read ! May you enjoy !” – L, Amazon Review.

 

Life Without A Centre reviews [now combined with Beyond Awakening to form The Wonder of Being]

“This is the Ram Dass ‘Be Here Now’ of the Noughties … and once read will change you more than any book has ever done before, but the odd thing is it will only change you back to you – the unchangeable!” - Amazon Review

“There are no words to do justice to the sheer beauty of this book, and its power of awakening resonance. I have only written two Amazon reviews to date, but cannot allow myself to pass on the chance to say a few words about this one. Over the past six years I have read many wonderful books on Advaita and non-dualism, but have never encountered the unavoidable sense of ever-present aliveness reflected in such a clear, direct and uncontrived way as in Life Without A Centre. Mr. Foster displays a unique style of writing which seems to effortlessly draw the apparent reader into a confrontation with his/her absence, that which is beyond the ability of the mind to grasp. This is a lively, spontaneous, lyrical, and often humorous, celebration in words of the simplicity of presence beyond the need of understanding. If you have read all the rest on this subject, then you deserve to read Life Without A Centre. Thank you, Jeff, for this gift that I know you will say “just wrote itself.” - J.R.

“One of the growing number of modern writers who speak the truth of “what is” in a language unmuddied by spirituality-speak. This one resonated with me from the first to the last page.” - S.W.

“Free of arrogance and of taking offense; free of the attitude, “I’m enlightened and you’re not;” free of an air of superiority or celebrity; ordinary, pleasant, Jeff Foster is the nondualist next door…. As we read the descriptions and declarations of `this’, as we take Jeff’s instructions on how to pay attention, we start to see ourselves as `this’, as an immediacy. That’s the effect the book has. The floor we stand upon, the floor that we call `me’, starts to give way. In the opening cracks we see the Nothingness out of which `this’, out of which `me’ arises. This is a quietly powerful book that leads you to the plunge into Nothingness.”  - Jerry Katz, founder, www.nonduality.com

“Just wanted to write and say thank you for writing your book “Life Without a Center”, I must of read it over a dozen times before the “enlightenment” occurred.  When it did occur, wow I knew there & then that it had “happened”.  I had goosebumps for a quarter of an hour, I laughed, I danced, my brain positively fizzed with good feeling, and the smile on my face is now a permanent fixture.  My character used to be so self conscious it was ridiculous, and now it’s being seen though life is immeasurably better…” - A.M.

“In this short, brilliant book, Jeff Foster clearly shows that spiritual seeking is futile and pointless, since what we are seeking – awakening, liberation, the Ultimate Reality, etc. – is fully present now, yet we fail to see this because our minds are always searching for some better, happier state…. Jeff Foster expresses this message in such a clear, direct, light-hearted way that it seems obvious and impossible to ignore or refute. Many books about non-dualism and awakening leave one with the feeling that ‘I haven’t got it yet’ and so encourage one to continue searching, but this book does the opposite. I strongly recommend it to anyone who does not want to continue seeking for the rest of their life.” - J.W.

“I love the whole book…  What else can be said?  The words are gloriously endless, meaningless and pure Being itself. - N.B , USA

“I feel like I recognize you as fully cooked, and way better at “teaching” what you have to teach (and I get that it is nothing) than just about anybody.  I just love what you write,” - J.M., Arizona, USA

“Wanted to let you know that I finished your book the other day – it comes as close as anything I’ve ever read to describing what simply cannot be described… so thank you for nothing!” – J.A.

“Just when I think that nothing fresh can be said on the subject of nonduality, your book proves my thoughts wrong.  And with a nice dose of humor as well” - M.W.

“Thank God, I discovered your book, and it soon became very obvious that continuing to search is pointless, silly and unnecessary…. I’d  heard this message before, but your book managed to say it in a very clear, direct, simple way which somehow struck home.” J.W., Kyoto

“I would like to thank you for your book. I enjoyed it tremendously. Very clear and succinct.” - P.B.

“Recently read your book ,it was great. Its great for putting an end to the seeking mind.” - D.L.

“Savored your book. Wonderful. Filled the margins with happy exclamations.” - G.C.

“The incessant seeker is dead – this is it – thank you very much!” - M.F., Australia

“I have now finished your book and it is one of those very few books that I find helpful and good. In fact in total I think I know only two others out of thousands I have read. Most books on non duality and spirituality I read and bin! But in yours you really kept consistently to the same points and showed understanding of the seekers arguments vividly.” - A.M.

“An excellent book to stop a seeker DEAD in their tracks!” - B.S.

“Not much to say, but felt a thank you was due for your wonderful book, which I am near finished reading. !!!! Right now I would say it is the most illuminating one I’ve yet read…. Vividly delightful & liberating, & all of that.” - J.S.

“Your book is the best yet. What a trip! Thank you!” – D.

“This is probably one of the clearest books available…. I love is that this book never preaches or pretends to have all the answers,and it feels so human and alive, it really resonates with aliveness and clarity, and it has been invaluable for me in letting go of some of those precious beliefs that one day I would be enlightened (after 64 years you’d have thought ‘one day’ would never come!).”  - J.C. , USA

“Got the book this morning and plunged straight in…. It says on the cover: “Profound, beautiful, honest and challenging…” I would add to that: Straight talking, funny and refreshing.” - G.F.

“This book is the perfect one to end the apparent search…nothing to gain,nothing to get,just the constant reminding that this is all there is and that this present appearance can’t be avoided and is perfect as it is…Jeff beautifully expresses what is beyond all paradoxes,all words,all concepts,all appearances…what can be said after that?…” – J.P.


Beyond Awakening reviews [now combined with Life Without A Centre to form The Wonder of Being]

“[Jeff's words] resonate with honesty, integrity, and love – which imbues them with the power to go beyond just words – and mind. I highly recommend this book to you.” - Victor Davich, author of 8 Minute Meditation

“Gratitude is arising here, gratitude for the unspeakable beauty of your words…” - John Astin, author of This is Always Enough

“This is uncompromising, absolute nonduality.” - Joan Tollifson, author of Awake in the Heartland

“One of the clearest and most direct texts in pointing to your true nature.” - Randall Friend, You Are Dreaming

“A confession of what is. Read Beyond Awakening and you will come to know what non-separation is like to someone – or no one – who lives in the recognition of it” - Jerry Katz, author of One: Essential Writings on Nonduality

“A beautiful book. Clear, insightful and enjoyable… It sets out to do everything that books on non-duality try to do – to express the inexpressable – but there is a deep underlying intelligence in the writing that I haven’t seen before.” - Review from Amazon UK.

Jeff, Thank you so much. It is the end of the search…. All I can say is, Wow!…. Reading happened and the words are not from you to me but just are spot on, crisp, clear and such a kick in the pants of duality. Life is amazing, simply as is. This is it, no more, no less. The book, Beyond Awakening is a gem.” - N.B.

“I noticed that I was becoming very upset reading Jeff’s new book. And how great is that!? After all the searching and hundreds of non-duality books and teachers, here was a book that made me feel so insecure, hopeless, disappointed to the point that I had no alternative but to relinquish any idea of ever “getting it”. Whatever “it” is. The result: I was jarred into clarity.This is not to say that Jeff’s words are harsh. Quite the opposite. They resonate with honesty, integrity, and love–which imbues them with the power to go beyond just words–and mind. I highly recommend this book to you. My wish is that it will make you as upset as it made me! They say that “The Truth hurts”. But it also sets you free.” - Victor Davich author of 8 Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind. Change Your Life.

“Beyond Awakening is currently my favorite book…. Refined yet still alive, immediate and playful. Absolutely a joy…yet devastating.” - M.O, Hawaii

“Beyond Awakening is just crammed with exquisitely beautiful and mind-blowingly clear pointers to the non-dual reality … this book makes it all so damn accessible and the writing has such power that it cannot help but change your reality. There is such compassion and love flowing through the book, something which I haven’t really found in other nondual texts. … As I read and re-read the book, the clarity becomes more and more obvious…. I have read several other nonduality books (Tony Parsons, John Wheeler, Krishnamurti, etc etc) but I think this really is the last word. After you’ve read the last page it’s so clear there is NOWHERE to go!!!!” - Amazon Review

“…Like the brush of a master artist it swept over the surface of my self-imposed mind and left me breathless over the simplicity of beauty that was left behind… Truly no words could better describe this … than … utterly, utterly Obvious … I can’t thank you enough for letting your words find the paper, to be printed in books, and sprayed over the globe – somehow they landed in my lap, and I have devoured both books twice in a row!” - J.C. Virginia, USA

“Thank you. What you have tried to convery into words is absolutely the truth – there is only now – and I am at last free from the search.” - Reader, USA

“Jeff,  Thank you so much.  It is the end of the search…. All I can say is, Wow!…. Readinghappened and the words are not from you to me but just are spot on, crisp, clear and such a kick in the pants of duality. Life is amazing, simply as is. This is it, no more, no less. The book,Beyond Awakening is a gem.” - N.B.

“I noticed that I was becoming very upset reading Jeff’s new book. And how great is that!? After all the searching and hundreds of non-duality books and teachers, here was a book that made me feel so insecure, hopeless, disappointed to the point that I had no alternative but to relinquish any idea of ever “getting it”. Whatever “it” is. The result: I was jarred into clarity.This is not to say that Jeff’s words are harsh. Quite the opposite. They resonate with honesty, integrity, and love–which imbues them with the power to go beyond just words–and mind. I highly recommend this book to you. My wish is that it will make you as upset as it made me! They say that “The Truth hurts”. But it also sets you free.”- Victor Davich author of ‘8 Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind. Change Your Life.’

“Beyond Awakening is currently my favorite book…. Refined yet still alive, immediate and playful. Absolutely a joy…yet devastating.” - M.O., Hawaii

“Beyond Awakening is just crammed with exquisitely beautiful and mind-blowingly clear pointers to the non-dual reality … this book makes it all so damn accessible and the writing has such power that it cannot help but change your reality. There is such compassion and love flowing through the book, something which I haven’t really found in other nondual texts. … As I read and re-read the book, the clarity becomes more and more obvious…. I have read several other nonduality books (Tony Parsons, John Wheeler, Krishnamurti, etc etc) but I think this really is the last word. After you’ve read the last page it’s so clear there is NOWHERE to go!!!!” - Amazon Review

“…Like the brush of a master artist it swept over the surface of my self-imposed mind and left me breathless over the simplicity of beauty that was left behind… Truly no words could better describe this … than … utterly, utterly Obvious … I can’t thank you enough for letting your words find the paper, to be printed in books, and sprayed over the globe – somehow they landed in my lap, and I have devoured both books twice in a row!” - J.C. Virginia, USA

“Thank you. What you have tried to convery into words is absolutely the truth – there is only now – and I am at last free from the search.” - Reader, USA


 

 


The Revelation of Oneness [now out of print] – Review

“Jeff Foster’s The Revelation of Oneness: Dialogues on Nonduality and Spiritual Awakening (Non-Duality Press, $21.45) is an excellent assemblage. There are four sets of dialogues, and they cover a plethora of topics, including the myth of the mind, death, the appearance of time, unity in diversity, the body/mind, the fallacy of cause-and-effect, and the recognition of our natural state.

Foster’s responses to seeker’s questions are clear, sound, and refreshing. When someone queries about the “paradox” of trying to understanding nonduality, the author astutely counters, “But actually there is no paradox. There is just the thought ‘there is a paradox.’ So this entire world of thought that the mind has constructed, it’s gone in a flash, when the thought isn’t there.”

And here is a cogent explanation how this notion of the “me” is created a multitude of times throughout the day: “Yes, everything is creating you. Take this [statue of a] bird up here. We think ‘I am seeing the bird’, when actually the bird is creating the ‘me’…The bird is creating the one who sees the bird. They arise at the same time and dissolve at the same time. And that’s all that’s ever happening.” In other words, this is merely an innocent occurrence of apparent duality.

There are some pithy pointers throughout the book, as well. A fine quartet of them follows: “Already, there is only Oneness”; “This is the end of duality because it is the wide open space, the vastness in which duality appears to arise in the first place”; “Once you get tangled up in words and concepts and meanings, we are so totally, completely, utterly lost”; and–the author’s own brand-worthy admonition–”Life has no center”.

Rodney Stevens, radianceofbeing.blogspot.com

“Closer to a Hymn of Praise than anything else. An awed expression of love and wonder and joy. Comes very close to representing the paradoxical essence of being….
Many books of this ilk sit in lofty abstraction, exquisitely beautiful yet remote and inaccessible to the reader. An Extraordinary Absence remains intensely personal, grounded. It eschews mysticism, yet somehow captures the mystery of creation. A true feat.”  – Josh Levin

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