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The beautiful joke of non-duality 😉 ...

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The only way
to be happy
is to love.
Unless you love,
your life will flash by...

- from 'The Tree of Life' by Terrence Malick
...

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Beyond therapy, beyond self-help, beyond the search for enlightenment.... Presence Itself. Come join Jeff & Matt in Colorado in July... ...

The Way of Rest: A 5-day Retreat with Jeff Foster and Matt Licata

July 26, 2017, 7:00pm - July 31, 2017, 1:00pm

THE WAY OF REST: A JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF PRESENCE 5 Days of Mindfulness, Courage and Presence at the beautiful Sunrise Ranch, Loveland, Colorado with JEFF FOSTER and MATT LICATA For more info and to book: www.eventbrite.com/e/the-way-of-rest-a-5-day-retreat-with-jeff-foster-and-matt-licata-tickets-304... “Thank you for such a beautiful and powerful event. I came away with such a deeper understanding of the power of our presence and self-love through this practice. The retreat was lovely, and I felt such rest and relief.” “It was a life game-changer, a beautiful, rich and exquisite line of demarcation in my non-path path, journey without destination.” "A portal of healing was ignited by attending your retreat. A brain detoxing retreat!” * YOU ARE DIVINE, EVEN IN YOUR HUMAN IMPERFECTIONS... Beyond therapy, beyond self-help, beyond the Law of Attraction, beyond ‘Being in the Now’, beyond the exhausting search for spiritual enlightenment, beyond ideology, beyond belief, an invitation to stop trying to fix yourself, and rest instead in a loving embrace of this unique moment, exactly as it is…. What would it be like to live a life that is not based around fixing or improving yourself, transforming into someone else, healing all your childhood wounds, raising your vibration, opening all your chakras or becoming a spiritually awakened being? What would it be like, to awaken from the trance that you are broken, unworthy, unloveable and far from enlightenment? Join authors and speakers Matt Licata and Jeff Foster as they share a radical form of mindfulness, which is also an ultimate act of self-compassion: an invitation to be exactly what you are, and awaken from the trance that you are less than Divine in your beautifully imperfect humanness. On this popular 5 day retreat, we will take time out of our ordinary lives to turn towards the stillness of the heart, and discover the peace, joy, aliveness and, yes, humor, that is always, already here. We will come to realize that freedom is wired into us and is not dependent on whether we first improve ourselves, become worthy, find all the answers, or get “enlightened” by way of some sort of spiritual process. When it comes to the present moment, we are all beginners, all amateurs. There are no teachers and no experts, here in the aliveness of Now. Matt and Jeff do not have pre-prepared answers for you! They are not here to fix you or make you into something second-hand. They are original human beings, just like you, sharing from the depths of their lived experience, inviting you to come closer to yourself and perhaps find your answers there. On retreat, you become your own guru, your own therapist, your own loving parent. Matt and Jeff simply facilitate this Homecoming, inviting us in their gentle yet direct way to a radical self-love in which even our ‘unlovable’ parts are welcome… During the retreat, we’ll rest together in silence, share intimate dialogues and guided meditations, all the while tuning into to the power of the field of loving presence that is always around and within us. We will bathe in a radical yet simple truth: that we have already arrived Home, that we never left Home in the first place, that we are perfect exactly as we are, even in our imperfections… and that we can return to this realization in ANY moment of our lives! We will turn courageously toward our unmet heartbreak, grief, despair, and hopelessness – as well as toward our natural joy, peace, wonder, and bliss – and come into contact with the wisdom, the love, and the wild uniqueness that is always here. As we befriend ourselves and our immediate experience, through curiosity and an uncompromising and unapologetic kindness, we will touch a profound rest that is filled with the revolutionary qualities of love, compassion, and huge creativity. While not formally a silent retreat, we will be returning time and time again to the silence of the Heart, meditating and contemplating reality together and exploring the a life beyond belief. In addition to regular group meetings – facilitated by Matt and Jeff – there will be plenty of time to explore on your own, both the inner landscape of the heart as well as the natural world in the beautiful Colorado mountains. It is important to note that while these retreats often result in deep, therapeutic healing, they are not therapy groups. Rather than engaging in our personal narratives of past and future, we will be diving into a field of presence together in which we can rest in the dimension of the heart that has never been unhealed and is not in need of transformation, healing… or even understanding. ***REGISTRATION DETAILS: Please note that registration here at this EventBrite page is for tuition only. You must still register for food and accommodation directly with Sunrise Ranch (even if you will not be staying at the Ranch). For more information or to register online, please visit this link. If you prefer to register by phone, or speak with someone about accommodations, please call 877-786-0078. Costs for accommodation range from $45/ night (for commuters) and include camping/ staying at Sunrise's sister campus (please speak with them for details) ($75/ night), dormitory ($95/ night), triple rooms ($103/ night), double rooms ($113/ night), and single rooms ($143/ night). There are also accommodations available at a nearby hotel (around $150/ night) where it is possible to arrange pick-up and drop-off each day. These fees include three really good meals per day (plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options), snacks and tea, as well as rooms. Please note that single and double rooms are limited. If one of these is important to you, we encouage you to register as early as possible. Please direct any questions about accommodations and Sunrise Ranch directly to the Ranch as niether Matt nor Jeff will be able to answer these questions for you. Again the page here is for tuition registration only, and you must contact and register with Sunrise in order to attend! Attending the retreat involves a two-step registration process. Thank you! A FEW TESTIMONIALS FROM PAST PARTICIPANTS “Thank you for such a beautiful and powerful event. I came away with such a deeper understanding of the power of our presence and self-love through this practice. The retreat was lovely, and I felt such rest and relief.” “It was a life game-changer, a beautiful, rich and exquisite line of demarcation in my non-path path, journey without destination.” “So many meaningful moments from these past few days - thank you.” “A wonder-filled 5 days… I LOVED every minute of it!!! Your talks resonated deep within me, and I bow with sincere respect to your ability to hold this practice while listening to people's stories..” “Many thanks, for a spacious five days, that continue to roll out each new moment of NOW.” “The retreat was one of the best things I have done for myself.” “Over 25 years of jumping from one "next best method" to the next, feels like it's finally over. The lessons are so easily applied in daily life, don't have to burn special incense, ring a bell 33 times or squeeze myself in a vice grip while chanting in a foreign tongue. Loving this!” “Sitting in the many sessions, meeting people I might not normally meet, but hearing their archetypal struggles…. having the time and space to connect to an understanding that goes beyond … and coming away with a resonance from all this that has me gently smiling as I type you this message…” “The retreat with you and all of the other participants changed my life forever, thank you” “The experience was such a beautiful death for me. A death to my identity, as a concrete thing, a death to the old idea of relationship & attachment, a death to my idea of the world as it is/was. What I created was a place of EVER fluxing, riding the wave of the flow, finding my balance in the flux. Letting life breath me. This portal of healing was ignited, again, by attending your retreat. The brain detoxing retreat!” ABOUT JEFF FOSTER Jeff Foster studied Astrophysics at Cambridge University. In his mid-twenties, after a long period of depression and illness, he became addicted to the idea of ‘spiritual enlightenment’ and embarked on an intensive spiritual quest for the ultimate truth of existence. The spiritual search came crashing down with the clear recognition of the non-dual nature of everything, and the discovery of the extraordinary in the ordinary. In the clarity of this seeing, life became what it always was: intimate, open, loving and spontaneous, and Jeff was left with a deep understanding of the root illusion behind all human suffering, and a love of the present moment. Jeff was voted #59 on Watkins Review’s 2014 list of the world’s 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People. Jeff has published five books in over six languages. His latest book Falling in Love With Where You Are is now available from Non-Duality Press. His new book - Way of Rest: Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love - was published by Sounds True in 2016. Jeff's website can be found at: www.lifewithoutacentre.com/ ABOUT MATT LICATA Matt Licata, PhD is a psychotherapist, author, and teacher, with clients and students worldwide. For 25 years, he has been on the forefront of the dialogue between therapeutic and contemplative approaches to healing and spiritual transformation. He mentors students seeking graduate degrees in psychology and spirituality, and is editor of A Healing Space, a blog dedicated to the exploration of the journey of embodied spirituality in contemporary life. Matt is author of the The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You, which will be published in April of 2017. He is also author of the forthcoming The Only Way Out is Through, a behind-the-scenes look at the ways spiritual beliefs and practices can serve a defensive function in the avoidance of unresolved emotional wounding. Matt's website can be found at: www.mattlicataphd.com

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REASONS TO CELEBRATE

When you are confused, celebrate. In this moment, you're free from having to know, liberated from the burden of expertise. There is no step from confusion to clarity; you clearly see confusion, and so clarity is already closer.

When you have doubts, celebrate. You have remained curious, and you haven't settled for second-hand answers, or fixated on a fixed conclusion. You're free from certainty, the great weapon of the ego.

When you feel fear, celebrate. You are moving into the unknown, leaving the known world, the dying world, the old world. Stepping into the new. Fear and excitement are so close, here. The illusory armour of the separate self is breaking apart; life is flooding in.

When you feel anger, celebrate. Feel its ferocity, its power, the cry of a velociraptor. Life is surging through you, raw, unfiltered. You are on the verge of finding your song, fighting for a cause with passion, standing up for those without a voice.

When you get lost, celebrate. In every great journey, the hero loses their way sometimes. Get lost, and find yourself. Find presence, the breath, the beating of the ancient heart. Take the giant step of not knowing which step to take; a perfect step. Trust the doubting too. And your path will find you, moment-by-moment.

When you feel sorrow, celebrate. You are not numb. You have not closed your heart to the unwanted. You are wide open to life, sensitive. This old familiar friend has come to you for help. She is not a mistake. She only wants to warm herself by the fire of your presence.

When you feel that you cannot celebrate life, celebrate. You are honest, you tell the truth of the moment, your eyes are open.

- Jeff Foster
...

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You can't go back.
You can't skip forwards.
But you can be Here.

Now is your home,
your sanctuary,
your safe ground.

"MY LIFE" is the illusion.
LIFE is the reality.

Moment by moment,
breath by breath.

Tumbling into gratitude...

- Jeff Foster
...

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READY TO LIVE

Do, or do not. But you will never be ready. Nobody is ever ready. You'll wait forever to be ready. Readiness is a lie.

You were not ready for birth. Shot out unexpectedly into the maelstrom, you wailed for your life. Terror and overwhelm, breathing, yes, the shock and awe of light, but not ready. And never ready for your first day of school. The fears, the sick feeling in your stomach, a new world opening up, an old world dying, but never ready. And the death of your father, perhaps expected, perhaps prepared for, but not ready. Waves of grief, guilt, maybe, joy, maybe, but how the hell could you be ready? You weren't, but you were alive, and you breathed where he could not, and you took it all into your ancient heart. The cancer diagnosis, the loss of your job, an unexpected piece of news. You weren't ready. But you opened. You kept going.

You stumbled, fell, hurt yourself. Picked yourself up. Lost your way. But you were never ready. Ready for what? For a life without pain? Without the stumbling? For the answer? A guidebook? An authority? You always knew, that was no life at all.

You fell in love with the stumbling, with the doubts, the mistakes, with saying the wrong thing, making a mess. You laughed as your dreams crumbled to dust.

Just begin, today, even though you don't know how. Splash the paint everywhere. Cover the canvas with life. Get it all wrong, and feel so right.

You may not be ready, but you are ready to try, to fail, to give yourself to the maelstrom.

- Jeff Foster
...

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WHAT IS HOLDING YOU BACK?

Quit the job. Begin the relationship.
Or begin the job. Quit the relationship.
Make the move.
Say yes when you mean yes.
Say no when you mean no.
Stay. Or leave.
Or whatever.

But don't believe the lie
that something is 'holding you back'
from living your truth.

Nothing holds you back,
because you are Life.
You are Free.

All that 'holds you back'
is fear, guilt and shame.

Yet even that is a lie!
Because fear, guilt and shame
have no power over you.

They are only feelings.

It is your refusal to face them
and feel them
and hold them
that holds you back.

So they cannot hold you back!

Quit the job. Begin the relationship.
Or begin the job. Quit the relationship.
Say yes when you mean yes.
Say no when you mean no.
Stay. Or leave. Or remain.
Take the damn step.

And feel the fear, the guilt, the shame!
Let them live in you.
Let them burn!
Hallelujah!
Take the step anyway!
Even with the discomfort.
Even with the fear.
So what.
They are only feelings.
You can hold them.
You can step with them
into your new life.

Take the step! Yes!
Shake, sweat, and take the step.
Feel free at last.
Feel alive at last.
Trembling, yes, but alive!

- Jeff Foster
...

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NO GREATER JOY

Meditation is the breaking
of the addiction to
any other moment except
the one you inhabit.

Meditation can be uncomfortable
because you are going through
withdrawal.

Your attention is in the Now.
You feel the urge to escape.
The restlessness, the desire for more,
the resistance to being where you are.

It takes courage to remain.
But the remaining is what heals.

And you eventually discover:

There is no greater joy
than being with yourself.

- Jeff Foster
...

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How my soul feels before the words. ...

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THE DIZZINESS OF FREEDOM

The rain falling on your head, and you brought no protection. Exposed, raw, you find yourself taking the next step.

The heart breaking open, torn, ruptured, a bloody mess; only to reveal a thrilling courage you had forgotten in your search for comfort, and a kindness that only those who have suffered will understand.

This strange love affair with uncertainty. The dizzying vastness of freedom. A tingly aliveness in the gut that you mistook for pathology. The path leading only into the unknown, all signposts gone.

Not a path for the feint of heart, no, but for those who cannot lie any longer. And for those who have no other choice but to live.

If it makes you weep, if it scares the shit out of you, if it takes you to the bleeding edge of your identity and makes you want to vomit... well, it may just be your path.

- Jeff Foster
...

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YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE WORTHY

Fuck being worthy.

If you succeed, if you score an A+, if you get the promotion, if you win the race, you won't be loved more. You have to shake off that illusion.

Love isn't something that anyone can give you. It’s not something you have to beg for, earn, or deserve.

You don’t have to be worthy. You only have to be alive, and you are worthy.

Because you are inseparable from the stars, the mountains, the rustling trees in the meadow.

And you follow the breath as it rises and falls. And you make room in yourself for long-neglected feelings of shame, fear, unworthiness, sorrow. You learn to trust the body, its rhythms, the way it tries to protect itself, its unpredictability, its feelings of unsafety. You breathe into the sore places, make them safe. (Safe to even feel unsafe; that is freedom.)

To love the parts that feel unlovable; that is the love you always dreamed about, the love you never have to deserve.

- Jeff Foster
...

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My first and only ever painting! Made 11/11, 2014. I have no idea what it is. ...

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