WHERE SPIRITUALITY MEETS OUR VULNERABLE HUMANITY… 

Jeff Foster, with humour and compassion, speaks simply and directly about non-duality, emotional healing and awakening… and finding the sacred in the ordinary. 

“Thoughts and feelings are not mistakes, and they are not asking to be HEALED. They are asking to be HELD, here, now, lightly, in the loving arms of present awareness…”

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16 Dec 2019Belgium 7 Day Retreat - Ending The Inner War in Frandeux
    
 

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I want you to go to the very bottom of your pain, my love. Let your grief break you apart. (Know that it can only break your illusions and shatter your expectations, it cannot break You.) Pour yourself into your own broken heart. Breathe into your most terrifying loneliness. You’ll be haunted in the future by everything that you do not touch now.

Do not fear. I am here. I breathe you when you cannot breathe yourself. I give you the will to go on when you cannot find the will. I help you to bear the unbearable, digest the indigestible. I am at the very pit of your pain, present in the abyss of your despair. I am your unbreakable spirit, your timeless Self.

If you fear your own disappearance, then disappear! If the ground opens up to swallow you, if the void pulls you in, fall willingly! Surrender, or give up surrendering and just fall. I will catch you, or you will be caught by your own deepest wisdom.

Either way, your pain will not kill you, it will only remove all that is disgusting and false. You will emerge shaken, yes, vulnerable, yes, but new, and wiser, and more real. Know that I am here with you... until the end of time.

- Jeff Foster
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3 days ago  ·  

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I CANNOT LOSE MYSELF

I used to be terrified of feelings, my own feelings and the feelings of others.

I believed that if I went too deeply into feelings, if I let them exist for too long in me, if I allowed them to live in my body, I would go mad, or I would be destroyed by them somehow. Or they would never leave, and I would get “stuck” in them forever, sucked into their dark heart, no way out.

I feared “losing myself” in feelings.

I feared my own fear. I had anxiety about having anxiety. I was angry with my own anger. Like many, I believed that I had dark, sinful, dangerous energies inside of me, and that I had to avoid these ‘demons’ at all costs. This was all a child’s superstition, of course, totally reasonable conclusions for an innocent child to make.

But as I stepped into presence, into my adult and out of my trauma, I came to realise that ALL feelings are safe, even the super intense ones. They come and go in the body. They are not permanent, and they just want to be felt, blessed, loved, offered safe passage, and move on.

I did not have to fear or resist my feelings any longer, even the intense and uncomfortable ones. I could just relax, breathe, open, surrender, trust, and let them pass through.

I cannot lose myself for I am present even at the heart of loss.

- Jeff Foster
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4 days ago  ·  

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LETTER TO VINCENT VAN GOGH

I should have liked to have met you, Vincent.

To have stood there with you on that threshold where formless becomes form, to have held you there on that dizzying precipice where we enter life and are entered in return, no protection, no answers. The field all true artists know, fear, are attracted to, flee, return to in the end because they have no other choice but to participate. The field where self and world and other dissolve and there are only sunflowers of brilliant yellow and fields of dancing wheat and shimmering skies bursting with stars and roaring seas crazy with blue and white and every shade of green and nowhere to call home except there in the seeing itself. A world on the edge of tears, on the edge of stars, nobody to understand except the one who stops trying.

The seeing. The seeing! A hair's breadth from madness, a hair's breadth from ecstasy! I should have liked to have held you there, my friend. Reminded you that you were safe. That your loneliness was sacred and your despair was not shameful and even your darkest secrets urges and fantasies were not mistakes, not damn mistakes or signs of your failure or evidence of your sickness or proof that you weren't meant for this world. No, your human flaws were nothing less than art, the art of the future as you called it, where the peasant is king and the most ordinary moment has vastness in it. The future art of seeing every damn shade of our imperfect humanity as an expression of divinity, the same divinity that animated those wheat fields you disappeared into for days on end, painting, always painting, forever painting. Your feelings were sunflowers too, you see, your joy and your pain were as great and alive as those starry skies and seas all bursting with colour and light and shocking movement, and all the strange sensations surging through your body, all the traumas you were never quite able to touch, they were beautiful, too, Vincent, and safe. To me, anyway. And to many others who walk this strange path of awakening. You had a family you never met. I wish we had met.

In a wheat field in Auvers one cool summer evening you lost all hope or perhaps you intuited a hope so vast and unreachable that it finally broke your spirit and you shot yourself through the chest with a revolver and two days later in a little attic room, your heart stopped and you became infinite. Or the infinite took you back, back to your beloved wheat fields but now inseparable from them, back to light, back to mother, back to Home, and you found the deepest kind of rest you had never fully known in your short life.

In that tiny room they surrounded you with sunflowers and yellow dahlias and your last paintings, and they wept and remembered, and no church could have contained you anyway.

You were 37 then.

Oh, I don't think you were mad. I think you were too alive for this world. You were moved to tears by haystacks and potato eaters, prostitutes and tree roots. I think you saw too deeply and felt too keenly and found no home here because you were constantly torn asunder by the twin pulls of heaven and earth and I think nobody had ever taught you how to hold yourself in-between the way you held the ever-shifting sunlight over those haystacks.

Oh. I just would have liked to have known you, my friend. That's all.

Thank you for your courage. Thank you for helping us see.

Thank you for the sunflowers, the irises, the wheat fields, the almond tree, the starry nights.

- Jeff Foster

Painting: Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent van Gogh
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4 days ago  ·  

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THANKS GIVING

Give thanks... for every connection with a loved one. For each precious breath. For the clothes on your body, however tattered. For the teeth in your mouth, however rotten. For the hair on your head, however sparse. For the water you drink, the food you eat, for the good earth that provides so much. For the kindness of a stranger, the brutal honesty of a friend, the unexpected gifts of each day.

A part of your body begins to fail, and you appreciate how long it has served you without complaint.

A loved one leaves, or passes on, and you appreciate all those moments you spent together, never knowing what the future was going to bring.

An encounter with an angry customer shows you your inner strength and your capacity for compassion, and reminds you how deeply people are hurting inside and how much they need your kindness and your clear boundaries.

You pay your taxes begrudgingly, unwillingly, then suddenly one day, you appreciate the quality of life you take for granted here, and you burst into song. Or the skies burst open and torrential rain 'ruins' your day, and out of the blue, there is torrential gratitude for the downpours that allows life to flourish.

You are fired from your job, you mourn, you wail, you scream, you rage, and then one morning, it clicks: you are free, free to pursue the thing you always wanted to pursue, the courageous thing, the risky thing, the thing that made you feel alive once.

You love and let go. You mourn and celebrate transience. You find your true home in insecurity. You fall in love not with the destination, but with the ground upon which you take each step.

Find a place of gratitude today. Find yourself appreciating something or someone for no reason, however small, however silly. And know that there is nothing small or silly when seen through the eyes of God.

- Jeff Foster
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7 days ago  ·  

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Sign up now for this completely FREE 7-day email course I created with my dear friend Matt Licata PhD. >> https://t.co/4R6g3ZzIll ❤️
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In a world of quick fixes, instant gratification, on-demand entertainment and pain relief, it takes courage to stay with our discomfort, our boredom and our uncertainty, even for a moment. Meditation is a brave act...

- Jeff Foster