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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Thank you all for your messages of love and support following my recent posts. Do any of you know of a good Lyme disease doctor/clinic in the **UNITED KINGDOM**? Chronic neurological Lyme disease plus dysautonomia (POTS) now 100% confirmed .... (was bitten by infected tick in USA maybe a few years ago while traveling for retreats)... any help or advice or doctors to visit in the UK gratefully received... will read all comments when I have energy and more brain capacity / less foggy and will ask a friend to help me sift through suggestions ❤ Please help if you can. Thank you, JEFF xx ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago  ·  

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UPDATE: I've quite literally been overwhelmed by all the messages of love and support you've been sending since I sent my 'confession' letter out yesterday. Thank you so much from the very bottom of my heart. ❤️I just received the news that I have tested positive for Lyme. Results indicate that I was bitten by a tick in the USA, perhaps some years ago. Apparently Lyme infection is a known trigger for POTS and would further explain the cognitive issues and awful 'brain fog' I've been enduring for 8 months. Will write more as and when I can. If any of you know a doctor/clinic literate in neurological Lyme (anywhere in the world, pretty desperate at this point!), please do get in touch in comments or PM me. Thank you thank you thank you. Jeff xxx ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago  ·  

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“I WRITE BOOKS ABOUT ACCEPTANCE... BUT I JUST CANNOT ACCEPT THIS”A CONFESSION - by Jeff Foster Dear Friends, Once again, I am writing to thank you for your deeply compassionate messages and emails of love and support. Even if I cannot reply personally to all of you right now, as my energy is so limited, please know that I do read every message and so deeply appreciate your extraordinary kindness. And once again, to those of you who have sent donations, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I never truly knew how many of you cared so deeply about me and my well-being on such a personal level. I am sending so much love to every single one of you. Thank you for allowing me into your life. 😭❤️ And my sincere apologies for any spelling mistakes or other errors in this letter. My attention, focus and editing skills are not as sharp as they used to be! * I am in a strange place right now, friends.It’s hitting me hard: I am physically and cognitively disabled.At least for now. At least for... a while. Maybe for the rest of my life. Nobody can say. Nobody. I am living in the Unknown. We all are, truth be told. Compared to where I was last year, and every year before that, it’s a shock each day to find myself like this. It’s been utterly devastating – DEVASTATING - to lose certain physical and cognitive functions and abilities seemingly overnight, with no promise they will ever return, or at least fully return to what they were before.I am in a strange place, friends, somewhere between a vague hope and utter, near-unbearable devastation.(Again, I don’t want this to be all about “me”. So many people around the world are suffering right now, far more deeply than I. But I do think that by sharing my own struggle, opening up about my own present health challenge, there may be some transmission of truth into the collective. I’m sure many of you can relate, in your own way…) Do I turn towards where I am, and face the fact of my disability, my present limitations as a body-mind? Face the devastation and part decimation of the old life, the old plans, the old health, the old cognitive function, the old livelihood, fully grieve what I have lost, and grieve what I have yet to lose? Can I even know what I have "yet to lose"? Can we ever know? What am I grieving, exactly? Can I mourn a lost unknown future? Can I sink into my tears, fully let in the loss and the ruin and the yearning, let it all break me open, and give up all hope of tomorrow? Is hope real, or based in fantasy?Do I keep striving, fighting, hoping, waiting for healing, for some cure, for the ‘answer’, for some magic healing potion?Do I accept where I am today, or do I hold to hope of improvement, even remission, tomorrow, when the remission rate for this condition is statistically so low, and when nobody on Earth can promise me that?Will I be one of the lucky ones? Can I somehow control the fates, manifest a wanted outcome?Should I ignore all the objective “facts” of this condition, and just believe?Or is it all ultimately in the hands of the gods, no matter what I do?These questions are as old as the mind itself, as old as thought. Acceptance of “the way it is”, or hope for “how it could be”?Of course, in reality, these two energies can co-exist.And we can hold this primal paradox - of accepting where we are right here right now, discomfort and pain and limitations and heartbreak and all, whilst at the same time, imagining a better, brighter future, and doing all we can to work towards that. Deep acceptance and profound change do not contradict each other, they are reflections of each other, lovers, very old friends. Our divinity and our humanity are One. Imperfect and perfect, broken and whole. Resting in the ache, leaning into the ache, bowing to the ache, while not giving up on the healing. At least not completely. At least not now. At least not today. Holding these twin energies as our two beloved children. Not children that oppose each other’s existence, but children that are equally loved and welcome in our wide open arms. Having said all this, it’s not easy. Some days I just want the discomfort to end. It feels edgy to admit this publicly, being a “spiritual teacher” and all (whatever the hell that means), but yeah, some days I just want it all to end, the suffering, the discomfort, the brain fog. Does that make me a coward, to long for relief in the midst of discomfort and loss? I don’t think so. It makes me human.I have written books on deep rest, acceptance, loving the present moment, fully embracing life’s devastations.I have written poetry and perhaps thousands of Facebook posts over the years to remind you that you were never broken, to help you remember the joy of “falling in love with where you are”.I have taught countless retreats and workshops around the world inviting people to deeply inquire into their present experience, to bring loving awareness to pockets of resistance, to get in touch with deeply held-in feelings, to grieve, to let go of the ‘shoulds’ of life, to expose and melt hidden shame, to surrender to what is. And I humbly admit, I am failing right now to accept my condition. I feel broken. I am not in love with where I am. I cannot “rest” with this shattering new reality.But.... Maybe there is grace in this failure. Maybe there is a deeper self-love that allows us to be utterly imperfect, a hot mess on life’s cross, and true “success" is really this kind of self-love.The love that never lets you fail, no matter how low you sink, for the lowest is the highest in this love, and the weakest are the strongest.The love that loves you, even in the pit and the darkness and the unspeakable hell realms.The love that holds you as you take your last breath, as it held you while you gasped for your first. When I’m panting, sweating, out of breath, dizzy, dissociated, having to sit down after walking only five minutes to the grocery store. When the “brain fog” is so bad (as I shared in my last email, I have a complex and multi-system medical syndrome called POTS, a form of autonomic dysfunction where not enough blood and therefore oxygen reaches the brain…) that I can hardly string a sentence together, or remember my friend’s name, or find my way home from that grocery store, or finish a single string of thoughts in my head, or remember what I’m doing, or why, or where, or how, or…. When all sense of time disappears, and the outside world disappears, and I’m lost in what feels like a bad drug trip all day, dementia-like and “timeless” (but not in the liberating spiritual way, more like in a terrifying dissociated way). When I have a beautiful, passionate, honest conversation with a dear friend on the phone… and then crash energetically for hours - or days - afterwards because I expended too much energy, just talking and listening. When all this is going on... it's just really, really hard. (God, at least I can still write. Even if it takes me a few days to write a piece that would have previously taken just a few hours...) As Awareness I am unlimited. We all are. But as a physical body and mind, I am more limited than ever now, and it’s utterly shattering.This is not how I expected my life to be, at 40 years of age. After four decades of basically good health, and after some of the very happiest years of my life in the last few years, and with so many wonderful things I was looking forward to, so many things left to do, books to write, retreats to lead, creative projects to explore, friends to share precious moments with, to have my physical body crash like this, with no doctor or therapist or healer so far able to give me a prognosis or remedy any of the symptoms - to live like this each day is utterly devastating.I am still in shock, if truth be told.I never saw this coming.“How was I to know? How are we ever to know?”. (My favourite line from one of my favourite Sondheim musicals, ‘Into The Woods’.)Ugh, I was so naïve, bless my heart. I thought these kinds of illnesses happen to other people.I thought I was immune, because I had done so much work on myself, or because I had healed so many of my childhood wounds, or because I felt so relaxed and alive so much of the time, or because I experienced so little stress in my life, or because, well, I was “really really spiritual” or something like that.The arrogance. The hubris. The audacity. The privilege. The innocence, too.All of it. Just… all of it. Some days I feel I just cannot accept what’s happening to me. It all feels like a bad dream, like I’m living the wrong life, like something’s gone awry, like this shouldn’t be happening. Of course, deep down, I know, there is no “wrong” life, and there is only LIFE, and this is the way it is, and there is no “should”, and I am not to blame, and none of us are to blame, ever. This illness was not of my choosing. And I did nothing to “deserve” this, and it is no punishment, and there is no sin. I know that, deep down in my bones. Sometimes we just get sick and it comes out of nowhere and it makes no damn sense and that's just the way it is, like it or not, accept it or not, trust it or not. Our lives are shattered. Our children die. Our loved ones leave us. Our careers come to an abrupt end. We lose our money, our status, our livelihood, our physical abilities. Cars and planes crash. Tsunamis destroy entire villages, cities. Meteors, comets, asteroids crash into Earth, wiping out entire species, perhaps all species in one day. Our wonderful plans and philosophies crumble to dust. Great leaders fall from their thrones. The ground opens up and swallows cars, entire roads, buildings. Triumph and tragedy are so damn close, the veil between life and death is so thin. Sometimes the reality of the chaos of the relative world, and our ultimate lack of ability to control it, just smacks us in the face. Crisis shakes us awake from our dream of “things going so well”. Unwanted pain pushes us to the edge of our capacities. And we are utterly confounded, dumbfounded, unable to find any kind of reason for this sudden change, tragedy and loss.“Why me?!”, we cry. And our cry fades into the vast silence and maybe there is an answer there in the echo and perhaps it’s possible to hold it all. Yes, all of it. The hope and the hopelessness. The known and the unknown. The pain and the longing. The ache and the wish for the end. The problem and the prayer for renewal.Perhaps it’s possible to hold all of life in our tender hearts.At least for a moment.At least for the duration of the next… precious… breath. And so, I keep going. I keep grieving the old life, the old capacities, the things I used to love doing that I just cannot do anymore. (Anymore? For now? For ever? For weeks, months, years? I do not know, and who can say for sure.)For now, I have moments where I can be with ‘what is’, and moments where I want it all to go away.Moments of “Namaste”. Moments of “F**k This Sh*t”.Moments where I’m a Buddha. Moments where I’m a mini-Hitler to myself.Moments that I never expected, anyway.Moments of a life being lived, moment by moment. I wanted to share this with all of you. Not to ask for pity, but to be raw and honest and authentic about what I’m going through, as I’m going through it. I feel that you deserve nothing less from me now than the raw truth. I do not want to hide what I'm going through. And I want to further shatter the image of the perfectly calm, deeply accepting spiritual teacher (I have never met any, by the way). The one who never suffers. The one who isn’t touched by worldly things and takes everything in their stride. The one who has transcended the relative world.No, I asked to be deeply touched by this world, but I never imagined it would touch me so deeply, in this particular way.I have worked through much suffering and unravelled much trauma in my life, been willing to move through many profoundly difficult feeling states, had so many breakdowns and ecstatic breakthroughs, healing crises and joyous awakenings, been able to hold so much life, but this… this is something else.I wanted to share all of these reflections in the hope that some of you will be able to relate, that some of my words will bring comfort or healing or warmth or courage to you out there. That you’ll be reminded that you’re not alone in your pain and confusion and heartache, and that many of your brothers and sisters are going through a shattering of their own right this very moment. The shattering will come to us all in the end; none of us are spared, no matter how ‘awakened’ or ‘healed’ we imagine ourselves to be. I pray to great and Mysterious forces that we all come through these times, humbled, stronger.And, if I’m honest… I sincerely hope that I myself can make it through this particular challenge.Sometimes I wonder if I have the courage or the strength to keep going through this bodily discomfort, these shattering new physical limitations and the disorienting cognitive fog this condition brings - the confusion, the problems with planning, focus, attention, short-term memory loss. I question my own ability to face this kind of devastation at this point in my life.I know I am not as courageous as some of you.I do not know what lies ahead on the road of my life.How are we ever to know. Does all this make me a ‘fraud’? A failed spiritual teacher?Maybe. Maybe not.I don’t suppose it matters at all. Maybe it does make me more human, more rooted in the blood and the mud and the flesh and the ache of mortal, worldly existence, and that is far more precious, and real, than any other prize… even if I fail this test (and there is no failure in love, and no test, anyway.) Yes, this is no test and so I - we - cannot fail. I am holding you all in my heart, you who find yourselves in this same strange place as I.Now, say it with me:“Namaste. F**k this sh*t!” Jeff xxxUPDATE:I've quite literally been overwhelmed by all the messages of love and support you've been sending since I sent my 'confession' letter out yesterday. Thank you so much from the very bottom of my heart. ❤️I just received the news that I have tested positive for Lyme. Results indicate that I was bitten by a tick in the USA, perhaps some years ago. Apparently Lyme infection is a known trigger for POTS and would further explain the cognitive issues and awful 'brain fog' I've been enduring for 8 months. Will write more as and when I can. If any of you know a doctor/clinic literate in neurological Lyme (anywhere in the world, pretty desperate at this point!), please do get in touch in comments or PM me. Thank you thank you thank you. Jeff xxx ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago  ·  

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WE WILL MEET AGAINI see you through the plane window as we descend. You have exploded into colour.We met as the camps were liberated, didn’t we, in the rubble and the ash and the bone we met, we had lost everything but we had found each other, I saw your lioness heart and it pulled me in. You stamped my ticket at a vaudeville show. An awkward moment of small talk, we could barely keep eye contact through the discomfort. Creation and destruction in your eyes. I looked for you afterwards but you were gone. We followed Moses to the promised land. We had faith then. Great seas parted, unspeakable miracles. We built a family on new earth, raised our children. Bright eyed, seventeen years of age, hope aflame, we marched off to war together and we never came home. We had wanted to save the world. I imagine our parents waiting there at the station, breathless, red-eyed, scanning all the young faces. Perhaps they wait for us still. I moistened your lips in a hospital room one evening. You were dying, the cancer was slowly eating away at your lungs. I recited Bible verse and you squeezed my hand. “Bind me as a seal upon thy heart, love is as strong as death.”Two thousand years later, a colony on Mars. I see you here in the dirt and the rock and the sunrise.I have seen you in a million places.I have met you in a million forms.You were there at the formation of our solar system, you whispered to me something about love everlasting and then you fell from my grasp and everything turned to fire.All the myths were always pointing to you. All the stories I told my children as they grew.“Tell us that one again, Daddy. The one about the sweet friends who kept meeting.”“Okay,” I say. “Okay.”We have been male and female, vegetable and stone, formless and form, the swallow and the eagle, the snake and the gazelle, fantastic creatures of the deep. We have been crucified, whipped, tied to posts and burnt, draped in gold and silver jewels and lauded by the world and derided in turn. We have faced the firing squad together, our bodies pressed close one last time, flesh to flesh as we became vessels for spirit.You have been my brother, my sister, my child. I have mothered you from infancy, and you have mothered me in return. We have been lovers and friends, we have recognised each other in countless disguises, here on the same side and there on different sides. And in the end there were no sides at all, only this magnificent Loop, this One Circle - majestic, resplendent, regal, unbroken through time, utterly mysterious, and towering over all things. These pages are wet with tears now, thinking of you, remembering your many faces, the ink is running, the words are fading, I will lose this poem if I do not stop writing. No matter. You are in me, and I in you. We will meet again.- Jeff Foster ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago  ·  

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A Confession .... 😢❤️
http://r.lifewithoutacentre.com/achkhlbbedt7e.html?t=1619907120&fbclid=IwAR3FiGKgb8ZsE81pLWgyF1jkHkoNZ3S2uh_K3UcspL8RmO1FqDCa0JG9eNU

"I Wasn't Prepared For This" - my latest newsletter❤️ http://r.lifewithoutacentre.com/acg5x5bbedt7e.html?t=1617644519