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…”
_ BefriendingYourself.com jeff’s new monthly membership site is now open!
|4 Sep 2019||United States||The Deep Rest Retreat in Colorado|
1 day 4 hours ago
“BUT I HATE MEDITATION!”
In meditation, your only ‘job’ is to be curious about what arises.
Don’t try to get rid of any aspect of your experience.
Your crazy thoughts – just watch them.
Uncomfortable feelings – just breathe with them.
Cry with them. Laugh with them.
The part of you that hates meditation – be interested in it, too!
The child in you who can’t sit still.
Who wants to be somewhere else.
Who feels ashamed or guilty for thinking ‘unspiritual’ thoughts or feeling ‘negative’ feelings and impulses.
Who feels the burning desire to run away and do something else.
Welcome him with open arms.
Breathe him into love and breathe love into him.
In meditation, even the unwanted is wanted; even your resistance is sacred!
- Jeff Foster
3 days 11 hours ago
THE DANCE OF ALONENESS
We are all alone.
This is not depressing
when you realise
it's the truth.
We are born alone, we die alone.
Along the way, perhaps we meet.
Friends, lovers, strangers.
Husbands, wives, sons, daughters.
The roles can separate us as much as they can bind us.
We long for connection, yet we fear intimacy.
We seek contact, but we want to be safe.
We push others away by trying to hold onto them.
We hide our truth out of fear of loss.
Yet we lose each other in the hiding.
We seek solid ground, yet we know that it's all groundless.
We plan futures yet we know they are mere daydreams.
We long to be free yet we flee the terror of our freedom, seeking comfort and answers.
Our comfort soon turns to boredom.
Our boredom to resentment.
We suffer until we learn to love ourselves as we are.
We seek love until we know it in the silence.
And let the questions burn.
And sacrifice tomorrows for todays.
- Jeff Foster
Jeff's brand new book THE JOY OF TRUE MEDITATION is out NOW in paperback and Kindle editions! >> https://amzn.to/2Xm6I9u. << "Soothing, touching, provocative and encouraging essays and poetic reflections on discovering our true nature, and the courageous journey towards wild self-acceptance... Plus, in an extended Introduction, Jeff shares movingly how a complete mental and spiritual breakdown eventually led him to the discovery of the present moment, his true home... and how true meditation literally saved his life..."
“What is meditation? Pure fascination with this moment, exactly as it is”.
Jeff's new book - Out now in paperback and Kindle editions!
Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/2Xm6I9u
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2KQjhmx
"The Joy of True Meditation gathers together nearly 50 of Jeff Foster’s soothing, touching, provocative and encouraging essays and poetic reflections on life, love, our true nature, and the courageous journey towards wild self-acceptance. Plus, in an extended Introduction, Jeff opens up fully for the first time about his battle with chronic shame and depression. He shares movingly how a complete mental and spiritual breakdown eventually led him to the discovery of the present moment, his true home. He explains how true meditation literally saved his life."
This book’s themes include:
-The joy of slowing down and the miracle of the Now-breath
-The sacred shift from “healing ourselves” to “holding ourselves”
-How we can stop looking for The One, and find it within
-The myth of the silent mind and the lie of ego-transcendence
-The holiness hidden in our exhaustion, depression, loneliness and trauma
-The immense beauty of our vulnerability, sensitivity and self-doubt
-Why painful feelings are never mistakes or blocks to awakening
-Knowing our true nature as the non-dual light of Awareness itself
-This messy, ordinary human heart as a portal to the Divine
5 days 55 minutes ago
JUST SHOW ME YOUR F***ING HEART
“Manifest everything you desire!”
“Look years younger!”
“Live your best life!”
We have all been trained, from a very early age, to conceal and manipulate aspects of our humanity in order to please others and win love and approval and protect ourselves from failure and ridicule and psychological death.
We are all, to a lesser or greater degree, well-trained actors.
Until we wake up. This is no judgement. This is the human condition.
See, the heroes and heroines of our age! Those flawlessly made-up and air-brushed visages. Those perfectly toned and sculpted bodies, not a trace of fat, cellulite, anything that would remind us of mortality, illness, confusion, loneliness, physical decay. The perfect display of health, excellent control of the faculties, bright smiles and a positive outlook. The contoured hairs of the head and face, grey and white obliterated, everything bleached, dyed, shaved, cropped and chopped, effortlessly on trend, sexy without ever trying to be sexy, all broadcast real-time, image as “reality”.
You must understand: External beauty is no beauty at all – it is ugliness and fear - when it is used to mask our authentic pain, smother our authentic internal devastation, airbrush away our wildness. Only in our devastation can our true beauty and identity be found, only in our darkness and our striving for the light can our deepest humanity be known. A broken heart, displayed without shame - hell, even displayed with shame, what do I care - is the most exquisitely beautiful thing of all. Our flaws and deformities, our rage and our despair, our rolls of flab, our spots and dry mouths, our trembling hands and fluttering bellies, our nausea and our burning guilt, our moles and birthmarks and our yearning for connection - no airbrush, no “sexy” pose, no new suit or dress or fragrance or hairstyle can improve upon this fucking divinity, heal our unhealed trauma, or make us whole again.
I sit not in judgement of the image and the external world - it is all God’s play, after all, it is all her artwork and her joy. Even the image is holy, and don’t get me wrong, I love to play with appearances too, I love pretending to shift around the forms of this world and make things that are pleasing to the eye and ear. But, I tell you, friend, even if you craft the most beautiful external form, and even if you are loved and admired for your perfect presentation of “self”, and you build your success and happiness upon your presentation, and you win a million followers and lovers and sponsors and awards for your presentation, you will continue to feel abandoned inside, and lost, and godless, and fraudulent.
If your self-worth gets tied up with your carefully-crafted self-image, and if you forget who you truly are, and if you lose yourself in your own presentation and in the approval of the “others”, your success will not feel like success at all, and your work will exhaust you eventually, and your beauty will turn to ugliness, and you will want to die before long, you will want to blow up all you have built, set fire to the beauty, you will want to numb it all away with substances, and more work, and forgetting, which would be such a shame, because you are capable of such integrity, you are destined for something so noble and dignified, and you are so beautiful inside, really you are.
The shiniest, plumpest lips, the tightest muscles, the most flexibly oiled limbs in all the yogic and tantric positions. Effortless-looking poses effortfully designed to make us look effortlessly attractive. The latest diet and fashion trends. Perfectly worded inspirational quotes about happiness, health and higher levels of consciousness. Teachings of positivity and enlightenment and eternal joy and bliss and love. All ugly and empty and repulsive to the soul, when they are not shot through with authentic human pain, infused with the rage and the billion unwept tears of the orphaned child, forged in the sweat and the stink and the suffering of years and years of a feverish internal campaigning for truth, fed by a fierce, near-erotic nostalgia for God.
Take off your costume, now, friend.
Rub off your make-up. Burn the script.
Gain weight. Wear rags. Forget your own philosophy.
Doubt everything you know.
I don’t care about your image.
Just show me your fucking heart.
- Jeff Foster
Art: Richard Mcall (Pixabay)
What a timely post. I just filled out a survey to get information about intermittent fasting. My BMI is 28 which put in in the "obese" category. My dad sometimes used to call me obese so I was sad when I came across this word again. I do love to share my fucking heart. I will allow myself the sadness of the obese label, then love the hell out of myself and others tomorrow. Tonight I let go of my image. (Your new book comes tomorrow.)❤️❤️❤️
1 day 3 hours ago
5 days 12 hours ago
Forget trying to get it "right".
Here's to doing your best, falling flat on your face, getting up again, falling down again, fucking up totally, failing beyond belief, being laughed at, ridiculed, mocked, and losing what you thought was yours. And here's to embracing the mess of it all, dying to the dream and waking to the reality, loving the perfect imperfection of it, opening your heart wide to all of it, continuing to live your truth despite everything, fearlessly meeting each sacred moment as an old friend.
You cannot get it "right",
and that's why you cannot get it "wrong",
and out beyond both, there is a field...
- Jeff Foster
(Final line in honour of the illustrious Rumi ❤)
5 days 15 hours ago
BREAK THE KARMIC CYCLE
When sadness or fear, anger or loneliness, shame or disgust surge through your nervous system, my love, do not believe for an instant that something is ‘wrong’ with you.
Instead, be honoured that these ancient friends have chosen to visit!
They have come not to hurt you but to heal you, to help you remember your wholeness, your vastness, your capacity for all life.
You alone have the courage to feel these feelings, let them pass through to completion, bless them with attention and curiosity!
Will you turn towards these inner children now?
Will you open your arms to the helpless ones inside?
Will you drench the sorrow, fear, loneliness and rage you feel now with love?
Will you break the karmic cycle with your breath?
- Jeff Foster
Reminiscent of THE GUEST HOUSE This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice. meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whatever comes. because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. —Rūmī https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10219525910078420
5 - 5 days 14 hours ago
6 days 5 hours ago
One of my favourite pieces from my new book “The Joy of True Meditation”. 😍🍦🍦
6 days 6 hours ago
When life doesn’t turn out the way we’d hoped, disappointment can burn hot inside.
Turn towards the burning place.
Actually feel the pain, instead of numbing it
or running towards some new dream.
It’s more painful to run away, in the end.
The pain of self-abandonment
is the worst pain of all.
- Jeff Foster (from "The Joy of True Meditation", New Sarum Press).
I'm happy to announce that next year Sounds True will publish "You Were Never Broken" ... my first book of poetry! ❤️