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YOU GET THERE BY BEING HERE
Often we focus so much on the goal
that we forget the journey;
we disconnect from each precious step,
and stress is created,
that awful sense of 'Not There Yet'.
Joy can only be found in the Here and Now,
and Here and Now has nothing to do with goals,
destinations, or even "getting what you want".
Take the focus off the 10,000 steps to come,
the 10,000 steps you have not yet taken,
the 10,000 things that are "missing" right now,
and remember the present step, this moment,
this ancient living ground, your own intimate Being.
Breathe. Feel the life in your body.
Often we don’t know where we are headed,
or when we will get There,
and that’s perfectly okay.
Befriend any uncertainty, doubt,
trepidation, incompleteness that you feel;
learn to love this sacred place of Unfulfilled.
It is alive, and creative, and full of potential,
and filled with You.
Dream of There, and release the dream,
and be fully Here, with your beloved child.
Teach them to walk. Step by step.
Teach them to love the journey.
Teach them gratitude for what is.
That is how you get There.
With kindness, patience, slowness, love, trust.
You get There by surrendering to Here,
finding fulfilment in the glorious emptiness,
slowing down into your abundant life.
- Jeff Foster ...
Sweet souls at our Colorado USA Retreat, April 2019 <3
Come join us in September! tickets.brightstarevents.com/event/deep-rest ...
You haven't healed 'yet'
because, for the body,
there is no such thing as 'yet'.
The body knows no time.
There is only Now.
Only this moment.
'Yet' is a story in the mind.
You are never far from healing,
far from awakening,
far from where you should be.
You are here, in every moment. Never 'far'.
Whole, even if you feel broken.
Complete, even in your pain.
Loved, even with your heartache.
Divine, even in your vulnerable humanness.
Invite attention out of the story of progress
and drop into the breath, and gravity,
and sensation, and behold:
You are healed from 'victim'.
You are held in the arms of the Universe.
- Jeff Foster ...
3 days ago
LULLABY FOR THE SEEKER
Rest, weary one.
Lay your head down.
You have travelled far.
I have no clever words for you.
No system to teach.
No image to maintain.
You'll find no philosophy here.
No answers to your many questions.
I offer only presence.
A bed. A meal.
A small kindness to repay yours.
I am no better than you.
My guru is life.
My lineage is love.
I do not separate
the enlightened from the unenlightened.
I teach nothing I do not live.
I quote not from books but from the cracks in the heart.
I see your fragility yet I see your immense power.
You are not broken.
Don't let them tell you
that you are broken.
We met long ago when dust settled to form worlds.
I think I saw your courage then.
Close your eyes; I will keep watch tonight.
- Jeff Foster ...
Strictly speaking, nobody has ever "healed" anyone, ever.
A true "healer" simply remains present. She provides a safe Field in which unfamiliar and intense energies can be felt and move to completion, bound-up and unconscious emotions can be released into the warm light of Awareness.
In such a Field, we can come out of time, together, out of the drama of thought and the chaos of My Life, and we can breathe into our aching bodies, taste the simplicity of a brand new moment on Earth, fall into our own cosmic power.
Healing is not a destination, then, nor a special ability in the hands of a gifted few, it is a surrender into That which is already healed, already whole, beyond the healer and the healed - our true nature, the Oneness of all life, the sheer rightness at the core of things.
Healing is never far away, for the Field is never far away; it has lived in your very own Heart, ever since you were a child.
- Jeff Foster ...
LOVE SONG TO MYSELF
You are the one I wake with every morning. The one I breathe with, the one whose every heart beat I feel as my own. You are the one I walk with, the one I speak and sing with, the one who stays with me through every waking moment of every sacred day. You are the one I get sick with, the one I cry with, the one whose anger and joy and doubt surges through me like fire. You are the one I will die with, the one whose arms I shall return to. You are the one I see in every face, shining through every pair of eyes, shimmering through the silences, the trails of dust and the spaces in the canopy. You are my constant companion, my home, my reason, my joy, my life. We cannot be divided, we cannot be two, and even 'One' is too far for us.
I sing this song to myself, disappearing into the song, and I am never alone.
- Jeff Foster ...
7 days ago
AND BEFORE THE STARS WERE BORN
The greatest gift you can offer anyone
is their complete freedom.
Freedom to love, to laugh, to cry,
to feel scared, angry, insecure,
full of doubt or full of joy.
To hold them in a safe and sacred space.
You don't exist to make anyone else happy.
But you can be present.
Present to their unhappiness, their excitement.
Present to the life that moves in them.
And you can invite them into a deeper Happiness.
The Happiness of Being itself.
The Happiness that holds them
exactly as they are.
The way you hold them now.
The way the ground holds the flowers, the trees, the great mountain ranges.
The way you were held as a little one.
And before the stars were born.
- Jeff Foster ...
I bow to all mothers.
Mothers with children. Mothers who’ve lost children. Children who’ve lost mothers, or found new mothers. Mothers who never became mothers, through choice or circumstance; mothers who learned to mother in other ways. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends who learned to mother themselves, bow to the motherless one within, and bow to the same in others.
I bow to the Divine Mother in all of us. To that unspeakable force which Mothers us, through every breath, every wave of joy and sorrow, through every moment of failure, brokenness, smallness, abandonment. Mothers us through our lostness and through our fear into new beginnings.
Mothers us into a brand new Now.
I bow to them all.
- Jeff Foster ...
HOW TO HEAL YOURSELF
Do not force yourself to heal!
Healing is always unforced.
It happens when the conditions are right.
When there is just enough love, attention, presence, slowness, trust.
When you aren't trying to heal.
When you aren't trying to awaken.
When you aren't "trying" at all.
When you open your arms wide to the Now.
Fall to the ground.
Let yourself feel the rage, the grief, the loneliness.
Let yourself break. Let yourself feel worse, if you need to feel worse.
Speak your raw truth. Upset some people. Bring others closer.
But don't force yourself, my love.
You have to let go of the result, the agenda, the goal.
And infuse your 'unhealed' experience with love.
Drench your pain, your sorrow, your longing with warm awareness.
Saturate the moment with yourself.
You have to create the conditions for healing,
but you cannot do it.
The ego will rebel at this news.
Your heart will rejoice.
Mysterious forces, ancient and unspeakable, do the healing.
You only have to get out of the way.
- Jeff Foster ...
HERE WE ARE
And some days, my love, we will step into the trembling.
We won’t know where we are going. The future ground will be uncertain (there is no future ground). But the present ground will hold us as we break.
We will turn towards each other. Look into each other’s frightened eyes. Abandon the future for the present. Speak our desires, our deepest longings, what we want. Speak our sticky, sweaty, awful truth. Take the risk of knowing and being known.
Wake up to the reality that we only get one moment on this planet.
One moment to connect.
One moment to listen, to heal, to turn away, to repair.
We will meet in the crucible or not. We will continue down the path together, or go our separate ways.
We will “break up” from our old path (it was never our path) and commit to a new path, together or alone.
We will not know until we know.
We will never know unless we learn to dance into the rupture.
Every good relationship will break itself and rebuild itself many times over.
Every good marriage will take us to the edge of ourselves, every partnership will rot and putrefy and make fertiliser, new ground in which we may rediscover our authentic voice.
No day of relationship is ever wasted, except the days we abandon for the dream.
We will stay close to the living edge, then, today. Close to our truth, close to the ground of uncertainty, close to the trembling and the breaking and the sweating and the light.
The answer will come, in time - with the foraging swallows at dusk, maybe, or with the silver and white spider webs luminescent in the morning dew, or with that near-overwhelming rush of freedom in the belly when we see each other again.
And when we meet each other for the first time.
Some days we step into the trembling. We don’t know where we are going. We aren’t able to go back to the place we were.
But we are able to say,
“We are here”.
Yes, for a moment, here we are.
- Jeff Foster ...
HOW TO BEFRIEND ANXIETY
When you feel anxious, don't pretend not to be anxious, for this feeds the anxiety, adds an extra layer.
What you run away from always haunts you. Don't cover up the discomfort or distract yourself from it, or pretend to be 'fine'. Eating, drinking, shopping, pill-popping, incessant talking, whistling, rushing around mindlessly, running to check your messages or contact a friend, trying to control everything around you, spinning off into the narrative of 'me and my busy life', these are all ways to avoid the fact of anxiety, ways to abandon yourself in your time of need.
Breathe. Feel your feet on the ground, your belly rising and falling with each breath. Don't think about your anxiety, and how to get rid of it - that is the old paradigm. Feel the anxiety more completely! Locate it in the body - is it in the belly, the chest, the throat, the head? Drop the word 'anxiety' (for it is a second-hand word) and directly feel the living sensations that are there, moment-by-moment, without trying to get rid of them or stop them, without even hoping they'll go away. Allow yourself to be curious about what's alive in your body right now, about the physical sensations of this moment. Come out of past and future, and dive into presence. Breathe into the sensations, dignify them with breath, with oxygen, with life, with your kind attention. Are there butterflies in your stomach? Do your muscles feel tense? Which ones? Can you bring some loving attention and breath there? Let the sensations know that they are allowed to be here, that they are included in life, that you finally have no agenda to destroy them, that they can stay, for now. And there is only Now.
If thoughts are spinning out of control and having a party, if there are many thought-clouds in the sky of awareness, that's wonderful. Don't try to stop thoughts or silence all these voices, pictures, memories, fantasies, for that makes you more anxious too. Only thoughts would want to stop thoughts. Be the sky, in which thought-clouds can dance. Thoughts are not reality, and they are not who you really are. They are sounds and pictures.
Thoughts may be shooting off into the future or past, but that's okay - that's what the mind does, it constantly rewinds and fast-forwards. Yet you are here. You are right here; here is where your presence lives. Allow all thoughts to be here, with you, all sounds, all feelings, all urges. Even allow your feelings of non-acceptance, your urge to escape this moment. As the body releases tension, you may find yourself shivering, yawning, laughing, even shaking, or just resting more deeply...
If you cannot accept yourself completely as you are, then can you completely accept your complete inability to accept? And if you can't accept that, can you see that even your inability to accept is part of life, part of this moment, part of the movement of the universe? You don't have to accept yourself, or accept this moment, for it is already accepted. It is already here, already alive, already the way it is.
Anxiety is just a little child, who has arrived in your space. It has not come to ruin you, or hurt you, but wake you up. It only wants to be acknowledged, held, allowed in to the vastness of the moment.
The anxious one longs for a home. Will you run away when it arrives again, distract yourself, or finally turn to greet it?
- Jeff Foster ...
Dear friends, tickets are now on sale for "The Deep Rest Retreat: Slowing Down and Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times" 4-9 September at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado - tickets.brightstarevents.com/event/deep-rest. ❤️
A 5-DAY JOURNEY ROOTED IN REST, PRESENCE AND THE ART OF TRUE FRIENDSHIP
For the last decade, JEFF FOSTER a spiritual teacher whose personal journey through suicidal shame and depression led him to the discovery of nonduality (wholeness), and MATT LICATA, a depth-oriented psychotherapist who has spent the last 25 years at the intersection of meditative awareness, emotional healing, and shadow integration, have been having a dynamic ongoing conversation about radically re-envisioning spirituality and the journey of healing: as a full and courageous embrace of our vulnerable humanness.
In meeting and working with with thousands of seekers of truth all around the world at retreats and in private sessions, and through their personal conversations and life explorations, they have uncovered something very precious, a sacred jewel of inner peace and aliveness amidst the noise and mess of everyday life. They are inviting you to join them in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado for five days of rest, exploration, play, discovery, presence, and compassion.
Weaving together the wisdom of the meditative traditions and the emotionally-attuned and shadow-sensitive approaches of depth psychology, Matt and Jeff will share with you a simple yet radical and perhaps life-changing invitation, one of true friendship: with our thoughts and feelings, with our bodies and minds, with each other, with our joys and sorrows, with our deepest inner life.
AN INVITATION TO REST
Has your life become an endless ‘self-improvement project’? After years of working on yourself, meditation, therapy, spiritual seeking and trying to “quiet your mind” or “lose your ego”, do you still feel far from where you wanted to be? Do you long to slow down, rest, come out of repetitive and exhausting thinking, and be deeply embraced, exactly as you are?
The Deep Rest Retreat is an invitation to slowness, simplicity, kindness and profound self-exploration. Through mindful awareness, compassionate presence, and the therapeutic power of love, we will learn - moment by moment - to “end the inner war” with our thoughts and feelings and to wake up to the sacredness of our ordinary lives. With their trademark gentleness and humour, Matt and Jeff bring a powerful core teaching of Presence which lovingly dismantles shame at its very root and wakes us up to the miracle of being alive.
A TYPICAL DAY ON RETREAT
Each day on the retreat you will rest in Presence with author and spiritual teacher Jeff Foster, who will help you drop out of your busy mind and connect with the living moment, your body and your feelings in his own unique, playful, human way. Through heartfelt talks, restful guided mindfulness meditations, silence, personal stories and honest dialogues, he will remind you that you are perfect and whole, exactly as you are. He will help you stay present and connected with yourself, no matter what life throws at you.
You will also explore the alchemy of psychological and emotional integration with psychotherapist and author Matt Licata, PhD, who will guide you into the mysteries of the heart with playfulness, humor, and compassion. Drawing on contemplative spirituality, the latest psychological research, and the power of the poetic imagination, you will discover the inherent wisdom buried in even your deepest pain, confusion, and longing.
In the evening there will usually be a dialogue on stage between Matt and Jeff, where, through poetry, humor, conversation and personal stories, they will explore the ground of a loving, embodied, nondual Presence – the place where spirituality and therapy come together, the Home we never left - and how the Divine expresses itself in the chaotic, sweet, glorious, sacred mess of our ordinary lives. Usually, during one or two nights on retreat, we will have an evening of movement and music, which many find deeply nurturing and supportive in the integration of the teaching.
In the space between meetings, you are free to walk, rest and play in the holding field of the Rocky Mountains, and enjoy delicious and nourishing food prepared by expert chefs at Sunrise Ranch, using ingredients grown locally using sustainable methods, and served with love. You may spend time alone and in silence, or connect and share with your fellow retreatants… however your heart guides you. We look forward to meeting you in Colorado! ...