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George Floyd, the Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper ... See MoreSee Less

6 months ago  ·  

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A FEW WAYS WE CAN ALL HELP...

πŸ’–πŸ’– 𝙂𝙀𝙏 π™„π™‰π™‘π™Šπ™‡π™‘π™€π˜Ώ πŸ’–πŸ’– Not everyone is able to be on the frontline - don’t guilt trip yourself because you think you MUST be on the frontlines to show solidarity.

πŸ‘‚ LISTEN to black people and people of color, hear their stories, follow them on social media, listen to their struggle and ask them what they need. Develop empathy and listening skills, and do what you can to amplify marginalised voices.

πŸ’Έ Donate to a π—•π—”π—œπ—Ÿ 𝗙𝗨𝗑𝗗 in your area or around the country...

πŸ’Š Donate π— π—˜π——π—œπ—–π—”π—Ÿ π—¦π—¨π—£π—£π—Ÿπ—œπ—˜π—¦ to people working as medics at the protests...

🍎 π—™π—˜π—˜π—— π—£π—˜π—’π—£π—Ÿπ—˜ - buy food and water, or make food, and donate it to those who are part of (or affected by) the protests...

πŸ₯› π—©π—’π—Ÿπ—¨π—‘π—§π—˜π—˜π—₯ at non-hot zone areas to supply food and water...

πŸ“’ Continue to π—˜π——π—¨π—–π—”π—§π—˜ the people around you - this is also emotional labor...

πŸš— π—£π—œπ—–π—ž 𝗨𝗣 people from the hot-zone if they need it...

πŸ₯ Offer to π—ͺ𝗔𝗧𝗖𝗛 π—žπ—œπ——π—¦ if their parents are organizers and need to be on the frontline...

🚨 𝗖𝗒𝗑𝗙π—₯𝗒𝗑𝗧 π—₯π—”π—–π—œπ—¦π—  wherever you see it, online and with family/friends...

πŸ’° π——π—’π—‘π—”π—§π—˜ directly to frontline people and organizations...

πŸ–‹ π—ͺπ—₯π—œπ—§π—˜ articles and blog posts in support of the ongoing protests...

πŸ“£ 𝗒π—₯π—šπ—”π—‘π—œπ—­π—˜ on your jobs and in your communities for fair and equitable practices...

πŸ›Œ π—₯π—˜π—¦π—§ is revolutionary too, so do your best to rest when you can, and take care of yourself and those around you as much as possible...

*** Copied and pasted. Please COPY AND PASTE if you want to share ***
These are just a few, feel free to add on!
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6 months ago  ·  

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The Doorway of the Sacred. From β€œThe Joy of True Meditation” 😍 ... See MoreSee Less

6 months ago  ·  

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LOVE'S ADVENTURE

We long for love as much as we fear receiving it.

We yearn to be seen as much as we bolt at the possibility of being seen.

We hunger for the deep embrace of presence, tender eyes that gaze upon us with understanding and empathy, as much as we try to escape that very holding. It's too intimate. Too risky. Too exposing.

Nowhere to hide. To be seen is to be loved. To be seen is to die. Love is danger. Or so we have been taught.

A battle rages in us. The unloved one longing to hide, and the one who longs for the thrill and risk of living. Contraction and expansion. Breathing, in and out.

Unconsciously, we are attracted to or repelled by those who treat us, speak to us, hold us the way our parents did or did not. We are drawn to those who can heal us, and sometimes drawn to those who cannot, or worse. We think we are falling in love with a person, and sometimes we are just falling in love with our own image of them, which has nothing to do with the 'other' at all.

We love and we lose our images of love. We rise and we fall. Our hearts soar and our hearts break into a million pieces. We seek security and find insecurity and we find security in that. We seek freedom and find the prison of our own programming and lose hope and then regain it.

Sometimes it takes courage to leave a relationship. Sometimes it takes courage to stay. Sometimes it takes courage to do nothing, today. Sometimes it takes courage to admit how much pain you are in.

Sometimes it takes courage to admit how happy you are.

Sometimes you take a step without knowing why, and everything only becomes clear in hindsight.

You can't get it wrong anyway.

We lose ourselves and we find ourselves. We give more than we can take, exhausting ourselves in the name of "love". Or we run as fast as we can, exhausting ourselves in our flight from "love".

"Will somebody see me. Listen. Hold me. Let me break..."

And the drama of love plays out. And as the play goes on we learn more about ourselves. We begin to see our blind spots. Our unconscious patterns come into the light of awareness. We realise our assumptions. Our childhood fantasies start to crumble. Pain that we never wanted to feel, we suddenly feel. Grief. Anger. Feelings of rejection, abandonment. We want to run, go back into the old addictions, the old comfort, and for whatever reason, we don't. We get curious. We start looking and stop thinking so much.

We begin to relate to ourselves. Treat ourselves like the greatest lovers that we are. The most fascinating and beloved creatures.

With each day, we begin meeting ourselves more deeply. Discovering who we really are. What we feel, and what we don't. What we want and what we don't. Learning to say 'yes' when we mean yes and 'no' when we mean no and if that hurts someone, giving them back their responsibility to heal. Learning that love is not all butterflies and roses and positive feelings. It is work, too. It is mess. It is pain and the courage to breathe through that pain into joy and expansiveness. Love asks us to become more and more real, more and more human, more and more conscious, less and less perfect. More self-aware and willing to feel. And to feel more. And to feel more. And more. And to let our hearts break sometimes. To not know, sometimes. To be bored, sometimes. To be blissed-out, sometimes. To be full of life. To sometimes not know what the next step is. And to take it, or not.

Love is not a feeling, a state, or an experience. It's not a destination.

It's this extraordinary Light that shines from within.

It's this radiant Knowing that never leaves.

It's the Joy of being alive.

We can know it together. We can know it alone.

We can remind each other of it. We can forget, too.

We can trigger each other and help each other get curious about those triggers. We can do that work, or not.

We can meet in love's fire. Walk together, or not.

Share our hearts. Step back. Step towards. Or stay where we are.

Learn to love the dance of it, the spontaneity, the adventure, the mystery, the immediacy and the intimacy of it and the running too.

Learn to unlearn what we knew and embrace the unknowing as new knowing.

And get more and more content with the unresolveability of it all.

More and more happy with the unhappy one, certain about the uncertainty, so secure in the insecurity.

More and more blissed-out at our lack of bliss.

More and more curious about what's here Now.

Less and less solid, more and more playful.

Less a seeker of love, more a giver of it, and a finder, and a Presence that invites others into the same wild joy.

This is Love's Adventure.

- Jeff Foster
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6 months ago  ·  

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THE CALL OF THE EMPATHIC WARRIOR

As you awaken from the age-old trance of shame and fear-based conditioning, and as you drop into your authentic self, and as you uncover your deep vulnerability and your shockingly innocent heart, you may discover an empathy you never knew you were capable of. An empathy for all humanity… and for your own deepest humanity. For the flaws and pains of others... and for your own beautiful imperfections.

You may find that you are now more able to open your heart in compassion to others, able to hold space for them as they break and rest and heal, and able to listen without judgement, since you are now able to listen to yourself. You may become more comfortable with silence and with awkwardness. You may become more present, less distracted, more authentic, less interested in fixing and controlling those around you.

As people touch into your β€˜newfound’ empathy and ability to listen from presence, you may trigger them in unexpected ways. You may find that people who weren’t drawn to you in the past are now drawn to you. They now feel somehow safer with you, more willing to open their hearts, to express their deepest authentic feelings, to tell their raw truth, to touch gently into their trauma, to relax and be fully themselves in your presence, knowing that they will not be judged, or shamed, or manipulated.

You become a healing field for others as you become a healing field for yourself.

You will meet others who walk the same path as you, others who want to do this work. You will meet new friends, brothers and sisters on the path, who find safety in your presence and can offer you the same. (You will also encounter those who want you to be their unpaid therapist, or even a dumping ground for their unconsciousness, drama and complaints, so you will need to learn healthy boundaries!)

When you are empathic - which I believe is our true nature, underneath our narcissistic programming and our myriad defences - you become a mirror for others, a reflective pool in which they can clearly see themselves, if they wish to. And herein lies the rub. Some people are simply not ready to see themselves in your mirror! For some, the prospect of having their deepest inner truths reflected back to them - nowhere to hide, nowhere to run, no-one else to blame - is deeply uncomfortable, edgy, even scary. For some, the kind of intimacy, love and safety you are now offering triggers a deep unconscious fear, perhaps greater than the fear of death. The thought of being truly seen and exposed in love’s warm light can feel overwhelming, terrifying, even downright repulsive to the ego. As much as we may long for intimacy, when it is offered freely and lovingly we can find ourselves running a mile, finding every excuse under the sun to not step in, quite sure that if our 'negative' patterns, desires, urges and feelings are truly seen and exposed, we will be rejected and shamed again, and not loved and embraced.

We can run from genuine love and acceptance as much as we long for it.

As you awaken, as you care more and more about truth, and less and less about the self-image, you will discover who your real friends and family are. You will find out who wants to stand in your empathic mirror and be seen in return, and who rejects the mirror, fears it, resents it, judges it, blames it, avoids it or pushes it away.

Empathy is what we all long for, deep down, but empathy can be terrifying, at least at first. The warm loving relational field of another can trigger our deepest wounds and awaken our unhealed trauma, and invite us to integrate and heal, perhaps before we are ready. As an empath you may unknowingly, unwittingly, with your stillness, your equanimity, your ability to listen deeply from non-judgemental presence, trigger old pain, shame, guilt, fear, even rage, in those who spend time with you.

As an empath, you will naturally invite others to face themselves.

Some will be drawn to you, yes, will want what you want; but others will run away, or will view your empathy as weakness, or madness; something basically undesirable, even boring. Perhaps they just don’t want to look at themselves. Perhaps they are ashamed of their own β€˜badness’, afraid of being found out. Perhaps they are addicted to drama, and wary of the devastatingly simple truth of their life. Perhaps the unlovability they feel inside is just too great to connect in intimacy; they simply do not feel worthy of the love you are offering them.

Your ability to be empathic is a great gift, yes, but the truth is, not everyone sees it as a gift, or is ready for such a life-changing present.

That’s okay. There is power in your vulnerability, and you cannot turn back now. You can honour those who stay, and honour those who leave. You can understand that the powerful light of your empathy is illuminating to some, but blinding, uncomfortable, even disorienting, to others. You cannot force people into the light of self-knowledge before they are ready. And they may never be ready, and that’s okay too.

Bless those who come closer, bless those who walk away.

You are a warrior of empathy now, friend, and your path is clear.

- Jeff Foster
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6 months ago  ·  

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A MILLION SHADES OF GREY

You can feel
excitement and sorrow
at the same time.

You can hold
boredom and bliss
together.

You can be the wide open space
for guilt and joy,
simultaneously.

'Contradictory' feelings often arise together.
As the mind struggles
to 'make sense' of experience,
seeking a non-existent
black-and-white world
(its version of 'safety').

But human experience is never black and white.

And 'opposing' feelings
can co-exist peacefully.
In the Sky of Presence,
the Sky of You.

Maturity, then,
is knowing yourself
as the space
for ALL feelings,
however uncomfortable.

No contradiction there.
No violence.

- Jeff Foster
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6 months ago  ·  

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β€œOften, change doesn't come trumpeting itself in. It comes in quiet, barely noticed ways. No bolts of lightning and grand entrances here. Just a subtle relaxation into the body. A tiny shift towards where you are. An old belief, an outdated story, seen for what it is. A new path emerging in the darkness. A vague, unspeakable hope dawning in the first light of the day you imagined would never come. Everything the same, everything different, everything always resting in motion, and the mysteries of change forever unresolved...”

- Jeff Foster
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6 months ago  ·  

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IT’S NOT ALWAYS YOUR PROJECTION

β€œThe world is a mirror. What you judge in another is ALWAYS something unresolved in yourself...”

No. It's not always your projection.

Sometimes the other person
really IS angry, or sad, or scared,
or judging you.
Or lying.
Or fleeing themselves
by shaming you.

Sometimes you really CAN trust
your feeling, your gut intuition,
your instinct, your deep Knowing.

Sometimes it's not a question of working on yourself more, clearing up your projections and misunderstandings, but of simply standing in your truth, validating your own vulnerable human experience, trusting that you are evolved enough now to see things clearly.

And yes.
Sometimes you're totally projecting.
Sometimes you aren't seeing clearly at all.

Sometimes it really is YOUR anger,
sadness, fear.
It's your own incorrect thinking.
It's your own unmet material
thrown onto the 'other'.

You must look for the truth
in each and every moment.
There's no formula. No map.

Truth is alive.
So stay mindful, present, aware.
Don't settle for easy answers.

Be willing to LOOK.
With humble, open eyes.

- Jeff Foster
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6 months ago  ·  

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THE DANCE OF EROS

Let us enter into erotic union with our ordinary joys and pains, our boredom and our bliss, our closed hearts and our broken hearts and our deepest human longings.

Awareness is purity, yes, but let this aware purity fall in love with our human imperfection, with the gorgeous β€˜dirt’ of it all, with the sweat and the ache and the fire and the loneliness and the shame. Let Awareness cry, let it be sticky and hot and messy and sweaty in its damn purity, let it father form, protect form, drink in form, saturate form with itself and become form. And in other moments, let Awareness relax, and take space from form, unprotected; let it swaddle form and mother form and birth form from its formlessness and be One with it.

Let Awareness be feminine as well as masculine, let it stand back from thoughts and sensations and sounds and smells and β€œobserve” them lovingly but then let it enter them fully too and fill them with itself; let it be receptive and soft and open, flowing and intuitive, surrendered and empty, yet also strong, courageous, firm and filled with life, willing to forge ahead into the unexplored places, willing to drop into the abandoned regions of our humanity, to light the tender regions up powerfully with its inextinguishable radiance.

- Jeff Foster
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6 months ago  ·  

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THIS IMPERFECT DANCE

We never rehearsed this
We are a mess

We tremble and perspire
We step on each other’s toes

Sometimes we go out of tune
And forget our lines

But at least this is real
At least we are not half-alive
Buried under the weight of some image
We never believed in anyway

I will always take this imperfect dance
Over no dance at all

- Jeff Foster
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6 months ago  ·  

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I AM WAITING FOR YOU

Longing is not painful when you fully enter into it with all your heart.

Yearning is not suffering when you inhabit it with the fullness of your being.

Craving can be close to pleasure, when you give yourself to it fully.

Seeking can be exquisite beauty, when you surrender to its ache.

For in reality, there is no lack, nothing missing inside of you, and the present moment is always overflowing and abundant, and even your most bone-crushing loneliness is life calling you back to itself, pulling you closer, yearning for intimacy with you, longing for your breath, craving your breath, your inhale and your exhale, your vulnerability and your terror. Loneliness is only God calling you back, back, willing you back, drawing you in, pulling you near, taking you out of your mind, out of your anxious and dualistic mind, breaking your addiction to self abandonment, crushing your hope and your fantasy and your greed, so there is no longer any distance, no longer any separation, no longer anything to seek in the Now, no longer any reason to look away, no longer any time, or tomorrow, or a sense of loss...

So let your longing break you, friend. Do not fear it. Let it guide you back home, to the moment; let it remind you of the preciousness of a single moment, and the gift of never reaching completion, and the gift of always being complete.

You have only ever been longing for the One who longs, the one who seeks and sees; you have only ever been longing for yourself. Your body. Your breath. Your wide open heart. Your tears and your laughter. Your sense of wonder, your awe, your confusion, your shock and your delight at new beginnings.

For in the wonder, friend, in the awe and in the loneliness, in the longing for an end, in the death of time itself, we can truly meet.

I am waiting for you, here.

- Jeff Foster
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7 months ago  ·  

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β€œWalking alone in the rain, bathed in consciousness, soaked in consciousness, consciousness as the raindrops, as the body they fall upon, as the splish-splash on the sidewalk, as the incomprehensible intelligence that opens the umbrella exactly on cue, making a mockery of the concept of the existence or non-existence of a separate 'I'. And the raindrops whisper that the enlightenment we seek is not cold detachment or unfeeling world-denial or transcendence of the so-called 'material' world - no, it's this unspeakable intimacy with the appearance of form, with this ever-changing watercolor scenery of life, its colors forever running into the gutters of emptiness. "Love us", the raindrops whisper. "That's all". And I smile to myself at the seriousness and the mad, cosmic innocence of the spiritual search, the search for something more than THIS. For who could want or seek anything more than what is already given? Still, the beloved raindrops keep falling, and I - we - walk on, embraced by a love with no name...”

- Jeff Foster
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7 months ago  ·  

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WHEN LOVE CRACKS YOU OPEN

Love does not always feel safe because love is pure potential and pure presence and in pure presence every feeling and impulse is welcome, however gentle, however painful, however inconvenient, however fierce.

So when you let someone matter to you and you let yourself matter to someone and you are not ruled by fear your heart will have no choice but to crack to the hugeness of love and you will not be able to control the results and that's why the ego cannot love.

Safe, unsafe. Happy, sad. Certain, uncertain. Afraid, fearless. Fragile, powerful. Worthy, worthless, and everything in between. There is so much life now trying to fill you up, and you can barely contain it all. You are full of life, penetrated by life, pregnant with life.

They lied to you about love, you see, they said it was always supposed to feel good and warm and happy, they said it was something you'd be given, something you'd have to earn, or deserve, they said it was all butterflies and angels and light, but really it was always you, naked, raw and alive, cracked, whole, vulnerable, shaky but real, inhaling a cosmos, exhaling euphoria and the darkness and the grief and the joy of humanity and sometimes not knowing what the hell you're doing or how you're still alive.

Good. Breathe. All is unfolding beautifully, here. Love is not only gain, it is also loss. The beloveds will die and the loved ones will vanish, but love will not. She will simply make you rise, you see, and fall again, and wonder again if you will ever rise. She will open you and close you and break you and humble you and laugh at your childhood fantasies of love.

But it is all natural, and it is all for you. You will come full circle before long, back to yourself, the Origin. You were only ever seeking your own Heart, and its multitude of reflections.

Love is here. Love is always here. Somewhere between the euphoria and the darkness she found you. And the very ground you stand on is blessed, and you are safe once more.

So cry, laugh, shake, vomit, doubt the ground; you will never be abandoned by the Heart.

- Jeff Foster
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7 months ago  ·  

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THE GAME

You think you're about to reach the top, only to find yourself sliding right back down again.

Sometimes you hit the bottom, only to realise that you missed the way up.

The highs are the lows and the lows are the highs in this topsy-turvy dream world.

The only suffering is trying to reach the top, win the game, escape the world, when you know you cannot.

Then you are always at war with the falling, fearful that the climb will lead you down again and the fall may come soon, and you can never truly rest.
You swing between triumph and humiliation, success and failure, ecstasy and despair, as you cling to the illusion of control.

The solution?
Relax into the game, surrender to the play of it.
Know that ups follow downs and downs follow ups as surely as night follows day.
Go beyond winning and losing, beyond the snakes and the ladders. Learn to love the climbing and the falling too.

Fall to climb and climb to fall. Embrace the game's beautiful uncertainty. Stop pretending to know.

The game of life cannot go β€œwrong” when you are truly playing it.

This is meditation.

- Jeff Foster
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7 months ago  ·  

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