The personal purges itself in the impersonal fire of life

 

I have never met anyone who simply “woke up” one day, and never suffered again – however much we love to believe that story, about ourselves and others. I have never met anyone – teacher or student – who “discovered who they really were” and never, ever forgot it again, even in the midst of physical pain or the beautiful mess of intimate human relationship.

I spent years after my so-called ‘awakening’ (experience, or non-experience, or whatever I used to call it) meeting all of the unmet human stuff, the untested conditioning, the childhood pain, the pain of all humanity, the unloved waves in the ocean of life, the feelings of failure and doubt and self-importance and arrogance and impotence and the need-to-be-perfect and the need-to-be-right, the forms that had been repressed or ignored or buried for at least a quarter of a century.

Finally, in the absence of the urge to escape life, in the recognition that all was ultimately allowed in what I am, the human stuff was allowed to breathe and express and sing and dissolve in its own time. The personal purges itself in the impersonal fire of life, in the furnace of not-knowing, until it becomes absurd to even speak of the impersonal as distinct from the personal… or to even speak of ‘my awakening’ at all!

Liberation may be the end of a belief in a separate ‘I’, but really, my friends, this is just the beginning of the adventure, however much we want to think of it as some kind of ‘end point’. It takes tremendous courage to drop the story of your own awakening, to be a child of life again, to admit that you really do not know a damn thing, and never did.
– Jeff Foster

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It is a great honour to sit with discomfort

 

It is a great honour to sit with discomfort, for all the mysteries of the universe lie within. As you sit with discomfort, you also meet discomfort’s best friend – the urge to escape that discomfort! Is there enough room in you for both discomfort AND the urge to escape discomfort? Of course – who you are is vast and spacious enough to hold anything. This is true meditation – no longer resisting discomfort and trying to escape to a future comfort, but discovering the ever-present, unconditional Comfort that you are, the perfect calm in the midst of the storm.
– Jeff Foster

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We do not need solutions….

 

So many spiritual teachings and practices present themselves as the ‘solution’ to the ‘problem’ of being human. They are all about getting rid of what we call the ‘negative’, escaping painful emotions, transcending feelings, stopping thoughts, fighting the darkness, attracting the ‘positive’, floating above our humanity, leaving imperfection behind and becoming perfect and enlightened.

But why are we so deeply afraid to embrace our humanness in its totality, to deeply allow the present moment exactly as it is? Why the constant war against thoughts and emotions? What exactly are we trying to protect? What exactly do we fear?

It seems that we have forgotten who we really are – the vast ocean of consciousness that unconditionally embraces its beloved ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ children with equal tenderness, that loves its ‘dark’ and ‘light’ waves to death, that holds its ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ with equal understanding.

Life is not the problem. Thoughts and feelings are not the problem. The waves in the ocean are not the problem. Being human is not the problem. It never was.

The ‘problem’ begins with the ‘solutions’ that we are offered, the paths we follow in our misguided innocence, and in our fear. We do not need solutions to the non-existent problem of being alive here and now.

– Jeff Foster on fb

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In the beginning…

 

In the beginning, I strongly believed that there was something wrong with me. Later on, I acquired the spiritual concept that there was something wrong with being or having a ‘me’ in the first place! Double trouble! These days, I realise that there’s nothing wrong with me, AND nothing wrong with ‘me’. The ocean dances as the wave, in all its extraordinarily perfect imperfection. What freedom!
– Jeff Foster on fb

Water that’s too pure

 

True Freedom has nothing to do with getting rid of our humanness and our humanity – it’s a total embrace of it. Your imperfections are so perfect, seen in the light of who you really are. You may be the ocean, but you are also a wave, a divinely unique, quirky, singular, never-to-be-repeated expression of that ocean. “Water that is too pure, has no fish”, as they say in Zen. So dance, baby, dance.
– Jeff Foster on fb

Jeff Foster on absolute and relative

 

In the beginning, I found myself lost in the ‘relative’ perspective (“I’m a separate person desperately trying to fix myself, to become perfect, pure, enlightened, whole.”). Later on, I got stuck in the ‘absolute’ perspective (“There’s no world, no time, no me… and no perspectives!”). These days, what’s seen is this: The absolute dances AS the relative. The ocean dances AS the waves. And so the words ‘absolute’ and ‘relative’ melt away…. And the dance goes on……
– Jeff Foster

Jeff Foster on depression

 

I see that nonduality and depression is the topic of Jeff Foster’s new podcast.

Before listening to it, I thought I would see what comes up for me around it.

Big Mind – how does depression look to you?

About depression. He tells himself the world is against him, he tells himself he is a victim, so the mind and feelings respond with creating an experience of depression. It has to, because it’s job is to make his beliefs appear true to him. He then takes that experience of depression as yet another proof his initial belief is true.

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Everything you’re running away from is simply freedom in disguise

 

Every wave of experience (thought, feeling, emotion…) that we call ‘negative’, ‘sinful’ or ‘dark’ is simply a wave that’s not being recognised as being part of the ocean (light). In reality, there’s never any absence of light – even the ‘darkest’ wave is 100% ocean. Everything you’re running away from, everything you see as a block to freedom – in other words, your ‘shadow’ – is simply freedom in disguise.
– Jeff Foster on fb

Exhaust yourself in trying to escape what is

 

My tip for today: Resist life as much as you can. Fight this moment. Exhaust yourself in trying to escape what is. And see where it gets you…
– Jeff Foster on Facebook

There is often a great relief in going to the darkest places and shine a light.

In this case, there may be a nagging doubt. Perhaps resisting really works? Perhaps I just haven’t tried hard enough? Perhaps there is still something for me to see there?

So why not allow myself to resist as much as I can? What happens? Does it work? Where does it get me?

By doing this, I go against my initial impulse because I “know” resistance is futile, but do I really know? Can I know unless I have given resistance my best effort?

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