Jeff Foster: Take away the label ‘sadness’, and what is alive here?

We label everything and everyone – the plants, the animals, the stars, even our own intimate feelings. “Sadness”, we call it. “Anger”. “Fear”. “Boredom”. “Confusion”. These are second-hand words picked up when we were young. But underneath the labels, prior to the abstract language, there is a profoundly alive mystery here, unspeakable, unable to be captured by thought. Without our mind-made descriptions of experience, do we really have any way of knowing what we are experiencing?

Take away the label ‘sadness’, and what is alive here? Take away the description ‘anger’, and what is this raw, passionate energy we feel? Stop calling an emotion ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, and what happens? Come back to the raw sensation of life, the present-moment dance of the body. What is this unfiltered, dynamic, raw life energy? Can we touch life before the labels? Who would touch it? Who would be separate from it? This is the river of life, my friends, sacred, intimate, familiar, and we are inseparable from its flow. Every thought, sensation, feeling, image, is infused with the mystery of universes.

– Jeff Foster

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