July 2015 Newsletter


Life Without A Centre

 


A NEW HOPE

 

Don't live in hope. Live in presence. 

 

Hope is future. Presence is alive, now. 

 

And in presence, a new hope may rise, 

born of curiosity, courage, and truth, 

and the breaking of the dawn.


 

- Jeff Foster

 

 


 

  

Welcome to another newsletter! 


 

Here's a 60-second invitation to be mindful...

 

Whatever is happening in the circumstances of your life, stop. Just for a moment.

Take a deep breath. Feel your belly swell and rise with oxygen and life. Feel the sweet and subtle release of it on the out-breath. Feel your feet on the ground, the aliveness in the totality of your body. The sounds happening within and without. What do you feel, now? Is there tension in the head, jaw, throat, shoulders, chest, belly, buttocks? How is the body positioned? Are there areas of pressure, tightness, contraction, ache? Are there parts that feel warm, light, expansive, tingly? Even though the mind is desperately trying to get 'there', can you be here? Can you honour this present Scene of the Movie Of My Life?

You are seeing, tasting, touching, hearing the world as if for the first time. This is your Garden of Eden, your messy, intense, joyous, heartbreaking Garden of Eden, and you are awake to it, for a day, for an hour, for a moment - awake to it at last.

Stop trying to figure everything out. Rest is holy too. Every great journey is fuelled by stopping. Give in. Give up. Give all to the moment's embrace.

Fall into not knowing...


 

In this newsletter there's some information about upcoming webcasts/meetings/retreats, plus some new writing and a new video. I hope you enjoy what's on offer here. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued love and support. Your courage, honesty, and dedication to truth is a real source of inspiration for me.

 

With love from yourself, as always,
Jeff xx

P.S. Just announced, a free WEBCAST (with real-time French translation) on 8th July, plus meetings in Brighton, UK on 11th and 25th July... see events list on right...


NEWS

 

FREE WEBCAST ON WEDNESDAY 8TH JULY

 

Come join Jeff in a free video webcast on Wednesday 8th July from 19.30 (French time). There will be real-time French translation. You'll need to register; more info here.  Questions or problems with anything to do with the webcast? Please email:

etre.presence@gmail.com 

 

 

NEW VIDEO 

 

Jeff on the paradox and joke of 'being in the moment'...

 

You are already enlightened!

 

 

NEW VIDEO SERIES 'FALLING IN LOVE..."

 

Jeff has recorded a brand new series called FALLING IN LOVE WITH WHERE YOU ARE at the Ekhart Yoga  studios. The videos can be seen here:

 

http://www.ekhartyoga.com/programs/falling-in-love-with-where-you-are

 

Please note that Ekhart Yoga is a subscription service, but you can watch the introductory video for free. 

 

 

MORE VIDEOS ON DEMAND

 

The full video recordings from Jeff's recent weekend in The Netherlands are available to watch now. More information here:

http://www.lifewithoutacentre.com/video-on-demand/ 

 

 

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE...

If you have been appreciating these free newsletters, articles, websites, podcasts, videos, webcasts and essays from Jeff over the past few years, and would like to contribute to them, you can now make a donation to us using this paypal link. Life Without A Centre would be nothing without your continued support. Thank you so much. 

 

  

NEW WRITING by Jeff


Jeff's new writing regularly appears on his Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/LifeWithoutACentre


*

THERE ARE NO ENDINGS

There is nothing more glorious than the beginning of the path. Your heart soaring with possibility, you take that first baby step into the unknown. Trembling but alive, you walk.

It was never about getting to the end, reaching the finish line, it was always about falling in love with the beginnings. And life is always a beginning. Each step, each breath, each brand new day, each invitation to surrender, each sunset, each dawn, each wave of joy or sorrow, each chance to trust.

The ocean's waves do not end, they only fall back into their ocean, their Source, emerging again, falling, playing like children of infinity, held in unspeakable love. From the perspective of the Source, nothing has happened at all, except the dance. Endings are beginnings and beginnings are endings, here in the vastness of presence.

At the intersection, we meet. I don't know you, and you don't know me. Brought together by destiny or chance, we dance in the ocean's depths.

If you ran out of oxygen, I would breathe you.


 *

 

THE POWER OF PRESENCE

I was speaking with a young man about letting go of his ideas about the future, his images of how his life 'should' be, and being present here and now, embracing himself as he actually was.

He said, "Well Jeff, if there's only this moment, only now, then I'm going to kill myself".

For a moment, he had lost all hope. Suicide seemed like the logical solution.

I stayed present. Listened. Validated his pain. Entered his world. Discovering presence can be a shock to the system, can reorganise the entire psyche, release deeply buried feelings. I understand that. I've been through it.

"I understand. It can be scary to lose all your hope".

"Yes, I'm terrified".

"Where do you feel that terror? Can you feel it in your body?"

"Yes. It's burning... in my chest".

"Great. Stay there for a moment. Feel its power".

Silence.

"I feel like... I want to kill someone. I feel so fucking angry with you now. You've taken away everything..."

I stayed present.

"Yes. Yes. Where do you feel that anger?"

"In my belly, my throat, my chest..."

"What does it feel like?"

"It's like... Fire. Power. Rage. Volcanic. Like... I could destroy an entire universe".

"Yes. You're feeling your own power. It's huge. You don't have to deny it any more, or act on it, just feel it now, let it burn, honour it".

"Wow. It's a lot".

"It's yours. Just allow it. Allow those sensations in your belly, heart, throat. Breathe into them, through them..."

"I want to scream".

"Do it!"

"I.... I.... I F**KING HATE LIFE!"

"Louder!"

"I HATE LIFE! I HATE EVERYONE! I HATE MY PARENTS! I HATE YOU!"

He looks at me. Our eyes meet. He bursts into tears. He slumps, his body relaxes, he breathes deeply again. His rage was met - for the first time ever- with love, acceptance. Something has been released, something old. Something unloveable has been embraced.

"My God. My God. For the first time in my life, honestly, for the first time, I feel like I'm... alive. I feel like myself".

It's amazing, the power of just staying present. Listening. Doing less. Allowing the other to go through what they have to go through, without trying to fix or save them. Taking away false hope, leaving them with new hope. Trusting their process. Trusting life. Trusting the mysteries of love's intelligence.


 *

 

HOW TO OPEN YOUR HEART


 

Do not try to open your heart now. That would be a subtle movement of aggression towards your immediate embodied experience.

 

Never tell a closed heart it must be more open; it will shut more tightly to protect itself, feeling your resistance. A heart unfurls only when conditions are right; your demand for openness invites closure. This is the supreme intelligence of the heart.

 

Instead, bow to the heart in its current state. If it's closed, let it be closed; sanctify the closure. Make it safe; safe even to feel unsafe. Trust that when the heart is ready, and not a moment before, it will open, like a flower in the warmth of the sun. There is no rush for the heart.

 

Trust the opening and the closing too; the expansion and the contraction; this is the heart's way of breathing; safe, unsafe, safe, unsafe; the beautiful fragility of being human; and all held in the most perfect love.


 *

 

I AM LOVE


 

You never fall in love with another person; the other person is only a catalyst and a messenger. 


 

You fall in love with life itself, and her staggering possibilities. You sink more deeply into your own sweet presence, the unchanging vastness at the core of your being. And you credit another person. Or you blame them when you disconnect. But it's all you, and all for you, and for your healing, and theirs too, and the salvation of this world.


 

It's a rediscovery of who you truly are, beyond the mask, behind the carefully constructed facades, the infinitely creative defences designed for only one reason: to win you love, or prevent you from losing it, as if love were ever something you could win or lose.

 

And so you simply fall into love, into your nature, your heart, which is their heart, for there is no separation in the vastness, no double vastness but only One. There is no need to leave yourself to know what you are looking for. You are the One, never a seeker of love but its source and destination and reason, and you can move and have your being in the world as that.

 

And you can shine like the sun, and sometimes others will shine with you, or they will not shine; they will seek your shining or fear it; yet you will keep shining anyway, for you are in love with the shining itself.


 

To know love is to know that love can never be found, for it shines in the looking, the finding, the losing, in the strength of the shining, even in the stillness of the night.


 

As Freud realised, you cannot love what you desire, and you cannot desire what you love. For love is always closer, more intimate, at less of a distance than desire, unable to objectify or itself be objectified.

 

I am love, and I am what you are. That is all.


 *

 

ON BEAUTY

Beauty is not there in what you see, it's in how you see.

There is a vast field of possibility, where your presence meets the presence of the 'other'. Yet there are not two presences, only one, just as fire never truly divides.

Beauty is not contained, see, but spills out through every crack and crevice in reality, gushing like an unstoppable river. There are no others here; you are meeting yourself.

See beautifully, then, and the world around you is suddenly beautiful. Your seeing changes everything. And leaves everything perfectly unchanged.

Be fully yourself, know that you are alive, and let your natural beauty shine.


 


Thanks for being HERE, ! 

 

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Website:
  
Jeff Foster en espanol
 
Upcoming 
LIVE events 
with Jeff

 

 

 

"Stop trying to heal yourself, fix yourself, even awaken yourself. Let go of letting go. Stop trying to fast-forward the movie of your life. It gets so exhausting, doesn't it, always trying to get there, chasing futures that never seem to arrive, living on second-hand promises. Instead, bow deeply to yourself as you actually are. Be here. Honour this present scene in the movie. Your pain, your sorrow, your doubts, your deepest longings, your fearful thoughts, are not mistakes, and they aren't asking to be healed. They are asking to be held. Here, now, lightly, in the loving arms of present awareness..." 

 

Through heartfelt talks, intimate dialogues, guided meditations and restful silences, Jeff guides us in his own unique, compassionate, humorous way back to the Home we never left - the present moment. He holds a safe, loving, agenda-free space where even the most intense thoughts and feelings can be welcomed, and we can remember our original wholeness.  

 

Read what others are saying...

 

"Jeff shows us how to meet everything and to turn toward instead of away from Life... He has no lineage, so he has no spiritual guru baggage to carry around. His meetings are just raw, naked, unconditional love..." - R.P., participant.

 

 

FREE WEBCAST

Wednesday 8th July

19.30 Paris Time. 

Organised by Association Etre Presence.

Sign up here.

Any questions? Please email the organizers

 

 

BRIGHTON, UK

Saturday 11th July

Afternoon meeting

Book here

Saturday 25th July 

Full-day meeting

Book here.

 

BARCELONA

4-6 September 2015

Weekend retreat

More info here.

 

PARIS

11-13 September 2015

Weekend of meetings.

More info here.

 

NETHERLANDS

Jeff will be in the Netherlands and Belgium in September/October. See website.

 

See website for all other events.

  

"What a week. It was wonderful and heart-wrenching.... Jeff, with his whole being, slowly and deliberately shoves a crowbar in your heart and pries it open and you can't shut it again." - S.H., participant 

 

"Jeff's retreats are an opportunity to be in silence with myself, present with the waves of every moment... An opportunity to share with a group a tremendous vulnerability in which true honesty can bring clarity of understanding and healing... - B.A., participant 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff's latest book is now available...

Falling in Love With Where You Are:
A Year of Prose and Poetry on Radically Opening Up to the Pain and Joy of Life

 

Jeff's new book invites you to discover a deep YES to your life, no matter what you are going through; to see crisis as an opportunity to heal, pain as an intelligent messenger, and your imperfections as perfectly placed.

 

 

Available from Non-Duality Press  in paperback and e-book formats.

 

"From time to time, a new voice comes onto the scene - unfortunately for all of us not often enough - with something that is utterly alive, emerging out of the unknown, opening a portal into the ever deepening mysteries of love. Jeff Foster is one of these voices....  I whole-heartedly recommend this lovely new book of poetry and prose..."

- Matt Licata Ph.D., from the Foreword

 

" If you have had enough of the usual spiritual claptrap coming through as
"nonduality" and are ready for honest and brutal truth; that truth which will at first piss you off, yet will in fact set you free, this book is for you. It's beauty is in its gorgeous yet utterly radical expression... Highly recommended."
- Charlie Hayes, author of

From I Am to I Am With Love

  


 

 


 

 

 
 
The Deepest Acceptance:
Radical Awakening in Ordinary Life 
  
 
  
Available f rom Amazon
   
 "Wise, spacious, and loving. Teachings that can free the heart."

- Jack Kornfield, author of A Lamp in the Darkness and A Path With Heart


 

"A beautifully written guide to the fearlessness and simplicity of living fully immersed in each moment of our lives."

- Judith Blackstone, PhD, author of Belonging Here and The Intimate Life


 

"The Deepest Acceptance is a multi-faceted spiritual gem... A timeless classic through which numberless people will connect with the source of ultimate fulfillment."

- Peter Fenner, PhD, author of Radiant Mind and The Edge of Certainty


 


 


 


 


We support...

 
The Contented Dementia Trust is an independent charitable organisation with an innovative approach to the care of people with dementia.







  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to donate...

 

If you have been appreciating these free newsletters, articles, websites, podcasts, videos, images and essays from Jeff over the past few years, and would like to contribute to them, you can now make a  donation to us. Life Without A Centre would be nothing without your continued support. Please use the button below and enter any amount, if you are so moved. 
Thank you so much!   
              Donate by Paypal