Jeff Foster     7 posts


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Jeff Foster

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Heaven is this moment.
Hell is the burning desire
for this moment to be different.
It’s that simple.

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Breaking out of the known can be terrifying, and you may lose what you thought was yours, and your trusted images of yourself may melt in the fire of newness, and you may face fear and trembling, uncertainty and doubt, rejection and even ridicule. You may have to learn the hard way to open yourself up to more pain and life may become more uncomfortable than ever... that is, until you fall in love with the deep comfort of insecurity, and the security of living a life worth living

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Friend, even if you cannot picture your future, do not despair.
All dreams of the future are already in the past.
Your true future is already taking care of itself.
The present moment is your home, never coming, never going.
It can be trusted, so breathe it in.

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When we stop distracting ourselves, and courageously dive into the heart of any feeling, positive or negative, right or wrong, we rediscover the vast ocean of who we are. Every feeling is made of unspeakable intelligence.

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There is nothing wrong. Sadness is not wrong. Fear is not wrong. Confusion is not wrong. Our pain is not wrong. Resisting our pain is what makes everything seem wrong. And yet here is a deeper truth, for those who are open: even our resistance of pain is not wrong. If that’s what’s happening, it cannot be wrong. It is a valid expression of life in the moment. Beyond ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. This love even embraces resistance. This Now is vast, and forgiving. Yet even ‘resistance’ is just another concept. Another judgement. Another way to make ourselves wrong. “Resistance bad. Acceptance good.” That’s what we learn. It’s not that we “resist” our pain. We just never learned how to be with it. How to sit with it. Stay with it. Have a cup of tea with it. See it as a beloved friend, at home in the vastness. Our ignorance is our innocence. We just never learned. Our pain is not wrong. It is an invitation. An ancient teaching. Universal. Free. Life invites us to come closer… Falling through imagined layers… Into great mystery…

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My greatest spiritual guru has always been discomfort. Just sitting with pain or discomfort, without trying to escape in any way, without expectation, without a goal in mind, without seeking anything - that's the juicy place, the place of creative transformation, the place where mud turns to gold. For many years, I would just sit with grief, frustration, anger, fear, pain, just resting in that bubbling, burning mess for hours and hours, without trying to escape or fix my experience, without hope, without a dream... until peace was discovered even in the midst of that storm, the unshakeable, non-conceptual, ever-present peace that I am, and have always been. Instead of trying to escape discomfort, we let discomfort reveal its deeper secrets.

We sit with discomfort and watch all boundaries between 'me' and 'discomfort' melt away, until it is no longer 'me sitting with my discomfort' at all, and never was. We sit with frustration in the place where it has not yet coagulated into 'I am frustrated'. We sit with fear prior to the resurrection of the image 'I am the one who is afraid'. We sit with anger before the birth of our identity as 'the angry one'. We know ourselves as the vast open space, the boundless and identity-less ocean that welcomes all of these waves as its beloved children, returned home at last, home at last.

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I was talking to a friend who mentioned that she often felt worthless, a failure, a waste of space. I pointed her to a place where she could finally see that there was infinite worth in feeling worthless, that even worthlessness had a rightful place in her, that as a child of consciousness, as a wave in the ocean of life, it was worth something, and that she was vast enough to contain ALL waves - worthiness, worthlessness, and the rest.

Why should she limit herself to just feeling one thing all the time? Why should she be 'the worthy one' and nothing else? Was she really so contained, so small, so bounded, so limited? Was she not, in fact, the wide open space of consciousness itself, the no-thing that holds everything, making space for all of life?

Worthlessness was her guru, waking her up from her trance of worth, shattering her limited, one-sided image of herself, enlightening her to the true indefinable vastness that she was. The true worth she had always sought was actually hidden there at the very heart of her most intense feelings of worthlessness. They just needed to be faced, met, embraced, that's all. They were simply lost children, looking for a home in her, having been denied entry time and time again up until now.

Standing in the midst of worthlessness, we discovered that we were truly worthy of it. Our feelings of unworthiness have so much worth, and there we truly meet, in intimacy. How ingenious that worth would hide inside worthlessness - the last place we'd ever think to look. This play of apparent opposites is stunning.

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