equanimity

You are Not Your Thoughts

You are Not Your Thoughts

"You are the awareness of your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You can let your thoughts happen. Just know that the real you is the awareness."

~ RuPaul

Lucky to Live Sad Moments

Lucky to Live Sad Moments

"Sadness is poetic. You're lucky to live sad moments...Because we don't want that first bit of sad, we push it away...You never feel completely sad or completely happy. You just feel kind of satisfied with your product, and then you die." 

~ Louis C.K. 

The Beautiful Fragility

The Beautiful Fragility

Let it come closer, let it engulf you if it must.
Until there is no division between self and sadness.
Until you cannot call it sadness at all. 
Until there is only intimacy. 

~ Jeff Foster

The Myth of Permanence

The Myth of Permanence

"Contemplating impermanence can be a liberating experience, one that brings both sobriety and joy."

~ Sakyong Mipham

A Way Through

A Way Through

"The quite cynical response would be to say, Why we love nihilism in pop culture is that it saves us having to be burdened with it. It saves us from feeling it. We can enjoy it in our rooms. We can get off on it. And then we let it go and we go back to work." ~ Simon Critchley 

Sinking into the Mystery

Sinking into the Mystery

"What happens when, just for a moment, we stay with our pain, our fear, our doubt, our discomfort, our grief, our broken heart, even our numbness, without trying to change it, or fix it, or numb ourselves to it, or get rid of it in any way? What happens when, even when we feel like leaving, abandoning the moment for the promise of a future salvation, we stay, sitting with the raw, unfiltered, boundlessly alive life-energy that is simply trying to express right now?" ~ Jeff Foster

To Be Fully Alive

Double-crested Cormorants traveling over Lake Champlain, July 6, 2014

Excerpt from "The Pursuit of Happiness" by Phillip Moffitt:

Herein lies the paradox common to mystical teachings in most spiritual traditions: In order to be fully alive, you also have to die. When you cling to the past or future, believing you are holding onto something precious, you are denying what is sacred about life. Your life, with its unique pains and joys, can only be reconciled in your surrender to the truth of your experiences as they arise one moment after another, never fixed, always moving. A beautiful sunrise, a baby's smile, a broken heart, cancer, the loss of love; open fully to the experiences of your life in all their mysterious manifestations. Meet each of these moments with compassion, loving-kindness, and your very best response. Then let loose of each in turn, for however beguiling in their beauty or their horror, they are truly only life dancing."

Read the entire essay...

Both the Protagonist and the Antagonist

Doris Payne lived large. She traveled abroad. She stayed in luxury hotels. She hung out with interesting characters. But she funded all her adventures by fencing the diamonds she lifted from high-end jewelers around the world. She was a remarkably successful thief with an impressive criminal career that spanned decades. But time, age, and technology finally caught up with her in recent years.   

Let Me Die Living

A Prayer for the Living

by Jeff Foster

Life, 

Break in me whatever needs to be broken.

Fix my hope of ever being fixed. 

Use me. Draw every ounce of creativity out of me. Help me live a radically unique life, forever forging a never-before-trodden path in the forest. 

Show me how to love more deeply than I ever thought possible. 

Whatever I am still turning away from, keep shoving in my face.

Whatever I am still at war with, help me soften towards, relax into, fully embrace. 

Where my heart is still closed, show me a way to open it without violence.

Where I am still holding on, help me let go. 

Give me challenges and struggles and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, if that will bring an even deeper humility and trust in the intelligence of life.

Help me laugh at my own seriousness.

Allow me to find the humour in the dark places.

Show me a profound sense of rest in the midst of the storm.

Don't spare me from the truth. Ever. 

Let gratitude be my guide. 

Let forgiveness be my mantra.

Let this moment be a constant companion. 

Let me see your face in every face. 

Let me feel your warm presence in my own presence. 

Hold me when I stumble. 

Breathe me when I cannot breathe. 

Let me die living, not live dying.

Amen.

See also:

  • Life Without a Centre
  • Foster, J. (2012). The deepest acceptance: Radical awakening in ordinary life. Boulder, Colo: Sounds True. [library, Amazon.com, Sounds True]
  • Foster, J. (2013) Falling in love with where you are: A year of prose and poetry on radically opening up to the pain and joy of life by Jeff Foster [Amazon.com]

What's Worse?

What's worse, the falling rain, or your resistance to getting wet?
The changing winds, or your battle against them?
The grass as it grows, or your demand for it to grow faster?
This moment, or your rejection of it?
Consider the possibility that Life is never 'against' you.
You are Life.

~ Jeff Foster

Rain Room at the Barbican, 2012 from rAndom International on Vimeo.