Greetings from Jonathan Foust: Intuition and Mindfulness, Conscious Relationships, The Still, Small Voice Within... Fresh Photos and More



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  This was a month of travel and adventure.   I spent a week in Paris with friends where we got to watch the record-breaking floods almost swamping the famous bridges on the Seine. Tara arrived later in the week after leading a retreat in London. She gave a talk at the Apollo Theater in the heart of Paris and we met with many of the local MBSR teachers.   Trains to Zurich and Grindewald, Switzerland set us up for eight days of hiking in the high alps. The heavy rains continued, but skies did break occasionally, revealing spectacular vistas and sodden, but fresh spring flowers.     welcome spacer-25 Then we were on to the Netherlands where we led a retreat for 200 folks in central Holland, days filled with silence, warmth, tears and lots of laughter.   I think it rained 18 out of 21 days, but equanimity opens us to find joy in any moment.   Here's to a great summer ahead.    

Upcoming Events

July 6:

YLM8 Evening Session Learn More

July 11:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Guest Teacher Learn More

July 18:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

July 25:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

July 30:

Conscious Relationships: Daylong Retreat with Tara Brach Learn More

August 1:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

August 7:

The Still, Small Voice Within: Meditation, Focusing and Intuition Training at Kripalu Center (5 days) Learn More    

Intuition and Mindfulness

  When people tell me their relationship is ending I can't help but ask, "When did you know it wasn't going to work?"   Quite often I hear this: "I knew in the beginning."   How can this be? What overrides our inner sense of knowing?   Your inner voice often speaks in a whisper, not as a shout. To hear this ‘still, small voice within’ you need to quiet the mind and the forces of doubt and judgement.   Meditation can help. Over time you develop your capacity to observe without judgement and you begin to see more intimately into the internal mechanisms that shut off your intuition.   In addition to quieting the mind, it's helpful to formulate questions that call the voice of intuition forward.   The mind responds to questions, whether we like it or not.   As Tony Robbins says, 'We ask ourselves questions all the time and the question is usually, "Why does this crap always happen to me?'"   Fortunately, we have some control over these questions.   What are you most excited about in your life?   What do you love?   What is calling your forward?   In August (the best time to be in the Berkshires), I'll be leading a five-day retreat dedicated to calming the mind and turning attention to the questions most important to you.   Follow this link for more information and to register for The Still Small Voice Within: Meditation, Focusing and Intuition Training.   still-small-voice copy spacer-25    

Fresh Photos

  A few visual highlights:   The banks of the Seine were dramatically challenged with record-setting rains.   1a spacer-25 We stayed in the Marais arrondissement, the old Jewish ghetto and home to LBTQ communities and progressive happenings. Heading back to our apartment one day, we stumbled into a street carnival celebrating diversity.   2a spacer-25 In Switzerland we slogged through mud and mist and enjoyed the contrast to Paris. The pipe and water trough in this image are made of wood.   3a spacer-25 Grindewald, Switzerland. At the base of a glacier.   4a spacer-25 At the top of Jungfrau, the set of numerous James Bond movies, the highest point in Europe. We blew off the touristy stuff and hiked two hours out on the glacier to the Mönchsjoch hut. We were so giddy we overlooked the fact we had no sunblock and both got badly burned.   5a spacer-25 Waiting for hobbits in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. 27 waterfalls line this valley. When the clouds clear, base jumpers and paragliders leap off the edges.   6a spacer-25 Tara hiking on Schynige Platte with a storm sweeping in.   7a spacer-25 Mürren, Switzerland, right at the base of the high peaks.   8a spacer-25 Trams and cog railroads get you up the highest elevations. In this case we hiked up and caught a tram back. Looking down on Mürren.   9a spacer-25 Tara and I led a retreat in central Holland. The kindest, most sincere people imaginable.   10a spacer-25 Upon returning back home I got a lovely escort down to the river from the locals.   11a spacer-25   Geek Alert: As an experiment I did all photography on my iPhone 6s+ and mostly used an 18mm lens from Moment lenses. Except for time-lapse images, which were shot with the native iOS app, I did all stills and video with the ProCamera app at a 16:9 aspect ratio and in their highest allowable resolution, an uncompressed TIFF setting. In many cases, I used the native HDR setting. Post-processing was done on the iPhone with Snapseed and the native iOS app.    

Video: 1 Bag and 21 Days in Europe: Jonathan's Packing List

  I put together this short video showing everything I packed for 21 days on the road in preparation for semi-formal city explorations, trekking through rain, mud and snow in the Alps and leading a meditation retreat.   All in one slightly-than smaller-carryon. (PS: It worked!)   Watch the Video and Check Out the Packing List.      

Conscious Relationships

  Years ago I told the resident guru I wanted to go to a long, intensive retreat that promised all kinds of spiritual insights and skills.   He listened and responded: "You can go into a cave and learn all kinds of techniques and cultivate special powers. But what happens if you leave your cave, someone insults you and you get upset? Perhaps it's also helpful to learn to live in the world and be skillful in your relationships."   A good point. I’ve found that I benefit from both times of retreat as well as times of looking closely at how I can bring more wisdom and compassion into how I relate to others.   For a few years now Tara and I have been offering retreats on how to use relationships as a vehicle for awakening.   Intimacy with others can be the ground for experiencing full aliveness and sacred communion. Yet as so many have experienced, our relationships are also often the source of insecurity, hurt and betrayal.   During this daylong workshop we will explore the beliefs and feelings that separate us from each other and the meditative practices that enable us to cultivate genuine bonds of trust, understanding, intimacy and love.   You are welcome to come on your own, or with a partner. Our time together will include short dharma talks, silent meditation, mindful movement, reflective inquiry and dyadic exercises.   To learn more and to register: Click Here    

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Greetings from Jonathan Foust: The Key Elements to Practice, The Still, Small Voice Within... Fresh Photos and More


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