Greetings from Jonathan Foust: One Observation / One Restraint, Upcoming Events... Meditation on Letting Be and More



To receive a monthly newsletter,
please signup here.

  This month Tara and I spent much of the month on a working sabbatical at the ancestral Brach home on Cape Cod.

Tara is working on a book proposal. I was grinding on some writing projects and taking a deep dive into photography projects.

Unstructured space has advantages and disadvantages. I love being able to wake up naturally and spontaneously go for walks and swim when it "feels right."

I struggled, though, when it came time to strap myself in for serious writing. You may be familiar with the term, 'monkey mind', which describes the essential scattered quality of the mind. I had monkey mind on caffeine. With all excuses removed, I had to churn and burn in the creative process.

I finally hit my stride and got more comfortable locking myself in for the grunt work but making sure I had time to play. I realized eventually it all comes down to balance, as in all things. Not too tight, not too loose.

I'm excited about the creative process and what is coming forth.

I hope your life is both in balance and in full expression.    

Upcoming Events

October 3:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

October 8:

YLM8 Daylong Retreat Learn More

October 10:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

October 12:

YLM8 Evening Session Learn More

October 17:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

October 24:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

October 29:

Daylong Retreat Learn More

October 31:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

November 4:

IMCW Fall Retreat (7 days) Learn More    

One Observation / One Restraint

  It’s time to cycle off coffee again.

I’m hooked. It’s among the first things I think of when I wake up. I look forward to the upsurge in clarity and pay a price for it later in the day. I don’t like being that dependent on a substance.

To counter balance something I want to let go of, I’ve got something I want to do. I have rehab exercises for some damage I did to my foot I know they are good for me. But I never seem to get to them. I’m perpetually feeling guilty about that.

It’s perfect timing for One Observation / One Restraint!

If you're looking to reboot, kickstart a new habit or make a change, this is a great practice. Perhaps you’d like to join me this month.

The rules for One Observation / One Restraint are simple: 1. Choose one activity you intend to do every day for thirty days.

2. Choose one activity you intend to refrain from every day for thirty days.

3. Get a calendar and mark each day you complete. Your goal is to keep the visual chain going.

Fall is a perfect time to refresh your focus. If you’d like to join me, you can listen to the Podcast here, and you can download a Handout here and a Calendar here.

Here’s what I’m committing to: My observation: 20 minutes of these rehab exercises each day. My restraint: No coffee. Tea is OK, but no java for 30 days.

Some additional tips:

1. Keep it simple. One observation / One restraint

2. Try the Seinfeld Method. Put a calendar in a visible location and mark each day when you complete it. You keep the visual chain going. (Link to a calendar below.)

3. Get a practice partner. Very important! You’ll have ups and downs and you’ll receive incalculable benefits from someone there who is not only your cheerleader, but holds you accountable.

I will be offering a talk at the beginning of the month on my podcast (link) if you’d like some inspiration. And if you’re coming to Monday night at UUCA, we’ll have some support groups after class.

What’s one thing you could commit to this month?

What’s one thing from which you’d benefit from restraint?

Blogpost here. Podcast here. Handout here. Calendar here.


Fresh Photos

  Water. Heat. Bugs.   Sometimes sunsets are drab, sometimes they are like this.   1a spacer-25 "They are not sunsets," my uncle used to say. "They are ‘earth-turns.’"   2a spacer-25 Cormorants stop by on migration.   3a spacer-25 A full moon set.   4a spacer-25 The next day. A super-low tide.   5a spacer-25 An untouched photo with real-life color.   6a spacer-25 The Zen of sunset.   7a spacer-25    

Video: Meditation on Letting Be

  I’ve been sittin’ on the dock on the bay.   OK, not a dock, but on the bay.   I love the feeling of sitting under a big sky with an uninterrupted horizon. When perception gets so big, a natural sense of effortlessness arises.   I put together a little meditation with some video clips you might enjoy. This is a meditation that emphasizes your capacity to let it be.        

Events with Jonathan and the Insight Meditation Community of Washington

I’ve got a few daylong retreats coming up in the near future.

A Meditative Journey: Dynamic Meditation

Saturday, October 29 Bethesda, MD

Created in 1970 by the teacher, Osho, Dynamic Meditation is a powerful method of releasing deep-seated tensions and cultivating a state prime for meditation. I offer a variation of the technique consisting of five phases: Phase 1: Energetic movement Phase 2: Free flow movement Phase 3: Chanting Phase 4: Sitting meditation Phase 5: Deep relaxation   Dynamic Meditation is safe, fun and deeply engaging. No prior experience in yoga or meditation required. The afternoon session is more classical, with both seated and lying down meditations.     Click the Banner to Learn More   meditativejourney-foust spacer-25    

The Inquiry Intensive: Exploring the Questions that Can Transform Your Life

Saturday, December 3 Bethesda, MD   "What is the most important question in your life right now? Discover that, and your journey begins."   The right questions can help you change your perspective, make important decisions and solve problems and most importantly, point your attention toward your true nature.     Click the Banner to Learn More   inquiryintensive-foust spacer-25      

Latest from the Blog

Generosity as a Path to Liberation

The Stirring

Everything Changes

Hunting Time


Grounded Women, with Lise Metzger

  Right livelihood is when what you do aligns with your core values.   Lise Metzger has a passion for photography, writing and agriculture. She does beautiful profiles of ‘grounded women’ who feel called to the farming lifestyle.   I highly recommend you check out her images and prose.      

To receive a monthly newsletter,
please signup here.

      iTunes podcast here, online listening here, stitcher here, and Jonathan’s YouTube channel here.