Greetings from Jonathan Foust: The Ten Perfections... The Still, Small Voice Within... Fresh Photos... and More



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The Potomac River has been in flood stage for over a month.

  It's a muddy vortex of whirlpools, floating trees and unrelenting current. Ducks, geese, mergansers and cormorants have left for calmer waters. Due to the morning gloom I've missed the seasonal images of pollen-laden air backlit by the sunrise.

Nature is, if nothing else, an improvisor.

The flowers are heavy with color, the green of things is as green as it ever could be and the frogs, peepers and snakes look happy as the bogs have expanded their territory. The other day on a hike a monster snapping turtle saw us, turned with surprising speed, and slid back into the muck.    

The Ten Perfections

  I'm exploring a set of classic teachings I've not payed a lot of attention to before: "The Ten Perfections." If there ever was a list that looked like it was customized for ruthless self-judgement and a feeling of eternally falling short, it would be this one.

Perfection? What does that even mean?

I've come to see how when you cultivate these qualities they shine like the polished facets of a gem. Rather than the 'thou shalt not' perspective, you can view these as descriptions of a fully integrated and thriving life.

Here's the list: * Generosity and Giving of Oneself

* Morality and Life-Supporting Conduct

* Renunciation and Letting Go of What is Not Needed

* Wisdom and Insight

* Energy and Vigor

* Patience and Tolerance

* Honesty and Truthfulness

* Determination and Resolution

* Loving Kindness and Empathy

* Equanimity and Serenity   Swami Kripalu spoke about how inter-related these observances can be. Like a string of beads, if you pick up one bead, the others naturally follow. When you look at these more closely, you can see how interdependent they are.

If you cultivate generosity, you'll naturally find your conduct toward yourself and others more life-affirming.

If you let go of what's not truly needed, you'll naturally be less distracted and see more clearly into the nature of reality.

If you'd like to catch any of these talks, here's what I've got so far on both my podcast and on youtube:

1. How to Cultivate a More Generous Heart

2. How to Align Your Actions with Your Goals

3. How to Let Go of What's Not Aligned with Your Heart

4. How to Cultivate Wisdom and Insight      

Tuning in to the Still, Small Voice Within

  When someone tells me their relationship is ending I can't help but ask "When did you know it wasn't going to work out?"

I'm no longer surprised when people say, "I had a feeling at the beginning."

How many times have you ignored your sense of what is best for you? How many times have you agonized over a decision, torn by all your options and the opinionated voices in your head? How many times have you wondered what your life would look like if it was less driven by fear?

If you are interested in exploring and developing the relationship between meditation and intuition in your life, this five-day residential program in the Berkshire Mountains is a blend of inner-focused practices with being in the community of our retreat as well as the Kripalu community.

At Kripalu you'll enjoy wonderful people, amazing food and a smorgasbord of supportive activities ranging from talented hands on healers to yoga and dance classes, swimming in the lake and hiking.

This topic has been a passion of mine for decades. I always look forward to this retreat and love sharing the discoveries and insights that come from sincere, focused inquiry in a safe and supportive environment.

If this feels like a match for you, I hope you can join me in connecting your capacity to 'see clearly' with a deep dive into the most important questions in your life. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with me.

For more information and to register.



Fresh Photos From This Month

The flooded river means I was a landlubber this month.   A snapping turtle heads back to the primordial ooze.   spacer-25 The eaglet is now a juvenile and about ready to launch.   spacer-25 Tripped out fern.   spacer-25 Tripped out Persimmon flowers.   spacer-25 Tripped out Coleus.   spacer-25 Peony about to explode.   spacer-25 Exploded Peony.   spacer-25 More rain in the forecast.   spacer-25    

Video: The Still, Small Voice Within: Meditation, Focusing and Intuition Training

  Here's a short overview of The Still, Small Voice Within retreat in July.        

Latest from the Blog

How to Cultivate Wisdom and Insight


How to Let Go of What’s Not Aligned with Your Heart

How to Align Your Actions with Your Goals

The Second of the Ten Perfections


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