Happy New Year! Greetings from Jonathan Foust: Announcing the 2016 Year of Living Mindfully, Year-End Review, What You REALLY Want and More



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  Friendship There is a story from the "Buddha's life" when Ananda, his attendant and student of 25 years, came up to him with what he thought was a big insight.   "Is it not true," Ananda asked excitedly, "that spiritual friendship is half of the holy life?" The Buddha responded, "No, don't say that. Spiritual friendship is the whole of the holy life."   Associating with those who want what you want can dramatically enhance your life and your aspirations.   May you discover what you most want, cultivate wholesome companionship and may this coming year be filled with unexpected pleasures.  

The Year of Living Mindfully

  Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you could sustain attention on non-judging awareness and compassion for a year?   That's the intent behind the Year of Living Mindfully (YLM).   I've had the benefit of years of sustained practice in the company of like-minded people and YLM is all about making this possible for those living in the DC area.   You'll be supported in your daily practice through regular retreats, a monthly class, monthly small-group gatherings, a monthly 1:1 process with fellow practitioner and some individual time with me.   More than that, though, you'll be in relationship with other who want what you want.   That makes all the difference.   Applications are due in February.   Click here to read an article by Caitie Whelan, founder of The Lightning Notes and a graduate of the program.   Click here to learn more about the program and to determine whether it's a match for you in your life right now.    

Upcoming Events

January 4:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

January 11:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

January 13:

YLM7 Evening Session Learn More

January 16:

YLM7 Daylong Retreat Learn More

January 18:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

January 25:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Guest Speaker Joseph Bobrow Learn More    

Images from Last Month

  December shifts to browns and greys with the occasional magical sunrise or sunset.   Some days on the river start like this.   1a spacer-25 But mostly it's like this, with mist and overcast skies.   2a spacer-25 This big Sycamore is the favorite hangout of two mature Bald Eagles.   3a spacer-25 And here you can see their tail feathers being warmed by the first light.   4a spacer-25 A storm front rapidly closes in.   5a spacer-25 Geese head up river.   6a spacer-25 A Moment of Zen wth a Female Belted Kingfisher.   7a spacer-25  

Moving Meditation on The River

  Could you do with a five-minute guided meditation with some nice visuals and soundtrack? Please join me for a sub-freezing and foggy December morning paddle on the Potomac River.      

What Do You Want and What Are You Willing to Give Up to Get it?

  An extensive study of Harvard graduates revealed the one most important difference in success in life was to write down your goals.   It's that time of year when we inevitable ask ourselves: 1. What went well? 2. What didn't go so well? 3. What is calling me now?   Inspired by the writer James Clear, I've written my 2015 Annual Report, where I go into these questions. I find the exercise both humbling and clarifying.   If you're inspired, you can read it here.   Best wishes!   One aspiration for this coming year is to embrace even more the practice of Generosity. Here's a recent talk: Generosity as a Path to Liberation.   spacer-25

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Generosity as a Path to Liberation

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Practicing at Your Edge and Your Path to Balance


The Heart Practices: Cultivating Equanimity

December Greetings from Jonathan Foust: The Heart Practices, 5 Breaths – 5 Scenes and More!


RAIN and Self-Compassion

  You may be familiar with this acronym in mindfulness practice: RAIN.   R: Can you Recognize or Realize what is presenting? A: Can you Allow or Accept what is here? (Sometimes you can't and that's OK.) I: Can you Investigate with Kindness and be Intimate with this? N: Can you Nourish this moment with self-compassion?   If you are an aficionado of this practice, you might enjoy this link, where my wife, Tara Brach, clarifies the "N" part of the equation.   In the older version, the "N" represents ‘non-identification, but in her view, and I agree, "nourishing with self-compassion" is a practice that inevitably leads to the same result, but with greater efficacy.  

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