September Greetings from Jonathan Foust: Awareness Isn't Angry, Late Summer Photos and More



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  welcome-a   I’m savoring these mornings on the Potomac. Later sunrise means I now launch my paddle board before the light hits the water.   I start off with a windbreaker over a wool shirt and by the time I get up-river a half mile or so and the sun breaks out I can strip down.   Leaves are turning. The geese are forming back into gangs and the herons move a little slower in the cool weather. I ordered a snow blower.   May your transition to the new season be filled with ease.   spacer-25

Awareness Isn't Angry

I had been in West Africa about four months and still sounded like a drunken three year old.   I'd studied Latin and French in high school and French in college. I had immersed myself in a three-month language immersion in the Peace Corps. I avoided other Americans and only listened to French on my radio. One month into my new position teaching phonetics at the University of Niamey, though, I still felt self-conscious speaking French.   I lived next to the Sureté Nationale, an office where travelers crossing the Sahara Desert had to check in when they came into the capitol city. I'd meet weary globetrotters and invite them to take a shower, camp out for the night and tell me stories of their adventures.   It was easy to invite folks to freely come and go as I had a spacious house and all I owned of any value were my hiking boots, a well-used typewriter and my beloved boom box which provided music and a radio.   One day I got home from teaching and the door to the house was wide open. All my things had been stolen. A few hours later two local fellows came by and offered to sell it all back to me.   The audacity of these jerks! I felt heat course through my body. My vision narrowed and and I almost became blind with rage.   It felt like a cork popped out of a champagne bottle and shaking, I launched into a abusive tirade.   I ripped into them. I swore. I spewed. All en français.   At some point in my venting I had a thought: "You're speaking the best French you've ever spoken in your life!"   I actually laughed out loud (then tried to cover it up by putting a cold stare back in my eyes).   But the jig was up. The storm of anger had passed.   There is a difference between being angry and being with your anger and that makes all the difference.   Emotions are like weather systems. Awareness, like the sky, is not angry, sad, anxious or depressed.   Mindfulness allows us to cultivate a capacity for self-awareness that can lead not only to more balance and creativity, but freedom itself.   You might enjoy these two talks from this last month:   Transforming Your Relationship with Anger   anger-image spacer-25 Transforming Your Relationship with Anxiety   anxiety-image spacer-25 I never saw my stuff again, but I got a good story out of it.    

Upcoming Events

September 3-6:

Three-day Meditation Retreat with Jonathan Foust, Tara Brach and Ruth King Learn More

September 7:

Labor Day - No Class  

September 14:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

September 21:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

September 24-27:

The Energy Intensive at Kripalu Center Learn More

September 28:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More    

Late Summer Photos

  Morning glow at sunrise.   11 spacer-25 Prehistoric moment #1.   22 spacer-25 Prehistoric moment #2.   33 spacer-25 Early morning at the Stockbridge Bowl below Kripalu Center.   44 spacer-25 A sure sign of summer ending: The bugs are winning.   55 spacer-25 Another sign of summer ending: Last gasp of the morning moths.   66 spacer-25 Sometimes I paddle, sometimes I sit and think and sometimes I just sit.   77 spacer-25

Five Breaths, Five Scenes

  This one is way cool. I happened to catch an amazing scene of the last swarm of moths on the Potomac with the rising sun behind. Enjoy!      

The Energy Intensive at Kripalu Center

September 24-27   I’m back at Kripalu Center for a long weekend for the Energy Intensive: Yoga, Meditation and Breathwork with my pal Shobhan Richard Faulds.   This is an immersion into techniques designed to raise both energy and awareness with some dramatic opportunities to let go of what’s between you and feeling free.   Shobhan and I go back to the early days of Kripalu. We’ve been offering this program for about 15 years and it’s a classic.   Way back in ‘00   shobhan spacer-25 For more information and to register:   kripalu-event-sept spacer-25  

Latest from the Blog

Five Breaths, Five Scenes: Moths on the River

A Meditation Treat

Essentials for Awakening Your Intuition

A Meditative Journey: Mindful Movement, Deep Relaxation and Sitting Meditation

Hanging with Vultures

Transforming Your Relationship with Anxiety

Summer Sky

Transforming Your Relationship with Anger

August Greetings from Jonathan Foust: Healing Racism and Discrimination, A Meditative Journey and More


How Do I Get Myself to Practice?

  A few years ago I was speaking at the end of a weeklong silent meditation retreat about transitioning from intensive practice back into the busyness of life. I’d been leading yoga throughout the week.   "I have a confession to make," I told the group. "I hate yoga."   Here’s a 90-second video on the topic:   Here's a two minute audio clip from the retreat: spacer-25


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