Sunday, June 2, 2013

Frolicking at the Wake Up Festival with my friend Jeff Foster



Friends, I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at this year’s Wake Up Festival, which will take place in August in the lovely Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I’m really happy to let you know that my dear friend Jeff Foster will be here frolicking in the mountains with me, whipping around in a golf cart, drinking lots of good tea, listening to Kate Bush, and discussing all sorts of fascinating and terribly important ideas and topics. And… he’ll also be teaching a pre-Festival intensive, daily breakout sessions, as well as a morning keynote – details below. As many of you know, I am a big supporter of Jeff's work, his passion, his love, his heart, and his care, and have witnessed firsthand (more than once) the sweetness and the power of the change and transformation he can invite into a person's life. Additionally, I consider Jeff a true and dear brother, one of my closest and most beloved friends.
 
Last year, the Festival ended up being a vibrant, alive, transformative experience for many of you, with a really unique transmission of love and awakening. There is really no telling what will happen this year. Come fall into the love-world with us. 

Hope to see you soon! Matt Licata, co-organizer, The Wake Up Festival


The Deepest Acceptance: Discovering an Effortless “YES” to Life

Is it possible to find an effortless “yes” to this moment, no matter how challenging our lives become? How do we stop running away from “the mess of life”—our pain, our predicaments, our frustrations, our failures, even our longing for freedom and enlightenment—and start flowing with all of it?   Can we stop trying to ‘figure it all out’ and simply rest in the mystery of this sacred moment?

This workshop with Sounds True author and teacher Jeff Foster offers us a simple way to say YES. Through in-depth talks, intimate dialogues, silence and guided meditations, Jeff invites us to take a fresh look at our present experience and discover the ocean of who we really are: a non-dual awareness that has already allowed every wave of thought and emotion to arrive. “Just as the ocean ‘accepts’ every wave,” teaches Jeff, “so too has our awareness already allowed and accepted what is here.” Jeff talks of deep acceptance not as a passive surrender, but as an intelligent and creative emerging into life just as it is. And it is not something that happens “one day”, or only happens to special people – it is always happening, if we know where and how to look.

Recognizing ourselves as the ocean of deep acceptance radically transforms and simplifies the way we see the world – our relationships, how we communicate, our attitude towards physical pain and depression, how we deal with addictions, and our search for spiritual enlightenment. Candid, thoughtful, humorous—and deeply compassionate toward those searching for a way out of suffering—Jeff inspires us to stop trying to “do” acceptance…and start falling in love with “what has already been allowed.” His simple, accessible and direct teachings point us back to who we really are in this moment – already perfect, whole, and free.

Jeff’s morning keynote – August 17

Spiritual Awakening: The Pain and the Joy of Radically Opening to Life

In this keynote presentation, Jeff will guide us lovingly towards the home we never left.

Waking up doesn’t mean simply believing that you have ‘no self’, and detaching yourself from the relative realities of life – hunger, pain, bliss, loss – or losing compassion for others in their pain and struggle. It means rediscovering yourself as the unlimited, unidentified vastness in which every thought, sensation and feeling, no matter how uncomfortable or intense, has a home. You are no longer numb to life. You are life itself. You are committed to fearlessly meeting whatever arises.

Here is life’s grand invitation: What happens when, instead of trying to escape our discomfort and become awakened, we let our discomfort reveal its deeper secrets? What happens when we sit together, just for a moment, with our pain, without trying to escape it, without expectations, without a goal, without even the hope of becoming awakened? That’s a juicy place, a place of creative transformation, the place where mud turns to gold. It’s a place of deep and natural rest.

Many teachers have spoken of awakening as a process or a goal. Some have spoken of it as an event or shift that happens one day when you least expect it. And some say there is only the present moment and nothing else. Jeff shows us the truth in all of these perspectives, and then points us beyond all these relative ideas about awakening, to the unspeakable mystery of life itself, the mystery that YOU are.

Jeff’s daily Break-Out Workshops – August 15-17

Enlightening Your Shadow: Are there “Blocks” to Awakening?

In this workshop, Jeff invites you to meet those dark and scary parts of yourself, those difficult thoughts and feelings that seem to be a ‘block’ to your awakening, but actually just want to be met with love and understanding. He shows us how nothing can really ‘block’ our awakening – everything is food for it! Nothing in our experience is inherently negative, dark, evil or dangerous – we simply have forgotten how to fearlessly meet life, how to shine light on all aspects of it. Through talks, dialogue, silence, and guided meditations, Jeff invites us to turn towards our present experience, to stay close to ourselves.We are invited to open up to a radical possibility – that nothing in our present experience needs to be resolved or solved; that we don’t need to fix ourselves or be fixed; that our questions can be allowed to just be questions; that our uncertainty doesn’t need to be transformed into certainty;  that our doubts can just be doubts.

Jeff invites us to discover once again the ocean of who we are, that vast open space of consciousness, that wide and unlimited capacity of awareness, and how all the thoughts, sensations, sounds, feelings, smells, colors, images that arise, are already deeply welcome. Consciousness is inseparable from all that arises ‘in’ consciousness, and that is the very definition of love. Every thought, every sensation, every possible feeling – they are all children of yourself. They are all your family, and long to be acknowledged.We invite our lost children to crawl out of the shadows…



3 comments:

  1. Asked for work scholarship before the cut-off time but didn't get a reply. Saw you in Boulder. You said apply again and I was then told it was after the cut-off time to apply. Oh well, so it goes. Rock out with Jeff! His clear message and love lead to it all being enough...even not getting a work scholarship to the Wake-Up Festival. Maybe next year.

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    1. aw, gale i am so sorry to hear this :( i haven't been involved in our work-study program and have not been looped into how it's all flowing. but i'm really sorry to hear it did not work out, and that you received confusing info. i'd really like to help ensure that you get a spot for next year! lots of love...

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  2. Thanks Matt, things happen in this imperfect but perfect world. So glad I got to meet you through Jeff.

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