Dates: Saturday June 6th AND Sunday June 7th 2015
Times: 10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. both days
AT THE DOOR: £70 each day / £130 for the weekend
IN ADVANCE (via BrownPaperTickets): £63 each day / £115 for the weekend
You may attend one meeting or both. The Sunday meeting will build on the content of the Saturday meeting.
Nearest Tube station: Baron's Court.
Please bring your own lunch; otherwise there are cafes and restaurants in the near vicinity.
This will be weekend of talks, taboo-breaking meditative dialogues and restful silences; a day of laughter, honesty and tears; a day of seeing our struggles, our fears, our sufferings in a fresh new light; a day of resting deeply, of letting go of the exhausting search for 'something more'. A day of being present with whatever arises in ourselves and each other.
Whether you are struggling with your life and are looking for peace and space amidst the chaos, or you are a healer or therapist interested in meeting your clients in a new way, these meetings are for you.
"Presence: The Ultimate Medicine"
When, just for a moment, we make the radical commitment of not trying to fix ourselves and each other, we may just discover that we were never broken, and that everything 'wrong' with us is absolutely 'right' from the perspective of the Universe. Our greatest pain may turn out to be our greatest teacher, our doubts our greatest gurus, our sorrow our most trustworthy friend.
There is such a tendency in our culture to avoid pain, sorrow, frustration and fear, distract ourselves from these very natural energies, label them as 'wrong' or 'bad' or 'negative' or 'unspiritual', meditate or medicate them away. Sometimes even trying to 'fix', 'accept' or 'heal' something within ourselves can be a subtle form of resistance!
Much of Western medicine is geared towards the removal of symptoms, the calming of disruption, the numbing of chaos and the journey towards 'normality'. But sometimes we no longer have any interest in 'returning to normal'! The 'normal' was the problem, not the solution! Sometimes powerful energies just want to move in us. Sometimes hearts just want to break wide open to make more room for love. Sometimes dreams need to die, plans need to crumble, doubt needs to rage. Sometimes all our ideas about life, 'spirituality' and even 'enlightenment' need to shatter.
When we turn towards the present moment, however powerfully the storm rages, with a spirit of curiosity, gentleness and honesty, we may just discover unexpected gifts. When we get out of the way, perhaps true healing (the remembering of wholeness) can happen.
"Just to sit, without expectation, with our pain, our grief or fear or loneliness or despair, without trying to 'fix' the present moment in any way . this is how we begin to heal ourselves and each other through love, which is awareness. Beyond our roles, unprotected, unresolved, undefended, we truly meet."
- Jeff Foster
"Mindfulness, Presence and Heartbreak on the Courageous Path of Spiritual Awakening"
How can we rest deeply, even in the midst of pain? How can we find our courageous ground, even as our hearts break open and our illusions turn to dust?
How can we stop running away from our depression, our grief, our exhaustion, our failures, and start embracing ourselves exactly as we are?
How can we trust more fully, love more deeply, and stay present, mindful and truthful even in the midst of the mess, bliss and confusion of intimate human relationship?
How can we end the search for 'spiritual enlightenment' once and for all?
What is meditation, in the deepest sense?
Sometimes it's okay to feel broken! Your sadness, your longing, your frustration, your loneliness, your fear, your anxiety are not mistakes on this journey, for there are no mistakes. They are not obstacles on your path. The freedom you long for is not found in the eradication of these 'messy' parts of experience, but held in the intelligence they carry. You need not transcend or 'go beyond' anything, but be willing to become deeply intimate with your lived, embodied experience. The present moment is your greatest lover and friend. Your own intimate presence is what you have always sought.
Your heartbreak, your confusion, your not-having-the-answers-right-now, is not pathology, it is path; not a sign of your 'failure to awaken', but a confirmation of your exquisitely imperfect humanity. The nature of all feelings, both 'positive' and 'negative' is wisdom, but you must make a home for them within you, in order to receive their gifts. Even your profound confusion or loneliness has something to reveal to you that certainty and joy could never, ever show you.
Your life cannot go wrong, when you see that everything that happens is an invitation to awaken.
ABOUT JEFF FOSTER
Jeff Foster studied Astrophysics at Cambridge University. In his mid-twenties, after a long period of depression and illness, he became addicted to the idea of 'spiritual enlightenment' and embarked on an intensive spiritual quest for the ultimate truth of existence.
The spiritual search came crashing down with the clear recognition of the non-dual nature of everything, and the discovery of the extraordinary in the ordinary. In the clarity of this seeing, life became what it always was: intimate, open, loving and spontaneous, and Jeff was left with a deep understanding of the root illusion behind all human suffering, and a love of the present moment.
Jeff was voted #59 on Watkins Review's 2014 list of the world's 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People. Jeff has published five books in over six languages. His latest bookFalling in Love With Where You Are is now available from Non-Duality Press.
Jeff's website can be found at:
ABOUT MATT LICATA
Matt Licata, PhD is a psychotherapist in private practice in Boulder, Colorado, and editor of A Healing Space, a blog dedicated to the exploration of vulnerability, intimacy, and the tender journey of embodied spirituality in contemporary times.
Matt is author of the forthcoming It's Okay to Be Broken: Embracing the Joy and Heartbreak of Spiritual Awakening, which is being published by Sounds True in 2015. He is also author of the forthcoming The Only Way Out is Through, a book which explores the ways spiritual beliefs and practices can be used defensively in the avoidance of unresolved emotional wounding.
Matt's website can be found at: