Tami Simon: You’re listening to Insights at the Edge. Today my guest is Jeff Foster.

Jeff teaches and shares from his own awakened experience a way out of seeking fulfillment in the future and into the acceptance of “all this, here and now.” Jeff’s teaching style is direct and uncompromising, and yet full of humanity, humor, and compassion. e !elongs to no tradition or lineage and makes his teaching accessi!le to all. "n #$%#, Jeff was &oted !y The Watkins Review to !e one of world’s %$$ most spiritually influential li&ing people. 'ith (ounds True, Jeff has written a new !ook called The Deepest Acceptance: Radical Awakening in Ordinary Life and an accompanying audio program where he in&ites listeners to disco&er to disco&er “the ocean of who we are,” an awareness that has already allowed e&ery wa&e of emotion and experience to arri&e. "n this episode of Insights at the Edge, Jeff and " spoke a!out how acceptance is actually what we are. 'e also talked a!out how to work with &ery practical concerns like our fears of financial insufficiency. )nd we talked a!out the power of meeting someone and !eing with someone who is suffering or who is in pain, and how to do this with an a!solutely open em!race. Finally, Jeff and " spoke a!out the path of awakening that he’s tra&elled through experiences of deep depression and some of the most important disco&eries he’s made. ere’s my &ery real, honest, and helpful con&ersation with Jeff Foster. "n the introduction to your new !ook, The Deepest Acceptance, you !egin, Jeff, with a really strong statement*+a, really strong, definiti&e statement, and " want to !e !egin our con&ersation there. ere’s what you write- “" teach one thing, and one thing only- a deep and fearless acceptance of whate&er comes your way.” (o to !egin with, it’s a strong statement, to write the words “" teach one thing and one thing only.” Jeff Foster: Yeah, well you know, this is a radical message really that " teach. "’d say it wasn’t for the faint.hearted, exactly. "’d say it’s a !asic pro!lem of humanity, if we could speak a!out that. "t’s that we’&e, on some le&el, we are afraid of life or we ha&e !ecome afraid of life, afraid of li&ing. You know we spend so much of our time, it seems, turning away from life, turning away from oursel&es/ turning away from pain, turning away from fear, turning away from sadness, turning away from dou!t. )nd "’d say that if " had to summari0e e&erything that " ha&e to teach it’s, stop. (top turning away. )nd stay with life and turn towards life if you can. Face what is actually here. "n the end, come to know 1

it as yourself. "t so often feels that life is somehow against us, you know1 2r that life is doing something to us, or that life is going wrong, or that life is not going our way. 3y in&itation is- stop and look at what is actually here. 4ome out of your story of your life*life is this, life is that, or this is going wrong, or that’s going wrong, this will happen, that will happen. Just gently return to what is actually here. " talk a!out the constant in&itation of life. " see life as a constant in&itation to simply return home, in a sense, to return to what’s actually in front of you*!ecause that’s really all you’re e&er dealing with, although it can often seem like it’s so much more. Just face what’s here. TS: 5ow this idea of facing what’s here, a deep and fearless acceptance of whate&er comes your way* !ut you know, o!&iously, there are some really difficult things that come people’s way. )nd so as you’re talking, "’m imagining some of those really difficult things and some!ody who says, “You know, how do " really accept and fearlessly turn towards the grief that " ha&e from something like losing a child*or something that 6ust seems un!eara!le1” JF: That’s so true. You know sometimes life can get really, really challenging, and you know, we are faced with these wa&es. " talk in the !ook a lot a!out the wa&es in the ocean of you. "f you see yourself as this &ast ocean, all these wa&es are always appearing*thoughts, sensations, feelings*these are all the wa&es appearing in you. )s you said, a!solutely, oftentimes the wa&es can get really intense. These are !ig wa&es- wa&es of fear, wa&es of grief, wa&es of sadness, wa&es of fear, wa&es of dou!t, and wa&es of 6oy, wa&es of !liss. " mean it’s all allowed in you. You know, it’s all essentially, what you are is the space for all of that. 7ut as you said, sometimes these wa&es can get so intense and the truth is, we often don’t know what to do with them. 8espite e&erything that we’&e learned and our spiritual e&olution, all the experiences that we’&e had and all the insights that we’&e had, all the awakenings that we’&e had, still, sometimes these wa&es appear in &ery intense wa&es of grief, as you said. TS: 2r like a tsunami, let’s say. JF: 9ike a tsunami, yes.

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!ecause really. or anger is !ad. this will crush me. how to !e with grief. 5o one is immune from these tsunamis. a great place to start is actually 6ust to !e totally honest a!out this. )nd it happens to the !est of us. this tsunami of grief. and in this moment. "t can !e a &ery !eautiful place to start. (o we spend so much of our time running away from these feelings. of fear. 3 . not to feel so much of this stuff. no one has e&er shown us how to sit with grief.ather than going into the whole story of “" don’t know what to do with it.” *and to !egin there. not try to fix us or change us or to get us to not feel that or to get us to try to feel something different1 "t seems to me that we’&e really forgotten.” 2ften " say that we’re told a lot a!out resistance/ a lot of these spiritual teachings talk a!out resistance and how we’re always resisting the moment and we should stop resisting the moment.” JF: Yes. "t’s not that we’re resisting it. That’s part of the in&itation. 'e’re taught that sadness is !ad. from when we’re &ery young. in a sense. whose e&er held our hand in the midst of our grief. in the midst of our pain. . in the moment. to admit that with total humility*“)ctually. and that we should stop. “" do not know how to face this. 5o one is acti&ely resisting their grief. "t’s pro!a!ly more true to say that we 6ust don’t know how to !e with our grief.TS: (omeone’s experiencing something like that. or fear is !ad. 5ot some wa&e !ut something that seems like “2h my :od. that we resist our pain. why can’t " deal with it1” )nd “"t’s going to o&erwhelm me*” and you know. " don’t know how to !e with this. how to !e with it. we resist our fear.” and “'hat’s wrong with me. how to !e with these giant wa&es. )nd as " said that can !e a !eautiful place to start. " don’t know what to do with it. <ossi!ly !ecause. 'e’re taught. "t’s more like we don’t know how to sit with it. This tsunami is appearing. To actually come !ack to the truth of the moment*which could !e. or may!e we ne&er knew. yes. in the midst of our dou!t1 'ho has e&er 6ust sat with us and held our hand and for a moment. "t happens to the most supposedly awakened and enlightened people. all the stories that we tell. it could !e. who has e&er shown us. though*you know.6ust to admit your innocence. )nd we don’t know how to !e with our fear. " think what " would say is that " think it’s pro!a!ly more true to say that no one’s acti&ely resisting their fear.

this wa&e will destroy me. This is what " say in the !ook. "t would destroy me.” and they say. )nd certainly o&er the past fi&e. They say. which is “the deepest acceptance. They’re trying to say yes to the moment. You know " often say. " fear that it would stick. The fear of !eing destroyed !y this wa&e. " don’t think we’re so much afraid of death. when the wa&es are nice and gentle. " will !ecome something +else. “"’ll ne&er stop crying if " start crying. “"f " really let myself feel this thing. " mean we’re really getting into some primal fears here.” !ecause that’s always the =uestion. "t 6ust seems there’s too much intensity there. whate&er it might !e*whether it’s fear or whate&er*!ecause of this intensity. if it was unrestrained. 4 .” (o what would you say to that person who has a fear of the intensity1 JF: That’s so true. in the moment. “Jeff. !ecause as you say. when it’s a lo&ely sunny day in the ocean and the wa&es are nice and gentle. our own ina!ility to accept it*our own ina!ility. 'e’re afraid of the intensity of life. This wa&e. 'e feel una!le to allow. that this wa&e will annihilate me. if " truly allow this. There’s so many people out there that " meet who are trying to accept this moment. we 6ust feel una!le to accept. you know. " think we’re actually afraid of life. how can " accept1” 'hen things are going your way. it seems easy to accept the present moment. " don’t know how to !e with this o&erwhelming something. it will 6ust o&ertake me. There’s so many fears around it. "t would ne&er go away. (o this is really where we get to the core message of my !ook. !ut !ecause of the fear and the intensity in that moment. a sense of ina!ility to face it. " hear that so often.. when the wa&es !ecome intense and the tsunamis arise. There’s a lot of trying that happens/ we try to accept the tsunami.TS: 5ow. in this moment. +7ut. six years as "’&e !een tra&eling around the world speaking to people and really going into this with them. it can get so intense. (o then we’re faced with the tsunami and. if this grief is let loose.“'ell. the =uestion is “'ell yeah. “You know. what would you say to the person who says. if " 6ust stop for a moment running away from it.” (ometimes " hear from people. " don’t think anyone is really afraid of death. "’ll start crying. !ut how to accept this1” (o we try to accept these tsunamis. "’m afraid if " really 6ust allow this grief for 6ust one moment. our failure to accept it. (o then that !ecomes the truth of the moment is that there’s this giant tsunami and there’s.

who " am. " talk a!out acceptance not as something we d !what " say in the !ook is actually acceptance is who we are. "t’s not !eing here. )cceptance is another name for who you are. and that’s what " call the ocean. That’s your true nature. That’s not actually a sign of your failure. e&erything we’re told. it’s !eing where we are. (o if you’&e e&er meditated*may!e this is a way of talking a!out it in the most simple way. 'ho you truly are. You’re !uilt as acceptance. "t’s always present. who " am can’t !e thoughts. JF: That’s so true. There’s a much deeper truth contained there. and sensations coming and going. that fact that you feel una!le to accept this moment. and you start to reali0e that actually. "t can’t come and go. "f you’&e e&er meditated.'hat " say in the !ook +is. exactly. and all destructi&e !eha&ior actually emerges from that forgetting of who we are. !ecause you see a lot of people who don’t seem to !e particularly accepting. and it starts to dawn on you that may!e you aren’t who you thought you were !ecause if thoughts can come and go. "t can’t appear and disappear. always here. who " am can’t !e feelings. TS: 5ow can you explain that a little !it more1 "’m not sure "’m following you. that’s not a failing of yours. (o you’re sitting in meditation. "t doesn’t really matter where we are. "t’s another name for you. >&eryone has that sense. e&erything we’re taught except the fact that we exist right now. "t’s how we’re !uilt and that’s what we forget. <eace and rest and freedom and all the good stuff that we’re looking for* it’s not actually a case of doing something to get there. existing right now in this moment. There’s a sense of !eing here. may!e watching sensations come and go. it’s more a case of remem!ering how you’re actually !uilt. that acceptance is who we all are. you’re sitting there watching thoughts come and go. and all suffering and all &iolence. then they can’t truly define who you really are !ecause who you truly are in your essence can’t come and go. )cceptance is who we are. you’re noticing thoughts coming and going. in my 5 . it’s !eing where we are*where&er we are in the world. or !eing there. the ocean of awareness. 'e can dou!t e&erything. actually. is always. the ocean of consciousness. This is why " speak a!out the deepest acceptance. " think e&eryone in the world has that !asic sense of !eing here. and feelings coming and going. " would say that’s pro!a!ly the pro!lem of humanity*and all conflict.

can’t !e sensations. You could say that on a deeper le&el. “This is too much sadness.present wide open space of you. e&en when you first hear it. it means that who you are in the ocean of you is allowing that sensation. e&en this dou!t or this confusion or this pain that’s appearing right now*on a deeper le&el. is already allowing that thought. “This isn’t en "gh sadness. (o e&en if it seems. who you are as the ocean is already accepting or allowing its wa&es.” 2r a thought might e&en say. "f a wa&e is arising in you. all the wa&es of life are always appearing and disappearing. >&ery wa&e that arises in the ocean of you is in a sense already accepted. to the thought*your thought might say. this ocean of who you are*this is what " call it. or " ha&e to accept this fear.essence. 'ho you are always remains. (o acceptance is not a case of me +doing the. " ha&e to accept this pain. "t’s allowing this pain. 7ut really. who you are is accepting it. on a surface le&el. "t’s allowing this 6oy. (o you start to notice that within that ocean of who you are. "f a sensation is appearing right now in your present experience." ha&e to accept this moment. the ocean of you. this goes completely against our common sense of what we’re taught and it can seem. (o when " talk a!out acceptance. (o if a thought is appearing. it can seem e&en cra0y or confusing. we’&e used the word !efore. these sensations. who you are is allowing it. (o you start to notice that there’s something here that doesn’t come and go that’s always present.” 2r a thought might say. "t’s already allowed !ecause it’s appearing. accepting. )ll the wa&es arise and dissol&e in the ocean of you. (o these thoughts. it means on the deepest le&el. within this e&er. +than. it means on the deepest le&el that who you are in a sense has already said yes to it. "t’s allowing this feeling. Feelings come and go. perhaps. " mean in a way. who you are has already said yes to this moment exactly as it is. these feelings. This sadness has already !een welcomed into you*that’s why it’s here. !ecause thought is always comparing*!ut on a deeper le&el. Thoughts come and go. !ecause they all come and go. "’m talking a!out it is a different way. "t’s allowing this sadness. it’s not something that you !elie&e/ it’s something that you !egin to notice in your own 6 . who you are has said yes to it.the ocean of who you are. who you are as the ocean is already allowing this sadness. it seems unaccepta!le to you. to the mind. “This sadness shouldn’t !e here. (ensations come and go. !ecause it’s here. )nd in a sense.

noticing sensations.” !ecause that !ecomes so exhausting. " think that’s the core reali0ation. TS: "s it fair to say. Jeff. that that makes room from this acknowledgement of acceptance1 'hat do you think a!out that1 (hifting to !eing the ocean &ersus identifying with the wa&e. it’s not your enemy. and then noticing on a deeper le&el. 7 . noticing thoughts. "t’s a “yes” to e&ery moment. "’d say it’s the a!solute opposite.ending in&itation to remem!er this already accepted nature of present experience.” "t’s noticing on a deeper le&el that this moment has already !een accepted. that if they shift their attention to the oceanic nature of our experience. "t’s an acceptance that goes !eyond “" accept” and “" don’t accept. it’s total surrender actually to life. "t’s already !eing allowed in you. "t’s not like " ha&e to stri&e to say “yes. so it’s too late. these wa&es of experience ha&e already arri&ed. !ecause it’s disco&ering this inner !uilt. in a sense. "t’s total surrender. "t can !ecome so exhausting. (o that’s what " mean when " talk a!out the deepest acceptance.experience. it’s not your enemy. trying to accept this moment e&en when this moment !ecomes so difficult. 7ut it’s not a place of powerlessness and passi&ity. to gi&e up trying to accept. these sensations. These thoughts. on. that if sadness is arising in you. e&en if it’s &ery intense. that if some!ody find themsel&es deeply identified with some kind of &ery intense wa&e of experience that seems difficult or o&erwhelming. noticing feelings. that whate&er is arising in this moment. "t’s too late to accept them and it’s too late to fight them !ecause they’re already here. +!ut. to fight them.spot +perspecti&e. 7ur e&en that exhaustion is part of the in&itation*to notice. "n a sense. "t’s like life !ecomes this constant meditation. (o acceptance isn’t something that you do. " think. and notice that on this deeper le&el this moment has already !een allowed in. not as something that you ha&e to stri&e to do.in “yes” to life. e&en if it’s &ery intense. 5o wa&e is against the ocean. using this metaphor of the wa&es and the ocean*from a kind of practical.the. "t’s not “" accept this moment” or “" don’t accept this moment. e&en on the most !asic le&el. (o what " would say is life is 6ust this ne&er. 'e try and try and try and we try and we try and we try and we try to accept it. these feelings. "t’s like recogni0ing your total humility in the face of life. trying to accept this moment.

(o suffering is really all to do with identification. we’re too limited to take this. That’s what we’re taught. when we forget our true identity. "t’s already allowing this moment to !e. these are children to !e held. that’s it really. ) wa&e of pain. spacious ocean. There’s this sense that when we’re suffering. it could anger. rather than identifying as this small limited person. "n a sense. these wa&es. 'hat " am in this moment is the space for this fear. These are not enemies to !e destroyed. e&en if you feel personally una!le to !ear this moment. >&ery moment is this in&itation to remem!er that actually you are much &aster than you e&er imagined. you gi&e !irth to a wa&e of sadness. 'hate&er is going on in this moment. as you said. "t turns life upside down !ut we remem!er oursel&es as this &ast ocean that is allowing these wa&es to !e. You know. the ocean. That’s how it can feel. "’m gi&ing this fear !reathing room. it could fear. you know1 )s the ocean. to express itself. you gi&e !irth to a wa&e of fear. 'hen we go into the identification. 'ho you are in this moment is holding the fear. especially the people "’&e met o&er the past few years. 'hat you are as this &ast oceanic space is already holding the fear. "’m making it safe for this fear to express itself. "n a way "’m gi&ing this fear space. You’re only facing this moment of fear. " think that’s what goes to the core of so much suffering. You know. when there’s a wa&e of fear*and it could !e anything. this &ast space in which fear is appearing right now. "n a way. who you are is the space for that fear. e&en if this moment is &ery intense and full of pain and full of fear. a wa&e of sadness is not the enemy/ as the ocean. it could sadness*that’s an in&itation to remem!er who you are. or this grief is too much for me. it’s completely the opposite of e&erything we’re taught a!out oursel&es. this &ast ocean. may!e. !ut of course in reality. "t’s all a!out remem!ering your true identity as this &ast. to !e lo&ed in this moment.JF: 'ell. you could say that there’s something here that is already holding this moment. you could say it’s one of your children. that you fell una!le to take this moment. "’m making it safe for this sadness. This pain is too much for me. for this dou!t. You feel una!le to accept this moment. 'hen we 8 . or this fear is too much for me. 9ife doesn’t ask any more of you than that. it’s already em!racing this moment. For example. that somehow we’re somehow too small. this moment is ne&er really too much. "’m making it safe for this pain to express itself. a wa&e of fear is not the enemy.

"’m not going to manifest practically the way " need to. TS: 5ow Jeff. all the spiritual !ypassing stuff that we do sometimes. "’m !eyond fear. "’m 6ust not going to ha&e enough money. and it’s only in the moment. !ut that’s ok. (o. (o it’s !oth. this spiritual talk that Jeff’s gi&ing a!out remem!ering the oceanic nature of consciousness. and we don’t identity as “" am the one who is afraid. "t’s like allowing the fear to fully express itself without pushing it away. we remem!er oursel&es right now as this &ast ocean in which this wa&e of fear is allowed. how deeply em!racing we are. 'e forget how lo&ing we are. and coming !ack to the moment and deeply allowing. That’s ok.” You know. !ut ultimately. instead of remem!ering oursel&es as the &ast ocean in which fear is coming and going right now. really concern myself exactly with this fear. "’m thinking a!out some!ody who might ha&e a fear *let’s say of financial insufficiency of some kind. ultimately.” or “" am the one who is in pain. "t’s not a!out that. what a!out that1” TS: "’&e asked a =uestion that you get asked a lot. +"f. " think that’s the fundamental difference !etween remem!ering who you really are and forgetting who you really are. we forget how spacious we are. "t’s not saying “2h that fear can’t touch me. )nd this is all great. for whate&er reason.” or “" am the one who is sad. 9ike. noticing it*and at the same time as remem!ering yourself as the wide open space that’s holding that fear. 'e start to identify with that wa&e.forget how &ast we are. !ut how does that help me make money and how does that pay my !ills1 )nd what a!out this. we identify as someone who is afraid. "t’s that identification. ow would you respond to that1 JF: That’s such a common =uestion that " get. +8oing. (o the fear is allowed to mo&e in me. "t’s a!out acknowledging that the fear is here*acknowledging it. !ecause that’s all there is. this all sounds wonderful. (o we remem!er oursel&es as in this moment. " am the &ictim*” !ecause there’s always some kind of &ictim story !ehind that. " get that =uestion so often that it’s “Jeff. "’m alright with that. you know. 9 . 7ut at the same time remem!ering yourself as this &ast space. remem!ering myself as the ocean. it doesn’t define me. this is not a denial or a re6ection of the wa&e. "t’s not pushing the wa&e away. in a sense. !ut " really need to attend to this fear a!out not ha&ing enough money and kind of get it together here and mo!ili0e and if " rest in this oceanic place and +don’t.

That’s good. That could happen. “Yeah. she didn’t know. might not ha&e anywhere to li&e. "t’s interesting. " wasn’t saying that she was ne&er gonna ha&e money. (he was exhausting herself. That could happen. "’ll end up doing nothing. “'hat a!out this1 This might happen. (o what " did is. 'e sit here. what happens at the point is people go. sink into this place of mystery. stressful story. instead of trying to fix her life and come up with a solution right now*" wasn’t saying that the solution wouldn’t e&er come. " might not ha&e any money. " can roll. the !ills won’t get paid. )nd then like you said. )nd so when she came to me. she was trying to work it all out. +La"ghs. she might ha&e a house or not ha&e a house or ha&e money or not ha&e money. she hadn’t found the solutions yet. "f " sit here and 6ust for a moment. in this moment. " might !e homeless. talking. (he was trying to get all the answers right now. to admit that we don’t know yet. trying to fix the rest of our li&es. They might come. in this moment. actually*when they do 6ust come out of that complicated.” You know1 (o there’s a relati&e reality to all of that. "f " sink into life. my life will fall apart. " 6ust gently in&ited 10 .JF: +La"ghs. "n this moment. 6ust in this moment. the strange thing that " find*and lots of people that " speak to find the same thing. " 6ust in&ited her. (ometimes it can !e &ery !eautiful. she hadn’t found the answers yet.” " think that’s a &ery primal fear. !ut if " sink into the mystery. trying to sol&e the future*that’s what we do. 3y life will fall apart. " think that’s really fascinating that we ha&e that fear. to 6ust for a moment. "t !ecomes so exhausting sometimes. That’s the funny thing. "’ll end up !ecoming passi&e. Just for a moment to relax and sink into this place of not knowing. "’ll lose my home. (he was talking. talking &ery. con&ersation and there was this possi!ility that she might lose her house in a few weeks. (o it’s interesting with this woman " was speaking to. !ut the point was that in this moment. actually. "t’s not an original =uestion.if " sit here and do nothing. The point is. sink into this place where we don’t ha&e the answers yet. &ery fast. " was talking to a woman last week and we were ha&ing this +same. "f " sink into life. JF: You can roll. do nothing. that we ha&en’t got the answers yet. Tami. she was o!&iously full of anxiety and stress. "n a few weeks. trying to fix her life in this moment. " might not ha&e anywhere to li&e. 6ust for one moment*!ecause that’s all we’re asking* my whole life will fall apart. TS: "t’s ok.

her life didn’t seem like such a disaster and suddenly it wasn’t such a catastrophe.her to come !ack to !reathing and !egin to 6ust feel the sensations in her !ody and 6ust feel the fear. The answers that we long for. the mystery of this moment. this is where they come from*the mystery of the moment. and my solutions.” 7ut the point is. (he was trying to fix. TS: 5ow Jeff in this story that you directed this person. especially if they ha&en’t trained*at least in my 11 . and it seems like that is a really important step and one that can !e hard for people. 3y life and my pro!lems. "t was 6ust causing exhaustion and stress and no answers were coming. actually. that’s the creati&e place. that’s the source of all creati&ity. trying to sol&e the fear*!ecause in a way that’s all she was doing. "f answers are going to come. the life that was actually mo&ing in her. like she was coming out of “life” in a way and going into the story of “3Y life. present fear. )nd " 6ust asked her to !ring some attention !ack to the life. the story of my life and in a sense return to life. as she 6ust allowed herself to actually feel the sensations in her !ody. They don’t come in the story of three weeks time. The mind is a !eautiful tool and we don’t want to get rid of it and we don’t want to make it into the enemy. actually*not to try to fix fear or push it away. 'here was the fear in her !ody1 (he pointed to her stomach and her neck and her throat. and in three weeks time "’ll !e homeless. to meet fear. !ut sometimes life 6ust in&ites us to come out of that story of “my life” and “sol&ing my life” and “fixing my life” and 6ust remem!er the mystery that you are. and actually feel the fear rather than running away from the fear. )nd the funny thing is. !y fixing the story of her life. they emerge in their own sweet time out of this mystery and it’s like the mind is*it’s &ery sweet*the mind is trying to sol&e our li&es for us. !ut to actually meet it. to come out of that 6ust for a moment +from. to come out*in a way*to come out of this story of 3Y life. helped this person sit with the feeling of fear that was in her !ody. 'hat was really interesting was that she 6ust relaxed into her !ody and started to honor the fear. it wasn’t working. the life that she was. )nd then what was really interesting. to remem!er the life that you are. to remem!er that life that she was. The answers hadn’t come yet. started to acknowledge it and to honor it and e&en to share it with me. from that place. That’s when she started to relax and suddenly. rather than running away from it. the tingly ali&e sensation that was mo&ing in her now. (he was trying to get rid of present fear !y sol&ing the story of her life.

'ho has e&er shown us how to 6ust stay there1 'e’re gi&en so many techni=ues and solutions and methods of how to get rid of stuff. so =uickly we rush to help them or fix them or sol&e their pro!lems for them. " don’t pretend to know anymore than they do. or we =uickly offer solutions or may!e we e&en pretend to ha&e some kind of answer. !ut who’s e&er shown us how to !e with fear in the moment of fear*facing the fact of fear. " don’t try and fix them. 5o one has e&er shown us how to sit with fear. that will happen.experience*in some form of em!odied focus and attention. or they’re expressing pain. or they’re feeling dou!t or confusion. actually*" 6ust pro&ide the space for them to meet their own fear. 12 . "f someone is experiencing a lot of fear. "’ll !e homeless. "’ll end up in a ditch somewhere. and not gi&e them easy answers or try to pro&e what a wonderful teacher " am !ecause " know so much*it doesn’t interest me. 'hat " tend to do with people*" don’t do that so much. actually. out of lo&e. this is my own experience with people*what truly heals is this meeting. "’ll sit with someone who’s experiencing a lot of fear. stay with the physiology of what’s happening inside of them1 JF: " guess what " do. how to turn fear into something else. is " don’t do &ery much. you know1 " think so often. and they’re expressing fear. sitting there facing the fact of fear in the present moment. ow do you help people stay with that..” " don’t gi&e them answers. You know1 "t doesn’t interest me. which is the forgetting !asically of how to sit with oursel&es. we try to stop them feeling what they’re feeling. " won’t !e a!le to eat. "f "’m a!le to sit there and meet them as they are. " find that what truly heals*" mean. and they’re going into this fearful story of “This will happen. 'hat " think " do* and " wouldn’t e&en say it’s a d ing. " don’t pretend to ha&e the solutions. how to sit with our fear. and not turn away from them. we’re in a con&ersation with someone. " think that’s what we’&e forgotten as a species. 'e’&e forgotten !asically how to !e with oursel&es. when we sit with someone. and not try to fix them. "’ll d ie. this !eing with. " don’t experience myself as d ing &ery much with people. how to escape fear. "’m 6ust &ery honest a!out that. we meet someone. may!e out of compassion. if " could summari0e what " do with people. it’s a!out meeting them. )s " was saying !efore. 'hat interests me is really meeting +them. For me. That’s actually where all of our suffering !egins is this forgetting of who we are. <eople ha&e taught us throughout our li&es how to get rid of fear.

ealing has nothing to do with fixing yourself. (tay with that. pushing them away psychologically. you know. 'hat " would say is that for me. +since. "’m more a!le these days to stay with my own experience. healing has nothing to do with the running away. to sit with dou!t in myself !ecause "’&e learnt o&er the years not to run away from it. e&en if we’re sitting with someone who’s experiencing a lot of sadness or dou!t or confusion or anger. 'e feel hurt. They’re 6udging us. to sit with confusion. >&en if in this moment. 'hen we’re sitting there with someone who’s in that moment. owe&er paradoxical that sounds. it’s actually this turning towards. this staying. 'e don’t know how to !e with our own hurt. "’m far more a!le to stay as well with someone else’s experience and not run away from it and not try to fix it. "t’s all a!out this staying with our experience. expressing anger towards us and it’s aimed at us and they’re calling us names and they’re saying that we did these things. stay. 'e feel hurt and we don’t know how to stay with that. TS: " think you’re actually pointing to something really important. stay with that. (o we lash !ack at them*there’s that 13 . which is the power of !eing with another person when we can unconditionally accept whate&er it is they’re going through. "’m far more a!le to sit with fear. "’m far more a!le these days to sit with my own experience. e&en if in the moment we feel like running away. stay. "’&e learnt that actually running away from this moment does not pro&ide what we truly long for. " think you’re actually pointing here to something really important a!out how we can !e there for others. or we might e&en feel the urge to attack them !ecause we feel attacked. 'e don’t know how to !e with that. 'e might e&en start to feel the urge to run away. stay. stay. " think that’s the constant in&itation of life is to stay. "t’s got nothing to do with fixing people. "t’s got nothing to do with fixing. 2ften what happens at that point is we start to feel uncomforta!le. e&en if it feels so uncomforta!le to stay there. (o " think for whate&er reason. stay. JF: " think that’s the &ery essence of healing and the true meaning of the word. either literally run away or psychologically run away from them !y 6ust withdrawing and num!ing oursel&es to them. 'e start to feel hurt. stay. you feel that you can’t stay.(o hopefully what " do with people. perhaps !ecause of my own experiences o&er the years. to sit with sadness.

where that wa&e. e&en if it’s &ery intense. it’s always an in&itation to deeply allow that. for people to disagree with you and to not like how you teach or to not like what you’re saying. or the wa&es ha&e somehow !ecome a lot more gentle. !ut it’s a whole other world going out and teaching it. e&en if there’s hurt. there’s a lot of hurt mo&ing in us1 4an we stay with our own experience1 "n the end. and it’s understanda!le. e&en if it’s !urning. that’s all we can know. in that moment. or a place where you don’t feel all these wa&es. There’s no such thing as anyone who is immune from life. 4an we 6ust stay there in that place. e&en if in the moment there’s a lot of discomfort mo&ing in us. 14 . 4an we stay with all of that1 4an we find the place where actually all of those wa&es mo&ing in us. is allowed to !e there1 4an we find our inherent &astness1 "n that moment. 'ho we are is !ig enough to contain that hurt. ) lot of the stuff that " talk a!out can seem =uite challenging to people. to hold that hurt. !ut "’&e certainly experienced this. e&en if there’s a strong urge to run away or the strong urge to push the other person away or attack them or fix them. you know1 "t’s one thing ha&ing all these insights and ha&ing an awakening experience. where "’&e !een sitting with someone and they’&e !een &ery angry with me. is a place of num!ness. !ecause you’re exposing yourself to all kinds of situations and all kinds of people. For me.urge to lash !ack them. You’re really opening yourself up for attack. or some people ha&e this funny idea that awakening or enlightenment. especially !eing a teacher. 6ust for this moment. or try to change their experience. !ecause it’s really challenging. it hasn’t happened a lot. manipulate them. e&en if we feel hurt1 4an we find the place in that moment. or you don’t feel pain anymore. 7ecause "’m not immune. " mean. or they’&e !een disagreeing with me &ery strongly and calling me this and that. can we 6ust stop and notice that who we are is &ast enough1 'ho we are is oceanic. that intense wa&e of hurt mo&ing in us. (o this is the in&itation of life. are allowed to !e here1 4an we remem!er that who we are is &ast enough to hold that hurt and then to meet the other person in that place of deep acceptance1 "’&e had so much experience with this o&er the past few years. 4an we stay with our own experience. many situations the past few years. "’&e !een in situations. you don’t feel sad anymore. and this is the in&itation that " offer and this is the in&itation " speak a!out in my !ook. )nd " think that we ha&e this funny idea that awakening. whate&er wa&es it !rings up in me.

"’m not interested in pretending to !e the enlightened one who doesn’t feel anything. from unmet pain. they’re all held. that’s how we don’t !ecome hurt. " think that’s the fundamental reali0ation. 'hat really interests me these days is meeting other human !eings in this place of deep acceptance. that’s how we stop turning against the one in front of us. " am the hurt one. isn’t going to !e hurt !y this. " was a!solutely num! to myself and to other people. " am the &ictim of you. "t’s acknowledging it. You know. "t doesn’t re6ect hurt. You hurt me.” " think that’s where all &iolence. to stay with them. you see their pain. unlimited. it’s actually the other way around. where all conflict !egins. " was num!. "t flows and it mo&es. !ut it’s allowing that hurt to mo&e in you so that it doesn’t get stuck. you know*noticing all these wa&es mo&ing in myself and finding the place where they’re all allowed to !e there. you hurt me. "t says “yes” to hurt. open space of consciousness that allows this wa&e of hurt. " am the hurt one. That’s how we stop the identification of. "t’s feeling it deeply. "t says “yes” to hurt. actually. that what you are. actually the wa&es !ecome a lot more intense. That doesn’t seem possi!le and it doesn’t seem human. " spent the first #? years of my life*" was !asically dead. howe&er strange that sounds. !ut you won’t get hurt. You lose interest in num!ing yourself to life !ecause you want to li&e. "t’s not pretending the hurt isn’t there. The wa&es !ecome a lot more intense !ecause you lose interest in pushing them away."n my own experience. "t might hurt. "t’s coming from unmet pain. is when you remem!er that all this destructi&e !eha&ior is coming from pain. 7ecause the wa&es are allowed to mo&e. !y disco&ering this inner “yes” to hurt. @nderneath all of that. )nd you remem!er on the deepest le&el that it can’t hurt you. you hurt me. You know. "n a strange way. (o "’m not interested in num!ing myself to life anymore. That’s how. as the ocean. (o remem!ering oursel&es as this &ast ocean in which the hurt is allowed*so it’s not pretending the hurt isn’t there. and that’s how in my own experience how "’m a!le to stay with people*e&en when they’&e !ecome =uite &iolent or agitated or angry. You meet their pain*and that’s where compassion can !egin. 15 . of course. is with the identification as some kind of &ictim. That’s how we can !reak the cycle of &iolence and conflict !ecause we’re allowing oursel&es to feel hurt 6ust in this moment and we’re remem!ering oursel&es as the &ast. “" am the hurt one.

our own fear. !ut in the meantime. meeting our own pain. 'e’re not nearly as different as we like to !elie&e. "s that right1 JF: That’s true.we really are only meeting oursel&es in disguise. Yeah. life always felt so hea&y for me. there you go. " think. you’re in your early B$’s. " mean here you are. " would wake up e&ery morning. TS: Yeah. that you now in retrospect see that you were “num!. it’s the same meeting*we’re really 6ust meeting oursel&es. Jeff. and here you are now helping other people. this 16 . our own !liss. JF: Yeah it’s around B#. especially the depression and what shifted that. to the point of a type of suicidal depression !ut then your situation changed. " ha&e a sense that our listeners might !e curious a!out you. some insights. (omething like that. what it’s really what it’s all a!out in the end. " was always a depressed child. "’m thirty*what am "1 "’m B#. 9ife is all a!out this meeting*that meeting oursel&es.They simply are not a!le in this moment to meet themsel&es.” 7ut "’m curious to know. 7ecause in the end. there’s so many things that " could talk to you a!out and that " want to talk to you a!out. depressed teenager in life. You talked a!out how the first #? years of your life. TS: Thank you. (o may!e " can meet them. You had some !reakthroughs. (o tell us a little !it a!out your own story here. TS: 5ow. and you know. 7ut you know what’s interesting. 7ritish accent. so we’re going to ha&e to ha&e another one of these con&ersations soon. "t’s !ecome a !it of a clichA these days !ut it’s so true. you’&e written a little !it a!out how depressed you were. + La"ghs. our own 6oy*meeting all those wa&es in oursel&es and meeting the one in front of us in the same way actually. )nd that’s*for me. " think and what " think people would lo&e to hear more a!out is your own process. you ha&e this !eautiful. " can confirm that later for you. 'e can check the records. find your !irth certificate or whate&er. "f " had to sum it up. TS: )nd they may not know !ut you are young person. JF: (ure. JF: +9aughs.

"t got worse and worse. " started to panic and started to lose consciousness and " fainted. conscious. " was intensely shy. if they saw !eyond the facade. They would laugh at me. )nd she didn’t agree. +La"ghs. and " was 6ust filled with so much self. "t’s funny how life can change like that. " really ne&er had any friends. 2ne day. " think around the same time " got =uite ill as well. " thought she was going to complete me. " was intensely self. " would wake up e&ery morning and life 6ust felt. " don’t know how long it was afterward* may!e ?. 3y life totally lacked any kind of intimacy. " mean. " 6ust hated myself. something had to !reak down.%$ minutes later*and " had fallen into my shower and there was !lood all o&er the shower. " was ##. !ut " think something had to shift. " was una!le to share anything with anyone. it couldn’t go on the way it was going on. " was at a!solute rock !ottom. #C*" can’t really remem!er*" was li&ing in 9ondon. " thought she was the one. and intensely self. " mean " !arely spoke to anyone until " was a!out #$. hea&y. working in the 774. which is why it’s =uite ironic. " thought " was going to go into tele&ision !ack then. " hated my 6o!. really/ through uni&ersity it got worse and worse. #B. " ne&er had anyone to speak to. hea&y. e&er since " could remem!er. " 6ust hit rock !ottom. " remem!er not !eing a!le to 17 . hea&y. considering these days " go around the world speaking to people and doing meetings and workshops.was #? years of this. really. " suddenly felt the need to run into the !athroom and " started &omiting. " woke up. 9ooking !ack " can say it was a kind of !reakdown. and " was &omiting !lood. e&erything in really.death experience. 2r they would ne&er want to speak to me again. " was terrified of expressing myself to anyone out of this deep fear that if they really saw what was going on in me. " ended up in the hospital. " reali0ed it was that now. "t was a kind of !reakdown. " was working in night shift. " was kind of dying on the inside. may!e at the time " didn’t reali0e it. if they really saw who " was.death experience. "t was some kind of near. " don’t think "’d. " was in this relationship with this girl and it was &ery o!sessi&e. )nd that all fell apart. " think one e&ent that really started to change things was " had some kind of near. )nd " took the day off work !ecause " felt so !ad. hea&y.loathing and " hated the way " looked. You know1 " was 6ust someone who kept e&erything. they would re6ect me. " 6ust felt totally inade=uate. "’d found my soulmate.conscious and it !ecame worse and worse.

death is so close. " had a &ery rational mind and " was a total atheist at that point*no interest in spirituality. " think that’s what it started off in me. "t was all 6ust go!!ledygook. did you ha&e the kind of classic near. !ut this was like an encounter with*" mean it’s. " mean. 'ould that !e fair to say1 18 .!reathe and " tried to scream for help and nothing would come out. you hit !ottom at the moment. " really had the sense. " think it was more of a case of a!solute existential terror. "’d !een educated as a scientist. 2r at least the reali0ation that death is so close and life is so precious. " feel totally constrained and held !ack. secondhand life. or was it more that you 6ust had a complete freakout experience. and it really shook me to my core. 9ike at any moment. "’d experienced fear of death !efore in my life. " thought.” "t was like " was li&ing some kind of ro!otic. " don’t remem!er much a!out it !ut " do remem!er !eing &ery. (o what the hell am " doing with my life1” "t started to get these =uestions churning in me. 6ust to ask a =uestion. this life is so precious.death experience where you lea&e your !ody and all of that. " felt "’d come close to death of some kind. :et married. TS: 5ow. " was on the treadmill. Jeff. that you found yourself in a pool of !lood in the shower1 JF: Yeah. was this sense that “3y :od.go to school. lying there with !lood all around not !eing a!le to scream. " was a real kind of*" mean. "t was all 6ust made up.” )nd " think that was the start of something. “3y :od. "t a!solutely shook me to my core. not !eing a!le to get up. "t was like. “This is it then. this is it. “'ell.” You know. This is how the story ends. what the hell am " doing with my life1 "’m working in a 6o! that " hate. :et a degree. &ery shaken !y it and it really set something off in me. e&er asked !efore. no interest in anything to do with spirituality at all. :o and get a 6o!. TS: (o you can say that in a sense. You know1 7ut this started something. the likes of which "’d ne&er experienced !efore. This is the end. Duestions "’d ne&er. we can drop dead. "’m not nearly !eginning to li&e any kind of life that " want to. !ecause in my own experience. this moment is so precious. you hear these stories sometimes a!out people &omiting !lood out of nowhere and then fi&e minutes later they’re dead. go to uni&ersity.

+La"ghs. " !ecame a totally o!sessed spiritual seeker. " read and " read and " read. looking for some kind of meaning to life. )nd " read and read and read and " started meditating.JF: " think " hit my first !ottom. which was in one of the drawers !y my hospital !ed. many listeners. TS: 'e need to keep going with your story here. really. " think at some point " read some !ook a!out 7uddhism and a!out spiritual enlightenment. now. " also not had. 2E. " locked myself away.eally.long. 'hat does all of this mean in the face of death1 'hat is death1 'hat is life1 )nd who am "1 )nd these =uestions started mo&ing in me !ut it wasn’t*" mean. " needed the answers to these +=uestions. year. 7ut that first !ottom definitely set something off in me. again and again and again. !ut it was all with the aim of !ecoming enlightened. JF: )nd there were more !ottoms to come. " read e&ery !ook a!out awakening and enlightenment that " could get my hands on. " was suffering so much. " mo&ed !ack to li&e with my parents for awhile. )nd so 19 . " needed this. this is going to !e the end of all my suffering. "t’s something " ne&er would ha&e done in my whole life !efore that. two years. (o it !ecame this o!sessi&e. 7ut for me. )ll kinds of self. +La"ghs. This wasn’t a game anymore. many listeners may !e identifying with you in a certain sense. and " needed to know what death was and who dies. it’s all a !it !lurry now. (o " found myself in the hospital a few hours later and " remem!er &ery clearly " reached out. The spiritual seeker had !een !orn. 2ne day "’ll !ecome enlightened and all my suffering will end. (uddenly.” * +like. looking for answers. . (piritual enlightenment. !ecause " had suffered so much. may!e two years. " locked myself away =uite literally in my room may!e for a year.in=uiry practices. " mean. couple of years. !ecause " think at this point. 'hat does life mean1 (o that’s really*for the next year. you see1 "t was all with some future goal in mind. TS: )h hah. "t was a!out death and it was a!out suffering as well. search for spiritual enlightenment. “Yes. "’d ne&er heard of spiritual enlightenment !efore. 9ike. (o something in me was*it was like the seeker was !orn somehow. !ut have this deep passion to know who dies. " found myself reaching out to a copy of the 7i!le. That’s why " listen to Insights at the Edge podcasts ad nauseam. " needed to know who " was. " think it was all a!out death.

yes. actually. " had all kinds of insights. 7ut then that passes and thought comes !ack. you don’t e&en know anymore. (o " started trying to make this happen for myself. You ha&e moments. years. )nd you know the story of >ckhart Tolle*you know. this is what " thought awakening was*" thought it was some kind of e&ent that would happen one day. you had some types of !reakthroughs that really led you to your work with The Deepest Acceptance. it was an incredi!ly intense few years actually. “"’m going to do this myself. 3ay!e it was a kind of stu!!ornness. and then that passes and you want that experience !ack. " remem!er a long time ago ha&ing this &ery strong sense that if there’s anything such thing as peace. if there’s anything such thing as freedom. "’ll find it here. and one day they were walking down the road and suddenly the self fell away. hours. " was really doing e&erything " could to !ecome enlightened. all kinds of experiences. if there’s any such thing as awakening. " ne&er went to any workshops or retreats or satsangs or seminars. may!e it was kind of shyness. !ut something still wasn’t satisfied. "’ll find it on my own. " !ecame totally o!sessed with enlightenment. days. "t got to the point. hours. " was still so shy. " was still looking for something. " didn’t want to re&eal myself to other people. as many people do. " think. " find it here in my room. " had that sense from the &ery !eginning. some experience that would happen one day. 7ecause !ack then. JF: 'ell. " was going to keep myself to myself. (o as the months went on. Jeff. " had this sense. days sometimes. " mean. " don’t know what " was thinking. or anything. actually. of 6ust deep !liss and peace. and their enlightenment experiences. 2r you ha&e some experience of no thought* thought disappears for you know minutes. )s " said.” (o " started reading all the !ooks a!out enlightenment. or you ha&e some kind of experience of total oneness and then that passes. " would ha&e all these experiences. !ut it was this kind of o!sessi&eness of. as many spiritual seekers do along the way. that " didn’t 20 . actually. " !ecame more and more o!sessi&e really and " mean " had all kinds of insights o&er the months. " guess that was 6ust my character at the time. " had this fire in me and " kind of wanted to do it all myself. he’s lying in !ed and suddenly it all !ecomes clear. and the enlightened teachers and the !reakthroughs that they had had. " mean. " ne&er actually went to any teachers.keep going. here in my !ackyard. !ecause !eyond this.

and there’s no time. the gurus. and there’s no self. +where. !ut they would pass and then " was always waiting for the final experience. the spiritual teachers. total orgasmic !liss.e&en know what " was looking for anymore. " didn’t e&en know what " was looking for. !ecause that’s what " had !een waiting for was 21 . The experiences would come and go*the experiences of 6ust total !liss. there is no me. "’d wake up in the morning. whate&er it is that the spiritual teachers are promising. "’m enlightened. "n my experience. awakening experience. and forget it. " was really dri&ing myself mad. that seemed to !e what some of the spiritual teachers were talking a!out*at least the ones " was reading *that awakening was something in the future/ it was something that would happen one day. " e&en thought " was enlightened. " really 6ust lost touch with the outside world. That was the !asic sense*whate&er " was looking for. "t wasn’t really an experience. " was 6ust drowning in these spiritual concepts. the upshot of all of this " !ecame totally. sometimes. that " talk a!out sometimes. "’d gotten into )d&aita and nonduality. )nd at that point. really hooked. " don’t think. totally exhausted. (o no matter what " did. the final enlightenment. There were some points. and there’s no choice. " had certain experiences and " came to the conclusion right. (o it 6ust got to this point of total exhaustion with the whole spiritual*anything spiritual. (o it reached this point of total exhaustion. "’d gone into my little ca&e. and all this stuff was swimming around my head. which some of your listeners might ha&e heard of. "t was in the future. 'ell. so much. it was somewhere else. " wasn’t really talking to anyone a!out my experiences. " went through that as well. " 6ust felt " had to keep on looking. "t can’t !e this. " couldn’t get there. personal experience. !ut " couldn’t find a way out. " didn’t ha&e any friends left. there was this one experience that " remem!er. " would go to !ed at night +la"ghs. "t can’t !e my present experience* whate&er it is. " was totally exhausting myself. and it would ne&er come. whate&er they’re promising. " was really hooked on that. really. " didn’t ha&e any relationships at that point. !elie&ing that " was fully enlightened. (o really. " was grappling with all these concepts like. )nd of course. 7eautiful. " was really hooked on that idea of a future awakening. it can’t !e my +current. and there’s no space.

>&erything that " do to try and !ecome awakened. "t was much deeper. "t’s already here. "’d !een looking for enlightenment. )ctually what happened. something that had always !een with me. totally exhausted.” )nd this didn’t come in words/ it wasn’t really the mind understanding this. “2h my :od. Jeff. “"’m ne&er going to !ecome enlightened. this !ig experience. in that moment*“'ell. not e&en knowing what it was. )nd " guess. Jeff.” "t was like something &ery familiar. suddenly something that 6ust clicked or dawned on me. e&en e&erything " do to try to !ecome awakened. oneness is this. “'hate&er you’&e !een looking for. much more primal than that. “"’&e tried e&erything. 6ust tired of the whole thing.” (o " was lying there on my !ed in my !edroom*this was the !edroom "’d grown up in. This moment is what "’&e always !een looking for. "’d always !een looking for something. it was the same !edroom*and " 6ust remem!er." was looking for my sal&ation through experiences. the fireworks.some !ig experience. or something !ecame o!&ious. >specially as a spiritual seeker. of courseF 2f course. 'hate&er you’re looking for. nothing’s worked. "t wasn’t like a new experience. !ut there was this sense of “2h my god. "t was something that had always !een with me. " think " was 6ust lying in !ed in my !edroom in my parents’ house.” +La"ghs. this might sound really strange. " think " 22 . 2r " remem!ered something. "t’s the chair. (omething "’d always known. for some reason " 6ust glanced o&er at a chair.” " mean.” " remem!er at that point. (o " remem!er &ery distinctly. may!e for my whole life actually. 'here is oneness1 'here is oneness1 There was a sense. seems to take me further away from it. familiar chair.” That was the sense. "t was an old. "t was the sense of “oh.one day. " was 6ust looking at the chair in my !edroom. it’s already here. )nd there was the sense that. something that had always !een on the tip of my tongue. it’s the chair. This was a chair that "’d seen thousands of times !efore. !ut " can’t gi&e up looking. really. " can’t really say it was much of an experience/ it was more like a remem!ering of something that perhaps "’d forgotten. you were ne&er going to find it outside of what is actually here. "t’s &ery hard to actually put into words !ecause it wasn’t this !ig thing. "t’d !een there since " was a child. 7ecause "’d !een*for years. totally 6ust fra00led from all the spiritual seeking. this moment is what "’m looking for. " wanted the fireworks.

wanting enlightenment or wanting whate&er. and it’s trees and it’s cars. and cars. something more. " think this was the fundamental. this is also part of itF” !ecause for so long.wanting success. and " thought. without this Jeff character who always felt incomplete and who always was looking for some kind of future completeness.” +La"ghs. it’s sensations. There’s all of it.!urst into tears. "t sounds funny when you talk a!out it. looking at e&erything. offering itself freely. and "’&e !een o&erlooking the chair. "t was like this reali0ation turned e&erything on its head. "t was like something as ordinary and simple as a chair. asking nothing. 9ife itself has always !een here offering itself. my whole life !ecause "’&e !een looking for something else. or that we should transcend the !ody. “2h my goodness. "’&e always !een pushing it away or ignoring it or !eing ashamed of it. and houses. which has always !een here. and then opening the window. Just seeing e&erything in the house without Jeff. it’s also the carpet. " mean it really was*it sounds like a !it of a clichA*!ut it really was like seeing e&erything for the first time. it’s appearing right now as this chair and this carpet. "t was like for the first time. there’s also all of thatF” "t was like. " was weeping. “2h my goodness. this really hasn’t gone away*is this sense that whate&er is arising right now. " remem!er walking around the house. without Jeff looking for something. " think it went on for a!out an hour. and "’&e always !een ignoring it. as if for the first time. "t was like gratitude for a chairF "t’s &ery hard to explain really. whether it’s chairs and it’s carpets. and dogs. )nd then. or it’s thoughts. without the seeker. (eeing what life was like without Jeff. !ecause there was 6ust this sense of total humility and gratitude. “2h my :od. and there was 6ust this sense of. and roadwork. )nd then " remem!er looking down at my !ody. or enlightenment was the end of the !ody. "t was 6ust a &ery ordinary carpet. actually. there’s also trees. 'hate&er "’&e !een longing for on the deepest le&el. 7ecause now. "’d !een stuck in all these spiritual ideas that the !ody was somehow an enemy. Then " remem!er looking around and my attention mo&ed from the chair to the carpet. " was acknowledging the chair* howe&er strange that sounds. fundamental reali0ation. and dogs making a mess. "’&e !een o&erlooking this +for. "t was seeing life without Jeff. and the carpet and the walls and the lights. it’s 23 . actually. or 6ust not acknowledging it. " knew now* and this really hasn’t changed. or we should get rid of the !ody.

” " think we lo&e those awakening stories. without the story of perfecting myself in the future. (een in the light of this em!race. not !y me. There was a sense that e&erything was in its right place. what is here. and " guess " reali0ed at that point that this isn’t something to !e understood intellectually. Jeff. 7efore that. " think that was the fundamental reali0ation. " think " 6ust wept e&erything out really. " think it really* it’s like my whole life turned around after that. sounds. Jeff. e&ery sensation. "t was all a!out this remem!ering that e&ery thought. “2h after that point. all my suffering fell away and e&erything was perfect. (o " remem!er looking down at the !ody. This is all sacred and it’s all !elo&ed. what is gi&en. feelings. )nd " think from that point. (o " think that experience*or that non. (o " guess " 6ust remem!er falling to my knees and 6ust weeping. e&ery feeling is on the deepest le&el sacred and accepted !y life. and in a way that " could ne&er comprehend. "’d spent so many years trying to understand this intellectually. or me. "t wasn’t like !elie&ing that e&erything was perfect/ it was actually seeing this inherent perfection that was not at war with imperfection. looking for something. !ut "’&e ne&er met anyone who that’s actually true for*they ha&e an awakening experience and then all their suffering falls away and it ne&er comes !ack. "t’s a!out noticing what is present.experience or whate&er you want to call it*" think that really !roke the !ack of something. or perfection was a!out getting rid of imperfection. They were all 6ust perfectly positioned. and smells. Jeff. it’s not the. This wasn’t like an intellectual game " was playing with myself. in a way the mind will ne&er comprehend.feelings. at the hands and the feet and the legs and the hair and all the imperfections suddenly 6ust seen without the seeker. these wa&es of sadness or a wa&e of fear*on the deepest le&el this is all sacred. 24 . sensations. !ecause now perfection was all a!out this total em!race of imperfection*this em!race of thought. This turned the whole thing on its head. without the story of !ecoming enlightened. !ecause life was no longer a!out me. 6ust trying to !ecome enlightened. really. "t’s accepted and accepta!le to life. or me. That really was the !eginning of the end of my spiritual seeking. you know. or trying to reach some intellectual understanding. "t completely destroyed all of my old concepts a!out what perfection was. "’d always seen perfection as some future state. trying to get somewhere. e&en my imperfections were so perfect in a sense.

that thoughts. "t’s all 6ust an in&itation to remem!er. to run away from what’s here. "t’s an honoring of the life that is mo&ing in me. that that’s what we forget as human !eings. The end of suffering was actually contained in my present experience. at the most !asic le&el. are on the deepest le&el already allowed in us. that remem!ering of something so familiar. "t seems to me that all human 25 . sensations. "t’s a forgetting of who we really are. e&ery time " was struggling in my life. it’s really !een a case of staying with what was arising and staying with the sadness and staying with the pain. !ut in each and e&ery case. it was actually an in&itation. "t wasn’t a punishment. suffering was and is the pushing away of life. and there seems to !e so much conflict and fear and stress. " think that experience with the chair. "t was this remem!ering to turn towards what’s here. really always checking myself that " wasn’t !ecoming too attached of this idea of myself as a teacher and as some kind of sa&ior who had all the answers. " think that it seems to me. For years*this was a!out se&en. and physical pain*my father is =uite ill at the moment*there’&e !een all kinds of challenges. there’s this deeper knowing that these wa&es are allowed to !e here. "t’s a forgetting of this already accepted nature of experience. 5o matter how intense the wa&es of life !ecome. feelings. You know. "t wasn’t a mistake. You know. 'hat " reali0ed is that !asically suffering was. (o then what " saw was that e&ery time " suffered. (uffering is our attempt to escape what’s here. that really is still 6ust !asically there not matter what "’m going through. (o "’&e faced all kinds of challenges o&er the past few years." think what this experience*or this non.experience. no matter what experiences "’m ha&ing. "t was an in&itation that in that moment. staying with the confusion and dou!t. You look in the world. )nd challenges in !ecoming a teacher*!ecause that was unexpected*and !eing asked to go out there and talk to people and !eing asked all kinds of challenging =uestions. (o the end of suffering*now " reali0e that the end of suffering wasn’t some !ig e&ent that was going to happen one day. relationship struggles. "t’s like an honoring of life. " was forgetting something. or whate&er you want to call it*" think what it did do for me is it completely changed my relationship with suffering. to deny what’s here. in this moment. eight years. eight years ago " think*and " faced all kinds of things for the past se&en. and knowing that really this is all an in&itation. and opening myself up to all of that and not !ecoming Gor resisting the urge to !ecomeH some kind of enlightened guru who’s going to sa&e the world.

rather than seeing the moment as something to !e em!raced and met and stayed with. !ecause there could !e gold in those wa&es*you know. (tay. e&en our suffering is part of the in&itation to remem!er. 7ut then. and each and e&ery thought. to mix metaphors. this moment is already !eing allowed. !ut you’ll ne&er know if you turn away. )nd that’s our in&itation. stay with the discomfort. 3ay!e it’s not e&en a =uestion of how to allow this moment. forgetting of who we are. may!e it’s not e&en a =uestion of how to stay. " guess !ack then. !asic. (tay with the dou!t. is this staying with life. 'e stop honoring life. " mean in e&ery sense of the word. feeling*that’s the !irth of suffering.conflict and &iolence and suffering stems from this !asic. 'e don’t want to make suffering into this new enemy that we ha&e to destroy. You know. 3ay!e the “how” dissol&es. 3ay!e who we are is already allowing this. we suffer. (o " think that’s our ad&enture and our challenge. That’s pro!a!ly true. the “how” dissol&es. actually. 'e can rest in our sadness. you know1 'hen you’re suffering. There may !e gold in that fear. 3ay!e in that staying with discomfort. " don’t want to die ha&ing ne&er known. (o may!e it’s not e&en a =uestion of how. it certainly doesn’t feel like an in&itation sometimes. the urge is to run away*!ut the in&itation is stay. 3ay!e it’s not e&en a =uestion of how to meet life. and how do we meet life1 ow do we stay with life1 ow do we say “yes” to life1 )nd may!e. it certainly didn’t feel like an in&itation. You’ll ne&er know. owe&er strange and paradoxical and counter. (o that’s really what " share and what " talk a!out in my !ook. " reali0e now that it was. there may !e gold dust in that dou!t. sensation. )nd who wants to*you know. )nd may!e finally we can rest. 'hen we stop honoring life. (tay. " 6ust couldn’t see it. 26 . (tay with the confusion. 3eet. 9ooking !ack. stay. " saw the moment as something to !e fought and escaped. !ecause there may !e gold. may!e it’s not e&en a =uestion of how. and we finally meet what we were ne&er a!le to meet. and in my meetings and retreats. "f we can see it that way. "f we can 6ust stay with our experience. in discomfort. is to stay. no matter how uncomforta!le it gets. e&en if the temptation is to run away. (tay. There may !e gold in that sadness. (uffering is an in&itation. 3eet oursel&es. years ago when " was so depressed and couldn’t get out of !ed some days !ecause life was so hea&y. 'e can rest in our pain. !asic. 3ay!e on a deeper le&el. as " suggest in my !ook. 'hen we stop seeing the sacredness in each and e&ery moment. or how intense the wa&es get.

JF: Thank you Tami. it’s so wonderful to meet a young. the last place you would e&er look for it. You know1 TS: 5ow " ha&e to say. " think. and we’ll ha&e another con&ersation soon. is a good place to stop for now. "t’s a real pleasure to meet you. "t does feel like a meeting. " lo&e talking with you. "t really !rings people down to the ground and to the core. e’s the author of a new !ook. This.com. wonderful to !e with you. and " think that your work is so helpful. TS: From (oundsTrue. is actually in e&erything that we thought we needed to run away from. Jeff. )nd "’m 6ust so honored and pleased that (ounds True is working with you and that we’&e pu!lished this new !ook of yours. it’s called The Deepest Acceptance: Radical Awakening in Ordinary Life. You know. you could say emerging spiritual teacher in that you’re not well known yet. and Jeff has also created with (ounds True a six.session audio learning series on The Deepest Acceptance.intuiti&e that sounds. (o " want to thank you. 3ay!e that’s where the true rest is hiding. Jeff. 3any &oices. TS: >xactly. !ut may!e that’s where the true rest lies. 2ne 6ourney. "’&e !een speaking with Jeff Foster. ow does that sound1 JF: 'ell. thank you so much Tami. as always. 27 . You make it real. " lo&e listening to you. Thanks for listening.