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4739#4739 - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz

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  • Jerry Katz
    Oct 24, 2012
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      #4739 - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
       
      The Nonduality Highlights
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/

       
       
       
       

       

      The Deepest Acceptance

      Radical Awakening in Ordinary Life

      Jeff Foster

       
      Author’s Note

      It seems to me that all our problems, all our suffering and conflicts, both personal and global, stem from one basic problem: our ignorance of who we really are. We have forgotten our inseparability from life, and so we have started to fear it, and out of that fear we have gone to war with it in various ways. We have gone to war with our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, our bodies, with the present moment itself. In our efforts to protect ourselves from pain, from fear, from sadness, from discomfort, from failure, from the parts of life we have been conditioned to believe are bad or negative or dark or dangerous, we have stopped being truly alive.

      The armor we wear to protect ourselves from a full experience of life is called the separate self. But our armor does not really protect us—it just keeps us comfortably numb.

      Spiritual awakening—realizing that you are not who you think you are—is the answer to this basic problem of humanity. These days there are many books available on this topic, and it seems that more people than ever are discovering ancient teachings that used to only be available
      to a select few. But there is a trap here. Spirituality can easily become just another layer in our armor. Rather than facilitating our opening up to life, it can shut us off even more. Spiritual concepts and clichés like “There is no self ” or “This is not my body” or “Duality is just an illusion” can simply be new beliefs to cling to, new ways of avoiding life and pushing the world away, which result in more suffering, for us and for those we love.

      The spiritual awakening I talk about in this book is not about protecting yourself more; it’s about realizing that who you really are does not need protection, that who you really are is so open and free and loving and deeply accepting that it allows all of life into itself. Life cannot hurt you, because you are life. So the present moment is not an enemy to be feared, but a dear friend to be embraced. Yes, true spirituality does not strengthen your armor against life—it destroys it.

      Spiritual awakening is actually very simple. It is the timeless recognition of who you really are, the consciousness prior to form. But actually  living that recognition in day-to-day life, not forgetting or losing it or letting it go to your head— that’s where the real adventure of life begins. And that’s where many people seem to struggle—spiritual seekers and spiritual teachers alike.

      It’s one thing to know who you really are when life is easy and things are going well for you. It’s another thing to remember this in the heat of the moment, when things fall apart, when life gets messy and your dreams turn to dust. In the midst of physical and emotional pain, addictions, relationship conflicts, and worldly and spiritual failure, often we can feel less awakened and more separate from life, from each other, and from who we really are, than ever. Our happy dreams of our enlightenment can quickly evaporate, and acceptance can seem a million miles away.

      We can see the messiness and beauty of day-to-day human existence as something to be avoided, transcended, or even obliterated, or we can see it for what it really is: a secret and constant invitation to wake up now, even if we believe we already woke up yesterday. Life, in its infinite compassion, won’t let us rest on our laurels.

      If my earlier books were descriptions of spiritual awakening, this book addresses far more important questions: How can that awakening be lived day-to-day? How can we accept the present moment even when the present moment seems totally unacceptable to us? Is “How can we accept the present moment?” even the right question? Are we actually separate from the present moment in the first place?

      I teach one thing and one thing only:  a deep and fearless acceptance of whatever comes your way. This is not passive surrender or cold detachment, but an intelligent and creative emergence into the mystery of the moment. This book comes after many years of listening and speaking to thousands of people on the spiritual path—hearing their concerns, answering their challenging questions, meeting them in their pain and grief and daily struggles and fears, and gently pointing them not to a future enlightenment, but to a deep and unconditional acceptance within their present-moment experience, the deep acceptance that they are in their essence.
       
      Welcome to ordinary life, dear explorer—the final frontier of spiritual awakening. May you boldly go where no one has gone before!

      With love from yourself,
      Jeff Foster
       
      Order The Deepest Acceptance from Non-Duality Press in the U.K.
       
      Order from Sounds True in the U.S.