Befriending yourself in difficult times, 2019 with Jeff Foster and Matt Licata
1) There’s no such thing as loneliness, it’s only a concept. Instead of wanting to relieve ourselves of feeling lonely, let’s move into it and explore it. Instead of running from it, befriend it. Instead of being at war with myself, to be curious about these feelings. True freedom is to be free in these feelings, not from them. Love is full acceptance. It’s not to run from our experience. Love may be simple, but it’s not easy. I can be sad and safe simultaneously. Don’t worry about the rest of your life, you only have to be with this feeling for the moment. The next moment’s pain is unbearable. Is this moment’s pain bearable? Do I want to be somewhere else? Be present. Just for a moment. Allow your heart to break. 

2) True meditation is embracing who and where you are presently. What’s it like to be alive now? No goal. Everything is welcome.

3) Slow down and notice the thoughts and emotions that are coming to you. Notice them with curiosity. What are they here to teach me? Does the world need my broken heart right now? A meditation with these visitors could be better than without them. An unconditional welcome to all that life brings me. Receive and release.

4) Shame and unworthiness are not the problem, but rather our refusal of it. Don’t be ashamed of heartbreak. Find freedom in it, rather than from it. Lean into the pain. Get to know him. Love him. Change is healed by love. Allow myself to feel as bad as I do. Don’t repress who I authentically am. Be honest. Love your brokenness, your longing and neediness. Shame thrives in secrecy. My authentic self will only come out in safety, curiosity.

5) If you’re trying to befriend yourself, your probably working too hard. Don’t turn it into a goal. Suffering is not in the uncomfortable emotion, but in the abandonment of ourselves. The feeling of failure or disappointment is your medicine. Surrender to the emotion. We’ve been doing too much, relax into it. Keep returning to love yourself. Be fascinated with the emotion, not ashamed of it. Fear, anger and grief, I want to know you. Don’t go away. You are God in disguise! Insight doesn’t heal, but love does. Befriend the emotion and the desire to avoid it. Accept it all. Accept the resistance. This is consciousness. It needs love too. Only the heart can do this.

6) There’s no ideal or goal in meditation. It is to accept whatever comes. Participate in it. There is no failure or mastering anything. Just experience now. This is life as it should be happening. I can trust it. There’s no problem with a wave of fear, anger or grief. Even non-acceptance is okay. Freedom is to be able to feel any feeling at any time – no fear. In a breakup with a lover, apart from the emotional drama, the only real pain was a flutter in the belly and a tightness in the chest. Stop and consider what is actually happening without the stories.

7) Meditation = looking, any moment give it your attention. Relax into the love of the universe. Whatever is presently arising, love it, explore it. You might encounter trauma. Welcome it and feel through it. 

8) I can sit with discomfort, though I might not like it. It’s not a threat. It’s a visitor. I’m bigger than the fear, the grief, etc. I need prove this to myself. Just a few seconds at a time and we become more comfortable with these emotions. Ego wants to quickly conquer it, but not the divine. I can accept and befriend these emotions. When our resistance yields we come to know ourselves. We experience the freedom within difficulty. Life is always seeking me out with invitation. Everyone is wounded to the core.

9) Meditation is sinking into love, effortlessly sinking into who we are. Allow yourself to fear and fail. Our presence is unchanging, our humanity is always confronting change. They can cohabit in love. Fear – give yourself permission to feel fear. It is only an idea we build into a big story (idol) that is not real. Only love is real. See it has no validity. I have what I need to live a life of freedom, be content.

10) Meditation is the antidote to self abandonment. Meet and participate in whatever comes. Approach it with beginner’s mind. Don’t try to change or avoid your emotions. Welcome them. Allow your heart to break. Ego and discomfort drive me to meditate. What feeling am I trying to get out of?

11) There is nothing wrong to allow. It is all God. Let your soul lead you thru this experience. There is no correct way or goal. Be very kind with yourself. Learn to play without constant structure. The present moment is the safest place to be. You’ll find your capacity is much greater than you thought.

12) Those parts that seem like they’re out to get me are really trying to protect me. They are longing to come home, to be loved. Learn to sit with cravings. I don’t need to indulge to get comforted. 

Ending the inner war: The Joy of True Meditation and The Healing Power of Self-Compassion. 03/19
1. We are in this unique present moment. It’s always a beginning. Nobody is an expert. Meditation is coming out of the drama story into consciousness. Ending the inner war is avoiding the suffering that is unnecessary, that of resistance. Rather accept and love myself. Meditation is not an escape from the undesirable. Rest cannot be found by seeking it, relax and accept it. We can all enjoy life, love here and now. The search is exhausting. It’s not necessary. Meditation is an invitation to come back, to notice. Allow your experience to be as it is. Don’t try to change anything, just notice what is changing. What’s it like to be alive? Why is this still here? It is suppose to be here.

2. Ego wants to turn things into a should, a goal. We want to get to the place of rest. This is the root of addiction. Completeness is not something in the future, but now in the present. Accept who and where you are, your experience now. Rest now. I know I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. Only the ego seeks/claims to transcend the ego or mind. Release your image of what you want to attain. You are already what you should be. Resist and identify with nothing – boredom, confusion, frustration and loneliness. This feeling had not come to hurt me, but to set me free. Accept the low and negative vibes as a child or friend. Nothing in my experience is unsafe. Grief is very spiritual, it’s here to save me.

3. I am already free from the mind torment. When we are uncomfortable in our bodies we check out by our minds going to the past or future. It’s a challenge to remain present. The mind is not my true home, nor is my humanity. Notice when you are checking out and check back in, that is meditation.

4. Awareness. Notice the continual conversation of the mind, comparisons and judgments. Don’t fall for the delusion that the mind is me. I am awareness. I am nothing to discover or understand. I am beyond concept. Like a movie screen that is silently behind it all. It makes everything possible but goes unnoticed. Presence is very uninteresting to the ego. It’s constant, unchanging, whole. No struggle or ecstasy. Very boring, non-resistant. This is who I am. Full acceptance. Nothing is a threat to it. A wave in the ocean appears and disappears. Everything is an expression of it. Every thought and emotion just wants to move through. No fear or judgment, just acceptance and expression. Getting swept away and forgetting my nature. Meditation is allowing everything and noticing it all. Trust what arises. I am not my thoughts and emotions, but I am. I am nothing, yet everything.

5. To accept the shameful parts we have not been able to face. Trauma is the feeling that this moment is unsafe. These are parts longing for love. Deconstruct the self-abandonment and self-violence. Feel, allow, be curious, trust whatever comes to visit. It just wants to be loved. You are welcome as a friend. Breathe. The only one who has difficulty loving me is myself. Can I fully accept myself while feeling inadequate and rejected?

6. Only Presence can make us feel whole. All else are distractions. These are forms of self-abandonment, loss of identity. It is the minds solution to attachment. Say no to it’s suggestion with love. We’re not giving into the craving nor getting rid of it. Feel it. Be gentle, kind and patient with yourself. Don’t make your attachment into a bad thing. Only Presence can fill the longing. Ego can never be satisfied, Presence already is. This longing is not as big or important as we tell ourselves. You can do without it. If you indulge in your longing you’ll see it won’t satisfy you.

7. I am content with who I am, what is and where I am. I love this, incomplete and imperfect as it is. I cannot be with who I hope to be. It’s always a beginning. An amateur (lover) forever. Maintain that curiosity. I don’t know that this moment isn’t perfect, therefore I can love it. Give yourself permission to not know. Presence is unconditional love. Presence can coexist in any situation, i.e. anxiety or peace.