Jeff Foster



Average: 3.5 (25 votes)
Fast Facts
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Function: 
Spiritual Teacher
Traditions: 
Life without a Centre
Main Countries of Activity: 
UK, USA, Europe
Date of Birth: 
Unknown
Place of Birth: 
Unknown
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Yes

Biography

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.

He presently holds meetings, retreats and private one-to-one sessions around the world, gently but directly pointing people back to the deep acceptance inherent in the present moment. He helps people discover who they really are, beyond all thoughts and judgments about themselves, even in the midst of the stress and struggle of modern day living and intimate relationships.

Jeff’s teaching style is direct and uncompromising and yet full of humanity, humor and compassion. He believes that freedom is everybody’s birthright. He belongs to no tradition or lineage, and makes his teaching accessible to all.

Jeff has published four books in over 7 languages. He was voted #51 in Watkins Mind Body Spirit’s 2012 list of the world’s 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People.

Sources: 
www.lifewithoutacentre.com

Teachings

Life Without A Centre is about the non-separation (‘nonduality’) between you and your world. It is about the origin of suffering, and the discovery of freedom within that very suffering.

It is about the ways in which we try to run away from uncomfortable and painful experiences, and the possibility of discovering ease and relief right in the midst of those experiences. It is about seeking, and the end of seeking. It is about seeing life as it is, right now.

What do you mean by ‘nonduality’?Think of the word ‘nonduality’ as a ‘finger pointing to the moon’ (as they say in Zen) directing your attention to the wholeness of all life, to the Oneness which exists here and now. It points to an intimacy, a love beyond words, a completeness right at the heart of present experience. It points to where you already are. It points back Home.

It is beyond comprehension, yet it is as obvious as breathing, as familiar as the feeling of your heart beating in your chest, as ordinary as the sights and sounds and smells appearing in this room.

So ‘nonduality’ simply means ‘wholeness’?Yes, ‘nonduality’ is simply a word I use to point beyond your ideas, concepts and beliefs about life. It is a word I use to point to life as it is, beyond what you think it is – and to who you really are, beyond who you think you are.

And ultimately, who you really are, and life itself, are inseparable. They are not-two, they are non-dual, they are intimate. This is a timeless truth that goes right to the heart of all the world’s spiritual traditions, and ultimately right to the heart of modern science too…

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Imagine your entire life as a book.
On every page of this book, no matter what is going on in the story, no matter what the words are describing, behind the words there is the white paper.
The paper is so rarely noticed, and even more rarely appreciated, but it is absolutely essential. Without it, the words would not exist.
You are very much like the paper behind the words of life. You are not the story of your life – your failures, your successes, your regrets and hopes, your memories and expectations, your great achievements and terrible losses - you are life itself, the wide open, all-embracing expanse of consciousness in which the story of your life plays itself out.
The paper of a book is never affected by the story that is being told in that book. The paper is only there to hold the words, to embrace them, to allow them to be, without condition. Words appear and disappear on the paper, happy words and sad words, sacred words and profane words; great battles are fought, incredible adventures are had, the cycle of life and death and rebirth plays out, but the paper always remains, ever-present, always complete in itself.
A love story, a comedy, a horror story, a war epic, a long and frustrating search for success or enlightenment – the paper itself doesn’t mind.
Whatever the story, the paper never needs to know how it all ends. And on the final pages of the book, the paper does not fear the end of the words, nor does it long for an earlier time in the story. And if the main character dies, the paper does not mourn. Even death is allowed by the paper. The paper doesn’t know that the story is ‘over’. The paper is beyond the cycle of birth and death of its characters.
You don’t know how many pages are left in the autobiography of your life. (In fact, your book has not been written yet – it is writing itself as it goes along!) From the perspective of the words – that is, from the perspective of the human mind – your story is not yet complete. We spend much of our lives trying to work out how to end our story. How to solve things neatly, how to resolve our unresolved problems, how to ‘fix’ and complete ourselves, how to control an uncontrollable future.
But from the perspective of the paper, from the perspective of consciousness itself, there is no story to resolve. Things are okay just as they are, right now. In this moment, everything is accepted just as it is.
This is the most peaceful book in existence, and it is what you are.
Welcome to Life Without A Centre.

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Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

An Extraordinary Absence: Liberation in the Midst of a Very Ordinary Life

by Jeff Foster

(Paperback)

Jeff Foster invites you to forget everything you know, everything you’ve been taught, and everything you’ve ever read about spiritual awakening, Oneness, enlightenment, non-duality, and Advaita, and to consider a new possibility: the possibility of absolute freedom, right now, right here, in the midst of this very ordinary life. Using everyday language and drawing on both personal experience and age-old wisdom, Foster shares the possibility that all the seeking and longing of the mind can come to an absolute end with the falling away of the sense of being a separate individual, and a plunge into unconditional love. And in that plunge—which is totally beyond anything you have ever imagined—this so-called ordinary life reveals its great Secret. Written with stunning clarity and aliveness, this book is a love letter to the exhausted spiritual seeker who is simply longing to come Home.