Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

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Elise
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Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by Elise » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:57 am

This was just sent in Jeff Foster's latest newsletter as an excerpt from his upcoming book, An Extraordinary Absence: Liberation In The Midst Of A Very Ordinary Life:

I look across the table at my girlfriend, Amy. And yet, of course, she's not 'mine' at all. There is nothing here that could possibly possess anything, let alone another person. There's nobody over there to possess anyway. She is my story, and I am hers. She is a character in my dream, and I'm a character in hers. I look across the table and what I see is a girl drinking a cup of tea. 'My girlfriend' is just a story. What is actually there? A girl drinking a cup of tea, right now. Yes, right now, this is all there is. Where is this thing called 'our relationship'? All I can find is what is happening presently. A boy and a girl drinking tea together.

And not even that. Even 'boy and girl drinking tea together' is a story. There is only this: breathing, heart beating, sounds, colours, tea cups chinking, warm tea, voices, light, heat. This is all there is. And in this, there is never anything to separate us. So often in life something called 'relationship' comes between us, clouding the intimacy that has nothing to do with two separate people. It's like a third entity hovering there between the two of us. Me, you, and 'our relationship'. Our needs, our wants, our expectations of each other.

What happens when all of that falls away? What happens when all that carry-over from the past is rendered irrelevant? Then there is just this - a girl sitting there, drinking a cup of tea and talking, and her talking is aimed somewhere over here. It's so incredibly simple. It's the most uncomplicated thing in the world. Because she isn't mine, there is no 'relationship' to defend here. Nothing to worry about, nothing to hold onto. No sense of possession at all.

Because she isn't mine, I can see her in absolute clarity for what she really is. Because there's nothing there getting in the way, there is the space to really listen, to really see, to just be here, drinking this tea, enjoying this moment together, which is all there is anyway.

Because she isn't my girlfriend, there is only unconditional love. How unbelievably precious. How unbelievably simple.

And what freedom in that! There is simply nothing here keeping us together. We both have the absolute freedom to walk away. And yet, we haven't yet. I'm always amazed by that: she has the absolute freedom to walk away, but she hasn't yet. Maybe one day she will. Maybe one day I will. Maybe it will be tomorrow. Who knows what the future may bring? But for now, there is a girl sitting over there, sipping her tea, and what is left is a simple gratitude for her being here. I know she doesn't have to be (because she is free) but she is. I know I don't have to be (because I am free) but I am.

It's all so very innocent: she's just a girl, sitting there drinking tea, telling me about her day. There's no desire to possess any of it. It is what it is, and it's enough. Who needs a 'relationship' when this grace is already here?

And yet, if you ask, I'll tell you that she's 'my girlfriend'. It's my shorthand way of saying all of the above!

http://www.lifewithoutacentre.com/

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Sighclone
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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by Sighclone » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:40 am

That was lovely, Elise - thank you!!

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

Plorel
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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by Plorel » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:26 am

I very much enjoyed that. Thank you!
Who am I without my story?

johny
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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by johny » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:20 pm

Wow. I will give it a try. Umm, I did not mean the book.
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If your post/response was more than 5 lines I probably have not/will not read it. Drop me a PM if you want me to.

Robin
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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by Robin » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:12 pm

hi
thanks for the nice writing, its inpiring but creates a question in me. Maybe someone who is living this type of life right now might explain to me why having a girlfriend/boyfriend then? What makes him sit with her, looking at her and marvel and not sitting on the park bench with that 55 years old drunken lady who just pissed in her pans. Marveling about the love he has for her? Why going home with your tea drinking girlfriend and not with the drunken old lady?

The spiritual master of old all didnt have wifes or girlfriends, I guess they experienced this "no girlfriend freedom" but instead where married to all people. I wonder about this kind of state of mind/spirit where one says to the partner, I dont need you, you cant give me anything, I dont want and dont need anything from you either. You can walk away and I can walk about etc. Why are these people still going for one partner and not like the old masters saying I dont be with one I am here for all?

cheers
Robin

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Marcel Franke
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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by Marcel Franke » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:23 pm

Robin:
> What makes him sit with her, looking at her and marvel and not sitting on the park bench with that 55 years old drunken lady who just pissed in her pans.

Now, I would choose living and drinking tea with the old pissed tart.
Earl Grey n moonshine,
and..... every day discovering a new fold you havent tried out yet.



(moonshine is a common term for home-distilled alcohol, especially in places where this practice is illegal)
---ooOoo---

Robin
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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by Robin » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:36 pm

Marcel Franke wrote:Robin:
> What makes him sit with her, looking at her and marvel and not sitting on the park bench with that 55 years old drunken lady who just pissed in her pans.

Now, I would choose living and drinking tea with the old pissed tart.
Earl Grey n moonshine,
and..... every day discovering a new fold you havent tried out yet.



(moonshine is a common term for home-distilled alcohol, especially in places where this practice is illegal)
LOL I know,and then you move to the smoky moutains. No, seriously. I believe that deeper down after a round of spiritual levitation, there is still that....I like my girlfriend because .....(put here what you like) There are not many who enjoys the tart day in day out. Then I wonder why not, why do all these people who are so wonderfully free from need, have very nice girlfriends, wife and husbands.

/Robin

Ives
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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by Ives » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:32 pm

Robin wrote:
The spiritual masters of old all didn't have wives or girlfriends.

Fair enough, though how can we be sure about such things?
For example, it is said that Socrates had a really awful wife.

I have heard that once a young man asked Socrates if it was wise to marry.
Socrates replied: “Yes. Go ahead and marry. If you have a good wife, you will be happy; if you have a wife like mine, you will become a philosopher.”

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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by mistral » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:14 pm

Please know I am not being critical of the one who wrote the prose about his girlfriend-- I just must point Somthing out here; Intellectually and 'non-dualisticlly' it fits and I see how it sounds right, but honestly, Something Huge is missing here. As 'non-dualisticly correct as it may be, and it is---It is so very cold, It feels lifeless. That Something Missing seems to always be missing from the 'non-dualist' lingo and format ( and a format it is, until and unless one can brake free from this 'religion' as well)

Typical neo- Advaita words--- and as ususal it lacks Heart and Soul and Wonder and all those marvelous attributes of the genuine realization---although, I know for myself, 'the non-dual view is an important point along the path, maybe essential, but I am not even sure of that. The 'non-dual' view should be eventually understood for what it is; meaningful, but not the end of the road, not the final stone turned, not where we stop---we take what it gives us and move on.

There is another step beyond this non-dual point; It is The Comeing Home To The Real Identity, a return to The Living Presence and this world that includes It All---You find Yourself again. When you find It you see that It is Full and Whole and complete, Total, Rich and Deep and Poetic and Powerful and Mystical and Childlike, unbound, uninhibited, unrestricted, individual, gentle, tender, textured, colorful, passionate and back in the World once again, but this time you Know you know. You leave the 'non-duality' program and you come all the way around and home again and This time you find Life again, and It is All that you wanted, Love comes back again, Love on all levels, in all ways, LIfe and Love and Vitality and Enthusiasm for the Beauty that IS Everywhere and In all Things. Go on, one more turn around the Mountain, do not stop here for too long, move along and Find It, watch and see. This is not finished. Glory to God, We find our Self again and in that is such Joy and such Wonder that never ceases. "I make all things new" said the Christ, and so it is.

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


As for this old Tart I would put down my tea, stand upon the table and shout
“ Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead, for the Thy Light is Come!”

Love, Mistral
Last edited by mistral on Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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mistral
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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by mistral » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:52 pm

In Need of Breath

My Heart
Is an unset jewel
Upon the tender night
Yearning for its dear old friend
The Moon

When the Nameless One debuts again
Ten thousand facets of my being unfurl wings
And reveal such a rediance inside
I enter a realm divine
I too begin to so sweetly cast light,
like a Lamp
Through the streets of this
World.

My heart is an unset jewel
Upon existence
Waiting for the Friend's touch.

Tonight
My heart is an unset ruby
Offered bowed and weeping to the Sky.

I am dying in these cold hours
For the resplendent glance of God
I am dying
Because of a divine remembrance
Of who-- I really am.

Hafiz (Mystic Persian Poet)

Love Gift from Mistral (The Old Tart)

Robin
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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by Robin » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:46 am

Hi mistral,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts; I too had a mixed feeling about the text. I wonder if it’s possible for the ego to fake enlightenment and instead of experience real love making itself grand instead believing in being special and spiritual superior.
In that way real love is not experienced but a fake freedom being superior and grand.
Cheers
Robin

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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by kiki » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:36 pm

I wonder if it’s possible for the ego to fake enlightenment and instead of experience real love making itself grand instead believing in being special and spiritual superior.
It sure is.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Elise
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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by Elise » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:57 pm

Robin wrote: In that way real love is not experienced but a fake freedom being superior and grand.
Hmm, this is such a good response. I didnt feel like Jeff was being ego-tistical at all. On the contrary, I felt he was being present with what is. I've read all the responses but I didnt have much to say because the text really resonated with me & I enjoyed it.

What I like about the way jeff writes is he is very immersed in the moment but not attached to everything as it goes down.. its sort of like... the obeserving presence.. 'There is only this: breathing, heart beating, sounds, colours, tea cups chinking, warm tea, voices, light, heat. This is all there is.' its kind of fun to observe him sort of taking everything in from his perspective. I dont experience things in exactly the same way but I love listening to others experiences.

For some love is attachment but for me i've had a hard time with getting attached and then having an achy heart because of it. When I read Eckhart Tolles the power of now, the chapter on relationships, it really helped me realise that love is attention and presence not 'needing" or "wanting* the other. To me this is what this writing reminds me of.

I'm here, I love you, but I am aware of your total freedom - you dont have to be here - but you are. There is no sense of you are mine, and if i lose whats mine, its all over, i've lost myself. 'No sense of possession at all'

"We both have the absolute freedom to walk away.. I'm always amazed by that: she has the absolute freedom to walk away, but she hasn't yet. for now..what is left is a simple gratitude for her being here."

And this is true isnt it? We are always free and are in every moment making a choice to be with someone. Its only when we think we don't have a choice we feel suffocated... And you can be totally present enjoying what is in the moment without needing it to be any different, aware of what a beautiful gift it is. That way the relationship is always fresh and new.

Those are my thoughts.. to each his own :wink:

lucy
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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by lucy » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:20 pm

Elise wrote:That way the relationship is always fresh and new.
Yes, i agree Elise. I like the way Jeff refers to the relationship as a third entity that our mind creates. How many of us spend most of our time servicing or nurturing that entity instead of the person?

Robin
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Re: Beautiful writing: My Girlfriend by Jeff Foster

Post by Robin » Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:14 pm

Elise wrote:
Robin wrote: In that way real love is not experienced but a fake freedom being superior and grand.
Hmm, this is such a good response. I didnt feel like Jeff was being ego-tistical at all. On the contrary, I felt he was being present with what is. I've read all the responses but I didnt have much to say because the text really resonated with me & I enjoyed it.

What I like about the way jeff writes is he is very immersed in the moment but not attached to everything as it goes down.. its sort of like... the obeserving presence.. 'There is only this: breathing, heart beating, sounds, colours, tea cups chinking, warm tea, voices, light, heat. This is all there is.' its kind of fun to observe him sort of taking everything in from his perspective. I dont experience things in exactly the same way but I love listening to others experiences.

For some love is attachment but for me i've had a hard time with getting attached and then having an achy heart because of it. When I read Eckhart Tolles the power of now, the chapter on relationships, it really helped me realise that love is attention and presence not 'needing" or "wanting* the other. To me this is what this writing reminds me of.

I'm here, I love you, but I am aware of your total freedom - you dont have to be here - but you are. There is no sense of you are mine, and if i lose whats mine, its all over, i've lost myself. 'No sense of possession at all'

"We both have the absolute freedom to walk away.. I'm always amazed by that: she has the absolute freedom to walk away, but she hasn't yet. for now..what is left is a simple gratitude for her being here."

And this is true isnt it? We are always free and are in every moment making a choice to be with someone. Its only when we think we don't have a choice we feel suffocated... And you can be totally present enjoying what is in the moment without needing it to be any different, aware of what a beautiful gift it is. That way the relationship is always fresh and new.

Those are my thoughts.. to each his own :wink:

I really understand where you are coming from and I too see the beauty in the text. I would like to know what we do with all that space, that wonderful freedom not to have and not to need anything!?
How do we know that we are not trapped in a new identity, let’s call us the enlighten one, the one who needs nothing, wants nothing and give space and is space to all. Total freedom! We don’t belong anymore to the needy masses. We have made it! I feel great I have space my space, me, my and I are totally free.
I believe a good way to test our new found freedom is if we noticing that we still need to defend our new freedom, is our freedom depending on something, do we “need” now our space?? Is my time with myself and me threatened or can I expand and give my space as a present to all and for all at all times, wanting nothing anymore because I have died to myself and me. I don’t even have a need to be enlightened anymore; I give space to neediness and allow it in my life.
Peace
Robin

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