Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nonduality Highlights each day

How to submit material to the Highlights


#4414 - Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz  

The Nonduality Highlights -     

  Jeff Foster is a delightful and gracious person. This is from his website:

These days, because I’m no longer identified as being an Advaita teacher (and certainly not a ‘teacher of radical Advaita’), in my meetings and retreats the following rules and regulations no longer apply:

  1. You shall not talk about your personal story
  2. You shall not use the words ‘I’ or ‘me’ or ‘myself’
  3. If you talk about your personal story, you will be laughed at, or your experience will be dismissed or invalidated, or you will be punished. Or you will be told that you are still ‘stuck in the dream’, or ‘ignorant of your true nature’, or that ‘liberation obviously hasn’t happened there yet’…

Yes, everybody is free, really free, thank goodness, to use whatever words they want to, to talk about their human experiences in whatever way feels right and honest and true to them, to tell their story. Stories are allowed – all human experience is allowed. And of course the meetings and retreats are not about indulging those stories, or ‘fixing’ them, but they are not about denying or rejecting the stories either.

In the meetings we shine light on the story – we en-lighten the seeker. We don’t feed the seeker with new concepts like “there is no me” (although those words may be used on certain occasions as pointers), and we don’t deny the appearance of the seeker or pretend there is no such thing as human suffering (and how easy it is to deny suffering when you are not suffering!). What cuts right through the middle of indulging the storylines and denying them is present seeing – a seeing that you cannot do, a seeing that you already are. The meetings are all about a rediscovery of that seeing – which is the end of seeking.

True freedom is not about escaping from the personal into the impersonal – it is to be found right at the heart of even the most intimately personal human experience. And so what a relief it is, to be a living, breathing, human being again, to allow life to express itself as this human name and form, as this beautifully personal human experience, and to know that it is none other than the impersonal dancing, playing, celebrating itself in every moment. I thank the teachers of radical Advaita for singing their song, and I respectfully break with their tradition once and for all – for all traditions are limited, and the song of life cannot be contained. Fundamentalism cannot stand; love will destroy everything in the end.

So tell me your story, and let the impersonal shine.

~ ~ ~

Jeff's latest podcast is at

Jeff and Nic share a new perspective on depression, anxiety, grief, love and mental illness. Jeff talks about – the deeper meaning of ‘depression’ from a non-dual standpoint (what is the ‘self’ that is depressed?) – going beyond depression as a ‘disease’ and finding the truth in it – our tendency to escape pain and create suffering – and the possibility of finding freedom within that very suffering. He discusses how nonduality and wholeness relate to the experience of mental illness, how unconditional love and compassion can be discovered here and now, and the paradox of impersonal truth within personal experience.

top of page