Jonathan Foust

May 31, 2009

Art for Art’s Sake

Filed under: Cool Things, Observations, Video — jonathanfoust @ 12:50 pm

Western-style Sand Painting:


May 30, 2009

A Question of Style

Filed under: Nature, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 12:35 pm

Two approaches to hydration represented by two standard poodles:

Don't get those toenails wet!

Don't get those toenails wet!

Definitely pulling water uphill.

Definitely pulling water uphill.

Full bodied hydration.

Full bodied hydration.

Drinking and walking meditation.

Drinking as walking meditation.

Paul Hawken and the New Operating System

Filed under: Observations, Quotation — jonathanfoust @ 11:20 am

A beautiful commencement address by Paul Hawken to the University of Portland.

When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.” No pressure there.

Let’s begin with the startling part. Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation… but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, civilization needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

May 27, 2009

Get Your Tickets Now

Filed under: Dharma, Video — jonathanfoust @ 3:45 pm

Tickets go on sale on Friday, May 30th for the Dalai Lama’s visit to DC and presentation on October 10th.  You can go here for more information.  There is always great energy at these events.

A short clip from the Dalai Lama on meditation:

May 25, 2009

It’s a Jungle Out There

Filed under: Nature, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 10:48 am

The heat is bringing out the bugs … and the snakes!  This first creature was right along the path next to the river.

A mild-mannered resident of River Bend Park.

A mild-mannered resident of River Bend Park.

Sunday was the first day of kayaking.  The flow is pretty strong right now so it’s a great workout to head up river until nicely tired, then float back and play around the rocks and eddies.  I came upon this creature who didn’t seem to mind me cycling back a few times to try to get a better shot.   Since I don’t have a waterproof camera and the current was pretty strong, I didn’t get that sharp a shot, but I did get close enough to pay my respects.  It’s hard to get perspective, but this creature was huge!

Catching some rays.
This is one serious serpent.

May 22, 2009

A few local images

Filed under: Nature, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 10:15 am
A band of yearlings.

A band of yearlings.

Standing duck

Gosling Update

Filed under: Nature, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 10:12 am
They grow up so fast ...  It took a while for the parents to relax enough to let this little one stray a little bit.

They grow up so fast ... It took a while for the parents to relax enough to give this little one some wandering room.

Five Months of Silence

Filed under: Dharma, Meditation — jonathanfoust @ 9:59 am

There is an aspect of any spiritual discipline that entails restraint with awareness.  When we step away from habitual activity and pay careful attention to what arises and our relationship to it, we become more self aware.  This is a short piece on someone who practiced silence while on a five-month retreat.  It’s here on the Huffington Post.

Thanks, Janice, for the link.

May 19, 2009


Filed under: Nature, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 7:16 am

I took this shot before the retreat, and haven’t seen much of them until recently, when I saw they were down to one gosling.


May 17, 2009

The “What Am I?” Retreat

Filed under: Dharma, Meditation, Quotation — jonathanfoust @ 5:02 pm

An important aspect of the “What Am I?” retreat we did on Saturday is the principle of “interpersonal meditation.”  In addition to silent practice, participants sit quietly with another person.  The questioner asks, “Please tell me what you are.”  After a sincere inquiry into what happens inside contemplating the question, the speaker shares what arises in the mind and body.

Because we hold a commitment to confidentiality and do not ‘discuss’ what arises, participants feel free to openly share what they notice internally when they take on this most challenging inquiry.  What happens for many is a sense of safety, trust and though there is no ‘discussion,’ a deepening sense of intimacy – with ourselves and each other.

I’m struck by the following poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, which speaks to the connection possible between us:

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

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