Jonathan Foust

August 31, 2009

It’s Been a Year

Filed under: Observations, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 4:43 pm

Four faces

Wow.  A one year old blog.  I started this last August as a way to get some creative juices flowing.  It’s been fun!   I’ve tried to post something at least once a week whether it be a “Happy for No Reason video,” a thought sparked from a dharma talk, some photos I’d recently taken or a reference I thought might be interesting.

I’ve been delighted at the ‘following’ that’s developed and am tickled when someone tells me how much they enjoy it.

Feel free to send along a resource you think others might enjoy, as well as any suggestions and / or feedback.

Thanks for your attention!

Down the River

Filed under: Nature, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 3:54 pm

Sunday I did a solo kayak trip from Algonkian Park in Sterling, VA to River Bend Park, right near our house. It was 3+ hours of pretty consistent paddling.

I don’t have a waterproof camera and only yanked out my little Canon A640 a few times, but wanted to share just a few of the images on the trip.

Part of what makes this trip interesting is navigating through the  Seneca Breaks, a mile and a half long section of class I and II rapids.  After all the rain this last week, the Potomac was a riled up muddy mess, but it made for some fun scooting through the fast sections.

When you put in at Algonkian, at least on a Sunday, you’ll find yourself sharing the river with party boats, speedboats, bass boats, jetskis, canoes and kayaks.  The further down river you go the more remote it becomes and below the rapids I had a few hours all to myself.

As the humans thinned out the wildlife became more bold.  I saw white egrets, quite a few bald eagles, hawks, herons, jumping fish, a fox drinking on the bank, turtles and heard hidden, chattering songbirds.

At first I thought this was a giant insect.

At first I thought this was a giant insect.

Taking a break in Seneca Breaks.

Taking a break in Seneca Breaks.

eagles at seneca breaks

Two Bald Eagles messing around on a hot afternoon.

August 26, 2009

Moments

Filed under: Observations, Video — jonathanfoust @ 7:11 am

This piece from Radio Lab is an exploration of a collection of moments.  When I feel sadness or regret I’ve come to notice that it is often when I recognize how much of my life I wasn’t there for – all the moments I missed because I was someone on my way somewhere else.

August 24, 2009

First Signs

Filed under: Nature, Photography, Quotation — jonathanfoust @ 10:55 am

It’s coming.  The Fall.  I love this coming season and I find myself already missing the summer, which is kind of ridiculous, as it’s gorgeous out right now.  The quote below says it all when it comes to all the seasons we live through.

The first leaves in transition.

The first leaves in transition.

“What is the secret to your serenity?,” asks the student.

“Wholehearted cooperation with the inevitable,” said the Master.

– Anthony De Mello

August 21, 2009

Sand Painting at a New Level

Filed under: Cool Things, Video — jonathanfoust @ 6:31 pm

Meditation in motion.

(Thanks, George!)

August 20, 2009

Dreading and Loving Your Meditation Retreat

Filed under: Dharma, Meditation — jonathanfoust @ 12:41 pm

Robert Wright has been on the airwaves of late promoting his new book, The Evolution of God.  I heard him interviewed on NPR as I was driving up to New England earlier this summer.  I was tickled that when pressed about his own spirituality and mystical experiences, he spoke of his time at a rural meditation retreat center in Western, MA.

Not too much sleuthing revealed that place as The Insight Meditation Society (IMS) and his meditation retreat as Vipassana.

This piece from the New York Times speaks so well to our love/dread affair with all things meditation.

(Thanks, Holly!)

August 17, 2009

Happy For Reason: Tunak Tunak Tun

Filed under: Happy for No Reason, Video — jonathanfoust @ 7:42 pm

Words fail to express what exactly this video is.  I can only summarize it as yet another one of the 10,000 expression of being happy for absolutely no reason. And I  might add that this video fills me with giddiness at how creativity and joy pervade all cultures.

I’d like to hang out with this guy!

Best to turn up the volume and let it flow.

(Thanks, Nar!)

August 10, 2009

How Does This Moment Want You To Be With It?

Filed under: Dharma, Meditation, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 2:53 pm

AYTT graduation

I’m just home from leading a nine-day training on teaching meditation.  This is part of a 500-hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training program at Kripalu Center.  This group of 40 was made up of active and experienced yoga teachers.  The retreat was deep, still, filled with tears and laughter. I kvell when I think of each of these gifted and dedicated leaders taking meditation out into the world.

We covered a wide variety of techniques:

  • Breath-based Meditation
  • Sensation-based Meditation
  • Mantra Meditation
  • Walking Meditation
  • Standing Meditation
  • Body-scan and Lying Down Meditation
  • Conscious Eating
  • Open-eyed Meditation (Tratak)
  • Loving Kindness Meditation
  • Slow Motion Prana Meditation

We focused on core, simple techniques that help practitioners shift from thinking to ‘being.’  Through the days of practice and sharing about techniques and their effects, I’m reminded how each moment requires caring attention and a question of ‘how this moment wants me to be with it.’

The yogic approach to meditation speaks of the balance of ‘chitta and prana.’  Chitta is mind and awareness.  Prana is energy and feeling.

We are constantly seeking balance between the two.  If you come home in your head and wound up tight from a hard day at work, you’ll want to do something to loosen up:  go for a run, do some yoga, pop a beer, take a nap, cook a meal.

Signs of ‘too much prana’ are those times when you are over-emotional, have 10,000 idea but just can’t complete one, feel confused and lost.  You’ll want to get your ‘chitta together’ and focus on what’s most important.  You might talk to someone to get some perspective or try to get centered, get some perspective and cultivate a sense of priorities.

Some meditation techniques, like counting breaths or steps when walking, are designed to cultivate one-pointedness and concentration. Other techniques, like slow-motion moving meditation and chanting, can open us up to a greater sense of flow and expansion.

I’m honored to have had this time with such dedicated and sincere teachers.  More photos at my flickr site.  I’ve got a lot of shots here so folks can pick the ones they like best.

August 3, 2009

Happy for No Reason: Parody of Wedding Entrance

Filed under: Happy for No Reason, Video — jonathanfoust @ 5:01 pm

If you’ve seen the ‘internet sensation’ wedding video I posted below, this is pretty funny spoof.  I appreciate the creativity and good natured fun of it all.  Not much redeeming value, but pretty entertaining …

August 2, 2009

Ancient Thangkas Discovered

Filed under: Humor, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 10:09 am

From an exhibition in Santa Fe and from a gallery in Hong Kong.  I KNEW these were deep archetypes!

(Thanks, Mark!)

Mickey tap1

Mickey tap2

Mickey tap 3

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