Jonathan Foust

January 9, 2010

The River in Winter

Filed under: Nature, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 4:26 pm

A few shots from early morning ramblings to the river:

The last snowfall left about two inches of powder on everything so the first soft breezes carried the flakes into space.

I love smell of gooseprints in the morning.

I love the smell of gooseprints in the morning.

Geese among the ice flows.

Geese in the ice flows.

This Canada goose and Coots share the limited open water.

This Canada Goose and Coots share the remaining open water.


December 27, 2009

The New Year’s Retreat

Filed under: Dharma, Meditation, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 12:36 pm

Digging out from the blizzard of '09.

Today we pack up and head out to the New Year’s Retreat.  This year we’ll have 120 people, our largest group yet.  I suspect we’ll have both sides of the coin.  A large group builds a lot of energy as we practice for five days in silence together.  We’ll also probably be treated to an unprecedented symphony of sniffs, coughs and sneezes.

I’m looking forward to the week, which will be paradoxically quite busy for me.  I’ll be leading mindful movement sessions twice a day, facilitating group interviews, private interviews, leading some sits and giving a talk on “Impermanence and The Body.”

Enjoy your week.  Happy holidays!

November 11, 2009


Filed under: Nature, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 9:24 am

Just as the sun peeps over the horizon, the light bounces off the water and hits the Paw Paw trees.  Details and colors from the decaying leaves jump out. Here are a few ‘leaf portraits.’

The equipment has a lot to do with the detail and color saturation.  For the geeks, these are shot with a Canon T1i with a 70-200mm 1:2.8L series lens and a 1.4x teleplus pro extender, the latter a new addition with thanks and gratitude to Kevin McDonough, my photography benefactor and dharma buddy.

fall leaves1

fall leaves2

fall leaves3

October 30, 2009

Back from Retreat

Filed under: Photography — jonathanfoust @ 6:04 pm
The gardens at Seven Oaks.

The productive gardens at Seven Oaks retreat center.

I’m just back from the IMCW week-long retreat at Seven Oaks.  Seven days of silent practice.  I’m a bit bleary, but inspired.  I was up at 5:45 to lead morning yoga and each day I was fully engaged.  Mornings were filled with back to back interviews and I did a dharma talk, led a metta meditation and afternoon yoga. I’d fall into bed each night pretty spent.

I’ll have links to the talks and possibly a number of my movement classes available in the near future.

We had 67 yogis for the weekend and 43 who stayed on for the whole week.  It takes a special kind of maniac to sit for a week of silent practice.  I have to say this was an inspiring collection of maniacs.

We had over 30 people turned away for this retreat so if you’re interested in the five-day New Year’s Retreat coming up at the end of December, you might want to register now.  We’ll have a repeat gathering of the teachers:  Tara Brach, Pat Coffey, Hugh Byrne and myself.

October 21, 2009

First Fall Mornings

Filed under: Photography — jonathanfoust @ 2:44 pm

The first frost of the season arrived, quickly disappearing in the morning sunlight.  A few select morning shots for you:

From crystal to vapor.

From crystal to vapor.

Flushing a buck.

Flushing a buck.

Dead on the job. I don't know about the resolution here, but you can see ice crystals on the bee's back.

Dead on the job. I don't know about the resolution here, but you can see ice crystals on the bee's back.

Canadian Thistle in Transition

Canadian Thistle in Transition

Morning.  Glory.

Morning. Glory.

October 14, 2009

Good Mornings

Filed under: Nature, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 11:50 am

My morning ritual is pretty simple.  Roll out of bed, get dressed, use the bathroom, grab my camera and paraphernalia, roust the dogs and head out into the woods.  I’m either in pitch darkness or with some light from the moon.

The dogs are in full bliss state and it’s easy to tap into their alertness, joy and enthusiasm.

Whatever route I take through the woods and fields to the water, I’m almost always there to catch the sunrise.  My dear Uncle Dave, who taught creative writing most of his life, used to often gripe about how our language doesn’t reflect reality.

“It’s not sunrise,” he would often say, “It’s actually earthturn.”

So here are some choice Earth Turn photos from the past ten days:

sunrise rosy

sunrise salmon

sunrise grey

sunrise moody


October 1, 2009

An Interview with Yours Truly on Mindfulness and Focusing

Filed under: Focusing, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 6:41 pm

You know that 'tangled up' feeling?

You know that 'tangled up' feeling?

You may know I am trained as a trainer in the art of Focusing, a mind/body discipline that is intimately related (in my opinion) to the art of meditation.

You can listen to a half hour interview with moi on this topic interviewed by Serge Prengel, who conducts Focusing-related interviews for the Focusing Institute.

If you are interested, you can read more about Focusing on my site.

I love this work.

With any gnarly issue, whether it be physical pain, emotional turmoil, obsessive thinking or a general sense of malaise, this approach has a potent way of getting under the story to where it lives inside and can help cultivate a fundamental shift as to how it feels and how you relate to it.

As you’ll hear me say, my experience of Focusing is that it is not only intensely therapeutic, but ultimately I view it as a training in how we pay attention.

Just as in meditation we learn, over time, to shift our attention from the world of thought and story to the direct and immediate compassionate inquiry into present embodied experience.

September 30, 2009

What is the Attitude in Your Mind Right Now?

Filed under: Dharma, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 3:29 pm

When Joseph Goldstein was in DC this summer he shared an inquiry he’s found quite helpful in his meditation practice.   I’ve noticed it helpful as well and have been sharing this when I guide meditation.

“What is the attitude in your mind right now?”  Is there striving?  Aversion?  Grasping?

Somehow this question can help to ‘reset’ my awareness from being consumed by a reaction to what’s happening to an attitude of softening, noticing and being more present to whatever is there.

In class this week I mentioned the retreats led by Sayadaw U Tejaniya, who emphasizes focusing not as much on technique as on being intimately aware of the attitude in each moment – the relationship to this play of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral sensations.

Sayadaw U Tejaniya

Sayadaw U Tejaniya

Tricycle Magazine recently featured an interview with U Tejaniya where he goes deeper into the practice of ‘mindfulness in everyday life.”  He also has a few interesting things to say about his experience of depression and the practice of ‘noting,’ which I mentioned in class this week.

I hope you enjoy it.

September 29, 2009

Birds on the Wires

Filed under: Photography, Video — jonathanfoust @ 3:19 pm

Very creative.

(Thanks, Beth.)

September 28, 2009

Shot of the Day

Filed under: Nature, Photography — jonathanfoust @ 9:05 am

From this morning just after sunrise, tracking migrating geese heading for the horizon.

Geese in flight

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