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An Extraordinary Absence: Liberation in the Midst of a Very Ordinary Life [Paperback]

Jeff Foster
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.65
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Book Description

1 Oct 2009
Jeff Foster invites you to forget everything you know, everything you've been taught, everything you've ever read about spiritual awakening, Oneness, enlightenment, nonduality and Advaita, and to consider a new possibility: the possibility of absolute freedom, right now, right here in the midst of this very ordinary life. Using everyday language and drawing on both personal experience and age-old wisdom, Jeff shares the possibility that all the seeking and longing of the mind can come to an absolute end with the falling-away of the sense of being a separate individual, and a plunge into unconditional love. And in that plunge - which is totally beyond anything you have ever imagined - this so-called ordinary life reveals its great Secret. Written with stunning clarity and aliveness, this book is a love letter to the exhausted spiritual seeker who is simply longing to come Home.

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An Extraordinary Absence: Liberation in the Midst of a Very Ordinary Life + The Deepest Acceptance: Radical Awakening in Ordinary Life + The Wonder of Being: Awakening to an Intimacy Beyond Words
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Product details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Non-Duality Press (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956309100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956309105
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 295,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeff Foster studied Astrophysics at Cambridge University. In his mid-twenties, after a long period of depression and illness, he became addicted to the idea of 'spiritual enlightenment' and embarked on an intensive spiritual quest for the ultimate truth of existence.

The spiritual search came crashing down with the clear recognition of the non-dual nature of everything, and the discovery of the extraordinary in the ordinary. In the clarity of this seeing, life became what it always was: intimate, open, loving and spontaneous, and Jeff was left with a deep understanding of the root illusion behind all human suffering, and a love of the present moment.

He presently holds meetings, retreats and private one-to-one sessions around the world, gently but directly pointing people back to the deep acceptance inherent in the present moment. He helps people discover who they really are, beyond all thoughts and judgments about themselves, even in the midst of the stress and struggle of modern day living and intimate relationships.

Jeff's teaching style is direct and uncompromising and yet full of humanity, humor and compassion. He believes that freedom is everybody's birthright. He belongs to no tradition or lineage, and makes his teaching accessible to all.

Jeff was voted #51 in Watkins Mind Body Spirit's 2012 list of the world's 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People. Jeff has published four books in over six languages. His latest book The Deepest Acceptance was published in 2012 by Sounds True.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, beautiful, life changing 16 Feb 2011
This is going to be two firsts for me, writing a review and reading a book on non-duality.
For a while now I have been the typical spiritual seeker that Jeff addresses in this book but I have never found enlightenment.
I have been drawn to the title of this book for a while and last week made the decision to buy it, and I'm eternally glad that I did!
This is not a book about finding enlightenment, it is just a realisation that life and everything in it is amazing. A fresh perspective that is difficult to describe in words.
Jeff Foster is also great in the sense that he is not a teacher, he encourages you to realise that he is not a guru of any sort, but just a normal guy reminding us of something we already know.
I read the whole book in two days (I couldn't put it down!)
My fear of death has dissolved and a whole new appreciation for life has been ignited.
If you do anything today, BUY THIS BOOK!
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey and journal of an awakened being. 12 Jan 2010
By stephen Luff TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a specialised subject.

This is book that lets you be an observer sitting inside the mind of one who has had an awakening.

What I was hoping to get from this book was the journaling of the journey afterwards. Awakening can happen to anyone. Its what happens next that determines the full experience and embracing of the moment.

The book refers to non-duality, ie not separate beings. Non duality goes further to suggest that there isn't actually a someone inside us. We live in a dreamworld that hints strongly that this life is totally real, but through observation and to a degree logic, non-duality refers to the absence of someone.

Jeff Foster explains that non-duality teachings are just pointers. One should not get hung up on the exact code of the language. Once awakening has been achieved, perhaps use the teaching to find the correct mind-setting and then let it go.

Jeff's mind-setting is that he expresses that there really is no real Jeff. Jeff is part of the dream, the play. Jeff responds to calls, to conversations, pain, joy but is certainly not separate from the connection of everything.

He walks us through his life. He reveals his torture as a human being and the extreme unhappiness he experienced. He then gets the 'spiritual search for the meaning of life' flame. He devours many books, shuts himself off completely, physically and mentally. Eventually he arrives at a point of complete void. He feels nothing.

He then passes through this phase and 'matures' into connecting with everything as an observer. He feels everything. Nothing is excluded from the love that passes through him.

I guess I found a resonance with Jeff's observations. I could see the logic to let go and stop pushing out.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essence of non-duality - pure and simple 21 Sep 2010
With "An extraordinary absence" Jeff Foster has written a book that cuts straight to the chase and tells it like it is. It's a book whose main message is that of oneness and the illusory nature of the separate person. That's hardly a new message, but it's rare to get it expressed in such a coherent, simple and profound way as in this book. The problem with many books that deal with non-dualist philosophy is that they tend to be full of cliches and banalities, but that's definitely not the case with this one. A distinct clarity rings out to the reader from start to finish and even though it's written in a simple and straightforward style, it's still a book full of truly profound insight. This is one of the few books on non-duality I've read that I would classify as a page turner. It really is that good. There is something innocent and unpretentious about the way Jeff Foster writes. He interweaves incidents from his personal life into the text, but it's done in such a way that it highlights the basic message of oneness in a way that's easy to relate to. No word can express truth, but "An extraordinary absence" is an excellent pointer in the right direction. "An extraordinary absence" presents the ancient philosophy of Advaita, or non-dualism, in a way that is suitable for our times without compromising the integrity and essence of the teaching. Very highly recommended for anyone who is drawn to truth and spiritual awakening.

Pathik Strand, author of All This is That
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The miracle of life! 13 April 2010
A beautiful book about nothing... and, well, everything. Strips non-duality of all its intellectual fluff and gets right to the heartbreaking-ly bittersweet core of it all. I loved the real-life examples. Life is truly a miracle.
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