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Life Without a Centre: Awakening from the Dream of Separation [Paperback]

Jeff Foster
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Dec 2006
We try to escape from the play of life and the suffering that being "a person in the world" entails. Our efforts to find spiritual enlightenment have the opposite effect and reinforce an underlying feeling of lack, of separation. In Life Without a Centre, Jeff Foster suggests that there is only ever the present appearance of life, with no individual at its core who could ever escape even if they wanted to. The entire spiritual search is nothing more than a game we play with ourselves, the cosmic entertainment. Jeff cuts through the confusion and frustration surrounding the search for escape through spiritual enlightenment, by pointing to the utterly obvious: This moment, and everything that arises in it, is already the liberation that is sought. Life, just as it is, is already what we've been searching for our entire lives. Jeff Foster graduated in astrophysics from Cambridge University. Soon after graduation, life events propelled him onto an intense two-year spiritual search, culminating in the realisation that there was never anything to find in the first place. He currently writes and talks on what some people have called "non-duality", but which he just refers to as "the utterly, utterly obvious".

Product details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Non-Duality Press; Revised Edition edition (12 Dec 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955399904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955399909
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 12.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 722,230 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Well I have been a seeker on and off for nearly 30 years now, and in the past few years have progressed onto Non dual/Advaita teachings.Thank goodness for this book is all that I can say!This is probably one of the clearest books available, pointing back time and again to the utterly obvious (as the author would put it) present.It hit me time and time again during my reading of this book,how strongly I've been searching my entire 64 years for something special, and as the book says, ignoring the "utterly obvious" present.I love is that this book never preaches or pretends to have all the answers,and it feels so human and alive, it really resonates with aliveness and clarity, and it has been invaluable for me in letting go of some of those precious beliefs that one day I would be enlightened (after 64 years you'd have thought 'one day' would never come!).

All I can say is that this book left such clarity and, dare I say it, love and stillness. Whilst reading,the anxious,seeking mind simply melted away and there was such luminous clarity and presence.This is truly a special book, alhough of course, as the author says, its not really special at all.I reccommend "Life Without A Centre" highly, it is just what is needed here, and after years of seeking it couldnt have come out at a better time. As it says on the back:

"Freedom and enlightenment are to be found nowhere else but here"

Yes of course,right here, I am smiling to myself as I type this for seeking elsewhere for all those years! I cant give high enough praise to this book.Highly recommended, FIVE stars.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end of the road.... 16 Aug 2007
Astonishing book. What else is there to say?! This really is the 'end of the spiritual search'.... the 'Bottom Line' of spirituality! If you've read everything else on nonduality this is the one to kill the whole thing stone dead. WOW.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As clear as it gets 26 April 2008
By Pete
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Over and over again Jeff points out that already what you are is 'this', 'presence' and any idea of being an individual, having and past and future, having anything at all in fact that is personal, that could constitute a 'you' is just a thought!!! That idea of a 'you' is not doing seeking but is in fact the seeking itself!! So this idea, this 'you' can not give up the seeking anymore than it can do anything else. All apparently happens, to no-one and the 'you' that may or may not seem so solid, is that seeking, is that looking for something more, something that is not 'this' 'presence'.

There's a great quote at the start of this book that sums the whole thing up....
"The life I am trying to grasp
is the me that is trying to grasp it."

You'll love this book if there is a resonance with any of the following ... Nathan Gill, Tony Parsons, Leo Hartong, Unmani, sailor bob etc

This book is brilliant!!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new in THIS book... 13 Oct 2009
Honestly, I thought this book was going to be great, unfortunately it was the opposite. The book starts well and it says some interesting things, however nothing really new. If you have read J.Krishnamurti you'll find that many of the stuff said in this book was previously said by J.K itself, and more importantly in a far much more elegant way. I didn't give just one star because there are a few interesting ideas in this book, but eventually it turns into a meaningless word play. If you are looking for something clear and poweful you should get this book Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the last book... 7 Jan 2007
This book is the perfect one to end the apparent search...nothing to gain,nothing to get,just the constant reminding that this is all there is and that this present appearance can't be avoided and is perfect as it is...Jeff beautifully expresses what is beyond all paradoxes,all words,all concepts,all appearances...what can be said after that?...
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dont Know what to say........... 1 Jun 2009
Five hours after finishing this book I lay in bed and as I relaxed I began to smile and then gently laugh.....and the most liberating thing....I was laughing at 'myself'!!!

So, we are all searching for something more, something special....dare I say it....ENLIGHTENMENT.Yes, the ultimate state, free of ego, thought, mental discord. Many years we have all sought to become enlightened.....but this book asked one question that blew me away!! ...and the question..'WHO IS IT THAT IS SEEKING ENLIGHTENMENT??' When you contemplate this it will not take you long to confirm that it is your 'ego' / this 'false self' that is doing the seeking. But what does this mean?? This means that our ego is searching to free itself from ITSELF!!!!!!!!

Is it hell!!! No, this search for enlightenment is another genius game created by the ego-mind to keep it alive. Answer me the ego EVER going to find a way to liberate itself from ITSELF!! - to do so would be its The ego searching to undo itself?? - I dont think so - its like 'a dog chasing its own tail!!!!' - its only going to go round and round in circles!

If you can grasp this book (through the 200 paradoxical statements that melt your head) it will have an impact that words cant describe. And if you dont get it - hold on to the book - pick it up and read it at another time - maybe you will get it then. After all, it is not to be understood by the mind, it can only be felt.

I would wish you all good luck in your 'search' but after reading this book I feel that I would only be 'taking the piss'

In summary, well worth a purchase. Enjoy.
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