Day 14 of the Feast
Dear One,

Every day I wake up with a song in my head. Today it was this one. It's by Alanis Morrisette, an American/Canadian songwriter. Here are some of the lyrics. I especially love this line: How 'bout remembering your divinity....

"The moment I let go of it
was the moment
I got more than I could handle

The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down

How 'bout no longer being masochistic
How 'bout remembering your divinity
How 'bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How 'bout not equating death with stopping

Thank you India
Thank you providence
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you nothingness
Thank you clarity
Thank you thank you silence."

Thank you for putting your spirituality first during this time of deep practice. I am practicing with you.

Love, Sarah

Sarah McLean
Director, Feast for the Soul, Inc.
Sedona, Arizona

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Meditation Teacher Highlight
Aqdas Newmark has been a mureed in the Sufi Order International since 1976 and serves as a representative, retreat guide, and mentor for Suluk Academy. Her retreats and workshops highlight illumination, integration, and spirituality in everyday life. She is also a psychologist in private practice in California. Find out more about her and all the western Sufis sharing teachings for Feasters, here. This meditation guides listeners into opening the heart and soul to spiritual light, unity, and Divine Guidance.

Spiritual Practice Tip
Envision a peaceful world. 

Let's not forget that there are many of us praying and practicing to create peace. Even right now, in this moment.
 
Here's a beautiful practice that you can do, it's called Loving Kindness and offers the immediate benefit of sweetening and changing old habituated negative patterns of thinking. You'll begin with focusing your attention on love, then on yourself, and from there, offering a blessing to others.

Set aside 10-20 minutes and give this practice a try:

  • Sit down and relax your body. Close your eyes.
  • Notice the rise and fall of your chest and bring your attention to your heart center. Place your hand there gently if you'd like.
  • Take some time to cultivate a warm and gentle feeling. One way to do that is by bringing to mind someone who truly loves you and how it feels to be loved. Bask in the sensation of love. 
  • Next, bring your attention to yourself. 
  • Silently say some sweet things to yourself (see some examples and choose one that resonates with you, or come up with your own):

May I/you be filled with loving kindness.
May I/you be healthy. May I/you be free from suffering. May I/you be at peace.
May I/you be safe, may I/you be cared for, may I/you know love.
May I/you know and experience God fully.

  • Be sincere, kind, and loving toward yourself.  
  • Notice how your heart and mind respond. Perhaps your heart fills with the warmth of your own love.
  • Next, offer this same blessing to others.  
  • You can bring to your heart/mind those that are close to you, then others you believe are suffering, and even people who are difficult to love. Spend a little time on each person. There is no need to hurry.
  • When you feel complete keep your eyes closed for a few minutes and enjoy for a few moments your state of being. 
  • The more you practice Loving Kindness, the more kind, loving and peaceful you'll be.

Each one of us can be a force of love and peace on this planet, even in the face of tragedy and strife. There is a centerpoint of peace in each and every one of us. Meditation helps you to dwell there.  Being grateful for our lives, imagining this earth as a peaceful place, and praying for the wellbeing of all its inhabitants can help make a difference in these chaotic moments. 

Living the Feast
"During a tense moment, secretly identify someone around you. Then take one slow, deep breath, giving full attention to the feeling in either your nose or your belly, and maintain that focus as you slowly exhale. On the exhale, think, "I wish for the person to be happy!" Sincere goodwill is picked up unconsciously by others and creates trust that leads to more positive interactions."
~From Joy on Demand, Chade-Meng Tan
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