Day 10 of the Feast
Dear One,

I want to share an inspirational passage by Lao Tzu, the 6th century Chinese mystic, philosopher, and founder of Taoism. Years ago, this passage awakened me to my personal responsibility in creating more peace, and this changed the course of my life.

“If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.”

This passage continues to inspire my commitment to cultivating personal peace as a necessary element to a world of peace. And that is my deepest driving desire, to do what I can to create peace on this planet. Lao Tzu's message inspires me as I continue to teach others how to begin a meditation practice so they, too, can access that unshakeable internal peace in their heart.

Though I wish it could be, peace cannot be legislated, nor imposed, and no one can create your personal peace for you. Instead, it is the responsibility of each one of us to make the internal and external adjustments and create our own personal peace, no matter what is going on in the world. 
Thank you for putting your spirituality first during this time of deep practice. I am practicing with you.

Here's to peace inside and out.

Love, Sarah

Sarah McLean
Director, Feast for the Soul, Inc.
Sedona, Arizona
Meditation Teacher Highlight
Tune into the light of joy, love and peace with Ravi Walsh. Author of The Contemplative Heart: A Path To Self-Mastery, Ravi is a Co-Founder of The HeartPath Institute of Spiritual Direction and Reiki Master Training. With 30 years of intensive study and practice in the ancient teachings of Kashmir Shaivism and Advaita Vedanta, he guides people to center their awareness in the changeless experience of pure consciousnesses of The Heart.

Spiritual Practice Tip
Japa is the meditative repetition of a mantra or a divine name and is the perfect type of meditation to teach the power of repetition. Repetition is what is important for cultivating a deep practice and for making true changes in one's physiology and behavior. Japa is a meditative practice found in most religions including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism.

You can choose a mantra such as “om namah shivayah,” or "Ave Maria" or "Neshima" and then recite the mantra softly, or repeating it in your mind. Choose your mantras carefully, or as some say, let the mantra choose you. Mantras are known as the seeds of language, and they have the power to both control and protect the human mind.

Often japa is practiced with a string of mala beads in your right hand. Mala beads, like a rosary, are made from sandalwood, beautiful stones, woods, or seeds and are typically comprised of 108 beads, with a guru (teacher) bead, which is slightly larger than the others.

On a practical, everyday level, japa meditation helps to relieve stress because repetition redirects and quiets the mind. Without negative thought patterns taking over your mind, you naturally eliminate stress.
Living the Feast

“If you have a peaceful mind and peaceful thoughts, water becomes more peaceful.” – Dr. Emoto

To demonstrate the power of human words and thought, Dr. Emoto used an uncommon technique: a rice experiment. He puts some rice into three glass beakers and then fills the beakers with enough water to submerge the rice. To the first beaker, he states the phrase (in Japanese): “Thank you,” to the second he says, “You’re an idiot,” and he completely ignores the third. Watch the video to see what the effect of thoughts can do.
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