Day 11 of the Feast
Dear One,

Did you know that the earth is 4.5 billion years old and humans have been on the earth, or should I say walking and using fire on this beautiful planet for only 315,000 years? Just a little food for thought. This planet is long lasting and brilliant and we're lucky to call her home.

Today we're leaving Mexico, one of the more glorious spots on the globe, and I have to get ready to catch my plane. So instead of talking about life and love, these mystics will share their perspective. The first one is Rumi:

In truth everything and everyone
Is a shadow of the Beloved,
And our seeking is His seeking
And our words are His words...
We search for Him here and there,
While looking right at Him.
Sitting by His side, we ask:
"O Beloved, where is the Beloved?"

Here is how 16th Century Spanish mystic, Teresa of Avila, saw it:

Love is always stirring
and thinking about what it will do.
It cannot contain itself...

One of my other favorites is Lalla, a great saint and mystic from the Kashmir province of India, a region which had a deep tradition of fusing religious traditions. She lived in the 14th Century when Kashmiris came under the influence of Islam, though Buddhism had almost disappeared, it was still a significant influence, as was Upanishadic philosophy. Often in poetry, the author will include his or her name as a way of identifying themselves as the author. Here is one by Lalla:

When my mind was cleansed of impurities,
like a mirror of its dust and dirt,
I recognized the Self in me:
When I saw Him dwelling in me,
I realized that He was the Everything
and I was nothing.
 
I saw and found I am in everything
I saw God effulgent in everything.
After hearing and pausing see Siva
The House is His alone; Who am I, Lalla.
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.


P.S. Thank you to those of you who have donated to keep the Feast alive! The Feast is cost-free and commercial free. It's open to anyone who wants to join. You are never asked to buy or upgrade. Our overhead is low, since everyone (but our web-designer and this email service) works absolutely free. Our operating budget is less than $6000 a year. If each person who observes the Feast donates 50 cents, we'd be golden! Click this link if you feel moved to donate.
Meditation Teacher Highlight
davidji is an international Feast favorite, and is a Hay House Radio personality. He is the author of the Secrets of Meditation . One of his popular meditations; the space between the breaths:

Spiritual Practice Tip
Is my Meditation Working?

Meditation only works if you stick with it and don’t give up. Even if your mind wanders during your meditation period and you’re restless and fidgety, or have a brilliant idea, or you think of something you simply must do (like check your email or write something down), that’s when you may want to give up or stop. But don’t.

I call these moments the “choice point”. You have a choice to meditate, or give up, or continue to plan or daydream. Obviously, daydreaming and meditating are not the same thing. Though one can inadvertently daydream in meditation, meditators know to come back to their practice once they realize it. If you decide to continue with the daydream, this is no longer meditation.

How do you come back to the practice? Simply begin again, being kind to yourself, by returning your attention to the focus of your meditation. Have the discipline to do the practices and stick with the entire meditation period you have committed to each day, whether it’s five minutes or half an hour, even if you’re antsy or bored. Make a choice to meditate.

Often when you feel a fidgety or feel frustrated in meditation, it’s an indication that you’re releasing a lot of stress. If you stick with the practice, the stress will dissipate and soon you’ll find more calmness.

By staying with the practice, you create a new relationship with your mind. As you let the thoughts and impulses come and go, without taking action, your mental reactivity subsides, and instead, you become the witness to your mental activity. This practice alters the structure of your brain, reducing the amygdala’s dominance over your state of being.
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