Day 11 of the Feast
Dear One,

In 1971, the late Captain Dr. Edgar Mitchell embarked on a journey into outer space and became the sixth man to walk on the moon. As he hurtled earthward through the abyss of space, he glimpsed the earth, moon, planets, stars, and the space we all exist in with a new perspective, one that is rare for humans to have.

Mitchell became engulfed by a profound “sense of universal connectedness.” Intuitively, he sensed that his presence, that of his fellow astronauts, and that of the planet he saw through the spacecraft window, were all part of a deliberate, universal process, and that the glittering cosmos itself was in some way conscious. This new perspective expanded his awareness.

In an online interview he was quoted as saying, “The universe seems friendly and caring—loving, even. With a love as real as the love my wife feels for me back in Houston. That love flows into you and calms you in a way that is scary to anyone who pretends to have scientific knowledge.”

The experience was so overwhelming for him that he knew his life would never be the same. When he returned to Earth, he began his practice of meditation and cofounded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in 1973, an organization to this day dedicated to the exploration of consciousness.

The photos of our blue planet Earth floating in space taken from the moon flights stirred something in our collective awareness, and the new love for the place all earthlings call home gave rise to what today is known as the environmental movement.

In 2007, Edgar Mitchell spoke about practices that help people to open up to healing and expanded awareness: 

“key practices go back in time to the ancient mystical and metaphysical practices of meditation, of communing with nature, of getting in resonance. I would call that 'quantum resonance with all that is', with the basic levels of nature.... that from which all matter arises."

"...Throughout all of our history, the cloistered groups like the mystery schools and many of the religious cloister groups honor their meditation practices and their ability to commune with nature ...each one of them may have a little different concept about what God is, let’s just say Nature (with a capital N) in this case. And that has been my experience, too."

"It was my experience on my flight back from the moon as I looked at Earth from deep space, was to get into this type of state. In the ancient literature it’s called Samadhi state: a state of mind in which you are at one, at one with the deepest levels of nature, and that seems to be a fairly universal, uniform state in which all sorts of wonderful transformation and transcendent thinking emerges. And I think all our so-called psychic or intuitive abilities at least originate somewhere in that state."
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
Meditation Teacher Highlight
Sheikh Ghassan Manasra is an ordained Sheikh in the Qadiri Sufi Order in the Holy Land, and son of Sheikh Abdel Salaam Manasra – head of the Qadiri Sufi Order in the Holy Land. He is the founder of Anwar-Il-Salaam, the Lights of Peace Center in Nazareth, and Director of Islamic Cultural Center in Nazareth. Ghassan has received multiple awards and accolades for his peacemaking, including most recently the 2014 “Outstanding Leader in Inter-religious Dialogue Award” from the Dialogue Institute at Temple University.

Spiritual Practice Tip
Comfort is Key.

It's important to be comfortable in your meditation position so you can allow yourself to rest in a state of relaxed attention. Think of a cat sitting motionless watching a bird move through the garden, or a praying mantis resting in attention.

Meditation creates a new state of consciousness, one where you are relaxed yet attentive, responsive and not reactive, and attending to the present moment with clarity.

The lotus position, a traditional yoga posture for meditation, is not required for you to meditate. If crossing your legs is uncomfortable, it won't help you to turn your attention inward. You can sit on a sofa or chair and have your back supported. Some people sit on cushions on the floor. Whatever posture you take, it's best not to lie down unless you physically need to (that's because most people fall asleep and that is NOT meditation.) You can meditate while you are sitting down almost anywhere - as long as you are not driving. 
Living the Feast
Go outside.

You don't need to go to the moon to have the experience that Edgar Mitchell had. You can get into nature to feel connected to all that is. A 15-minute walk in the woods not only will help you to appreciate the life around you, it can cause measurable changes in physiology. Japanese researchers at Chiba University sent 84 subjects to stroll in seven different forests, while the same number of volunteers walked around city centers. The forest walkers hit a relaxation jackpot: Overall they showed a 16 percent decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, a 2 percent drop in blood pressure, and a 4 percent drop in heart rate. This is because the human body can relax in pleasant, natural surroundings because it evolved there. Our senses are adapted to interpret in- formation about plants and streams, not traffic and high-rises. Read more!
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