Day 13 of the Feast
Dear One,

Are you familiar with the yoga sutras? They're considered the fundamental text on the system of yoga, though in it, you won’t find the description of a single posture or asana . Instead, you find a guide for living with expanded awareness. The author of the sutras, Patanjali, was often called “the father of yoga,” and was a physician and philosopher. Although no one is exactly certain, it’s estimated that he lived somewhere between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. He compiled 195 sutras (a word with the same root as suture!) which are considered to be the essential components of a path called Raja Yoga , the royal path to union. 

In Raja yoga, there are 8 limbs, and one of the limbs is called the Yamas. Yamas are the attitudes we have when interacting with others. There are five of them. The one I want to share today is Satya.

Satya is the practice of being committed to truthfulness. This means speaking the truth, not misleading anyone, and considering how what we say, or don't say, may affect others. Satya is based on the understanding that honest communication is the bedrock of any healthy relationship, workplace, community, or government.

Truthfulness and integrity arise naturally. Honest communication with others includes being non-judgmental, letting go of the attachment to the role you play, not exaggerating, accepting things and people as they are, and being impeccable with your word. Satya also includes distinguishing your observations from your interpretations. It includes saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

Lying, at the core, is motivated by fear. Satya makes one realize that the short-term benefits of distorting the truth are outweighed by the discomfort that arises from betraying your integrity. Instead, you choose to align your thoughts, words, and actions. And this brings peace, purity, and freedom.
I would love for everyone to tell me the truth, though I realize that when someone doesn't tell the truth, I can't control it. So instead, I have to be committed to speaking my truth, or at least knowing my truth and acting on it.

Most of us know our truth deep within. And though many of us might not listen to our inner knowing, or want to override it because we are being polite (or delusional), I aim not to. So, here's to committing to being truthful each and every day.
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
Valerie Skonie is the founder of the Feast for the Soul. Her passion is to help others find their way to a daily spiritual practice and thus to access the inner wisdom that is the birthright to all people. Read more about her here.

During the Feast, Valerie shares Heart-Centered Meditations. In this beautiful meditation you'll be guided into an exploration of the heart center.

Spiritual Practice Tip
Be patient and kind to yourself.

As you make the commitment to deepen your practice, it’s likely you’ll experience some major transformation. Sometimes transformation feels good, and sometimes it doesn’t. If life gets difficult, remember, there are no accidents, you are ready for this change in awareness, and it’s happening right on time.

The awakening experience is describe in this poem by Rumi, the 13th Century Persian mystic, translated by Coleman Barks.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Living the Feast
Seeing the Truth

Each situation we come across offers us the opportunity to see the truth if we are open to it. A daily practice of slowing down, taking a deeper breaths, and observing people, situations, and things as they really are can help bring us closer to peace and serenity. From there we can move from darkness to light. From the unreal to the real. I use this Asato Maa  mantra from the ancient Upanishads as a daily prayer to support me as I aim for truth:

Asato Maa
Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya

“Lead me from the unreal to the real
From darkness (ignorance) to light (knowledge)
From death to immortality”
I like to listen to this version by Deva Premal here.
Or the one by George Harrison and Ravi Shakar below.
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