Day 14 of the Feast
Dear One,

Almost every day I wake up with a song in my head. Sometimes it is Thank U by Alanis Morrisette, an American/Canadian singer/songwriter. I especially love this line: How 'bout remembering your divinity....

I believe this song is about enlightenment, about letting go of conditioning and pressure to be something you aren't. It's about waking up to personal responsibility, and not waiting for conditions to be perfect to be and feel okay. It's about finding gratitude for your humanity and all of life's experiences.

The practice, the silence, the providence, those are qualities of the spiritual path we're all on.
Here are some of the lyrics of her song Thank U.

"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

Director, Feast for the Soul, Inc.

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Meditation Teacher Highlight
Roger Gabriel was born in Liverpool, England and spent his formative years in the United Kingdom. He first learned meditation there in the early 1970s. It instantly became his passion and he soon trained to be a meditation teacher under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

After moving to the U.S., Roger studied Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of health care. In 1985, while helping to establish centers for Ayurveda and meditation, he met and became friends with Deepak Chopra. He has been assisting Deepak with training programs and has taught thousands of people to meditate; and helped to train hundreds of people to become teachers of meditation, Ayurveda, and yoga.
Roger has been studied with great teachers in India and the West, and he has traveled extensively in India. In 2006, Roger received his spiritual name Raghavanand from Shree Satuwa Baba Maharaji of Varanasi, India. Listen to the meditation practice here.
Spiritual Practice
Envision a peaceful world. 

There are so many of us praying and practicing to create peace. Even right now, in this moment.
One practice that you can do anytime, in or out of mediation, is called Loving Kindness. Also called metta bhavana , this practice has its roots in Tibetan Buddhism. When you practice Loving Kindness, you can find an immediate benefit of sweetening and changing your habituated negative patterns of thinking.

The practice includes focusing your attention on someone you 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. 
  • Silently offer a blessing (see some examples and choose one that resonates with you, or come up with your own):

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

  • Next, bring your attention to yourself. 
  • With sincerity and kindness, offer the same blessing 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 then think of those who are close to you, then, direct the blessing toward 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. Though sometimes stress and strife can mask it. 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, all these practices 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, the Google pioneer of meditation
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