Day 23 of the Feast
Dear One,

Valerie Skonie, the founder of the Feast, emailed me just after hearing a beautiful teaching from her teacher, Shahabuddin. She wanted me to include a beautiful teaching from her teacher, Shahabuddin David Less.

She wrote, "This is a treasure for anyone who has studied with Shahabuddin over his many years as a teacher, as well as for one of this teachers, Joe Miller, who read that piece every day during Lent at the Theosophical Society in San Francisco."

Shahabuddin David Less has been guiding meditations for the Feast since it was launched as a worldwide event in 2009. He's a senior teacher in the Inayati Order of Universal Sufism. In 2016 he turned his attention to interfaith peace and now travels the world as a pilgrim for that work under the work of the Abrahamic Reunion. Listen to him share this great teaching below, and  listen to his many inspiring meditations for the Feast, here.
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
At a recent conference in Sarasota Florida, Shahabuddin read a text written by Tibetan Guru Padmasambhava who brought Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th Century.  “The Yoga of Knowing the Mind” is a text for which Shahabuddin is famous among his students around the world. 

The translation he uses is from The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation by W. Y. Evans-Wentz.  It's recommended that students read the piece aloud for 40 days, or 100 days, or even more, to gain full benefit of the teaching that is set forth there. 

Important comment: Padmasambhava, at the end of his writing, adds a note that this teaching was intended for “future generations who shall be born during the “Age of Darkness.”  Listen to the reading here.
Living the Feast
Here are words of Support from Valerie Skonie, from her book, A Path to Peace. Gain free access to the book, here .

The time to begin your meditation practice is now. If you are thinking it would be better to wait until tomorrow, you are taking a big risk. Your mind will always create obstacles to keep you from your practice. Mind and ego prefer your life just the way it is. There is some impulse that brought you to these pages, some deep intuitive knowing that there is something more to life than you have previously known. That is the calling of your soul to awakening.

Of course, there are times of the day that will work better for you than others. That is not the point. Then, without delay, find a quiet spot and begin your practice. Meditation is the gift you can give to your soul in answer to its call.  

Having worked for years to establish my own daily practice, and having taught many other individuals how to establish theirs, it has become clear that for most people it is best to make your meditation the first appointment of the day. I know it is not always easy to do when you have a child or loved one who needs your attention. In these cases, you may chose to get up earlier than anyone else in order to make the time for your practice. You might also consider asking your family for support in carving out that time for yourself. In any event you will find a way to make your meditation your most important appointment of the day. 

You may say that you are not a morning person and that you would prefer to wait until evening to fit your practice into your day. You may also notice that by the end of the day, there are any number of distractions that will take you away from your promise to practice. Most students tell me that if it doesn’t happen in the morning, it just won’t happen. The good thing about the very early morning hours is that the world around you is still quite peaceful and your brain state is closest to the lower frequencies of Theta and Delta that you are seeking in your practice. Find the time and place that works for you and make a commitment to yourself to do it then. It may take some stretching to begin with, but one day you will not want to live without it. 

One can go away on retreat for days and meditate for hours each day, which is beneficial periodically in order to deepen your practice. When you return to your life after such periods of retreat, life often presents you with an overwhelming to-do list, and often your meditation practice seems to pale in the face of all that you “have to do.”

The idea behind the Winter Feast for the Soul is
 to create an opportunity for you to bring your practice into your daily life .  

When these 40 days come to a close, your habit of making time to practice will have found an important place in your life. There will be no overwhelming to-do list awaiting you. And you will have formed a habit that you may not want to break. From a Path to Peace
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