Day 27 of the Feast
Dear One,

My friend and stellar musician, Valerie Romanoff, has been creating powerful and peaceful music for years. She told me about a woman she recently got to know, Tao Porchon-Lynch, a 100+ year old American yoga master, teacher, and award-winning author.

Of French and Indian descent, Tao discovered yoga in 1926 at the age of 8 while living in India. She studied with some amazing teachers, including Sri Aurobindo, B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois, Swami Prabhavananda, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

At the end of every yoga class and workshop she teaches, Tao can be heard melodically chanting the following phrase: “Om Shanti, Shanti Om; Shalom, Shalom, Shalom, Namaste.”

Valerie shared their story. "It all started when Tao asked me to compose music for an album of poetry and meditations she'd written.  I became intimate with the sacred words and chants in her poetry. One day, in a wave of inspiration, I went through the recordings of Tao’s poems and extracted phrases that held her most fundamental messages." She created a song with Tao's words and chants called, "OM Shanti Shalom." Discover more about Valerie here.

You can listen to it here. It's really good!

Here are the lyrics:
 
Tune in to who you are
and what you are
for you are more than this body
More than mind itself
You are pure spirit
Pure energy
One without a second
With the infinite
 
OM Shanti Shanti OM
Shalom Shalom Shalom
Namaste
 
Breathe in the breath of life
Surrender the mind to stillness
This is the melody of the whole Universe
Inner Oneness
Spiritualty
Inner Light
Samadhi
 
OM Shanti
Shanti OM
Shalom Shalom Shalom
Namaste

Valerie just learned that their song has been nominated for a Global Peace Song award,
At 100 years old, Tao has her first hit record.

To quote Tao, "There is nothing you cannot do."
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.

Meditation Teacher Highlight
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. At a conference in Sarasota Florida, Shahabuddin read a text written by Tibetan Guru Padmasambhava who brought Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th Century. The text,
“The Yoga of Knowing the Mind”, is from The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation translated by W. Y. Evans-Wentz.  Shahabuddhin recommends 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. Check out more of his meditations 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 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 A Path to Peace
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