Winter Feast For The Soul Newsletter
Winter Feast For The Soul
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Feb 1st - Volume 9, Number 5

In this Issue:

-WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE RESTLESS
-WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP
-ABOUT THE NEW FORMAT
-NEW MEDITATIONS HAVE BEEN ADDED
-WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
“
A new moon teaches gradualness
and deliberation, and how one gives birth
to oneself slowly. Patience with small details
makes perfect a large work, like the universe.
What nine months does for the embryo
Forty early mornings
Will do for your growing awareness
Jelaluddin Rumi
13th Century poet and mystic
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WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE RESTLESS

We know that many of you (especially newcomers) struggle with the 40-minute commitment that the Feast suggests. Many of our teachers use "division of 10s" in their 40 minute sessions: 7-10 minutes of teaching, followed by three ten minute sessions of stillness, usually marked by the striking of a bell or gong.

It occurred to us that the idea of “rounding” might be applied when you find yourself restless and unable to sit for the full 40 minutes. Rounding is a technique that Davidji tells us they use at the Chopra Center for meditation retreats. If you find yourself ready to “bolt” at the end of one of the 10-minute segments, consider using the next 10 minutes to do some gentle stretching, a walking meditation, or some yoga asanas for one of the ten minute segments. Then return to your sitting. The important thing is to keep your focus on your inner stillness. Know that any agitation will subside with the breath and time. Trust the meditation process and let it do the work.

If you become restless, try “rounding”. Rounding is a way of alternating sitting meditation with yoga, walking meditations, and simple stretching. The important thing is not to give up and keep your focus on your breath and the present moment. Meditation is all about starting over…and over…and over… Really!!!

The forty-minute commitment is a way of building new neural pathways in your brain. It takes this kind of discipline to activate your neurons and give them time to reorganize themselves into a new and more evolved neuronal complex. *Rounding will allow you to stay with the practice in a way that keeps your mind still without giving up and leaving the session.

Another thing that helps is to do some breathing practices before you begin sitting. Breathing practices have a way of calming the mind so that it is ready for stillness. And some simple stretches can be used to open the chest cavity and invigorate your brain to stay with your commitment.

We hope this helps those of you who find yourself struggling with your commitment as you begin, or continue, this 40-day journey with us. Here are some links that may help you:

Meditations App (iOS)

Meditations App (Android)

Meditation Timer (online and apps)

Words of Encouragement

*Look for the article “Hidden Treasures of Daily Spiritual Practice” in our next newsletter.

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WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP: The Future of the Feast Depends on You

The hardest part of our work for this year’s Feast is behind us now and we are getting feedback that tells us that the 2016 Feast has been launched without a hitch. We began the year with absolutely no money in the bank and it was your donations that made this year’s Feast possible.

But our work is just beginning as we look ahead to our 10th Anniversary in 2017.

Each year we set out to make the Feast of that year to be the best ever. However the 2017 Feast has special meaning. It is a milestone that we plan to use to grow our community even wider, larger, and deeper. Our plans need to be matched by the funding that comes from your generosity. Can you help us? If you have not had a chance to give, please thing about it today.

PLEASE EXPRESS YOUR BELIEF IN OUR FUTURE BY MAKING A DONATION TODAY. Our intention has always been to make our library available to everyone around the world 24/7. The only way we can do that is through your generosity. If a dollar a day is too much then do what you can. Our largest donation this year was $5,000 and our smallest was $5.00. It all adds up to create a future for the Feast for YOUR Soul every day of the year. Please click the Donate Button here.

donate

For people who prefer to send checks and or for receipts to use for tax purposes our mailing address is:

Winter Feast for the Soul
c/o Rising Tide International
5102 Swift Rd.
Sarasota, FL 34232

 

ABOUT THE NEW FORMAT: Using the Meditations to "Go Deeper"

It seems there are mixed reviews of the new format for working with the meditations this year. When we look at some of your comments on the Face book Group page we see that some of you resist the opportunity to repeat the listening and follow a medley of the teachers, while others repeat the meditations and find that you learn more about yourself each time you listen.

Here are a couple of the comments we have received:

“What a blessing! The quality of this year's meditations is extremely high, and there is a real depth to the teaching. I believe that all participants will be lifted above their normal expectations for meditation by using them. They are incredibly serene and uplifting, and really are a feast for the soul. Well done on the program and making this wonderful feast happen. I think it will turn out to be one of the best ever."

-Long time fan of the Feast

"I listen to Davidji’s meditations each day as prescribed and I hear something new and learn something new about myself each day."

-KW

Please let us know how this new format is working for you. Robb@winterfeastforthesoul.com

Carl McColman (Christian Mysticism) suggested that we post all ten of his meditations at the onset and ask people to listen to them one a day for the first ten days. Carl then suggests that you repeat the rotation three more times. If you are following his meditations, let us know how that is working for you.

 

NEW MEDITATIONS HAVE BEEN ADDED:

Children’s meditations with Susan Kaiser Greenland. Susan recorded an excellent series for children in 2010. Somehow this series got lost in our library. Someone wrote and asked about them. That prompted a search and we tracked them down. Here they are for your enjoyment.

Children’s meditations with Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of The Mindful Child

Meditations series in Italian with Sophia Luypaert. Even if you don’t speak Italian, these meditations are beautiful to listen to.

Sophia Luypaert - Meditations in Italian

 

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT: You Have Not Failed. You Just Need to Start Over.

It’s normal to feel as if you have “blown it” and you have to wait till next year to start over. No…no…no! Meditation is all about starting over. Whether you are counting your breaths or holding on by your teeth (or falling asleep) through 30 minutes of stillness, Here is your opportunity to practice ahimsa or non-violence toward yourself.

Check out these words of encouragement from our archives that are timeless as your journey through your Feast.

Words of Encouragement

Valerie Skonie
Founder
valerie@winterfeastforthesoul.com

 

Robb Wiselman
Director
info@winterfeastforthesoul.com

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