Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions
 
     

What exactly is the Feast?

Are the guided meditations live?

Do participants all meditate at the same time or can I do this on my own schedule?

How can I keep in touch with other feasters?

What is TalkShoe?

What religion or spiritual path does the Feast represent?

What is the source of your funding?

What is the Children's Feast and do my children need to register?

How much does it cost to participate/register for Winter Feast?

Is there a Winter Feast in other languages besides English?

How can I access the meditations on my cell phone or tablet?

Are there any local chapters or groups I can do the Winter Feast with?

How can I keep my practices going after the Feast is over?

Do you share your mailing list with other organizations?

Is the feast entirely virtual?

 

What exactly is the Feast? The Winter Feast for the Soul is a 40-day period from January 15-February 23 each year where people from all over the world commit to 40 minutes each day of personal practice. The personal practice may be any sort of spiritual or religious practice, from prayer to meditation to yoga or whatever suits the individual. Winter Feast offers free guided meditations from many different religious and spiritual paths for each of the 40 days to support personal practice so that individuals can sample a variety of options before choosing one that resonates with them.


Are the guided meditations live? Winter Feast occasionally hosts live online meditation presentations. A few volunteer groups around the U.S. hold local meditations in their cities so that participants can meet together daily or weekly. A list of the 2013 events and locations can be found here.


Do participants all meditate at the same time or can I do this on my own schedule? Each participant chooses the time of day, number of minutes and location where they will do their personal practice. Many people try to meditate early in the morning, but there is no schedule to follow, so each person can accommodate their own daily routine and responsibilities.


How can I keep in touch with other feasters? In 2013, Winter Feast started an online Meditation Coaching and Support group on Facebook, with over 550 members. Anyone can join this group and share stories or get help with their motivation or daily practices from experienced people in the group. We anticipate that this group will remain active year-round, since the Winter Feast meditations are available year-round and many people choose to continue using the recorded meditations throughout the year. We also send out periodic newsletters. If you subscribe, you will be kept up-to-date all year about our activities and special events.


What is TalkShoe? TalkShoe is an independent web site where the Winter Feast guided meditations and interviews are archived. TalkShoe is not affiliated with Winter Feast, although we have hosted our meditations there for the past five years. Winter Feast meditations can be accessed from our web site here.


What religion or spiritual path does the Feast represent? Winter Feast for the Soul is not affiliated with any specific doctrine, teaching, religion, spiritual path or congregation. We honor the truth present in all religions, paths and forms. Our archived meditations span many ancient and "New Age" traditions, as well as traditional religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Judaism. We do not endorse any one teaching.


What is the source of your funding? Winter Feast for the Soul uses unpaid staff, and is supported exclusively by individual donors who make voluntary contributions. We are a 501(c)(3) sponsored organization, and all donations are tax-deductible. We are expanding our fundraising in 2013 to seek grants from funding organizations, and we welcome suggestions about individuals or organizations who might be interested to support our activities financially.


What is the Children’s Feast and do my children need to register? The Children’s Feast was established because parents and teachers of young children wanted to have a meaningful way to instill mindfulness and peace into the lives of their children. Using a curriculum designed for young children, and another for older children and teens, Children’s Feast uses the latest research and methods to provide age appropriate activities and guided meditations--including some led by children for other children. There is no charge for participating in the Children’s Feast.


How much does it cost to participate/register for Winter Feast? Winter Feast for the Soul is a charitable organization, and there is no charge or fee to participate in Winter Feast activities or to use the archives of recorded meditations. A fee may occasionally be charged for special events to recover out-of-pocket costs, but we maintain a free offering whenever possible. Our meditation guides/teachers also provide their instruction/meditations free of charge to Winter Feast. If you'd like to donate, you can do so here


Is there a Winter Feast in other languages besides English? Winter Feast intends to expand even more into non-US countries by expanding our meditation offerings that are not in English. Currently we offer a limited number of adult and children’s meditations in Spanish, and in 2013 we added adult meditations in French and German. We welcome suggestions from or about meditation teachers who are fluent in languages other than English.


How can I access the meditations on my cell phone or tablet? Go to our Meditations page, and use the non flash link to the .mp3.


Are there any local chapters or groups I can do the Winter Feast with? There are currently no local chapters of Winter Feast. There are, however, a number of local groups around the U.S. who regularly gather during the 40 days of the Feast to share their Winter Feast experience. We have a current list of locations on our web site. If you would like to consider forming a local group to share in Winter Feast activities, we have a number of downloads and aids to support you. Please feel free to contact us to let us know of your plans, and we will try to help you or put you in touch with other people in your area.


How can I keep my practices going after the Feast is over? The recorded meditations for all of the Winter Feast guides/teachers are available year round on TalkShoe. Whether you have a personal spiritual teacher or not, you may wish to access meditations you have not listened to throughout the rest of the year, or simply repeat a series you have already heard. Several of our most popular teachers have recorded multiple series of 40 meditations over the years, so there is a wealth of material for you to use all year.


Do you share your mailing list with other organizations? We do not share our mailing list with or sell it to other organizations. We do partner with a few select organizations for the purpose of sharing information about our activities. We send our information to the other organizations for posting to their members, and they send their information to us for posting to our members.


Is the feast entirely virtual? Winter Feast for the Soul is a mix of live and virtual activities. In cities where local groups choose to gather, they may conduct opening and closing ceremonies, as well as daily or weekly meditations throughout the 40-day Feast. For people in other areas, normal interaction is over the Internet. We try to provide occasional live online presentations and interviews. Our presentations are recorded, and added to our TalkShoe archive so that they may be accessed 24/7/365 by anyone. Our Prison In-Reach Program is entirely live, although conducted by U.S. mail exchanges, since the prisoners do not have access to the Internet. The Children’s Feast is entirely virtual, since we do not conduct live programs for the children. Parents or teachers normally participate in the Children’s Feast with their children.

 

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