Newsletter for Jan. 19 2009

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Newsletter for Jan. 19 2009
Dear Friends of the Feast,

Dear Friends of the Feast,


The Feast for the Soul has been launched.  After more than a year of preparation, on Thursday morning we released our booster rockets and are finally traveling freely through space.


There are more people with us on this journey than we will ever know.  Those registered on our website are only a fraction of our total community.  Some say that we are at least 5,000 in number -- others say as many as 10,000.  To all of you who worked so hard to spread the word, I thank you.  The success of this work was truly a grass roots effort.   


From where I sit in this “cat-bird seat”, I have heard wonderful stories of how the Feast began five days ago:


·        The group of 18 people who climbed to the top of a mountain to meditate together to launch the Feast in Georgia.


·        The 45 people who gathered at 5:30 am in our little Valley here in Idaho, braving the dark and the cold to sit together in silence as we launched the Feast in the Wood River Valley.


·        The woman in California whose cat woke her up at exactly 4:30 am so that they could sit together for the first day of the Feast.


·        The woman who listened to all three of the on-line meditations and was filled with joy by the guidance she found there.


Relax into the joy of what has been created, be true to your commitment, and be a support for others who have joined you.  The success of this Feast is truly a community effort. 


As Father Ken Brannon, Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Ketchum Idaho said in his sermon the Sunday before the Feast began: “The commitment to the Winter Feast is not for the faint of heart.”  I will add, that these are extraordinary times, and they demand extraordinary measures. 


Love and blessings to all of you.  My heart is filled with joy knowing you are out there.











January 19, 2009


Volume I, Number 7











Something to add to your daily practice





Notes from David Nicol’s Talk in Sun Valley

Announcement of Webcast



Yes, You Can Join the Feast Now, Even If You Missed the Opening Day







As I write this newsletter I am thrilled to be able to announce that we have already received $1,425 through Pay Pal donations and through a handful of checks received in today’s mail.  Thank you to each of you for your generosity.  Trust that these funds are being used carefully.  Your generous response assures me that you are reading this newsletter and appreciating our work.








I encourage/invite you to use the following dedication each morning when you begin your practice, particularly on Tuesday, the Inaugural day for the new president of the United States, Barack Obama.



Dedication: Let us join our hearts with all those around the globe who are part of this Feast for the Soul.  May the energy that is generated by our intentions, our commitment, and our contact with the greater collective give birth to something entirely new for the healing of our planet, for all life, and the inspiration and guidance of our leaders around the world.  Let the merit of our practice be a blessing to all of life. 







January 22:


“Be impeccable with your word.

Don’t take anything personally.

Don’t make assumptions.

Always do your best.”

            Don Miguel Ruiz, from The Four Agreements


January 23:


“It doesn’t matter whether one is brand new to meditation or has been meditating for a long time.  What matters is the attitude with which we engage in the process of meditation.  The most important thing is that we come to meditation with an open attitude, an attitude that is truly innocent, by which I mean an attitude that’s not colored by the past, by what we’ve heard about meditation through culture, through the media, or through our various spiritual and religious traditions.  We need to approach the notion of meditation in a way that is fresh and innocent.”     

            Adyashanti, from True Meditation


January 24:


“Death is not the opposite of life.  Life has no opposite.  The opposite of death is birth.  Life is eternal.”

            Eckhart Tolle from Stillness Speaks


January 25:


“Loving kindness toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything.  The point is not to try to change ourselves.  Meditation isn’t about throwing ourselves away and becoming something better. It’s about befriending who we already are…that’s what we study, that’s what we come to know with curiosity and interest.”

            Pema Chodron from Awakening Loving Kindness


January 26:


There is a silken cord that connects the soul to God.  That cord is our very own breath.

This is an adaptation (not a direct quote) from the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Kahn, Sufi Master of the early 20th Century.


January 27:


“Let thy words be few.”

            Ecclesiastes 5:2


January 28:


“Your task is not to seek for Love,

But merely to seek and find

All the barriers within yourself

That you have built against it.”

            Jelaluddin Rumi





You may remember that David Nicol, Founder and Director of the Gaiafield Project and the Center for Subtle Activism in San Francisco, spoke in Sun Valley on January 13 as part of our local launch program for the Winter Feast for the Soul.  We had hoped to be able to webcast the event, but due to technical difficulties we were unable to do that.  I would apologize here, but in the end I think we have arranged something even better and more concise


Here is the good news…David has agreed to record a one-hour presentation on Subtle Activism for our site on  I expect that it will be posted by the end of the day on Tuesday.  This webcast will replace our Saturday Community Call this week. 


You will find the recording of his talk on the Winter Feast page on TalkShoe under Guest Speakers.   In the meantime I offer you my notes from his talk last week.


My notes from his talk on the 13th:


·   The groundbreaking work of Richard Tarnas in Understanding the Development of the Western Mind and the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in the evolution of consciousness come together in the understanding of Subtle Activism.


·   To understand both is to see what is happening in the world now from an entirely new perspective.


·   The accommodation for an evolving consciousness shows itself in the evolution of the physical form, ever evolving in order to accommodate the evolution of consciousness.  David referred to this as the “Law of Complexity Consciousness.” 


·   The events that are taking place today are indicative of a birthing process taking place in consciousness…a shift that is as big as the transition from “non-life to life.”


·   The transformation that will be needed for this shift requires an initiation. 



·   In earlier times, a crucial role held by an elder in this initiatory process was simply to “hold the space” for the initiate, providing a calm and reassuring presence.  This support would enable the initiate to pass through a journey of descent and to come out the other side.


·   The shift that is taking place now is so huge that no one individual can guide us through.  It is an initiation that will require huge numbers of us, and perhaps all of us to participate.


·   Perhaps the practice of global meditation and prayer, if engaged in by enough people can play that role for the collective psyche. 


·   The practice of global meditation might just create a subtle global field of presence that can support humanity to gather the courage to face the collective crisis and pass willingly through the darkness to be reborn on the other side.  


·   The initiation that we will go through to birth this new consciousness is likely to be very demanding, and we see that is already is for many of us.







Of course people can continue to join the Winter Feast for the Soul anytime they are moved to do so.  Forty days will begin whenever they start.  I suspect by the time we reach the half-way point on February 4th we will have increased our numbers to a some critical mass needed to support a shift in consciousness that will carry us into the next Feast in 2010.  Welcome the latecomers.  It is never too late to join the Feast for the Soul. 





Here is an interesting link about Mercury retrograde from one of our readers, Jackie Major:




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