The webcast with Oneness monk, Doug Bentley, will originate tomorrow at 5:30 PST. Doug has begun traveling extensively throughout the US and Canada. This closing webcast will originate in San Jose, CA. The recording will remain available on our website for 48 hours after that to accommodate those who are not able to participate live.
We have been instructed by the Oneness Movement to remove the recording after 48 hours. There will be no chance to experience the Blessing after that.
THOUGHTS FOR THE CLOSING:
The Closing Ceremony for the Feast is somewhat a reverse of the Opening Ceremony. All candles are lit from the beginning of the gathering. Each candle is extinguished in turn. When the candles are all extinguished then it is announced that the 2012 Winter Feast for the Soul has ended.
I strongly encourage each of you to use this moment to make a commitment for your ongoing practice going forward during this coming year. We know that 40 minutes can be a stretch for many of you. Remember that it can be divided into 20 minute sessions.
Not a day goes by that I donít get at least one or two letters from you about your experience with the Feast. Here are a couple of them.
The first one is from a woman in Florida who is married with five children. She gets up at 4:00 am each day to make time for her practice. Here is what she said:
"I have felt so many beneficial changes from meditating regularly with the 2012 Winter Feast for the Soul! I am a home-schooling mother of five beautiful treasures and I get to take care of my husband throughout the day as he works from our home. Life is very full and blessed for me! But, sometimes, that fullness could start to feel a little overwhelming - until I started taking some time out to quiet myself and my mind each and every day.
I wake up at 4am in order to accomplish this, but it is well-worth every minute. I am not nearly as tired as I thought I would be and, by the time I hit the pillow at night, I know I've had a productive day and I feel a healthy kind of tired. Through the meditations, I have learned techniques that carry me through my day and help me to achieve that quiet place within myself even in the midst of schoolwork corrections, questions, meal preparation, and so much more!
Recently, I had my children sit down and listen to one of the meditations for children. They all loved it, but one daughter really thought it was fascinating. She even moved around her daily schedule to be able to it in regularly! Thank you so much for the Winter Feast!"
This one is from someone who has been part of the Feast since 2009. Each year she increases her level of participation. She gives us beautiful insights about how these daily practices can change our lives Ö slowly and consistently.
...And each year I have participated at some level. For this year's Feast I set an intention to practice at least 40 minutes daily, and I am so deeply grateful that I haven't missed a day! And often I have practiced more than 40 minutes.
My friends have asked, "How has your life changed?"
I am finding that it hasn't "changed my life" overnight. That it is a slow, rhythmic dance between the Universe and my soul. And that it is a gift that I have been able to choose to give myself right now. And tomorrow might be different. So I am savoring this moment right now, and working toward not letting my ego grasp onto it...
The last one is from a participant in the Netherlands who brings the Feast home to his family and works in the field of mindfulness as a profession.
I do the daily practise together with my wife, and sometimes our son of seven joins in to sit in silence. In doing this together we feel more close and open to each other which helps in the way we do the daily life things.
I am guiding a meditation group and together we did the winterfeast this year (a group of 10). I organised an opening ceremonie, about every 10 days a group session and a closing ...
A wonderful experience, it helps in daily practise to realise that there are 10.000's of people worldwide doing the same thing. In the Netherlands we have a group of people (www.stilte.org) who celebrate silence every first sunday of the month. This could be meditating, yoga or silencewalking.
Here I notice the same effect of the knowledge that there are more people doing the same kind of practise.
A Winter Feast for the Soul
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