Our Story

Peace in the heart, peace in the world.

Welcome to the Feast.

"Do not feel lonely the entire universe is inside you." - Rumi

Welcome Letter

The Power of Intention

Hello and welcome to the Feast for the Soul. You may be wondering what this is all about. My name is Sarah McLean and as director of the Feast for the Soul, I am excited to take you on this journey with me and thousands of others in our community.

The Feast for the Soul is a 40-day spiritual intensive that promotes self discovery, mindfulness, meditative and creative practices. Think of it like a virtual retreat whereby you can commit to 40 days of spiritual practice whether you meditate, dance, paint, practice yoga, and more. This 40-day intensive will help kick off a new way of living year round. The Feast for the Soul provides all of the resources and teachings you will need to guide you. We have a wealth of information on this site and free access to meditation teachers from across the globe. Our master meditation index provides you with inspiration and guidance for your daily practice.

By signing up to participate, you are joining a growing global community of more than 20,000 individuals committed to sustaining a daily spiritual practice.

2018 marks the 11th year of the Feast for the Soul, formerly known as Winter Feast for the Soul. We recently changed our name to better reflect our global community, encompassing both hemispheres throughout the year. When it is winter on one side of the globe, it is summer on the other side. By naming our 40-day spiritual intensive Feast for the Soul, we show our dedication to the Feast community around the globe.

Here’s to peace,
Sarah

It started with a poem.

Why 40 days?

Over ten years ago, an American meditation practitioner in the Sufi tradition, Valerie Skonie, created the Winter Feast for the Soul after she read a poem by Rumi, a 13th Century Persian Mystic:

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 of attention does for an embryo
forty early mornings alone will do
for your gradually growing wholeness.
~ Jelaluddin Rumi

This poem inspired her to create a 40-day worldwide spiritual practice period—a virtual intensive—during which people of all ages in all traditions make a commitment to practice deeply and expand their awareness.

She gathered numerous teachers from various traditions and religions who each provided a 40-day program of meditations and discourses free of charge to anyone interested in participating.

Forty minutes of practice can be divided into two sessions of 20 minutes each to reach the 40 minutes of commitment. It can also be divided into four 10-minute segments where you experience the stillness more often, and thus integrate it into your day in another way. Each person can design their practice so that it meets their personal schedule and lifestyle.

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The Mission

To support individuals all over the world in committing or recommitting to their personal daily spiritual practice by inviting them to participate in an annual 40-day spiritual intensive. The Feast is observed from January 15 to February 23 during which a faculty of spiritual guides and teachers from a variety of religious traditions and lineages offer guided meditations and discourses, volunteer their support, and lend encouragement to Feast participants. The Feast is a cost-free intensive that everyone—regardless of spiritual tradition, path, or practice—is encouraged to observe in order to create more personal peace and world peace.

The Vision

We hold a vision of a world at peace—one that embraces all peaceful spiritual traditions and organizations, made up of a community of individuals, each committed to their personal daily spiritual practice, creating more peace on this planet. We visualize people everywhere, regardless of the imagined boundaries of creed, culture, and philosophical beliefs, participating in the synchronized spiritual practice intensive, the Feast for the Soul.

All Are Welcome

The Feast engages new friends and old and supports them in sustaining their commitment to their daily spiritual practice The Feast welcomes participants from all faiths, beliefs, and peaceful paths who practice a variety of worldwide spiritual traditions and philosophies, among them: meditation, yoga, martial arts, journaling, creative arts, prayer, daily acts of kindness, and/or reading spiritual texts. The Feast offers guided meditations and discourses online, available free of charge, year-round.

Spiritual Practice

The Feast encourages all forms of peaceful spiritual practices that bring an individual to a period of stillness in their daily life. The Feast for the Soul 40-day period suggests a commitment to 40 minutes of spiritual practice each day. This intensive period of practice can cultivate a transformational experience of peace, contentment, and love. From this inner peace, loving kindness and compassion flow naturally into daily life.

Acts of Kindness

The practice acts of kindness toward one's self and others can flow effortlessly from the wellspring of compassion and peace that is cultivated by a dedicated daily spiritual practice. In this world of dramatic change, it is important to emphasize that those who desire peace have a role to play. We must cultivate inner peace and commit to the outer expression of our practice.

40 Minutes Each Day for 40 Days

The number 40 has great historical significance in the lives of important spiritual teachers. Forty is the number of change. If we truly want to make a difference in the world, then we must begin by inviting change into our own lives. Consider Moses, Elijah, Buddha, Jesus, and Mohamed. They all left their ordinary lives for 40 days to connect with the Indwelling Spirit. During the Feast, you don't have to leave your life. You simply commit to making your spiritual practice a priority during the Feast.