A Feast for the Soul: a 40-day spiritual practice intensive that can change your life. The event begins on January 15 and ends on February 23 each year.

The first Feast for the Soul (formerly Winter Feast for the Soul) began in a small community in Idaho in January 2008. The previous summer, Valerie Skonie read a poem by a 13th Century Sufi mystic and teacher named Jelaluddin Rumi.

The poem inspired a series of questions: What if this was true? What if 40 early mornings could change our awareness?

Valerie already had a daily spiritual practice of meditation and she knew how it had changed her life once she was absolutely faithful to it. How could she bring this to her local community? How could she inspire them to try it on their own?

In January 2008 she inspired small daily gatherings where about 150 people met in small groups, or alone in their own homes, to share the practice of meditation. The secret was that they made a commitment to themselves and to one another that they would be faithful to their practice for 40 days. Word spread rapidly, and people around the country heard about it and wanted to know how they could observe the 40 days with the Idaho group. And many joined them.

By 2009, it was estimated that nearly 10,000 people in 29 different countries had heard about and observed the Feast for the Soul, including ten men housed in an incarceration center in Boise, Idaho. Of these ten men one wrote regularly and submitted drawings of saints that came through his practice.

“We are doing sacred work,” he wrote. “What we are doing will change the world. Thank you for letting me be part of this. It is changing my life.”

In preparation for each Feast for the Soul, we reach out to people everywhere to join us in this great experiment. You are invited to sit in meditation or prayer for 40 minutes each day for forty days: January 15-February 23.

Settle down, quiet your mind, and find that monastery within where the secret of who you really are is hidden. It could change your life as you fill your heart with peace.

In 1963, Pope John the 23rd wrote a letter to the world on the topic of Peace on Earth (Pacem in Terris):

“We will not have peace on our planet until there is peace in the heart of every person.”

By finding our own personal inner place of peace, we make a huge contribution to the world and to the peace that it so badly needs. What you do makes a difference.

Written By: Valerie Skonie, Founder, Feast for the Soul

Valerie Skonie is a retired businesswoman and interdenominational meditation teacher now living in Sarasota Florida. She retired after the 10th Feast for the Soul.