Winter Feast For The Soul Newsletter
Winter Feast For The Soul


In this Issue:

-2016: Going Deeper
-New Format for Guided Meditations
-Thank You Kaye Vivian
-Fund Raising Progress
-Winter Feast Receives Matching Grant
-New Director
-New Meditations From Old Friends
-Get Your Winter Feast On
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 does for the embryo
Forty early mornings
Will do for your growing awareness
Jelaluddin Rumi
13th Century poet and mystic


As we see our participants returning year after year we know that our goal to support you in establishing a daily spiritual practice is valuable to that end. It is said by many wise teachers that it can take years to finally ground us in a daily spiritual practice. So we are here for you as you make that journey.

In our meditation spiritual practice we can easily see that it is all about “starting over”. Each breath we take, each time we get lost in the mind world of thought we are reminded that this is not easy task. And with humility we “start over” and over, and over. In that way our humility grows along with our perseverance and ultimately our gratitude.

So it is no surprise that many of us fall away from our daily practice at some point in the year. That is why Winter Feast for the Soul is still here for its ninth year of starting over. We are here to remind you and to support you in returning Home to the place that you know feeds your soul.

This year we want to take you deeper into your practice. We embark on our journey during the darkness of winter because the entire world of Nature reminds us to go deeper. It is the time most conducive to the inner journey. If you have been with this Feast for years, you know how you pierce that darkness with your quiet mind and your stillness on so many levels.

In 2016 we need to go deeper. The world is calling for our participation in the evolutionary shift that is taking place. We hold the Light through our practice. In our stillness we create a place for grace to enter and to direct our lives so that we are active participants. That participation can take many forms. But certainly it changes the vibration field of our very being so that we become the “change we wish to see in the world.”




In the past our teachers and guides have recorded one meditation each day of the Feast. This, by the way, has been a monumental task for them. Let us not make light of that offering. Knowing that these valuable teachings require more attention from you, we have tested another format. We offer it to you this year.

This year we offer you a chance to take these valuable teachings to a deeper place. In the new format, a new meditation will be posted every fourth day. We ask that you work with each recording for three additional days, for a total of four days. On the fifth day a new recording will be posted for you to work with in the same way. We have tested this approach on a couple of occasions and it has worked beautifully. And, as always, we welcome your feedback as you join us in this aspect of going deeper.

~ vjs



I would also like to take this moment to thank Kaye Vivian for her amazing service to the Feast over the past three years.

In 2013 Kaye acted generously as a business advisor to me and to the Feast in countless ways. Her most memorable work was to create an easy access to the recordings in our library. Four awkward steps turned into two with ease thanks to Kaye.

In late 2013 Kaye took on the daunting task of Director when I retired for health reasons. And during that time the Feast grew and flourished. We will miss you, Kaye, and we will always be grateful for what you have done.



Great thanks to so many of you who answered our appeal for support in the last newsletter. Thanks to you we have a good start towards our goal for this Feast.

It has been gratifying to see so many people not only read our newsletter but also believe in our mission to give generously and help us. We are still a good distance away form our goal, so if you haven't donated yet press the Donate Now button now. For those that have already donated any further donations are really greatly appreciated.





The McLean Meditation Institute has provided us with a $ 1000 matching donation grant. Each dollar you donate of the next $ 1000 will be doubled. The offer extends until January 1st so please Press that Donate button now.

Thank you so much Sarah McLean for your support over the years: for your participation as a teacher, and now for your generosity in this fundraising effort. To learn more about the McLean Meditation Institute go to:

If you believe in our Mission,
If you use our Library,
Please, please, please
Donate now.


We really need your help to continue this work.



Today seems like the perfect time for a big change like this one. The Winter Solstice reminds us that this is a time of change for our planet, whether you are in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere. In some ways this is simply a time for a change in perspective. In the Northern Hemisphere, this Solstice marks the longest, and the darkest, night of the year, whereas in the Southern Hemisphere it is just the opposite. From the perspective of the Northern Hemisphere, this day forward, the days get longer and we experience more light. The light has always been there, but our perspective has shifted as our planet rotates on its axis around the sun, the source of our precious light.

Here in our virtual headquarters, Robb Wiselman has acted as a technical resource for the Winter Feast ever since we added our on-line meditations in 2009. There was a time earlier this year when we looked at the possibility that it was time for the Feast to take a long pause, as there was not enough time and resources to make a run for the 2016 edition. But Robb was a single voice that insisted that we find a way to keep it alive and that he would do everything he could to keep the Feast going this year. So Robb won the prize and he is now fulfilling his own prophecy as he takes on the role of Director.

We wish Robb every success as he takes on this new role. His enthusiasm for the Feast will keep its spirit alive. And our joint desire to serve you as you make your soul’s 40-day journey beginning January 15 will keep us busy in service of personal and global peace for us all.

As the Founder of the Winter Feast for the Soul I thank you for your support and your patience with us over these years.

With Love and Gratitude
Valerie Skonie

Now here are a few words for you from your new Director…

Hello Winter Feast Participants and Friends,

I am so very excited to be taking on the role of Winter Feast Director this year. I have been a technical volunteer since its inception and I strongly believe in its mission to promote daily contemplative practice for raising consciousness and greater peace in the world. I think our format of offering a wide variety of meditations from many different spiritual paths is unique and serves as a universal doorway for people all over the world to come together. All for free and easy accessibility.

My goals as Director this year are to

  • Help make your experience with the Feast easy and rewarding. Feel free to contact me with any problems or suggestions
  • Increase the number of people who join our Feast from all over the globe. Please spread the word, Facebook us, share our links, and tell your friends and family
  • Raise money for expenses and to help us provide a better experience and reach more people. Donating to us is easy, worthwhile and your donations are tax deductible

Research shows that meditation not only improves health and well-being for individuals but also creates greater peace in the world. Please spread these beautiful meditation experiences with everyone you can. And did I mention to please visit us often on our website and facebook, along with sharing with us your ideas about how we can make our organization greater.

Love and Blessings
Robb Wiselman



We have not added any new faculty this year, but we are happy to announce the return of six of your favorites.

Christian Mystic:  
Carl McColman:  Deeper Blessings of the Contemplative Life

David Less: TBA
Sarah McLean:  Ten Jewels of the Yoga Sutras: practices to deepen your daily life.
Sophia Virginia McQuire:  Ten Treasures for Growing Loving Presence

Tibetan Buddhism:
Anam Thubten:  TBA

Davidji:  TBA

TBA:  We did not receive the titles for their series at the time of this printing. 



Spread the Word: Do a little organizing in your local area

Are you inspired enough to want to invite your friends and neighbors in on this treasure that we call the Winter Feast for the Soul?  Each year many people take on the task of outreach for the Feast in their local area. 

Here is what you can do:

  • Put up flyers in your local area: at schools, bookstores, yoga studios, churches, coffee houses and anywhere where postings like this are permitted. Here is one that you can use: 2016 Winter Feast Flyer
  • Host a daily meditation group somewhere or a weekly support group to keep one another on track through the Feast and plan a celebration for the completion of your journey.
  • Email press releases to your local newspaper. In many towns there is a weekly paper that lists epical events like this.
  • Email the flyer to your friends and family telling them that you are going to participate and you want them to join you this year.  It’s a great way to launch the year into realms of peace and positivity that are so badly needed in our world today.
  • If you are interested in becoming a local organizer, contact Robb Wiselman: Doing this you will make an even bigger difference in your area.

~ vjs

I think that wraps it up for now. 

Robb and I send you a stream of Love and Light to brighten your Holidays, wherever you are. 

Valerie Skonie, Founder

Robb Wiselman, Director

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Sarasota, Florida 34232

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