Has anyone had experiences with spiritual fasting? I've been inspired to do a fast as a way to deepen my connection with the Divine and feel more that I am an energetic being that is fed by the energy of the universe (instead of looking at food as just being tasty). I'm curious as to how you have decided when to fast and what your experiences were like. Or if you have any information you've come across that you'd like to share, that is always wonderfull too! Thanks!
Posted 2/17/2006 9:16 PM (#271 - in reply to #267) Subject: RE: Fasting
I love fasting! I find that when I fast for at least two weeks, I start feeling really enlightened! My consciousness becomes super alert, my emotions are calm, and I feel very centered. I also found that people become very magnetized toward me, as if I have become more charismatic or something. The first few days are very difficult, for the human need and addiction to food is overwhelming, but after that it is smooth sailing! I have a hard time wanting to come back after that because I enjoy such a clear state, unaffected by the addictions of the world and the human body.
Posted 2/17/2006 10:21 PM (#273 - in reply to #267) Subject: RE: Fasting
Location: Arcata, CA
Fasting is a powerful spiritual tool. It really cuts to the core of things! I like to fast often, at least 2 main fasts per year for at least 2 weeks, and then I do little fasts throughout, about 1-3 days here and there as my body and consciousness ask for it. Sometimes it happens quite unconsciously. I just forget to eat all day and then realize that I have just fasted. It is a great way to keep yourself cleansed of toxins, and of course raise consciousness at the same time.
Every now and then the body needs a rest from the work of digestion. What happens when the body stops digesting food is that it then goes into house-cleaning mode. It begins to cruise throughout the body and look for debris and other unnecessary tissue that it can throw out. Your body knows what to get rid of and what not to. Your consciousness goes through cleansing too. It works on all levels, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
Here are some directions and experiences from my point of view!
The reason the first few days are so difficult is because your body has not quite gotten the message yet that fasting is taking place. It is still looking for food to digest. The first day isn't so bad because you have at least 2000 calories (a one day supply) at all times in your bloodstream floating around and being used as it is needed, replenished as soon as it is depleted. On the first day, you live on your reserve calories. Even though you get hungry, you don't have the actual depletion of calories yet.
By the second day, your need for calories is very real and your body is yelling at you to eat. This is a tough day, usually, but the cleansing still has not begun yet. You will get hypoglycemic headaches (headaches that are based on your depleted glucose calories in your bloodstream) and you will be REALLY hungry now! Try to just live through it and drink a lot of water! Some psyllium shakes are perfectly acceptable throughout the cleansing process, and actually will help curb hunger and will clear out toxins in the colon as the body begins to throw out debris there. Keep it all moving with a laxative tea (cascara segrada) or enemas. I like the tea route better myself...
By the third day, the cleansing is beginning. Your body has finally gotten the message that it isn't going to get any food, so now it is going to look for other things to digest, tissue in the body that is disposable. It looks for fat first, of course, and begins to break it down and use the stored energy. Fat stores a lot of toxins, however, and this will begin the process of feeling a bit ill sometimes, depending on how toxic you are. Keep drinking lots of water (I mean LOTS, a gallon a day would be ideal) and if you feel like having psyllium for hunger, it is fine. Just make sure you use a laxative to keep it moving or you will get headaches based on the colon buildup.
The fourth and fifth day, as well as the third, are days you might want to take off from work! It is not unusual to feel really icky and grumpy on the third, fourth and fifth days. I have found myself actually dry heaving and throwing up on the fourth or fifth day even though I hadn't eaten anything. Not lately because my diet is pretty clean these days, but my first fast ever in my twenties was very rough. I was extremely ill on the fourth and fifth day even though I was drinking lots of water and using a laxative tea. Those were the days of junk food though! Again, just try to live through these days as best as you can. For the headaches do deep breathing and ice packs on the head and back of the neck (don't take aspirin!) and for the nausea take psyllium shakes or an enema if you have not had bowel movements.
By the sixth day, things start to calm down and get smoother. This is the reward part of the fast! You're on the other side now! This is the time when the spiritual gifts begin to come to you. You will not have the hunger anymore, you won't have hypoglycemic headaches, and you'll be able to even work through the day. If you hadn't been drinking lemon juice squeezed into water before now, which is still totally acceptable and a useful astringent for your body from day one of a fast, now is a great time to start drinking lemon juice. If you have to sweeten it, use some maple syrup or stevia. If it's diluted enough, you won't need sweetener.
The seventh to the fourteenth day are just beautiful! You will begin to feel otherworldly, even angelic. Your mind will be clear and your emotions will be stable and even, and definitely joyful. There will definitely be some processing that will come up, especially if you haven't done many fasts before. You may find childhood issues coming up for clearing and forgiveness, you may find attitudes and patterns in your personality that become evident to address, but you will find that through the whole thing you will be in a calm space to deal with it. You will have some really potent dream experiences too, maybe even some astral projections or lucid dreams. These will be really deep and will create an awareness at the conscious level of what you are shifting deep inside yourself, even though you may not have even known there was an issue.
Sometimes these dreams are transformative, and sometimes they are simply peak spiritual experiences for your benefit and joy. Either way, you are standing between the worlds, in a way. You are not being completely human anymore, for you are in the world but not of it, and you are not completely in spirit because you still have a physical vehicle on the Earth with its personality structure, strengths and weaknesses. You are literally walking between the worlds, and the longer your fast goes, the closer to spirit you get.
I don’t recommend water fasts for more than two weeks. My longest water fast was over three weeks long, I was going to try for the 40 day fast Jesus did, but I had to let that go. The third week became really harsh and I realized that my body was now digesting healthy tissue and muscle. My eyesight began to blur, the clear consciousness was no longer apparent, and there began to be depression. My eyesight was not damaged severely, for I stopped as soon as I realized that it was happening and began eating again, but it definitely was never quite the same again. My eyesight healed for the most part, but a little bit of the damage stayed as a lesson. I recommend only two week fasts, tops. One week and a couple days is enough for most people to get the results I spoke of between the seventh and the fourteenth days.
I have done longer fasts on veggie and fruit juices, and the sky seems to be the limit on that. The body has no problem with fasting on juices for a lengthy amount of time, even months, and in fact it is a great weightloss method! Just keep taking that psyllium, however, if you do a juice fast so the colon keeps moving. That is the most important thing in a fast of any sort!
I hope this helps anyone thinking of doing a fast with a few guidelines and pointers to know about. If you are a first timer, I suggest the “Master Cleanse” which includes at least 800 calories per day. That is still enough restriction of calories to make your body go into cleanse mode, especially since they are not from solid food. It was a potent first cleanse for me for two weeks, and was just about as much as I could handle on the first run! It entails drinking lemon juice squeezed into a glass of water with a tablespoon of maple syrup for energy and a quarter teaspoon of cayenne powder to preserve warmth in the body. It’s a drink that has a punch for your taste-buds and seems to appease the body’s need for taste everyday, and it is a powerful astringent for the body. I also had enough energy to keep going about my normal daily activities and work. It will do everything that a water cleanse will do for a first timer but not be quite so rough for the body and mind and its habit of eating food.
Breatharianism is the ultimate fast. It is very dangerous and takes a lot of preparation to stop eating food altogether. There are real people who are actual Breatharians and it is truly amazing. It is a belief that the body needs food to live, but there are real live people who are proving that it is not a fact.
However, breatharianism is not for me because I love Earth chocolate far too much!
Posted 2/21/2006 7:57 PM (#279 - in reply to #267) Subject: RE: Fasting
Hi. Well, I have been practicing THE MASTER CLEANSE. You can look this up on the net or go to your local Whole Foods Market and pick up the sall booklet. Acourding to this information, one cleanses every 6 months. Take about three days to go into the fast and three days out of the fast. The liquid that is needed to cleanse the body's internal organs consist of very simple elements: lemon juice form whole lemons or pre-squized lemon juice. NOT LEMON-AIDE! Next, mix this juice with GRADE A MAPLE SYRUP Now, this is consentrated syrup, not the syrup you would use on pancakes. I mean, oyu could, but is very, very sweet. Also, add some cyan pepper to the juice. This is a red pepper that is spicey..how ever, the cyan peper will stimulate the stomach and help to calm the lining when resting form digestion.
the lemon juice will cleanse
the grade A maple syrup will add may vitimins
cyan for tast and stoumach stimulation
My expierences have been amazing and transfonational. Yes, you will develop a greater and consistancy of consentration. Questions? Look up THE MASTER CLEASE before considering this practice. Thank you for you time. And remember..I love you
Posted 7/31/2006 10:29 AM (#757 - in reply to #267) Subject: RE: Fasting
Location: Kaduna Nigeria
Fasting is undoubtedly a cleansing process before marriage with the Source. Everyone has their way and idea of fasting. There are those that I know who do their fasting differently. This fasting could be called the fasting of contact. First, they fast three months - the Muslim way, not eating or drinking from the early hours of the morning till sun-set. They do special meditation and prayer all through their seclusion of three months. On the last day of the three months they engage themselves to the higher level of their search or request to be in touch. It is another three days of absolute fasting, without eating or drinking anything. Their idea in such an engagement is to cut off entirely from physical life. Perhaps a pragmatic way of announcing their being born again.
The idea is that Paradise and Hell are of the afterlife and therefore can not be experienced in this life. It is also believed that death is something that no one has lived to talk about. By outwitting death, in this regard, they assume that they will operate on a level beyond the fear of death or the animal part of existence which could be said to be a very influential force in the way we conduct our lives.
The process is believed to be death, death of the physical which hinders enlightenment and subsequently Unity with the Source. They will not eat or drink anything for three days in anticipation of the meeting. In the the case where they were unable to reach to their goal, another three days is added withing which it is expected that they will join with the Source. There are some that I know that exceeded six days and were onto nine before they claimed to have been in direct touch.
There are some others in the history of this peculiar search that died in the search. Although an old Sufi practice, I want to believe it has roots in several other Paths. For instance in Christianity where Jesus prophesied that "as Jonah was three days three nights in the whale's belly so shall the sun of man, three days and three night in the heart of the earth." And it came to pass that Jesus rose from death, to keep on the miraculous part of his existence. Perhaps a basis of being truely born again and being child - a very difficult process indeed, and very much inadvisable, for I want to think that God is not so far away and difficult phenomenon to get in touch with, if one is able to carefully look around.
Posted 7/31/2006 4:35 PM (#759 - in reply to #267) Subject: RE: Fasting
Location: Northern Utah, USA
I also enjoy fasting, but I have to admit it's been far too long since I did an extended fast. The natural high, and spiritual centeredness that comes from a fast is hard to desribe for me, it's something that one really needs to experience personally...
Posted 8/4/2006 2:38 AM (#760 - in reply to #267) Subject: RE: Fasting
I have really enjoyed all the opinions expressed on this subject. Perhaps I can add that WHITE CIRCLE fasting is part of the rituals of some Trado-Christian churches / temples of the Yoruba speaking people of the western part of Nigeria.
In these churches/temples some members are by the circumstances surrounding their birth or peculier spiritual abilities initiated into prophethood. At particular period of the year any of these initiates could receive direct or indirect messages that they should go into fasting for a specified period of days but mostly 30-40 days. If it is a direct message the candidate himself/herself might deliver the message during a trance in the temple. If it is indirect, someone else in the temple or from a different temple will deliver the message.
The preparations are elaborate as people believe that any messages delivered by a prophet/prophetess who undergoes a 40 day WHITE CIRCLE fasting will come to pass.
A commencement date will be announced and the whole congregation will start special prayers for the candidate so that he/she does not pass on during the fasting. The candidate will remain within the premises of the temple for the period of his fasting and he/she will not drink or eat ANYTHING for the period of his fasting (mostly 40 days) except to brush the teeth.
After the 14th day people from far and near will be visiting him/her for messages on their sicknesses or other problems. Most messages given at this period have been known to be accurate.
On the 40th day the pale looking prophet/prophetess is welcomed back with songs of praise and thanks giving. He is treated with great respect. Different gift items are presented him/her It is a fascinating experience for those who can do it.
Some spiritual leaders in this part of the world practice this once in a year.
It is called WHITE CIRCLE fasting because no food or drink is taken during the fasting and the candidate is often surrounded by some elders of the temple.
DO NOT TRY THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE FAITHFUL PEOPLE AROUND YOU.
Posted 7/23/2010 12:39 AM (#19664 - in reply to #267) Subject: RE: Fasting
At some point I pondered the idea that Christ the Annointed one likely applied oil onto the skin in some way which may offer the chance a portion of the oil made it through the skin to offer fat calories into the bloodstream, as if this may be a key to fasting for 40 days long.
Personally, I don't fast for long periods because I prefer to set an example of regular eating habits to my children.
Occassionally I'll do a three day gall bladder cleanse that I find energizing and rejuvenating. Apparently the North American diet leaves a person susceptible to gall stones and this cleanse helps in that regard. http://www.sensiblehealth.com/Journey-03.xhtml
Posted 7/23/2010 12:57 PM (#19666 - in reply to #267) Subject: RE: Fasting
Location: Vancouver, Washington USA UMS student
Dear lolayoga or anyone else,
I have journaled my first 10 day fast using The Master Cleanser by Stanley Burroghs.
If you want, I can e-mail it to you. I did it when I first started with UMS. About 10 pages.
This is a picture of me nine days into a ten day fast.
Posted 7/24/2010 1:47 AM (#19667 - in reply to #267) Subject: RE: Fasting
The last part of the gall bladder fast also uses lemons, a cup of lemon juice with a cup of olive oil. This mixture causes the gall stones to float into the stomach as one sleeps on their right side. This process can be very energizing because the liver can then function better.
The Maple Syrup ingredient reminds me of the Maple Syrup / Baking Soda Cancer cure that destroys tumors. Lemons are known to promote an Alkaline balance, so there may be some commonality.
Possibly many of the benefits of such fasting are a result of shifting from an acid to an alkaline dominant body chemistry. There is probably other ways to shift body pH without fasting. Apparently Jack Lalanne, an old fitness guru, takes apple cider vinegar which purportedly does that. For his 95th birthday, Jack plans to do a 20 mile ocean swim. Maybe an alkaline balance complements such degrees of inspiration.
Posted 7/24/2010 8:29 PM (#19668 - in reply to #267) Subject: RE: Fasting
I have practiced fasts on occasion and I think that one thing needs to be said, and I hope your books on fasting and cleansing cover, that is the breaking of a fast. when finshing a fast and returnng to normal eating it is vital that you be gentle with yourself and only eat foods that will be gentle to your digestion. spicy and very sugary foods you should be careful of. I can say that the sugar is not too problematic, but the spicy foods you might want to avoid if they have not been part of the fast for its enterty. And with the sugar it might be better to choose fruit juices or whole fruit for the breaking of your fast. breaking a fast badly can realy disrupt you bio-rythms.
I am facinated with breatharinism, but am sure it is not for me. I too love the world to much to let go of eating alltogether. A long fast is an intense enough experience for me.
In some way, it seems his prayers or seeking intents were answered by way of his fasting, culminating in his initiation.
In another way, his fasting episode seems to resemble some form of wilderness shamanic journey,
i.e. Mt. Kuriyama may be a shamanic power spot (Earth grid or active ley line area.)
The story of Dr, Mikao Usui's revelation seems an example of combining a divine intent and a holy mountain with the act of fasting,
through which many people have benefitted.
Another thing that I'm reminded of is the word breakfast as rooting in the idea of breaking a fast, where one's dream states
may be considered a sort of spiritual fasting state opportunity of sleeping. Everyone fasts of variable duration, regardless of their awareness that sleeping usually involves some degree of fasting.
White Light Tibetan Dream Yoga is a way some people grow enlightened in a relatively short period of time,
and part of how that works is likely related to some fasting component of sleep.