Why Should I Fast?
There’s hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness
We are lutes, no more, no less
If the sound box is stuffed full of anything, no music
If the brain and belly are burning clean with fasting,
every moment a new song comes out of the fire
The fog clears, and new energy makes you run up the steps in front of you
Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry
Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen
When you’re full of food and drink, an ugly metal statue sits where your spirit should
When you fast, good habits gather like friends who want to help.
Fasting is Solomon’s ring
Don’t give it to some illusion and lose your power, but even if you have,
if you’ve lost all will and control, they come back when you fast,
like soldiers appearing out of the ground, pennants flying above them
A table descends to your tents, Jesus’ table
Expect to see it, when you fast, this table spread with other food,
better than the broth of cabbages
(Jelaluddin Rumi was born in the year 1207. He and was a brilliant scholar and popular teacher. [When]…Rumi began his transformation from scholar to artist, … his poetry began
to fly. Thought of perhaps as the world’s greatest poet, his words have been translated by many. The Essential Rumi translation by Coleman Barks, offers. …the primary poetry of Rumi…poems about everything from bewilderment, emptiness, and silence to flirtation, elegance, and majesty. From The Essential Rumi, translations by Coleman Barks, Castle Books, 1997)
As Rumi so memorably put it eight centuries ago, when you fast, expect to see your table spread with a different kind of food, better than the broth of cabbages.
Mystics and Holy Men have always known that a higher spiritual plane is reached when the stomach is empty. Nowadays even the common man such as you and I can experience the mental, physical and spiritual awakening that comes with fasting.
Traditionally the change of seasons is considered a good time to give your body a healing rest by fasting.
What constitutes a fast?
Indian mystics have long been reputed to practice an extensive type of fast known as Kaya-Kalpa. In part, it involves raising a cow from birth in a very specific way, then staying alone in a cave or small structure for a year or more, seeing and speaking to no one except an assistant, and eating only occasional water and the raw milk from this special cow.
It is alleged that at the end of the year or so of rest, meditation, special breathing and other aspects known only to few, that old men who went into the cave a year ago walk out with their youth regained, with a new set of teeth, hair and skin. In essence, young again.
Holy men are reputed to have done this several times in their lifetime, extending their life to 120, 140, 160 years or more, and stop only when they feel their life’s work is done.
Obviously there are different types of fasts, as the practice of Kaya-Kalpa indicates. To me the highest and purest type of fast available to us today is water-only fasting while resting. The resting part is important.
While there is no set time limit for a water only fast, fasting until the feeling of true hunger returns is the guideline most often used. A typical amount of time would be 7 to 40 days. While a fast of shorter duration may be somewhat healing, it isn’t usually until the third day that serious healing even begins to occur.
According to my research, at or around the third day of a fast, the amount of human growth hormone in the bloodstream increases many-fold. This is probably what accounts for the amazing healing that takes place along with the cleansing of toxins from the tissues of the body from day three onward during a water and resting fast.
Time honored, water fasting has proven itself again and again to be profoundly healing and effective.
T.C. Fry and Herbert Shelton are two authors who have written many books about this. Water fasting is an important aspect of the Natural Hygiene approach to Raw Food. Besides reading books by T.C Fry and Herbert Shelton, a more recent author who addresses water fasting is Joel Fuhrman, MD.
For support and aid, it is often recommended that any water and rest fast you consider for three days or more be a supervised fast. I have done both supervised and unsupervised week-long fasts and personally feel that for anything longer than one week, I would prefer to have it be supervised for support, companionship and motivation.
There are several well-known natural hygienists that conduct supervised fasts and several places throughout the country and the world where one can go for resting and fasting under supervision.
One excellent place is in Northern California called True North. Their informative website is www.healthpromoting.com.
I did a 6 week water fast under the supervision of a wonderful older Doctor who has passed on now by the name of William Esser, and I did a one week fast supervised by a fellow named Ray Kent-who does this all over the world.
Both men were very knowledgeable and I am glad to have met and spent time with them. Truth be told, any time you don’t feel well, the best thing to do is drop everything, including work, go to bed, rest and consume only water.
It seems rather counter-intuitive to not try to ‘push on’ and get on with your daily routine if you have symptoms of illness, but a water fast of short duration can often turn around feeling unwell more effectively than any supplement or drug. You can prove this to
yourself by simply trying it. If you understand that various fleeting symptoms that feel like illness are in actuality healing events, which occur while the long-stored toxins are exiting your body,
you will be able to relax and let your body do what it is intended to do: Cleanse, heal, and restore.
Another type of ‘fast’ is a juice-only fast, consisting of fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices and water. Because you are consuming nourishment during this time, bed rest is not required, although it is wise to rest as much as possible, avoiding heavy exercise for the duration of the fast.
Juice fasting is not usually as dramatic as water fasting, but many people prefer this slower and more comfortable way to cleanse. For practical purposes, a juicing fast is
more easily achieved as you can continue with your daily routine, although it would be best to curtail as much activity as possible.
Speaking for myself, I have found water fasting to be a far more profound and effective healing experience.
Breaking your fast is as important as the fast itself. One can undo much of the good that has been done by moving too quickly into eating dense foods, cooke foods, or junk foods.
The time taken to gradually transition back to your normal diet should last at least as long as half the time spent actually fasting. This means that if you have water fasted for 14 days, your transition back to normal eating should take at least 7 days.
Understanding the dynamics of fasting before undertaking a fast is of utmost importance. You would be well advised to read one or more of the many fine
books by the authors previously mentioned on the subject of fasting before embarking on any type of fast.
While I was water fasting, I read and re-read books on the subject. I found it to be informative and motivating and reminds me of what I am doing and why I am doing it
Whether you decide to take on a water and rest fast or a juicing fast as a means of cleansing and healing or whether you are feeling unwell and fast until you are
better, don’t forget about the miracle of this natural approach as we enter the warm season again.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous? Actually who are you NOT to be?
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that
other people won’t feel insecure around you
We are born to manifest the glory of the spirit that is within us,
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others
~ Marianne Williamson