Fasting, when performed from a place of loving intention, can be a powerful vehicle for increasing self-awareness and dissolving the ego. The process of fasting, however, is a much deeper practice than simply refraining from eating food. You can use the process of fasting from many different stimuli (such as sex, social interaction, or technology, for instance) in order to gain a deeper understanding of your relationship with the material world in your everyday experience. By removing specific stimulus from your life for a period of time, you allow yourself the opportunity to see more clearly the mechanisms of the ego, and how the mind works.
One of the foundations of the ego is addiction itself, and by fasting, we can observe the subtle attachment and fear that exists within our minds in relation to the physical world. Many people use the physical world (food, sex, money, and material possessions) to appease and comfort psychological and emotional anxiety. Using the physical world in this way actually prevents a person from connecting with the Divine Energy of the Universe. The more attachment we have to the experiences of the physical world, the less open we are to receive the abundance of loving energy that exists beyond the world of form.
Ultimately, as a person becomes more awakened, the experiences of the world of form can be enjoyed in all its facets with little to no attachment. But until a person untangles themselves from attachment to the world of form, the physical world will always be a source of fear. The reason for this is that when a person uses experiences or physical forms to comfort oneself, there exists an awareness that at some point that thing will leave their life, jeopardizing their sense of safety, identity, or happiness. As you face this fear head-on during the practice of fasting, you will gain greater inner strength, confidence, and connection to a Higher Source of energy. By letting go of the world of form, and redirecting your attention to the energy within, you experience yourself beyond the world of form, existing as the energy of consciousness itself.
Areas For Fasting
I would suggest brief periods of time fasting in the following areas; food, sex, social interaction, and entertainment and technology. Do so, however, only if you genuinely feel curious or inspired by the idea of fasting. The specifics of how to fast from each stimuli (food, sex, social interaction, or entertainment) will be different for everyone, and are best left to your intuition. Fasting from food, however, is the one area where specific guidance and support may be needed so that you do not cause yourself harm.
For a fast from food be sure to start off slowly, with a half day fast one week, followed by a full day of fasting the following week. You can work your way up to 2 or 3 days of water fasting, depending on your health and personal constitution. Go slowly, being sure to drink plenty of purified water, giving yourself adequate time and space to be in a relaxed environment where you can be introspective and reflective. The last segment of this book, The Holistic Healing Protocol, contains detailed instructions for the process of fasting, and can be referenced before attempting to fast from food.
For the process of fasting from any element of your life, the same general practice can be applied. Any time you have a thought or compulsion related to that which you are fasting from, simply bring your attention back to your breath, relax your body, and feel the energy within your body or your Spiritual Heart. By redirecting your attention to your inner energy field, you are retraining your mind to receive energy from the Source within first, rather than from the outside world. You may experience strong compulsions to engage in other stimulus as a means of distraction, and so you can practice redirecting your attention inward in these situations too. For instance, when fasting from sex (celibacy) you may notice a strong compulsion to eat comfort foods such as sweet, salty, or fattening foods. In these moments, simply pause, bring your attention back to your breath and body, and feel the energy within.
You can also engage in a more proactive form of purification by using a simple energy healing technique. When a thought or compulsion arises, take your attention to your breath and body, and as you inhale, feel the healing energy of the earth rising up through your feet and root chakra, reaching your Heart chakra at the peak of your inhalation. Then as you exhale, feel your Heart purifying this energy, allowing the energy to descend back down through your body and down into the earth. You can imagine this energy being received by the earth to be recycled and reused for the highest good of all.
You may find yourself intuitively beginning a fast without much planning, or it may feel better to engage in some pre-planning and preparation. Honor whatever process supports you best. When planning for a fast, be sure to communicate with the people in your life, letting them know what you are doing and why you are doing it. Setting an intention before a fast, and periodically repeating your intention (in the form of a mantra, or through journaling), can be extremely helpful in keeping you focused on your objective. You may find that it is helpful to create structure around your fasting experience, deciding on a specific duration of time and specific parameters for your fast. Keep a journal of your experience, keeping in mind that there is no goal to attain, but rather it is the learning that takes place through the process that is the goal.
Fasting, however, is best performed only when a person is intuitively guided to do so. If you feel inspired, excited, or curious about the idea of fasting, then it is a good indication that it will be helpful along your spiritual journey. If, however, you feel overwhelmed, frightened, or anxious about the idea, it might not be time for you to attempt a fast. Or, you might feel a combination of both excitement and fear, which may indicate that starting off gradually will best support your process. Fasting can increase spiritual growth and holistic health.