Fasting

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Veer-Zinda
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Fasting

Post by Veer-Zinda »

About three years ago, I decided to try fasting for 12 hours one day during Ramadan, which turned out to be a lot harder than I imagined. At first, I didn't feel that it had been a useful exercise as I ended up fairly cranky at the end of the day. It was only the following day that I realised this was exactly why it had been a useful exercise. I realised just how attached I was, not only to food, but pleasant food as well.

Going without food for 12 hours (which was what I had decided on for my first fast, rather than the 18 hours it is midsummer in the UK) and failing to go without water for longer than 5 hours, when I gave in and sipped at it for the remainder of the time - all of this really brought home to me what I needed to work with.

I've been gradually trying to engage a little more with fasting each Ramadan as a reminder of this, because it's an attachment I'm still working to free myself from.

Have you ever tried fasting? How was the experience for you?
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DNS
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Re: Fasting

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I generally do the One meal a day program on most days. See:
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=3045

It is fairly common among Theravadins, especially monks and nuns. When doing that, one eats all their food, all calories at the lunch hour approx. 11 am to 12 noon. And then one does not eat again until the next day's lunch; which is therefore about a 24 hour fast everyday; that is, there is 24 hours between each meal. The one meal tends to be large though, so it is not that difficult. I find it very helpful and keeps the weight off and my favorite part is that it saves lots of time! There is only one time for food preparation, one time for eating, one time for cleaning; a huge time saver compared to preparing, cooking, eating, cleaning, etc 3 or more times per day.
Veer-Zinda
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Re: Fasting

Post by Veer-Zinda »

David N. Snyder wrote:I generally do the One meal a day program on most days. See:
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=3045

It is fairly common among Theravadins, especially monks and nuns. When doing that, one eats all their food, all calories at the lunch hour approx. 11 am to 12 noon. And then one does not eat again until the next day's lunch; which is therefore about a 24 hour fast everyday; that is, there is 24 hours between each meal. The one meal tends to be large though, so it is not that difficult. I find it very helpful and keeps the weight off and my favorite part is that it saves lots of time! There is only one time for food preparation, one time for eating, one time for cleaning; a huge time saver compared to preparing, cooking, eating, cleaning, etc 3 or more times per day.
Wow, that sounds difficult! :jawdrop: Even when I've had a massive meal, I do still get hungry again maybe about 12 hours later at the most, so 24 hours sounds tough! The thirst is the hardest, I find. I assume you drink between meals?

I can certainly see the appeal with reducing the time needed for all the preparation! I'm not a fan of cooking really, so might be checking this programme out myself :clapping: ...If I start training now, I should be a pro by Ramadan! :woohoo:
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Re: Fasting

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Veer-Zinda wrote: Wow, that sounds difficult! :jawdrop: Even when I've had a massive meal, I do still get hungry again maybe about 12 hours later at the most, so 24 hours sounds tough! The thirst is the hardest, I find. I assume you drink between meals?
Yes, there is still drinking allowed of non-caloric drinks like tea and water. I should mention that many also drink fruit juice in the evenings, but I don't do that as that still has calories and is basically food, especially if it is the whole fruit juiced. I drink tea throughout the day and evening (without sugar).
I can certainly see the appeal with reducing the time needed for all the preparation! I'm not a fan of cooking really, so might be checking this programme out myself :clapping: ...If I start training now, I should be a pro by Ramadan! :woohoo:
:thumbsup: :D
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Nicholas
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Re: Fasting

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Having been porky most of my life, I have started a mild sort of fasting. On full & new moon days, only water or tea. Tomorrow is new moon again, so again I will fast. Not much to show so far, but only been one month. Will try to add all day fasts on the quarter-moon days also and see what happens.

Less sedentary life will help much, I am sure.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Fasting

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Blavatsky on the rationale of fasting:
The rationale of fasts lies on the surface. If there is one thing more
than another which paralyses the will power in man and thereby paves
the way to physical and moral degradation it is intemperance in eating:
“Gluttony, of seven deadly sins the worst.” Swedenborg, a natural-born
seer, in his “Stink of Intemperance,” tells how his spirit friends reproved
him for an accidental error leading to overeating. The institution of fasts
goes hand in hand with the institution of feasts. When too severe strain
is made on the vital energies by overtaxing the digestive machinery, the
best and only remedy is to let it rest for some time and recoup itself as
much as possible. The exhausted ground must be allowed to lie fallow
before it can yield another crop.

Fasts were instituted simply for the purpose of
correcting the evils of overeating. The truth of this will be
manifest from the consideration that the Buddhist priests have no
institution of fasts among them, but are enjoined to observe the medium
course and thus to “fast” daily all their life. A body clogged with an
overstuffing of food, of whatsoever kind, is always crowned with a
stupefied brain, and tired nature demands the repose of sleep.

There is also a vast difference between the psychic effect of nitrogenized food,
such as flesh, and non-nitrogenous food, such as fruits and green
vegetables. Certain meats, like beef, and vegetables, like beans, have
always been interdicted to students of occultism, not because either of
them were more or less holy than others, but because while perhaps
highly nutritious and supporting to the body, their magnetism was
deadening and obstructive to the “psychic man.”
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Fasting

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HPV was vegetarian or at least mostly vegetarian:
H. P. Blavatsky was not a strict vegetarian herself, although she always recommended the vegetarian diet for aspirants whenever that was possible (we must remember that at the end of the 19th century it was quite difficult to be vegetarian in the West). However, there are evidences that she did follow this diet at some periods, and that she intended to make it a rule in the Theosophical Society. For example, in a letter to her sister Madame Zhelihovsky, she wrote about a spiritual experience she had after following some ascetic practices, including vegetarianism:

In our Society everyone must be a vegetarian, eating no flesh and drinking no wine. This is one of our first rules. It is well known what an evil influence the evaporations of blood and alcohol have on the spiritual side of human nature, blowing the animal passions into a raging fire; and so one of these days I . . . resolved to fast more severely than hitherto. I ate only salad and did not even smoke for whole nine days, and slept on the floor. . .[13]
https://theosophy.wiki/en/Vegetarianism
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Re: Fasting

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Ajay0
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Re: Fasting

Post by Ajay0 »

Nicholas wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:01 pm Blavatsky on the rationale of fasting:
Fasts were instituted simply for the purpose of
correcting the evils of overeating. The truth of this will be
manifest from the consideration that the Buddhist priests have no
institution of fasts among them, but are enjoined to observe the medium
course and thus to “fast” daily all their life. A body clogged with an
overstuffing of food, of whatsoever kind, is always crowned with a
stupefied brain, and tired nature demands the repose of sleep.
Yes, I agree with this. Benjamin Franklin in his autobiography has creditted his fasts and moderate diet with better mental clarity or clear thinking.

This is also my own observation that an empty stomach results in clear thinking easily and fasting for some time helps me unknot problems requiring deep and clear thinking.

On the other hand, too much of fatigue through heavy exhaustive work or long fasting can also result in poorer clarity of mind and judgement.

So it is good to take some fasts and know one's own mental performance peaks and limits so as to optimise this tool for peak productivity.

These days I don't take food at night except for some salad or very few quantity of food at times. This enables me to wake up early for Brahmamuhurtham at early morning ( 4:00-6:00 am ) meditation. I have noticed that this is much harder for me if I had eaten heavily at night.

There is an adage to “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” This is followed both in eastern and western medical systems. Research has shown that food taken at night usually leads to weight gain.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost.~ Buddha AN 10.1

If you do right, irrespective of what the other does, it will slow down the mind. ~ Rajini Menon
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Nicholas
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Re: Fasting

Post by Nicholas »

Yep. Lately I have been eating only before noon. Losing flab, gaining clearer thinking. Once a week or so a full day fast.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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