Is a true spiritual fast water only or juices also, and what is the best way to start and end one?
Each of us can find our own truth about what spiritual fast will be spiritual for us, and also be safe and healthy.
Some people will engage in spiritual fasts even when they are not safe or not healthy. I won't say this is wrong. St. Francis did it. Gandhi did it. Buddha did it, but later changed his mind and supported only healthy fasting.
But here are some tips if you want to create a healthy, safe, spiritual fast:
- Be honest about your health condition. It's not a good idea to jump from a diet of Twinkies to fasting. If you have abused your body, seek health before deep fasting.
- If you are making major changes to your diet, expect to feel sometimes very good and sometimes very bad. Don't assume you will be able to work.
- The body adjusts. You will feel more hungry in the first three days than later.
- All fasts, of any type, are valuable. Even giving up just one toxic or favorite food (as for Lent) is a spiritual step.
- Creating a simple, healthy diet can be a type of spiritual fast.
- Many feel that making it vegetarian (no animal flesh) or vegan (no animal products) makes it healthier and spiritually more pure.
- You can move towards simplicity and lack of choice - consistently eating the same things.
- You can move towards fewer different foods. You might come to say, only rice, steamed greens, and sesame seeds.
- You might go all the way to a monofast (eating just one food, such as rice or a vegetable or a fruit), but the first time you try this, go for just 3 days.
- You might go to a water only or clear-liquid only fast, but just for a day or 3 days at first.
- Some people stop taking in even water, but this is very dangerous, and can be fatal within three days if you are not healthy to start with.
To enter a strong fast, go in stages. For example, eliminate all drugs (except prescription essentials), caffeine, alcohol, and meat for a week. Then lighten the vegetarian diet. Then go vegan. Then take it further for a few days if you want to.
To leave a fast, exit in a similar way.
Chew your food slowly and carefully.
Get enough fluids.
Pay attention to isotonic balance (sodium & potassium), minerals (calcium and iron) and trace minerals (all other minerals). If these go off balance, you can become very ill very quickly.
When leaving the fast, don't go back to same-old-same-old. Live a healthier, purer, and more reverent and graceful life from here forward.
Great information as I need to get rid of some of the caffiene first probably. My goal is to do a physical and spiritual cleansing, and thought that would take more than three days Then once cleansed transcend into a much healthier way of life
I would suggest an entire period of about three weeks, culminating in a 3-day clear fluid fast. Once you've done that, you might want to make it seasonal or annual, and you can increase time after that. Email me for more info.
it's not so much which fast method you use (juice or water). It is more to do with the attitude and your approach to the physical cleansing.... you see it is a cleansing of the mind and thoughts where the spiritual journey is found in fasting. The cleansing of the body assists in developing clear thoughts.... sound body, sound mind - clear body clear mind and being true to the moment.
Thank you, that is my goal and now can see it in a different light as to the cleansing o f the mind. There is just so much info out there as to how, I thought I would ask and see if someone could give some advice who has been through it.
You are so right about all that you have mentioned here, especially about a fast being a cleansing of the mind and thoughts.
I think we are well advised to start with very short water fasts. Perhaps just the time it would take to eat a meal - do not and go for a walk by your self in nature if possible.
For sure the best ways to start and end a fast is the same. Meditate.
If a juice has a special meaning to you, use that, with no additives.
Here is a lessor known fact. To go to a Eucharist in a Catholic church you are "required" to fast for a least two hours prior. This is to cleanse your spirit. But for a Colon wash you are require to fast and flush for eight hours. This is to cleanse the crap out. I am just saying.
Thank you and those are definitely facts that I was unaware of and very informative as far as getting the crap out
I am learning so much reading all the comments. Great question, Charlu. I learned things I didn't know by reading Ericdierker's response. Thanks, Ericdierker.
In the Jewish religion a fast excludes all liquids - even water. But Jewish fasts only last a little over 24 hours. In other religions there are different ways of fasting.
I don't know anything about fasts that are purely spiritual without being religious but I'm interested to see what others have to suggest.
(Oops, I didn't see there were already other answers, so mine is probably useless).
More answers are never useless and always give different aspects of an answer as well as confirmation of others. Prime example I was unaware the Jewish religion excluded all liquids and for just that information alone I am grateful.
Well I'm glad I did offer something of help. I also added after reading the others that Jewish fasts only last for one day. I'm not sure if you saw that because you had already answered by the time I finished my edit.
I believe the purpose of a fast is to cleanse the body so that one is able to "hear" better. I mean this in many senses. If the boy is clear, one can listen to its wants and needs, or hear when it has an ailment that was unknown before because the body's voice was too clouded by the toxins put into it.
Shamans used to fast before going between worlds. They would eat, but only rice without salt of herbs - or generally bland things. It was their way of separating from the body - feed it so that it's needs did not disturb them, but detach from the body's enjoyments such as taste, touch, sight. In some South American cultures they would even go so far as to isolate themselves for a time so that they would not be able to look at women and remember the enjoyments of the body.
Some fast so that they can slip deeper into meditation, be purer in the body so as to be lighter in the soul. Whether or not to use water or juice is I think up to you. Personally, if I am going on a fast, I certainly prefer juice that I have juiced myself. That way I know that I am getting vitamins enough to go about my day, but I am still cleansing the body and helping to get it to homeostasis. However, fresh juice can be very energizing, at least for me. So if I were to be cleansing to commune with the Universe, or a higher power, I would probably stick to water.
To start and end a cleanse, you need to be gentle with your body. Ease yourself into it. I would start by one day taking out processed foods, the next day taking out meats, the next day taking out carbs (breads and pastas, but stick with brown rice), then continue eating brown rice and vegetables - raw - for a couple days, then move to just fresh juice, then move to water. When coming out of a fast, it is very important you don't guzzle a burger as soon as you see one. But once again, ease your body into eating again. Start with vegetable broth for a day, then move onto a meat broth and soft fruits, the next day eating vegetables and rice again. After a couple days of that your body should be ready to eat as normal.
I don't believe the water we drink today will help anyone now even though the EPA has set the arsenic standard for drinking water at .010 parts per million (10 parts per billion) to protect consumers served by public water systems from the effects of long-term, chronic exposure to arsenic. Water systems must comply with this standard by January 23, 2006, providing additional protection to an estimated 13 million Americans. I believe they are attempting to destroy our body functions so that we do not age well, get ill frequently to add to big business and pharmaceutical wealth; plus cut back on pensions and Medicare costs!
Good point - water fasts should be done with pure water - and not just carbon-filtered, either! By the way, did you mean "2006" or "2016"?
Ditto on the good point. I hadn't even thought of the quality of the water. Thank you
It was in 2006 and yet we still have arsenic in our water. Just can't boil it out - They need to develop a filter that gets rid of the flouride and Arsnic in our tap water.
Having pondered, yet not knowing, I always giggle to 'self' with a fast, seems it never works for me since I am too slow. This may have a touch of cynicism or tad of sarcasm, yet I now look upon fasting. Paramount is offering thanks to Charlu for this opportunity to puzzle what oddly was near to mind at this break of dawn.
Seems to me that fast does bear witness as fast + ing. Looking a moment at meaning and stuck in 'theta' it appears to be 'doing without' + oddly, an action with 'ing.' Just playing a bit with words to discover something.
Or, remembering this is sharing a process of thought seeking an answer to a well stated question of earnest. I fast now and then. In fact I am fasting today and have been since 'All Hallows Eve' by not posting hubs, however creation of hubs seems incessantly ceaseless.
Quite honestly, I did peer at the answers offered and respect them all while learning much too. Each caused this 'self' to ponder more and resist that cup of coffee and smoldering cigarette while seeking. Now I turn to the source of the nutrition of the fast pondering water vs. juices. Seems in essence one in the same, both of water. Yet, the juices are from a plant and that plant has received care and nurturing, although each - apple, orange, and/or a combined form offers value and worth while place of origin as fruit refined becoming juice is absent of the meat or pulp, I dun'no.
Spiritual is the subject of the search in the question. Earlier I watched a TV broadcast of a man who began his career as a Navy Helicopter pilot. He was more involved with the rescue than the search of things. I ponder is a 'fast' a quest 'for' or 'of' and does that make a difference in the cause being 'seeking' the hidden, though revealed as a preface, 'truth' stated as 'true.'
Being an odd duck, seeking a 'truth' for an answer, where is that pond anyway, I now seek a new question for discovery while exploring - "Is a true . . . only . . . or . . . also." A revealed 'truth' for this wanderer after reading what has been shared is the latter or 'also,' metaphorically speaking. There are six different answers thus far. Six different, yet they offer the element of sameness or 'water.' The obvious is seen while remembering this 'self' is fasting, not drinking that coffee and the cigarette is no longer a glowing ember.
The conjunction 'and' seems to offer a puzzle of sorts. This fast began with a sip of coffee and a puff. I am going for what is available to end the fast.
Wow! It is definitely a "for" and "truth" search, with a lot in between them both. I'm glad it was dear to your mind and hope that the cigarette and coffee will not be an obstacle.
The water of juices is noted, yet leaning to water only. Thank you
You are welcome Charlu while again thanking you for the blessing to ponder. For now I have to gather the laundry and oddly seek the cleansing of water. I laugh sharing that is truthful, yet does sound odd. Water is powerful stuff - H(2)O
I believe a true spiritual fast is when you deprive yourself of something you feel you can't live without. Of course, the mind goes right to food and drink, but bare in mind when this was developed not many people read for fun, there was no interent, there was no television, there were no electronics of any kind.
Today, there are a lot more things we feel we "can't live without." I think a spiritual fast of not using your cell phone for a month, or the internet for a month, or no television for a month can be just a cathartic and enlightening as going without food--maybe even more so depending on how much you feel you "need" these things. This is because the purpose of a spiritual fast is to prove to you all you REALLY need is faith and a relationship with the higher power and the world around you.
I have fasted many times and I think that water, juices, herbal teas and vegetable broths are all good on a fast. To make it a truly spiritual experience I meditate, pray, comtemplate and do deep breathing exercises numerous times each day. The longest I have fasted is 14 days. The benefit, in my opinion, to juices is they give a healthy dose of vitamin c, which has huge benefits in detoxing the body. The vegetable broth gives you minerals so that you do not become overly tired and lose minerals through the body's flushing out toxins. Herbal teas can also have many healing effects. What I have done before starting a fast is to eat only steamed vegetables for a few days. This helps the body start to detoxify because of the roughage. What I end a fast with is boiled potatoes with a little flax seed oil, olive oil or some other cold pressed raw oil mixed in with the potatoes.
A real spiritual fast has nothing to do with anything physical, (water, juice, bread, etc)
it's fasting your mind (spirit, heart) from thinking negative thoughts, emotions, imaginings or thinking about doing negative behaviors (like committing Adultry).
If you even think about doing anything negative, you've done in your heart (mind, spirit) before you actually do it or even if you don't do it.
Spiritual fast is drinks only, and non alcoholic, I also drink non caffeinated teas too. I do a one day fast, especially if I am praying for someone with a special need. I have just tea in the morning and then prayer, during the day just water and warm milk in the evening. It is not good to fast for a long period of time. Some people just do water. no juice, no tea and no milk.
What a fabulous question, evidenced by even more powerful answers. Certainly Charlu, there is great wisdom here for all of us and whatever caused you to ask this question apparently was intending that we all be aware of some element of the answers.
From the eloquence of TSMOG to the science of Galadriel Arwen and all of the professional answers in between there is much to be gleaned here, more than a superficial reading will allow.
I believe each addresses a specific point and certainly being cognizant of your health is a primary concern. After that however, it would seem to me the "truth" of a spiritual fast or the "best way" to start and end one is determined solely by the one fasting. I mean my true spiritual fast may not be the same as yours and my best way to start and end one may also not me yours.
I think you are wise to seek ways for understanding this practice. I would suggest trying many different "safe" methods and determining for yourself which one(s) produce a true spiritual fast and which one(s) offer the your best experiences!
Again fabulous question, one which if used more often by all of us would bring us to a brighter tomorrow, today!
a true spiritual fast is between you and GOD...since HE created you...HE knows what your bady can deal with and the meaning of what you do. i have done 3 day/night fasting before...but i had to take water because i am an epilieptic and must take pills for it. i would suggest though do not drink fruit juices, because their sugar content is very high and that can make you hungry in a way that is hard to ignore. you should drink water in any case so you do not dehydrate. also, plan your fast for times when you can be alone for the entire fasting time, and then avoid areas where people are cooking or eating, this will help you avoid the temptation to bive in. when you come off the fast, eat some toast or a glass of milk for your first meal. gradually eat more with each meal til you are eating normally again. when you come off a fast it is a great time to make the choice to eat healthy, as your body is cleansed from the junk you may have eaten before and prime to start fresh with good food. remember this is between you and GOD...do what feels right not what everyone else does or says.
Your so right about it being between God and I and a time to become more accessible to receiving the messages I am being given. The juices I think would tend to make me hungry as I wasn't thinking about the sugar content. Thanks for what feels right
I agree with tlmcgaa70 that a spiritual fast is between you and God. It is time meant to honor him and draw closer to him, otherwise it is just a ritual like others.
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