The What, Why and How Of Spiritual Fasting.
Fasting is a common practice for many people on this earth – usually practiced for dietary, weight-loss and body detoxing reasons. However, one other aspect of fasting is fasting for spiritual purposes. You can abstain from something to deepen your spiritual self. So what is spiritual fasting, why do people do it and why should you try it?
What is Spiritual Fasting?
As previously mentioned, fasting is abstaining from something. Usually, this is food. The types of food fasts are as follows:
- Dry fasting. This is also known as Absolute Fast, Black Fast or Hebrew Fast. This is the most extreme of the fasting practices, abstaining from food and water for short periods. Due to the extreme nature of this, I would not recommend dry fasting.
- Liquid Fasting. As the name suggests, this fast consists of taking in only liquids. You could drink tea variations and water, as long as it is only liquid that you are consuming. There are different versions of liquid fasting, including water fasting (drinking only water) and juice fasting (drinking only liquids). The latter of these fasts has become very popular with dieters and health professionals in recent years.
- Partial Fasting. Also called selective fasting, this fast allows you to abstain from one certain type of food. When someone forgoes a certain food for the period of Lent, this is partial fasting.
There are also fasts that are not linked to food.
- Sexual fast. This type of fast is mentioned in spiritual texts and is the abstinence of sexual activity for a period of time. During this time, you can focus your spiritual energy on the universe for guidance.
Why Should I Fast?
Fasting is a way of recalibrating your body. By fasting you clear your system of harmful and excess toxins, and release everything poisonous that has been stored within you. This is the physical benefit, to make your body a better home for your spiritual self.
All of this ties in with your spirituality, and the divine benefits of fasting. Your outward body is your physical plane for your soul, and if your body is cluttered with pollutants and waste, your consciousness transmitter will not have the ability to communicate clearly. For your subconscious transmitter to receive universal consciousness, your mind and body must be nurtured and cared for. If you do not pay attention to this, then you can distance yourself from the universal consciousness and instead become controlled by the consciousness of those around you, losing your true self along the way.
As you practice fasting, your subconscious transmitter will grow and develop, amplifying your spiritual practice as you receive more from the universe. Your dreams will become more frequent and lucid, your meditation will deepen and you will find yourself on the astral plane with more ease. By ridding yourself of your toxins you have become closer to the universal consciousness.
How Can I Fast?
You can choose any form of fast to explore, whatever you deem best fits in with your life. If you want to eliminate one food group from your diet or eliminate food altogether, fasting will be a challenge for you and you need to have ways of staying with the fast to benefit your spiritual self.
To keep yourself busy while you are fasting there are many activities you can partake in – reading, painting, walking in nature- whatever will keep your mind busy and not let you wander to thoughts of food (or sex).
Be sure to practice your mediation, it is very important to focus your mind during this time. Begin by expressing gratitude for the time you are devoting to healing and growing. Whilst meditating consider the path of your life – where you are and where you want to be. Think about how you have come to where you are and how you are the master of your own path, how you can change your future.
Once you have completed your meditation, leave the reflection be. Do not carry this deep thought around with you in the present but instead focus on the here and now, using your new perspective to focus your energy in the existing.
When you had completed your fasting and it is time to re-engage, take things slowly. If you were fasting from sexual activity, embrace and kiss lightly. If you were abstaining from food, still take in plenty of teas and liquids and begin with light salads and broths rather than diving straight back into heavy meals.
Though spiritual food fasting is a wonderful exercise for many of us, it is not for everyone. You should always consult a medical professional before undertaking any food fast. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or under 18 then fasting is not for you. The same applies if you are malnourished or underweight. Those with diabetes, low blood sugar, gout and GERD also need to be very cautious before committing to any fast.
The article was written by Keisha Singleton
Photo by Kamil Szumotalski