Fasting to Raise Vibration, Expand Consciousness AND THRIVE!


Today we're beginning a new forum thread in our Conscious Cafe exploring the power of fasting to raise vibration, expand consciousness and positively thrive in your life. In this lead post, I'm focussing on understanding the nature of fasting and how it relates to spiritual growth. Do feel free to ask questions and share.

Aspasia - Openhand Community Coordinator

Fast and see the strength of the Spirit reveal itself

Fasting is the first principle of medicine;
fast and see the strength of the Spirit reveal itself.

Rumi

It is that time of the year when a lot of people tend to embark on some type of ‘Spring cleanse’ protocol, either to feel lighter, or to feel more energetic or to deal with mild health issues. A couple of people I know are reporting on facebook about their journey with their chosen cleanse method sharing how much weight they have lost and how good they feel. Also, here on Openhandweb, ‘detox & rejuvenation fast’ was a hot topic back in 2007 when Open documented his 5-day cleanse regime. The topic was revisited again in 2013 and 2015 offering loads of info and graphic details on his 5-day protocol, which eliminated mucqoid plaque very effectively! Its really worth having a look here:

Open's detox and rejuvenation fast

My personal experiences with some ‘cleansing’ diet protocols have included water fasting, intermittent fasting, mono-fruit cleanses, raw food detox, and juicing. Whilst exploring all these, I discovered that there are differences between a ‘detox’ diet, a ‘cleanse’ and a ‘fast’. For example, it is suggested that:

A ‘fast’: is the complete abstinence from food for 12 hours or more where only water is consumed – distilled or pure water strongly suggested and preferably in room temperature. Fasting is a natural dietary process that has existed in many cultures and traditions for millennia to treat health issues and to facilitate spiritual practice.

A ‘detox’: uses certain foods or/and herbal supplements to facilitate the natural process of elimination of toxins in the body (toxic substances from processed foods, pollutants, acidic foods etc) through the liver and kidneys. Often a detox is accompanied with enemas, tongue & nose cleanse, steam & saunas for more effectiveness.

A ‘cleanse’: involves the clearing and rebooting of the digestive system and detoxification organs in the body, while re-fuelling with optimum amount and quality of nutrients. Cleanse diets eliminate certain ‘trigger’ foods and add alkaline rich plant foods that regenerate the body cells.

“Back to the future” for Openhand, and I felt to invite attention and explorative discussion specifically to Fasting for better physical and mental health, for breaking addictions and for facilitating the unfolding and ‘burning’ of karmic processes. Fasting is an inherently natural response to food shortages, which we had to make back in the early days of humanity. We learnt to adapt as a way to survive, though I feel today fasting is a necessary response to ‘survive’ the effects of overconsumption, ingested pollutants and internalised toxicity in the environments we now live. Fasting as an ancient medical intervention in the modern world is becoming very popular and private medical health centres dedicated to fasting spring up all around the world. Scientific study on fasting protocols in humans is increasing and what many ancient cultures practised for centuries is now increasingly being backed up by research for its many health benefits and impressive physiological adaptations.

Autophagy - a natural process of the body to cleanse and repair itself

Autophagy is one of the key adaptations that take place during fasting - a natural process of the body to cleanse and repair itself - that does not happen when eating is involved. Autophagy (derived from Greek, meaning ‘eating oneself’) is basically a self-recycling process that breaks down and disintegrates cells to create new ones.

The Science section on The Telegraph online reported recently:

The researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system. "It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California. "And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting.”

Dr Eric Berg ‘s video below on the physiological processes involved in Autophagy is simple, accessible and very informative, last about 4 minutes – have a look:

The amazing thing is that Autophagy is a process that takes place on the karmic level too. It is well documented in ‘spiritual’ circles that fasting ‘burns karma’. One often experiences increased sensitivity to energies and also deeper Samadhi states when combining fasting and meditation and as a result the surfacing of deep-seated emotional conditioning is accelerated.

(To understand the deep spiritual state of "Samadhi", watch this Openhand video)

With increased clarity, strength of Mind and expansive awareness, karmic conditioning is felt through and moved more rapidly. When I used to do 10-day retreats with 11-12 hour meditation practice, I would have one small meal at 11 am and the rest of the time I drank only water. The fasting intensified the already intense meditation practice and I experienced the rapid purging of conditionings through the mind (in dreams and mental energy), through the emotional body and also the physical (pain, tightness, flu symptoms). At the end of the 10 days, I would feel immense expansiveness, presence, lightness and peace.

Ways to Fast and the benefits

Fasting involves abstaining from food and drinking only - as clean as possible/ideally distilled - water for at least 12 hours. Fasting protocols include drinking only water for one or more days and Intermittent fasting modalities.

When water is only consumed, full rest is advised and exercise or other stressors better be avoided. Longer fasts may need medical attention, especially if people are on medication.

Intermittent fasting modalities include:

Eating one meal a day and fast the rest of the day.
Eating for 6 or 8 hours and fasting the rest of the time. For example, starting to eat at 11am in the morning and having a last meal at 5pm or starting at 10.00am and having the last meal at 6pm. The eating and fasting windows can be moved according to ones needs and routine.

My personal exploration

Personally, I have tried all of the above protocols and currently, I do intermittent fasting most of the time. If there is a day when my eating window becomes longer for whatever reason, then I will come back to the protocol again the next day. I find this way of long term fasting suitable for my needs and for feeling healthy, vibrant and full of energy. It’s also a way to meet cravings as and when they arise and to process corresponding challenging emotions.

I also have a diet, which is 100% plant based and mostly whole foods (*See note below about the difference I feel there is between being vegan and having a plant diet). As a result, the discomfort that often is experienced with fasting protocols like headaches, excessive tiredness, dizziness etc is very very mild. Experts have reported that the more animal based, processed, sugar/salt and oil based diet one has more withdrawal symptoms of feeling unwell and ill. Similarly with medications. Therefore, to embark on a fast, one may need to first start a cleansing or detox program eliminating ‘trigger’ foods and feeding the body with vibrant plants foods for while.

Wholefood, plant based diet for optimal health, longevity and mental well-being

Dr Klapper, is one of the many medical doctors who advocates a wholefood, plant based diet for optimal health, longevity and mental well-being. He is also the cofounder of a health clinic in the US that offers fasting therapy that can last from a few days to forty. Here is a brilliant informative video where he explains in detail some of the reasons to fast, benefits and how to do it – it's unmissable...

NOTE: Veganism is an awakening.
I wholeheartedly feel and believe that animals are right-deserving subjects/persons just like all humans are. Rather than merely a diet or an individual food ethic, veganism is a stance, which aims at eradicating the myth that animals belong in the consumption narrative. Put differently, eating animals and their bodily excretions is a systemic issue and not one dependent on personal ethics (there are no “bad” people in my books!). Would not allowing a black person to drink from the white man’s fountain be an ethical question or a stance to Rightness/Justice/Harmony? To me, veganism involves an embodied inquiry and a collective/individual karmic clearing process for re-aligning with universal Harmony and Soul and for creating/expressing a New narrative and a New Paradigm of deep Freedom and Love.

Wise love,

Aspasia Heart

Community

Comments

Thanks for your informative article Aspasia, and for raising it in the Openhandweb awareness. Personally I've gained enormously over the years from periods of various types of cleansing and fasting. I find it of tremendous benefit to the integration and growth of the soul - and of course, cleansing and detoxing the body for physical rejuvenation. I too conduct intermittent fasting most of the time. I feel to add to that shortly.

In appreciation

Open OK Hand Sign

Hi Everyone - I felt to expand on the understanding of intermittent fasting and its immeasurable value for expansion of consciousness. And also, how it best easily blends into a day-to-day busy life in society.

Various experimentations with fasting on the expansion of consciousness

I've experimented quite deeply with fasting over the years. This has included periods of water fasting, juice cleansing and detox (including the Mucuoid Plaque one mentioned above, which was easily the most intense!); I've gone down to completely raw fruitarian, eating only one meal a day, and also, touched on breatharianism.

Essentially fasting and inner cleansing slow the physical metabolism down and bring it into greater vibrational harmony, thus the soul can flow more easily through and expand into higher dimensions. It means you're more interconnected and at-one with the divine flow. Hence fasting's immeasurable value.

The challenge of purely water fasting, I find, is the intensity of it. The body goes into detox quite rapidly, which is fantastic, because it leads to greater inner purity, and so I'd strongly recommend periods of water fasting. In my experience, for it to be effective and truly manageable, it should best be combined with plenty of meditation and quietness - you have to progressively work through the inner processes that activate. Otherwise, you'd simply override them which, in itself, can build conditioning - what we're really working to avoid.

What this meant for me, because I lead a busy life too, with plenty of time spent on technology, is that I could only spend quality time water fasting every now and then - a few times per year. This seemed insufficient, when considering the tremendous value in terms of expansion of consciousness. And so for some considerable time, I water fasted for 1 day per week (24 hours) usually on a Monday. So I'd water fast from Sunday evening after dinner, until Monday evening dinner. For a couple of years this seemed to work pretty well. Although I wasn't able to do anything too intense on the fasting day.

What intermittent fasting is, and why it works so well

But there was a problem with weekly water fasting. It created an imbalance between fasting experiences and regular ones. It created 'spikes' where my body then had to readjust to regular living. And there would be over compensation on eating, with correspondent contraction in consciousness. So I needed to do something different. That's where Intermittent fasting came in, which I naturally inclined towards before it was even being generally spoke of.

So now I intermittent fast for at least16 hours every day and sometimes 18 hours. I have an eating window between 10am (or 12 noon some days) and 6pm. I find it essential NOT to eat after 6pm in the evening, because it gives your body time to digest the last meal before bed time. It means I generally need much less sleep, so I tend to rise around 4am-5am. This gives plenty of early morning time to meditate, and do creative work, before the body gets into ingesting food once more. And so consciousness stays expanded and interconnected. I find it perfect for the divinely creative process. It means you have plenty of energy and the days become tremendously productive. 

WHAT you eat is essential for consciousness expansion too

The type of food you then eat during the day is also essential - if we're working toward maximum expansion of consciousness. For me, I find that a fruit smoothie breakfast is a great way to begin the eating period of the day. It's light, digests quickly, and provides blood sugars rapidly (early in the day the body is still internally rebuilding, and so best not to overload with heavy digestion processes). Lunch time usually consists of a raw salad including essential fats - such as avocados and nuts. It's when I also start to consume slightly denser proteins - chickpeas and lentils for example. And then for the evening meal, it's usually steamed vegetables and a grain - my favourite being millet and quinoa, because they are easier to digest than rice, more nutritious and alkalising. 

Changing our attitude to 'hunger'

I should also add, that even though the eating window is reduced to a maximum of 8 hours, I generally don't eat in between meals. Because the body still needs time to digest and integrate. If you eat constantly during the eating window (grazing), the body is constantly producing insulin, which pulls in consciousness and deposits excess body fat.

I would say to anyone experimenting with fasting, and/or moving into intermittent fasting as a way of life, you will need to work to transform your inner feelings/reactions to 'hunger'. You will at times feel much more empty. But rather than feeling the need to reach for food, or when you break your fast to overload on food, work deep into the feeling of hunger. Because the sense of emptiness also brings with it a sense of lightness, and from that, the sense of expansion and interconnectedness. It meant for me, I actually prefer those feelings rather than the satiated "belly full" ones!

What's your experience of fasting? I'd love to hear...

Open Thumbs Up SignThe Sun Emoji

Hi Open and Aspasia ,

The information is invaluable. I had explored water fasting and juice fasting and the later is bit more easy. I have had beautiful expansion while fasting especially listening to music or meditating. The last time i did a water fast though it was filled with frustration,hunger and emptiness. So it has been a months i did one for the same reason. And i tend to consume fast foods after that to make up for the intensity. I had this need to fast coming for several weeks for now since my mind feels a bit clogged nowadays. The intermittent fasting sounds right for me. I will be exploring it in the coming days. Thankyou. 

Vimal 

Thanks Aspasia for this informative article! The benefits of fasting and intermittent fasting are becoming more common, among health conscious populations especially. It was truly exciting to find out that intermittent fasting allows a deep cleanse, integration and rejuventation on so many levels. I find intermittent fasting to be the best of both worlds - eating and cleansing at once...living and unwinding old patterns are integrated. It can take some shifting from long held ideas around the need for food to provide energy. For example, there can be the idea that you will need calories before you go exercise or get going for the day. I have found that I feel much more energetic at the gym or through the morning when I don't take in any food. Typically I love to come home and have a juice or a smoothie after I go walk or go to the gym. Open also mentioned the idea of grazing...another commonly held idea of eating little meals throughout the day - which essentially never let's the body get a break to clean house.  

I do find that I enjoy the sense of emptiness and lightness and when I do eat I tend to take in far less quantity than I use to when eating all throughout the day. There is a quicker sense of satisfaction from less and I really enjoy the sense of feeling satisfied but not stuffed. I remember back in my office working days we would all go to lunch and eat these massive meals - you'd then need to have a giant coffee to keep the energy up in the afternoon as all that intake would lead to a big drop in energy. 

Thanks for the fabulous info! I also really appreciate your sharing about veganism - I absolutely see it as another frontier of inequality. Love the way you put it. 

Thank you Aspasia for your comprehensive article and Open for your comments.

I am going to try intermittent fasting as it seems more integrated.  Interestingly, that my son (at 14) somehow decided to do intermittent fasting on his own after doing some research about it.

Anatoly

I try to do intermittent dry fast most days ( no eating or drinking) for 12 to 16 hours.  And this year when I became aware of the benefits, I have done four 24 hour dry fasts. Not even drinking water.  The more I do it , the easier it gets.  I am still waiting for an amazing insight but I am impressed with my willpower as I love food sooo  much ! 😂

In reply to by Vimal V

Hey Vimal,

Thank you, yes, I resonate with the challenge of 'compensation' (may include overeating, binge eating etc) with water fasting (can happen with other protocols too). I also resonate with the emotional challenges that do arise and of course inter-depend on the physical. Intermittent fasting is a more gentle way to incorporate a lot of the benefits of fasting - including the feelings of expansion and lightness - without the high intensity of pure water fast and its so great that it can be a long term adventure. I would like to make a note here for everyone reading that if someone is suffering from eating disorders then I wouldn't just go ahead recommending fasting without understanding the person. I am aware of water fasting in clinics that have helped people overcome bulimia but this is a highly individualised approach, which is safer when supervised.

Tips to avoid compensations may include:

Sometimes, it is recommended that one starts intermittent fasting first, experimenting with gradually reducing the eating window and progressively easing oneself into a water fast for a day or two. For example one can intermittent fast for a couple of weeks as a preparation before a water fast. This prepares the mind, body and spirit to open up gradually to the challenging emotions and physical sensations one encounters rather than diving all in, which can be counterproductive as you Vimal and I and others have experienced.  Similarly, easing oneself out from a water fast the same way in reverse will help avoid compensations. Other ways to 'go into' the water fast is to do a detox or a cleanse first for a few days and then the same 'on the way out'.

It also helps to know that with water fasting certain challenges will arise usually in this order - but depends a lot on the individual too:

Day 1-3 lots of hunger and cravings, tiredness, grumpiness, frustration; after this hunger subsides completely and so are emotional counterparts like frustration for example. Dr Klaper's video in my essay does talk about this in more detail, if interested.

Finally, the nutritional and vibrational quality of the food consumed day in day out is another factor that defines the severity of compensations when fasting or doing any other detox or cleanse protocol. So, being aware of this will also help.

Enjoy the exploration with intermittent fasting Vimal! :)

In reply to by .Jen

Hi Jen,

Thank you too for your sharing. You are so spot on when you say that there have been long held ideas about the 'need' of food to provide energy! For example, the myth that 'grazing' boosts your metabolism has been a big one. The actual opposite is true indeed because of the constant insulin release that prevents fat burning. Very interesting. Big snack bar companies have made fortunes promoting snacking - unhealthiness to say the least - to fitness circles and beyond!

Yes, I feel the same when you say:

For example, there can be the idea that you will need calories before you go exercise or get going for the day. I have found that I feel much more energetic at the gym or through the morning when I don't take in any food.

It is suggested that combining fasting and exercising boosts the body's muscle oxidation processes that counteract muscle aging. Also, it catalyses cellular processes that burn fat and glycogen for energy, so you actually have more energy as a result of this efficiency. Its amazing how this combination - fasting and exercise - boosts cognitive function, prevents depression and boosts growth hormone. I had to read all these while doing a BSc on Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences quite a few years ago and some pioneering sport scientists had written about it back then - fascinating how it is now practised and researched more widely!

A frontier of hierarchical inequality indeed and an invitation to look into the systemic conditioning we have all been 'affected' by. :)

In reply to by Lisa in Wonderland

Hi Lisa in Wonderland,

I am very interested in your dry fast experience if you would like to share a bit more. It sounds like a prelude to breatherianism? Although not much research is done on dry fast yet, there is evidence that the body survives on endongenous water produced internally as a result of fat metabolism. Fascinating! What benefits have you experienced? I find that not consuming anything - not even water - can often be a lot easier.

Thanks :)

 

Open, you introduced me to three day fasting a couple of years ago.  After a bit of  research, I realized the benefit of Intermediate Fasting as well,  so I have combined both into my current lifestyle.  Most days, I will wake and drink clear water and also a squeezed lemon and water with a porridge breakfast, usually between 10 and 11 am.  On a monthly basis, I will water fast for three days drinking lots of clean water and green teas.  I recently tried to go for a full five day fast but my body said enough was enough!  Maybe I need to work on my will power! 

 

I have found that I am now used to the feeling of hunger and can cope better with it.  I think an important part of this process to me at any rate, is to firmly believe that it will benefit me.  I know for example that I am regenerating my white blood cells and Immune System (that’s quite helpful to me at the moment!) and the immediate evidence to me is an increase in depth of sleep, energy outage  and  depth of awareness.  (It’s also great to stop the top of the legs sparking when I walk…!).

 

It is my experience that many medical professionals seem to encourage this routine but medical non professionals often seem to ridicule it,  Hmm interesting!  I will continue with it.  Thank you, Open, for kick starting yet another awesome element of my journey!

 

Great to hear from you Colin. I do know that fasting can greatly constrain and retard the growth of cancer. The way you're approaching the challenege is nothing short of phenomenal. A real inspiration!

Sending bucket loads of light

Open The Sun Emoji

Hi Aspasia, 

I started this diet life style mainly to get rid of eczema.  I had eczema on one palm for 10 years on and off and on my arms . I started with a 3 day juice detox ( including using lemon water enemas). The food is 80 % plant unprocessed in any way 20 % quinoa, nuts, millet , seaweed and chickpeas.  And 80% is raw and 20 % cooked. Intermittent dry fasting 12 to 16 hours daily.  And once a week 24 hour dry fast . Drinking hardly any water as you get it from the large quantities of fruit and this can hydrate you more than water.

Within a month the eczema had disappeared and I was glowing and friends were commenting on how well I looked . I felt more grounded and expansive . I also felt calmer.

It's quite easy to dry fast for 24 hours , especially if you start around 2.30pm .

There is more to this and I am hoping for a lot more unravelling and revelations .

Lots of love, Lisa  x

In reply to by Colin Gilbert

Hey Colin,

I am nodding in full agreement when you say that knowing about the benefits of fasting is a key most important motivating factor to doing it and sustaining it! It creates a firm belief which is also an embodied experience - I resonate.

Yes, it is also really interesting how an ancient therapeutic practice like fasting is now evidenced through research by professional medics. It leaves me with a questionmark as to why the non pro medics ridicule it - very strange...

Thanks

In reply to by Lisa in Wonderland

Lisa Thank you,

it brings such a HUGE smile to my face to read that 24h dry fasting, intermittent dry fasting and a wholefoods plants diet (cooked/uncooked) has been such a blessing. What a powerful combination!

I have dried fast within the intermittent protocol but not on a full or more days. I would like to try and see how it feels. I have read about the benefits of dry fasting, so it is really attractive. :)

Thank you for your motivating input :)

Wise Love

Hi there, 

I’ve a question with water fasting and salt. 

I did some longer water fasts and my body seemed to wanted salt (about every few days). I did have a few teaspoons when I felt it - thinking it may be needed for cellular function.

I spoke with an Ayevedic doctor at the time who said the salt resets the body’s fasting process, so it’s defeating the purpose of the fast and if you decide on a length of time for the fast, the body will compensate:adjust accordingly. 

Just wondering what you found here please? 

Much love, 

Jennaya 💛

 

Hi Aspasia,

 You are welcome. I look forward to hearing how you get on with a 24 hour dry fast. What I also like about this is that your time is not taken up with planning or making any juices, teas or food . It feels as if you have so much more time to spend contemplating, meditating, walking , doing yoga or anything you are drawn to.

  On a daily basis  ( not on the 24 hour dry fast)  I also take Triphala powder in a bit of warm water and add extra Harikati which helps to open the pineal gland. I try to start my day doing kudalini yoga and always break my fast with a freshly squeezed juice. Then one or two hours later I have fruit until about 2pm. :)  xx

 

 

 

In reply to by Lisa in Wonderland

Thats a lovely routine Lisa, will let you know about the 24h dry fast :) In a couple of weeks :)

Will find out more about Triphala because I havent used it before and give it a go :)

May I ask, how has your routine affected your life in terms of relationships, communications with others and karmic processing? Im interested in how it all translates in our lives particularly when there is challenge.

And on a different note, I find that there are phases I have in life when fasting is not the way to go and allow whatever is there to be as it is but embraced in kind awareness.

Would love to hear/read your take on it.

Thank you xx

 

In reply to by Jennaya

Hi Jennaya,

Your experience with fasitng and salt intake is very interesting because I know of others who have also reported the same with their fasting. I personally havent experienced sodium craving/need in longer water fasts so I cant comment from personal experience. However, I am researching this and till now I have found out that there are two camps: one saying we should supplement with pure salt/rock salt because of the need for electrolytes and another not so because it breaks the fast and 'sabotages' the fasting physiological effects. I would like to take some more time to research this by asking reputable medics directly who treat people on very long fasts 40-45 days.

Will get back!

Thank you again for an intriguing invitation :)

Wise Love xx

Hi Aspasia, 

Interesting, I didn't realise there was two ways of looking at it. 

The Ayevedic Dr I spoke with was Indian and he said that the Indians traditionally don't have salt. What I remember was something about having an intent to fast for a certain period of time and the body wisdom will adjust to this. The only thing for me was fasting was done without planning and my guidance at the time was to be in the moment [and my body] and doing this, I would then know when to start eating.

Was having a think after your reply - and comparing to Breatharians. I have heard of a lady in Australia who has been a Breatharian for quite some time. Somehow universal energy must be used/transformed to supply the body with essential minerals and elements [maybe its the same with salt].  Perhaps related to the level of Divine Connection and  how much is required from plants/minerals [already converted]. 

The other thing I found with fasting was the 'elastic band' reaction to over eat when I started eating again. Usually I didn't want to eat food again, and almost had to force myself - but when I did - the last time the over-consumption [almost gorging] was quote disconcerting - it seemed to be stronger than any will I could muster. I actually find this bit the hardest bit of the fasting. 

Would be interested to see you find. 

Hmm...realise 'salt' is actually popping up for me these last few days in many different ways. 

Many thanks and much love, 

Jennaya 💛🙏

 

 

In reply to by Jennaya

Yes, indeed, I didnt know either.

Will come back with more info about the salt and till then just a couple of reflections to what you shared from my experience and other peoples experiences too that maybe resonate. For fasting to be successful, particularly after the fast, it requires planning. Easing oneself in and then out of it, otherwise one is more at risk of having and succumbing to compulsive eating reactions. I have been there and I know the feeling of 'elastic band reaction' you are talking about! I remember also during a 10-day meditation retreat when I broke a fast on the 9th day (hadnt planned anything just dived all in!) and the craving was ENORMOUS. I managed to sit in meditation with it - only because the conditions were favourable: I was on a retreat - and I felt a kind of primordial need for comfort, what felt like an insatiable sense of a separation/loss/void that food seemed to fill in. That was about 15 years ago and it was SO interesting to witness karmic processing happening upon breaking the fast itself.

I havent tried breatharian but it sounds fascinating. I know two people who have had long term engagement with this type of nourishment. What you share here does make sense and sounds very interesting:

Somehow universal energy must be used/transformed to supply the body with essential minerals and elements [maybe its the same with salt].  Perhaps related to the level of Divine Connection and  how much is required from plants/minerals [already converted]. 

 Im keen to find out more :) Our connection here is motivating :) 

Much love back xx

I have been doing intermittent fasting for the last 3 days and i can already see some effects. My evening meditation are filled with more expansiveness and connectedness. I feel really hungry in the mornings and i cant wait for the 10 am eating window to open. I don't feel like doing heavy work in the garden because of the feeling. Sometimes it can also pull me down.  But still there is less craving for fast foods and i don't feel like taking heavy food since there is less gap between eating times. I have also cut on fish which i eat occasionally. So basically i take a decent veg meal at lunch at time and a light breakfast and evening meal filled more fruits , roots. Another concern is losing weight which i am not looking for. Last time i did some fasting and also some travelling and trekking i lost a couple of weights in undesirable proportions. Luckily i have a weighing machine at home, so i'll be monitoring my weight.  But overall its nice to have the benefits of fasting even while consuming food.

Yesterday i took off to the beach and the weather was amazing there. I had a couple of intentions in my mind but i lost my way and went to this other beach. But interestingly i was really ok with whatever wanted to happen and settled in to this view overlooking this beach. But at evening i did a mistake and ate noodles which felt really heavy and closed down my expansion. Today morning i was able to bring the experience of settling down and opening space for what wanted happen. I usually look for what i want to do creatively when I'm at home. This actually opened up this familiar karmic experience but in a much more intensity. Within the experience there was full control of my intellect. 

Hi Aspasia, 

Thanks for you reply. :)

The last fast I did was a couple of years ago now. After this last Byron retreat, I woke with pretty strong feeling to detox [and thought perhaps fast after some time detoxing]. I pushed the last fast too much and the other thing which happened was my lymphatic system shut down and I ended up with the toxins pooling in my feet. So, this along with the 'elastic band reaction' has probably contributed to leaving it be for a while. Feeling a bit inspired to revisit it again, doing a few things differently. 

The other thing I found for me was that it is easier to fast or be on a strict diet than have no limitations and really listen to what, when and how much my body would like .....realising good to remember this here now too.  

I found this picture a while ago and found it interesting. I kept it to remember the importance of grounding/earth energy. [Also I'm not sure I feel the energy coming into base/sacral area].

Full Spectrum of Energy Absorption

 

Lovely to connect with you.  

Much love, 

Jennaya 💛🧚‍♀️

In reply to by Vimal V

Wow Vimal, your experience has been SO rich!

I love your inquiry about both the expansiveness and connectedness felt in meditation, as well as the closing down observed after eating noodles. Its so interesting how both states, if you like, are part of our experience and the way that food or lack of can facilitate or amplify these! I totally resonate.

I find if I get hungry before my eating window opens I may have water and that often helps. I may also brush my teeth, another strategy. Some people drink hot herbal teas, which helps a lot. For me, exercising in the morning is ideal and time passes quickly. At times, I may experience the 'pulling down feeling' you mention because of hunger. In my experience, this is psychological hunger. It may not be in yours though. Emotional hunger is sudden and feels VERY urgent, it is also linked to specific cravings and it is also accompanied with distorted feelings. Not sure if this offers any ideas. When I have felt it and when I have summoned the courage to be with it, it always shifted to other discoveries, one of them being expansiveness.

Another thing that has helped me and others with hunger is to know that there is scientific research out there showing that humans never needed three meals per day. We are 'designed' if you like to fast. So, our system will take a bit of time to adjust to what it is supposed to 'do' as opposed to what it has been conditioned to 'do', like eat so much.

Some ways to avoid physical hunger during the fasting window is the eating window to be rich in high (good) fats, protein and carb plant foods. Examples include Nuts, avocados, chia, hemp and flax seeds, legumes combined with grains and liquids like rich smoothies. All these are high caloric nutrient dense foods and smoothies are a great way to have many calories in a very easy way.  Larger meals is also a good option. Some suggest eating a snack before going to bed, which is also worth exploring if you feel it.

I find your working with this karmic process very inspiring!

Today morning i was able to bring the experience of settling down and opening space for what wanted happen. I usually look for what i want to do creatively when I'm at home. This actually opened up this familiar karmic experience but in a much more intensity. Within the experience there was full control of my intellect. 

:)

Aspasia

In reply to by Jennaya

Jennaya thank you,

yes I agree, learning from experience and doing things differently really refines the process and brings more depth and efficiency, so its fantastic you may revisit :) 

I like the photo a lot, very informative. I am interested in quantum approaches to 'spirituality' and this diagram allegedly illustrates so well ones Quantum Energy Biosphere - fascinating! Thanks for sharing :) I personally feel the flow of the energy through the sacrum/base more when sitting in meditation near or in flowing water, like I actually did yesterday up on the Moors! I would love to try in the sea though too :)

Heartxx

P.S.

About Salt in water fast this is what I have atm:

On a water fast excess sodium is lost, which is the inorganic sodium-chloride that tends to accumulate as a toxin in the body tissues. The organic sodium found in fruit and veggies is totally processed by the body, which tends to 'hold on' to it during a fast. However for very long fasts like 20-30-40 days some advise supervised mineral supplementation of sodium and potassium. So, it looks like it also depends on the length of the fast. 

 

 

 

Hi Aspasia,

Most things you said really resonates and helps. I think this is how my path has been going for a while now. A period of being in the density ,seeing my addictions ,fighting ,struggling sometimes and then there is a period of breaking through feeling both expanded and also seeing my distortions more clearly. I think I'm in one of the later and the fasting has definitely catalysed the transition through to it. This is the first time I'm actually learning and trying intermittent fasting (thanks to you) - i admit it's not as easy i thought it would be especially considering that I'm eating 3 meals per day although lighter. I'm experimenting with different types of food - this is a challenge because now I'm consuming entirely different from my family members which means more self responsibility but also independence. Previously i didn't have to worry about anything. Another one is of a fixed idea and intention that this is the way to go about it finding diplomacy through it. There is also self doubt that if im overdoing it or if its meant for me at this time of my journey. I feel more sensitive and find a bit hard to cope within family environment especially loud noises ,judgmental TV and so on. With hunger i don't feel to do heavy work even though my energy levels are unaffected. Probably its just mind stuff. But i find the lightness worth it even through the hunger. Maybe i will learn to cope with it in time. High caloric food sounds right. Thats what im doing trying different combination. Brush teeth strategy sounds funnily fantastic. Definitely gonna try that! 

Vimal <3

In reply to by Vimal V

Hey Vimal,

Thank you for connecting and you have raised lots of interesting and spot on points that I feel are worth inquiring about together, if it calls.

You say:

A period of being in the density ,seeing my addictions ,fighting ,struggling sometimes and then there is a period of breaking through feeling both expanded and also seeing my distortions more clearly. I think I'm in one of the later and the fasting has definitely catalysed the transition through to it.

Yes, spot on. Fasting is a great catalyser and at the same time, when a bit more settled with the fast, the processing of density can get deeper.  To me, the key thing is to be as present as possible with both phases you mention because they are interdependent. It is via the first phase that one breaks through to the second very often. Its like the first phase is the gateway to the second. This is really important in my personal experience and Im sharing here with you because it has made a huge difference to me when 'processing' density. Like being present (kind open acceptance of it - physically) with the struggling for example - I mean what an amazing energy in the struggling! Im fascinated how much energy we can transmute! I remember I was sitting in meditation in the woods a year ago after having come back from a retreat and I was feeling so low. I was feeling my physical body and the energetic body around it and feeling the mind too. All hazy and heavy. And I realised that deep down I was fighting, I was in a fighting mode. I softened my attention into the energy/physical experience of fighting and stayed there for a bit. Images and thoughts came up about 'what' I was fighting and 'why' - insights - but did not go into an analytical mode with them rather I stayed with the physicality/energy of the experience.  Suddenly I burst into tears and something unlocked. It felt lighter and softer and something released. In that moment, I saw 4 deer passing by only a few yards away from me and a HUGE fox. Breathtaking sight which was accompanied by feelings of expansion, fluidity, happiness and lovingness.

I do find intermittent fasting very useful and yes, it is challenging too especially in the beginning and during other life stages too, so it needs to have flexibility and become a way of life rather than a diet or a protocol. Its so interesting that intermittent fasting is kind of a trend today in the health and fitness circles, while its been around for thousands of years as a sacred way of beingness. So, for me, there are times when for whatever reason - often it is a particular mind pattern or being pulled in different directions by family, friends etc! - I eat earlier or later than the planned time. If so, then I move the eating window accordingly on that day and I get back to the planned windows the next day. This flexibility at times also allows me to 'see' clearly the way I negotiate my boundaries and discover deeper fountains of centerness and resolve.

Currently, I also eat 3 meals per day. Other times I eat two and sometimes I eat one. Flexibility is key because to me its important to have a good fasting window where you feel less hungry, or where you may feel hungry but can work with it - especially when starting to fast. Consistent hunger may mean two things, mental or/and low blood sugar levels, hence not eating enough during the eating window. If weight loss is a challenge as you mentioned, 3 meals are great. Make them rich and big I'd say. As rich in calories, vibrancy and nutrition as you can make them. Am I right to assume that the Indian cuisine in your family is rich in lentils, rice and veggie curries? Does it suit you to eat with them at dinner or lunch time  - once a day? I have my own experience with family dynamics, especially closed-nit Greek families where eating together is a big thing and non-negotiable! ;) Yes, diplomacy indeed! A great challenge to bring forth this particular ray!

You say:

There is also self doubt that if im overdoing it or if its meant for me at this time of my journey. I feel more sensitive and find a bit hard to cope within family environment especially loud noises ,judgmental TV and so on. With hunger i don't feel to do heavy work even though my energy levels are unaffected. Probably its just mind stuff. But i find the lightness worth it even through the hunger.

Its natural for doubts like these to come up. On one hand, it is an opportunity to 'see' the mind patterns that often limit us, and on the other it is an opportunity to acquire more knowledge about intermittent fasting, in this case, by doing some research and therefore have more confidence in what one is doing. Yes, one also becomes more sensitive indeed, and in my exprerience this also depends a lot on 'what' one is eating, which is something that the typical intermittent fasting protocols do not account for because they deal only with 'when' to eat. When I switched to a plants only diet I became way more sensitive and as a result expanded my beingness in all directions! This also meant 'hitting' on the hardness and density of the world too! TV was one and so I stopped watching! :) But thats me.

Yes indeed, the benefits including the lightness worth so much and a key motivating factor to keep exploring for me.

:) <3 <3

 

Hi Aspasia

Yes I feel the flexibility in your post. Thanks for resonating. I have some issue with longing for perfection in everything ,so its bit difficult in finding that. Its what i said by fixed intention and conforming to that and thinking failed if that's not fully met. I was feeling hungry while reading your post, well after my evening meal. So i thought fU** it and had some bananas LOL! It's not a diet or a protocol but a way of life. Today morning i had a rich meal with steamed vegetables ,chickpeas ,an egg and a smoothie. Its was well satisfying than a normal breakfast. I had a very small meal at lunch time and didn't feel hungry at all. So what i'm looking for is healthy satisfaction! That should probably include high caloric foods. Since for these i spend from my pocket and also share with others i doubt if it can be way of life for me but only for a short time. I have to see where it goes.  Lunch time i normally eat what my family eats which is rich in rice and veg curries. But i don't eat a full stomach which feels really heavy afterwards. My brother and his wife is a bit overweight, i'm below average and i'm the one who is dieting. Its funny. But they find it inspiring and starting their own diet plans. Its interesting how you can inspire someone without even saying a word. Like my brother used to judge me for dropping out of college and not finding a full time job and now after more than 2 years of grudges , he has done the same and looking to start his own business. But i digress. Anyway regarding the fasting i think its important to find what works for me rather than copying others. Like any other thing fasting is an area where im able to see my attachment with outcome and perfection. So like you say, its also an opportunity to work with myself rather than a means to get anywhere. 

Its comforting that you resonate the two states that i mentioned. Yes i find the challenge is to bring acceptance into the denser experience. Its particularly challenging when i have a degree of attachment to the outcome specially regarding the spiritual path as to where i'm at , comparing with others etc. I find it much easier to find my uniqueness in the later state. Today at evening i went to my usual meditation spot in the hill after getting a bit tired with the 'imperfection' and noises at my home. And to my surprise there was loud church music playing there. I had to laugh opposed to my usual frustration because it was clear how i was manifesting it. After a while i think i was able to expand around it and consider it as just an experience , a sensation like hunger for example. 

Suddenly I burst into tears and something unlocked. It felt lighter and softer and something released. In that moment, I saw 4 deer passing by only a few yards away from me and a HUGE fox. Breathtaking sight which was accompanied by feelings of expansion, fluidity, happiness and lovingness.

Wow. Such an awesome experience . What it must be to meditate in woods and see and experience that. I don't think i have experienced such sudden breakthrough and lightness .For me it has always been very gentle and gradual ones. But it may depend on the degree of inner surrender which might take a while. 

Vimal <3

Hey Aspasia, 

Thanks very much for the info on sodium and sodium chloride. The difference makes sense, and also the amount of inorganic NaCl - maybe in processed food we keep in our tissue. Will keep in mind and probably source right things before embarking again. 

Sitting in water in the Moors sounds great [and invigorating]. Feeling I need some of this at present - nice reminder. When I go to local waterfalls or strong moving rivers, I too sit in or under them for some time and it feels like a massive aura cleansing - colours are so bright and crisp after. Thanks for sharing your experience; will be more attentive to the base and sacral whilst there too. 

Lots of love, 

Jennaya 💛🌈

In reply to by Vimal V

Vimal, your statement 'fuck this, ill have some bananas' made me giggle also because I can resonate with the 'fuck this' attitude, ha ha! ;) I find value in the 'fuck this' as well as in the 'staying with', so the tendency is to explore both depending on when they arise and the conditions. Yes, I understand the feeling that one has failed if one does not 'conform'/'is disciplined' with the plan/intention etc. Maybe the invitation here is to explore just that, the feeling of failure. 

Going for healthy satisfaction with intermittent fasting as a creative engagement of self discovery that has no fixations (e.g. conforming or not) indeed I vote for this too! Like you say:

Anyway regarding the fasting i think its important to find what works for me rather than copying others. Like any other thing fasting is an area where im able to see my attachment with outcome and perfection. So like you say, its also an opportunity to work with myself rather than a means to get anywhere. 

Its so interesting you talk about 'perfection' because the human experience we all have - either we want it or not - is not about being perfect, its about being prone to imperfections, about seeing and embracing imperfection. Tough call indeed for everyone! And the funny thing is that with that attitude you are 'getting somewhere' naturally, back to presence and the divine connection where it all came from and already there right now. So, the inquiry I find in my experience is: How can I open up to being available and undefended  - to connect - in face of inner and outer imperfections? The mind will find so many reasons why to disconnect and the heart closes down.

There is a Zen saying  - which I discovered only yesterday! - that goes like:

To realise the Absolute is not yet Enlightenment

Because the absolute/divine/presence can be its own fixation just like the 'imperfect' relative humanity. Then one tends to deny the 'humanity' with its 'imperfections'. I do have a tendency for this particularly when it comes to the suffering in the world. But Im inquiring that we are all here, in my view, to realise that there is no separation between the absolute divine and the human/relative and how to embody this. That doesn't mean I accept the atrocities going on in the world but I ask how can I engage and be open with this so as to act from the embodied felt sense of the absolute/presence/divine/Spirit etc etc. A lifetime journey indeed - many lifetimes for me :)

Open talks about the non-duality bubble for example in more detail here, which I find very useful:

https://www.openhandweb.org/The_Flowing%20_Path_of_Enlightenment_and_th…

I see what you say here as an example of being connected and being available/surrendered to your immediate experience of 'imperfection' (as I shared above) - very cool:

I had to laugh opposed to my usual frustration because it was clear how i was manifesting it. After a while i think i was able to expand around it and consider it as just an experience , a sensation like hunger for example. 

Oh thank you, it was a very beautiful experience and at the same time extra- very ordinary, very simple in its quality. There can be big breakthroughs at times and also many gradual, gentle ones. I have lots of gradual gentle ones that at times have culminated to big ones. Mostly gentle steady ones. From what I have experienced and importantly, what I have read and heard from others who are consistently connected with the divine/presence within, is that both - sudden and gentle - are part of the process and equally significant. I find this enlightening :)

<3 <3

 

In reply to by Jennaya

Jennaya, thank you too for bringing the 'salt issue' up, it has motivated me to look into it and enquire about how to apply this knowledge.

When I go to local waterfalls or strong moving rivers, I too sit in or under them for some time and it feels like a massive aura cleansing - colours are so bright and crisp after.

Wow, I can almost feel it and see it just by reading it! - I reckon I need this too :) The Moors are calling! Thank you.

Much love HeartHeartThe Sun Emoji