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

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I think it is essential to say that as this global (mostly fear) pandemic escalates, one of the most important physical protections we can undertake is a detox. To cleanse the cells and the body of toxin. Here are some tips...

1. Go into intermittant fasting to rejuvenate the body - daily 18 hour fasting, while eating plant based in a 6 hr window.
2. Plenty of fresh water, ideally spring water, or filtered and boiled if tap water. ALSO: drink every 15 minutes. That way if you do pick up any of the virus, it flushes it into the stomach which will likely digest it.
3. Minimise emf - swtich the wifi off at night especially. Put the mobile phone on flight mode when not using it.
4. At least 2000 mg of Vitamin C every day to help boost the immune system.
5. Also Chlorella for getting rid of heavy metals.

Those are a few essential suggestions.

Open Praying Emoji

In reply to by Open

Amazing! I am doing all these.

I also eat lots of greens (they help detox), add moringa into a smoothie (it is anti-viral and anti-bacterial), eat garlic in the evenings with the salad and spend more time in nature alone (it boosts immune system too and you can feel the irrelevance of all the noise in calm, peaceful, grounding, beautiful, green, 'home' natural environment).

I use quarantine as a great opportunity to just turn it into a retreat.

People get angry, stressed, but anything can be worked into something that will serve, even times like this.

 

I believe what we're currently witnessing around us in spectacular form, is the rampant toxicity of the old system, and it's this that is the major cause of the pandemic. From electrosmog to the chemicals in food and water, it causes a breakdown in the bodily cells. That's why a good plant based diet, fresh water and plenty of intermittant fasting with meditation is priceless. It quietens the internal metabolisms down, giving the body time to eliminate, replenish and rebuild.

And it's fantastic for the expansion of consciousness too!

You could begin simply by missing breakfast, drinking some herbal tea, and eating in the window between midday and 6pm. You'll need to break through some cravings, but that's okay. Feel into the contractions and in good Breakthrough fashion, unwind and trasncend through. It's the forging of soul, and nothing can be more important right now.

Sending you love and rejuvenating vibes

Open HeartPraying Emoji

Hi all! I always love this topic and feel to share my experience with fasting. I have been experimenting with different diets and forms of fasting for quite some time now and landed at intermittent fasting a couple of years ago. I always had health issues of which the main things were a very dry and painful skin, acne, candida overgrowth and a lot of (urinary tract) infections, and I always felt a strong drive to find an internal solution for it. Starting a (mostly raw) plant based diet already helped a lot but nothing helped as much as (intermitted) fasting. I also tend to binge to dull pain, and eating less and lighter helped me as well to feel more and bring out repressed issues. Personally I love to eat fruit only, and most of my days I eat one or two fruit meals in an eating window of 3-4 hours or I eat some fruit first and some veggies (either cooked or raw) later. A lot of food doesn't agree with me anymore as well. Amazing how your body can become more sensitive this way to what is right for you to eat and what not!

Yes indeed Megha - fasting brings up all the places we've supressed through the dopamine effect of food and what we consume. So it's putting your consciousness in deeper awareness connection with the layers of your body. Although it's going to feel uncomfortable, it's very healing and cleansing. I would suggest working into those places with deep consciousness bodywork - like the soulmotion we've done on the Openhand gatherings - that works a treat.

Open Call Me Hand

Dear Open,

So I have just started fasting intermittently. I have only been able to do alternate days with an eight hour eating window. Processing has been accelerated. I have developed a lot of muscle aches and pains as well as several much more energetic symptoms down my legs and in my left shoulder. Also heart pain which seems to be my go to these days . I'm very much into my first week of stops and starts but somewhere I am feeling a strong urge to go the distance . Hunger doesn't seem to be so much of a problem - partly because I find I fast 12-13 hours anyway . It's the uncovering of the pain body ,that is challenging . 

I would love to hear from other people starting on this path as.well as reflections ,

Megha 

I felt to revist this incredibly rich Openhand forum thread on the value of fasting to raise vibration and thrive. I felt to summarise some of the key points raised here below to encourage your inquiry and exploration into the profound benefits. I've been one-meal-a-day fasting for over a year now, which has become a way of life. It's great value is that it gives the body time to recover and rebuild, it reduces internal busyness so the spirit can expand into other aspects of the higher self and it makes you feel more vibrant and alive. You will have to overcome emoitional and mental cravings, but it's not as hard as you might imagine if you take your time and work deep into the feelings with awareness and meditation. If you want to know more about my experiences of one-meal-a-day fasting, do ask. Slightly Smiling

Here's an overview on Intermittent fasting modalities:

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.

Some inspiring feedback:

"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".... Aspasia

"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".... Jen

"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"... Lisa

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 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.... Colin

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... Lisa

Many sources of energy!

Reframing the 'hunger' experience

In society most people don't stop to question the 'hunger' feeling. And if there's tiredness there's often the view that you need to eat more, or eat more of a certain type of food - carbohydrate for example. But often what people eat actually is of no value to the body and makes it have to work harder - it is often very depleting of energy. What a lot of eating often really achieves, is simply to overcome the feeling of emptiness or the need for some kind of emotional/mental 'completion'.

If you get inside the feelings however and don't automatically react to them, then you can explode the myth that they often are. The feeling of emptiness can for example feel like aliveness and energy potential - you're ready to act, to live, to be. The sense of completion can come by putting ones attention out into nature - feeling the interconnectedness with it. Bursting the emotional cravings by directly confronting them comes with a tremendous sense of empowerment and completeness.

What it also means is that when it comes time to eat, you can feel good about it and enjoy it much more. It becomes more of a sacred blessing.

I wish you well in your inquiry with intermittant fasting.

Feel free to ask if you have any questions or wish to share.

Much love

Open HeartPraying Emoji

So it's just over a year since I switched to one meal a day continuous fasting. The effects have been nothing short of amazing. The cravings have long since subsided, the need for emotional comfort greatly dwindled through progressive breakthrough, and consciousness maintains a much higher vibration - signs and synchronicity stream as the main language and prophetic dreaming can become the new norm. What else can I say?

What are your experiences of fasting? Are you into it? What are you finding are the benefits?

I'd love to hear (and do check out the informative thread above)

In loving support

Open HeartPraying Emoji

In reply to by Open

I have been on a spiritual journey for several years and have been playing with intermittent fasting as well. I want to use this pandemic time to try to raise my vibration and conciousness. I am heartened by your journey! And wish to start on the same. May I ask- do you only consume plant based or vegan food during your meal? 
Eager to start! Thank you for all of this!

In reply to by Open

Hey Open! 

I am trying to incorporate only eating one meal a day, or during a 1 hour eating period. Before I go to work in the morning is when works best for me as I have found myself being very lethargic sometimes if I don't eat anything until after I finish work. Especially having a physical job. 

Do you have any suggestions on what type of meals would be most beneficial? At the moment I am eating a lot of oats and drinking various shakes however I am growing 'bored' of eating oats. 

Thank you for the live stream, was great to connect with you and our fellow brothers and sisters.

Namaste

Jye

This is really fascinating! Thank you for sharing. I find it really interesting the way you descibe the craving as a mouth feel. This feels really primal. Though I wonder how much is conditioning like pavlov's dog (not that I am comparing you to a dog lol!) Very cool sharing! <3

So, about having been intermittent fasting for some considerable time, about 10 days ago, I took it a step further - 23 hour daily fasting with the "One Meal A Day" (OMAD) approach. No, it's far from Mad! What I've experienced is a dramatic rise in physical energy, an increased expansion of consciousness which sustains in the higher dimensions, and is less prone to contraction when travelling through density - in the denser vibes of the matrix. I was very pleasantly surprised by the effect.

The amazing benefit of this approach, is that the body has 23 hours a day, where digestion doesn't interfere with the internal regeneration processes and the metabolism slows down. It means that consciousness of the soul can expand more readily into higher dimensional experience - the increased flow of synchronicity is quite astounding.

Anyone new to this may wonder if the body gains enough sustenance, and how do you manage hunger pangs?

Firstly, I've found that energy levels are at their highest in the immediate hours before eating. But after eating, the vibration lowers again, and there's quite a heaviness in feeling which can last a couple of hours before rising again. The rest of the time, physical energies are high, and I'm finding I can do strong physical exercise too - power walking in nature, and bodywork including circuits of press-ups and sit-ups - I actually feel physically stronger.

The hunger pangs were a challenge, yes. But, it's an incredible opportunity to explore deeper into how the soul flows through the bodymind consciousness. As the feelings came up, I took it as an opportunity to explore deeply into them. I realised the body was not hungry at all. But mostly these were cravings of some kind of sensory satisfaction - often felt in the mouth. So I worked to unwind any reaction to these and progressively the feelings transformed into a kind of empty lightness - which feels wonderful.

I've found the best time to eat, is between 1-2pm, in which I do eat plenty, but also slowly. The meal feels very special, and because I know I'll not be eating again for 23 hours I take my time, enjoy every morsel, and treat the meal as being very sacred. And although in the hours immediately leading up to meal time I do experience expectation and a desire for the food, I'm finding each 23hr period a journey in itself - a deep inquiry, which I thoroughly enjoy. So I certainly don't wish away the hours in between.

It's an amazing experience all round - I don't see myself returning to 'normal' eating again. This feels the new 'normal'! 

Open Praying Emoji

Hi Vimal,

I'd definitely say healing the stomach lining first is essential. And that could take a while.

Cabbage/aloevera/ wheatgrass juice sounds like a great idea - wheatgrass always felt awesome to me. I get the sense hemp protein/powder/seeds might help too.

Open Praying Emoji

 

Hi Open,

Your reflectionsleft me pondering. Its goood to be reminded of the importance of patience,keeping it light and having a laugh. I tend to focus too much i forget it. When you said,it takes years for realignment,at first it disappointed me. But that's ok, I trust that things will 'spike' in my field when I'm supposed to see it. 

I noticed the extra 'o' in good. I'm not editing it! lol

I want to say another benefit i noticed about intermittent fasting i that i need less sleep. For the last 2 days i wake up at around 3 am and manage to lie awake till morning. Time goes relatively quickly and i find that I'm more rejuvenated in early morning and there is plenty of time to do yoga etc. It has also become easy after the first 2 weeks. Im planning to combine it with a weekly 24hr water fast. 

There's definitely some relation to apple cider vinegar. For 2 days i took about 1 teaspoon diluted in water/cucumber juice i had a slight burning sensation in stomach,gas and irritation around the pelvic area/base chakra. Maybe if there's inflammation/irritation in stomach lining its not smart to put acid on top of it? The suggestion i found from DR Berg's video is to first heal the stomach lining by adding chlorophyll and then gradually put more acid. So im thinking cabbage/aloevera/ wheatgrass juice. Fresh fruits,veggies and fermented foods are also suggested. 

 Kale and avocados are not easily available but only in certain supermarket with heavy prices. Im sure theres plenty of other alternatives. I will look for alkalising foods. 

My father was diagnosed with ulcer a year before ,so maybe that's also a reflection? Bt usually gastritis is symptomised by irritation in the upper abdomen. But i have mostly below belly button and third chakra. So its a bit confusing. Its manageable so i  don't feel its necessary to have a medical checkup though.

Vimal

 

 

 

Hi Vimal,

I went through something very simliar to what you're describing - which took be a few years of concentrated attention to resolve. For me too, there were various inner conflicts between substances which should have worked fine, but to a while to settle and integrate.

I'm suprised by the reaction to apple cider vinegar though - it is often offered as a great solution to helping rebalance an alkaline gut environment. Have you tried diluting it in water and lemon juice?

Plus rebuilding the stomach lining with plant biotics (like cabbage and sauer kraut) will be essential. I would imagine the galic also helps illiminate parasites in the mix - which is very helpful.

All of this might seem like a phaff, but it will greatly increase your internal sensitivity and dialogue - which can only be a good thing.

Do you get avocados where you are? And kale? I find them both great in balancing the system toward a more alkaline state.

Best wishes

Open Thumbs Up Sign

Hey Open,

Yes i have given up gluten much before. Because i have observed it aggravated the symptoms. Couple more research has shown me that i may be having mild gastritis. I connect with most of the symptoms. Specially it striked me when apple cider vinegar increased the irritation. I used to consume alcohol often when i was in college. So it maybe one of the reasons. These days if i eat spicy food or eat more than what my stomach is intended to take i get irritation and pain in my lower stomach below belly button. This is one of the key symptom. Primarily gastritis is said to be caused by a bacteria called H pylori which makes the stomach more alkaline by releasing ammonia  for it to thrive. Or it may be just inflammation in the stomach walls. I'm not sure which is it but fortunately it is not severe. Today i woke up very early and spend most of time doing yoga and journaling , and doing openhand bow and i was feeling very expanded until around 10 when i had some cabbage and pineapple juice and some raw ripe papayas. Cabbage juice is said to be an excellent remedy for gastritis but i think i over did it or took it even when the body was asking to stop and this aggravated the symptom. I think my energy levels came down significantly and i spend the time trying to pacify the symptom by taking some garlic. This i think is very important lesson with all this irritation is to feel what is right for me rather than opting a quick remedy by using the intellect. Still some of the best remedies are said to be aloevera juice ,wheat grass juice (both of which i'm only growing in my terrace) and cabbage juice. Also fermented foods are said to reestablish the balance in the gut and journaling the symptoms. I don't think i have lactose intolerance ,so im taking curd(yogurt) and also exploring kefir. But overall its very interesting because something like needs to be there to give us that extra push to change our old ways and eating habits. So i welcome it. 

Thankyou 

Vimal :)

Hi Vimal,

It's great that you describe your symptoms of shifting into intermittent fasting - it's highly likely that the body will need time to transition. Especially if one eats progressively less processed food and more into plant based. Including the necessary transition if earlier in life there's been consumption of animal protein. Yes the gut bacteria is a key one, which we must persevere to rebuild into a more natural alkaline state. One thing it strikes me to ask is have you given up gluten? Because gluten could also be the cause of some of the effects you describe - the bloating and wind. Whenever we go into any kind of fasting, the body is likely to emit toxin until it finds a balanced state and gets used to the new eating paradigm. So yes, be prepared to have to come through discomfort and explore remedial healing approaches.

Wishing you well - 18 hour daily fasting has become awesome for me - a new lease of energy.

Open Praying Emoji

Lovely sharings Heart And this is mine...

I felt a pull to fast for two and a half days, one day dry and the rest water. Breaking the fast at around 12 pm today.

I feel more still, present, centered, sensitive, open and connected. At the same time, awareness is finer and more in tune to subtler layers of density. There has been clear discernment between hunger and craving. In my case, the body felt no hunger but the mind craved (thoughts of wonderful meals), which manifested in specific sensations of 'wanting' in my mouth and throat. As a result, I could also detect a very subtle contraction in my body and energy. And of course, a sense of determination coupled with the lightness I have been feeling supported my surrendering to the experiences until they passed away having offered me their gifts.

Earlier today I sat in meditation for about two hours. Progressively, awareness just deepened and opened more. At some point, the mind was completely still and if thoughts arose occasionally they just effortlessly disappeared into the ocean of "kind open and soft" awareness. That awareness that we are all gifted with and it is available every single moment! Ordinary awareness, mundane that deepens and expands and becomes so expansive that is ALL inclusive.

 Part of me doesn't want to go back to eating, which I will need to explore further at some point. But for now, a healthy fruit and salad combo to break the fast will be awesome!

Wise Love

Thanks Open for raising the topic again. 

I have been exploring intermittent fasting for some weeks now and it feels much more aligned than spreading the eating window through out the day. One thing i noticed which got amplified was my poor digestion with gas,bloating,irritable bowel syndrome,irregular bowel movements and also inability to absorb nutrients ,fat from the food i consume. I have been doing some research and to me it boiled down to two important points.

1) Poor HCl acid production in the stomach and consequently less bile secretion from the gall bladder and enzyme secretion from the pancreas to neutralize the acid in the intestine. This results in poor breakdown of food and hence results in food sitting in the stomach for longer periods of time and fermenting resulting in gas production.Suggestion i found in DR Berg's videos was to put more acid in the form of diluted apple cider vinegar before meals. However this seems to worsen some conditions due to inflammation of stomach walls. Also apple cider vinegar turns the body more acidic which is ideally in an alkaline condition. 

2) Poor gut flora or lack of good bacteria in the intestine which actually does most of the digestion for us. This may have been due to unhealthy lifestyles with fast foods and ingestion of antibiotics. To re-establish the gut flora i have made a batch sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and also another one with pineapple sugar and lemon which is supposed to supply the enzymes. These are both in the fermenting stage ,so i haven't actually tested it. I have also ordered a probiotic supplement which arrived today. I feel determined to get to the bottom it ! Yay!

In India we usually consume cooked foods,so i have had very poor luck with raw foods which seems to pass right through me! Since the eating window is very close i find it impossible to consume 3 big meals and find its better to consume steamed vegetables with nuts and pulses ,smoothies and green juices at least once a day. With meals i have the feeling of the food sitting in the stomach and this is more noticeable during intermittent fasting where one feels more expanded which otherwise usually gets drowned in the density. Other thing i found really essential is to really slow down and chew the foods many times before ingestion which releases enzymes within the mouth helping digestion. 

I love to hear your thoughts.. 

Hiya all,

As the karmic construct begins to unravel itself, I can feel my soul yearning to make the journey home - ascension back to the higher dimensions. So I can feel small changes beginning to happen of their own accord. A small one that has made a huge internal shift, has been simply changing from 16 hrs a day intermittent fasting to 18 hrs per day - essentially eating just two meals per day between the hours of midday and 6pm, with the first meal being of raw fruit and nuts.

Yesterday's midday meal was: a banana, a pear, an avocado, a couple of dates, a few walnuts and an apple with some tahini - to allow the sugars to release more slowly. Afterwards I simply tossed the skins back to Mother nature - it felt totally divine!

Just this small change has seemed to make quite a reasonable shift - the sense of interconnectedness has increased, despite the physical density and the higher dimensional connection is even stronger.

If you progressively switch to intermittent fasting as supportive means for your evolution, you probably will have to confront and overcome food cravings - try using the breakthrough approach to work into any internal tightness...

  1. Confront the truth of the situation you're in
  2. Honour and express the tightness
  3. Breakthrough into presence by completely surrendering into the feelings
  4. Unwind and unleash the authentic aspect of soul wanting to come through. 

Happy intermittent fasting, happy evolutions!

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What you say makes sense Vimal - thank you and feel free to respond when and if it feels true to you. There is a lot of wisdom and clarity in what you say, for me. And an unfolding of integrating flexibility. :)

I can almost picture you feverish and cold-ish and taking solace somewhere private - potentially. I remember myself in those moments with flue symptoms - but also in other moments, many many moments - when I personally feel like 'hiding', so as to fully listen to inner body wisdom. Today I came across a beautiful poem by David Whyte called HIDING and reminded me just that. Im sharing a small part that I really really resonate with:

Hiding is an act of freedom from the misunderstanding of others, especially in the enclosing world of oppressive secret government and private entities, attempting to name us, to anticipate us, to leave us with no place to hide and grow in ways unmanaged by a creeping necessity for absolute naming, absolute tracking and absolute control. Hiding is a bid for independence, from others, from mistaken ideas we have about our selves, from an oppressive and mistaken wish to keep us completely safe, completely ministered to, and therefore completely managed. Hiding is creative, necessary and beautifully subversive of outside interference and control. Hiding leaves life to itself, to become more of itself. Hiding is the radical independence necessary for our emergence into the light of a proper human future.

 

And David Whyte's comment on a photo he took  accompanying the poem:

I found this fugitive little row boat hiding under branches, as if waiting for me to leap in and row it away, on the river Cong in County Mayo by the ruins of the old monastery that clings to its banks. It seemed to me to represent that deeply felt human need to creatively and subversively disappear; to turn away from the over lighted human world and not be found so that we can actually catch up with our selves and reappear in the world again more as we intuit we can be, possibly re-imagined, reinvigorated, regrown and rested; un-confined by the names we have accrued in the overly managed, human social worlds we are often forced to inhabit. DW

 

Sending love and re-emerging vibes your way Vimal, travel soft and strong Heart

 

In reply to by Aspasia

That's a fresh perspective on my condition. In an overly 'managed self' and world any condition outside it may often seen as a failure,something to avoid.

I love these :

Hiding is a bid for independence, from others, from mistaken ideas we have about our selves, from an oppressive and mistaken wish to keep us completely safe, completely ministered to, and therefore completely managed

 It seemed to me to represent that deeply felt human need to creatively and subversively disappear; to turn away from the over lighted human world and not be found so that we can actually catch up with our selves and reappear in the world again more as we intuit we can be, possibly re-imagined, reinvigorated, regrown and rested; un-confined by the names we have accrued in the overly managed, human social worlds we are often forced to inhabit

 Thankyou so so much for sharing Aspasia Heart

Hey Aspasia,

I didn't feel to reply since i had cold for some days now. Thank you for your question - very catalytic. I believe it has to do with conforming to an idea of someone spiritual,successful etc and following that instead of following my soul or what's right for me. Deriving self validation, self respect from the external circumstances. I haven't really explored the flexibility that i talked about ,it just came out while i was writing that comment. So maybe i will see it more. If i see what is happening to the planet right now and put that into my situation then theres no reason for me to long for perfection as i see it is all transient. I observe it fluctuates between this identity in the head, true commitment and surrender and after a while it comes to equilibrium which is what is right for me. It may contradict with what i believe is right. Often others or some situations can push my buttons when i'm being inauthentic and this can serve as a pointer. Today im sitting here slightly feverish frustrated by all the loud noise,unfairness,clutter,dirt and all this feels real. My family seems very ok with all of these things. I wish if i could accept it like them. But i know it is in these moments like this that i can truly let go. 

Vimal <3

I am very glad you have chosen to 'stay' Vimal for as long as the soul calls. I find the creative co-creation happening in our connection very productive, enlightening and Real.

Yes, I also think that we dont simply 'go back' to that sense of chasing like we did in the initial days. To me though and this is my experience, the holding on and the defending (which is still a form of chasing) can still arise, subtler, though fully seen. Its like what you say 'with more awareness and clarity'.

You say:

I had this realization that i may also have been seeking answers while writing here. But what would more serve is acknowledging my truth. 

I like this. I feel that by aligning with our truth, we can also deeply listen to the truth of the other person, hence co-create, pose questions and go on a journey of possibilities. I have caught myself many times trying to find the answer somewhere else but inside. This happens when I forget that everything outside - e.g. this web site - is a signpost, an inspiring, reflective, mirroring signpost to 'see' in here. (For me) To really feel and see the conditioning AND also THAT which is already and always there.

Yes, the dissolution can happen just like this - the loss of the 'me' just happens AND at the same time very often we construct an experience out of 'it' as a goal to reach, whereas I am discovering that we only need to look here, inside, only rest in awareness with the orientation to allow the unfolding of 'what is' every moment. I think the 'work' we are doing is the unlearning, the de-conditioning, the resting inside. Learning how to rest in pure awareness inside, which then allows for alignment with the Soul.

Yes, Ramana is a good example. I dont know if he does deny/ied the soul qualities, I dont see this happening. When I ask the question 'Who am I' without expecting or searching for answers, I come to a silent pause. Yes, the 'me' sense of a seeker is still there, though looser. I find in my experience that seeking for the answer to the question comes from the seeker. So, I am opening up to just holding the question and relaxing into the unknown - not easy. 

I am exploring that as the 'me' dissolves naturally without seeking to do so - not linear for me but reaching more spiral depth - I can tune into the Soul more. I understand you also find use in posing the question 'who is seeking' which helps to remind to soften and be more attune to the calling of the soul. So, for me, rather than constantly getting caught up into the fears, efforting and judgements (all changing experiences - an embodied realisation that helps me a lot), I have the opportunity to inhabit awareness (the constant) which is always there and allow life to flow through me. In this way, Soul or what I feel as the Orientation Being, opens up, I can clearly feel it and alignment happens. Open often talks about alignment as 'it just clicks'.

I love this, it kind of speaks to what I shared above:

I know when the drive to find alignment comes with a nonacceptance of the present then it can become an efforting. So presence is the key ,so we are flexible enough to know when to drop the efforting and when to push forward.

So my question to hold is: If in your experience there is flexibility to know when to drop the efforting and when to push forward then what is it that is challenging/sticky/jolting when you say here:

I've been seeing this for many years now , i wish if i could just drop the efforting. But i'm driven to find alignment/perfection which feels very real.

 

<3

 

 

Hey Aspasia,

I do get attached to positive experiences and attribute this to how far im at the path etc. But i honestly think Spiritual junkie cannot be coined to describe my situation. This intense searching for the high experiences, i did a lot during my pre-awakening days. And the experiences you describe i believe can only be unlocked further down the path possibly gateway 3 if im right.I know im moving towards gateway 2. I think mine has to do with control and looking for security in an insecure world. Some days ago a friend of mine called me to say he had secured a central govt job. Even though i know its not a road i would ever take it made me feel bad, possibly because of my own insecurity and what others think of my situation. But when i compare to the recent past, i don't go into self doubt either regarding the same situation and dont feel the need to defend myself.

I really like this one by Open

"True empowerment is not about intentionally manifesting confidence and building supreme belief that things will go your way. In fact it's the very opposite. It's the absolute acceptance of NOT KNOWING how things will work out which finally unlocks the door of doubt and disbelief."

In one of your post, you wrote 'questioning the value of oneself'. I really liked this expression relative to self judgment. I'm actually seeing a lot of this questioning in very simple things. Its very subtle which i wasn't aware previously. Maybe i'm teaching the class and i see it as my inability to explain a very simple thing properly or maybe i'm cooking i cant get it right or i see the imperfections around and there it is. Its amazing when i see it i can let go of it. Some of the things i discuss with you or others here, i see it only after many days so i don't get the opportunity to give thanks.
 

 

In reply to by Vimal V

Hi Vimal,

I would like to give thanks to our catalytic and warm connection here :) Thank you for sharing your truth with regards to the 'spiritual junkie' comment, I really value this.

When I read the amusing story about the mad fellow you shared, which synchronistically had been shared in my Buddhist Vipassana meditation retreats (great sign!), it catalysed a reflection in me and again synchronistically I was reading about it that day spoken as 'spiritual (seeker) junkie'. I felt to share it as a way to open up reflections rather than attributing your whole experience into this, as it were, very tight container. Our experiences are certainly more complex than a tight container and in my view not linear but more spiral like. Like you describe here:

Even though i know its not a road i would ever take it made me feel bad, possibly because of my own insecurity and what others think of my situation. But when i compare to the recent past, i don't go into self doubt either regarding the same situation and dont feel the need to defend myself.

I can also see that there is a judgemental note to the word 'junkie' and a social stigma too, unfortunately. I say unfortunately, because society has not really understood the inner life of a 'junkie', so it demonises what it does not understand or does not fit. Its interesting that the word 'junk' was a slang term for 'heroin' and then the term 'junkie' became normalised, mostly as a derogative term. A 'junkie' is searching for security and love, for meaning and community, for belonging - ultimately for the Source, Spirit, One Self. I can honorably relate to this :)

At the same time, the term, as you say, may describe more the seeking for intense spiritual experiences that usually happen towards the start of ones journey - though in my experience, not exclusively - so I agree.  And I also see that there are subtler versions of the 'spiritual seeker junkie' described, a lot subtler that in my experience arise in waves. There is still the craving, though not necessarily the intense obsession. The craving of the spiritual seeker is subtler and it arises in waves.

Personally, I dont see the 5 gateways as being linear. To me, they are more messy, more spiral like, wavy. Within this though there is a sense of movement, a flow to the Source but that movement can also go many ways depending (e.g. back to gateway 1 to use these terms). I love you brought that quote up by Open about the blessings of NOT KNOWING how things will work out. For me, this attitude can be applied here to the 5 Gateways journey very strongly. I keep reminding myself of this! :) 

The dissolution of the seeker can happen any moment (and let me say here that I have not experienced the complete dissolution of the 'me' identity but can see it often - not always - as it arises). The complete dissolution has often happened for people who were not 'spiritual' as such. Not ever having done any formal meditation. It can happen to anyone. Its Grace. Of course that doesn't mean I will stop meditating, it just shows me the limitations of the seeker 'me' identity and the freedom of not knowing. :)

Yes, the 'questioning the value of oneself' can be very subtle as you describe and we ALL go through the process, in waves, depending on conditions and karmic baggage. Yes, I resonate with this:

Its amazing when i see it i can let go of it.

What I also find interesting is to constantly question 'Who it is' that is valuing in the first place. What a great way to relate to oneself (I keep reminding myself), while at the same time expressing Soul - Magic!

Sending gratitude for an intriguing reflective process. <3

 

 

In reply to by Aspasia

 

Usually when i feel im cooped up into a box and know its untrue, the diplomat in me would just walk away.  Its great that you see it this way and value it. I may also have been replying on the judgemental note of the word. But when you said about chasing positive experience what came to my mind was intense chasing in the initial days. And i'm not the one who wants to go back. To me the gateways is still linear. I know i revisit a lot of stuff but its with more awareness and clarity. In that case i think experiences are more of a spiral. I had this realization that i may also have been seeking answers while writing here. But what would more serve is acknowledging my truth. 

Its intriguing you talk about the complete dissolution can happen even without meditating . To me  all good things still comes after persistent work. If not what's the point of we all doing serious inner work here. Not that i enjoy meditating or enquiring. When i read the spiritual teachings of ramana maharshi. I felt this dissolution of identity has occurred to him very early. But in my truth it felt like denying some of the soul qualities. He asks this question. " Who is seeking ?" to his listeners obviously from experience. I'm doubtful if this wouldn't override the truth inside. To me its like a fancy question ,when i ask it the 'me'(seeker) feels very real. But its also useful sometimes. Like i tend to get really serious about what appears in my landscape or things i commit to. And i focus too much and miss the flow and big picture. I've been seeing this for many years now , i wish if i could just drop the efforting. But i'm driven to find alignment/perfection which feels very real. I don't mind if the dissolution comes after a long time or not. I wouldn't want to miss the soul golds on the way. I know when the drive to find alignment comes with a nonacceptance of the present then it can become an efforting. So presence is the key ,so we are flexible enough to know when to drop the efforting and when to push forward.

 

Its a recurring theme. Usually when i have had days of expansion and breakthrough , i think it in terms of reaching somewhere,i express it here ,it comes crashing down so that i can see the spiritual identity poking its head. There's a famous character called 'naranathu bhranthan' ( a mad fellow)in my language from a poem and all he does all day is rolling a big rock up a mountain and drops it from there. He laughs uncontrollably then. This helps to see the light and brighter side. Haha.. 

 

In reply to by Vimal V

I can see the significance of the amusing story Vimal, which is so eloquently expressing the lighter side and delivers the message so clearly - love it :)

I read somewhere that this is the 'spiritual seeker identity' investing in pendulum-like experiences of spiritual emotional highs and lows, hence seekers becoming spiritual junkies. As the 'seeker' dissolves and one understands that the nature of all experiences is to change (high, low etc), one realises looking closer, that no matter how ordinary or extra-ordinary experiences one has, there is a steady centre, a motionless core not related to emotion or 'me' but where all emotion and the 'me' arises/expresses from. Often these emotional spiritual experiences may be by-products of touching the non-dual, all One - no 'me' -  state but the seeker when not fully seen, will make these by-products (happy, blissful, relief etc) the goal. Very interesting and I can certainly relate to this from time to time along my personal 'spiritual'  journey. The dissolution of the seeker is key, while at the same time being the soulful expression of the Truth in daily life. Cant be forced or scheduled, just seeing clearly when 'I' roll a big rock up the mountain and then drop it from there...  

Thank you for encouraging deeper reflections Vimal.

 

 

Hi Vimal,

I really like your insight on imperfections, its a very deep embodied inquiry that the more one directs the attention to and taps into it, the more it creates. This is wonderful:

as i see the truth inside the distortions and peel away it, it feels like i'm not ditching the old habits but evolving it into newer more aligned forms. In the past ,like i said ,i had tried to move into a 'better' version of myself but this better version is just an identity in the head. In my experience it wont work unless i first honour and accept the current version with its imperfections,needs and desires.

I definitely feel/felt directness and a 'go for it' ray 1 quality in your vibe. The challenges you speak of are quite natural, I find. It is easier to be direct with others who are direct themselves and who are also exploring their inner/outer world and their Alignment. There is a level of connection there. And it is in the challenge/struggle to express directly, as you say, that the merging of directness and diplomacy wants to be embodied. I find that in speaking directly, other qualities oftentimes need to be present too, like honoring the other person's truth and actively listening. Also being present with myself and my 'imperfections', if you like. And if disharmony arises, then it will serve a purpose: the re-calibration of sense and sensibilities (often layers and filters arising to be seen) towards a higher level of harmony.

This is really profound. It is these inner experiences that instigate a deeper sense of Trust that will create and vice versa :)  :

The universe came back in this case with offer from another institution asking me to teach there. Surprising! This feedback builds more trust and hence more flexibility. I was contemplating about resources in regards to my diet and there was a mango lying in my porch from the neighbours mango tree with which i made smoothie today. It seems trivial but i knew at the moment that it was for me. This knowing is what matters i think. I also feel a bit more settled into immedieate enviornment and experience and not 'hurrying' into other experiences. This is a relief. 

 Yes, the diffusing of self judgement is a big one and it comes first - it comes in cycles. You say with clarity here:

Today i was experiencing an addictive behavior and there was softening into acceptance of it while it was happening. And i didnt condemn it anymore but valued it just because it provides an opportunity to break through self judgement and resistance. And i have to pass through it again because i know i haven't fully found and expressed the aligned behaviour or alternate way as you say. But i can remember the process and apply it. 

To me, this is an experience to give value to, it creates HUGE shifts inside and outside. And if I were you, I wouldn't be 'concerned' whether you have to 'pass it through millions of times' or if you 'haven't expressed the aligned behaviour fully yet' etc etc because if you look closely, these 'concerns' are subtle judgements...they arise to be seen...

:) x

In reply to by Aspasia

Hey Aspasia,

This is brilliant OK Hand Sign . You wrote

. And if I were you, I wouldn't be 'concerned' whether you have to 'pass it through millions of times' or if you 'haven't expressed the aligned behaviour fully yet' etc etc because if you look closely, these 'concerns' are subtle judgements...they arise to be seen...

 Yes i see the truth and i see myself in that position. Something to be worked on. 

Vimal <3 

Hi Aspasia - I really connect with the metamorphosis you speak about. Indeed it is for me ,as i see the truth inside the distortions and peel away it, it feels like i'm not ditching the old habits but evolving it into newer more aligned forms. In the past ,like i said ,i had tried to move into a 'better' version of myself but this better version is just an identity in the head. In my experience it wont work unless i first honour and accept the current version with its imperfections,needs and desires. Today while meditating ,this is exactly what came into my mind. What im now with my imperfections and inabilities is the exact reflections others need to see. And i can also accept others flaws just like mine because they offer the synchronistic reflection i need to see. This way even the imperfections works perfectly.

I was actually surprised when you said 'directness' because i was observing and contemplating dishonesty lately and how it breeds complexities and this is also what i see within the family and also in a book that i read. There's a part of me that wants to reach out and solve it. This is simply because caring about how others see us and not wanting to hurt others or myself. Finding a way of how best to express my ray 1 in situations without causing disharmony. I'm also inspired by you and others directness here and i see less effort. Unlike my case where i mostly struggle to express directly. Maybe this is diplomacy coming into the front but with distortions. 

I'm also observing small breakthrough leading to changes in the outside as well. I had been becoming more lineant with how i spend money. Spending in my creative endevours and all. The universe came back in this case with offer from another institution asking me to teach there. Surprising! This feedback builds more trust and hence more flexibility. I was contemplating about resources in regards to my diet and there was a mango lying in my porch from the neighbours mango tree with which i made smoothie today. It seems trivial but i knew at the moment that it was for me. This knowing is what matters i think. I also feel a bit more settled into immedieate enviornment and experience and not 'hurrying' into other experiences. This is a relief. 

I really like and resonate with what you shared here 

 

Is there judgement about the value of 'myself' because there is comfort eating? This needs to be diffused so that comfort eating does not become a destructive activity unnecessarily :)

How does comfort eating really serve in the moment? What's good about it? Liking the taste? - perfect :)

 

This can also be applied to any distortions and addictions. In my experience its the diffusing of self judgment that comes first.  This helps to see the truth buried inside the distortions. Today i was experiencing an addictive behavior and there was softening into acceptance of it while it was happening. And i didnt condemn it anymore but valued it just because it provides an opportunity to break through self judgement and resistance. And i have to pass through it again because i know i haven't fully found and expressed the aligned behaviour or alternate way as you say. But i can remember the process and apply it. 

Thank you and I love our connection too OK Hand Sign

Vimal

Hi Aspasia,

I really love your reflections. Thanks for the question.I have more than one answer.. Maybe i didn't want to sound like I'm presuming things. I have made some similar changes in the past and came back but admittedly it felt like a job back then. My bowel seems a bit sensitive now and i have had some minor digestive troubles with my typical lunch or with excess pepper. But nothing a doze of ginger extract cant fix. And i also need comfort foods to placate the emotional void to some extent especially when I'm feeling a bit low. So with going back to the normal eating habits i mean i probably need to integrate the emerging beingness to the old habits. So it wont be one way or the other. I'am also working to integrate healthy comfort foods to the equation while listening to my body.

Love 

Vimal 

In reply to by Vimal V

Vimal, its really very interesting to read about your exploration and I love your directness and Ray 1 vibe that just 'goes for it'.

I think its very healthy to compare with the past in full awareness - as you are - and discernment. New pathways and habits are formed not because we have 'let go' of the past ones but because there has been a metamorphosis into the new ones. 

You say:

My bowel seems a bit sensitive now and i have had some minor digestive troubles with my typical lunch or with excess pepper. But nothing a doze of ginger extract cant fix.

That's indeed, as you imply, part of the natural explorative metamorphosis happening where one discovers how to listen to the wisdom of the body and make choices that serve more. For example, after having gone to a totally plants diet for a while, one day I had kiwi and because it is really acidic it upset my stomach a lot. I never had this before and even now if I eat kiwi the same thing happens. So I don't eat it. Our bodies are designed to be more alkaline than acidic, I think its an 80-20% ratio, so the body lets you know! So, for me, it's finding out what serves well in the continuous transition to a 'higher vibrational, more energetically open embodied existence'. The ginger extract fix sounds wonderful - love ginger and reminds me I should use it more! Thank you!

I comfort eat too and very much enjoy it :) Im happy to be in the emotional void, as you call it, with a healthy, raw bar of chocolate - yam! Intermittent fasting includes comfort eating :) And it works well.

Integration indeed, spot on! You say:

So it wont be one way or the other. I'am also working to integrate healthy comfort foods to the equation while listening to my body.

The inquiry therefore is (and speaking from personal experience):

Am I fully aware of the processes inside and outside while comfort eating in the emotional void?? What is it I truly need and how do I create it/express it in alternative ways??

Is there judgement about the value of 'myself' because there is comfort eating? This needs to be diffused so that comfort eating does not become a destructive activity unnecessarily :)

How does comfort eating really serve in the moment? Whats good about it? Liking the taste? - perfect :)

And yes very important because it affects all the above!! : choose quality foods to comfort eat with to also honor the moment! Dairy is a typical comfort eating component but does not serve on many levels. So, what are the alternatives?
 

Love our connection Vimal, very co-creative <3

Hi Aspasia,

You wrote 

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. 

Yes indeed. That's what have been exploring. And its a relief to realize progressively that there's nothing to win at.  And when I'm more expanded i can accept the imperfections even. 

I have been listening to my body with intermittent fasting which has led me to eat only 2 meals for 3 days now,which feels more aligned. A very nutrient and calorie rich breakfast at about 10 am and my typical lunch before evening. Together with the openhand meditation i feel really great. Interestingly i have not felt much hunger . I also dropped diary and sugar these days. But the shift feels very sudden so i will probably have to go back to the normal eating habits. Im also dropping intentions that i'm conscious of around it ,so it doesn't feel like a task anymore. I'm also having fun with making and experimenting with breakfast and smoothies.I have a question. In the last post you said some people also have a snack before bedtime. But wouldn't that interfere with 16 hr fasting period? 

Thankyou Heart

Vimal

In reply to by Vimal V

Vimal :)

Yes, I totally agree with you, I feel your insights.

Then you say:

Together with the openhand meditation i feel really great. Interestingly i have not felt much hunger . I also dropped diary and sugar these days. But the shift feels very sudden so i will probably have to go back to the normal eating habits. Im also dropping intentions that i'm conscious of around it ,so it doesn't feel like a task anymore. I'm also having fun with making and experimenting with breakfast and smoothies.

That feels amazing to me a great breakthrough and sense of emerging beingness. My question is why would you stop 'this shift' from fully emerging and expressing the depths of your aligned soul? You say its 'sudden'. Is this a 'problem'?

With regards to your question, there are two things here. First, if one has a snack before bedtime, this will need to be accounted in the eating/fasting windows. So one moves the eating window accordingly. Second, eating a snack before bedtime is a way to ease oneself into the intermittent fast if one experiences a lot of hunger. Its a prep but it still has a decent fasting window to ease oneself into a longer one through time.

Thank you too Vimal xxHeart

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

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

 

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

 

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. 

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 Aspasia

Dear Aspasia and Vimal,

I am reading this after doing 14-16 hour fasting for the last week ten days ( I took a break for three days and now I am back) . Let me start by saying that I am a massive emotional eater. I have been emotionally eating my entire life and I believe it's consistent emotional processing that has allowed me to get into a place where I am spending 16 hours after food. For me I am doing Breakfast and Lunch. I usually have some tea and almonds at 430 pm after which I fast until 830 am with the help of mugs of herbal teas and long walks. 

As expected ,the fasting has pushed me into deep emotional processing . Feelings ,some expected ,some totally unexpected have come up. I am also finding that I have a deep craving for food one moment only for it to disappear and a strong sensation - burning in the back of my neck and shoulder blades takes its place. Today I felt I to deep childhood feeling of ' I am not worthy of being loved ' . And I felt in to what felt like karmic fears around my daughter being harmed as well. It has been intense ! I am also feeling strong sensations in the top of my skull. What is interesting is that the processing continues unabated even during the eating period . I did 'feast ' during non fasting periods in the first couple of days ,but now my overall hunger has decreased though ,to be kind to myself ,I am giving my body full permission to eat whatever she wants . 

I am unable to meditate though. Feeling very discombobulated . And even though I'm doing my yoga ,occasionally feel very ungrounded. 

Strangely ,it's not the not eating that's hard. It's dealing with the emotions that were repressed that is challenging . I am actually quite proud of myself for doing this after many many stops and starts. I intend to make this into a way of life now . Hope this pushes at least some people to try it. 

Lots of love ,

Megha 

In reply to by Megha

Dear Megha,

Your journey with intermittent fasting is indeed very inspiring and also its a beautiful example of how we are all invited to make frameworks/structures like 'fasting' a vehicle for self-exploration rather than 'the goal'. Thank you for sharing and motivating others to explore.

What I find most inspiring is the constant attitude of kindness weaved through the journey of 'fasting' - 'no fasting' and deeply inquiring and learning from/in both contexts.

When feeling discombobulated, I find Nature, aromas, singing and deep breathing grounding. There are so many ways to meditate and touch the immediate experience as it is, in its rawness. Yoga is a beautiful way. :) There is also the possibility of consciously and kindly approaching 'the ungroundness' with curiosity and inquiry - as a portal...

Wise Love <3

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