NEW APPROACHES TO SPIRITUAL FASTING
By Gabriel Cousens, MD, MD (H), DD
“All the vitality and all the energy I have, comes to me because my body is purified by fasting.”
This statement by Mohandas Gandhi beautifully sums up the essence of spiritual fasting. Although I emphasize in this article the spiritual aspects of fasting, which are often neglected by the general public and other detoxification programs, the detoxification aspects of the fast in a group-supportive setting are extremely powerful and essential for the literal evolution of life and health on the planet. We all are exposed, no matter how pure our lifestyle, to tremendous amounts of toxins, radiation, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, etc. These various toxins are specific poisons to every level of the system. Periodically removing these from our bodies is extraordinarily important for maintaining, energizing, and expanding our wellbeing. Many people come to our fasts primarily for these reasons and also enjoy and are inspired by the spiritual as a delightful extra.
At the U.S. and world level of environmental toxic exposure, I recommend fasting at least two times yearly for routine clearings in our positive group support situation in which physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual blocks impeding a physical detox from fully happening are released. Some come just to relax and cleanse, or to reset their dietary patterns. We support people in whatever their goals and at whatever level they choose to work on when they attend our spiritual group fasts.
While traditional fasting is a powerful and outstanding healing experience, spiritual fasting may take one even higher and deeper. There are many reasons why spiritual fasting is so transformationally effective beyond the detoxification, enhancing the dimensions of the vital life force:
1) There is a real power to spiritual fasting that is recognized in almost every spiritual tradition in the world, including Judeo-Christian, Taoist, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim. It is mentioned 87 times in the Bible. The Greek greats like Socrates, Plato, and Pythagoras fasted to purify the mind and spirit in order to better perceive the Truth. The power of our spiritual fast is amplified with daily shaktipat meditations; daily Kali Ray TriYoga™; daily spiritual question and answer sessions; spiritual discussions; group support; and an environment that activates these healing and spiritual forces. Many participants experience an awakening of the spiritual energy, known as the kundalini (Holy Spirit).
2) On the physical plane, a powerful healing energy, which I have already noted as the vital life force, is activated by juice fasting. This vital life force empowers people’s cells, organs, and bodies to release physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual toxins that have been stored in them. Fasting activates the vital life force of the cells in a variety of ways that empower them to throw out the tissue toxins. The more toxins are eliminated, the more the vital life force is activated.
The environmental setting plays an important supportive role. The optimal way to do a spiritual fast is in a pristine environment so that the healthy emotional, mental, and spiritual harmonics of one’s life would have the least amount of toxic interference in the cleansing process. Our location in Patagonia, Arizona offers a quiet, supportive setting in the empty mystery of the desert. This safe, supportive, and protected environment allows people to let go on every level and activate the vital force to do its full spectrum healing. This optimal fasting environment is distinctly different and superior to fasting in a city or even most home environments.
3) Spiritual fasting is also a time to realign with one’s physiological homeostasis and to recover from the imbalancing and weakening influence of a toxic world.
4) Spiritual fasting is a time to slow ourselves down to discover our sacred design, which includes both our short term and long term life purpose. During the fast, people often reconnect to their personal will power and become empowered to reenter the world and maintain their balance, with renewed energy and hope, and with spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical strength.
5) During our Spiritual Fasts, we suggest people consider their life purpose and how much they are aligned with it in their actions. Spiritual fasting helps one to address this.
6) Spiritual fasting is a feast on the full range of life’s energies.
7) Spiritual fasting helps people rediscover their holy rhythm and to align with the rhythm of the living Earth and Universe.
There are many superfoods, supplements, and gadgets for cultivating health; however, this 5,000 year-old approach still seems the most fundamental, elegantly simplistic, and powerfully profound in helping people access the deep healing and spiritual force within.
The body is a wonderful self-cleansing, self-healing, and self-regenerating organism. It is a God-given gift to all of us. Spiritual fasting best helps us experience this gift and elevates the soul. Spiritual fasting liberates the body and mind from worldly desires so we can revel in our natural deep ecstasy of God. Spiritual Fasting helps us to become a superconductor for the Divine. We are all divinely blessed with the potential of this gift.
Gabriel Cousens, MD, MD(H), DD, Diplomate American Board of Holistic Medicine, Diplomate Ayurveda
Director of the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center
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