I’m 48 hours into my fast. It’s been 2 days since I last ate. That leaves another 24-30 hours remaining. I haven’t done much by way of fasting in my life, but the little that I have done has been pretty beneficial.
Mostly I fast for physical reasons, to cleanse and to give the digestive system a chance for some repairs and maintenance. I’ve been having digestive issues over the past several months, so this fast was prompted by a desire to let the digestive system rest and perhaps balance out the acid levels. After my fast, I’ll reevaluate my diet.
It’s a 3 day fast, which is a fairly ideal time frame, I think, for me, because three days (or even two) is challenging and has seriously excellent health benefits but it doesn’t require me to completely reorder my life.
For me, there are also spiritual motivations. Biblical prophets fasted, often for extended times, the result of which was that they were caught up into esoteric experiences and received visions and divine messages, the most famous of which was probably Jesus who met a personification of Satan and the engaged in a bit of a tête-à-tête involving various temptations.
I’m not sure that I’m interested so much in that sort of thing, although it sounds trippy. I enjoy mind altering substances now and again, just like the next guy, but I don’t feel compelled to see visions or to hear the voice of God.
There are more sort of practical ways that fasting is spiritual. The most obvious, I think, is that fasting makes us more able to understand the nature of craving. It’s hard to resist the urge to eat, but if you can pull it off, you feel like a real Bad Ass. You also learn something pretty significant about the nature of craving, namely, that it is merely another physical sensation. It comes and goes, in waves – and rather than act on craving, we can simply observe the sensation of hunger, without the compulsive reactivity. It’s a handy little life lesson.
In any event, I feel a little hunger but mostly fatigue. So I’m relaxing, drinking a lot of water, and updating the blogosphere on my progress. So far, so good.