What the eyes are for the outer world,
fasts are for the inner.
WILDERNESS SPIRITUAL FASTING
Intentional spiritual fasting is devoting oneself to knowing and remembering who you are and begin to experience the sacred in yourself. Going alone into the wilderness as a sacred pilgrimage renews the spiritual connection to all life. Every tree, plant, deer, person, or mountain has a soul and a spiritual purpose. Detoxifying at a soul level allows the deep hunger within us to be filled with the sacred.
When you realize, remember who you are and always wanted to be, you have healed the Earth by healing yourself. With that healing you can return the gift to the life around you.
. . . everything around you, the ground, the stones, the trees, the air, the birds, your blanket - everything - is alive, aware, conscious, intelligent, and speaking to you. For “prayer” as Thomas Merton says, “is not science but poetry.” And the poetry of prayer is built on experiencing the invisibles behind all forms of creation and then sending out from the deepest recesses of the human heart communications in return . . .
- Stephen Harrod Buhner
EMOTIONAL FASTING AND DETOXIFICATION
Food is associated with love, gratification and is a source for providing sustenance for emotional needs. Going without food and daily companionship or routine is a catalyst for examining not only how you relate to food, but to life in general. Without food feelings long locked away or ignored may come to the surface. As you fast you change your way of relating to yourself and your primal needs. Emotional detoxification and cleansing illuminates how you use your mental abilities. The thought process, the woven web of your life choices that can enhance or diminish your life force are more present and there is an insistence that you examine your choices and how you respond to life. A new clarity is birthed that can help you be in the present unimpeded by the past concepts that may no be as firmly implanted as you supposed.
Going without food heightens your awareness of your body. You begin to feel each breath, the touch of a stone, the slight breeze, your skin, your bones, your hunger. The toxins in our body begin to be felt and released. You begin to touch and be touched by the natural world. Your receptivity to all that is around you is heightened and you share your physical presence with an awareness that is of the body. The awareness that you are in relationship with the non-human and non-material realm.
Going alone without food into the uncivilized wilderness invites into memory the knowledge held in your body, your own uncivilized wild spirit that embodies passion, life and the sacred.
YOU WILL BE DRINKING WATER DURING YOUR FAST.
WAITING UNTIL SPIRIT IS HEARD
As my prayer became more attentive and inward
I had less and less to say.
I finally became completely silent.
I started to listen
Which is even further removed from speaking.
I first thought that praying entailed speaking.
I then learnt that praying is hearing,
or merely being silent.
This is how it is.
To pray does not mean to listen to oneself speaking.
Prayer involves becoming silent,
and being silent
and waiting until spirit is heard.
-Poem describing Vision Quest by Kierlegaard
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