Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fasting

Dear Friends,

In the book, Siddhartha, Herman Hesse writes of a character named Siddhartha who is seeking the meaning of existence. After becoming an ascetic for many years, he goes back into the "real world" and tries to find a job. In the interview with a rich merchant, he is asked about his qualifications. Siddhartha says he can do three things, "I can think. I can wait. I can fast." (Ch.6)

These are the key qualities in a spiritual seeker. When one can remain peaceful in the face of hunger, then one does not worry about money or having enough food. Indeed, these things are the main cause of anxiety in our world. When one can wait, then patience dawns on the person. He or she no longer becomes anxious about achieving things anymore - getting the right job, raising children well, etc. All will come in time. When one's mind is in complete equanimity, then thinking becomes clear, focused and powerful, and life is very easy - undistracted by negative emotions.

Today I am fasting and in silence. The mind wants to be distracted by food and speech and is pouring out so much negativity. I watch it pass and continue to follow the intention. It is a purification process in which darkness from the subconscious mind comes to the surface to be purged. None of these feelings and thoughts are permanent. They are clouds in the sky. Just let them pass. When I first started the fasting practice years ago, the mind would dread the day of fast. Now it is more at ease. Walking through the fire, impurities are burned away and the mind is cleansed. All practices are in honor of the One. The Truth. The Whole. Purna.

Jai Swamiji!

with love,
Brian

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