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Cupcake's avatar

Have you spiritually fasted? What were the benefits?

Asked by Cupcake (13237points) March 5th, 2011

I’m preparing for a talk tonight on the Baha’i Fast, and am curious who here has fasted for spiritual benefit (or obligation). How did you do it? For how long? What did you give up? What benefits did you notice? How difficult was it for you?

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8 Answers

RubyB's avatar

I have never fasted strictly for spiritual reasons, but do fast twice a year for a week, and at other times for shorter duration. Like most things that require giving something up (food in this case), it’s difficult for the first day or two, but surprisingly easy after that.

The benefits are physical, mental, and spiritual, and create a quiet clarity and sense of lightness and well-being. I look at fasting as maintenance, a bit like taking your car in to get a tune-up.

Coloma's avatar

I parrot @RubyB in her answer.
I have, however, gone on a two year spiritual ‘fast’ from the world a few years ago. Lived on my savings and focused on my being instead of my doing. Very beneficial experience of rest, contemplation, deep peace and spiritual growth.

I wish everyone could afford to take a few years off from the world of form and get in touch with the basics of their being.

I have changed the mantra of ‘be in the world but not of it’ to ’ be of the world but not IN it.’ lol

Nullo's avatar

From GotQuestions:
Fasting and prayer are often linked together (Luke 2:37; 5:33). Too often, the focus of fasting is on the lack of food. Instead, the purpose of fasting should be to take your eyes off the things of this world to focus completely on God. Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God, and to ourselves, that we are serious about our relationship with Him.
It goes on to say that you can also fast from things that aren’t food.

Some history.

crisw's avatar

There was a great story about this exact subject on This American Life. Give it a listen.

TexasDude's avatar

Yes.

Back when I was first getting interested in Sufism and certain sects of Buddhism and Gnostic Christianity and other less mainstream religions and philosophies in my area… more for scholarly interest than anything I ate nothing but beans, rice, and some raw veggies for a week. I didn’t have any epiphanies, or anything, but it was sort of fun and refreshing, in a way.

listener's avatar

Fasting has it’s many forms. You can fast from physical comfort and psychological pleasures. Fasting helps in reseting the uncontrollable and unnecessary appetite of our mind and body.
Fasting is difficult, you’ll need a lot of focus and awareness, so make sure you have a very good reminder why you are fasting, for example, i’ll fast from eating a cupcake today because there is a child somewhere in the world going hungry. Basically fasting is were the soul gets it’s energy.

JessK's avatar

I’m Mormon, and every first sunday of the month we do a fast for breakfast and lunch of that day. Then, we take the money we would have spent on the meals and donate it. We believe that fasting, combined with prayer, will bring us closer to God and strengthen us spiritually. We usually fast for personal reasons, such as for help to overcome a personal trial, increase our faith, or to ask for help for someone else, especially if they’re going through tough times or bad health. We believe that it helps us exhibit self control over the natural man and makes us more focused on spiritual nourishment, also becoming more attuned to the Holy Spirit. We also believe that without prayer, fasting is just going hungry; fasting in the Bible was always linked with prayer.
I don’t want to tread on anyone’s beliefs, just trying to answer the question.

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