Today and for the past few weeks in many parts of the world people have been fasting from food and liquids from sunrise to sunset as part of their spiritual tradition. Perhaps for some this change of routine will prove to be beneficial on many levels of experience, for it gives the physical body a needed rest as it has less food to process.
A new spiritual awakening may also turn one more easily to seeing the importance of fasting from the destructive habits of accusation, blame or criticism that are so prevalent in our turbulent societies. When more attention is given to being truly charitable and kind to others and comes into expression, all in our world of influence are uplifted.
Last week I sold my TV in preparation for a move back from the Middle East to the USA. How are these two very different circumstances connected? I have found that to some degree, I am on a “media fast” because I no longer have a television. I still check the world news via my internet connection on my laptop and iPad but over the last few days I have felt the compulsion to do less media watching and to do more reading and be more thoughtful or meditative on the nature of attunement.
Here are a few “gems” I came across as I read about fasting and its relationship to Attunement. These were excerpted from a talk given by Martin Cecil entitled “Fasting”, January 26, 1969 (Health, Healing and Attunements, Part 2)
We can do something about eating and we can do something about the mind, but we will do these things, and we will do them rightly and intelligently, just to the extent that we have accepted a right identity, just to the extent that we have a true self-consciousness. So the primary preparation is a spiritual one. We have all the opportunity in the world for this. We may not have, at the moment, much opportunity for physical fasting, or even for mental fasting, but we do have all the opportunity in the world for fasting from false identity, and this is why so much stress has been placed on this, because it’s the area that we are in position to do something about. It is the experience in this area of identity that will allow movement naturally to the point where something can then be done in the other areas more particularly. So I would emphasize that the field of preparation relates first to the spiritual expression level or plane of being in oneself, one’s identity. Let it be true identity, and as you do you will naturally do something with respect to the mind and with respect to the body.
Martin Cecil also stated, in Fasting and Eating, 5/1/66:
Fasting is to some an experience of self-sacrifice; it is to others an opportunity of cleansing the physical body. Fast from physical food has its value if it is done correctly under proper control, but it really has very little worth if the one who is fasting is rebelling against the process. If the experience of fasting is looked upon with a sacrificial attitude, then its real value is largely lost.
If we recognize the importance of right attunement with the reality of being, then our approach to all the evident needs in the body, mind, heart and spirit is as it were from the high point. We don’t start at the bottom and work up. We start at the top and let something work down.
It occurs to me that when we “fast” from expressing a false identity, we have made room to express true identity and open the way for attunement with all that may come from a High Place in ourselves. This reminds me (speaking of food etc.) that bread and salt are symbols of life. I know from an experience many years ago of travelling and being greeted by a wonderful group of teens at a youth summer camp in Smolensk, Russia that being presented with such symbols provided a rich welcome, indeed! It was a heavenly connection I felt in my heart and the salt and bread were a tangible means of showing a spiritual connection with the reality of being between us.
Thank you for sharing these moments with me that we may be truly prepared to welcome others into the experience of a High Place seasoned with the bread and salt of true living.
– John Flood