Well, at this point I’m over the half-way point of the fast. I would’ve thought it should feel like an emotional milestone, but it just feels like another day. Physically, as well, there are no changes to speak of. So far, the detox process during this fast has been extremely smooth. Whereas in previous fasts there were periods of strong cleansing symptoms followed by rest periods – and the duration of these were seemingly random – there have been only minimal ups and downs throughout. I suspect this is because previous fasting has eliminated the most urgent issues. The only consistent symptom throughout has been a white, coated tongue, and the smell from my armpits. Otherwise, I haven’t felt the sensation of old running injuries for days now. I do think, though, that since yesterday morning I’ve entered a stronger period of detox, because there’s frequently a supply of frothy saliva building up in my mouth. During previous fasts this appeared quite early on and was so copious as to be annoying, having to spit every ten minutes or so. The saliva often also had a disagreeable taste to it. This time, though, it’s been flavourless so far, and in lower quantity. In tandem with this, a few other subtle changes have appeared. Since yesterday, I’ve been drinking minimally more (about an extra 100-200ml), my blood pressure has been minimally higher (less than 5mmHg), my heartbeat has been minimally faster (just a few beats per minute) and I’ve been naturally sleeping a little bit more (about an hour extra). I’ve also noticed that, probably as a result of the raised blood pressure and heartbeat, I have less of a tendency to blacking out if I get up too quickly.
We’ll see where this goes. As I enter new territory, as the fast deepens, the detox taking place may well relate to areas of my body which haven’t been cleansed during previous fasts, and also relating to the accumulation of toxins from further back in my life. So some surprises could be in store…
The visions I had of food around the end of the first week have vanished over the last few days. I feel no temptation, no longing any more. In fact, I’d be happy to continue without eating indefinitely if it weren’t for the physical weakness which has consistently accompanied the fast since around Day Three or Four. It simply gets in the way of being able to do anything in the rhythm I’m used to. I haven’t even been out for a walk since that single occasion on Day Four. It just feels too taxing. The weakness has neither improved nor worsened in the ensuing days; it’s just constantly there. The only change, perhaps, has been in my mindset. In the beginning I fought against it more – and always lost. Today I noticed that going slow, doing slow, being slow has now become a part of who I am. Bring on old age, the pace of my life is already there!
No melancholy today. Maybe my feelings yesterday were amplified by the transition from family life to solitude. This doesn’t mean, though, that the essence of what I wrote yesterday isn’t true – especially in terms of the reasons why I find it easier to enter into an outwardly directed samadhi than an inwardly directed one. I’ll continue to feel this out in the future. I need to work on this.