21 day water fast: day 18

Street signDriving into town yesterday provided a reference point about how my consciousness has naturally and gradually opened from a more focussed perspective.  In retrospect, the whole trip itself provided another, deeper reference point, because since then – in breaking the solitude and continuity of being here at the cottage, as well as in buying the food which will break the 21 days of pure water – I keep finding myself thinking about the approaching end of the fast.  With only three more days to go, perhaps this would have been inevitable anyway, but certainly yesterday’s brief return to civilisation has intensified the feeling.  In thinking forward to Day 21, part of me is looking forward to eating, but it’s not a very strong voice.  I’m not planning any feasts in my fantasy of fantasies.  (The only thing I’m really looking forward to is giving up this almost cripplingly low blood pressure.)  Another part of me is preparing to bid farewell to these truly amazing three weeks.

Last night, I began pondering the question: have I used this fast well: as well as I possibly could have?  In one respect, so long as I achieve the goal of 21 days, the answer is clearly yes.  But on a deeper level, it brings up the whole issue of what fasting is about.  Is it simply about achieving something?  Because in going more deeply into being, surely the idea of achieving something works entirely against this.  Could I have gone deeper spiritually?  Did I try hard enough?  But then again, trying – like achieving – ultimately has no place here.  The most you can try is to be open to what’s in your heart and what’s willing to come out.

After the Sturm und Drang of the first five days or so – especially in wrestling with doing versus being, in terms of fighting with and then with letting go of time – it’s been a remarkably smooth last two weeks.  Maybe I didn’t try to push myself hard enough.  Maybe I didn’t try to soul-search deeply enough.  Then again, maybe this particular fast, particularly for me, really just had to be a letting go into doing nothing and just being.  I know I’m not a lazy person, and that just stopping – really stopping – is the hardest thing for me.  Three weeks on retreat has been a unique opportunity to do just this, especially as a householder with a wife, kids and work.

Next is the question of the unresolved life-questions I brought.  In short, I feel like I’ve been treading water since finishing my book last year.  Did I soul-search hard enough to discover what the next direction should be in my life?  To be honest, it wasn’t a question of trying to pull answers out from my soul.  I didn’t actually do anything.  But I certainly did receive answers – and, completely synchronistically – they came along with surrendering to doing, being and time.  Maybe I could have tried to force out more answers.  But no, I don’t think so.  Besides, anything which might have appeared, without the complete natural spontaneity which characterises our true inner voice, would have been suspect in its authenticity.  No, the answers from my heart were to follow my heart, and they emerged already conceived in embryonic form as clear solutions.  They were sui generis, already complete in themselves.  To me this all suggests an authentic message from deeper self.  In confirmation of this, since the day those seeds were sown in my mind, they’ve already begun to germinate and grow towards fruition.

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