21 day water fast: day 22 (follow up)

I slept five whole hours last night – and all in a single stretch!

This is my big news.  Five hours in a single stretch: literally the first time for more than two weeks.  I know the natural assumption is that it must feel like a relief, but, honestly, it’s not that simple.  Of course, there’s always the relief of slipping back into a familiar old habit – and for me, five hours in one stretch is the norm, since I normally rise to meditate after this.  But it’s also much more complicated.  Once my biorhythm had accepted and acclimatised to the fasting routine of sleeping two hours and then rising, there was a certain beauty in sitting to meditate in the dead of night instead of the pre-dawn hours, there was a certain peace in sitting afterwards to write, with the silence of the night allowing my mind to express itself in an effortless, uninterrupted flow.  Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 22 (follow up)

21 day water fast: day 20

honeyToday is the last full day of fasting.  By the evening I’ll already be into Day 21.  The feeling, which came to me as I woke up this morning, is that of when you’re about to say goodbye to an old friend whom you know you’re not going to see for a while.  There’s an element of regret in parting from each other, but you know that your friendship is stronger than the time and distance you’ll be spending apart.  And besides, you know you’ll meet again… Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 20

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. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 18

21 day water fast: day 17

road mirageToday I went into town to buy fruit for the end of my fast.  The thought of going to the shops had a certain exotic excitement to it – in contrast to my usual apathy towards shopping.  And yet, mixed into the feeling was also one of slight sadness that the fast is going to end soon.

Driving the 10km from the village into town, I realised that I’m really not quite with it… Doing the driving felt very different from last week, when I had to go back home for a few days.  Then, it felt no different from usual.  But now… Now, it felt like my consciousness was occupying a whole field surrounding my body, rather than simply being in my body – or, more precisely, being my body.  Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 17

21 day water fast: day 15

out of body experiencePhysically, no changes to speak of.  I slept more last night – a good five or six hours.  Maybe in the end I really have been sleeping too little.  One more thought on that.  The nights when I caught no more than literally two or three hours tended to follow the days I was working long hours on the computer.  It’s true that my mind has been flying with complete and effortless focus, but I wonder whether it’s also started to wind up my energy levels more than otherwise.  Compared to our everyday carbohydrate-based metabolism, I’ve always found ketosis to be slower reacting to the body’s changing energy requirements: slower to fire up in the morning and slower to fire down at night.  Perhaps it’s possible that the higher daily energy levels demanded by my work were also continuing afterwards, into and even through the night.  Anyway, I’m glad there’s no longer a need for any more craziness.  Things are calming down again, so that the remaining days will increasingly stretch out without any demands for work, deadlines and the like.  Lots of time to be. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 15

21 day water fast: day 9

alone in the parkIn the same way that they say that the perceptive midpoint of an 80-year lifespan is around 30-35 years, I suppose that today should be more or less the perceptive midpoint of this 21-day fast.  I wonder…

I’m heading back to the country and solitude after ‘lunch’.  That’s a laugh, isn’t it?  We’re so defined by eating that we even divide up the day in terms of mealtimes!  I feel a hint of uneasiness in being alone again, of resettling back into a state of undisturbed emptiness. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 9

21 day water fast: day 7

mcdonaldsSo here we are, another milestone in the fast: the end of the first week and, with it, the first third of my planned duration.  I feel good, just physically slow in ev-er-y-thing.  But this new tempo – precisely because of its more leisurely, deliberate speed, as well as because it’s different to what I’m used to – also evokes an increased consciousness in everything I do.

This morning I’ve noticed a lot of muscles making their presence felt.  My shoulders and thighs are very subtly sore – low and behold, completely matching the muscles used to carry the fridge yesterday!  Normally, I wouldn’t have felt anything today, but again this proves the point that while fasting it’s extremely important not to overstress your body physically.  You can do lasting damage to it, as Gandhi demonstrated.  Quite bluntly, muscle damage was done yesterday (no matter how minimally), whereas normally such exertion would have been well within my normal capacity.  Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 7

30 seconds to care

chihuahuaSometimes I just don’t understand people.  I was in the last kilometre of my morning run, heading back home, when I heard the most desperate scream.  Not more than 20 metres ahead of me, a woman was walking with her dog on the zebra crossing leading into the park.  A car hit the dog, and then just continued, without even stopping.  As if nothing had happened. Continue reading 30 seconds to care