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)
Today 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
Driving 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
Today 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
The first change relates to weight loss. From Day Three to Day Seven, I lost weight extremely consistently – at the rate of .5 kg per day – whereas over the past three days (since Day Eight) this has reduced to a consistent .4 kg per day: something I’m rather glad about, given my general lack of fat stores! I know daily weight loss is supposed to gradually lessen as the fast lengthens. I’m interested to see to what extent this pattern develops over the remaining eleven days.
The other change has been to my eyesight. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 10
In 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
The day began at 3.30am. I woke up and lay in bed, unable to sleep. Then I became aware of a faint rumbling, which at first I thought must be from tractors working late in the fields to sow whatever they were sowing, before the rains predicted for tomorrow arrive. But it continued, gradually growing louder. I opened the window to discover it was actually a distant thunderstorm, gradually, ever so gradually approaching. I kept the window and curtain open. My kidney area was feeling a little stiff, so I did some stretching, and then lay back in bed, watching the ceiling light up with each flicker of lightning, listening to the still muffled thunder echo all around the landscape. I just lay there, as the storm slowly, slowly slid towards the village. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 6
Like yesterday, another slow start this morning with low blood pressure, and I had to be careful not to stand up too quickly after lying or sitting. I feel slow too, like Earth’s gravity has increased somewhat: almost as if I’m wearing an Apollo spacesuit. Mentally I’m totally fine, but for the past couple of days it hasn’t felt good to exert myself physically. Back on Day Three, for instance, I decided to do some leg lifts and a plank – something which has been part of my daily routine for years. After a few minutes of the plank, though, I felt a lot of resistance building up inside myself. I know I could have held out for the usual 7 minutes, but it just wasn’t worth it. To a lesser degree the same applied to the leg lifts. Why? Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 5
I know it sounds amusing, but it’s true. Like yesterday, I find myself continually returning to the existential questions of life – and eating does offer a kind of blithe Cartesian certainty to the world. Eating sustains our physical body, providing it with life. It also generates feedback that we are alive. We move our jaws to chew; movement is proof of life. We taste the flavours of whatever we are eating; any stimulus to the physical senses shows us that we are alive. We feel the food digesting deep in our stomach and intestines; sensation coming from the very core of our body. Again, proof that we are alive. Take away food and you take away one of the ego’s great crutches. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 3
Today has been one of extremes. The morning was again spent in a frenetic whirlwind of doing: tidying up and rearranging the house to make it liveable. I finished mid-afternoon and went outside to sit. Just sit and be. In that moment, it hit me again like a wave: the conflict inside me.
Sitting with the feeling, I don’t think the root of the emotion is in feeling somehow guilty for leaving the family behind. No. That’s just a cover for the truth. No, it’s safer to feel the conflict and be distracted by it, than to be confronted with the raw truth – the raw truth of being. Continue reading 21 day water fast: day 2