The Buddha emaciated after undergoing severe ascetic practises.
Fasting is an advanced spiritual discipline that purifies the physical body, and creates increased awareness of the subtle spiritual force. This spiritual force is always present in varying degrees. Through the process of fasting, we re focus the cellular consciousness of the body, and increase the life-force streaming within us. This increased light-flow brings a feeling of great bliss, lightness, and connection to sacred source. When done in the context of living the enlightened life, fasting speeds spiritual evolution, and ultimately shows us the truth of immortal life.
The fasts described below are for healthy people who are seeking to live the enlightened life, and who have sufficient self-discipline and self-responsibility to undertake fasting in a mature, self-aware manner without professional supervision. If you have health concerns, or do not have good insight into your mental and emotional nature, you should not attempt the fasts given here, but you should consider undertaking a fast in a professionally supervised environment. Check your local resources for retreat centres offering supervised juice fasts, and residential programs offering living food programs. Also see the many resources listed in Living Food.
Every day, and especially during a fast, it is very important to drink lots of fresh living water (i.e., spring water – not distilled, tap, or other “dead” waters). In addition to the foods and juices in the following fasts, consume at least 2 litres (or more) of water daily. During the first 24 to 72 hours of a fast you may experience symptoms of detoxification. These may include headaches, fatigue, nausea, and aching muscles and joints. It is important to rest and take it easy during this time. These symptoms are normal and will subside in a few days. The first days of fasting should be devoted to extra meditation, naps, and reading spiritually inspiring material. It is highly recommended that you drink a cup of herbal laxative tea on the second or third day to help the detoxification process. Toxins being broken up through the fasting process are dumped out rapidly into the colon where they can be re absorbed. Consuming herbal laxatives greatly aids the process, and reduces detoxification symptoms. You may also feel cold during a fast, so be sure to wear warm clothing and socks if needed.
By the third or fourth day you will be amazed as how healthy and clear you will begin to feel. At this point, you may begin to do yoga and exercise, which should continue for the rest of the fast – and the rest of your life! Be sure to follow the recommendations for breaking each fast, and returning to an enlightened diet.
A word about juicing: not all juicers are alike. For the greatest concentration of enzymes and life-force energy, you really need a triturating juicer. This type of juicer does not create excessive heat, and therefore preserves all of the live enzymes, fiber, minerals, and vitamins, which are the vital essence of the plant. No juice compares to the richness and intensity of juice from a triturating machine. A masticating juicer is also useful, but it does create heat and some enzymes are destroyed. Centrifugal juicers should be completely avoided as they destroy nearly all the enzymes with excessive heat, and waste a large amount of the produce in the process. You can see some U.S. juicers at BestJuicers.com. In Australia, check out JuicersAustralia.com. For Europe and other locations, try AllOrganic.net. Enlightened Life Sanctuary is located in New Zealand, and we use and recommend the fabulous OscarJuicer.co.nz. Now you are ready to begin to build the enlightened body!
Fasts should be done in the following sequence:
Phase One Fast
Over the course of one to two weeks, gradually reduce the amount of cooked food you eat each day. You may begin by eating only a large raw salad at midday or evening. Next, replace your morning meal with all fruit, followed by the addition of raw vegetables for the remaining meal. You may also drink fresh organic juices. When you have eaten raw food solely for three days, substitute a glass of freshly juiced organic vegetable juice for the midday salad. The next day, have fruit juice in the morning, drink vegetable juice at midday, and have the raw salad at night. You can also eat a little raw fruit or vegetables between meal times if you feel you need it. Finally, replace the evening salad with another glass of freshly juiced vegetable juice. At this point, you can take three to five glasses of juice daily. It is recommended that the majority of juice be vegetable, with smaller amounts of fruit juice being taken in the morning. Don’t forget to continue drinking pure living water too! You may also drink organic herbal teas. Meditate as much as possible – this is important every day, but especially during any type of fasting.
When you have taken only juices for three days, you may return to a combination of juice and raw foods. As you begin to add small amounts of cooked food, keep at least 50% of your diet raw, living food. From this time on, choose one day a week as a juice fast day.
Phase Two Fast
After you have completed Phase One, and have maintained a 50% raw food diet and one day a week juice fast for six months, begin Phase Two by continuing to drink only juices following your weekly juice fast day. Consume 3 to 5 glasses of fresh organic fruit and vegetable juice for five to seven days. Drink lots of water and meditate every day. To end the fast, add raw fruit, followed by raw vegetables. After a few days, slowly add cooked food, again keeping the diet 50% living food, and fasting on juices once a week. Repeat this fast in three to six months, or whenever you desire. Phase Two can be extended for up to 21 days when you feel you are ready to try it. Always listen to your body’s own wisdom.
Phase Three Fast
Begin Phase Three during your third or fourth Phase Two Fast. Fast on juice for two days, on the third day, skip the morning juice. In the next day or two, reduce your intake to one juice a day (plus water – always drink lots of water!). Then eliminate the juice, and drink only water for one to three days. Meditate every day. Break the fast by drinking fresh apple or pear juice, then adding all juices, then raw food, and back to the 50% living food diet. Repeat this fast once a year, or whenever you desire. Phase Three can be expanded to as much as seven to ten days when you are sure you are ready to try it. Again, listen to your body and don’t go beyond your personal limits. Some advanced adepts fast on water for as much as forty days at a time, though this is not recommended until complete enlightenment has been attained!