Why Bother Fasting?
Every now and then again, I step away from all the stimulation, entertainment and distractions the world has to offer me and sequester myself for a day or two. Sometimes it is a sparse cabin in the woods and other times it is a warm and cozy room at a nearby monastery. Whichever destination I choose, I go alone, taking only my journal, a few books and a change of clothes. Isolating myself from people and my regular activities is an opportune time to fast from food, and stimulates such as coffee and depressants, such as wine.
Isolation and fasting may seem severe, as though I’m punishing myself, but taking myself away from the normal hubbub of life is a little bit like cleaning out a cluttered clothes closet. I get a chance to really look at what I want to keep and discard the items which no longer fit or clash with the rest of my attire.
Deciding for Myself
Life does not naturally lend itself to taking the time to consider what we really believe. Instead, we normally get caught up and integrated into the opinions and viewpoints of others around us. We watch T.V., socialize and stay current with events through newspapers or scrolling through other sources on the internet. It is easy to agree with and adopt popular thoughts, attitudes and habits of our present day culture. Yet, we may neglect how those ideas personally affect us in the long run. In essence, it is easy to move along with the rest of the herd and difficult to formulate for ourselves what we really believe and value.
Taking time out to sit, ponder, and sort through our thoughts is important. We may not come to any earth shattering conclusions or profound new insights, but given the time and space to do so, our thoughts may surprise us. Without the distractions of computers, phones or T.V. screens, our minds can rest. Without ingesting any stimulants or depressants, our bodies find a natural energy and their resting points.
Why bother fasting? It is worth taking the time to fast, to step away from the entertaining distractions and clean out our cluttered thinking. We may be surprised at what no longer fits or clashes with the rest of our ensemble.