Posted by: Upāsaka | 07/24/2017

Why Fast

Yesterday was the uposatha which means, among other things, that I tool no solid food after midday. Today is Monday, during which I have taken up the Islamic form of dating until nightfall. Since one of these requirements of the uposatha is that I not break fast until sunrise I have had to do without since Islamic fasting proscribes eating after the first light.

Why am I describing all of this? Better yet, why am I even doing it? For me, food has become one of the last refuges for sensual indulgence that I allow myself and suffice it to say that I often over-indulge. Fasting is one way to curb that tendency and yet there is more to it.

Aside from my ideas to prepare for the coming of rough times, the major reason why I fast is to strengthen my resolve and wherewithal. If I can maintain my practice and composure while stressed then surely I can do so under normal circumstances. Interestingly, I have also noticed a tendency to engage in depressive thinking when I realize I won't be eating for a dozen or so more hours. When I step back and consider it in the light of reason it seems silly but it is precisely this kind of reflexive thought that leads to mindless consumption.

I am compiling a list of petit ascetic practices to not only help me to toughen up but to highlight those areas on need of attention. You can find them above in the Daily Practice tab. May we all strive on ardently until we win a foothold in liberation.


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