Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ayundando: The Fast is never fast

Fasting is as much a mental and emotional experience as it is a physical experience. The experience of not taking in any food—not consuming, is one of reconsiderations and examination of one of my most important habits.

As Yogis say, your food is your fuel, the way that you nuture and care for your temple. At some point, this fuel can becomes an emotional crutch, a distraction, a way to replace energy that should be flowing in a more healthy manner. Just yesterday I came upon this quote in a book on Tantric theory:

“No he llevado la energía al amor, a la creatividad o a lo espiritual, por lo que he reemplazado esa carencia con la comida”

The passage basically said that often we are lacking energy that comes from love, creativity and spirtiual exploration, and this is why our tummy seems insatiable. We really want to feel fulfilled and satisfied with something, and food is the easiest way to do it. The problem is...this type of satisfaction never lasts.

This is why to really open our charkas, to really begin this work of being in harmony with our energetic fields, we must first purify our bodies. Generally, as Westerners we are prone to excess. We work to much. We drink too much. And undoubtedly, we eat to much, and we eat counter intuitively. We obviously don’t want ourselves to function correctly, because otherwise why would we eat past satisfaction, why would we eat things that make us fall out immediately on the table afterwards?

So after my week of indulgence, I am definitely excited to start again, trying to make choices that will work for my spirit and body.

One thing I always notice when I begin a fast is how non participatory that I begin to feel in many facets of society. Walking through the particularly busy streets of Buenos Aires is more and more disorienting, as you begin to realize that most of cities are just walls and walls of consumption.

The city streets began to transform into an evil fun house, a 5 foot tall Big Mac would heckle me from across the street, facturas and medialunas were lined up and greased up in store windows looking like gastronomical pornography, Empanadas….Pizzzaaa…maybe a bit of Carnneeee today! You look hungry. Aren't you hungry? Shouldn't you eat something?

And in between all of the food was clothes, and Bazaars of plastic items, doggie clothes, incense, flowers all encouraging us to have more, then to want more, to be completed by whatever item is nicely lit up in the window.

As our societies and governments have just conduits to feed corporations, to invent our cravings, then convince us that they have just the thing to solve them, it leaves us with this constant aching to buy, buy, eat, eat, to solve the voids that we may have inside.

And with that I’ll leave you, and try to get back to the origin of this fast: try to understand this constant urge to eat, imbibe, and consume, and how to begin to quiet the impulses.

Until then, let’s all take a bit of time to realize how much we have, and little we actually need to survive happily…

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