The Spirituality of Water Fasting

“A genuine fast cleanses the body, mind and soul. It crucifies the flesh and, to
that extent, sets the soul free.”  -Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), Father of the Indian Independence Movement

“Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the true light of chastity.  Enter again into yourself.”  -Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.), Theologian and Philosopher

My longest water fast to date is 40 days.  I have been juice and water fasting for eight years.  I study, research and write about natural health and holistic forms of healing, yet rarely do I come across water fasting information that is accurate.  Most current literature on fasting as a whole is misinformed, misconstrued, and written by people who do not even fast themselves.

Unlike Augustine, I didn’t fast for Jesus.  I certainly did not fast to quench my fires of lust, or to live it up chastely.  And unlike Gandhi, I didn’t fast in protest of caste separation.  My 40 day water fast was just for me.  I was hoping although, that Satan would come over and try to make me turn stone into bread, or watch me fly off the pinnacle of a temple.  Perhaps next time.  I did faint, however, mid-fast, at a DVD rental shoppe one day.  I had ridden my bicycle there and was putting too much constraint on my body when I needed to be resting.  I also should have put panties on because my skirt flew up when I hit the floor.  Not so chaste of me, indeed.

Water fasting, for me, minus the no-panty party I had that day, is transcendent.  I give absolute credence to the spiritualistic efficacy of water fasting.  As a seasoned, active water faster, it is my intent to educate and employ not just the physicality of water fasting, but its true emotional, mental and spiritual contributions.  My 40 day water fast was my most livening, humbling and mystifying venture yet.  This is my account of the spirituality of water fasting.