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 Post subject: On Fasting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:42 am 
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Ingólemo
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Hey Everyone! I haven't dropped by in a while but I wanted to come in and say hi! I also wanted to share my experience fasting with you guys and see if anyone else had any experiences fasting that they wanted to share!

It's currently two weeks into Ramadan (the Muslim calendar is lunar based and only has ~355 days a year so Ramadan moves by ~10 days a year) and I've been fasting from sunrise to sunset (no food or water) and it's been really amazing.

A lot of my friends are surprised that I fast as I'm not particularly religious but there's something so amazing about willing yourself to not eat or drink all day. You recognize that your body is hungry and thirsty but you know that you have the will power to not cave into your temptations and there's something so powerful about that. There's also something exhilarating knowing that you're doing something alongside with millions and millions of people in the world.

I think a lot of my friends hear about my fast and imagine all the hardships. They inflate how both the difficulty of it (oh man I'd literally die if I had to do that) and the amount of food consumed afterwards (sheesh if that was me I'd eat insane amounts of food and drink buckets of water!). That hasn't been my experience. Even after the sun sets I don't feel a burning need to go insane with regards to food and drink; I have a regular meal and I feel full and satisfied. Our bodies are really a lot more amazing that we give them credit for. There's a sort of serenity to it all that I really love.

Has anyone else had any experience fasting (in the broadest sense)? I'd love to hear about it!


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 Post subject: Re: On Fasting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:12 pm 
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Hi, superwizard! Great to see you here!

I've never done anything like you describe here, no. I've fasted before from sunup to sundown, but not on purpose, and not in any sort of an organized way.

We have a Muslim lady at work, and I have talked to her about the fasting at Ramadan... she also participates, although she said it isn't particularly carved in stone... she had a modified plan when she was pregnant, for example. She also feels a real kinship with others at this time, and "serenity" is the word she used, as well.

I think it's kinda cool. :love:

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"What do you fear, lady?" Aragorn asked.
"A cage," Éowyn said. "To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: On Fasting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:35 pm 
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How in the world did I miss this post? Very wonderful to see you here Swiz.

I have on occasion fasted for Yom Kippur although I am not generally observant. I like the idea of atonement and cleansing but I did not find fasting for a full day easy.

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 Post subject: Re: On Fasting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:44 pm 
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I missed his post for the first two weeks, too! I only found it because I clicked (accidentally) on the "View unanswered posts" button. I've never really sorted by things like that before, but I found that button very useful today. :)

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"What do you fear, lady?" Aragorn asked.
"A cage," Éowyn said. "To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: On Fasting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:51 pm 
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It does appear that for some reason this thread never lit up the new posts icon. Hopefully problems like that will not continue with the new software.

Hopefully it will not be another year and half before superwizard shows back up here!

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Woods is most felt. Nice! it's gentle on your mind.


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 Post subject: Re: On Fasting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:13 pm 
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I spent a year doing the "alternate day fast" thing (24-hour fast every other day; calorie-free drinks are ok whenever), so I am acquainted with the practice. But I did it for health reasons rather than religious ones. I stopped eventually because I decided it was making me look haggard--and that did indeed correct itself afterwards--but I still do it on Fridays (yup, that means today).

I agree that there's a lot of satisfaction in knowing that you're hungry and being able to say no. But the truth is, I don't really find it that difficult. I guess computer programming just doesn't consume that many extra calories.


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 Post subject: Re: On Fasting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:09 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
How in the world did I miss this post? Very wonderful to see you here Swiz.

I have on occasion fasted for Yom Kippur although I am not generally observant. I like the idea of atonement and cleansing but I did not find fasting for a full day easy.


Well, the full Yom Kippur fast is definitely more difficult in the short-term than Ramadan-style fasting, in that it is no food or drink whatsoever for ~ 25 hours, whereas Ramadan offers both at sundown. However, Ramadan definitely requires a great deal of ability to tolerate discomfort for a much longer period of time. I'm glad you are finding it to be a positive experience, swiz. And great to see you here!

_________________
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


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 Post subject: Re: On Fasting
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:45 am 
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I am always delighted to see you, s'wiz. :love:

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: On Fasting
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:27 am 
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Ingólemo
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Thanks for the warm welcome everyone! :cheers:

The other day I was fasting and just had a sudden hankering for the HOF. I hadn't dropped by in a while but knew that I'd be met with open arms. Thank you! :gladhug:

This may sound cheesy, but you all really helped in my intellectual growth as a young adult and I am very grateful for that!

Dave_LF wrote:
I agree that there's a lot of satisfaction in knowing that you're hungry and being able to say no. But the truth is, I don't really find it that difficult. I guess computer programming just doesn't consume that many extra calories.


I agree that the not eating or drinking part isn't too bad (assuming a desk job). Often the most difficult things I have to combat are feelings of exclusion (if everyone is going out to eat for lunch) and, honestly, boredom. You realize how much you snack when you're trying to waste away a lazy sunday afternoon...

anthy wrote:
We have a Muslim lady at work, and I have talked to her about the fasting at Ramadan... she also participates, although she said it isn't particularly carved in stone... she had a modified plan when she was pregnant, for example.

Oh heavens yes. You're not supposed to fast if you're pregnant, doing manual labor, sick, traveling or just not feeling up to the task. My friend wrote a beautiful post the other day about how leniency and understanding were at the crux of early Islam and how, rather unfortunately, the recently the more 'severe' your interpretation of Islam the better of a Muslim you are deemed. That is one of the reasons I grew so disillusioned with organized religion. I'm slowly trying to reconcile my love for the tradition and essence with the antipathy towards certain viewpoints that I sometimes felt...


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 Post subject: Re: On Fasting
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:41 am 
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superwizard wrote:
This may sound cheesy, but you all really helped in my intellectual growth as a young adult and I am very grateful for that!


That doesn't sound cheesy at all. It is very gratifying!

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Woods is most felt. Nice! it's gentle on your mind.


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 Post subject: Re: On Fasting
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:39 am 
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This is Rome

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Quote:
Often the most difficult things I have to combat are feelings of exclusion (if everyone is going out to eat for lunch) and, honestly, boredom.


I had a Baha'i colleague a few years ago. During his annual fast (2.5 weeks), he actually would come with us to work lunches so he would not feel excluded, but he just wouldn't eat. I was always amazed by his fortitude! It's an option, although I understand why that would be particularly difficult.

Quote:
how, rather unfortunately, the recently the more 'severe' your interpretation of Islam the better of a Muslim you are deemed. That is one of the reasons I grew so disillusioned with organized religion. I'm slowly trying to reconcile my love for the tradition and essence with the antipathy towards certain viewpoints that I sometimes felt...


I've sometimes seen this in Orthodox Judaism as well, where (for instance) a discussion of people who are shomer Shabbat (strict Shabbat observers) may lead to a parsing of just HOW shomer Shabbat each person is (e.g., do you pre-rip your toilet paper before Shabbat; do you use a timer to turn lights on and off or refrain from use of electricity altogether; do you wear a manual watch; etc.). I've seen similar comparisons made amongst those keeping kosher for Pesach, where Sephardic Jews (who eat rice and legumes during Passover) may be judged by some Ashkenazi Jews who believe that these are prohibited during the holiday. I will never understand this tendency to police others' level of observance - and necessarily to favor "stricter" observance over more permissive observance - but I am not surprised to hear that it is found in other religions.

_________________
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


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 Post subject: Re: On Fasting
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:56 pm 
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Ingólemo
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nerdanel wrote:
I've sometimes seen this in Orthodox Judaism as well, where (for instance) a discussion of people who are shomer Shabbat (strict Shabbat observers) may lead to a parsing of just HOW shomer Shabbat each person is (e.g., do you pre-rip your toilet paper before Shabbat; do you use a timer to turn lights on and off or refrain from use of electricity altogether; do you wear a manual watch; etc.). I've seen similar comparisons made amongst those keeping kosher for Pesach, where Sephardic Jews (who eat rice and legumes during Passover) may be judged by some Ashkenazi Jews who believe that these are prohibited during the holiday. I will never understand this tendency to police others' level of observance - and necessarily to favor "stricter" observance over more permissive observance - but I am not surprised to hear that it is found in other religions.


I don't quite understand it either. In general I do not know why would anyone think they could rank religiosity or would want to. Is that really the point??

Nel I used to often go to lunches while fasting but there's something of an invisible wall between you and the people eating. You're not partaking in the main activity and as such you feel like your presence isn't really necessary. I was amused to see that people that tried only drinking Soylent (and nothing else) for extended periods of time also came out with the same feeling...


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