If you’re on the journey to awakening you’re likely trying all kinds of techniques and practices. One such practice that can aid in a consciousness breakthrough is fasting.
Are wondering if fasting is worth it for spiritual awakening? And if so, how do you do it and for how long?
Let’s find out together in today’s post.
- Fasting can create ideal conditions and clear consciousness for spiritual awakenings and insights.
- Ensure you’re taking proper precautions before attempting your fast, drinking plenty of water, and listening to your body as to when to end the fast.
- Key Takeaways
- Spiritual Benefits of Fasting
- How to Fast for Spiritual Breakthroughs
- Fasting Challenges
- Tips on fasting for awakening
- Spiritual Fasting FAQs
Fasting as a spiritual practice
The practice of fasting can be found in just about every world religion and spiritual tradition out there. Why?
Because fasting really does have spiritual benefits.
Christians often fast and pray during specific seasons of the year.
Muslims fast during Ramadan.
Other traditions fast simply for it’s cognitive and consciousness enhancing effects.
Humans in general have been fasting both intentionally and unintentionally out of necessity for tens of thousands of years.
Spiritual Benefits of Fasting
There are several reasons to fast for spiritual growth and awakening. Here are some spiritual benefits of fasting:
The greatest benefit of fasting is it’s consciousness enhancing effect.
Fasting creates conditions in the body such as ketosis which enhance focus and hone your awareness. Fasting can create a mindset of clear consciousness that is conducive to having spiritual insights.
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Having clear awareness is the foundation of awakening.
Many spiritual traditions fast for the purpose of cleansing. The Hindu tradition believes that fasting can cleanse the mind, body, and spirit.
There is real scientific evidence to back. Research shows that fasting can:
- Improve heart health by regulating cholesterol and triglycerides
- Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s in the brain
- Reduce the risk of cancer in the body
- Help regular hormones
- Reduce inflammation in the body
This can have a compounding positive effect on your mind and body.
Having an optimized mind and body will make the experience of awakening easier to achieve.
Practicing discipline and focus
Some spiritual traditions simply fast as a practice of discipline.
Developing discipline through fasting can give you an edge during meditation and other spiritual practices that aid in awakening.
How to Fast for Spiritual Breakthroughs
Fasting for spiritual insights is relatively simply, but there are a few things you should know before starting your fast.
Set Your intention
The first step in a spiritual fast is to set your intention. Setting an intention may not seem that important, but it can really make a big difference.
State that the purpose of this fast is to help you break into greater consciousness.
This will give a sense of focus and purpose to your fast. Don’t go into a fast without a proper reason, otherwise you may not receive the outcome you hope for.
Where focus goes, energy flows.
Choose what type of fast
There are many different types of fasts you can choose to try including:
- Intermittent fasting – only fasting for a specific portion of the day (for example from noon to 9pm)
- Water fasting – drinking only water for an extended period of time (often the most extreme type of fast)
- Partial fasting – abstaining from only certain foods during the day
These are the main types of fasting. One isn’t better than the other, however I’d recommend an intermittent fast for your first attempt.
Determine how long you will fast
Before you begin should determine how long your fast will go for.
There’s no right or wrong answer here and you should always listen to your body if you feel the duration is getting too long to handle.
However, to enter into a state of ketosis, which creates many of the consciousness enhancing benefits you’re likely looking for, you should fast for at least 12 hours.
Meditation and fasting
If you’re attempting to fast for the purpose of having an awakening meditation can be very effective.
Meditating while fasting will compound the consciousness expanding effects of both. This can be a particularly potent combination for spiritual awakening and existential insights.
Try to set aside 20 to 30 minutes to meditate during the peak of your fast for the best results.
Breaking your fast
If you’re breaking a fast of less than 36 hours then simply eat a regular sized meal that you would normally eat at that time of day.
If you’re breaking a fast of more than 36 hours then eat a high protein snack of roughly 200 calories first around an hour before your true sized meal. This will allow your gut to reengage and mitigate unpleasant refeeding syndrome symptoms.
Fasting, especially your first few time, can be more challenging than you anticipated. Let’s talk about how to overcome some of these common challenges.
Some people find that fasting can cause unexpected weight loss. For some this is a pleasant surprise, while others aren’t as happy about this aspect of their spiritual practice.
If this is a concern of yours simply fast for shorter periods of time and eat plenty of calories before and after your fast.
Feeling weak and/or dizzy
A common concern during a fast for spiritual growth is weakness and dizziness. This happens quite commonly for first time fasters.
If this happens to you make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and not being over active. Take it easy on fast days. The emphasis of this type of fast should be on slowing down and going inward, so limit your physical activity on fast days.
If you ever feel to weak or uncomfortable simply break your fast with the recommended guidelines above.
Hunger and cravings
Many people at the beginning of their fast will feel very hungry and experience cravings for food. This is very normal and should be expected.
Eventually later on in a fast these cravings will tone down.
While your hunger and cravings are present simply observe it and mindfully tap into the unpleasant experience. Use this as a focus point for your meditation until it goes away.
Tips on fasting for awakening
Here are 2 extra things to keep in mind while fasting for awakening.
Make sure you’re not getting dehydrated during your fast.
Drink plenty of water throughout your spiritual fast.
Listen to your body
Finally, make sure you’re listening to your body. If you ever become too weak or dizzy it may be time to break the fast.
Overdoing it for the sake of a spiritual breakthrough is not worth an accidental trip to the ER. Stay in touch with your body and take it slow.
Start with a short fast and work your way up gradually.
Spiritual Fasting FAQs
How long should I fast for awakening?
You should aim to fast for at least 12 hours to get the greatest cognitive effects for spiritual awakening.
Is fasting safe?
Fasting can absolutely be safe when prepared for correctly. Ensure you’re taking all the proper precautions before beginning to ensure a safe and smooth fast.
What should I eat to break my fast?
Eat a high protein meal for shorter fasts.
Eat a low calorie high protein snack an hour before a full meal for a longer fast to ensure a smooth transition back into regular eating.
Fasting for spiritual growth has been practiced for thousands of years and can be a great tool for spiritual awakening. Fasting can help you achieve awakening, cleanse your body, and hone your discipline. Ensure you follow the proper procedures before your fast and happy fasting spiritual seeker!
Hi, I’m Ryan. I’m a meditation teacher, spiritual seeker, and founder of nurtureyourspirit.org. I’m glad you’re here! I founded Nurture Your Spirit because of my love of meditation, spirituality, and spiritual awakening.