Q: I think I remember reading in one of Abbot George’s writings that “fasting is not the way.” Should an occasional fast, or time-restricted eating be considered healthy or unhealthy?
Body-identified people who aspire to be yogis think that the body is what is wrong with their minds, when it is the mind itself that is the problem. And the mind is a field of energy formed of the food we eat. This is the teaching of the Chandogya Upanishad:
“Mind consists of food. That which is the subtle part of milk moves upward when the milk is churned and becomes butter. In the same manner, the subtle part of the food that is eaten moves upward and becomes mind. Thus, mind consists of food” (Chandogya Upanishad 6.5.4; 6.6.1-2,5).
Therefore diet–both what we do and do not eat–is a key element in attaining success in yoga. However, what we think is also a key element in the condition of our mind. And that is where correct sadhana comes in. But that is another matter altogether, and I will stay with your question.
Pure body, pure mind?
The body-identified for some reason are obsessed with fasting. They think that if they purify their body by fasting they will purify their mind, but they are wrong. (However, I have observed that a lot of “yogis” are intuitively very intent on things that will leave their mind alone while they entertain themselves with disciplines such as fasting which will leave the delusions of the mind safely and surely intact. Such persons are the kind that love to let everybody know they are having “a day of silence” or are “on a fast.”)
There is no doubt that people who have harmed their body and mind by eating destructive things or good things in a destructive, mistaken manner, can be benefitted by a very mild form of abstinence from food such as a day on water or juice alone. [Read more…]