The timing seems perfect. The new moon on Ash Wed. seems like a perfect time to give up sensual eating habits in favor of a cleansing fruit diet. Purification, of both body and mind, is critical on the spiritual path. I've been noticing my habit of over eating or eating for pleasure, or out of boredom etc. and have become quite disgusted by it. Not disgusted enough mind you to stop at the third plate of shushi at the Chinese buffet, for which I paid for later by a bloated stomach and a general uncomfortable disposition. So when is enough enough? I have been tossing around the idea of dealing with this addiction for months, but because the thought of giving up muffins for Divine Communion seemed so hard, I procrastinated. Until now.
Today is the first day of my 7 day fruit fast. Although not a traditional fast when one takes nothing but water, a fruit fast consists of just that, fresh fruits and fruit juices. The cleanse is beneficial to the whole system, but especially good for cleansing the blood. And like Jethro Tull, food guru way beyond his time, said in his awesome book "Back To Eden", "it is impossible for disease exist in an organism whose blood is pure and alkaline." To achieve this, he recommends the fruit cleanse at least once a month, which a special focus on large quantities of oranges and orange juice, whose acidic properties disinfect the stomach and bowels.
Fasting has been cited in every major spiritual tradition as a way to get closer to the Divine. Recently I watched on documentary on my newly favorite movie site (cultureunplugged.com) and heard the scientific reason as to why this might be. In short, studies showed that rats who ate less, lived longer. These results, after multiple trails, showed that the digestion process itself releases toxins into the body that cause the deterioration of cell tissue. So if purity is a prerequisite for Divine Communion, then it makes sense that fasting would be a highway on the Path.
As I have not committed to a fast (yet) I loaded my shopping cart with tangerines, bananas, apples, pears, grapefruit, grapes and Simply Orange juice. The total came to around $20 more then I expected to pay for a fruit haul, (I did think that the fruit cleanse would also help out my wallet but this is not the case so far.) and headed back to the boat. I noticed that even though I worked almost all day, am getting over a cold, and had three apples all day, I was slightly buzzing with energy. It was then something occurred to me. You know that feeling you get when you're really hungry, and your body almost trembles? Perhaps you're not dying of hunger, like I always assume, but being awakened to a new type of energy, more vibrant then the usually overfed cells are used to. Its a workable theory, and anyway we'll see what day two brings.