Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

April 2, 2019

“The Complete Guide to FASTING” by Jason Fung, MD – More on Spiritual Fasting

page 65

“In the Christian tradition, fasting and prayer are often methods of cleansing and renewing the soul. Symbolically, believers empty their souls so that they may be ready to receive God. Fasting is not so much about self-denial but about a reaching for spirituality and being able to commune with God and hear his voice. By fasting, you put your body under submission to the Holy Spirit, humble your sold before the presence of God, and prepare yourself to hear the voice of God.

Greek Orthodox Christians may follow various fasts on 180 to 200 days of the year. Famous nutrition teacher Ancel Keys often considered Creete the poster child for the healthy Mediterranean diet. However, there was a critically important factor of their diet that he completely dismissed: most of the population of Crete followed the Greek Orthodox tradition of fasting. The may have contributed to the healthy longevity of this population.
[My emphasis!]

Buddhist monks are know to abstain from eating after noon, fasting until the next morning. In addition, there may be water-only fasts for days or weeks on end. They fast to quench their human desires, which helps them rise above all desires order to achieve nirvana and and all suffering. This fits with their core beliefs in moderation and austerity.”

Actually, there is even more…

I don’t think it helps if you do not get the How-to-do and the What-to-do part. Below is a Brochure out of the Greek Orthodox church in Bellingham (St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church has the annual festival with music, food, etc., and a tour of their church). It asks and answers the question: “Why do you fast so much?”

Here is their answer – I think that it is useful to know, not so we can copy it exactly, but so we can understand that principles at work, and get a general idea of what they do and how (the why is a big argument people can have face to face, not here):

“To clarify, fasting doesn’t mean giving up all food and water. Orthodox fasting practice, when followed strictly, means that not partaking of any animal products (e.i., meat, dairy, eggs, etc.), nor of olive oil or wine.

Fasting one of many tools that we use to bring our bodies “under subjugation” as St. Paul said (1 Cor. 9:27), so that we might be pure and holy. Jesus said that when He had gone, His followers would fast. Like the early Christians, we fast so that we may learn to control our appetite for all things that are not good and holy. It is not about earning salvation, it is a tool to help us work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phill. 2:12), enabling us to train and strengthen our wills so that they can be turned toward Christ.

Specifically, we fast each Wednesday to commemorate the day when Jesus was betrayed and each Friday to commemorate His death on the cross. In addition, we fast during the entire Lenten period and the entire Advent period, as well as during other times of the year.”

March 31, 2019

“The Complete Guide to FASTING” by Jason Fung, MD – Introduction

page 64

Spiritual Fasting

“Fasting is widely practiced for spiritual reasons…”.

“In spiritual terms, it is often called cleansing or purification, but practically, it amounts to the same thing.”

“The practice of fasting developed…, …not as something that was harmful but as something that was deeply, intrinsically beneficial to the human body and spirit. Fasting is not so much a treatment for illness but a treatment for wellness. The regular application of fasting helps protect people from illness and keeps them feeling well.”

“In the story of Adam and Eve, the only act that is prohibited in the Garden of Eden is to eat the fruit of one tree, and Eve is tempted by the serpent to betray this trust. Fasting is thus act of turning away from temptation and back toward God.”

“In the Bible, Matthew 4:2 states, ‘Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.’ (I’ll mention here the interesting point that hunger often disappears during extended fast, which has been noted throughout history.)”

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