Fasting thoughts 2014 /170 BE

Mar 2013
522
_
#1
Thought maybe people could share there thoughts during this special time. It's all new to me!

Well into the third day now of the first fast I have been part of.
I may start recording my thoughts here, and maybe others can too. I don't have a blog or anything like that, and I never could figure out how to use Twitter. Lost my facebook password about 3 or 4 years ago, so here goes.


I am really fortunate. My wife is not a Baha'i but she has been so nice to get up early with me to have an early breakfast. Neither of us are really early morning folks. I like the quiet of the city this early, hardly anyone about. I could almost get used to this, but I could get used to hitting the snooze button, as well.

I think I have made such an effort to make sure I had enough water and food in me in the morning before dawn that maybe I am missing out on the spiritual feeling aspect of it. I don't know. Maybe I am expecting some mystical feeling, but I drank too much water and I am now ballasted down somewhere in one of the seven valleys and trying to waddle to spiritual heights.

I've been rereading Some Answered Questions this week. I do not have enough experience to know if it is somehow faux pas to have a favorite book in this wonderful religion I find myself in, but it seems like SAQ is my fallback book at times. It just makes me feel like I am right there listening to Abdu'l Baha in person.

Never was much of a meditator, even in my days with my seat parked in a T'ien monestary staring at a wall with Brother Bhab an telling me to keep my back straight. I will endeavour to mindfully play banjo this week a little more.
 
Mar 2010
1,349
Rockville, MD, USA
#2
I think I have made such an effort to make sure I had enough water and food in me in the morning before dawn that maybe I am missing out on the spiritual feeling aspect of it. I don't know.
I wouldn't worry about it; I'm sure you'll do fine!

FWIW, I've now changed my schedule since I'm in a job that requires me to get up early to get to work anyway, but in the old days, being more of a night than a morning person, I used to drink two or three quarts of liquid in the evening just before bedtime and then go all day until the next evening without even trying to eat breakfast!

Worked for me. . . .


Bruce
 
Oct 2013
1,208
United States
#3


I wouldn't worry about it; I'm sure you'll do fine!

FWIW, I've now changed my schedule since I'm in a job that requires me to get up early to get to work anyway, but in the old days, being more of a night than a morning person, I used to drink two or three quarts of liquid in the evening just before bedtime and then go all day until the next evening without even trying to eat breakfast!

Worked for me. . . .


Bruce
I find eating breakfast just makes me hungrier in the day.

I just make sure to drink water before dawn, but I only eat at night.
 
Nov 2012
949
Florida
#4
Thought maybe people could share there thoughts during this special time. It's all new to me!


I've been rereading Some Answered Questions this week. I do not have enough experience to know if it is somehow faux pas to have a favorite book in this wonderful religion I find myself in, but it seems like SAQ is my fallback book at times. It just makes me feel like I am right there listening to Abdu'l Baha in person.
I, too, have been rereading SAQ. I'm also trying something different this year, and that is drinking water and a couple of Boost protein drinks instead of eating breakfast. So far, so good.

Baha'u'llah promised that every hour of the fast brings special bounties and that alone is a great motivator.

From Prayers and Meditations, pg 143:


" Thou hast endowed every hour of these days with a special virtue, inscrutable to all except Thee, Whose knowledge embraceth all created things. Thou hast, also, assigned unto every soul a portion of this virtue in accordance with the Tablet of Thy decree and the Scriptures of Thine irrevocable judgment."
 
Oct 2013
697
Glenwood, Queensland, Australia
#5
Good morning noogan

Thought maybe people could share there thoughts during this special time. It's all new to me!
I have been a Baha'i since August 1971. I have never yet successfully performed the physical part of the Fast, for various reasons, over the last number of years being health. It is now 5.00am, day four, and am trying again. A large bowl of home-made meusli, a cup of coffee, and at least three glasses of water before dawn - the water is most important, as my body does not retain salt or fluids.

This paragraph from Prayers and Meditations of Baha'u'llah may be of interest:

Since Thou hast adorned them, O my Lord, with the ornament of the fast prescribed by Thee, do Thou adorn them also with the ornament of Thine acceptance, through Thy grace and bountiful favor. For the doings of men are all dependent upon Thy good-pleasure, and are conditioned by Thy behest. Shouldst Thou regard him who hath broken the fast as one who hath observed it, such a man would be reckoned among them who from eternity had been keeping the fast. And shouldst Thou decree that he who hath observed the fast hath broken it, that person would be numbered with such as have caused the Robe of Thy Revelation to be stained with dust, and been far removed from the crystal waters of this living Fountain. (p. 67).
So the first thing is to stop worrying about whether you have observed the Fast. Leave that to God. Merely do your best, with honesty and truthfulness.

As to feeling "spiritual", could someone please tell me how that feels? In my life, regards matters of faith, I have felt many things, but not one of them would fall under the category of feeling "spiritual"; there has been hope, there has been love, there has been... You get the picture.

What I will suggest instead is that if one is being spiritual, it will feel normal. Ok, so we may have moments of spiritual exstacy - that is not necessarily feeling "spiritual", is is feeling exstacy. And in the same tone and with the same purpose, insofar as worshipping God, through obedience to His commands and exhortations, this from the Bab is most interesting, and is, to this one's eyes, a longer version of what Baha'u'llah said as quoted above:

WORSHIP thou God in such wise that if thy worship lead thee to the fire, no alteration in thine adoration would be produced, and so likewise if thy recompense should be paradise. Thus and thus alone should be the worship which befitteth the one True God. Shouldst thou worship Him because of fear, this would be unseemly in the sanctified Court of His presence, and could not be regarded as an act by thee dedicated to the Oneness of His Being. Or if thy gaze should be on paradise, and thou shouldst worship Him while cherishing such a hope, thou wouldst make God’s creation a partner with Him, notwithstanding the fact that paradise is desired by men.

Fire and paradise both bow down and prostrate themselves before God. That which is worthy of His Essence is to worship Him for His sake, without fear of fire, or hope of paradise.

Although when true worship is offered, the worshipper is delivered from the fire, and entereth the paradise of God’s good-pleasure, yet such should not be the motive of his act. However, God’s favour and grace ever flow in accordance with the exigencies of His inscrutable wisdom. (Selections From the Writings of the Báb, p. 78)
It is the struggle that is important, not the success. It is the effort that is important, not the ease of accomplishment or otherwise. It is the motive that is important, and the honesty and truthfulness of one's effort. So feel no disheartenment if you percieve failure, and no satisfaction if you percieve success.

ALTHOUGH the Realm of Glory hath none of the vanities of the world, yet within the treasury of trust and resignation We have bequeathed to Our heirs an excellent and priceless heritage. (Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p.217)
And now, off for another glass of water.

With greetings

Romane
 
Last edited:
Oct 2013
697
Glenwood, Queensland, Australia
#6
I would like to add, in the same line line as the thrust of my post above, just one more quote. It is from Shoghi Effendi, and is found on page 176 of "The Kitab-i-Aqdas" (Note 25):

Shoghi Effendi indicates that the fasting period, which involves complete abstention from food and drink from sunrise till sunset, is …essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul. Its significance and purpose are, therefore, fundamentally spiritual in character. Fasting is symbolic, and a reminder of abstinence from selfish and carnal desires.
With greetings

Romane
 
Mar 2013
522
_
#7
Ignored the alarm clock today, repeatedly as we never seem to agree about reality.

The stalwart old alarm clock just about gave up on me, but as it said, in its limited digital way "Wake up you moron, you've got 5 minutes left till sunrise" I scrambled out of bed, and made one of the fastest made cheese sandwiches in the history of sandwiches, and drank enough liquid to get through the day.

Lesson learned.. be nice to my alarm clock.
 

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