Sunday, May 07, 2006

WARNING: This Post Rambles

So as all of my friends turn 40, they are coming up with interesting things to do. Lori, a friend from high school, is going to skydive. I heard that Brian, also from high school, is training for a triatholon. Andy, a friend from college, went skiing in Colorado. So did Ken. Ken's trip ended in a gall bladder removal. I don't think I'm interested in celebrating my 40th that way.

I want to hangglide this year. I'd like to take lessons and get my own kite. This will probably take second seat to:
  • paying off last year's taxes: $1,100
  • montly home and office rent: $700
  • insurances and credit bills (priceless)
At least I can dream about it.

I have been reading my all-time favorite book, The Glass Bead Game, for the third time. It's about 600 pages long, so I won't summarize it here. I recommend that you click on the link in the righthand column and order it.

The book focuses a lot on mediation and reflective living. At the same time, I am reading Autobiography of a Yogi, which Odette loaned to me. As you might guess, it has a lot to do with meditation and a spiritual focus of life, too.

Before I began reading these two books (I warned you that this post would ramble), a friend of mine tried to commit suicide. I went to visit with him, do some hypnosis and to listen. He talked a lot about how his personal meditation time has dwindled due to life's demands (a new baby, new home, etc.). He attributed much of his depression to this current void in his life.

So the other evening, I was reading my books. I was reflecting on my own history of meditative practices, my times in the monasteries, turning 40, the meaning of life....

Suddenly I realized that Tuesday (May 9th) will be 40 days before my 40th birthday. Perfect. Time for inner preparation. You know: the 40 days of rain; Jesus in the desert for 40 days; 40 days of Lent; etc., etc.

Why not undertake a 40-day fast before my 40th birthday? Yeah, I'd still like to go hanggliding. But the fast seems exactly right for a much-needed focus of my current desire for more spiritual growth. Who knows? Maybe it will yield some epiphany.

I used to fast with regularity. I haven't done so for many years now, so a full, 40-day fast isn't likely. Maybe it'll be just a few days or a couple of weeks. I am planning a complete juice fast for as long as I can maintain one. The intention is less one of strict rules (although fasting is fairly strict), and more of intentional inner focus and growth.

Because I am out of practice, there is some necessary preparation or else it can have some ill side effects. I hope to use this blog over the next period of time to document some of the experience.


Odette said...

IN your case, since you are working and doing many jobs at once, I would recommend fasting one day a week only, like on Sundays: this is your church day, and you can usually take it slower than other days.I do think it's a good idea :-)Enjoy the fast!

jonathan said...

My doctor told me never to fast. He recommends medicine for what ails me or might ail me in the future. Like when one of my vertebrae was out of place (subluxated) he gave me a cream. It did nothing to put the bone back in alignment but did smell bad.
It has been about 25 years since that vertebrae moved and it is still out of alignment. Maybe there is a pill or surgery that can put it back.