The following was initially written in response to several questions that I received about dry fasting. Recently, some dry and water fasting retreats/clinics have received increased public attention and below I share some of my thoughts on the subject. An extended version of this article will appear in my soon to be released series of ebooks (which is finally almost ready). I am giving the members of this group an exclusive sneak peak at this, and I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts, questions, and experiences on this line of thinking. Peace, Love, and Breath!
Dry fasting is certainly at the top of the mountain. But it is dangerous to do without having transitioned for a while. Arnold Ehret once loosely defined fasting as any restriction of food or liquid intake. Ultimately, fasting is a relative proposition. What fasting is for my body may not be the same for someone else. And this can even shift depending on the changes in your own physiology. To determine what fasting regimen is right for you, it is essential to understand various dynamics of your own body. What is the amount of unelimineted waste in your bowels? Do you have a uric (acid) lean body type, or fatty (mucus) body type? Uric acid types are those that are often said to have “high metabolisms” and can seemingly eat a lot and not get fat. The misconception is that this person is healthier than an overweight person. This is often not the case, as their body just handles mucus and pus differently than fat/ mucus types.
Knowing that I am a mucus-type greatly informs how I approach the transition diet and the proposition of fasting on various levels (see Arnold Ehret’s Mucusless Diet Healing System for more on physiological types). There is a world of experiences from dry to water fasting. A world between dry and fruit juice fasting. Light years between achieving such fasts while doing regular enemas. Worlds between fruit juice and fruit/vegetable juice fasting. A galaxy between cooked-juice (store bought juice) and fresh raw juice fasting. A universe between juice fasting and (mucus-free) fresh fruit fasting [I now have to make the distinction of mucus-free fruit since many folks eat and view the fatty/mucus-forming one’s as fruits fit for fasting]. An omniverse between eating a raw mucusless diet and a cooked mucus-lean one. And, of course, there is a multi-dimensional omniversal blackhole between a plant-based mucus-lean reality and the standard pus and mucus existence. And each of these realities can be considerably different depending upon how long and how well you have transitioned toward a cleansing diet. Doing a dry fast after 40 years of mucusless transition is much different than doing one after a year of eating raw or vegan.
Although we might be tempted to view healing as a linear progression, I encourage you to consider it from multiple perspectives. It may be advantageous to view this as a continuum rather than a strict line. A continuum may defined as a sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct. Thus, I am referring to a continuum—or cycle—of physiological realities. And each reality corresponds with a field of consciousness. My personal goal is to eliminate all of my physiological and emotional karma and ultimately emancipate myself from continually having to experience the lower end of this cycle.
With that said, I have given only a brief overview of what some would call the ‘physical’ side of things. How are these levels of fasting affected by practices in the science of breath and meditation? What if instead of always breathing 60 times a minute, we slowed it down to 30, or less (consider how fast a dog breaths and how short their lives are)? How does sun bathing affect the various levels of fasting? Regular colon irrigation? Music-making. astral travels, herbs, healing massage, etc., etc. Each one of these are profound realities in themselves, but when combined with various levels of fasting, unexplored vistas of experience and fields of consciousness open up.
I mention this to offer a perspective on the dynamics and sophistication involved in considering the various levels of fasting. Yet, many people are not aware of this and feel compelled to go from one end of the spectrum to the other with little or no transition. On one hand, progressive sanitariums and fasting retreats can be very beneficial (Brother Air and I plan to open a Mucusless Diet sanitarium and fasting retreat in the future). On the other hand, most practioners do not leave these retreats equipped to transform the short-term successes that might be gained into a long-term reality. As soon as everyone goes home, and partially heals their ailments, many relapse into old habits when they least expect it. Short term success can be gained, but without the tools, and intentions, to begin mastering the physiological continuum, relapse is almost inevitable.
As I mention above, fasting is relative. When Brother Air—who has practiced the Mucusless Diet for over 30 years—dry fasts, it is very different from when others health seekers do it. Having removed the obstructions from the cells of his body, he is ready to dry fast and truly benefit from it on a long-term basis. I think his longest stint was over 40 days dry and he often does shorter ones regularly. It is just not a big deal for him at this point. In fact, he has been shifting between dry and juice fasting for the past couple of months and endeavors to do another extended fast.
I’ve done two 14 day dry fasts, one followed by months of fruit juice fasting. The first one occurred early on my journey as I was eliminating quarts of mucus from my body. The second one was last year. After a couple days, I no longer was thirsty and things felt wonderful. The experience was incredible, and best illustrated by the music I made at those times. Yet, my fasting usually comes about through instinct. I’ve spent a great deal of my time mentally preparing myself to ‘let go’ and allow my body to do its thing (see my blog post on Intuition vs. Intellect in the Art of the Transition Pt 1: http://www.arnoldehret.us/2012/07/07/art-transition-diet-mucusless/#more-1485). This is different from people who use their mind to plan out a specific fast with a predetermined length of time. For me, it is best to eliminate the mind chatter so that I can let my body lead the way. Sometimes my body seems to move faster than my mind can follow, so I make an effort to free my mind of obstruction. This led me to critically analyze many of our socially conditioned beleifs, particularly in the area of human dietetics. I spent a lot of time researching the origins of Western dietetic thought. Why do I believe in a protein theory developed in 1830 by people doing sadistic experiments on dogs? Why has no one even let me know that it is merely a theory (a bad one at that)? Where did modern nutritional concepts come from? By critically interrogating the origins of such concepts, I began to truly free my mind of such nonsensical drivel (I challenge anyone to look into the history of these theories and not be blown away by how weak and problematic they are). Consequently, in the midst of a fast, conditioned, fear-based mind-chatter like “wow, I haven’t eaten in a couple months so I better break it and get some protein” did not occur.
I find such concepts as good/bad bacteria, protein, B-12, vitamins, and the like, to be very problematic and, at least for me, un-useful. We need no probiotics or other kinds of supplementation. Yet, our Western conditioning has programmed us to feel as if we always need to take something. Probiotics, B-12, vitamins, etc., all are mental and, if consumed, physical obstructions. I like what naturopath Dr. Robert Morse had to say about about vitamins and B-12 in a video: “I just don’t go there, and I don’t think any animal does [either] . . .” Hanging onto such theories can hold us back from physiological liberation.
Fasting is the omnipotent healing force for animal life. Yet, there are levels within levels, upon levels, of fasting—and it is different for each physical body (not to mention astral bodies). My proposition is to start where you are and slowly, and safely, transition toward higher levels. Don’t feel as if you need to do long fasts or dry fasts. Strive to do Rational Fasts based upon your own body. A lot of people play basketball, but few people think that they should be able to play like Michael Jordan without serious practice and long-term dedication. Yet, in dietetics, health seekers often feel as if they should be able to skip over worlds of experience without any practice. Dry fasting is a worthy goal, but something to work toward through long-term practice of the mucusless diet. Most people are far to obstructed with mucus, pus, and acids for a dry fast to be very beneficial. The purpose of liquid or solid food is to help eliminate waste that has been loosened by a period of fasting. But, after years of practice, dry fasting becomes natural.
One aspect of healing and fasting which is often under-discussed is the relationship between healing and emotional eliminations. As we live out and evolve our physiological karma, all corners of our reality, those seen and unseen, evolve. On the subject of emotional development and elimination, I pour my message and feelings into my art and writings. I’m a jazz musician and it was my musical journey that led me to the work of Arnold Ehret and the mucusless diet. When I make music I can express joy, laughter, sadness, rage, disappointment, peace, love, and/or breath. I feel the best when I am creating. When I let go and allow the art flow—I don’t even think about eating. Making music has always played a large role in the success of my longer fasts. I sustain myself with music. Channeling sound and vibration from the Universe is so much easier and more fulfilling while I’m fasting. The cleaner and more empty I become, the more music I am filled with. And making music with others who are also fasting is one of the most incredible experiences! Wise men and women often say that we must be empty in order to be filled with the omnipotent spirit of the Universe. An optimally clean body which simultaneously absorbs and emits energy while reflecting none. Or as Arnold Ehret simply put it, Vitality = Power – Obstruction!
Peace, Love, and Breath!
On Thursday April 5, vandals spray painted “Long Live Zimmerman” on the Hale Black Cultural Center at the Ohio State University. Prof. Spira is a Ph. D. student at Ohio State and felt compelled to document and report what has been taking place. As an advocate for holistic health, Prof. Spira acknowledges that institutionalized racism and race-based acts of terrorism are not only an affront to freedom, but to superior health.
Prof. Spira takes a look at a deleted scene from Spike Lee’s acclaimed “Malcolm X” where Malcolm explores the ills of eating dead pigs.
Prof. Spira delivers a moving eulogy for poor old Mr. Food Pyramid. “May he rest in peace, in pieces.”
Greetings Brothers and Sisters!
I hope that this message finds you in great wellness. I am proud to introduce you to one of the most progressive and liberating musical organizations on the scene today. The Breathairean Ensemble is a collection of musicians committed to achieving Physiological Liberation. The primary purpose for this health-conscious group is act as a support group for one another while practicing Arnold Ehret’s Mucusless Diet Healing System, and promote health awareness through our art. It is a family and community oriented group who refuses to play in bars, or any space where children cannot, or should not, be present. Breathairean Ensemble is the perfect fit for any outdoor music festival, school/college presentation, health/environmental awareness convention, etc.
We strive to keep the legacy of creative art music alive and endeavor to pass it on to the next generation. We follow in the footsteps of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, Charles Lloyd, Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and many others. Overall, we are dedicated to the elevation of the human spirit through vibrations of discipline, beauty, love, and cleanliness.
Peace, Love, and Breath!