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July 29, 2014

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One could just as well observe the effects of overindulgence to understand the lesson of fasting. I do not think the spiritual emphasis requires specific methodology, and I think this is somewhat the guidance of the middle way. I think when we approach such dharmas as fasting and "paths" as it were, many if not most people are in fact pursuing gratification, some form of satiety. If we cannot be sated by overindulgence, because of the grossness of it all, then we shall sate ourselves in fasting and when we achieve whatever it is we are doing, whether it is sleeping on a bed of nails or subsisting on one grain of rice, we hope for satiety, the fullness of thought which says we have mastered our impulses and desires. But unless we understand that in doing so we swap one form of gratification for another, fasting, prayer, meditation, good conduct and so on, all noble dharmas, do not provide of themselves any lasting benefit because of the tendency to enclose ourselves in the thought of the matter, the gratification of it, rather than that which is. Renunciation is not this.

Adasatala: But Lord Shakyamunibuddha had abandoned asceticism, and from then on, advised the middle path of moderation.

Why not recommend fasting? Or do you think most people would find that too ascetic-like, perhaps? Haha. In my opinion, there isn't any real spiritual quest without both physical and mental abandonments of habits and defilements, so this must also include the intake of food and all the other conviniences of the world.

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