Fasting Principles

Principles Of Fasting

The perfect location to fast is a beach with fresh ocean air, tropical temperatures and peaceful seclusion, but life is not like that. Fasting is usually a response to illness and crisis, often at the hardest times of our lives. I have fasted in minus-40 degrees of a cold, Canadian winter during Christmas, and once, while working on a construction site, and after breaking both heels in an accident. I have fasted from a breakup with someone I loved and for guidance due to financial problems, basically, the worst times of my life. Fasting is perfect for these times because fasting enables a heightened connection with God, a peace of mind that brings clarity, and a quick recovery from illness. The best time to fast is when you need to. During these fasts, I learned some basic principles that help.

1. Do Not Advertise Your Fast

When you make your fast public, you will set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Most people will believe that you are crazy. You look as if you have AIDS! Are you under a doctor’s supervision? You’re going to become protein deficient! If you do not fear fasting, they will supply all the fear you need, and the last thing you need on a fast is fear. It can defeat us before we start or cause us to quit when victory is hours away. If you tell everyone you are going on a 30-day juice fast, you will also feel really bad if you only make two days. Tell one or two people who understand and are willing to support you.  Once you get your first fast down pat then be bold for the second fast.

2. Mental Relaxation

Mental relaxation is done through deep relaxed breathing. If you are distracted by sounds that cannot be silenced, use some earplugs. Do not fight with your thinking; just let it go and return to focusing on the one single thought. Stay aware of your breathing and the tension in your body. Breathe deeply and try to relax your muscles. If you can spend 20 minutes of time in relaxing your mind each day, you will be more at peace throughout the day. If you lie on a bed, you will most likely fall asleep. Sitting upright in a chair is good. I prefer kneeling on a cushion and leaning over a chair or my bed as in a position of prayer.

3. Walk in Nature

On a fast, walking in nature is an awe-inspiring experience. It is like seeing for the first time. Colors are alive and vibrant. The skin tingles with a breeze. Clear sinuses detect the most delicate fragrance. Unlike draining electronic TV imagery, connection with nature brings peace to the soul. Even in the worst time, a good walk can bring a sense of balance to chaos.

4. Take a Phone Break

I find it almost impossible not to answer the phone. I always think every call is important and to take the phone line out of the wall is being totally irresponsible. The world clamors for our attention and so to get time uninterrupted, you have to push for it.

5. Sleep

The first few days of a fast your body will want to sleep a lot. Most of us live on the edge, rarely getting enough sleep. During a fast, the body demands more sleep as part of the healing process. Do not ignore it. Take time just to laze around and nap. Pretend you are on vacation. Don’t feel guilty; you are healing. The most vivid dreams are during fasting.

6. Avoid Social Occasions

Birthdays, parties and gatherings always have food and the pressure to eat.  I have broken many a fast overestimating my will power and underestimating the power of temptation and pressure.

By Tom Coghill of
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5 Responses to Fasting Principles

  1. Ona says:

    Hi All, Hi Tom,
    I’m finally moved into my new house, and in my last day of preparation for another fast. As usual, I’m a little hyper – super-energised, and a little scared (I always get a little scared before a fast) – but I’m also looking forward to it.
    It’s hard sometimes to deal with life while you’re fasting. I’m also a writer (like another woman who posted) and this month is my only full time writing time… I can get SO resistant. I want it to go MY way. I don’t want to have to sleep or lose concentration. I want that wonderful clarity all the time.
    But the trick of fasting is always (at least for me) to let go. To experience it as freedom, instead of deprivation. To live on air and water…
    Anyway, I’m just checking in. Wish me luck!
    PS: I also don’t know if this is a good thread to post in on – but it seems appropriate for general support. Let me know if there’s another thread that would make more sense for you, Tom. D.

  2. Tom Coghill says:
    Tom Coghill

    Hi Ona,
    great to see you back. Yea post anywhere. No rules but if you can post under a topic of that discussion that is great.
    What do you write????

  3. Fred says:

    For the first principle, I really understand it, but I found
    it hard to apply. I work in a office here in Geneva, and I used to go eating with office fellows. And this week, I told them I won’t join them for lunch. Some ask me why. I told them I was on my bi-annual 7 days fasting. Some looks strange at me, others are interested and ask me for advices to start a fast.
    What are your feelings about the first principle when you fast and work at the same time ?

  4. Tom Coghill says:
    Tom Coghill

    Hi Fred,
    If you advertise you will get some converts but more pressure to eat. If you have will power you can advertise but for most people it is better to be be quiet and avoid the pressures. If you feel good about it keep promoting fasting. I do just that. Now I do not care about opinions.
    The recommendation is for newbie fasters.

  5. Evergreen says:

    Do Not Advertise Your Fast
    When you make your fast public, you will set yourself up for failure and disappointment.

    Hello – I am posting here to seek support as a former fasting failure – so how does posting to this board sqaure with Not advertising it.