Sunday, 2 March 2014

Fast way to heaven.

Just like in Islam, Baha'is observe a period of fasting. Nineteen days abstinence from food and water from sunrise to sunset. Travellers, nursing and expecting mothers, the ill and those employed in heavy labour are exempt.

Yesterday was the first day of my first fast (previously I had been too ill). On reflection of my day, I felt so overwhelmed by the spiritual power and the divine blessings I received throughout the day that I cried and cried. I actually felt a little frightened. I saw such clear evidence of god's love for me. It was frightening because this intangible and abstract concept is thoroughly pondered but the only evidence we have is faith. I imagine it is the type of fear one would feel on seeing a ghost. My tears were also tears of joy and tears of relief. I have never in my life felt that someone loved me. My parents were wonderful, but they were atheists and living with such hardship, they were olympians at detachment when it came to their kids. I felt really loved, cared for and safe yesterday.

At about 11am I started to feel hungry, so I figured I'd go and fill myself up with prayer, and it worked a treat. I didn't feel hungry anymore. I did suffer a dreadful thirst however. With this thirst came detachment, humility, compassion, gratitude, I was so happy, and that first drink of water at 6.51pm, how beautiful.

It has been suggested that discipline it a fasting requirement. I guess I had been very lucky here. I was unable to fast in my first two years of being a Baha'i as I was recovering from alcoholism and suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after having worked in the Immigration Detention Centre on Christmas Island. I felt that I was missing out by not being able to fast. I was desperate for the grace that was appointed in the book that Baha’u'llah had mentioned. So I was relieved from the need for discipline.

Day two of the fast and I really feel very fatigued. I must stop, sit, lie and pray. I am so grateful for this. As I am currently in a mania phase of Bipolar, I am so happy to stop, just stop. This in itself is freedom and gives me fantastic perspective. Thank you.

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