Ramadan is upon us, and i have spent the weekend trying to ready myself, spiritually and physically. i am usually excited about ramadan, about the fasting, the extra namaz, the community spirit and interaction at markaz. the past couple of days however, i have been slightly tense, apprehensive about the rigors of a 14 hour fast in this heat, about being extra kind and patient while suffering from a lack of sleep, water and chocolate, about concentrating on the spiritual while daily wedding dramas unfold at home.. perhaps, it being my last ramadan in hk, in 69, has also been preying on me..
while revisiting last year's ramadan post, i was happy to reread the following from poetry chaikhana:
"It took me a while to understand that fasting, even a mild fast, is a confrontation with death. It is the willingness to temporarily abandon that constant hunt to satisfy every desire by attempting to slough off the fundamental hunger for food. How do you just have a desire and sit with it, without attempting to immediately satisfy it? That’s a pretty frightening question, when you really ask it."
indeed. i have been battling (in failure) erratic food cravings the last month, which have left me feeling unhealthy and out of sorts, as well as with little energy for my usual work outs.
"We use food to control emotions. We use food to shift mood and change awareness. Think of the way we grab a pint of ice cream from the freezer after a terrible breakup. Everything, even a salad, affects consciousness in some way. The resulting psychic shift after eating something can be relatively positive or relatively negative. It can help you to feel solid and grounded or expanded and open. It can tantalize the senses and flood us with feelings of satiation or leave us frustrated. None of this is necessarily bad, but we must understand how profoundly food affects awareness, and utilize food wisely… and sometimes not consume food at all.
"A fascinating thing happens when you fast as part of a spiritual practice: After you ease past the initial psychic tension and your body moves through any detox discomforts — the mind naturally settles and grows quiet."
perhaps my food battles have stemmed from the roller coaster ride my life has become right now. and perhaps, inshallah, with an empty stomach and settled mind, everything else will fall into place as well!