Conducting a Buddhist-Style Fast

Hi everyone! In my quest to better understand Buddha and his teachings, I have decided to conduct a three-day fast in the hopes of having an experience of enlightenment. I got permission from my school to take three days off from school this week (Monday-Wednesday), provided that I write a detailed paper on my experiences. I will be spending most of this time on a Tibetan prayer mat beneath a tree at the local park, practicing meditation and contemplation.

Before I begin my fast, I would like to know if anyone has any tips, particularly as they apply to Buddhist meditation practices and fasting customs. I will probably not be online for the next three days, but I will check tonight and then get back to on Wednesday evening with the results of my project.

Take care,
Tyler

Also, can anyone recommend some Buddhist meditations, mantras, or prayers that I can use during my time at the park?

Pray that you don't get mugged, or worse. Worse is very bad. Notify the police what you are up to.

1) A lot of parks, at least from where I was from in the US, close at a certain time.

2) Check with your doctor before doing any sort of religious fasting. Especially if you have any other known medical problems.

According to the web site here:
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma9/fasting.html

I like this quote, "Dhutangas are a specific list of thirteen practices, four of which pertain to food: eating once a day, eating at one sitting, reducing the amount you eat, on alms-round, eating only the food that you receive at the first seven houses. These practices are adopted by individuals voluntarily, they are not required in the normal course of a Buddhist monastic's life of practice. The Buddha, as is well known, emphasized moderation, the Middle Way that avoids extremes, in all things. Fasting is an additional method that one can take up, with supervision, for a time."

Also...

"For monastics.... Fasting, because it is an difficult practice, is undertaken with supervision, under the guidance of a skilled mentor. Children rarely fast in any method connected with the Buddhist religion."

So make sure you have supervision AND a skilled mentor with you if you choose to do a full fast, like is described there.

Remember that religions have fasting practices that make them safe. Simply going out and not eating for several days is unsafe. Be sure to seek your doctor's advice and the advice of someone more experienced in your faith's fasting practices before you try something like this.

Matt

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