Sunday, March 04, 2012

The Fast

Buddhist monks outside of a temple in Bodghaya, India
The time of fasting for me has begun. I am in my third day of the Baha'i fast which each year is for nineteen days: March 2-21. The fast is similar to the Moslem practice of Ramadan, in that no food or water is taken between sunrise and sunset. This year, my wife, Heidi Of The Mountains is a Baha'i, and is joining me in the practice.

Here is a sacred poem from the writings of Jelaluddin Rumi:


There's hidden sweetness in the stomach's emptiness.
We are lutes, no more, no less. If the soundbox
is stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and belly are burning clean
with fasting, every moment a new song comes out of the fire.
The fog clears, and new energy makes you
run up the steps in front of you.
Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry.
Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen.
When you're full of food and drink, Satan sits
where your spirit should, an ugly metal statue
in place of the Kaaba. When you fast,
good habits gather like friends who want to help.
Fasting is Solomon's ring. Don't give it
to some illusion and lose your power,
but even if you have, if you've lost all will and control,
they come back when you fast, like soldiers appearing
out of the ground, pennants flying above them.
A table descends to your tents,
Jesus' table.
Expect to see it, when you fast, this table
spread with other food, better than the broth of cabbages.

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