the fast

"And now I give you a commandment which shall be for a covenant between you and me—that ye have faith; that your faith be steadfast as a rock that no storms can move, that nothing can disturb, and that it endure through all things even to the end; even should ye hear that your Lord has been crucified, be not shaken in your faith; for I am with you always, whether living or dead, I am with you to the end. As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be. This is the balance—this is the balance—this is the balance."   ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

This is one of my very favorite passages from the writings of my religion, the Baha'i Faith ( And what a special time to be reading it. The 19 days between March 2 and March 20 are observed as the Baha'i fasting period, when Baha'is around the world abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset for 19 days. It is a period of sacrifice, selflessness and spiritual rejuvenation leading up to the Baha'i new year, Naw Ruz.

Being so mindful of the sun's movements throughout the day - the way the colors of the sky change as the morning moves from dawn to daylight, and at night from dusk to darkness - has been one of my favorite things about the Fast this year. Taking in those moments, observing my body, and having such gratitude for each passing minute, I feel myself reconnecting to the Spirit of God that I so often find in nature. What a gift to tap into that in the heart of New York City.

This year, for me, the Fast has really been about deepening my faith in and reliance upon a power greater than myself, a Spirit of the Universe or Divine Creator - God, if you will. Part of that process has been developing my own understanding of and personal relationship with that Power. What does my God look like? What does my relationship with that God look like, and what do I want it to be? These are questions I have been reflecting on in morning prayer and meditation, as I rise with the sun and set about my day.

Despite the difficulty of going without food and drink for eight hours a day, the spiritual blessings that accompany this Fasting period have, perhaps for the first time, made the going without a meaningful spiritual practice I am truly grateful to be a part of.

 For more on the 19 day fast, visit Nineteen Days, a beautiful photo blog dedicated to this fasting period.

All photos from Nineteen Days.


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