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Quotations about Fasting
NOTE: Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors. —ღ Terri, March 2021
He who buries his head deep into a nosebag full of food cannot hope to see the invisible world. ~Al-Ghazali
He who eats until he is sick must fast until he is well. ~English Proverb
When the stomach is full, it is easy to talk of fasting. ~St. Jerome
If thou wouldst preserve a sound body, use fasting and walking; if a healthful soul, fasting and praying; walking exercises the body, praying exercises the soul, fasting cleanses both. ~Francis Quarles
Fasting is the first principle of medicine; fast and see the strength of the spirit reveal itself. ~Rumi
Periodic fasting can help clear up the mind and strengthen the body and the spirit. ~Ezra Taft Benson
What is the benefit of fasting in our body while filling our souls with innumerable evils? ~Basil
When a young man, who has surfeited, in season and out of season, until exhausted nature gives way, and a fever is coming on, the good busy mother is in trouble. She anxiously inquires, "Now, John, what can you eat? You must eat something! People can’t live without food!" Then come toast, tea, etc. The stomach is exhausted, and no more needs stimulus or food, than a jaded horse needs the whip! What is needed is rest,—complete rest. Nine tenths of the acute diseases might be prevented, by a few days’ starvation, when the first indications appear. I don’t mean complete abstinence in every case, but perhaps a piece of coarse bread, with cold water for drink. If such a policy were generally adopted, what ruin would overtake the medical profession! ~Dio Lewis, M.D., Weak Lungs, And How To Make Them Strong, or Diseases of the Organs of the Chest, With Their Home Treatment By the Movement Cure, 1863
The light of the world will illuminate within you when you fast and purify yourself. ~Mahatma Gandhi
The observances of the church concerning feasts and fasts are tolerably well-kept, since the rich keep the feasts and the poor keep the fasts. ~Sydney Smith
There’s a hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness.
We are lutes, no more, no less.
If the sound box is stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and the belly are burning clean with fasting,
every moment a new song comes out of the fire.
The fog clears, and a new energy makes you run up the steps in front of you....
Fasting today makes the food good tomorrow. ~German Proverb
[T]he importance of fasting treatment has stayed uppermost in my mind... that supreme law of natural medical treatment.... Today, except for some Eastern sects and the small minority who adhere to natural medicine, only the animals obey the paramount rule of Nature in the cure of disease: the domestic animals are generally prevented by man’s ignorance, but the wild ones obey. A sick animal retires into a secluded place and fasts until its body is restored to normal. During the fast it partakes only of water and the medicinal herbs which inherited intelligence teaches it instinctively to seek. ~Juliette de Baïracli Levy, The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable
A fast is better than a bad meal. ~Irish Proverb
Eating three times a day means taking on, almost without respite, the work of assimilation. ~Adalbert de Vogüé, To Love Fasting: The Monastic Experience
I was a devil of a scapegrace in my time.... Father racked his head for days together to find a punishment that I should remember; but it was all no good... bread and water was a welcome change to me from the everyday monotony of potatoes and bread-and-butter. After a sound drubbing followed by half a day’s fasting, I felt more like laughing than like crying; and, in half a while, all was forgotten and my wickedness began afresh and worse than ever. ~Stijn Streuvels, The Path of Life, translated from West-Flemish by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos
The very act of eating can be exhausting; it takes a lot of energy to digest food. When the body is freed from that chore, it naturally feels lighter and much more vibrant. ~Allan Cott
Abstinence and fasting cure many a complaint. ~Danish Proverb
[W]hen the faculties are empty, then your whole being listens. ~Thomas Merton
Fasting from any nourishment, activity, involvement, or pursuit—for any season—sets the stage for God to appear.... Fasting is not a tool to pry wisdom out of God’s hands or to force needed insight about a decision. Fasting is not a tool for gaining discipline or developing piety (whatever that might be). Instead, fasting is the bulimic act of ridding ourselves of our fullness to attune our senses to the mysteries that swirl in and around us. Sometimes God shows up. And sometimes he feeds us. And every now and then he throws his wild glory before us like bursting constellations, and it’s all we can do to wait for him to leave, lest we be destroyed in his presence.... Ultimately... I would confess that his bread of bitterness is better than the sweetest fare I have ever tasted. I took and ate, and it was good. ~Dan B. Allender, To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future
Fasting cures diseases, dries up bodily humors, puts demons to flight, gets rid of impure thoughts, makes the mind clearer and the heart purer, the body sanctified, and raises man to the throne of God. ~Athenaeus of Naucratis
To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals. ~Benjamin Franklin
Fasting of the body is food for the soul. ~John Chrysostom
[H]appy is he who has fasted in sincerity and truth! Happy he whose humbled heart has expanded in love! ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847), "The Fasting God Regards Not," Evangelical Meditation, translated from the French by Edward Masson
People said that man had changed: the weakness of people’s health no longer allows us to fast. Was it true? ~Adalbert de Vogüé, To Love Fasting: The Monastic Experience
Considering the situation and circumstances, the record for the next day, May 29, is one which has a surprise in it for those dull people who think that nothing but medicines and doctors can cure the sick. A little starvation, can really do more for the average sick man than can the best medicines and the best doctors. I do not mean a restricted diet; I mean total abstention from food for one or two days. I speak from experience; starvation has been my cold and fever doctor for fifteen years.... When I wrote an article some months ago urging temporary abstention from food as a remedy for an inactive appetite and for disease, I was accused of jesting, but I was in earnest. 'We are all wonderfully well and strong, comparatively speaking!' On this day the starvation regimen drew its belt a couple of buckle holes tighter: the bread ration was reduced form the usual piece of cracker the size of a silver dollar to the half of that and one meal was abolished from the daily three. This will weaken the men physically, but if there are any diseases of an ordinary sort left in them they will disappear. ~Mark Twain, 1866/1899
Fill up the goblet, and reach to me some!
Drinking makes wise, but dry fasting makes glum....
~William Rounseville Alger, "Wine Song of Kaitmas"
One of my confreres sketched an explanation that attracted me: since the process of digestion is under the control of the brain, its cessation gave repose to the brain, allowed it a vacation. ~Adalbert de Vogüé, To Love Fasting: The Monastic Experience
Fasting blinds the body
in order to open the eyes of your soul.
~Rumi, translated by Nevit O. Ergin
Fasting is the greatest remedy, the physician within. ~Paracelsus
I feel like a wisp of cloud, full of light and energy. It’s a magical rest for my whole system. ~Author Unknown
Do not neglect fasting the mind,
and, for you, fasting the flesh,
until you are as fast as the Tameless White Tiger,
lean as Xuan Wu’s Snake General,
still and strong as the Black Tortoise,
and worthy of Lao Tzu’s wisdom.
~Michael P. Garofalo, “Master Chang’s Pepper Talk,” Meetings with Master Chang San-Feng: Poetic Reflections, 2011
Any healthy man can go without food for two days — but not without poetry. ~Charles Baudelaire
Whether the condition is diagnosed as a severe cold, as influenza, or as pneumonia, the first thing that should be done is to stop eating. Absolutely no food, but water, should be allowed to pass the patient’s lips until the acute symptoms have subsided. No drugs of any kind should be resorted to. Go to bed and rest. Keep warm. Rest, fasting, warmth, — these are the needs. Have plenty of fresh air in your room. Under these conditions you may lie in bed and get well in a short time with no complications and no sequels.... You don’t need treatment. The fever, inflammation, coughing, etc., constitute the healing process. Just get out of their way and permit them to complete their work. Don’t try to "aid nature." She doesn’t need your puny aid — she only asks that you cease interfering. ~Herbert M. Shelton, Getting Well
After the reader has perused the above let him not excite himself with the thought that the medical profession is on the verge of adopting fasting as a part of their practice. If an occasional medical man adopts fasting, as an occasional one does diet, it does not mean that the profession will do so — at least, not for some time. Why should they resort to fasting while they have sulfa-drugs and penicillin? ~Herbert M. Shelton, Getting Well
The best of all medicines are rest and fasting. ~Benjamin Franklin
A fasting belly frees the mind. ~Terri Guillemets
If you want to ascend like the Prophet
to the sky of immortality,
know this very well:
Fasting is your Arabian stallion.
~Rumi, translated by Nevit O. Ergin
Every one has a doctor in him; we just have to help him in his work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. To eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness. ~Hippocrates
Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the true light of chastity. Enter again into yourself. ~Augustine of Hippo
Make hunger thy sauce, as a medicine for health. ~Thomas Tusser
In a fast, the body tears down its defective parts and then builds anew when eating is resumed. ~Herbert M. Shelton
Fasting is an amazing thing.
It gives people heart and soul.
~Rumi, translated by Nevit O. Ergin
Fasting and natural diet, though essentially unknown as a therapy, should be the first treatment when someone discovers that he or she has a medical problem. ~Joel Fuhrman, Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor’s Program for Conquering Disease
I fast for greater physical and mental efficiency. ~Plato
[M]y inexperienced heart was stormed. I... for a week or so lived on thought and tea. But who has not fasted thus long when first absorbed by the universal passion! ~"Diary of a Surgeon," in The Library of Fiction, or Family Story-Teller; consisting of Original Tales, Essays, and Sketches of Character, Vol. I, 1836
What the eyes are for the outer world, fasts are for the inner. ~Mahatma Gandhi
See how you feel, and always give in gracefully if that particular day is not your day to fast. ~Mimi Spencer, The FastDiet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting (Michael Mosley)
Dieters live life in the fasting lane. ~Author Unknown
The job of fasting is to supply the body with the ideal environment to accomplish its work of healing. ~Joel Fuhrman
[D]uring a fast, the digestive system gets an increasing rest. About ten hours after a meal, the contractions stop and the feeling of hunger disappears; five or six hours later the glucose stops coming directly from the intestines and begins to produce itself from the reserve of glycogen contained in the liver. From then on, the body works on itself in a closed circuit, becoming itself the source of the energy it uses. ~Adalbert de Vogüé, To Love Fasting: The Monastic Experience
Fasting strengthens control over our appetites, thus contributing to self-mastery. ~George Romney
More caution and perhaps more restraint are necessary in breaking a fast than in keeping it. ~Mahatma Gandhi
The kitchen of the body darkens
the lives of lovers.
Fasting came to enlighten them.
~Rumi, translated by Nevit O. Ergin
The time may come when not offering this substantially more effective nutritional approach will be considered malpractice. ~Joel Fuhrman, Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor’s Program for Conquering Disease
Original post date 2013 August 13th
Last saved 2021 Mar 22 Mon 12:25 PDT