The health benefits of fasting from food have gotten a lot of attention in the last several years. What’s often forgotten in these discussions, however, is that fasting has been practiced for thousands of years not only for the sake of the body, but for the spirit as well. 

My guest today has written a book, The Sacred Art of Fasting, that explores the different ways fasting is practiced by all of the world’s major religions and how it can be practiced by individuals today. His name is Father Tom Ryan, he’s a priest and author, and today on the show, we discuss the reasons for making fasting a spiritual discipline, how this discipline is practiced within several different religions and can still be practiced by someone who isn’t religious, and how to get started with this universal, age-old discipline. 

Show Highlights

  • The health benefits of fasting
  • What is it about not eating that makes it a spiritual discipline? 
  • The disconnect between the two kinds of fasting literature Father Ryan encountered when he first started studying the topic 
  • What are the spiritual benefits of fasting? 
  • Various fasting practices amongst world religions  
  • Other practices that often go along with fasting
  • The social dimensions of fasting (especially in Islam)  
  • Jesus and fasting, and how it came to be a spiritual discipline in Christianity 
  • How freedom and liberation can be found in discipline 
  • The holistic nature of fasting 
  • How the non-religious can use fasting as a spirit-enhancing practice 
  • Getting started with fasting as a spiritual discipline 
  • Alternative forms of fasting 

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The post Podcast #488: Fasting as a Spiritual Discipline appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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