Friday, January 7, 2011
Fasting--Days 5 and 6
Eknath Easwaran is one of the great spiritual thinkers of all time. He is another recent discovery for me, and I feel that I have uncovered a treasure chest of precious gems. He was born in India in 1910, personally studied with Mahatma Gandhi, took his degree in English Liturature, and became a professor at the University of Nagpur. In 1959, he was brought to the United Staes on a Fullbright Scholarship to teach the first ever for-credit course on meditation at the University of Berkley.
By 1961, he had founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in Tomales, California just one hour north of San Franscisco along the coast. I found his book Love Never Faileth, on St. Francis, Mother Teresa, St. Paul, and St. Augustine, in the lending library of my local Unity church. This book is part of a trilogy on the classics of Christian inspiration. The other volumes are entitled Original Goodness, on the Beatitudes, and Seeing with the Eyes of Love, on Thomas à Kempis and The Immitation of Christ. If you order them together as a set (scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will find them), Blue Mountain will give you a 25% discount. Every single page is rich.
The primary message which he attempts to convey in all of his works (over 2 dozen volumes!) is that if we wish to be happy in this life we must learn to love others. As we read in the Epistles, "He who does not love, does not know God, for God is Love." (1 John 4:8) To this end, Easwaran developed his Eight Point Program which is centered around what he calls Passage Meditation and the repetition of a Mantram throughout the day. He has found that these two practices, if followed diligently, will change us from the inside out and help us to increase our capacity to love. After much searching, he decided the the Prayer of St. Francis was one of the best Passages for Westerners to meditate on "because, as you can see, it is a very rare thing: an attempt to reverse almost all the ordinary tendencies we find in human nature. It gives us a blueprint for making our life a blessing for everyone."
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
Easwaran goes on to say, "In this profoundest of prayers, St. Francis confides in us how the son of Pietro di Bernardone was transformed into the son of God. We, too, can aspire to such a transformation by making his prayer an integral part of our consciousness. This cannot be done through reading or discussion, which take place only on the surface level of consciousness. It can only be done by regular systematic meditaion. If we meditate on St. Francis's words diligently and with enthusiasm every morning, the marvelous transformation that St. Francis worked in himself will gradually be effected in us too."
If you wish to increase your capacity to love, develop a joyful heart, and find peace of mind, I cannot recommend his books highly enough.
Day 5 (January 6) was a very easy day. I felt quite good all day. My weight was 104 (3 lbs less than the day before!), blood pressure 103/63, pulse 76, and temperature 98.3. I had mild upper and low GI gas, but no bowel activity. I drank 1.5 quarts of water (probably not enough). Slept 8 hours last night.
Day 6 (January 7) has been very difficult. I am extremely weak again and find it hard to even sit up. When they check my vitals this morning, my weight was 103, my blood pressure was 106/70, my pulse was 88 (higher than normal for me), and my temperature was 98.3. I had mild upper and lower GI gas, but no bowel activity. Sneezed about 6 times throughout the day. Had stomach acid come up into my throat a few times when I laid down. I have been mildly nauseated all day. Drank 2 quarts of water. Slept 6 hours last night. Dr. Klaper is in San Francisco for a few days, but he called to check on me and see how I was doing. He said, "I just wanted to hear your voice." He is a very sweet and caring man.
My parasite test came back yesterday and, as it turns out, I am very severely infected again. On a scale of 1 to 10, I have Ascaris Lumbricoides (Giant Round Worm) at level 4, Enterobius Vermicularis (Pin Worm) at level 4, and Giardia Lablia at level 4, and I also have Candida at level 3 and an Enterococcus ssp at level 3! The Giant Round Worm is 10-35 cm long at maturity, so it is not particularly exciting to think of having these critters in ones body. Its prevence in the United States in humans is only 0.8%. This is one of the parasites I had 6 years ago when I was tested. For whatever reason, I seem to be a magnet for them. Pin Worm is extremely common in the United States being found in 11% of people of all ages but may be as high as 50% among children in daycare situations. This was another parasite I also tested positive for 6 years ago. Giardia is even more interesting in my case.
According to Wikipedia, 1) studies have shown that Giardia can cause B-12 deficiency; 2) people who lack IgA (almost universal among those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) can develop chronic disease from Giardia infections; 3) Giardia cause villous atrophy (as does gluten in people with celiac disease) and reduces the absorptive capacity of the small intestine; 4) Giardia relies on glocose for it's major energy source and breaks the glucose down into ethanol, acetate, and carbon dioxide; and 5) studies on mice have shown that a very low carbohydrate diet will reduce the number of Giardia organisms present. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 15 years ago by Dr. Paul Cheney (one of the pre-eminent CFS doctors in the world), so I probably lack IgA. It may well be that a diet high in fruit sugar, like The 80/10/10 Diet, will allow Giardia to flourish. I did not have Giardia 6 years ago, so this is new. When I spoke to Dr. Klaper briefly after forwarding the test to him, I said, "Isn't this incredible?" He said, "It is...(pause) beyond incredible." So, I guess he was pretty blown away by it. I am going to have myself treated the same way as I did 6 years ago, through a process known as Radionics.
Alicia, a woman who has been following The 80/10/10 diet for about two years now, has also been dealing with parasites. Her experience is interesting and she also found a form of vibrational therapy to be most effective in dealing with them. Here is her video:
Although Dr. Klaper knows little or nothing about Radionics, he has agreed to let me try this first since it worked for me last time, as it is much more affordable than the herbs made by the Nigerian Physician (Dr. Hammed Ibraheem) who diagnosed me. Though the herbs apparently work beautifully, and are grown and prepared on the grounds of the University where he teaches, the treament can cost several thousand dollars. If you are having trouble with your health, and you cannot figure out what is wrong, I highly recommend getting tested for parasites. Dr. Ibraheem is a train parasitologist and he works in conjunction with Dr. Glenn Wilcox in New Mexico. All specimens are flown overnight to Nigeria for testing. The test is $300, plus $50 shipping. It is well worth it.
Well, I guess that is about all the exciting news I have to report for today.
"The soul is made of love and must ever stive to return to love. Therefore, it can never find rest nor happiness in other things. It must lose itself in love. By its very nature it must seek God, who is love."
Mechthild of Madgeburg (1207-1282), Christian Mystic and Poet