Category Archives: Disciplines

Kundalini Binaural Beats

Here.

This stuff is pretty trippy. Scientists poo poo it, but I believe there is something to it. The binaural bets are set to mimic various brain waves: Alpha waves, Beta waves, Delta waves, Gamma waves and Theta waves. Of course you have all of these waves in your brain. So you put in Theta binaural beats and you get more theta waves supposedly. The same with Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, etc. It sounds like a reasonable hypothesis anyway. This stuff is called brain entrainment because supposedly it actually changes how your brain works (via manipulation of existing brain waves).

They also work with your chakras. Chakras are an Indian medical theory. Supposedly you have chakras in your body that do various things and you can mess around with these chakras to achieve desired ends. A lot of yogi types swear that they are true and a lot of folks who listen to these beats have had experiences suggesting of chakras.

For instance, people who listen to the Kundalini beats report that they feel a warmth at the bottom of their spine that goes all the way up to the top of their spine. These people who report this have no idea that this is one of the things that Kundalini is supposed to do.

It is called Kundalini rising because it supposedly turns on the energy levels in your body. The Kundalini is said to be like a snake that moves up and down your spine. It’s all pretty wacky and insane, but who knows, maybe there is something to it. I have no idea if chakras exist or not either but I would not take the word of modern scientistic medicine about whether there is anything to this stuff. There are supposedly dangers that can occur when you awaken Kundalini, but I am not sure about that either. If it’s all nonsense, how could it have ill effects?

I put this Kundalini stuff on very low and then I go to sleep in the other room. I put it on so low that you can hear it but only barely. I also have a fan in my room and often have windows open so there are other noises. I try to make sure that the other noises are louder than the binaural beats. Nevertheless you can sense them if you listen hard because it feels like the whole room or apartment is vibrating in this strange way like the hum you hear of highway workers at night or an electric plant that is nearby.

One thing I noted is that I crash hard as Hell with that stuff on. I sleep maybe five hours and I wake up and think I slept for 18 hours. I get up and feel like a slab or wood or concrete, but that feels very good. It reminds you of the feeling of whenever you had some very good hard sleeps. It’s like as hard as the hardest crash you have ever had.

I also noticed that some of the pains I have in my neck and back diminished after that very hard crash. In addition, the first few nights I had this stuff on, my dreams changed.

It’s a bit embarrassing, but I had sex in my dreams! I know you are thinking so what, but the thing is, I do not know if it is a hangup or what, but I never or almost never have sex in my dreams. Even when I have a girlfriends and we are going at it for hours a day, I still never have sex in my dreams. And with this Kundalini stuff, I had sex in my dreams for maybe four days straight. That’s pretty weird right there.

This stuff might effect you more than you think it does.

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Filed under Disciplines, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science

Sounds of Peace

Here is a calming, pleasant audio file for you all to listen to at the end of a hard, stressful day. Lean back, kick of your shoes, relax and let the soft waves of soothing sound roll over your body.

Sounds of peace.

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The Final Three Steps of Wisdom

RL: Wisdom = (something like this):

  1. Accurate pattern observance and formation.
  2. Accurate pattern recognition.
  3. Accurate hypothesis creation.
  4. Accurate hypothesis testing.
  5. Accurate generalization (tentative conclusion) formation.
  6. Accurate understanding of the underlying nature of existence.
  7. Acceptance of the reality of existence based on making peace with life’s underlying nature.
  8. Proper application of all of this wisdom-knowledge to the day to day business of life and especially human relations.

Steve: I think 1-5 is more the processes involved in gaining wisdom rather than what wisdom itself is.

RL: I think those were supposed to be steps actually. Step 1, Step 2, etc.

Steve: Ah makes sense. My bad.

I really like 6 and 7. I think 6 gets to the essential point about the nature of existence. Plus I wouldn’t have thought of it, but I guess there is wisdom in acceptance. 6, 7 and 8 are a bit like the Buddhist view, meditation and action.

The problem is that just understanding the underlying nature of existence is not enough.

Suppose you figure out life completely, but instead of being enlightened, you become bitter and decide that it all sucks or the downside outweighs the good. And that is a perfectly logical conclusion to make based on an understanding of the nature of existence. It makes complete sense to think that life blows or that the down outweighs the good. It’s not an erroneous belief at all. Nor is it a correct one.

And even if you thought it was wrong, there would be no way to prove it was either true or false because philosophical statements are generally outside of the realm of science. In other words, everything in philosophy is just a bunch of opinions. We can’t write some mathematical proof on the board that proves that Nietzsche or Wittgenstein or Spinoza were right. Nor can we prove they were wrong. All of that stuff is pretty much a matter of opinion.

But rationally speaking, concluding that life blows and the bad outweighs the good – let’s face it – it’s not exactly adaptive. It’s not a view that is going to lead to a happier and easier existence, which ought to be one of the goals of life and is actually a form of wisdom itself.

So instead, we have:

6. Figure out life and understand the true nature of existence, the good, the bad and the ugly. This can be thought of as possibly Transcendental Wisdom.

7. Hopefully without making too many value judgements, just simply accept the reality of existence – the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of it all – and simply accept them in toto as “this is the way things are, and there’s nothing to be done,” and  accept that life is full of sadness, pain, etc., but it doesn’t get you down because you realize that that’s just the way life is. In fact, the Buddhists say, “All of life is sadness,” or “All of life is suffering,” depending on the translation you prefer, and that’s not necessarily a false statement.

But in Buddhism you simply accept that as an unalterable aspect of reality, and you accept it and make some sort of a peace with life instead of spending your whole existence warring at life for being what it is, which after all, doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Now that you understand the full nature of existence and you have swallowed hard, bit the bullet and made whatever peace with it that you can, now you can stop fighting. You can stop fighting against life for being what it is. You can stop raging at other humans for doing what they do because that’s what they do, and there isn’t a lot of hope of changing them, and it’s not even relevant if they can change or not. You can stop hating people for acting like people, for being people.

Do you hate your cat for acting like a cat, for being a cat? Of course not. Nor do you expect it to act entirely rational? No, because after all, it’s just a cat, and cats just do what they do and don’t have a lot of control over themselves. If you accept your cat for being cat, why hate women? Why hate men? Misogynists hate women for acting like women, for doing what women do. Misandrists hate men for being men, for doing the things that men do. This second step could be called many things, but perhaps it is best summed up as Peaceful Acceptance of the True Nature of Life or possibly Meditative Wisdom.

8. Armed with all of your acquired knowledge, wisdom and whatever intelligence you have, you know go out into the world applying your understanding of the underlying nature of life and even better, your acceptance of that for what it is and your peace with it. You apply this synthesis of

  • wisdom
  • transcendental knowledge
  • peace

to the world around you and most importantly to the humans in it. Hopefully, doing that, you will try to make the most correct, rational and adaptive decisions possible to whatever events you may encounter in life. This final step can be thought of as Wisdom in Action.

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Four Stages of Love and Personal Development

You will often see in mythology various things centered around the number four – four of this, four of that, four times four, etc.

Carl Jung states that the nucleus of the Psyche or Self works as a fourfold structure. We will looks at this structure first as it relates to personal development and then as it relates to love.

Four Levels of the Psyche

Psyche Level 1: Purely instinctive and biological relations – man as an animal, the Id.

Psyche Level 2: Romantic or aesthetic pleasure, the appreciation of beauty and the higher senses.

Psyche Level 3: The spiritual level, man as a spiritual animal, the appreciation of the ineffable or indeterminate.

Psyche Level 4: A super-wisdom transcending even the most holy and pure. This is something like the state of satori that the Zen monks talk about. It can also be seen in higher states of consciousness by Indian yogis accessed via yoga and whatnot. This may refer to what Nietzsche was talking about when he discussed the Ubermensch, the man who has transcended all base and earthly passions and has risen above it all.

I am thinking that most people in the West never reach Psyche Level 4 in their lives.

Now we will look at the same structure as it refers to love:

Four Levels of Love

Love Level 1: Sexual love. Pure sex and animalism, sex without love, a biological and primitive yet enjoyable act.

Love Level 2: Romantic love. A step above pure sexual love in that it rises above to the level of romance and passion to where one actually feels an almost religious-like devotion to the other person. However, this is still considered to be “tainted” somewhat by base and primitive passion, as there is usually still quite a bit of animalistic sexual passion here.

Love Level 3: Spiritual love. Here we see love at one of its highest levels – the love of God or the spiritual realm. This rises above even romantic love; it is more all-encompassing, and it is not even grounded on the Earth or in one other person as romantic love is. It can extend to the love of many or all and to love beyond the simple Earthly plane.

Love Level 4: Love raised to its highest level, even beyond spiritual love. Here we are dealing with a type of “Love” or “Passion” that may better be termed something like “Wisdom” that transcends even the most holy and pure spiritual love. In this sense, “wisdom” is the ultimate form of love or passion.

As with Psyche Level 4, I believe that most people in the West never reach Love Level 4 in their lives.

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Filed under Culture, Disciplines, Meditation, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sex, The Unconscious, Yoga

Real or Fake?

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Filed under Asia, Disciplines, Indonesia, Meditation, Regional, SE Asia, Weirdness

“The Taoist Influence on Japanese Martial Arts,” by Dota

New essay from Dota. Very nice!

The Taoist Influence on Japanese Martial Arts

By Dota

The Japanese Samurai Miyamoto Musashi acknowledged a number of influences on Japanese thought, chief among which were Confucianism and Buddhism. Yet not once does he directly mention the Old Master whose philosophy is so entrenched in the martial arts that the Samurai once pursued with inexhaustible zeal. Yet despite this seeming negligence, Mushashi’s epic martial arts treatise, “A Book of 5 Rings“, is laden with Taoist ideas and analogies. Indeed the very nature of the Japanese martial arts has been shaped and molded by Taoist thinking.

In the interest of brevity one can sum up Taoist thought as being primarily concerned with conforming to nature by finding “the way.” According to the very first verse of the Tao te Ching (the poem attributed to Lao Tzu): “The Tao (way) that can be described is not the real Tao.” Indeed, Lao Tzu devoted considerable energy into conveying the indescribable nature of the way. One could not describe the way, one merely walked it or one didn’t. Could one verbally instruct another on how to ride a bicycle? One either knew how to or didn’t.

Philosopher Arthur Danto astutely observed that the Taoists had a deep mistrust of prepositional knowledge, or what one would refer to as the discursive intellect. Taoism isn’t concerned with the knowledge of the scholar, but rather, with what we would refer to as “intuitive knowledge.” Those that knew the way were able to execute the perfect brush stroke or carve a pumpkin with exceptional ability.

To further illustrate this point, Chuang Tzu narrates the story of the old wheel maker. The latter approached a King and told him that reading his book was a waste of time. He explained to the King that true knowledge couldn’t be expressed in words but could only be grasped. He illustrated this point by describing his own trade as thus:

The other secret of my trade has to do with the roundness of the wheel. If I chisel away at the wheel too quickly, I may be able to complete the work in a short time, but the wheel won’t be perfectly round. Even though it may look quite acceptable upon casual inspection, in actual usage it will cause excessive shaking of the carriage…In order to create the best wheels possible in a timely manner, I must chisel at just the right speed – not too fast and not too slow. This speed is also guided by a feeling, which again can only be acquired through many years of experience.

He then concluded his lesson with the following observation:

Your Majesty, the ancient sages possessed the feelings that were at the heart of their mastery. Using words, they could set down the mechanics of their mastery in the form of books, but just as it is impossible for me to pass on my experience to anyone else, it is equally impossible for them to transmit their essence of wisdom to you. Their feelings died when they passed away. The only things they left behind were their words. This is why I said Your Majesty was reading the leftovers of a dead man.

Karate is taught via instruction and perfected through rigorous practice. Form, movement, and balance can be learned by executing a sequence of gestures and movements known as Kata. The master guides the student to the way but the student is tasked with walking on it and not deviating from it. In the first Karate Kid film Mr Miyagi scoffs at Daniel Larusso’s attempt to “learn Karate from book.” Musashi similarly stated in his treatise that “Language does not extend to explaining the Way in detail, but it can be grasped intuitively,” (Water Book).

But what is the difference between those men that follow the way and those that don’t? Those that follow the way properly are able to execute actions with minimal effort. But while effort is minimized the outcome of their actions is maximized.

This is known as the principle of WuWei (literally non doing). WuWei is also often understood as carefully calibrated action. Consider for example, a perfectly executed Karate shoulder throw. By using a lunging opponents force against him, one can disable an opponent with a shoulder throw; a move that would ordinarily require considerable effort to execute. Actions become effortless for those that know the way.

Musashi’s duels typically lasted only a few seconds. Consider his duel with Kojiro for example. He charged at his opponent and provoked Kojiro into making the first attack. Musashi effortlessly dodged the attack and decisively struck his opponent on the head killing him in a single blow. Musashi almost echoes Lao Tzu when he urges martial artists to be like water which is gentle yet destructive. It is the principle of WuWei that gives the Japanese martial arts their characteristic finesse that many have come to admire. The ancient masters would be repulsed by the drawn out UFC slug fests and would dismiss these fighters as not truly knowing the way.

The Japanese word for way is michi, which literally refers to a path through the Cosmos. The Way has no destination, and simply finding the way is an end in itself. Since Taoism is primarily concerned with each pursuing his own way, it stands to reason that every one of us is (potentially) a wanderer. The wanderer is also a common motif in Taoist art – he who walks a path without apparent destination.

I must point out that many of Japan’s cherished heroes were wanderers too, such as Musashi and Yagyu Jubei. Both of these individuals refused to hang up their swords and become artisans during the largely peaceful Tokugawa Period of Japanese history. They wandered the countryside (the Samurai had no restrictions on travel) and dueled several opponents that crossed their paths.

Musashi is said to have won 80 duels during his lifetime. So entrenched is the image of the wandering martial artist that it has left its imprint on contemporary Japanese pop culture as well. The characters Ryu and Akuma of the Street Fighter franchise are wanderers pursuing the way of the martial artist. In a statement saturated with Taoist overtones Akuma proclaims: “For some, it is the path, not the goal,” (Street Fighter Alpha 1).

Ultimately, while the spirit of the Japanese martial arts is obviously Japanese, their character is clearly Chinese.

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Filed under Asia, China, Disciplines, Guest Posts, Japan, Literature, Metaphysics, NE Asia, Philosophy, Regional

Delta Waves

5 hours of Delta waves via binaural beats.

These are deep sleep waves or Delta Waves. I put them on before I go to sleep at a very low level. I usually knock out extremely hard after I do that. I have them on right now as I am typing this and I am falling asleep. Typically you sleep like a rock after you listen to these waves.

Delta waves FTW!

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Binaural Beats

This one is Alpha 10 MHz. As I am an OCD’er, this is the best one for me if I want to deal with that problem. They say you need two speakers equidistant apart or headphones, but I am not sure this is necessary. It seems to work pretty well even if a speaker is broken or even if you are in the next room. I even turn this one on really low and then go to sleep in the next room. You can sort of hear it if you listen hard as sort of a background vibration but it is soft enough to sleep on. It seems to work even in the next room somehow.

I also really enjoyed Theta waves. It’s not supposed to help my condition, but it really got me thinking in some very nice new ways. I had a girlfriend listen to it. She listened to it for five minutes and they she hard crashed in the afternoon for 3-4 hours. She told me she never naps in the afternoon and even if she does, she doesn’t crash that hard.

Delta waves are supposed to be for deep sleeping. They are ok.

There are also beta waves and Gamma waves. I don’t think I want Beta waves and I haven’t even tried Gamma waves.

Supposedly these waves do something called brain entrainment. It is not pseudoscience at all, though I am sure the skeptards probably hate it. There seems to be some good scientific evidence that this binaural beats actually do change the way your brain operates, usually in a better way. The risks and side effects of binaural beats are basically zero.

Your mileage may vary.

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Run of the Mind – Book Review

Repost from the old site.

I received this book, Run of the Mind, by Vijendra Rao, to review and frankly, I was not expecting much. Many of the writers I read on the net are ok, but many are also flawed in some way or another. Plus, I am hard to please as far as writing goes, being a severe critic, especially of my own work, the result of which is a chronic case of writer’s block.

So, I was expecting no more than a mediocre to average text. When I received some advance reviews of this book, raving about a “literary genius” and “the voice of the new India” and “a great writer”, I was still cynical. I figured these were friends of the authors who were engaging in the usual hyperbole, and I don’t like hyperbole in book reviews.

But when I started dipping into this book, I was just stunned. This was some really fine writing here! As I turned the pages, I was often dazzled by his style and a glimpse into a brilliant and wise mind at work. Various influences come to mind, including Milan Kundera. At his best, Rao can actually be compared with Kundera.

There was something else here, metaphysical wisdom, the wisdom of the ages, the wisdom of the India. We here in the West can get awfully arrogant. But when it comes down to it, people are the same everywhere.

And when it comes to the really important questions in life, the philosophical questions about morality, the meaning of life, death, the timeless truths of the human experience, all of our Western science has really taught us very little. For centuries, Christianity was actually a block on the study of the deepest questions of our existence.

But in the East, where Buddhism and Hinduism encouraged spiritual exploration rather than thwarting it, I think humanity has progressed further on the metaphysical wisdom scale. As modern science tests out such Eastern mysteries as yoga and meditation, we are learning that these funny folks with dots on their heads and thousands of Gods have really been onto something all of these centuries.

As one who believes in the superiority of the West, I found this book a humbling experience. Even most Leftists are ethnocentric. Reading Run of the Mind and seeing how the Indians have done an end-run around the scientific West in terms of wisdom and gleaning the meaning of the timeless essences of the human experience was a challenge to my Western ethnocentrism.

I came away with a new-found respect for India, a much-maligned society that combines, paradoxically, outrageous poverty and oppression with the wisdom of ages.

Rao is an Indian journalist from Mysore, a large city in the state of Karnataka, in the South of India. He is a Hindu and a bit of an Indian nationalist, though not of the Hindu ultranationalist type. He is a Brahmin, but is not a casteist.

In this book, we see the injured pride typical of Indian and Chinese and Arab nationalists, the pride of what were once the greatest cultures on Earth, since surpassed by the West.

High-caste Hindu nationalists like Rao tend to be hostile to British colonialism, but that feeling is not universal amongst Indians. The Brahmins were insulted when the British told them their culture was backwards and demanded that they change it.

On the other hand, lower-caste Indians and especially Dalits often think colonialism as the best thing that ever happened to India, for it directly attacked the caste system as cruel, backwards and uncivilized. As you can see, hostility towards British colonialism is not universal at all amongst Indians.

Rao’s book is a series of essays he wrote for Indian papers that he worked. Given the often-dazzling prose, it is amazing that he often banged these out in the hour or two before work at the office in the morning.

Although gourmets of fine writing like me can appreciate this book as merely an exercise in great writing, most non-Indians are likely to find this book alienating. The subject of most essays is situated in modern Indian society, with references to Indian politicians, actors, musicians, authors and Hindu Gods. If you don’t know these topics, you lack a frame of reference.

The subjects of a number of these essays are located specifically within modern-day Mysore and Karnataka. For these reasons, I feel that this book will be of most interest to Indians, especially Indian expats in the US and Britain, and in particular those from Southern India, especially those from Karnataka and Mysore.

On the other hand, anyone who appreciates metaphysical and philosophical wisdom and wonderful prose may also want to dip into this delightful book, as one savors and admires a glass of fine wine.

Rao, like many great writers, is not an easy writer at all. Hemingway he is not. Quite a few times, I found myself having to reread sentences to figure out what he was trying to say. Those who enjoy stimulating their minds with mental puzzles will appreciate the workout, others may just be frustrated and put the book down in exasperation. Depends how one likes one’s prose.

Run of the Mind is unfortunately available only as an e-book at the moment, but it is still an affordable $12. Rao’s work is as good as, and often better than, many authors crowding the shelves of our American chain bookstores. This author deserves to be bound, published and on a shelf. Interested publishers and agents may contact Rao via me through the email address on this blog.

The Run of the Mind e-book can be purchased here, at White Cottage Publishing, for the moment.

The best way to give you a feel for this book is to excerpt some wondrous tidbits from it, reprinted below:

*****

The more the ego is sought to be dressed with the robes of exclusivity, the more naked it stands.

*****

Why does wisdom elude us? Just when we have felt we are ascending, we slide. It is a tempting need of the soul to fly free of the body that has got habituated to harlotry. All of us are accustomed to hosting such transient nobility as our mind’s guest.

It is he in whose mind nobility has found a permanent home that gets through the life’s examinations. Is it any wonder than that the number of candidates succeeding in this tedious examination is so few? The examination is undoubtedly tough, but it is an examination where we are allowed to be accompanied by the guide.

*****

Belief in the mortality of doctors is a sure way of gaining freedom from the fear of death. In this state of fearlessness, love of life sustains the will to transit into non-life.

*****

The rat race for power has wiped out the ideological distinctions of our political parties and reduced their leaders to one mangled mass of unidentifiable bodies without life, soul or character. … the need felt in secular circles (of intellectuals, not politicians) for propagating secularism has the similar potential to reduce India to a land of cultural zombies, uniform in their lack of distinctness.

*****

Mysteries appear most enchanting when not disrobed of the shroud of non-inquisitiveness. Probing quest of the senses and the mind divests phenomena of their element of mystery and parades them shamelessly as naked facts, insipid shreds of information and commonplace knowledge.

*****

Greed kicks reason out of its habitat.

*****

Mangoes don’t seem to smile any more. Or, do they? They pluck the fruits and incubate them. Why young mangoes, even children hasten to maturity prematurely these days. They are plucked from their childhood and subjected to treatments with a view on the yield.

*****

Absence of commercial activity means not only innocence and longer life, but also no knowledge or need for arithmetic. Where there is no arithmetic, there is no counting. No counting results in birthdays not being kept track of. Where there are no birthdays, there are no annual reminders of the wear and tear of life. The time one gains by merging with nature is both relative and absolute.

*****

Time, like light, exists as both wave and particles. We don’t feel that the person who borrowed money from us has done us justice in returning the amount in installments, whereas his timely repayment in one large chunk – just the way he borrowed it from us – gives us immense satisfaction.

This is the difference between living in a city and living on the countryside. Time, broken into so many fractions over the day, and over a life span, does not mean the same when spent in a village in its undivided whole.

*****

LIFE, the eternal journey through space and time, also seems a race against them. Much of man’s inability to be elsewhere when he wants to be, and his sheer mortality, are both absolute limits that space and time place on his existence.

*****

Man, in turning the middleman in celestial transactions, has put a spoke in the water cycle’s wheel.

*****

Knowledge is the veil of the ignorant.

*****

The torch that the heart holds out to light memory lane is not bright enough to illuminate the path. It is like an arduous drive in insufficient light through an unpaved way on a moonless night.

*****

Sorrow has lost its intensity. The mind pathetically attempts to relive those intense moments. Like the woefully futile effort of the lover to maximise the benefit of coition; like the banal attempt of an incomplete soul to reap a higher quality of meditative yield.

*****

How we crave for solitude and when solitude is granted, we take liberties with ourselves! We drop our guard and shed all inhibitions. We become our true selves. When we are alone we have nobody before whom to guard our image.

The heavy payload of sin is launched on to the space vehicle of solitude and with the power of our greed as the fuel, is dispatched on to another orbit, outside our mind. But, the guilt is all the time circling around us like the satellite propelled by the negative energy that we keep emitting all through our lives. Thievery is a very private act. Solitude is its only accomplice.

*****

Modern existence has left us with malnourished sorrow, a peculiar state characterised by a sense of latent incapacity for feeling. It is not happiness alone that we always feel is not enough; the shallowness of our experience of sorrow leaves us unfulfilled as well.

*****

New Year resolves are marked by a pronounced denial of warranty. The dead weight of the discarded resolutions is lighter only than the guilt that their discarding induces. Drinks are gulped less in celebration of ushering in the New Year than in downing the guilt associated with the celebration of nothingness which, every preceding year, to most of us, would mean.

*****

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Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Juice Fasting

Repost from the old site.

This site.

It pretty much goes on and on with the comments, but the guy answers just about every question that you could possibly have about juice fasting and water fasting. Personally, I think that water fasting is just dangerous, but this guy disagrees. I haven’t the faintest idea if it cleanses you out, but you get an awful lot of bad-smelling farts, stinky sweat and even bad breath during the fast.

There seem to be some excellent mood and anxiety changes with juice fasting.

You can exercise on a juice fast. I have done up to 45-55 minutes on an exercise bike, but I rode pretty darn slow. One problem with exercising is that you will feel very tired, so it’s hard to do the exercising, but you can just go slow. Also, recently I rode my bike without the TV on. I just listened to reggae music and it was ok!

I’ve been doing juice fasting off and on for a while now and I have lost about 12 pounds, so that is quite nice.

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