Fasting the Mind

Spiritual Exercises for Psychic Detox

Fasting the Mind

Combines cognitive psychology with Zen, Taoist, and Vedic practices to empty the mind

• Explains how eliminating external stimulation can alleviate stress and anxiety for a calmer state of mind

• Details meditation practices, such as open-awareness meditation, contemplation of Zen koans, and Vipassana meditation, and explores methods of digital detox

• Draws on classical yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism as well as cognitive science to explain how and why to fast the mind

Stop planning, stop comparing, stop competing, stop thinking, and just breathe deeply for a minute . . . Our undivided attention is something we are rarely able to give for reasons ranging from digital overload to the cultural conditioning of equating busyness with purpose. Just as you might choose a fast from eating to detoxify the body, the best way to overcome this modern mental overload is to periodically fast the mind.

Drawing on the spiritual philosophies and meditative practices of classical yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism, Jason Gregory explains how fasting the mind directly impacts your habits and way of being in the world to create peace and calmness in your life as well as allow you to build a firm psychological defense against the increasing bombardment of distractions in our world. Applying psychology and cognitive science to samsara--the cycle of suffering created by our attachment to the impermanent--he explains how overreliance on the rational mind causes imbalances in the autonomic nervous system and suppresses our natural spontaneity, feelings, and intuition. When we are unable to relax the mind deeply, we enter a destabilizing state of stress and anxiety and are unable to liberate the true Self from the impermanence and limitations of the material world. Sharing Zen, Taoist, and Vedic practices to help you empty your mind and gradually restore your natural rhythms, the author shows how to give the mind time to truly relax from stimulation so it can repair itself and come back into equilibrium. He details simple meditation practices that are easy to implement in daily life, such as open-awareness meditation and contemplation of Zen koans, as well as the advanced techniques of Vipassana, a Theravadic Buddhist discipline centered on seclusion from all worldly stimuli. He also offers methods for digital detox and ensuring a good night’s sleep, a major support for healing cognitive impairment and restoring a state of equanimity.

By fasting the mind we strip away the distractions and stresses of modern life and return to our original nature as it exists deep within. We become more consciously awake in every moment, allowing us to feel the real beauty of the world and, in turn, to live life more fully, authentically, and peacefully.
  • Inner Traditions | 
  • 160 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781620556467 | 
  • June 2017
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Enlightenment Now
The Science and Practice of Humility

About the Author

Jason Gregory

Jason Gregory is a teacher and international speaker specializing in the fields of Eastern and Western philosophy, comparative religion, metaphysics, and ancient cultures. For several years he studied with masters in Buddhism, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Hinduism, and Taoism, traveling to some of the most remote places in the world. The filmmaker of the documentary The Sacred Sound of Creation, he divides his time between Asia and Australia.

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