By Any Means Necessary: Volume 3, Issue 3

Page 32

I still fast during Black August; some of the times have changed, like from sun-up to sun-down or maybe 8am-8pm or 8am-6pm. Because I am a part of the New Afrikan security unit I still fast on every Monday. When we think about fasting in the context of Black August we know as we are looking at what food is going into our bodies we are also thinking about what else is going into the body. Are we ingesting things that are harmful to us? Black August can help us beat those addictions. The fasting can help you focus on what we should keep ingesting—good knowledge; maybe I will re-read Amilcar Cabral or Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. To get people to be a part of this movement we have to educate them and fuel them to be agents for change.” ● What techniques do you tend to employ around fasting successfully? “I exercise extreme discipline. I first started fasting in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s in San Francisco when I was introduced to Kwanzaa. What I would do, is for two weeks prior to Kwanzaa I would just drink water and juices. Then I expanded the two weeks to an entire month. What I found is that once I had that kind of discipline I could transfer it to other parts of my life. That also helped me with breath control and engaging in martial arts practices. The fasting discipline has helped me in immeasurable kinds of ways. In Black August during fasting I would also take 3 days and go to a campsite; I would take off my watch and other technologies so I could amplify my spiritual growth, my ability to communicate with an alternate reality, my ability to communicate with my ancestors—the Loa, the Orishas. I wanted to be open enough to receive whatever message that was there to receive. Ultimately, fasting and communing with my ancestors put me in a position of no fear. Fasting is something that has given me a tremendous fortitude against the odds. We need that type of energy when we are engaged in battle physically or spiritually.” ● What are some spiritual or metaphysical rituals we should be doing for the mind & body while we are fasting? “Meditation, bottom line—meditation. That means sitting down and being quiet, silencing the thoughts in your head, to be able to receive any kind of messages. Meditation occurs in many different forms. I can sit and close my eyes and take my three breaths but also, African dance is a form of meditation; it is a form for being able to communicate with our family and our ancestors and aspects of ultimate reality. We have to connect our African consciousness with the fasting to make sure we are here long enough to fulfill our destiny. A key thing for me with the spiritual rituals while fasting is making myself open enough to surrender my own ego. Surrendering my ego means I can be open to the wisdom, advice, and the learning that others can share with me. It means I’m looking at myself as a part of a larger family. It’s important for us to find ways to reinforce these types of values. Being conscious of our language is important. I know there is a relationship between what I say—words, attitude, and behavior. It was clearly taught to me that if you have mind altering substances, whatever barrier or boundary that


By Any Means Necessary

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