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Modern Fasting: From Tech to Consumption, the Age-Old Act of Cleansing Remains Relevant Modern Fasting: From Tech to Consumption, the Age-Old Act of Cleansing Remains Relevant
Lifestyle

Modern Fasting: From Tech to Consumption, the Age-Old Act of Cleansing Remains Relevant

by Adam Butler

January 25, 2013

I had a dream. My late father was in it. I asked him, “What’s new?” He replied that he was on a “market fast.” Then my three year old son woke me up. In the predawn hours I was left to meditate on what my father meant. 

Fast is a verb that means to 'abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance.' But I am quite sure the message of this dream wasn’t about food. Especially since my father is on plane that doesn't require traditional sustenance. So here's what came to me—a 'market fast' is the act starving unconscious consumption. 
 
More practically, it's consciously fasting from markets of goods or services that you believe will damage you or your fellow man. It sounds something like voting with your wallet and it is to a degree. But it's more imbued with purpose than the act of spending money alone. How we do or don't spend our time has as profound an impact as anything we do with our money. And where we direct our intentions to or away from has the most profound impact of all. Some practical examples of tools that might help us "fast" from a lack of consciousness:
 
Fast from products that are toxic to you and the environment.
 
Fast from investments that aren't aligned with your values.
 
Fast from products that use slave labor. A frequent collaborator of mine and board member of Not For Sale, Greg Galle, helped create this amazing app that scans a product barcode and reveals labor abuse in its supply chain. 
 
Fast from the numbing speed of family life. My friends Bernadette Noll and Carrie Contey created the Slow Family Movement to help families slow down, connect and enjoy.
 
And last but not least, fast from technology. My friend Dan Rollman runs a web based company Record Setter. And yet he helped create Sabbath Manifesto to get people to turn off their technology and connect with themselves and their loved ones.  
 
What are examples of fasts you've undertaken and what were the results?
 
Image (cc) wikimedia
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