I first learned about the idea of pranic living about 10 years ago in an article I came across on the Internet. The article was an interview with a young man in Russia who claimed he hadn’t eaten in four years. I was immediately fascinated by the idea of living without food. Usually, when I learn about something like this, I’ll want to try it out for myself. However, I noted in the article that this person trained for years with 3 different masters before being able to “live on air”.
This made me much less enthusiastic about the process: if it was going to take that long, I wasn’t really that interested. However, I did keep a mental note that such a thing might be possible. Another thing that was curious was that there is a name for people who live without food: they are called “breatharians”. That really made me stop and think: why would there be a word for something like this unless it was actually possible?
Over the years, I would occasionally run into some information that would support the claim that pranic living was indeed possible. The first was a mention in a book by Tai Chi master Mantak Chia. It was stated casually as if such a thing was understood to be fact. On the other hand, Mantak Chia himself was not a breatharian (at least not when I met him personally), so it was difficult to come to any definite conclusion in this case.
Later, I found more information about pranic living in a book by an American healer named Joy Gardner. In her book, Gardner not only stated that such a thing was possible, but noted that there was a prerequisite. In order to “live on air”, a person’s subtle bodies had to be cleared out of blockages. Another way of saying it: a person who wants to live without food must first attain a rather high level of spiritual progress.
Pranic Living Workshops
My curiosity of pranic living was revived about a year ago when I heard that there was actually a such thing as pranic living workshops. Incredibly, a lady was training people to live without food in a 3-week course. I decided to do my own research and discovered another guy named Ray Maor who conducted workshops in the United States, and his trainings took a mere 10 days.
Now things were getting interesting. After a little more research, I was able to more or less figure out Ray’s procedure without attending one of his workshop. And of course, being me I just had to give it a try.
Frankly speaking, the results were actually quite amusing. I did manage to go for several days without food (and water), after which I was neither hungry nor weak. But what I didn’t expect was that after just a few days, I really missed tasting food. So at that point I decided that pranic living – even if I could pull it off – was not worth the effort because I simply wasn’t willing to give up the pleasure of tasting food. And I don’t even feel guilty in admitting that after those few days of fasting, the first thing I ate was a bowl of ice cream.
Going to Extremes
Very recently, I found a much better understanding of pranic living from the books written by Dr. Joshua David Stone. At a point in Stone’s life when he had reached a high level of spirituality, he eventually transitioned to being able to live without food. But the transition process took weeks, during which time his guides on the spiritual plane made adjustments to Stone’s subtle bodies. Even still, he was requested to eat something upon occasion simply for the purposes of grounding.
Stone also made it clear that living without food was not a practice that the ascended masters recommended to the vast majority of people. The Buddhist philosophy of the “middle path” confirms such a sentiment. In general, the confusion about such practices is the result of people seeing spiritual masters behave a certain way, and conclude that in order to be spiritual, everyone should act in such a way.
But in fact, this is a misunderstanding. Such practices are the by-product of one’s spiritual level, and not the cause of it. For example, some spiritual master practiced sexual abstinence while living on earth. But this wasn’t done in order to purify themselves; it was because these masters had already reached a level of spiritual attainment where the pleasures of serving God were greater for them than the pleasures of the physical world.
Intention is Everything
For the majority of us currently living on earth, the decision to abstain from physical pleasures is counterproductive because it is excessive. While on the spiritual path, any extreme in either direction will impede spiritual progress rather than advance it. To understand why, one need only investigate one’s intentions.
For example, my desire to become a breatharian (or at least give it a try) was purely for egoic purposes. It wasn’t just that I wanted to see if I could do it. By learning to live without food, I would have something to brag about and it would set me apart from the majority of people on this planet. Note that this practice would then tend to separate me from others, which runs counter to the spiritual practice of developing a sense of oneness with others.
Another possible reason one might be tempted to practice pranic living would be to avoid disaster should the world “run out of food”. But this is a fear-based reason, which runs directly opposite of the spiritual practice of trusting in God.
There is a time and a place for everything. The time for relinquishing worldly pleasures will happen naturally and without sacrifice as one reaches the higher levels of the spiritual path. For the remainder of us, we simply need to watch out for supposedly spiritual practices that aide the ego rather than our own spiritual advancement.