Intermittent Fasting: Master-level play

Steven Barnes
6 min readMar 20

I hadn’t seen my beloved Sijo Steve Muhammad in over ten years, and we were hanging out in his hotel room. He was sitting on the edge of his bed, looking at a bottle of water on the dresser. Just…looking. Calmly. The conversation dwindled as I watched him watch.

Finally I couldn’t handle the suspense. Maybe his back or knees were hurting him, I thought.

“Are you thirsty?” I asked.

“No,” he said quietly

“Can I get that for you?”


I was confused. “Do you want it?”

“Yes,” he said. Was that the hint of a smile?

Finally I couldn’t stand it any more. “What are you doing?”

“Testing my will power,” he said.

And I got it, instantly. I was totally blessed to have a chance to witness this, the play and practice of a master. He knew that in martial arts, and life, there are many times you have to do things that hurt, or create fear, or are risky. And sometimes you have to act, and will have only a moment to do so or the opportunity is gone.

The ability to separate your intentions, and the actions that will drive them, from your delusions and hallucinations and negative emotional charges.

You have to be able to see clearly. Decide what must be done. And then do it. And study the way the universe responded to you. If you like the results, do more. If you don’t…do something else.

Master-level play.


So I think I’m “stuck” on “on” right now. Was active through the weekend again, rather than resting. That activity was teaching FIREDANCE LIVE on Saturday, then entertaining Dan Moran his wife Amy, and Julius Francisco. On Sunday I did yoga, then the Paperback show, then had to drive around in the rain to do some shopping.

So today I think I want to FORCE myself to rest. That means only the Five Tibetans (Five Minute Miracle style) and organize. Get a very clear idea of how I’m going to deal with all of the work over the next year. And clarify some goals:




Want to price it all out, get a sense of what my perfect year would cost me in terms of time, energy, and money. Discipline. I am lacking some core discipline right now, but will…

Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a NY Times bestselling author, ecstatic husband and father, and holder of black belts in three martial arts.