We received the blessing of the leader of the Giri branch of the Swami Order-a thin, ascetical monk with eyes of smiling fire.
Have we indeed outstripped the warrior and passed the ascetical saint?
That northern "custody of the senses" which is not an ascetical exercise, but an inner illumination thrown upon them.
The Orthodox idea of fasting is first of all that of an ascetical effort.
1640s, from Greek asketikos "rigorously self-disciplined, laborious," from asketes "monk, hermit," earlier "one who practices an art or trade," from askein "to exercise, train," originally "to train for athletic competition, practice gymnastics, exercise."
"one of the early Christians who retired to the desert to live solitary lives of meditation and prayer," 1670s, from ascetic (adj.).