The statue of Saint Benedict at the monastery of Camaldoli, Arezzo, Italy, 06/08/2019
Most of the statues or portraits of catholic monks describes their head as bald. Did every western monk have the genetic factors of baldness?
It won't. The lack of nutrition following the strict asceticism might have caused their hair loss. Practically were there many historic saints who had died facing the suffer from illness.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Personally I think practice of balance between body and mind by self- control is more important than excessive abstinence. However, ordinary people lacking a firm will to properly control his greed requires excessive temperance at sometimes. Such actions can turn them into custom of controlling lust and greed. But it is not easy way. On the other hand, too much is not as good as not doing.
The result of spiritual growth is effective only when mind and body are in sync with each other. That's why Buddha ended his practice of long asceticism and preached the Middle Way. Anyhow the path to enlightenment of human weak in greed whether to choose Ascetic or Middle way in their practice may be the hen and egg paradox. But both share what the attitude of mind is the first. The poor in spirit means the person who embodies self-satisfaction and tranquility in any cases, good times and bad times. Dukkha, meditation tool of ascetic's | Suffering and the color of compassion