Well at least you've found some good chat company to share the mind loss:)
Our culture has no experience with this as yet is the problem. Ascetism is perfectly natural in other places. Have faith in the now wherever you are is the axiom of the present age.
Until Christianity felt like controlling the europeans, all its original saints were ascetic hermits that believed in a God, not Christianity. After the 1100's the saints are ones who 'conquered' the pagans.
The yamabuki shaman (Shugendou) of Japan were the most extreme I've yet to hear about though. After preparing for three years on a strict regime of wild plants and water fasts, they would undergo cycles of extended 'air fasts'. Ultimately, they would bury themselves alive provided with an air tube to the surface. This practice was 'officially' banned in the Meiji era. It is said that you can sometimes still hear their voices echoing from the grave...If you believe in the oneness of conscious, and reincarnation, then understand that this was done to ensure that vegetarianism would endure into the future & that man would ultimately end his cruelty of fellow man & creation. AMAZING!