Friday, March 02, 2007

body as a buddy

The body is mortal, but the person dwelling in the body is immortal and immeasurable.
– Bhagavad Gita

When I say that this body is not me, I am not making an intellectual statement. It is an experiential statement. If you were to ask me, "Who is this body?" I would make an awful pun: "This is my buddy. I give him good food and good exercise, and I look after him very well, but he is not me."

My body has always been my faithful buddy, through many trials, and during many difficult times; and I let him know how much I appreciate his faithful service. We have an understanding: I take very good care of him, and he looks up to me as the boss.

As Saint Francis used to say, "This body is Brother Donkey. I feed him, I wash him, but I am going to ride on him." Whenever we use drugs, or smoke, or drink, or even over-eat, the donkey is riding on us. Francis challenges us: "Don't you want to get that donkey off your back and ride on it ?"

- Eknath Easwaran's Words to Live By
(Copyright 1999 and 2005 by The Blue Mountain Center of Meditation.)

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