The world's religions encourage us to view the body as a reliable companion, as a capable mediator of our experience in the world, as a wise teacher, as a vehicle for transformation, and as a temple of God. Jews regard the body and the soul as being inextricably linked, and Christians emphasize the incarnation of the sacred in human flesh. Hindus celebrate the body as a vessel for salvation, while both Buddhists and Taoists practice healing arts which attend to the breath and energy lines in the body. Native Americans and some primal religions consider the body's movement in dance to be a form of prayer. Body arts of massage, yoga, and tai chi – ways of practicing attention and listening to the body – are for many people spiritual practices.
How do we acknowledge the sacred quality of our bodies? For starters, we can exercise regularly, eat healthy food, enjoy sensuous and sexual experiences, and simply relax. We can also reframe such challenges as illness as ways of connecting to our bodies. In the words of cancer survivor Marc Ian Barasch in The Healing Path: "Disease and healing are not just physiological processes. They are spiritual detonations."
This blog will consist of spiritually literate readings of the body as well as many other subjects. My approach here will be in line with the body's definition in this favorite quote from Eduardo Galeano in Walking Words:
"The Church says: The body is a sin.
Science says: The body is a machine.
Advertising says: The body is a business.
The body says: I am a fiesta."
Please join me to ponder, celebrate, and reverence the manifold wonders of practicing spirituality with our bodies.