The Body: Our Greatest Teacher

I was having a conversation with friends the other night on the topic of spirituality. I find myself moved, days later, by one friend’s thoughts and perspective in particular.
We are here on Earth to experience what is happening in THIS body, she said. We can only speculate as to what is happening in the spirit world, but THIS BODY is what we’re here to figure out. My friend went on to essentially surmise that by figuring out what feels, happens, is and can be in THIS VESSEL, that is our vehicle for understanding the spirit world, or our own spirits. 

I was moved by her words, by the clarification of something I think I must have already felt, and yet had not been brought to my awareness. Isn’t that a marvelous occurrence, when something you feel you must have already believed is brought to the surface by someone else’s words, perspective, and thoughts? Human Connections.

Mind, body and spirit are one, yes. But I feel my friend was right in saying that the spirit is something so vast we cannot fully wrap our minds around it (in reference to tuning into a more spiritual level, world and atmosphere)some can, but most of us cannot. Truth again; there are many healers, monks, self-realized, self-actualized, spiritual warriors out there who are in touch with otherworldly vibrations. …but most of us cannot, my friend continued, but this body? She gestured to her frame, her mind, her shoulders, this body is here to teach us about the spirit. We can fix the pain in this body, learn to understand it, we can know this body fully in our time here.

My friend’s idea that getting to fully know our vessel, cultivating sincere bodily awareness, and channeling the energy we spend trying to understand the vastness of existence, the spirit world, the incomprehensible unanswered questions about life into knowing our bodies is brilliant.

I am strongly drawn to Buddhism. My heart feels passionately about Karma. My soul believes it has known others in previous lives. Do I have answers written in stone for those with doubt? Absolutely not. Am I brought solace by my inherent urge to embrace these beliefs or the act of questioning them? By believing. By fearlessly embracing beliefs that bring me joy, comfort, love. By embracing beliefs that encourage human beings to be better human beings, regarding the Self and others alike, I make this vessel a happier place.

In practicing yoga, I learn the ins and outs of my vessel, my body, deeply. I learn my strengths, my delicacies, my edge, my fears, my desires, my muscles, my mind…through injury we learn, through triumph we learn, through fear and love alike we learn.

So I suppose the moral of this blog post is, if you’re striving to get to know your spiritual self, and the “bigger picture” that makes up this life we live…focus in on the Self. The body, your body, is the only thing you can really, truly, 100% know. The only thing you can wholeheartedly know that NO ONE else knows! Powerful, right? It can take a lifetime to really get to know oneself, as far as I hear. So my advice to us all is to take a deep breath and and let all of the vast, incomprehensible wonder flutter away. I promise it will come back, all the contemplations, all of the wonder…focus on the body, focus on the things that hurt, feel good, happen, within your body. Play with a diet that makes your body feel its best; find a practice that makes your body feel alive; surround yourself with people who bring joy, wellness and good vibrations to your body. It is through this that the understanding of the wonder, of the contemplations, of the vastness, will start to make more sense.

Spiritual musing is divine and beautiful, so my simple advice is to not stress about it. Let’s not stress over the unknowns of life after death, of the spirit world, of past lives, of religion vs. spirituality even;  let’s not stress over unanswered questions or trying to wrap the mind around a concept so boundless…bring the attention back here. Bring the attention back into your body. Because it is here, in these beautiful vessels of ours, that we will learn more than we ever could have learned anywhere else.



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