chatting with friends the other day, our topic of conversation flowed seamlessly to the state of our bodies…after discussing at great length the state of the world, of course. there were the expected aches and pains to be mulled over and an ample number of healing suggestions made and much love and compassion expressed. and then there was silence…the silence of recognition that our bodies may have become unfamiliar territory. we no longer knew what we could, or could not, do. we no longer knew what unexpected, and probably unwanted, challenge would arise next.
into this conversation came the idea of loving our bodies exactly as they are. someone mused, “i wonder if i could do that. could i truly accept and embrace my continually aching back?”
we sat in silence again, each of us pondering our personal relationship with these changes.
someone else looked up and smiled. she declared very clearly, “i can…because i don’t want to live in the alternative.”
another friend then asked, very quietly, “can i regard my body as sacred? it doesn’t look the same or feel the same as it did, but it is still the same body. i saw it as sacred in the past. why not now?”
we sat in silence again, letting the space between us grow with possibility. could this be our elder contribution to the world? could this view of the fully embodied older self bring an opening into the world? could this relatively small shift in consciousness mark a major shift to elderhood?
it may not address the dire issues of our time. however, it can make our experience of each year, each day, each moment very different.
may i be one of the illumined ones who sees the body as the temple, and so realise the great bliss of transforming its every activity into worship and ecstasy. ~~abhinavagupta
(abhinavagupta (c. 950 – 1016 AD) was a philosopher, mystic and aesthetician from kashmir. He was also considered an influential musician, poet, dramatist, exegete, theologian, and logician – a polymathic personality who exercised strong influences on Indian culture. thank you, guru google.)