we are not our bodies
A teacher of mine said this to a fellow student months ago, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it.
He was trying to emphasize the idea that don’t need to be limited by our bodies’ abilities or consumed by our injuries. We do not need to suffer our suffering.
But our bodies provide the means by which we experience and relate to the world. We meditate to pare away those experiences and discover our pure awareness. My partner, always helping me to see the other side of things, posited that if we didn’t have bodies we would only be pure awareness. We could only meditate, and perhaps we’d be thinking “Man! I wish I had some experiences to think about.”
I’m comforted by the idea that I am not my body, especially when I witness and experience how our bodies can fail us. How they can become injured or sick or not be as attractive or capable as we think they should be.
But it is this body that each of us are given with which to experience the world and to relate to each other. To taste all the tastes, smell all the smells, hear all the music, see all the colors of the sunset, and feel the hand of our loved one within ours.
If we examine the role of a bodhisattva (enlightened existence), it seems we have the potential to experience the best of both worlds. We are blessed to be born a human with all the joys and challenges that come with human living. At the same time, we also have the ability to discover our pure awareness–life beyond our bodies.