What do you do when you visit a cathedral, an old church, a temple or a mosque? Do you look carefully at the labour and care that has been lavished on its stones, its contours and decoration? Do you whisper quietly as you enter its doors and listen to the powerful atmosphere that resonates within? Do you sit and allow yourself to absorb the vibrations that echo from the shadows and the reverence of ancestors who have created this place and filled its space with their passion?
Most of us are struck by the power of places of worship that reverberates through us. So how much more respect should you pay to the vehicle that got you there, to the one that perceives and receives these impressions and is moved to understanding or to action? To, in other words, your own body.
This weekend at an exhibition in London, I saw these beautiful words, attributed to a Tibetan sage who lived over a thousand years ago:
“I have seen in my wanderings great temples and shrines, but none are as blissful as my own body.”
The Mahasiddha Saraha lived in the 9th Century but the truth of the human experience has not changed in the intervening time. Hard though it is to remember sometimes, our bodies are blessed vehicles of untold sophistication which we have the privilege of inhabiting so we can enjoy our lifetime on this earth.
Perhaps there are improvements you would like to see in the fabric, places where the structure or the decoration has deteriorated, but in attempting repair or improvement you will always approach the building with respect. First you will listen for the vibrations and the ancestral resonances that echo within. Then you will look to see the causes of any damage to the structure and take care to repair the cause, not merely cover over the cracks. You will explore where there are tensions and stresses that have caused damage being sensitive to the channels of communication within. Working sympathetically with the body it will reward you. You will steadily improve what has gone wrong and enjoy the full harmony of its energy. Then truly you will feel that your body is as blissful and as peaceful as the finest temple.