I was at an Art of Feminine Presence workshop last night, where I experienced great joy during one of the moving meditations. When I was describing my experience it was all about my energy, and I realised later that I had completely forgotten about my body, even though it had been included in the meditation.
This morning I started to reflect on why we are here on this physical plane, and why we need our bodies at all. If one can experience such joy during meditation, albeit a meditation which included the body, what is the purpose of having a body?
For many people, all of their pleasures are physical pleasures, experienced through the physical body. As I started to reflect on our need of the body, I realised that life would be extremely limited without our physical bodies.
I heard the birds singing, and began to have renewed gratitude for my physical sense of hearing. How lucky I am to be able to hear the beautiful birdsong and the rustle of the wind in the leaves; to be able to listen to beautiful, uplifting music, or the beat of the drum which gets my foot to tapping and gives me the urge to dance.
How lucky I am to have strong legs to lift me up and move me across the dance floor, a flexible spine to jiggle and shake me as the tempo increases, and to support me as I sit recovering.
How deprived would I feel to lose my sense of sight, which allows me to see the beauty of the world – the beautiful scenery and artwork, the splendour of a sunset or a night sky, the faces of my loved ones?
Without a body I could not experience the taste and smell of scrumptious food, feel the pleasure of stroking my pet, or the soft touch of a kiss. I could not experience the pleasure of water running over my skin as I stand under the shower each morning, or the sensation of soft sand under my feet as I walk on the beach each afternoon.
How often do we take for granted our senses and our body’s ability to walk and dance and run?
I know that there are many people who have lived productive lives without all of these abilities which we take for granted.
Some famous ones are examples to us all of how to live fulfilled lives with the gifts which God has given us:
Ludvig Van Beethoven (http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/05/beethoven-really-deaf-wrote-music-2/)
There are undoubtedly thousands of other people who have achieved fulfilling lives, whose stories we will never hear.
Now that I have reflected on the joys which a physical body can give me, I am determined to feel and express gratitude for these every day.
As I endeavour to do this, I will include another challenge: to incorporate the joys which my energetic body gives me through its connection to spirit, with the joys of living in a physical body.
Although many people have theories of why we are here on this physical plane, if those theories do not include the joys which can be experienced in our physical bodies, then I would ask: “Why, then, would God have given us this ability?”
There is one physical pleasure which I haven’t mentioned, because, well, frankly, when I grew up, it was something you just didn’t talk about – that is sex. Although it may be discussed more often these days, it is still considered a taboo in many circles.
Yet, there are very few areas in life, which give us as much potential to incorporate the joys of the physical body with the joys of the energetic body and our spiritual essence, as sex does.
Maybe it’s time to understand that sex can be just as much a part of our spiritual practice as meditation or prayer, but whereas prayer or meditation, may just involve our mind and spirit, sex could be a way to involve all of our being.
And if we manage to achieve that, let’s not forget to thank God for it all.
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