Contemplating Beginner’s Body

We often regard our body as a skin encapsulated organism of flesh and blood and sensation. Ironically, we seem to be mostly interested in it when it is malfunctioning, when it is demanding attention. We want pain or discomfort to go away. We want the cut to heal or the embarrassing leakage to stop. Yet when it is functioning well, we tend to ignore it, engaging instead with a world of mental constructs – a panoramic world of linked memories and future plans. In many cultures, philosophically, this mental world of mind is valued while the body, ‘brother donkey’ as St. Francis called it, plods along as an obligatory but rarely appreciated partner in living. This short but dense contemplative essay calls these attitudes into question. Click here to read the essay.