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Lions Roar : July 2016
HOW TO EXPERIENCE YOUR REAL BODY Too often, says Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, we’re actually relating to a kind of psychosomatic body. TO BEGIN WITH, there is some problem about what we understand by body. We sit on chairs or on the ground; we eat; we sleep; we wear clothes. But the body we relate with in going through these activities is questionable. According to the tradition, the body we think we have is what is known as psychosomatic body. It is largely based on projections and concepts of body. This psychosomatic body contrasts with the enlightened person’s sense of body, which might be called body-body. This sense of body is free from conceptualizations. It is just simple and straightforward. There is a direct relationship with the earth. As for us, we do not actually have a relationship with the earth. We have some relationship with body, but it is very uncertain and erratic. We flicker back and forth between body and something else—fantasies, ideas. That seems to be our basic situation. Even though the psychosomatic body is constituted by projections of body, it can be quite solid in terms of those projections. We have expectations concerning the existence of this body; therefore, we have to refuel it, entertain it, wash it. Through this psychosomatic body we are able to experience a sense of being. Mindfulness of body brings this all-pervasive mind-imitating-body activity into the practice of meditation. In this case, mindfulness means that when you sit and meditate, you actually do sit. You feel the ground, body, breath, tem- perature. You don’t try specifically to watch and keep track of what is going on. You don’t try to formalize the sitting situation and make it into some special activity that you are performing. You just sit. From The Heart of the Buddha (Shambhala Publications). © 1991 by Diana J. Mukpo. LION’S ROAR | JULY 2016 33