Sunday, October 25, 2009

This body is not mine to own

I read an explanation of the Easter story of the crucifixtion that, for the first time ever, made sense to me. It is in the book Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo. Given to me by BMG for Christmas last year, I have been trying to read this short novel for nearly 10 months. It is the kind of book I've read eagerly and then had to put down to reflect on what I was experiencing through the author's words. I have repeatedly lost my place and unintentionally re-read several chapters as a result.

I came upon a passage I had not yet read this morning, while reading at the dining room table as I munched a leftover salad. In it, the Buddha incarnate, is trying to explain the process and the rationale behind reincarnation. Or maybe he is responding to our protagonist's question about the existence of evil. Regardless, the Buddha character, Volya Rinpoche (which I've learned is pronounced "Rin-poh-chay"), explains that Jesus was nailed to a cross to remind us that our bodies do not belong to us, that they are temporary vessels that house our spirits.

This makes more sense to me than any Christian explanation of the Easter story I have ever heard. And as someone who has struggled with loving and taking care of her body, it is one of the move moving and profound "aha"s I've had in a long time. Who cares what my body looks like? What is important is the cultivation of my soul, the love I feel for the essence I bring into the universe. Now and forever after.

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