Quotes for
the Journey:

The Body

If anything is sacred,
the human body is sacred.

Walt Whitman

You are not your body.  It is just something you wear for a while, because living in the earthplane is infinitely more meaningful and more involved if you are encased in its trappings and subject to its rules.       -P.M.H. Atwater

The human body is a magazine of inventions, the patent office, where are the models from which every hint is taken.  All the tools and engines on earth are only extensions of its limbs and senses.       -Ralph Waldo Emerson

To keep the body in good health is a duty. . . otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.       -The Buddha

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a wise and intuitive counselor available 24/7?  You're in luck--you already have one.  Your body!  Our bodies carry ancient wisdom.  We literally live within a temple of intuitive and instinctive wisdom.  Sometimes we pay attention and access body wisdom; but unfortunately, the aphorism "Mrs. Smith lived a short distance from her body" is sadly true for many of us.       -Sue Patton Thoele
Your body is not who you are. The mind and spirit transcend the body.
-Christopher Reeve

The body is the soul's house.  Shouldn't we therefore take care of our house so that it doesn't fall into ruin?       -Philo Judaeus

People make the mistake of identifying themselves with their body, then if something happens to a person's body, they think something has happened to the person.  When you think about it, that's as ridiculous as saying that if something happens to the clothing I'm wearing, something has happened to me.  Our body is just what we wear. . . We need to take care of it, but it's not who we are.       -H. Frederick Vogt

My body is so important to me.  My face, my arms, my legs, my hands, my eyes, everything.  I use everything I have.       -Monica Belluci


My body has taught me many things, all of them filled with soul:  how to dance and make love, mourn and make music; now it is teaching me how to heal.  I am learning to heed the shifting currents of my body--the subtle changes in temperature, muscle tension, thought and mood--the way a sailor rides the wind by reading the ripples on the water.       -Kat Duff

In Extremis
I saw my toes the other day.
I hadn’t looked at them for months.
Indeed, they might have passed away.
And yet, they were my best friends once.
When I was small, I knew them well
I counted on them up to ten
And put them in my mouth to tell The larger from the lesser. Then
I loved them better than my ears,
My elbows, and heart.
But with the swelling of the years
We drifted, toes and I, apart.
Now, gnarled and pale, each said, j‘accuse!—
I hid them quickly in my shoes.

John Updike

Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.       -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The body has its own way of knowing, a knowing that has little to do with logic, and much to do with truth, little to do with control, and much to do with acceptance, little to do with division and analysis and much to do with union.       -Marilyn Sewell

When you coordinate your mind and body, you have unlimited access to the wisdom of the universe.      -Koichi Tohei

Many people treat their bodies as if they were rented from Hertz--something they are using to get around in but nothing they genuinely care about understanding.       -Chungliang Al Huang


William Blake says the body is "that portion of Soul discerned by the five Senses."  I live with that idea.  I sit and look out my window here in Canada and the autumn trees are golden against the blue sky.  I can feel their "food" coming into my eyes and going down, down, down, interacting inside, and I fill up with gold.  My soul is fed.  I see, I smell, I taste, I hear, I touch.  Through the orifices of my body, I give and I receive.  I am not trying to capture what is absent.  It's that interchange between the embodied soul and the outside world that is the dynamic process.  That's how growth takes place.  That is life.       -Marion Woodman

Our body is a machine for living.  It is organized for that, it is its nature.  Let life go on in it unhindered and let it defend itself, it will do more than if you paralyze it by encumbering it with remedies.       -Lev Tolstoy
I see my body as an instrument rather than an ornament.        -Alanis Morissette

Bless your body always.  Speak no word of condemnation about it.       -Rebecca Beard


Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.       -The Buddha


But if one observes, one will see that the body has its own intelligence; it requires a great deal of intelligence to observe the intelligence of the body.     -Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Flight of the Eagle
Everyone should consider their bodies as priceless gifts from one whom they love above all, a marvelous work of art, of indescribable beauty, and mystery beyond human conception, and so delicate that a word, a breath, a look, nay, a thought may injure it.  Uncleanliness, which breeds disease and death, is not only a self-destructive but highly immoral habit.     -Nikola Tesla
Nature's harmony is around us and within us at all times.  Perceiving it is an occasion for great happiness; but it is often only appreciated in retrospect or in its absence.  If all is going well in the body, it tends to go unnoticed.  Your lack of a headache is not front-page news for your cerebral cortex.  Abilities such as walking, seeing, thinking, and peeing take care of themselves, and so blend into the landscape of automaticity and unawareness.  Only pain or fear or loss wake us and bring things into focus.  But by then harmony is harder to see, and we find ourselves caught up in turbulence, itself containing, like rapids and waterfalls, order of a more difficult and subtle level within the river of life.  As Joni Mitchell sings, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone. . ."      -Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are
If it ever occurs to people to value the honour of the mind equally with the honour of the body, we shall get a social revolution of a quite unparalleled sort.     -Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night
You take your car in for checkups more than you take your body in for checkups.  And you change the oil in your car more than you change some of your habits, and some of the things you're putting into your body.  So, for heaven's sake, take better care of your body.     -Neale Donald Walsch, Little Book of Life
It is the physical body that relates us to the physical universe about us, that in which we find ourselves in this present form of existence.  But the body, wondrous as it is in its functions and its mechanisms, is not the life.  It has no life and no power in itself.  It is of the earth, earthy.  Every particle of it has come from the earth through the food we eat in combination with the air we breathe and the water we drink, and every part of it in time will go back to the earth.  It is the house we inhabit while here.
   We can make it a hovel or a mansion; we can make it even a pigsty or a temple, according as the soul, the real self, chooses to function through it. We should make it servant, but through ignorance of the real powers within, we can permit it to become master.     -Ralph Waldo Trine
You have to stand up and be a human.  You have to honor the man or woman that you are.  Respect your body, enjoy your body, love your body, feed, clean, and heal your body.  Exercise and do what makes your body feel good.  This is a puja to your body, and that is a communion between you and God. . . . When you practice giving love to every part of your body, you plant seeds of love in your mind, and when they grow, you will love, honor, and respect your body immensely.     -Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
If you are feeling tired or ill, rest.  Your body will always want rest and ease if it's sick.  When you become quiet, ask your body what you need to do in order to heal yourself.  Your body may tell you to change certain habits, eat more wholesome food, express some feelings, quit your job, see a doctor, or it may have some other message for you, but there is always an answer available to you.  The key is to ask and then listen honestly for a response.     -Shakti Gawain
The body says what words cannot.     -Martha Graham
My great religion is a belief in the blood, the flesh, as being wiser than the intellect.  We can go wrong in our minds.  But what our blood feels and believes and says, is always true.     -D.H. Lawrence
If you want to experience the body, you must live in the body!  That's why the ancient sages and saints didn't know what to do with their bodies:  they left them when they meditated, so the body didn't participate at all.     -The Mother

The body enjoys a great share in our being, and has an eminent place in it.  Its structure and composition, therefore, are worthy of proper consideration.     -Michel de Montaigne
We have a physical body, which is a wonder.  But this physical body will one day disintegrate.  That is the truth we have to accept.  On the surface, there is birth and death, being and nonbeing.  But if you go more deeply, you recognize that you also have a cosmic body that exists outside of birth and death, being and nonbeing.  A wave on the ocean doesn't last very long.  A waves physical body lasts five, ten, or twenty seconds.  But the wave has her ocean body, because she comes from the ocean and she will go back to the ocean.  If you walk mindfully, if your concentration and insight are powerful, with every step you can touch your cosmic body and you will lose all your fear and uncertaintly.    -Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Walk

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