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

Rebecca Beard

The body is our primary feedback mechanism which can show us what is and isn't working about our ways of thinking, expressing, and living.  As we live our truth more fully and freely, our body grows healthier, stronger, and more beautiful.

Shakti Gawain

The body has to be looked after:  one has to be very caring about the body and very loving to the body.  And then, its very spontaneity purifies it, makes it holy.


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

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

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


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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


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


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


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

I see my body as an instrument rather than an ornament.

Alanis Morissette

If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred.

Walt Whitman

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

The Buddha



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

Koichi Tohei


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


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


Anyone who works at a high level of physical skill--as a good woodcarver,
athlete, or instrumentalist does--must trust his or her body implicitly, which
is tantamount to "forgetting."  A shortstop or concert pianist who wonders
for even a split second whether his or her hands are correctly positioned
will flub that hard-hit ground ball or falter in the middle of
that fast-moving Chopin riff.
  When we "forget" the body in this way, we learn the true meaning of the old
saying that "the body has a mind of its own."  Even those of us who play neither
baseball nor a Steinway  must learn to trust bodily knowledge as part of our
inner guidance.  As we do so, we, like the woodcarver, become less responsive
to external commands and more responsive to the inner teacher.
We start to live in closer conformity to our own souls.

Parker J. Palmer
A Hidden Wholeness


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 uncertainty.

Thich Nhat Hanh
How to Walk


In general, however, human beings have ceased to develop the instruments
of the body. More and more we try to effect an adaptation to life by means
of external gadgets, and attempt to solve our problems by conscious
thinking rather than unconscious “know-how.” This is much less to our
advantage than we like to suppose. . . . we have been taught to neglect,
despise, and violate our bodies, and to put all faith in our brains.

Alan Watts
The Wisdom of Insecurity


Your body is not who you are.  The mind and spirit transcend the body.

Christopher Reeve

To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise
we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and
keep our mind strong and clear.  Water surrounds
the lotus petal, but does not wet its petals.

The Buddha


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

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

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


Professionals at living would not mar their day's run of the human machine,
as most of us do, would not impair its marvelous expression, its output, by
overeating or undereating, or by irregular living.  They would not allow
themselves to be crippled for days by burning out its delicate brain and
nerve cells with the fires of hot temper, by shocks of hatred, jealousy,
fear or worry.  Instead, they would protect this marvelously delicate and
sensitive mechanism from its multitude of physical and mental enemies.

Orison Swett Marden
The Joys of Living 


The difficulty is to learn to perceive with your whole body, not with
just your eyes and reason.  The world becomes a stream of tremendously
rapid, unique events.  So you must trim your body to make it a good
receptor.  The body is an awareness; and it must be treated impeccably.

Carlos Castaneda

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

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

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


The body says what words cannot.

Martha Graham


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


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


Wherever you are, whether in a work meeting, sitting with your partner,
holding your child, or writing a report, you can relax any part of your body
that feels tight, release any tension that you may be holding on to.  And
because mind and body are one, by becoming aware of your body and
by learning to let go of the tension that it holds within it,
your whole being becomes calmer and more serene.

Tal Ben-Shahar
Choose the Life You Want


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

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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

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


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

I was in an eight-pound body, and I was in a body that was only
two and a half feet tall. I was in a body that didn’t have any hair
on it, and then it had a whole bunch of hair on it, and then it all fell
out again later on. I’ve been in lots of different bodies. But nothing
about me—not one physical cell that was in any of those bodies—is
in the body that I carry now. Every cell has been changed . . . yet I
can remember everything about what I did when I was 10 years old.
I am not a body with a soul; I’m a soul with a body.

Wayne Dyer
Happiness Is the Way

Your body instinctively understands the energy of words.  You can benefit
from this inner knowledge by paying attention to words that describe the
feeling of your physical symptoms.  Always ask yourself if the word you use
to describe your symptom also describes another aspect of your life.
“Aching, stiff joints” may reflect an inflexible work schedule or relationship,
while a headache that feels like “constant pressure” may describe your
current financial situation.  In such cases, your body is begging you to take
notice of what’s happening in your life.  Just recognizing that the symptom
applies not only to your body but also to your life shatters your ability to
ignore the unhealthy situation and motivates you to make the changes you need.

Bernie Siegel
No Endings, Only Beginnings


If you think you are a body only, you are ruled by its demands and
restrictions, and your life is reduced to a daily struggle to get enough.
You think you are here to simply eat, sleep, have sex, protect your
territory, and fight for stuff.  You identify with your smallness and
overlook your magnitude.  But if you know there is more to you than
what’s encapsulated by your skin, you have access to infinite
resources and rewards that bodies alone cannot grasp.

Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy

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

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


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

The body itself, what we term the physical body, whatever may
be the facts regarding a finer spiritual body within it all the time
giving form to and animating and directing all its movements, is
of material origin, and derives its sustenance from the food we
take, from the air we breathe, the water we drink.  In this sense
it is from the earth, and when we are through with it,
it will go back to the earth. . . .
   We take the food, the water, we breathe the air; but this is all
and always acted upon by a higher force.  Thus it is that mind builds
body, the same as in every department of our being it is the great
builder.  Our thoughts shape and determine our features, our walk,
the posture of our bodies, our voices; they determine the
effectiveness of our mental and our physical activities, as well as
all our relations with and influence or effects upon others.

Ralph Waldo Trine
"The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit"

Everybody has a part of their body that they don't like, but
I've stopped complaining about mine because I don't want
to critique nature's handiwork. . . My job is simply to allow
the light to shine out of the masterpiece.

Alfre Woodard


And yet a lot of the time many of us completely forget we have a body.
Our body is there, but our mind is somewhere else, not with the body.
Our mind is alienated from the body.  It is with our projects, our worries,
our fears.  We can work on a computer for hours and completely forget
our body, until something starts to hurt.  But how can we say we’re truly
living our life if we’ve forgotten we have a body?  If our mind is not with
our body, we cannot say that we’re fully present.
We cannot say that we’re truly alive.

Thich Nhat Hanh
The Art of Living



When Walker first steps onto the road, he has no thoughts, no history, no memories, and no clothes. As he travels and meets people and learns from them, he comes to know more about life, living, and becoming the person he's meant to be. Walker is a parable for all of us who wonder what might be the purpose of life, why bad things happen with almost as much regularity as good things, and how we can learn from the bad examples and experiences in our lives as much as we can learn from the good things. Tom Walsh's parable is a story of the ages, a timeless exploration of ideas and thoughts that all of us wonder about, a sincere and heartfelt portrait of a man who has no past and no future, but who learns to make the most of each precious present moment as it comes.



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