This body is sustained by altars
To the radiant nectar of life –
Around you, an ocean of air
Ready to become your breath.
Above the head, the glow of an invisible Sun.
Within the spaciousness of the heart,
A pulsing throb of creation –
Where the breaths meet, fuse
And transform into each other.
Whenever, wherever your mind wanders,
Whatever you wonder,
Return to the luminous.
Choose any altar, imbibe its energy as you journey.
Throw your attention again and again
Into one of these centers where spirit and flesh
Consummate their love.
Day by day, old whirlpools fade, the endless circles.
You are living in the temple of essence.
- Lorin Roche The Radiance Sutras
“Your heart is endlessly deep, and your body is an endless temple. Your life is not a project to be solved, but a mystery coming into form.”
“The body is a multilingual being. It speaks through its color and it’s temperature, the flush of recognition, the glow of love, the ash of pain, the heat of arousal, the coldness of nonconviction. It speaks through its constant tiny dance, sometimes swaying, sometimes a-jitter, sometimes trembling. It speaks through the leaping of the heart, the falling of the spirit, the pit at the center, and rising hope.
The body remembers, the bones remember, the joints rememeber, even the little finger remembers. Memory is lodged in pictures and feelings in the cells themselves. Like a sponge filled with water, anywhere the flesh is pressed, wrung, even touched lightly, a memory may flow out in a stream.
To confine the beauty and value of the body to anything less than this magnificence is to force the body to live without its rightful spirit, its rightful form, its right to exultation. To be thought ugly or unacceptable because one’s beauty is outside the current fashion is deeply wounding to the natural joy that belongs to the wild nature.”
- Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves
Bodily delight is a sensory experience, not any different from pure looking or the pure feeling with , which a beautiful fruit fills the tongue; it is a great, an infinite learning that is given to us, a knowledge of the world, the fullness and the splendor of all knowledge. And it is not our acceptance of it that is bad; what is bad is that most people misuse this learning and squander it and apply it as a stimulant on the tired places of their lives and as a distraction rather than as a way of gathering themselves for their highest moments. / Rainer Maria Rilke, A letter to a friend, 1903
You are the daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin. Swimmer, your body is pure as the water; cook, your blood is quick as the soil. Everything you do is full of flowers, rich with the earth. Your eyes go out toward the water, and the waves rise; your hands go out to the earth and the seeds swell; you know the deep essence of water and the earth, conjoined in you like a formula for clay. Naiad: cut your body into turquoise pieces, they will bloom resurrected in the kitchen. This is how you become everything that lives. And so at last, you sleep, in the circle of my arms that push back the shadows so that you can rest- vegetables, seaweed, herbs: the foam of your dreams.
Sonnet XXXIV Pablo Neruda
“I want everything quiet and simple. For me: walking barefoot, sitting still, reading, listening to stories and now and then telling some myself. Eating fruit, drinking milk, longing to create, but with patience and many insights.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from a letter to Lou Salomé witten c. March 1904