Extract: If we are identifying our body as the cornerstone of who we are, basing our worth and value on our physical appearance, we are highly susceptible to insecurity, depression, emotional pain, and lack of self-confidence.
Extract: At the moment, if we haven’t thought much about emptiness, we are probably thinking that our body is a lot more real and important than it actually is.
Extract: And the way we can do this is through what is called “the four essential points” or steps, of the traditional meditation on emptiness, by which we can come to understand the true nature of our self, our body, and everything else.
Extract: We have a mental image of our body as something different from its parts. When we think “My body is attractive” we are not thinking “My feet are attractive, my elbows are attractive, my forehead is attractive …”, and so forth, but we apprehend an independent body.
Extract: “Therefore, there is no body, but out of ignorance
The thought of “body” arises through perceiving hands and so forth;
Just like developing the thought of a man
Through perceiving a pile of stones.” ~ How to Transform Your Life
Extract: Normally we think that the physical world and everything in it comes first, and that we are conscious beings who then arrive and bump into everything – enter stage left, move around for a lifetime, depart stage right. But it is the other way around.
I beseech you, O reader, who are just like me,
Please strive to realize that all phenomena are empty, like space. ~ Shantideva