Do you have a body?
Remember, everything we are doing here is about the relative, not the absolute.
Another way to say this is that it is all from the perspective of experience.
This is an extention of the cup exercise.
The purpose is to reinforce awareness of the difference between what can be experienced through the 5 physical senses and what is experienced as a response to what is imagined.
..is body just a concept?
Please find a quiet place and a quiet time.
Sit or lay down and relax. Close your eyes and relax.
Now attend to sensation exclusively?
Pay no attention to thought babbling about this and that?
Dismiss thought labelling sensation for a bit?
Thought may tell: “I am lying here” or “My body is lying here” or “A body is lying here”.
Can this be known from pure sensation?, or is that a mental conclusion.
Thought might suggest: “There is a soft pressure against the back”.
But can you know about “pressure” or “back” from pure sensation?
Once arrived there, while ONLY attending to sensation, please have a look at the following;
Can it be known how tall the body is?
Do sensations specify size, shape or weight?
How many toes are there?
Deeper Body Investigation
Here is an even deeper investigation of the body.
Please follow each step, don’t leave out any. Take your time.
Don’t move to the next step until the previous one is clearly seen.
Repeat the exercise several times.
Stand in front of a bigger mirror.
(1) First, close the eyes and feel the sensations labelled ‘body’.
(2) Then open the eyes and look into the mirror while still paying attention to the sensations.
Is there any connection between the felt sensations and the image in the mirror? Or just thoughts (and/or mental images) suggest that there is?
(3) While still paying attention to the sensations move one hand and observe the movement from the mirror.
Is there any connection between the felt sensations (labelled ‘hand’) and image of movement in the mirror?
(4) Now do the same movement with the hand, but this time look at the hand directly, not from the mirror.
Is there any connection between the felt sensations (labelled ‘hand’) and the image ‘of movement’? Or only thoughts suggest it?
(5) Now, pay attention only to the image in the mirror.
Does the image by itself suggest in any way that is ‘you’ or ‘your body’?
Does the image itself suggest in any way that it is a ‘body’ at all?
..or are there only colours and shapes?
(6) Where the mirror ends, some parts of the body (probably legs) cannot be seen.
Just by the image in the mirror, is there any ‘knowledge’ that there must be legs, or only thoughts and mental images suggest so?
(7) Now turn away from the mirror and look forward (don’t look directly to any body parts).
Is there a ‘body’ anywhere when all thoughts and images are ignored, or are there only sensations?
(8) Start to walk slowly.
Is there a ‘body walking’, or are there only sensations?
Is there actual experience of ‘walking’ at all?
Or just THOUGHTS ABOUT ‘walking’?
Can such a thing as ‘body’ be found OR just THOUGHTS ABOUT a ‘body’? Can such a thing as ‘walking’ be found?
(9) Without moving, how do you know that you have a back to your head?
Is it a mental conclusion based on memory or what you have been told or read?