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Connecting Mind, Body, and Spirit

Connecting Mind, Body, and Spirit

At every stage of spiritual growth, the greatest ally you have is your body. Is this statement surprising to you? Most of us assume that body and spirit stand at opposite ends of the spectrum. When we feel sensations that are body-centered, such as hunger and thirst, pain and pleasure, we do not regard them as spiritual experiences.

Sensuousness, which encompasses the whole range of physical delight, is often considered low compared to the heights the soul can reach. But spirituality must also be sensuous, because a spiritual person is one who lives fully in the present moment, which means living fully in the body.

Unfortunately, our culture has made the mistake of deciding that the human body is a machine, an inert lump of matter that works without any intelligence of its own. This misconception led to a second mistake – that the most spiritual people must be those who renounce the body, deny its passions, or at the very least attempt to control its desires.

This kind of prejudice against the body runs contrary to the way that Nature fashioned us. Nature balanced mind, body, and spirit as co-creators of our personal reality. You cannot do a single thing, from falling in love to uttering a prayer to metabolizing a molecule of sucrose, without affecting everything that you are.

In our society people suffer from a sense that spirit is basically separate from them. Our bodies process food, air, and water perfectly well without spirit; our minds effectively think about a million things without touching upon spirit. We find it easy to set aside spiritual life, waiting for the day when some as-yet-impossible leap takes us out of everyday life into a more exalted realm. Spirituality is not meant to be separate from the body.

Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit, ,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

50 comments

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5:22AM PST on Dec 14, 2010

Or maybe 'spirit' is meant as a certain drink which can be connected to the body by ingestion.

5:21AM PST on Dec 14, 2010

...and suddenly the following message pops up: Connection cannot be established.
:-(

9:35AM PDT on Mar 20, 2010

Thank you for the article.

4:10AM PST on Jan 28, 2010

Dusan R. commented "dont like it but,tnx" and was the only contrary comment I read. I would be very interested to learn why you don't like what Deepak has stated in the article which to all the other commenters (and myself) seemed like such uplifting knowledge.

4:09AM PST on Jan 28, 2010

Dusan R. commented "dont like it but,tnx" and was the only contrary comment I read. I would be very interested to learn why you don't like what Deepak has stated in the article which to all the other commenters (and myself) seemed like such uplifting knowledge.

2:13PM PST on Jan 27, 2010

Thanks for telling us this truth.

8:41AM PST on Jan 24, 2010

still trying to learn that my body speaks to me, & my mind needs to interpret its message..

9:46PM PST on Jan 17, 2010

This is so obvious, yet I keep forgetting the fact that feeling good in my body is a spiritual experience. And even more when I'm not feeling good physically - mind and spirit suffer. So, even though they're intertwined, sometimes spirit must rise above bodily sensations, otherwise when we fall ill we'd be disconnected from it. Which after all may happen when we die.

2:15PM PST on Jan 17, 2010

good one Deepak

12:38PM PST on Jan 17, 2010

Great Story! Thanks!

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