Restore Harmony to Your Body: An Exercise
In meditation we act according to the principle of nonviolence. This is because we know that we are happiness and that we are also suffering, that we are understanding and that we are also ignorance. For this reason we must take care of both of these aspects. We must not discriminate against one of them.
Here is an exercise offered by Thich Nhat Hanh to help you reconcile yourself with your entire body, to not discriminate against any part of it. In this way you can restore harmony and balance:
The Buddha tells us: If this exists, that exists. This exists because that exists. So there should be no conflict, no violence, between one element of our being and another element of being. There should only be an effort of taking care and being able to transform. So we must have a nonviolent attitude with regard to our suffering, our pain. We must take care of our suffering the way we would take care of our own baby.
The Buddha proposed to us the practice of scanning directed toward the parts of our body. In the sitting position or the lying position, you could use the energy of mindfulness to scan your entire body, starting with your hair and gradually scanning your body with the energy of mindfulness, the way a scanner does.
But the light source here is the light of mindfulness; the energy of mindfulness is the light of the Buddha. You must sweep the entirety of your body, deeply, in order to connect with it and reconcile yourself with it.
Adapted from True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart, by Thich Nhat Hanh (Shambhala, 2004). Copyright (c) 2004 by Thich Nhat Hanh. Reprinted by permission of Shamhala.
Adapted from True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart, by Thich Nhat Hanh (Shambhala, 2004).