Mind and body are intimately connected, and the relationship of mind to body in meditation is very interesting. When we see the body as peaceful and beautiful, who or what is creating these feelings? The mind is. By creating peaceful feelings in the body, the mind is absorbed in those feelings. So, the body is the object to be healed, but it also becomes the means of healing the mind. The healing of the mind is the ultimate goal of meditation.
This approach is a kind of homecoming. We are reintroducing ourselves to our bodies and establishing a positive connection between mind and body. Quite often, people have a rather strained and distant relationship to their own body. We think of the body as unattractive or ugly, or maybe our health is not good. Or else we like the body, cherish it, and foster cravings around it. But even if we cherish the body, we worry that it could be better than it is, or that it will get sick or grow old. So we are conflicted and ambivalent. The body is an object of anxiety.
Through meditation, we can learn how to encourage our mind to create a feeling of peace in the body. This can be as simple as relaxing and saying to ourselves, “Let my body be calm and peaceful now,” and really feeling that this is happening. It is the beginning of meditation—and of wisdom, too.
The mind wants to be peaceful; this is really its natural state. But there are so many distractions and cravings that can obscure our peaceful nature. A characteristic of our time is the speed of our living, especially in the West. Everything is a rush. Meditation can slow us down so that we touch our true nature. Any meditation can help us. The object of our contemplation could be a flower, a religious image, or a positive feeling. Or it could be our own body.
To find true well-being, the best place to look is close to home. We could travel around the globe a hundred times, turning over every stone on earth in the quest for happiness. Yet this would not necessarily give us what we seek. Money does not necessarily grant well-being either, nor does a youthful or healthy body. Health and money can help us, of course. But the real source of peace and joy is our mind.