The purpose of this meditation is to establish the emptiness of the body, and maintain this understanding with tranquil concentration.

I began by making appropriate preparations and then went through the four essential points.

book_mtb_frnt_2Identifying the object of negation. I brought to mind my body – the body I normally see and relate to. It is just there. My body. When I see my hand, or think of my body, my body appears to me. It seems complete and solid. It appears as just one object – my body. It does not appear as parts – it appears as one whole thing. It does not seem to have an outside or an inside, it just seems to be a oneness. I generated a strong perception of this body I normally see, and then held it, becoming familiar with it.

Ascertaining the Pervasion. If the body exists in the way it appears, then I must be able to find it, because it appears to be truly existent – it appears to be a real thing, and you can find real things. Where should I look? Sounds like a daft question, but let’s be logical, just to be thorough. It must exist somewhere within my body parts somehow, or separate from them. That’s it – it can’t be anywhere else.

Ascertaining the absence of oneness. So is that body I normally see my foot? Obviously not. It the body I normally see my leg? No. Arm? No. Head? No. Is my body any part of my body. No it is not. Not one part of my body is my whole, one, solid body. What about the collection of my body parts – is that my body? Well, I could sort of look at all my body parts at once, and say the collection is very similar to my body, but is it the body I normally see? No. When I look at the collection of my body parts, I actually see a collection of body parts, and this is definitely not the body I normally see in the mirror or think about getting old and fat. I definitely don’t relate to my body in that way. Furthermore, I could try to convince myself that by getting all the parts of my body together, that this is my body, but it is illogical. Those parts don’t magically transform into a one, solid object. I might CALL the collection of parts a body, a single noun, but this change comes from my side, my naming. It does not come from the side of the body parts. They stay resolutely separate parts, joined up in a particular way.

Ascertaining the absence of difference. So if the body does not exist in connection with its parts, then perhaps it exists away from those parts? Well, it does not take long to prove that my body is not separate from its parts.

So now I have been through the four essential points, and I cant’ find my body.

I felt free – free from my body. It was wonderful.

Deditation

May all living beings be free from suffering, and attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to maintain this awareness of the emptiness of my body.