The purpose of this meditation is to understand the way the things we normally see really exist.

I made the appropriate preparations for meditation and then called to mind the contemplations from ‘How to Understand the Mind’, by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. We normally see our body in the parts of our body. But when we look for our body, we cannot find it.

I thought about this from my own experience and realised that the body we see can actually be quite different from the parts we see. For example, we went to Lapland a few years ago to take the kids to see Father Christmas. It was a really magical break and by the end of it I almost believed in him too! But what I want to share with you happened before we went on our trip, when I was in laughter linesDecathalon buying some super-warm clothes. I found some balaclavas and tried one on to check for size. I looked in the mirror and I was shocked to see that my eyes had lots of wrinkles around them. Before this, I had known I had some laughter lines around my eyes, but when I put the balaclava on, all I could see was the part of my face around the eyes and the wrinkles really stood out. I remember being genuinely shocked: Whose eyes are those!! I thought. Clearly, they were mine and it was rather pathetic that I was taken by surprise, but there was definitely something new – something different about my body, that I had not seen before.

My conclusion is that my ‘body’, that is my mental image of my body that I superimpose on the parts of my body all the time, was somewhat out of step with the parts themselves. This was what I focused on in my meditation – that the body I normally see is simply an approximation of what I think my parts might look like – certainly not a ‘real’ body at all.

As I contemplated, my ‘body’ vanished and with it all my troubles and worries associated with it. If my body does not exist, how can it get cancer, grow old or cause me pain. I felt blissfully free, and tried to maintain the understanding for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings be freed from their suffering of mistaken appearance and conception.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remember that things do not exist in the way they appear, and often they are radically different from their bases of imputation.