We live overseas and return back to our countries of origin every few years. Recently while we visited our countries of origin we received several judgements from those loved ones about what we should be buying, what relationship we should be in, and generally how we should be living our lives. One difficult judgement that we received was regarding our weights. As described in the previous article, maybe there is some truth to the judgements, maybe we do need to lose some weight.
Looking At The Person In The Mirror
It was in our countries of origin during the summertime, we were each trying on new clothes from old familiar stores. In the heat of the summertime in a cramped cubicle we each had similar experiences. Hot and sweaty in the confined space we turned and looked ourselves in the mirror. What we saw definitely did not match the clenched abdomens and calves that featured in the stores’ advertising. It was a much more blubbery and flabby image reflected back to us.
The rest of the day was uncomfortable and confronting. We were surprised to see ourselves for what we are, oversized and unhealthy. The extra weight making high demands on our internal organs and body’s resources; heightening our heart rates, sweating on lukewarm days, our old clothes becoming tighter and tighter.
Precious Human Rebirth
In Buddhism, this life is a precious opportunity to put the Dharma into action each day, to practice the 6 Perfections, to achieve direct realizations, even to become a Buddha in this very life. It is an incredible opportunity that is derived karma accrued from positive actions performed stretching back through our past lives. Here we are at the end of this long line of rebirths, enjoying the fruit of the practice of the 6 Perfections.
Caring For Our Bodies
We waste this precious opportunity by not looking after this body and taking proper care of it. We respect this opportunity and look after this body by doing the following:
- Clothing our body, keeping it warm and dry.
- Eating and drinking only healthy and nutritious options.
- Exercising regularly to keep our bodies healthy.
- Relaxing and resting when we need it, including resting from Buddhist activities when we need it.
- Sleeping, getting as much as this body requires but not too much.
- Protecting our bodies from danger, sickness, and injury.
- Seeking healthcare when we become sick or injured.
- Taking medication when as prescribed by a doctor, nurse, or chemist.
We hope that you will also care for your body with the respect that it deserves.