In circles of those who think and talk about enlightenment, some of whom may even be enlightened, we often want to focus on the great, grand visions, the Oneness that is felt in meditation and other wonderful and glorious experiences. However, it’s important to continue to experience everything, including the frailty of being human. We humans, even those who are awake, often expect too much of our bodies.
Recently I spent 15 hours in an automobile traveling 800 miles (over 1000 kilometers). It was the second time I’d done so in a week. We went to visit family far away, in a different time zone. We slept in different beds, ate different food, drank different water (which was highly chlorinated), interacted with different people (and different bacteria and viruses too!) and were in a whole different environment than usual. We had a wonderful time, in spite of all the differences.
However, having returned home, my mind has the idea that my body should not feel any effects from the strenuous travel and all the differences in what I experienced. Also, having been feasting for Thanksgiving holidays in the U.S., I felt it necessary to limit my caloric intake and go on a diet.
My body is having none of it! It feels weak, nauseated, and out of balance. Awareness is still aware of these feelings but, they are very real, not made up. The body needs time and care to adjust to being home again and probably doesn’t feel good with the drastic reduction in calories and the substitution of ‘health food milkshakes’ after eating solid food. The mind needs to pay attention and care for the body!
No matter how grand our realization or how deep the understanding of The Absolute that has awakened in us, our bodies will bring us back to humility. It’s a good thing they do, otherwise we might think that the body is immortal, rather than knowing that it’s The Absolute that is the immortal One. All the great meditative states and perhaps even siddhis will not remove the frailty of the body. Remember to treat it with care.