The Body as a Gateway to Liberation

An article written by Amoda Maa (adapted from her book Embodied Enlightenment) and published in Conscious Lifestyle Magazine, Spring 2018

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A very intimate relationship we need to pay attention to is the one we have with our bodies. What happens when we awaken out of the dream of identification with form and yet still appear to function in an earthly body? How do we make sense of knowing ourselves as the eternal presence of consciousness while also knowing that our lives are finite? And does any of this have an impact on how we live?

Many spiritual seekers and spiritual teachers dismiss the body as an inconvenient illusion, and this has led to a lot of confusion. 

For thousands of years, spiritual teachings have pointed to the absolute purity and perfection of the unmanifest realm of consciousness, while mostly ignoring any conversation about the role of the body in living the truth of consciousness in everyday life. What little attention has been given to the body has mostly emphasized the unlawfulness of our animal nature. In both Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, a plethora of ascetic and punitive practices have developed to conceal or control our natural instincts: celibacy, long periods of fasting, seclusion, abstinence from intimate relationships and worldly interactions, extreme yogic postures, exposing the body to freezing temperatures, and mortification of the flesh have all been attempted throughout history. Some metaphysical and New Age teachings support this disembodied view of spirituality by focusing on out-ofbody experiences, trance states, channeling spiritual entities, and communication with angels as ways to achieve a “higher consciousness,” but none of these methods has ever led to enlightenment. (... continued) Download and read the full article