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Selections from Meditation: A Simple 8-Point Program for Translating Spiritual Ideals into Daily Life by Eknath Easwaran, founder and director of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, copyright © 1978, 1991. Reprinted by permission of Nilgiri Press, Tomales, California. All rights reserved.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Well, I have discovered after some years of meditation that this brown Kerala jacket, my body, is not me either, but simply something I wear."

Eknath Easwaran, Meditation, Part 2

Now, you wouldn’t confuse me with my tan Nehru jacket, would you? Well, I have discovered after some years of meditation that this brown Kerala jacket, my body, is not me either, but simply something I wear. In fact, though you can’t see me do it, I have leaned how to take it off during meditation, leaving consciousness of the body behind. When meditation is over, I put it on again so that I may have the privilege of serving those around me. Someday my tan jacket will wear thin and have to be put aside. And someday too my brown jacket will no longer be useful for service, and I will have to put it aside in the great transformation we call death.

The discovery that you are not the body has far-reaching consequences. For one thing, you no longer see black or brown or white people, but people with all kinds of beautifully colored jackets. You no longer identify people with their color - or their age or sex or hairstyle or any other peripheral matter like money or status. You begin to awaken to the central truth of life, that all of us are one.

Then, too, you develop the capacity to see clearly the body's needs and how to provide for them wisely. You will not be taken in, for example, by just the taste of food, or by its color, or texture, or the sound it makes . . . or the sound the advertiser makes on its behalf. If the senses set up a clamor for junk food you can say affectionately, "Sorry, friends, that's not fit for you." The senses may be disappointed at first, of course, but your body will be grateful: "He really takes good care of me!"

Please do not think this means you lose your appreciation of food. Actually, it will increase. When you can change your eating habits at will, you not only enjoy wholesome food, you have the satisfaction of taking good care of your body. All the other things we charitably call food will leave you unsatisfied.

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