October 11, 2006

The Mind's Attachment to The Body

Philip Ryan

After meeting with the Dalai Lama, Supermodel Elle Macpherson is dropping her lawsuit against fellow model Heidi Klum, according to the UK's Life Style Extra. It seems Elle was miffed that Heidi released a bra called "The Body." A spokesperson for Elle said, "We have numerous press clipping in the office referring to her as 'The Body'. In terms of public record, that name belongs to Elle." But Heidi has her own claim to the nickname. She's the face of a Victoria's Secret campaign called "Body by Victoria." About her bra Heidi said: "They call me 'The Body' and now I have one named after me." Elle was ready to call in the lawyers until her meeting with the Dalai Lama. As Elle put it: "A few people have made me stop in my tracks and the Dalai Lama would be one of them." And the nickname itself? "It's no big deal for me. She can have it." Way to let go, Elle. To end on a positive note, here are some words on the Body by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, a monk in the Thai Forest tradition:

"Although early Buddhism is widely believed to take a negative attitude toward the body, the texts of the Pali canon do not support this belief. They approach the body both in its positive role, as an object of meditation to develop mindfulness, concentration, and the mental powers based on concentration; and in its negative role as an object for unskillful states of mind. Even in its negative role, the body is not the culprit: the problem is the mind's attachment to the body. Once the body can be used in its positive role, to develop mindfulness and concentration, those mental qualities can be used to free the mind of its attachments to the body. Then, as many a modern meditation master has noted, the mind and body can live in peace."

-Thanissaro Bhikkhu in Body Contemplation: A Study Guide

Philip Ryan Webmaster

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