The Body Temple

An old adage says your body is a temple.

Like a temple, the body is filled with spirit.

Like a temple, the body is filled with temple bells.

Organs and glands, neurons and cells, molecules and atoms, photons and gluons; thoughts and feelings, ideas and imaginings, desires and disenchantments—these are all like big and little bells, all playing off one another.

These bells are chiming and ringing, resounding and humming, fading and rising, radiating wave upon wave of resonant harmonies or disharmonies according to your feeling tone.

Something moves you, your temple bells chime. You move, the world bells chime.

The world, the solar system, the galaxy, the universe move and the resonant bells of the whole vibrate. You are part of that whole bell choir.

In yoga teachings, spanda is the primordial vibration of all things, a version of a Big Bang. Spanda was there before anything was there. Spanda gives rise to all things.

Spanda is the soundful silence yogis hear, the moving stillness they feel in the resonant core of being. Spanda is the sacred tremor of the unstruck heart.

In the body temple all your being bells are part of the universal vibratory chorus attuned to the sacred tremor of life. Your whole being  desires to feel and express its joy in the unstruck song of the heart.

Long ago, a Japanese poet named Basho wrote this exquisite haiku:

The temple bell

Stops; but the sound

Keeps coming out of the flowers.[i]

Maya Angelou writes it like this:

People will forget what you said;

People will forget what you did;

But people will not forget how you made them feel.[ii]

Let your One Chime ring. Let your unique and singular song sing out. Let your heart be the central bell of your self-temple. Begin now ringing this bell in little and big ways.

Set a practice of quieting your mind. Bring your attention to the breath. Set your intention on one good thing and repeat that intention over and over. Notice and appreciate beauty. Walk in Nature and cultivate biophilia—the love of hanging out with other forms of life. Dance. Sing. Bless.

Every cell in your body will swell like flowers unfolding. The song in your heart will keep coming out of your marvelous cellular structure, your most ennobled thoughts, your magnanimous actions, your singular sparkle long after the ringing stops.

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[i] Basho, trans. Robert Bly (1972). Basho. San Francisco: Mudra.

[ii] Angelou, Maya in Bob Kelly (2003). Worth Repeating: More Than 5,000 Classic And Contemporary Quotes. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications. p. 263.