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Sickness and Health

dance!
Episode No. 88

Loving God means loving and caring for our bodies. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi.

First Words from Podcast

Welcome everybody! We’re going to talk tonight about sickness and health in relationship to the larger spiritual view of Kashmir Shaivism or just more loosely what are called non-dual traditions.

The first thing we want to think about regarding the View of sickness and health is to make a clear distinction about how the body is treated in what are called transcendental or more dualistic traditions versus traditions that are loosely called non-dual. We have probably some idea, if we’ve been on the planet for a while, that there are some religious traditions that discourage us from paying a lot of attention to our bodies. What this is based on is some View that body is radically different from spirit, and the View that the subject of spirituality or religious traditions is spirit and not matter.

In some and many world traditions, there’s less emphasis on taking care of the body — and maybe even in some more extreme forms of those traditions, there’s an emphasis actually on chastising the body, doing penance. The fundamental View that there’s a real distinction between spirit and matter gives rise to denigration of the body, less emphasis on taking care of your body, and certainly less emphasis on taking care of your body as part of your spiritual practice. I mean, maybe we have to take care of our bodies just so we can limp along in this life.

So we just want to know what universe we’re in. In the direct realization traditions, there’s no division between spirit and matter. Spirit and matter are simply names that we give to different kinds of experiences. Matter is just as much an experience as something we call spiritual or more subtle. They just exist on a continuum from more subtle experiences to more gross and embodied experiences and there is no gap between them. Everything is Shiva nature.