How to Rediscover Care and Appreciation for Our Bodies

"1. What kind of bodily exercise are you currently engaged in? Do you walk? Work out? Swim? Run? Hike? Climb? Play sports?

"2. Do you have out-of-body experiences when doing these things? Do you have unitive or mystical experiences while doing them? Do they take you to another zone? How much fun is that? How healing is that?

"3. What kind of bodily exercises or sports did you engage in in the past? What did these do for you personally and spiritually? Do you miss them? Are you nostalgic for them?

"4. Read chapters four and five of (my book) Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh and meditate on the sacredness of 'Human Flesh' and also on your seven chakras. What are the implications of this attitude toward the body and this recognition of its specialness?

"5. What are your eating habits? How have they changed? Are you alert to too much sugar, to hydrogenated oils, to too much fat, to too much red meat? Are you keeping your body in decent shape and loving it that way? If not, why not? If not, what are you taking out on your body — what anger, what issues, what relationships? Can you let them go?

"6. What about your drinking habits? Have you experienced alcoholism in your life or have those who are near to you? Do you attend AA or other programs for those afflicted by eating or drinking disorders? What have you derived from those meetings? Are you learning to love your body anew?

"7. Breathing exercises. Do you do them? Meditation? Mantras? Breath work? What are the results? How have your practices evolved?

"8. What is beautiful in women you admire? In men you admire? How do you share in that beauty?

"9. Do you bring body to prayer and to church or synagogue or mosque? Have you done sweat lodges? Sundances? Raves? Other sacred dancing? If not, why not? Do you encourage the young to do so? Do you talk to them about their experience of linking dance and trance?

"10. All life is impermanent. Meditate on death — when the body you now dwell in (and beyond) will no longer exist. Can this help you to appreciate your body more and cherish it more while you are together? The bodies of others you love or appreciate will also some day pass away. Does that awaken your sense of beauty in the present moment? And gratitude?

"11. Is the whole human enterprise a quest for immortality, as Otto Rank proposes? What are the implications of this? Have you worked through your fear of death? How are beauty and death allied?

"12. What are the implications of the teaching of today's science that matter and light are the same thing?

"13. Do you love sports? Do you love to play them? Which ones? When? How has this relationship evolved? What delight and learning do you derive from sports you play or have played?

"14. Do you love watching others play sports? Live? On TV? What delight and learning do you derive from watching others play sports? How much watching do you do? Is it excessive? If so, can you cut back? Have you turned from an athlete to a couch potato or do you know others who have? How can you get over this addiction?

"15. Is your body welcomed at work? How is it involved? Or not involved? How is it honored and treated at work? If badly, how can you improve the situation?

"16. John Conger guides us in four ways to get in touch with our bodies. Have you tried them? With what results? If not, it is not too late to try them now."