by Paul Griffin

The tantric teachings on the subtle or energetic body were an aspect of the dharma to which I responded very strongly when I first discovered Buddhism.  Why?  Two reasons.  First, I found that I basically lived my entire life in my head, like so many other modern human beings.  To practice embodiment, to ground my awareness in my feet and stomach and heart, to tame my monkey mind and stay connected to the earth: these were my first major dharmic lessons and values.  Second, as I listened to teachings on meditating with the body, as I discovered the first fruits of practice, I realized I had encountered this electric and energetic and erotic approach to body-awareness before: in poetry.  

Also, if you haven’t yet listened to Robert Chender’s podcasted talk here on the One City blog entitled, “Buddhism and Shamanism: Working With Energy,” I heartily recommend it!  Great stuff in there on this view of the energetic body.  
Read on for the poem… 

I’d like to share this brief poem by one of my all-time favorite poets, Octavio Paz, winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature.  If you like this short poem “Touch,” I most heartily recommend you look up Paz’s masterpiece, the long poem based on the Aztec calendar called “Sun Stone.” You can find a lengthy excerpt here.  I hope that the dharmic echoes therein and the sheer beauty of the poem provide you with inspiration along the path.
My hands
Open the curtains of your being
Clothe you in a further nudity
Uncover the bodies of your body
My hands
Invent another body for your body
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