Chapter 2: Begin with the Body
This is what I call contemplation. A man has succeeded in contemplation if he understands that what has happened to someone else can also happen to him one day. People who don’t understand what is happening all around them are blind, and in a way we are all blind. This is why I have told you the story of the blind man who was carrying a snake in his hand.
So the first thing for you to do - and it is very important - is to observe all that is happening around you, and through this an understanding will arise in you. Therefore the first, the most important thing for you to do, will be to observe everything around you. Through this observation a quest will arise in you, a question will arise, and this will in turn give rise to a thirst for a higher truth. I have suffered much pain. When that pain subsided, in its place I began to see the steps on the path. Now I want to talk about the first step on this path.
I have come to understand that two things are necessary if you want to attain to the ultimate consciousness, to the divine, to your inner being. One is the circumference, the circumference of meditation. The other important thing is the center of meditation - the circumference of meditation and the center of meditation; or you can call it the body of meditation and the soul of meditation. Today I will talk about the circumference of meditation, tomorrow I will talk about the soul or the center, and the day after tomorrow about the fruits of meditation. Just these three things: the circumference of meditation, the center and the fruits of meditation. In other words, the foundation of meditation, meditation itself and the fulfillment of it.
The foundation of meditation involves only your periphery, and the periphery of your personality is the body. Hence the periphery of meditation involves only the body. So the first step towards meditation begins with your body. So remember, whatever negative feelings you may have about your body which other people may have imprinted on you, drop them. The body is just an instrument in the material as well as in the spiritual world.
The body is neither an enemy nor a friend, it is just an instrument you can use to do wrong or you can use to do good. Through it you can either get involved in the material life or you can get involved in the ultimate. The body is just an instrument. Don’t hold any misconceptions about it. People usually believe that the body is antagonistic towards us, that it is sinful, that it is our enemy and that it needs to be suppressed. I tell you that this is wrong - the body is neither an enemy nor a friend; it is what you make it. That is why the body is so mysterious, so extraordinary.
In the world, whenever something wrong has happened it has happened through the body, and whenever something right has happened it has happened through the body. The body is only the means, the instrument.
So for meditation it is necessary to start with attention to the body, because you cannot proceed without first putting this instrument in order. If the body is not in the right condition you cannot proceed. So the first step is to purify the body; the purer the body, the easier it will be to go deeper inside.