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The Body And The World In Buddhism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents some understandings of the body from ancient India and considers their influence on different cultures today. It concentrates on examining early Indian notions of the body and lightly touches on modern understandings of some points in some other cultures. Buddhism is famous for its emphasis on the importance of meditation as a means of investigating the nature of ultimate reality. First, the chapter talks about insight meditation, and then loving-kindness meditation. Clearly, one of the interesting features of this in the context of this discussion is that this is a body-based practice; it starts from contemplation of your own body, but then develops to encompass the concept of well being for family, society, nations, the world and the universe. The outcome of this understanding of the body and the world in contemporary Buddhist practice in Asia and the west is profound.

Keywords: ancient India; Buddhism; insight meditation; loving-kindness meditation

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