Lama Willa Miller recently reviewed a two new books in Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly.
Religion and the Subtle Body in Asia and the West edited by Geoffrey Samuel and Jay Johnston
Routledge, 2013, 282 pages; $155
Training the Wisdom Body: Buddhist Yogic Exercise by Rose Taylor Goldfield
Shambhala Publications, 2013, 192 pages; $16.95
Reviewed by Willa B. Miller
Recently, while attending a public teaching by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche at Wellesley College, I was surprised to hear a term I had only heard within the confines of a long-term cloistered retreat or in the context of esoteric tantric manuals: subtle body. Rinpoche was describing the need for Western students to connect with the body as a way of healing emotionally. “To find balance,” he said, “we need to pay more attention to the body, especially the subtle body.” I found this reference in a very public venue refreshing and practical. There are growing indications that the idea of a subtle body, long embedded in the secret teachings of esoteric traditions, is coming out of hiding.