Buddhadharma: Reviews: Investigating the Subtle Body

Buddhadharma: Reviews: Investigating the Subtle Body

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.

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