Susannah (susannahclark) wrote in christianity,

Faith in a physical body

One of the things I like about my Christian faith is that it includes physicality. God came and dwelt with us in a physical body. Some of Jesus's miracles involved physical things - food, wine, healing. When he was raised from the dead, he was raised with a physical body. We are not just spirit, and kind of abstract. It seems like we are called to inherit physical bodies. They are part of God's reality.

I was watching a great clip on YouTube about Buddhist nuns who had taken up martial arts, and another clip of some monks who'd integrated martial arts into their disciplines. I like that concept. Combining physical presence with spiritual presence. Experiencing God through our bodies, and bodily disciplines or well-being.

Apart from anything else, as a nurse who spends much of the week on busy shifts, and handling pressures and demands and sometimes tension, I find physical relief really important. I play football as my means of just returning to simple physicality. That involves one evening a week training, and the matches themselves, and the unwind (and beer) afterwards. This switching off from other things, and just doing physical activity, I find really helps.

In the Christian tradition, are there any examples of faith being combined with physical disciplines (like the martial arts nuns)? Do *YOU* take physical activity to release the pressures, and get back in touch with your existence as a physical creature? I guess, obviously, sex can also have that kind of physical release as well, but I'm really just enquiring about how Christians can integrate physical disciplines and spiritual disciplines.

I'd also like to acknowledge that, of course, not everyone is blessed with physical freedom. Some people have to negotiate physical disability, and also, as we grow older, our bodies may be changed in how we pursue our physicality. But I know some older people, for example, who manage to do yoga even at an advanced age.

I am expecting eternity to be physical as well as 'spiritual' and I hope I can grow towards that!
Tags: theology of the body
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