MCTB The Physical Models

On a completely different track we have the Physical Models, which tend to involve some kind of physical perfection or stylization. The old Theravada texts go to great lengths to list the thirty-two interesting physical qualities of the Buddha, such as having forty teeth and arms so long that he could touch his knees without bending down. It is interesting how things change, as in our modern context that would make him look more to us like a dentally challenged Cro-Magnon than a spiritual superhero, but I digress.

Numerous pop culture sources make us associate interesting physical qualities or ideals with spirituality, particularly yoga magazines and martial arts movies. There is not much more to say about these models other than they are amusing and completely inaccurate. We may imagine that somehow enlightenment involves some kind of physical health, or think that awakening or insight practice may cure some illness, but I wouldn’t bank on anything like this at all. That said, my friends who regularly do practices like yoga and Tai Chi do tend to look good, and this only makes sense. However, this is not related to ultimate realizations except peripherally in that those practices involve mindfulness and if done well can lead to real insights.

MCTB The Radiance Models