The First Thing is the Body
"The first thing is the body. The body is your base, it is your ground, it is where you are grounded. To make you antagonistic towards the body is to destroy you, to make you schizophrenic, is to make you miserable, is to create hell. You ARE the body. Of course you are more than the body, but that "more" will follow later on. First, you are the body. The body is your basic truth, so never be against the body. Whenever you are against the body, you are going against God. Whenever you are disrespectful to your body you are losing contact with reality, because your body is your contact, your body is your bridge. Your body is your temple.
Tantra teaches reverence for the body, love, respect for the body, gratitude for the body. The body is marvelous, it is the greatest of mysteries.
But you have been taught to be against the body. So sometimes you are over-mystified by the tree, by the green tree; sometimes mystified by the moon and the sun, sometimes mystified by a flower- but you are never mystified by your own body. And your body is the most complex phenomenon in existence. No flower, no tree has such a beautiful body as you have; no moon, no sun, no star has such an evolved mechanism as you have.
You have been taught to appreciate the flower, which is a simple thing. You have been taught to appreciate a tree, which is a simple thing, You have been taught to appreciate stones, rocks, mountains, rivers, but you have never been taught to respect your own body, to be mystified by it. Yes, it is very close, so it is very easy to forget about. It is very obvious, so it is easy to neglect. But this is the most beautiful phenomenon.
If you look at a flower, people will say, "How aesthetic!". And if you look at a woman's beautiful face or a man's beautiful face, people will say: " This is lust". If you go to the tree and stand there, and look in a dazed state at the flower- your eyes wide open, your senses wide open to allow the beauty of the flower to enter you- people will think you are a poet or a painter or a mystic. But if you go to a woman or a man and just stand there with great reverence and respect, and look at the woman with your eyes wide open and your senses drinking in the beauty of the person, the police will catch hold of you. Nobody will say that you are a mystic, a poet; nobody will appreciate what you are doing.
Something has gone wrong. If you go to a stranger on the street and you say: "What beautiful eyes you have!" you will feel embarrassed, he will feel embarrassed. He will not be able to say thank you to you. In fact, he will feel offended. He will feel offended, because who are you to interfere in his private life? Who are you to dare? If you go and touch the tree, the tree feels happy. But if you go and touch a man, he will feel offended. Something has been damaged tremendously and very deeply.
The first thing is to learn respect for the body, to unlearn all the nonsense that has been taught to you about the body. Otherwise. you will never turn on, and you will never turn in and you will never turn beyond.
Start from the beginning. The body is your beginning."
(excerpted from Tantra- the supreme understanding, but OSHO).