As Buddhists, what relationship should we have to our bodies?

Lama Ole’s answer:

Buddha gives direct advice on how to think of our body, speech, and mind. He explains that the body is an important tool to protect beings. This can be interpreted more or less psychologically. The body is there to be generous and to give others what they need. It is also a tool to give love. Compared to Christianity, Buddhism sees the body completely differently. It is in no way dirty or sinful.

The higher the teachings, the more pure the body is seen to be. On the level of practice, we view it as full of energy channels and totally pure, as fresh and new all the time, as exciting and meaningful. We see everything female as the expression of five wisdoms and everything male as the expression of four kinds of enlightened activity. By holding this view and never seeing others as boorish or unattractive, we set free a huge amount of creativity, love, joy, and power inside us, which then work for the best of all beings. To protect others, to give material things and love—that would really be a good Buddhist understanding of the body.