I went to the dermatologist last week to have her freeze a couple of spots on my face--a scaly spot and a red bump, both of which were pre-cancerous. I asked her to look at my nose, which feels a bit rough. "Oh, you've got gardener's nose," she said.
The skin, it turns out, is not beautiful. It's bumpy, scaly, rough in patches, and mine, of course, is a bit wrinkly. Look, really look at your skin with a magnifying glass.
At a recent meditation retreat, the monk/teacher led us through an abbreviated body meditation. He led us through a visualization of our skin. "Not beautiful." Then a visualization of our flesh. All i could imagine was the meat department at the grocery store. "Not beautiful," he said. Then our bones. "Not beautiful," he repeated.
Our skin is the saran wrap in which our body is covered. It peels, it scales off, it sweats, it wrinkles its nose. Our skin is the bag that holds the innards of our body together. Your bag looks like that; my bag looks like this.
I'm taking my bag and my gardener's nose out to the garden to sniff the spring air and smell the flowers while i may.