A “Best Spiritual Book of the Year.”
Spirituality & Practice

Divining the Body: Reclaim the Holiness of Your Physical Self

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A journey through your physical self that will empower you to transform the world around you and overcome self-defeating thoughts through positive, practical exercises that help you climb back into your body and honor it as the temple of God that it is.

Jan Phillips

8 x 8, 256 pp | 978-1-59473-080-1

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Large Print edition available from ReadHowYouWant.com

Honor Your Body as the Instrument of Your Soul

“This book is an attempt to undo the damage we’ve sustained living in a culture that thrives on our self-hatred. It is a sanctification of our human bodies, a consecration of ourselves as hosts to the Great Beloved. It is a journey of awe and reverence through the sacred terrain of foot and hand, back and breast, heart and brain. The path to peace is the pathway through ourselves, starting with the inward step, the brave, gentle step toward the Divine within.”

—from the Introduction

Our view of the human body is always evolving. From the goddess-worship of civilizations millennia ago, to the strict social rules of Victorian England, to the modern feminist movement, the human body—particularly the feminine body—has always been a point of interest, mystery, and contention.

Discover an entirely new way to look at your body—as a pathway to the Divine. Award-winner Jan Phillips takes you on an energizing journey through your physical self, drawing connections between the bone, muscle, and sinew of your body and the spiritual teachings of various faith traditions, modern scientific research, and her own experiences. You will find yourself empowered to work to transform the world around you and overcome self-defeating thoughts through positive, practical exercises and meditations that show you how to climb back into your body and honor it as the temple of God that it is.

“Potent insight, profound information, spirited practices, all wrapped up in sumptuous prose make this work a gift that will keep on giving. The author has traveled deep into the hidden countries of body and mind and returns with wisdom to awaken the world and time. Each page sings the truth of ourselves as embodied spirit.”

Jean Houston, PhD, author of A Passion for the Possible

“If you have ever wondered how the human body went from being a ‘temple of God’ to being ‘dirty,’ read this book. Richly researched, embodied in full, this book befriends our bodies and souls.”

Rev. Donna Schaper,  author of Sacred Speech: A Practical Guide for Keeping Spirit in Your Speech

“A wonderful meditation on the body as the temple of God, from our feet to our brains. The exercises are excellent and help us understand the roles each part plays in manifesting the sacred within.”

Ana Hernández, author of The Sacred Art of Chant: Preparing to Practice, and member of HARC


Why did you write this book?
Because I am aware of the power of our thoughts and know the danger of negative thinking in regard to our physical beings. After a near-fatal accident, I had third-degree burns on two-thirds of my body and was in severe danger of infection after skin graft surgery. In order to heal myself, I had to become fully embodied, which was a challenge since I am such a cerebral person. I got involved with a bioenergetics therapist and worked with a friend who is both an M.D. and a hands-on healer. Together they taught me how to divine my own body, how to communicate with every cell and love each one back to health. What I learned from them and from my own journey to wholeness, I wanted to share with others.

What makes you the expert?
I_m not an expert because I know the answers, I_m an expert because I know the questions to ask to help you surface your own wisdom and innate knowing. What the book strongly encourages is storytelling. Just saying how we feel is an empowering act, and it encourages others to do the same. We may not be able to change the culture we live in, but we can change our attitudes about ourselves and resist the devaluing projections that come our way. We do this by reclaiming our bodies, reframing our notions about weight and age and wrinkles, and remembering that we are temples of the Holy Spirit.

Why is storytelling important?
Our stories contain the answers to each other_s questions. What I cannot find in searching through the riches and rubble of my own life may become apparent to me in the witnessing of yours. It_s through our stories that we begin to name ourselves, to say who we are under all the social trappings, and to emerge from those trappings like a butterfly from a chrysalis. We are midwives, in a way, to each other's rebirth.

What impact might it have on me?
The book inspires self-love, spiritual empowerment, and social consciousness. It is a mirror of many dimensions, revealing the exquisite beauty and potential that you possess right now in your own body. As you journey inward, you will discover a wellspring of wisdom and power, and learn how to live from this source.

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  • How might your life have been different if you had been raised to think of your body as completely beautiful and perfect, just as it is?
  • When you think of your body as the temple of the Divine, as the vehicle through which the Creator manifests love in the world, how does it feel?
  • If you could change one thing about your body, what would you change and what might this change bring about in your life?
  • Who has given you the best advice about your physical being and what was that advice?
  • Group activity: Have half the group close their eyes and do this exercise while the other half watches. Then switch parts and have the first half watch. Have everyone get relaxed and then ask them to put their hands on the places on their bodies where their thoughts are. Where their joy is. Where their disappointment is. Where their anger is. Where their confidence is. Where their fear is. Where their silence is. Notice what happens.
  • Tell the story of how you felt about your body when you were ten. When you were twenty. When you were forty or fifty.
  • As a temple of the Holy Spirit, how do you fulfill your mission?
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