Ralph Steele has studied with Lama Thubten Yeshe, Sogyal Rinpoche, Stephen Levine, and Jack Kornfield, among others. He teaches meditation and works with emotional and physical pain management at his clinic, Life Transition Therapy, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This article is adapted from an autobiographical manuscript, “Tending the Fire: An African American Buddhist Story,” and incorporates material from an interview conducted with Steele by Jack Kornfield, co-founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
It seems obvious: we would not be able to practice without our body. And yet we often take the body for granted, viewing it as little more than a source of suffering rather than the precious opportunity for cultivation that it is. In this series, meditation teacher Ralph Steele renews our appreciation for the body by delving into embodied mindfulness, concentration, and insight practices from the Theravada Buddhist tradition.