The Four Metaphors of the Buddha

The Four Metaphors of the Buddha teach us something about the nature of life as human beings. We all know that we will eventually become sick, grow old and die. These conditions of life cannot be avoided.

In our culture, when we become sick, we call our doctor and ask for a pill that will cure whatever ails us. But, there is a better way. We can tune into the wisdom of our bodies and try to access what they are telling us. Do we need to get up and do a little exercise? Do we need to take a few moments out of our busy day to breathe deeply and have a time out? Do we need to call a friend to vent a little frustration or disappointment? Or do we simply need to lie down and take a little nap?

When we tune into the sensations of our body, we become sensitive to its needs. We can begin to understand what is best in the current situation instead of relying on medication. We need to stop taking leave of our senses and reconnect with our body’s native intelligence.

When we do this, we will radiate more life force, joy and vitality. We will become more creative. We will be more healthy, resilient and skilled. We will be able to inspire other people to tune into their own body intelligence.

The four metaphors of the Buddha can give us some guidance on how to do this.

The Four Metaphors | February 10, 2015

 Noble one, think of yourself as someone who is sick,
Of the dharma as the remedy,
Of your spiritual teacher as a skillful doctor,
And of diligent practice as the way to recovery.

– Shakyamuni Buddha, “Again ‘Common Sense’ Buddhism”

Buddha from Bali 1

This is a lovely Buddha from our family collection. It was purchased in Bali. I took the photograph.

Practicing the teachings of the dharma, listening to our teacher, and a consistent meditation practice can give the foundation we need in order to tune into the intelligence of our bodies. We can then make desirable changes in our lives to promote a long and healthy existence.

Last Wednesday, I felt a little uneasy in my stomach after eating lunch and resting. I listened to my body and fasted until the next morning. I felt great!

What experiences have you had of tuning into the intelligence of your body and listening to what it tells you? Did you follow your own intuition in this case? Please share.

Connect with Meditation Practices

Connect with

Or enter your name and email address below.