Phillip Moffitt is co-guiding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the founder of the Life Balance Institute. He teaches vipassana meditation and is the author of Dancing with Life, a book exploring the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths. More information can be found at: www.dharmawisdom.org. He is currently writing a book on skillful living.
Opening to mindfulness of the body is both the beginning of practice and the vehicle that carries you through the practice as the "felt sense." Embodied presence through awareness of the body is one of the fruits of practice.
Once you learn to find a calm abiding of the mind there are many kinds of joy and bliss that may arise. Yet, you are asked to turn your calm mind to the practice of insight in order to experience the dukkha the Buddha describes in the First Noble Truth. Why give bliss (sukkha) for dukkha.
Awareness of the body in the body is a key part of the Dharma. Yet, many times the body is not fully explored in its many dimensions of offering both a means for being present in the moment and finding freedom from clinging.
The training precepts can be utilized for living the dharma in daily life, but to be most effective they need a foundation of faith and intention. Also, by stating the precepts positively and in an expanded fashion, we can find new opportunities for mindfulness and insight.