“My wife was afraid of the dark… then she saw me naked and now she’s afraid of the light.” - Rodney Dangerfield
Complete Freedom To Be Yourself
I want to share a little secret with you…..I have never been naked in a public place before. However, this changed a few days ago. I have been living in South Korea for nearly a month, and so far it has been an amazing experience. One of my unique experiences was going to one of Korea’s many public bath houses and spas called “Jjimjilbangs”. They are a place where you go to get away from it all and simply relax.
As I am in the locker room surrounded by hundreds of Korean men and with only two of my expat friends being the only foreigners, a subtle uneasiness creeps in. I am continuously in an inner space of being a passively alert observer of myself, so I try to stay a witness in order to learn from these thoughts that start arising within me.
As I get down to my boxer shorts I see all my conditioning rush across my mind’s eye. Thoughts that being naked in public is weird, awkward, and embarrassing. But being able to see it and remaining impartial to it, I quickly brush it off, and off come my boxers.
As soon as my boxers came off a certain calmness and freedom comes over me, and the quick realization that being naked is the most natural thing in the world. Even though being naked is the most natural thing in the world, we have somehow in many parts of the world have made it the most un-natural.
Our society has somehow convinced as that our bodies are something that we should be embarrassed and ashamed about. Maybe this is how they are able to create their ideal of beauty and then are able to sell us a solution. Our bodies are amazingly complex and beautiful, a work of art really, and we should be grateful that we get to experience this world through them.
The problem is that our society makes us suppress many of the things that are totally natural and healthy for us, and through this suppression it becomes expressed in our society in perverted and unhealthy ways. This is why the pornography industry is so huge, because we have suppressed and condemned our sexuality for so long. Sex is one of the most basic and fundamental aspects of our biological nature. Anything that you suppress gets pushed into your unconscious and will become a corrupted energy within you. You become confused and divided.
It was a very liberating feeling walking around that huge spa, because there you “are”, with nothing to hide behind. When there is nothing to hide behind, a deep acceptance comes over you, and through this acceptance a deep relaxation is possible. You relax into yourself.
I would just like to share this experience of being naked in public as an example of learning to let go, to accept things as they are, and being fully present. If you remain aware you can use it as a way to transcend your conditionings and gain a deep acceptance and love for your body. Your mind and body are not separate, they are one, even though you feel they are separate because you mainly live in your mind. So in accepting your body a deep calmness will come over you. You will see the absurdity in constantly comparing yourself to others or to what society deems as being beautiful.
So if possible I urge you to find a spa or a nudist beach and let it all hang out, it could be a great learning experience if you bring enough awareness into it.
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(editors note: originally posted 03/15/10)