It’s one of those necessary tasks that I face every year when we decide that camping season is over. It’s earlier than normal this year as we will be in Spain for the next two months. Typically we do a good amount of late summer and fall camping when campgrounds and Provincial and National Parks are basically empty. Come sometime next May, the battery cables will be reconnected and the plates will be reactivated so that we can once again enjoy camping with our small camping trailer.
I made the mistake once of leaving the cables connected and when we returned from a winter sojourn into Central America, the battery was completely dead and ended up being replaced. It isn’t much different than having the internal battery continuing to run with its constant “thinking,” a habit that often left me almost more exhausted than I believed could be possible, even after sleeping for the recommended 7 to 9 hours a night. Sleep didn’t stop the activity.
Then I discovered meditation. For me it was a personal disconnection of the battery cables that feed energy to the thinking brain. The chatter drifted into silence and I regained energy and was able to re-engage with the world from which I had been pulling away from, something that I blamed on my introverted nature. In the process I began to be aware of my breath entering and leaving my body which in turn brought me awareness about my body. I had basically dissociated from my body other than to push it to extremes with distance running and placing central importance on my brain. What a rude discovery it was to become aware of my body that had somehow, somewhere along the way, grown soft and served only to embarrass me in front of others who I thought were negatively critical of my body that was no longer young.
Meditation, mindful meditation, allowed my body to be without critical objections. Rather than remember what it used to be like, or fantasize about what it should be like if only I wasn’t so lazy, meditation simply allowed me to be self aware, body aware. With an uncritical appreciation of the fact that my body had survived well enough to get me to that point in life, I began to take better care of my body. It wasn’t that I was trying to erase my body for a different one, a newer model so to speak. Rather it was more like saying thank you to my body through gifts of healthy food. Shame somehow just disappeared like a thief trying to escape through a window left open by accident. It was through meditation that I rediscovered the freedom of being skyclad, a state of being that had been vital to me as a youth trying to cope with a childhood of abuse.
Today, I meditate nude indoors when the weather demands it, and outdoors when conditions are ripe. Allowing my body free expression and the gifts of air and the sun’s rays has become a natural and normal part of my daily life. Thankfully, my spouse accepts this change in me. Life is good.