Sitting Meditation While Skyclad

Meditation in the sea

Meditation in the sea

For the first six weeks in Mexico this year, I have not been doing sitting meditation. It seemed that every time I sat down my head would race to wander through the story I am busy writing. It became so frustrating to find the next word or sentence popping up in my head which then sent me back to the computer before those words could be lost. I have tried simply letting those words sit quietly in my head to wait for meditation to end, but they only ended up getting lost and then having me get angry about losing those words.

As a result, I turned to walking meditation. As in sitting meditation, it was all about the breath, feeling the inspiration and exhalation of each breath. Walking used up the energy that grew out of that attention to breathing. Between the walking and the breathing, I was able to tame my mind so that I could simply be in the sunshine attentive to the environment of sun, sand, and sea without needing to make mental judgements.

Now that the first draft has been completed and I now have the beginning, the body and the ending of the story in place, I am returning to sitting meditation which I can do skyclad. By necessity of environment, walking meditation had me wear a bathing suit, the least I could wear. There are six weeks remaining before I head home to Canada, plenty of time to regain the habit of sitting meditation au naturel, plenty of time to complete the book’s rewrite.

The Journey of Healing Skyclad

Free-hiking on the Canadian Prairies

Free-hiking on the Canadian Prairies

It feels like I have just finished walking thousands of kilometres across the Canadian prairies. Well, that is more than a slight exaggeration, I am tired, pleasantly tired from having completed the first draft of the third and final book in my journey of healing. The draft sits at more than 70,000 words. I know that it is just the first draft and there is a lot of writing to go as I return to the beginning of the book to clean up the messes I made along the way.

The objective is to have it ready to be printed when I return home to Canada in another six weeks. Seriously thinking of using black and white images in the book, photos that already exist of the forty-five years that the story encompasses.

The Journey of Healing Skyclad

Free-hiking on the Canadian Prairies

Free-hiking on the Canadian Prairies

It feels like I have just finished walking thousands of kilometres across the Canadian prairies. Well, that is more than a slight exaggeration, I am tired, pleasantly tired from having completed the first draft of the third and final book in my journey of healing. The draft sits at more than 70,000 words. I know that it is just the first draft and there is a lot of writing to go as I return to the beginning of the book to clean up the messes I made along the way.

The objective is to have it ready to be printed when I return home to Canada in another six weeks. Seriously thinking of using black and white images in the book, photos that already exist of the forty-five years that the story encompasses.

The Who, the What, and the Why of Being a Naturist

Serious questions deserve serious attention.

Serious questions deserve serious attention.

The sun is out with sporadic clouds passing by as I continue working on my writing in the garden. It’s a good day for writing skyclad – not too hot nor not too cool. The writing of my story from 1971 to the present now covers more than sixty thousand words and has just begun to look at 2014, a very difficult year in which my identity as a naturist, even as a man, is challenged by both the inner and outer world. As a result, the writing has slowed down so that I can take care with my words. I resist as best I can, being reactive rather than consciously aware of what was happening.

If you check the archives of this site you will see a gap of three months, the time I spent in Mexico at the beginning of 2014. It was as if I was denying naturism and my role in that world. I was trying to twist myself into a more acceptable version of myself, one that would more easily be in relationship with those closest to me, and the world in general. I still struggle with how I can be in my world and be a naturist at the same time. I already knew that being nude, especially in nature was therapeutic for me. Yet, I began to doubt that this was a therapy that I truly needed, that perhaps there was a better way to be mentally well. I had tried counselling, psychological analysis, meditation, Buddhism, and so many more therapeutic modes for more than twenty years without being able to achieve the level of inner peace that I had found in nude therapy. But perhaps there was something I had missed along the way, perhaps I had not tried hard enough.

So, today, I find myself again asking these same questions as I examine my passage through that period of time. In trying to reach a reasonable conclusion I am left to tell the whole story and then see what the evidence before me is trying to tell me in response. I need to know who and what I am. Those around me need to know as well; they need to know the who, the what, and the why of my relationship to naturism. Only then can they realign themselves with who I am authentically rather than some distorted and lived lie of who I am.

The Body You Are Wrapped Up In

The Marcuse swimsuit I use for strolling the public beach.

The Marcuse swimsuit I use for strolling the public beach.

Each day, weather permitting, which is about nine days out of ten, my wife and I stroll the beach for about four and a half kilometres in each direction before heading into the sea to cool off. Of course, I have to wear a swimsuit such as this one on the left. I have four such swimsuits which are what I could best describe as just covering the essentials. In spite of being “well dressed” for the beach, I do get my fair share of shocked looks which are often followed by grinning and blushing, usually by the younger set wearing knee long board shorts with designer underwear peaking out to be suitably in style.

This is my preferred swimsuit, if only the world wasn't so paranoid about human bodies.

This is my preferred swimsuit, if only the world wasn’t so paranoid about human bodies.

Once the walk is done, then it’s into the sea where the suit becomes an arm band much like the tattoos of barbed wire that many younger people now wear. Of course, I keep some distance from other swimmers so that there isn’t an indignant response in spite of the fact that all is out of sight beneath the waves. Seeing the bathing suit on my arm is a declaration of freedom, even if that freedom is carefully disguised by the sea. It’s the principle that counts.

I get confused, to say the least, by the responses to my near nudity on the beach as we pass resorts filled with “cool” and “privileged” guests. I wonder why they cover up so much, even to the point of wearing a cover-up while moving from gardens to seaside, sometimes even struggling the wrap when taking their places on the lounge chairs lined up beneath palapas. I also wonder why so many women wear full bathing suits rather than take a minimalist approach. On the average, about six out of ten women we pass avoid bikinis, even the more discrete versions. Even then, there is a tendency to wear some sort of wrap that hides nothing, as though they are protecting their modesty.

As for the guys, they strut with arms held slightly apart from their bodies as if they have just finished lifting weights while dressed in board shorts that do anything but flatter their attempts at being macho. It’s hard to be a hunk when the gut bulges out like a woman preparing to deliver twins. In their attempts to look cool, the can of beer in the hand with a ball cap worn backwards thus not offering the eyes any protection from the sun, completes the fashion.

When will people stop being afraid of human bodies? When will they stop being the slaves of a fashion industry that works overtime to tell them that they are imperfect unless they get the latest styles, a look that is passé the moment they become available at the local shops in their cities. It is always a merciless race to be worthy in the eye of the critical public. No wonder they are aghast seeing my wife and I, two seniors in their sixties, not give a shit about fashion, just simply wearing as little as possible and feeling free in the process. It’s good to like who you are and the body you come wrapped up in.

The Body You Are Wrapped Up In

The Marcuse swimsuit I use for strolling the public beach.

The Marcuse swimsuit I use for strolling the public beach.

Each day, weather permitting, which is about nine days out of ten, my wife and I stroll the beach for about four and a half kilometres in each direction before heading into the sea to cool off. Of course, I have to wear a swimsuit such as this one on the left. I have four such swimsuits which are what I could best describe as just covering the essentials. In spite of being “well dressed” for the beach, I do get my fair share of shocked looks which are often followed by grinning and blushing, usually by the younger set wearing knee long board shorts with designer underwear peaking out to be suitably in style.

This is my preferred swimsuit, if only the world wasn't so paranoid about human bodies.

This is my preferred swimsuit, if only the world wasn’t so paranoid about human bodies.

Once the walk is done, then it’s into the sea where the suit becomes an arm band much like the tattoos of barbed wire that many younger people now wear. Of course, I keep some distance from other swimmers so that there isn’t an indignant response in spite of the fact that all is out of sight beneath the waves. Seeing the bathing suit on my arm is a declaration of freedom, even if that freedom is carefully disguised by the sea. It’s the principle that counts.

I get confused, to say the least, by the responses to my near nudity on the beach as we pass resorts filled with “cool” and “privileged” guests. I wonder why they cover up so much, even to the point of wearing a cover-up while moving from gardens to seaside, sometimes even struggling the wrap when taking their places on the lounge chairs lined up beneath palapas. I also wonder why so many women wear full bathing suits rather than take a minimalist approach. On the average, about six out of ten women we pass avoid bikinis, even the more discrete versions. Even then, there is a tendency to wear some sort of wrap that hides nothing, as though they are protecting their modesty.

As for the guys, they strut with arms held slightly apart from their bodies as if they have just finished lifting weights while dressed in board shorts that do anything but flatter their attempts at being macho. It’s hard to be a hunk when the gut bulges out like a woman preparing to deliver twins. In their attempts to look cool, the can of beer in the hand with a ball cap worn backwards thus not offering the eyes any protection from the sun, completes the fashion.

When will people stop being afraid of human bodies? When will they stop being the slaves of a fashion industry that works overtime to tell them that they are imperfect unless they get the latest styles, a look that is passé the moment they become available at the local shops in their cities. It is always a merciless race to be worthy in the eye of the critical public. No wonder they are aghast seeing my wife and I, two seniors in their sixties, not give a shit about fashion, just simply wearing as little as possible and feeling free in the process. It’s good to like who you are and the body you come wrapped up in.

Writing And Exposure

Cooked under the Caribbean sun, I am changing more than just in colour.

Cooked under the Caribbean sun, I am changing more than just in colour.

I am writing at a good pace, the final book of my Broken Road series. In this book I give a prominent place to naturist as a path for psychological transformation to better mental health. So far, more than 50,000 words are committed to the first draft.

As I write each chapter, I send a copy to my wife to read so that I can confirm that what I intended to say is actually said, and said in a manner that does no harm to others in the process. After all, the book is my story and has no authority to tell the stories of others. I sense that the story is rushing towards a completion in the not-too-distant-future. And, as with all of my writing, it will sit still for a bit before I return to it from cover-to-cover in order to make corrections, additions, and deletions so that the tale is ready to share with others, before I dare publish it.

This book needs that extra care and attention because it tells all in my world about my being a naturist, the why and the how of it all. Some are aware because they read my blog posts, or have seen my Naked Poetry books; yet, most in my extended family and community are unaware of my naturism. So, in a way, there is a risk that is waiting to be taken when I bring the book out from the confines of the computer into the real world.