It is the summer solstice here on the Canadian prairies. For a short while this morning there was sunshine which I took advantage of for a meditation in the garden. Since then, the skies have been cloudy and mosquitoes have come out in force. I decided it was a good day to get caught up with my book work following the journey through Alberta which had me deliver books to six different Chapters book stores in Calgary, Edmonton, Sherwood Park, and Red Deer. All that is left is the planning for book signing events in those cities.
I was in contact with McNally Robinson Books in Saskatoon with final arrangements being made for the July 5th book signing event. Now, I have just finished a counselling session with a male client who, like most middle-aged men, is having life issues that have roots in childhood that are mother and father related – complexes that demand to be dealt with if one is to find peace in the second half of life. Like other men and women who have navigated midlife crisis, I have found rituals such as meditation that are part of the “peace” plan.
Nudity and the sun has a history that goes back at least 3,500 years. The Egyptian pharaoh, Akenaton and his queen Nefertiti are on official record as worshipping the sun while nude. And they weren’t the first. Egyptian priests had a practice of being hairless and thoroughly clean when it came time to worship, to stand in the presence of their deity. Nude priests and nude worship date to an another civilisation, the Sumerians. What was done by primitive tribes before the first civilisations became established can only be guessed. Yet, due to the lack of a need for clothing in the warmer climes where civilisations arose, we can safely assume that nudity was normal, especially for the shaman who acted as intermediary between their tribal groupings and the spirits of the other worlds filled with gods and goddesses. For all peoples throughout history, the summer solstice has been a time to worship the power of the sun. The sun meant life and as such, it typically figured at the centre of worship.
Naked meditation has been a practice in India dating back to a time before Akenaton and Nefertiti during the era of the Harappan civilisation in India. The practice continues into present times with Digambara holy men, the naked Sadhu of Jainism. It is comforting to know that my practice has early roots, and is not simply the signs of perverted madness. Who knows, I just might be on the right track?