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I do very little naked.
If you’ve ever been to Shiva, or the Jewish week of mourning after death, you’ll notice most of the mirrors are covered.
For the benefit of my self esteem, this is pretty much my approach to doing anything that requires me to be sans clothes.
When I polled people for a meditation community survey a few months ago, the biggest reason people said they didn’t meditate was “no time”
After all, we’ve been conditioned to believe that meditation requires a cushion, a seat or some form of quiet space to withdraw from the world.
This is 100% untrue of course, and in many ways, a stereotype that keeps many people from discovering the magic, beauty and bliss that a meditation practice can bring to our lives.
Here is a simple mindfulness hack everyone reading this can do, starting today.
And no, i’m not talking about some sort of weird tantric practice that’s going to disturb your neighbors if you live in a big loft with no curtains like me.
As a matter of fact, as someone with a dad bod who isn’t a dad, which makes it much less sexy, as i said above, i try to do as little naked as possible.
But I do meditate in my birthday suit. It’s the best part of starting my day.
And so too should you.
Here is how you’re going to do it.
The next time you step into the shower, feel your feet.
Not with your hands, of course.
But with your mind.
Allow your attention to gently caress your feet. How do they feel on the cold bathroom floor? How do the grooves of the shower tiles move against the firmness of your feet?
Feel your heels. Notice how they curve a little bit against the floor.
Then move your attention to your toes.
Can you feel them as one whole, or can you feel the sensations in each toe individually? (surprisingly very hard to do without a lot of meditative momentum and mojo)
Now ignore your feet.
Forget you have them. Just feel the raw sensations of tingling, hotness, coldness and feetness in space.
Remove the image of what feet look like completely.
Just feel a cloud of energy where your feet used to be.
Move your attention to the back of your knees. Just get as close to that smooth spot as possible.
Feel the warmth and tingling sensations in that strange spot that most of us never pay attention to, and yet….is now awash in all sorts of energy.
You can sweep your attention to and through your body — from your toes to transcendence, and the closer you get to the actual sensations that arise, the less of being a body you become.
Just space — and sensations. The amazing energy of aliveness that is you.
IT feels awesome and you haven’t even turned the water on.
I do have to warn you. When you do this, and do it well, it’s a good idea to hold on to something to avoid falling down.
When you lose yourself in this soaring space of scintillating sensation, it’s easy to find yourself falling. When you lose the sense of being a body, which you eventually will — you’ll realize there was no one there to fall of course, but take it from me, it hurts a lot just the same.
Feel the water on your skin, but not like you usually do.
Get as close to the spot that each individual drop of water hits your body and feel it.
Pay really close attention.
Try to pre-empt it and notice what it feels like before — during and after.
Listen with your skin.
Each little stream feels different, doesn’t it?
Of course, this isn’t easy — as it’s all happening at once.
But that IS the magic of mindfulness. And the utility of it as well.
The way to bring it off the mat, (wherever that “mat” is 🙂 and into the world.
The closer you get to the smallest details, the more clearly you can see them arise and disappear, like a child re-discovering a favorite and forgotten game, the more of your life you begin to live.
The secret to meditation, and practices like mindfulness is concentration.
If you are like most of us, you’ll need the latter to cultivate the former. But don’t take my word for it.
Meditate naked and find out for yourself.