Thursday, November 18, 2010

Live Life The Way You Want To!

I loved the punchline in the March 29th "Heart of the City" comic strip. "What's the point of life if you're afraid of getting caught living it."

How appropriate for those of us who worry about people finding out what we like to do in our own time! In his book Sit Down And Shut Up, Brad Warner says, "It's hard to worry what other people might think when you realize their thoughts are just as dopey and meaningless as ours". I think that's the key. If we listen to our hearts, and live our lives like we know we should, we'll be fine!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Beginning Anew

I haven't posted on my blog in a while. I was at a point in my life when I didn't feel like saying too much. Everything in life is always in transition, and in my case it was especially transitory because my mind was in transition. Now that I am comfortable with where my mind is, and I've accepted the transitory nature of my life, I'm back to talking about it.

In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig wrote, "You are never dedicated to something that you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it's going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kind of dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt." I have found that when I start to espouse an idea to multiple people, when I find myself repeating myself, I am really trying to convince myself. I think that was why I started this blog. Now I think I have moved on; I'm at a phase in my life where I have things to say but I don't feel compelled to say them. I would like speak up all the same, because what I have to say may be useful to others. I'm sure I will once again find myself trying to convince myself, but I also think that I'm at a place where I have the wherewithal to notice what I'm doing and step back.

So here goes ...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Peace of Mind

Last Sunday got me thinking about what Black's Beach means to me. I went down to Black's on a day when the forecast called for clouds in the morning with sunny skies breaking out at midday. I got there at about noon. A mile from the beach it was bright and sunny ... but at the beach itself it was cloudy. I decided to go down anyway, and I'm glad I did because I had a wonderful time, even though I never saw the sun.

It didn't start getting chilly until about 4pm, so I was comfortable being nude for a while. Between a bit of reading, a bit of dozing, a bit of sitting meditation and my interaction with a squirrel (who really wanted into my bag), I had a great time. I realized that the sun is nice, warm water is nice (it was cold!), but that's not the only reason I love Black's. I can see myself going there all wrapped up next Winter just to feel the peace. (I think that will have to be on a sunny day since I don't handle cold too well.)

At the end of the day, what are we all looking for? I'm looking for peace of mind. That's why I meditate, that's why I read, that's why I listen to music, and that's why I sometimes leave the music off. For a shot of peace, I spend a day at Black's.

Why Black's Beach? Why not any other beach? I have tried other beaches, so I know it's not just the beach that I'm looking for. I think it's the feeling of the place, the fact that I can shed my clothes and it's just nature and me. Sometimes, it's nice to sit down or lie down directly on the sand and really feel the earth under me. Doing the same thing anywhere else will also feel good, but there aren't too many places where you can be nude, enjoy nature, and not be bothered by someone being bothered by what you're doing or not doing! I intend to try some of the other places where I can do the same in due course, but I'm in no big hurry. Peace of mind has come from not rushing to do what I think I could be doing. It has come from learning to enjoy the here and now, for the here and now.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Sheer Joy of the Beach!

I was reading an article about censorship and stumbled onto Amy Greenfield's YouTube channel. The video "TIDES" beautifully captures the sheer joy of playing in the water on the beach.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Meditating on the Beach ... not quite!

I spent a wonderful day on the beach yesterday. There weren't too many of the Black's Beach Bares regulars, but the volleyball players were there as usual. I finished the book I was reading - "Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate" by Brad Warner. Another awesome book, just like his first book. This was his third book - I'll have to double back to the second book after this one. It called my name, and I had to read it. It's weird how his life seems to be a metaphorical version of mine in so many ways!

I did attempt to meditate/sit on the beach. The beach is a really nice place to meditate even if it isn't the quietest place in the world. The sound of the ocean successfully puts all other sounds in the background. There was only one problem ... the flies! I kept brushing them away while I read, but that was a background process. I didn't realize before I attempted to meditate how much of a distraction they would be. It's hard to clear your mind when all you are doing in chasing away flies. It was an interesting exercise while it lasted, but meditation in the beach will ideally have to wait for Spring when the flies have moved on. (I wonder where they go ... Do they move back North when it warms up there? Do flies migrate?)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Spirituality and Nudism

There may be no inherent connection between spirituality and nudism, but for me they go hand in hand. Before I go further, I should define what I mean by spirituality. Webster's dictionary defines spirituality as "the quality or state of being spiritual", and defines spiritual as "of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit".

Taken in context with those definitions, nudism has been a spiritual experience for me. It uplifts my spirit, just as meditation does. And just as regular meditation gives me peace of mind, the ability to focus and a general state of wellness, nudism does too. Empirically proving that meditation helps me in the ways I've described is easy - if I stop, I see the benefits gradually diminish, and if I start again, I see the benefits kick back in. Similarly, if I cannot be a nudist for a while, I see the benefits diminish, and vice versa.

I concede that it may not be easy to make the connection between cause and effect. We are after all human beings with complex variables that continually affect us, so narrowing down the specific cause and the specific effect is not easy. I have however found a correlation in my state of mind and nudism, just as I have with meditation. Of course, I combine the two whenever I can, as the accompanying photograph shows ...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Talking To Others About Being a Nudist

In the past, I haven't told too many people that I'm a nudist. I've wanted to, but I've hesitated. Lately I've mentioned it to some friends by steering the conversation towards the topic and there has always been acceptance, which has been mildly surprising.

From now on, I plan to speak about my being a nudist openly if it comes up in conversation, but not go out of my way to bring the subject up. Hesitation, worrying about what others will think, and bringing it up as though it is unusual will only lead to others thinking that I myself believe there is something wrong with nudism. Talking about it as a matter-of-fact will show others that it really is something normal; it's just another life choice. I guess this is part of my evolution as a nudist. Unless I fully accept my decisions myself, I really can't expect others to accept them, can I?