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" Live out of your imagination

not your history "

Stephen R. Covey

Exploring The Meaning of Skyclad

July 19th, 2022

In this tea, we began with a question: “What topic can offer a practical solution to coping with the heat (at least to a limited extent), which has the potential to sometimes be humorous, sometimes absurd, but also sometimes unsettling, that has been used for religious purposes and for political ends, as well as by every artistic medium imaginable, and which surveys suggest can be helpful in reducing symptoms of anxiety and promoting feelings of nature connection?”

Then we delved into one answer to that question, and the practical, religious, political and spiritual dimensions of nakedness. I quoted the beautiful poetry of the 14th century Kashmiri mystic Lalla, who you can read about on this website here, and I mentioned my book A Brief History of Nakedness. In an interview about the book, I said: “Many of us now are over old-fashioned ideas about the naked body being shameful, but we’re still trapped by the tyranny of stereotyping. We feel embarrassed about our bodies because we don’t think they’re beautiful enough. Ironically the book is saying that nakedness – in the right context – can help us to look beyond the surface. Beauty isn’t skin deep – beauty and heroism come from within – but as long as we hide the skin we can still be held in the grip of the belief that our beauty is determined by our outside surface. It’s a paradox, but life is full of paradoxes.”

One Response to “Exploring The Meaning of Skyclad”

  1. I try to greet the nature in my private garden skyclad every day. Sometimes I garden skyclad too. It is a wonderful feeling, quite liberating. It’s given me a body confidence I never had (and I’m in my late 60’s) and a feeling of freedom I never experienced before. Innocence returns… and somehow my body merges with the environment and I feel I truly ‘meet’ everything around me. I am so grateful to the OBOD course material for suggesting I try it. I have to say it’s possibly the most surprising and delightful thing I’ve tried for ages. It’s actually caused a shift in my consciousness! Oh, on the strength of my experience I bought your book, Philip, and am enjoying it immensely.

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