Spiritual Asceticism: Naked Hiking

Revealing the Soul

Modern society has created a great system of judgement bound to symbolic labels which mask the identity of spirit.   Clothes, a.k.a. body armor, conceal vulnerabilities while dulling the senses to the natural world and our place in it.  As spirit and body unite, sensual awareness to one’s own existence as a natural child of God living in the House of the Great Mother becomes a key to our own evolution.

What are The Risks?

Seeking entrance into the Kingdom of Nature awakens self-judgement and questions one’s ability to conquer themselves.  When the outer fabrication is removed all that remains is ones own thoughts and fears, unprotected by the certainty that if the weather gets harsh your North face gear will protect you from cold blustery winds, or that your Patagonia labeling on your stylishly dyed Eco fabric will tell an intercepting hiker that you possess the stature of the Eco-elite, thus implying your ranking status in the nature which you are conquering.

The spiritual exercise is to find yourself outside these pretenses, the lies, judgements and excuses civilized people luxuriate in within their select societies.  Unarmed with the protection our crafted lifestyles have provided for our physical and psychological survival, all one has is their fear of inadequacy in the face of Nature, her elements and her creatures.  Survival skills which have been eradicated in today’s cultured world are not the skills most of us are competent with.  Can you exist in the pleasure of your own thoughts and emotions without reaching for your ipod?

Tender Footed Trust

The first few steps on your path to spiritual liberation tend to be sore spots for the sensory pads of your feet.  If one considers that there are nerve endings corresponding to every organ in our physical body upon the soles of the foot, what are the corresponding emotional triggers stimulated by the dry leaves, jagged sticks and mossy rocks encountered in the natural World?  As your senses awaken to the richness of sensation the spirit stretches beyond the confines learned by the programmed environment of daily life and there is freedom to explore your own path.  The outside world of judgments and fears no longer act upon you, only the discovery that nothing is stronger than your will.  One is free to understand that everything we need is truly inside ourselves, the other things we carry with us are often deemed unnecessary weights and fancy trinkets at best.

As the gradual immersion into nature works to vanquish the elusive veils of well-being bounded to and supporting one’s existence in the outer world, one is able to experience their divinity through peaceful contemplation.  The fears of leaving being the familiar are dropped along the trail side and one hears their voice, “I am greatly loved beyond the human measure of right and wrong”.  Trust in God and the God spark within you shines like the diamonds you see on the crests of river tides in the sunlight.

Crossing the River of Time

The experiential nature of realizing your own self-reliance is the epitome of one’s metamorphosis and thus, evolution.  Engaging in nature creates an inevitable change within which acts as a confirmation of one’s own journey.  While there are, of course, some dangers to engage with caution in the natural world, the general message is to “Let Go” of the control we think we have on our everyday lives.  In this state of naked consciousness there is a humbleness available which effects one to discover their own place in the universe, where one learns to trust in the process of life.  A state of being in the world but not becoming a product of it.


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