More on “The Expanded Version of Me”

August 9, 2010

Last Tuesday, one of the summer volunteers at Easton Mountain had a small sign hanging from his neck: “I am in silence.” It wasn’t the first time a man has chosen to spend a day in silence at Easton Mountain. I, myself, have been part of a retreat where we were silent for several days from after dinner until about two in the afternoon.

The next morning I met the same man in the dining room. He was naked. He explained that he had done a shamanic journey where he was instructed to spend one day in silence and one day naked. He checked the guidance with a counselor whose psychic ability he respected.

This man hasn’t shared any insights coming from his practice, but it helped me realize something. The next evening I had a seventy-five-minute teleconference with two other members of a board on which I serve. The discussion focused mostly on why certain decision made about sixteen months ago had not been implemented. At the end of the conversation, I felt drained – also stiff from sitting on a hard chair. I decided to relieve sore muscles in the hot tub. I stripped naked and headed for the outdoor showers. As the cool evening air struck my skin, I felt the tension generated during the teleconference drain away. I once again experienced “the expanded version of me that life has caused me to become.”

I can’t say that undressing is a cure for all my tension and stress. Too many times, I’ve slept naked and awakened at around three a.m. with negative thoughts and emotions. Of course, I didn’t go outside. What would happen if I went outside is a subject for further exploration.

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