I Sing the Body Electric

Just got back from an intense weekend at a retreat for counselors and coaches. This month we are focusing on Shame and Love, so on Saturday night we did some naked counseling. Picture 100 people completely naked counseling each other on body shame, beauty, and acceptance. It was an eye-opening experience.

One of the most important things I learned was that we are whole. Clothes often make us look incomplete, inadequate, or ugly, but when we see each other completely naked, we get to see the beauty of a whole person. Everything makes sense. My skinny legs, penis size, angular face, and lack of body hair all make sense when seen together.

When we just focus on one particular part, however, we can find all kinds of inadequacies, ugliness, and reasons to hide. People got up in front of the whole group and talked about their breasts, the color of their skin, and the size of their penis, but when we saw them for who they really were, it all made sense in a very beautiful way. One woman asked us to see the spirit of who she really is, beyond her body. I saw the beautiful spirit of who she really is IN her body, in her smile, in her tears, in the quivering of her voice.

What if we looked at our lives as a whole? We often see the individual events of our lives as ugly or dark. Can we see these events as part of the overall beauty? Can the darkness be a shading that lead us to the Light? I’ve had this intimation before:

On the way home, I stopped off at Adyashanti’s Satsang. Adya echoed the point about wholeness:

“When you come to the core of consciousness…consciousness becomes a completely unified field.”~Adyashanti 1/19/14

At this core of consciousness, no boundaries exist between consciousness and whatever we are experiencing. If you think about it, our clothes are a boundary. Our judgments are a boundary between us and others. Our insecurities are a boundary between us and our true selves. Lies are a boundary between us and the Truth.

Here’s to breaking down the boundaries in order to come to the core of consciousness.

Thank you for reading, smiling, and/or sharing.

When was the last time you were completely naked in front of others physically or metaphorically? Did it help you find freedom? Please share.

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27 comments on “I Sing the Body Electric

  1. rarasaur says:

    Interesting!! 🙂 I have mixed feelings. In one regard, I think the opposite of what you said– I love clothes because I feel like they complete the picture. I feel as if people use make up and clothes to fill in blanks. I was born into my body, and it has become what it is through so many things unrelated to my own choice– but the colors I chose, the fabric I wear, the height I make myself– that is *me*. Well, the me I have chosen to be.

    On the other hand, I come by my “naked blogger” badge honestly, 🙂 I think there’s a peace and self-awareness that comes from nudity that is hard to find elsewhere.

    Thanks for making me think!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Great point, Rara. i think I meant that clothes can be a barrier for us being and being seen for who we truly are. When we got naked and authentic, I was able to see past the socially conditioned codes of clothing and truly see others in all their beauty.
      Yes, there is peace and self-awareness in nudity, especially in front of others, that cannot be learned from books, only through experience. I am grateful to have had this experience this weekend. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  2. Truth be told the only person I ever felt somewhat comfortable around being naked is the man I’ve spent 10 years with. Even then, I sometimes feel myself being a tad self-conscious.

    I have serious issues with all of that, though. From past abuse, being called names, being made fun of for my ridiculously pale skin, etc. Hopefully, someday I can truly overcome it & I’m getting there. There is still a ways to go, though.
    I admire your strength & courage. ♥
    *hugs*

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      All I can say, J. is that something happens when you face fears and drop your drawers. I honor all you have been through. I had some similar issues, as you know, but I feel so much more free now–and by free I mean loving.
      It took me 48 years to do this, so don’t feel like you are in any rush. haha. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  3. utesmile says:

    I guess it is an eyeopening experience. We are all different on the outside and as Saint Exupery says it is important what is inside. Being naked that you have nothing to hide under and it is just you. Not many people are happy with their body and talking about this being naked and seen is very brave I find.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thanks, Ute. It wasn’t too hard to be courageous when I saw all the other brave souls entering the safe space we had created. Our group leaders and head counselor all participated, so it felt really democratic. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  4. Geo Sans says:

    the
    messages
    in
    our minds
    ~

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      So true, Geo Sans. It is ironic, but when the video ended an add appeared on youtube that said “Browse 10000 Single Asian Women’s Profiles.” Kind of the opposite of what Dustin Hoffman was talking about.
      Yes, there are so many beautiful souls out there who we never meet due to the boundaries in our minds. {{{hugs}}} kozo

  5. I can see exposing yourself freeing. I expose myself with every poem I post. I send piece of myself in the universe with every verse of pain, joy and enlightenment I share. Sometimes I question myself why. But I am who I am and if my journey helps someone else have an easier travel then my exposure is good.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      You last line contains words to live by, SHO. I think that a lot of us expose ourselves on our blogs to help others, as well as grow ourselves. So grateful for all the authenticity that is happening in this life. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  6. So that would be a big stretch for me. A woman of a certain age, body image is still my stumbling block. To sit naked, no matter if the rest of the room were so, would be a big challenge for me.

    I am in awe of your courage and your capacity to be present. Very inspiring.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thanks, Louise. I have to say that there were people of ALL ages, sizes, and genders exposing themselves for all to see. It was quite powerful. My courage was nothing compared to some of my friends who were exposing not just their bodies, but also their histories. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  7. Alison says:

    I so admire you Kozo, and the work you are doing: your commitment and determination to become whole and free. Kudos. I would have loved to have been at that naked workshop – to finally deal with body issues and be done with it. However obviously my path is a different way, and no doubt just as stimulating.
    Love and (((((((hugs))))))
    Alison

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I’m sure you will get your opportunity, Alison. 🙂 Yes, we are on different sides of the planet, but we are on the same path. Coming by for some worldly stimulation later today. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  8. That would be beyond me – I can emotionally bare myself but get naked – never!! don’t know what that says about me!
    Boundaries are there to keep us safe too.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Yes, safety is key. This group has been building a safe space for the last 4 months, so most of us felt pretty safe. I wonder if you would change your mind if you felt safe with those in the group? {{{Hugs}}}} Kozo

  9. KM Huber says:

    The Adyashanti quote regarding the unified field reminded me of my early study of Deepak Chopra, and I found the quote from my notes: “We are not onlookers peering into the unified field of separate, objective reality – we are the unified field.” I had not thought of clothes as a boundary but I believe you are correct for if we can peel away all labels and garments, what is left but the “body electric,” as your lovely post illustrates. Thank you, Kozo!
    Karen

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      K. I was just at your blog commenting with an Adyashanti quote. I love that you were here commenting with a Chopra quote. Yes, be the field rather than the commentator is what Adya said–he took his metaphor from football since his Satsang was on a day where the 49ers were in the playoffs. As you know, the secret is that we are already the field. We just have to ignore the commentator. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  10. 1EarthUnited says:

    Kudos to you Kozo, I see your point. All bodies are beautiful and whole, a perfect expression of infinite variability within the source field.
    Still, regarding clothes, I’ll have to quote Albert from The Birdcage: “Oh these? Well, one does want a hint of color.”
    My only confession- I do love my clothes, lol. 😉

  11. diannegray says:

    It’s so hot here I find I walk around with very little on at all during the day. It’s very comfortable, but I always cover up if anyone else is around. I feel too vulnerable without clothes and I guess this is the way most of us have been brought up. Allowing people to look at your body is like letting them look at your soul and I guess I don’t want to reveal ‘all’ until I have trust in that person. The whole thing must have been very interesting for you, Kozo. What an amazing man you are 😀

    {{{hugs}}}

  12. I love this and yes, we step back and “see” the beauty that is.

  13. Regarding Adyasanti please consider the possibility that he is a complete fraud. I can’t understand how any well informed individual could possibly think otherwise.

    For a detailed expose why nobody should listen to this colossal cheater please connect to the following link for a full expose:

    http://www.harekrsna.com/sun/editorials/12-13/editorials11103.htm

    Spiritual life is a serious business but Adyshanti turns it into a (Not so) cheap circus sideshow that has become a lucrative business he dispatches on the naive.

    -wgr

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      WGR,
      I read your entire critique of Adya. I notice that you prioritize original texts and practitioners. I’m reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow right now, and he says something very interesting: “In each new epoch–perhaps every generation, or even every few years, if the conditions in which we live change that rapidly–it becomes necessary to rethink and reformulate what it takes to establish autonomy in consciousness” 22.
      I like this concept. If you think about the title of this blog, I see anything as a possible guru. I have been inspired and transformed by films like Magnolia that were at the heart of consumerism. Just because something functions in the marketplace does not necessarily mean that it is not a guru. I try to be inclusive in honoring teachers and others. I also like to hold paradox.

      For these reasons and because I find Adya’s guidance extremely helpful, I continue to attend Satsangs, listen to recordings, and blog about Adya.

      I respect your individual path, but I like to think that there are many paths to God.

      Thanks for looking out for me,
      {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  14. BroadBlogs says:

    Good one, Kozo. Did you see this post I wrote? It’s somewhat related.

    Why is Lena Dunham Naked on GIRLS?
    http://broadblogs.com/2014/01/22/why-is-lena-dunham-naked-on-girls/

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