This post is about exposing the body to someone else other than our beloveds.
Have you ever felt embarrassment before in revealing parts of your body to someone who is not your beloved? Well, most of us share this idea that we only show or share our bodies with the beloveds and during times when our bodies are accidentally exposed to another, some kind of embarrassment surfaces. Embarrassment can only arise from shame and that can only arise in a guilty mind. Yet shame is of a memory so ancient which belongs to an illusionary past manifested as guilt now, and the fear of a distant future. It is a chain of cause and effect arising simultaneously.
Let me share a story I encountered a few days ago of a shameless mind.
I posted on Facebook for any wanters for the last of my koi fishes since my pond is leaking and there was a thought that lack of efficiency of the pond may affect the fishes’ well being. It was within minutes that a dear friend called to express his wish to receive the fishes. There was no reason to say no since my posting was timely to his very own wishful thought.
He came by the day after and looked at the fishes and the pond. We both stood by the pond realising the depth of the pond and the amount of water in it was going to pose a challenge to transfer the fishes from the pond to a container he brought. Despite having the luxury to enjoy the pond for a good 6 years, my knowledge of the pond – how it works, how it is to be cleansed, the entire system – was minimal to me. Somehow we managed to drain some of the water out of the pond (actually quite a substantial amount of water) so that it would be easier to ‘persuade’ the fishes into the net that he brought.
It was pretty obvious that the length of the wood that held the net was not long enough. It was pretty instantaneous that he had a thought he had to get into the pond to get the fishes out. I agreed that it was a pretty good idea too. He politely asked if it was really ok with me since he did not intentionally plan to get into the pond and only had the existing clothes he had on his body to work with. I assured that I could provide the towels and additional clothes if that was ever his concern. Well, it was partial of his concern. The other concern he had was that he’d be in his boxes in the presence of what seemed like an opposite sex to him – a woman, i.e. me. It was awfully kind of him to consider if I might feel uncomfortable. Well, there was no prior thought about any discomfort that could arise from the possible scene so I assured him that it was ok. Or perhaps it could be put this way – it was just another body and made no utter difference to me. In fact, I was more interested in the observation of what it would take to finish up the task of transferring the fishes. The thought of the sight of a physical body of an opposite gender did not occur in my mind until he brought it up. Still, it did not bother my mind but did ignite an additional curiousness to what could possibly arise in the mind of my dear friend.
When he finally took off his pants, I asked him if he felt embarrassed, being aware of his earlier concern. Getting ready to dip into the pond, he replied there was no embarrassment arising. Being of an inquisitive nature, I then posed a question to him if he knew why there was no embarrassment arising. He didn’t have an answer except to ask me why in return. I did not give him an answer then.
Having been in the pond for a while and noticing that the fishes were going to give him some challenge before he could get them into the net, he figured that he also needed to remove his shirt. So there he was, this man, only in his boxes, and standing in my pond. I watched with amazement how his attention was towards not causing stress to the fishes without a care about how anyone perceived him. It was afterall, broad day light and I had neighbours taking walks along the street.
It was quite a task to get some fishes out of the pond and into his car. He cleansed himself in one of the bathrooms and left shortly thereafter. It was indeed a pleasant experience of working together with him over what people would label as a trivial experience in arriving to a realisation that there was no shame in exposing his body while at it.
The whole ordeal was no big deal and yet it reconfirms in me a realization that a guiltless mind bears no shame, evident from both our experiences that day. To some, the fishes were just fishes yet the love for the well being of the fishes brought us both together in experiencing a guiltless and shameless environment where a physical body was exposed under the sun (though not in totality) and did not bring forth any concern of uneasiness. It was as if there were no cares of the world. The fishes, though just another object of the world, allowed us to experience a moment of no-self but the arising of Spirit in being one in completing a task bestowed, for whatever reason.
The body, whether male or female, had indeed been a projection of unconscious separation with numerous accounts of beliefs where we encounter shyness, shame or embarrassment that comes with it. Of course, I am not advocating that we should walk around naked in the streets, but the mere fact that the physical body, in nakedness is shun by society or held possessively by oneself is definitely worth some effort looking at what we are exactly hiding in the mind.
It is time that we made peace with our own bodies, however they look like or whatever they are like. And this process of being at ease with what seem to be a costume to some Enlightened Masters takes place naturally in the plight or pursuit of our integrity and inner responsibility of our experiences with regards to ourselves.
The world views the necessity of shame so that order can be in place. Yet it is in shamelessness of the world that true vision where therein lies the natural order of things, is restored.