Each and every pore on my body is flexed shut. My anatomy — I’ll spare you the details — is visibly cold. I had thought November would be a mild month for Big Sur, California, and I was only half right: It was a beautiful and warm day to be naked outdoors among strangers, but by nightfall, freezing winds are blowing over the Pacific and into my bloodstream. Then I plunge my body into a hot mineral bath, and every cell in my body sighs.
This is hour seven at the Esalen Institute, where I’ve elected to spend the weekend in the hopes of shedding inhibitions, self-consciousness, and clothing for a few days of totally nude R&R. (Vacations are a lot less stressful when you’re not responsible for a beach bag.) I’m also devoting a total of nine and a half hours to unguarded self work with 30 strangers and two professionals who are also strangers. Annoyingly, I’m calling this “emotional nudity.” Do you get it? There is basically one place on earth that asks you politely to share your innermost thoughts and feelings and fears and insecurities with a group of people you have never met before, and, yeah, if you use the pool or baths, would you mind also not wearing clothes? Thank you so much. Welcome to Esalen. Continued…Read full original article…
Original publication JANUARY 19, 2018
Posted on NatCorn 22nd January 2018