It's exactly a month until the Naked Heart Walk 2021 takes place. Our supporters (Painshill Park, The British Heart Foundation and British Naturism) have absolutely no qualms about letting us have a hundred or more people naked in a public space. Of course it's all for a good cause and one that many families in the U.K. are familiar with as millions suffer from cardiovascular disease.
However, my group - East Sussex Naturists - don't want this to be a once a year event with naturism put back in it's box for the rest of 2021. So next week we are going to be Naked At The Beach. You can read about it on our Events page.
This is us just getting naked for ourselves. I am looking forward to it immensely as it's going to be the first time that we practise Qi Gong in the open air. Yesterday we had our fortnightly class at a local community hall and we stole outside for a few minutes to get grounded on the lawn outside in the life giving sun that ultimately provides the energy we manage during the class. We think about our connection to the Earth and to the Universe. On the beach we won't be trading on manicured grass, but sand and shingle and the ocean water - here is the origin of life on the land and we can wonder at the eons that have created the elements on the beach and marvel at the leap of life from the seas to the harsh land. This leap was not possible without symbiosis - where two or more species live together for mutual benefit. Algae from the sea and bacteria from the land combined with fungi to form lichens that were the first colonisers of the land. Lichens have no roots and so need their fungal partners to extract the minerals needed to sustain life from the bare rocks. The lichens receive sugars from the process of photosynthesis in the algae and bacteria. Where lichens now grow on trees, as they do in my garden, the plant just provides support for the lichen and the tree is not harmed.
This all provides an allegory to my mind for naturism. Here we are disparate individuals supporting each other in a social group using our learned skills and life experience for mutual benefit. Our Qi Gong is not taught, but guided to our own individual needs and expressions, following in our own style, but mindful of our companions. In the present space we are free to bare ourselves without fear or harm, but grow towards a mutual social group. We learn to relate to each other as humans rather than avatars - the masks of modern living where our survival takes a daily toll on our mental fitness.
In the spirit of Alfred Koch (who founded the Berlin School in 1926 - see https://ournaturalblog.com/home/the-history-of-nudism-european-beginnings ) we meet regularly to exercise, but physical fitness is not the point in itself. We are not aiming for the perfect body, but to give thanks for our imperfect selves, be our authentic selves and relate to humans as the imperfect adaptions to life on the present Earth. We are freed to be ourselves at least for two hours. And the most important part - a cup of reviving tea as a social ritual now we are relaxed in the warm sunlight that pervades this quiet corner of England betwixt church and vineyard.
You can donate to the Naked Heart Walk on my just giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nakedphilip and a heartfelt thank you for those who have already done so.