Daniel D. Ziegler

"I had the feeling that barriers had been removed, a veil lifted.
Indeed they had."


FREQUENTLY BEING NUDE around the house, it seems that the nudist
lifestyle had been calling me years before I ventured through the gates of a
nudist facility for the first time. But, when I finally decided to heed the call, what I
experienced was far greater than the 'it just feels good' feeling that I had been
having at home and that I expected to feel at the park. What I did feel was
incredible, and now, much later, I realize that I was having a spiritual experience.

These kinds of experiences were not new to me. In meditation, for instance,
letting go of my thoughts and concerns, and removing myself from my own
judgements and limited perception of myself, I often experienced a heightened
sense of awareness and a deep sense of belonging. Being nude out doors that
afternoon with hundreds of other people, was giving me a similar feeling. But I
also felt the most incredible sense of freedom I had ever experienced. I had the
feeling that barriers had been removed, a veil lifted. Indeed they had. Words
continue to fall short of describing the healing and the growth that I've
experienced since the day that I passed through the gates into a new
consciousness. It was the greatest gift I could have given myself.

I have since taken the opportunity to introduce a number of close friends to the
nudist lifestyle, some who had always wanted to try it, and others who had never
thought of it before, some who were on a conscious spiritual path, and others
who considered themselves atheists. Regardless of their beliefs, the
experience has always had a profound effect on their lives, and their
descriptions of the experience have not been dissimilar. Along with, "Why didn't
I try this sooner?", "FREEDOM" is the word often heard describing their

What is this freedom? It is being free of restrictive clothing, free from societal
pressure of how we are to look, feel and behave and it is being free of shame
of our bodies that we learned from our parents or that we were taught in some
fear-based religion. It is being free of worrying what others think of us. It is all of
these and probably more. But summed up, it is being free of a lot of old
perceptions of ourselves and of our world that we have been carrying around for
a long time--perceptions that we counted on in our former fear-based reality,
but no longer are valid in our new-found consciousness. Our new experience
has brought us this new-found freedom.

What an interesting parallel between nudism and our spiritual growth. Is not our
spiritual growth nothing more than surrendering old perceptions of ourselves
and who we are and replacing them with God's reality of who and what we
are--His perfect creations? Is it not surrendering our old image of ourselves for
God's Perfect Image? And is not our spiritual path one of surrendering our will
for His? When we remove our clothes at a nudist park, we are surrendering a
false perception of ourselves, one that we have created, and we are allowing
the real (in physical terms) us to be seen. With that surrendering of our "old
image" comes a new acceptance and a new freedom. Not only do we find that
others accept us, but we accept ourselves as well. This self-acceptance, at the
physical level, leads us to being free of worrying what others think of us. At the
spiritual level, surrendering our ego--our old image of ourselves or the long held
belief that we are separate from God--allows us to experience our real Self in
terms of how God created us--perfect and in His Image. This is true
Self-acceptance. It is the Truth that sets us free.

The parallel between nudism and spiritual growth continues in terms of the
rewards awaiting our surrender. Those of us who participate in clothes-free
living know what the rewards are for surrendering our textiles, for "taking it all
off." It is that incredible sense of freedom that is beyond words and that
continually draws us back to the lifestyle. Spiritually, we also experience an
incredible sense of freedom when we surrender even the smallest false
perception we have of ourselves. Can we even imagine what freedom we will
feel when we dare to surrender to God completely, when we finally decide to
"take it all off"? We'll probably say, too, "Why didn't I try this sooner?"

To get a glimpse of the rewards in store for us as we uncloak our souls and
stand "naked before God," we can enter the gates of a new consciousness
right now by taking off our clothes at a nudist park or in some other appropriate
place. The freedom felt is incredible and definitely worth the few anxious
moments that may precede the experience. But it is only a glimpse of the
spiritual freedom awaiting us--a metaphor at best. Never-the-less, it is a good
metaphor, one definitely worth trying.

So give yourself a gift, the gift of freedom. Get naked before God. * * *
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Reclaiming Acceptance of our Original State