The Yoga of Naked Awareness

Making love to the moment with naked presence. Intimate communion with the depth of reality. Surrendering to the spontaneous arising of existence. This is my favorite Yoga. 

The depth of reality is always here, it is here weather we pay attention to it or not. It is the fertile ground which the moment itself is constantly birthing out of. Some call this depth of reality Love. Some call it Space. Some call it Emptiness. Some call it Light. Some call it the Void. Labels are irrelevant. Descriptions cannot touch it. It is closer than the next breath yet most of the time it escapes our awareness. It is the constant steady pulse beneath our surface experience. 

Cultivating nakedness before the presence of the moment requires that we strip down beneath our layers of fabrication and resistance. The more naked we become, the more intimate our communion with the depth of the moment. This is a practice of becoming radiantly, excruciatingly, brilliantly Real. Intangible to the mind, it is a Yoga that unfolds within the space of the Hridya- the great heart. And it begins with radical, honest presence to where we are, right now. 

There is a Tantric saying that "The path is the result, the result is the path". There is no where to get to. The deepest reality is always here, now. There is no final goal to the practice. Our living, breathing, human experience is a Yoga of communion with the Sacred Source of Reality.. By burning the bridges to past and future, the full, sensitized, vulnerable, undefended, ungrasping, naked, embodied immersion of awareness into the moment itself becomes the sacred doorway into the heart of reality. This Yoga of communion can never be perfected. It is an ongoing practice which requires the Totality of a person, whose totality is never final because existence itself is never final. It is the simplest yet most difficult Yoga of all. It does not require a meditation cushion or any fancy techniques. It is forged within the fire of not-knowing. It is what the Tantrika practices their whole life. 

As the great Yogini Lalita Devi proclaims in Daniel Odier's book, Desire: "Adhere deeply to reality with the heart of your being. There is nothing else to look for!"

Alas, we are neurotic creatures. Our orientation towards reality, when filtered through the Ego, tends to waver between the polarity of Resistance and Grasping. The Yoga of Naked Awareness will reveal all of our Hesitant Self Consciousness, our Violent Impulsivity, our Fabrications and Manipulations. We begin to see clearly how not-naked we are. We see all of our defenses against the intimacy of communion. This noticing is an essential aspect of the Yoga. 

This is a practice riddled with paradox. We must be available for meeting the depth of reality, without contorting ourselves with too much effort. We seek always the madhya, the middle ground. The space in between Relaxation and Alertness, Vitality and Detachment, Hesitation and Impulsivity, Penetration and Surrender. We merge with the subtle realm as the gateway to infinity. We choose to know nothing, and in this relinquishing of knowledge, we gain access to what is Real. We do not eliminate or suppress the ego, we expand the ego to encompass all opposites. By liberating the polarized limitation of the ego, we reveal its radiantly empty core. We taste identity as pure consciousness, manifesting through the rainbow spectrum of human experience. By grace and with practice, moments of Nakedness emerge. Moments of true Spontaneity. Moments where we are immersed in the Non-Dual Heart of Reality. When such moments occur, we practice the Yoga of letting go. We make ourselves available for these states of unity to arise, and we make ourselves available for them to leave us. 

As Lalita Devi  says: "Just one moment of true presence is worth all the books, all the teachings of all the ages."

If we want to practice how to be supple, open, tender, alive, spontaneous, creative, vulnerable, naked, attuned, connected and intimate with the moment, if we want to practice this Yoga of Communion with the Depth of Reality, we can do it any time, any where. If we want to dive into the cauldron of Not-Knowing, into the Heart of Reality, there is no where to look but right here. There is no better time to begin than right now.

And, if we want to accelerate our practice and add coals to this potent fire, we can practice this Yoga through Touch. 

When we touch the body of another with naked presence, we are meeting the Other as Self. We are touching them as though they are us, as though they are the Totality of existence itself. When we meet the moment through the flesh of a living, breathing human being, we commune with Life in its most intimate, raw, vital and vulnerable form. In Tantric ritual, physical nakedness always enhances the potency of ritual. Including the body into spiritual practice is like lightening fuel for awakening. When our spiritual practice expands to encompass the Yoga of Touch, we see even more clearly all of our resistance to what is and our grasping at what is not. Touch magnifies our stories and fantasies, our defenses, our strategies to avoid the Real. We work with touch as a Yoga to become intimate with these projections, to drop beneath them over and over, to learn to dance with the real arising of existence. We slow down, become more and more subtle, and through subtlety we are opened to Infinity. 

The Yoga of Naked Awareness through Touch does not seek to fix, heal, arouse, seduce, comfort or satiate. Consciousness is cultivated, naked presence is awakened, by simply attuning deeply to the core of the Being we are touching. Communion with the Real arises from our willingness to meet the Other as Self. To experience them in their Totality, their Wholeness. By eliminating the agenda to heal with our touch, we offer the gift of true presence to the One we are touching. Paradoxically this gift of presence without pretense is immensely healing because it is the touch we have all been longing for our whole lives. 

We all long to open, to surrender our resistance to life. We all long to be free. This opening occurs through Touch when there is a pure meeting, when contact has no agenda. Quite simply, we open when we are listened to with immaculate presence. Just as the Real of existence opens and reveals itself through the gateway of our tender listening, our penetrating awareness, our embodied surrender, so does the Being of an other Open through this same quality of Listening, Penetrating and Surrendering. 

The Yoga of Touch invites this meeting, it calls us into the Deep. It does not deny any aspect of our humanity nor does it require any specific results. It is a moment by moment meeting of the Real, of stripping down beneath the surface, into the intangible Empty Fullness of the great Heart. 

When Lalita Devi was asked about this Yogic Touch Practice, which in Shaivite tradition is called Kashmiri Massage, "What is the objective?"

She replied: "Absolutely nothing, but it may cause enlightenment."