3. The skin

There are endless delightful questions that arise in contemplation with this layer.
How might we come most alive via the gifts of skin?
How is the innate sensuality, sensitivity and pleasure-creating capacity of the skin a form of intelligence?
How is the desire for beauty our need to be true to the real world?


Skin, inner and outer

How might we rest into presence with the permeable layer between outer and inner? How does skin support our explorations of the cosmos? How does this layer protect or allow entry to the ‘other’? How are our orifices sites of intensity and precarity? How might skin tell the tales of our past, memorialise our times of pain or great meaning?

This is the layer where we come into connection with the intelligence of our sense organs. We can honour their complex knowing, their intricate perceptions, their fine sensing. We can feel how they are enlivened with every breath, their cells awakened with oxygen, we can feel how they are nourished by the gift of digestion, and the contributions other forms of life make to enable our awareness.

Vestments and Adornments, Tattoos and Markings

How do we interact and display with our skin?

How might we ritually respond to the beauty of the cosmos through how we reflect this world upon our person? How might we be a microcosmic reflection of the macrocosm?

One aspect of this layer includes how we might consider our bodies and the way we hold ourselves within space. Our bodies, feet on earth, head in sky, our spine an axis between these. Our sense of front, back, sides, we are positioned within the directions. The sense of vast inner, the sense of great outer, and our skin a portal from vast to vast. To spend some time in presence with our axial selves, aligned within the cosmos, is a rich meditation.

The offer is, if you have the time and opportunity, to consider how you might wish to array the portal of skin for our next session together. Your vestments and adornments — your clothes, jewellery or decorations, flowers or other magical beings that you incorporate upon your person. How might we reflect the inner, how might we honour the outer? Are such distinctions even useful? It can be distracting to get conceptual here, when the felt sense of it can be so fertile. To stay with the impossible unsolvable question of existence as it takes form in and as these bodies we call ‘ours’ — there’s richness in this!

And to consider too how your creative project is linked to a process of ‘inner adornment’ — creating a form within which to nest your belonging, love and commitment to this beautiful world. The act of working on your project is, in itself, a soul-adornment — it is soul-making, which is the same as deep-seeing or listening, which always reveals the irrevocable links the beloved (of every type or animacy) has to you.

I acknowledge that this is in no way a linear process and that we will continue to circle back and deepen into layers we’ve already touched.


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