Study as a spiritual discipline is one of those things that requires focus and concentration. More importantly it requires receptivity to learn. To be a good student one has to be open to being taught. You also need a discerning mind that can accept truth but reject falsehood. Study does not necessarily involve study of the Scriptures but for Christians that generally seems to be the focus of study. Study actually can involve anything that can be studied. In spiritual terms though this usually involves spiritual things.
In Meditation, Prayer and Worship we place our self into a state of openness and receptivity to hear, to speak to and to praise God. This is the best context for learning and it only stands to reason that one should remain in such a state to study. The best spiritual mindset for study then naturally follows from a state of meditation, prayer and worship. Moving from these disciplines to study should be a natural progression. Meditation on a passage of scripture would make study of that passage more profitable for instance. I am not making a rule here so much as an observation that this is the best procedure. You can study something without having prayed or meditated before hand, it is just that doing prayer and meditation before study makes the time of study more productive in my opinion.
For naked practitioners of spiritual disciplines, the progression is natural in a formal time of study. To spend time nude in meditating, prayer and worship sets the stage for study. If one has done all those things in the nude to enhance spiritual receptivity, why would you suddenly get dressed to study? Getting dressed would be an interruption and disruptive. The fact is the disciplines are best when one flows into another and enhance each other. If nudity enhances receptivity and openness to change in the others, it would do the same in study.
The real key to success in study is attitude. In study this attitude is a little different. You need to be relaxed but active in thought and heart. Study is more of and active meditation that is more focused on a specific action. It is important to be comfortable in every way so that you can be active in the way you need to be. Nudity for many is a comfortable state. It is that state of being whole and one with only you and your self engaging what you are studying.
Studying books is a mutually reflective exercise in that we need to remember that we are not just engaging ourselves and God in study but another person. The person who wrote the words is there in spirit if nothing else. In a sense they are spiritually naked with us as we can make no judgments about them other than based on what they write. It is then in our best interests if we want to gain the most by study that we engage that person in a mode of reflective listening to what they are saying.
For the Christian there are usually two forms of this: study of scripture and memorization of scripture. Over the course of my life I have done a lot of both but in both cases I have gained the most out of them by being relaxed and in a mode of understanding, The most important thing is not to know what the Scripture says but be open to hear what Scripture means and apply it to my life. Meaning and application are best found in an active meditative state when we are not only hearing the Word of God but engaging it with reflective questions. Nudity allows us to be more actively meditative and reflective in my humble opinion and this improves the process immensely. Memorization in a meditative state leads to the next day meditating on that scripture. By doing it this way your going to get more out of it than just dwelling on a passage for one day. You memorize the passage the first day and then meditate on it the second. You can do this in any combination and you can get even more out of it if you do a paragraph over an entire week.
There is also the study of things and people. I want to deal with the study of people in corporate disciplines, but to me of the most obvious disciplines that could be combined with the study of things is communion with nature. The more I read what naturists write, the more I am convinced that many of them have tapped into this spiritual state of communion with nature, nudity and active and passive meditation which leads to the better understanding of the world around them. Many devotional masters speak of the communion with natural revelation as a way to build faith. Naturism is being natural yourself in a natural world to do this. In this state, new understandings and knowledge are bound to be gained by the study of the world around us as the naturist is making himself more like his natural surroundings than one who is clothed. The image of Adam and Eve in the garden is reborn.
Nudity is showing itself to be a particular kind of spiritual discipline. It is both reflective and enhancing which also makes it both passive and active. Much like fasting, it has a power to help us truly see more in the world around us. This leads me to a question of the other personal spiritual disciplines and their relationship to nudity which is the subject of the next post.
Next: Other Naked Disciplines