Pictured above: K. Kauffman, Moon Bath, 15″x15″, Acrylic, Oil, Pastel, Ink, Collage
Part of my regular hygiene is to allow a big moon’s rays to shine on me once a month or so. I call this “moon bathing.” Fortunately, in Hawaii, during a full moon, it’s warm enough all year to go outside to my private patio, shed clothes and bask in the unearthly glow of the luminescent orb. I hold my arms wide and slowly rotate to insure all sides of me connect with the reflected light of our nearest cosmic neighbor. I do it for fun and exult in the joy of connection with the Great Beyond.
Recently, I began to wonder if any deeper reasons exist for my enthusiastic moon baths. The lovely nocturnal globe is an obvious symbol of the night and the more obscure parts of human nature such as the sub-conscious. Soothing moonbeams seem to send a sonorous message to the subtle layers of my mind: I honor and welcome whatever shrewd hunches come my way. I write in my journal and create poems to breathe new understandings into life. I draw and paint gut feelings. I confide the new positive instincts to friends and explore them with counselors. I meditate on the sixth sense.
When I ignore my intuition, self-destructive behavior can unconsciously start happening. A few days ago, I listed all the delusions I’ve struggled with throughout my life, such as the childhood feeling that I’d never be good enough to deserve my parents’ love. In my thirties, before I became conscious of this gloomy streak in my psyche, it had led me into situations where I felt hopeless. At times, I remained inexplicably mired in abusive relationships, no matter how hard I strove for warm connections and peaceful communication.
My drawing, Moon Bath, includes musical notes. The feeling of joy and resonance deep within during my special time with the moon seems to provide a calm path into fuller awareness of dark elements I’d normally rather not see. I don’t hear music while moon bathing, however, a calm joy floods through me with an interior vibration that feels tonal.
Around the perimeter of the white central circle are classic Buddhist faces in meditation. My moon baths are a meditation on communion with nature. I literally feel an inner tingling which seems to be what Asians call “chi,” essential life energies running through me. Their diffuse buzzing sensation and my heart beat create a minimalist, primal music. I feel as though I’m physically and emotionally healing; perhaps spiritually too.
Moon baths work. In them, I act out a willingness to invite the unknown into my awareness. Since I began these nighttime communions in my thirties, I’ve gained slow cognizance of self-destructive tendencies and have gently quelled them, one by one. Over time, I’ve built the courage to honestly confront my shortcomings and to siphon them into my consciousness where they can transform into clarity and positivity in meditation, writing, art and conversation. All the while, I continue to have fun with Ms. Moon.