Time for an air bath

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Benjamin Franklin used to take ‘air baths’…

This is where he used to sit in front of an open window on the first floor of his downtown London apartment… Naked.

Here’s what an article from the Smithsonian said about it…

And early most mornings, before he set to work, Franklin would sit, he wrote to a friend in France in 1768, “without any clothes whatever, half an hour or an hour, according to the season,” at his open, first-floor window, letting the air circulate over his, by then, considerable bulk. What the neighbors thought is apparently not recorded.

Got the visual of seeing ole’ Benny Franks sitting there sprawled out naked in his living room soaking in the breeze? Doesn’t seem very founding-fatherly in the puritanical sense, but ya know what — that man had it figured out.

Connecting with the physical world around us is something most of us don’t do very often today. We’re so caught up in our heads and in our electronic devices that we live a large percentage of our lives not… here.

I mean, forget about meditation in the technical sense. No need to pay a guru a couple grand for a mantra. Also, no need to take an air bath (although, if you’re bold enough and have the wherewithal to do so — take advantage).

Just set your timer for noon and 3pm (or pick whatever other times work best for you). When it goes off, stop what you’re doing (if you’re not driving or operating heavy machinery), look around, take a big abdominal breath, let it all out, feel the ground beneath your feet and soak in to the sensory smorgasbord your five senses provide you in every moment.

What are you smelling, seeing, hearing, tasting, and feeling against your skin?

We’re constantly walking on holy ground.

We’re so caught up in our thinking. So much chatter. So much distraction. So much judging of self and others. Our defense mechanisms are constantly triggered. It’s trade wars this and nuclear that.

Stop. Let the chatter do its thing. Pull back from it. And sink in to the world around you.

It’s still a little chilly here in Chicago for an air bath, but I’ll see what tomorrow holds. Me in my birthday suit with a cold beer, an open window, and the Masters on TV seems like a fantastic Sunday afternoon.

Not sure if my wife and daughter would agree, but that’s their problem, I suppose.

Wish me luck.