I was recently asked to write a little about how my being devotedly barefoot affects my spirituality and sexuality. So far as sexuality goes, sometimes it seems that it’s all I have, and at other times the freshness and vibrantness of the experience becomes agonizingly ellusive. But being barefoot is definitely at the core of my sense of identity… I go barefoot therefore I am! When I am at my most profoundly aroused I am keenly aware of what it means, in its purest essence and at its most intense, to be forever barefoot. The saddest thing is that at the moment I seem to be taking it for granted, so I struggle to maintain a fresh appreciation of it.
As far as how being barefoot affects my spirituality… it doesn’t. Yes, Hindus go barefoot to the Temple, but for me the spiritual logic of it is somehow disconnected from the act of going barefoot. Shoes are removed at the Temple because no dirt from the outside world is allowed in–this goes for your inner thoughts and feelings as well. In fact, since I am always barefoot, my feet have lots of dirt from the outside world, so not long into my conversion to Hinduism I developed the habit of washing my feet at home before going to the Temple, then washing the bottoms of them off with a wipe before entering the Temple. So, for me, being barefoot is not really part of the religious experience in that way, but I do really enjoy to the fullest being in a religion in which I can simply be comfortably barefoot… like everyone else. LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Of course, I have to say it’s a real delight to see all those spectacular Indian women with their toe rings and ankle bangles. So, while being barefoot is not a religious experience for me, it is very much a Zen thing in that it keeps me rooted in the NOW! It is practically impossible to be barefoot and not be wholly in the moment. When you are barefoot there is no past and there is no future, there is only the moment, the eternal now.