As I understand firewalking, it's basically a stage magic trick with very little profound meaning. It's simply a physics trick, and requires no particular “belief” to do successfully (just ask Randi!). It's value comes not from the physical act, but from the psychological “fear factor” journey it forces you to face and the mumbo jumbo whoever is hosting the event decides to add. Real magic doesn't need a story or a myth or a ritual attached to it — real magic is real.

My latest interest is coldwalking (sorry, I invented that term, if anyone knows the proper term let me know). Historically, when Hindus would “drop out”, they'd stay in the mountains, which are of course extremely cold. As such, one of the things they learned how to do is control their body temperature to such an extent that they were able to survive in these environments with little to no protection — this has been scientifically documented and verified with holy men all over Asia. It's far from unusual.

Anyway, I'm well versed with moving energy in and out of my body and from place to place inside my body, so I figured I should give this a try. Even though it's winter, I've taken to not dressing when I walk the dog — I never put on shoes when I walk in the snow, and I don't wear a jacket unless it's fairly windy (hey, I'm an amateur).

I believe that what I am doing isn't particularly difficult and that any of you can replicate it. Understand — and believe — two things before you begin:

  1. You are a part of a single earth entity. Interpret that however you want, but accept yourself as a part of a whole, rather than an independant entity.
  2. The earth, while it has it's cold spots, is a very warm place. So warm in fact that it's full of rocks so hot that they've turned into lava.

As you stand in the snow, cherish the fact that you have bare feet — you're not standing in the cold, you're connected to this immense heat. Thankfully there's nothing as shallow as leather and rubber holding you back from it. Cease to understand that you exist and allow the heat of the earth to flow up into you.

Now, I'm not telling you there's a spiritual meaning in this. I'm perfectly willing to accept it's simply a visualization exercise that induces some physiological response. But it is real, and it does work, and you can do it too. I do it daily; yesterday I exposed myself to the cold like this for about three hours and other than burning through a lot of callories — I was starving by noon — I suffered no ill effects and felt no cold.

Before you call me crazy, try it.

Even if you can't conquer cold, try thinking about your feet when you walk, especially barefoot. Try and feel your feet connecting with and becoming a part of the ground below you when you step. When you're standing, don't feel yourself. Reach down, and pull the earth up into you and while you're doing this push yourself back down into the earth as well. You may well find that suddenly you can “feel” everything around you in a whole new way.

Like I said, try it.

If the experience strikes you, please let me know how it went in the “whatever” forum — I'd love to hear different people's interpretation of what's going on as well.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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