...we can’t be this way forever
     we haven’t been shown how
               Anonymous participant at the first Human Body Project event, 2006

I have a vision for humanity.
Heart connection and taking responsibility for our actions. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and questioning everything we take for granted.

This is my work as a heartful person of action. I use my own human vessel–my self, my body–as a vehicle to teach and to learn. We're immersed in a culture of judgment, separated from heartfulness and taking responsibility. Together we need to unlearn many of our deepest teachings and these are bound up in the body.

What I am able to offer is an embodiment of humanity.

You are also an embodiment of humanity. I invite you to use me to consider what that means for yourself.

The Human Body Project is often extremely difficult for me but I am motivated by the deep love that awakened in me when I became a mother. I suddenly understood the seriousness of being a human being on the earth: my kids = the world.

It feels intensely urgent to me that we humans address the amputation of empathy and connectedness from our existence. We do not come close to understanding the depth and harm of this essential missing piece from our world and ourselves. I believe it is the source of almost every ailment of the deeply troubled planet that our children are inheriting.

The Human Body Project, which is, in essence, me sometimes volunteering as a “sample human” working through this issue, is my way of doing whatever I can to move the world closer to non-domination and harmony.

Rather than presenting a separate public persona, I show up as a real, struggling human being in the moment. At Human Body Project events I appear unscripted and use my naked body to create a felt, visceral experience of shared vulnerability. I also write about my life on my blog, Facebook, and Instagram, as authentically as I am able to, when I am able to.

Inevitably when people react to this project, the following false equations come up: nudity=sexuality=big can of worms and body=something to fix to become loveable. I am only interested in these energy-sucking diversions insofar as I wish to expose how much they diminish our humanity. My sample human body is a real, not posed, surgically unaltered, 61-year-old body.

I do not consider myself to be an exhibitionist or a nudist. Being naked in front of people makes me very uncomfortable. Like any human being, I use defences that are often unconscious and unskilled to create a feeling of safety for myself. But who I am is a heartful person. This is the truth I most want to own as a human being and what we all need to own as human beings. This is the most vulnerable thing to be.

I have learned that being naked is much easier than being openhearted. But I have also learned that being openhearted is easier when I am naked. I am less defended. Vulnerability makes me more able to be heartful.

Yet by allowing myself to be vulnerable I go against almost every instinct, every social norm, and everything I was taught. This is our dilemma: heartfulness requires vulnerability but, through culture and neurobiology, we are fundamentally vulnerability-disabled.

I believe this can only be addressed in a felt, visceral sense, beyond intellect and cognition. It is almost impossible to understand with words.

Our instinctive reactions, social norms, and cultural values are so invisible that our self-protection and our separation from heartfulness is not something that is even widely observed. Not one of our institutions (political, medical, educational, media, financial, even religious...) comes close to addressing this separation. They do not have the mechanisms. 

And yet this condition has led to everything from individual health problems (such as my own, which I write and speak about) to global issues such as climate catastrophe and poverty.

When I began in 2006, I'd hoped this kind of visceral exploration could kickstart the evolutionary biology of enough people into shifting gears to create a critical mass of higher, more connected, more loving consciousness. 

Physical nakedness is useful but not the point. The point is that more of us need to step out of our carefully constructed comfort zones and wake up and respond to the world. Struggle. Connect. Be awkward.

I make no claims to be a paragon of openhearted authenticity. Ha ha! I am needy, cranky, and difficult. I am not able to be on show all the time. I have a life with family, jobs, laundry, bills.

No one told me either, but, in my opinion, the process of feeling, observing, questioning, and then choosing accordingly is the only way to grow up.

I will add that it is not easy, once started it never ends and almost nothing in our culture or communities values or supports such a process. Our children, however, require it.


I conceived this project in 2004 and it began in 2006. I have pledged to do at least one monthly public vigil until I die, as a chronicle of my sample human body and the changes that take place in it over time; as a way to continue to provoke a serious consideration of individual and global vulnerability; and as a commitment to consciousness and action.


  1. Thank you for this :)

  2. A courageous and remarkable effort!

  3. Tasha, Thank you for The Human Body Project at the 2013 Vancouver Fringe Festival and in all past and future forms.

    I wanted to share a quote with you

    “Children, like animals use all their senses to discover the world. Then artists come along and discover it the same way...Or now and then we'll hear from an artist who's never lost it.” ― Eudora Welty

    It popped into my head as I reflected on your art and artistry.

    Thanks so much, J

  4. Here's something I once asked someone who was freaking out about nudity: "If you saw me with no clothes on, would it cause you to drop dead? No? Then what's the problem? Relax a little already." Of course, I got no answer. (There are actually people around who are highly neurotic about this, so much so that they can't even think about nudity without having an anxiety attack....)