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  1. Sthira

    Sweat Lodge experiences?

    A girlfriend said this is my kind of thing. "I've done two," she said. "This will be my third, and I love it." She is inviting me to go with her every month, or whatever I feel. I don't know what I feel, and oddly, although I've spent a lot of time amongst First Nations Cree, I've never participated in a ceremonial Native American sweat lodge. Have you? Dean has written prolifically on the opposite of this; I'm wondering plainly about the science here, and any potential longevity-promoting aspects. Here's a glimmer of what she sent me, but it gets much deeper -- spiritually, i.e.: "...A Sweat Lodge ceremony is an ancient purification ceremony used by different cultures, especially indigenous peoples around the world, to worship our God Creator and to honor Mother Earth and our relationship with all living things on our planet (All Our Relations). This powerful ceremony is used for purification and healing, and works on many different levels, but especially our physical and emotional body, mind and spirit. The Sweat Lodge ceremony, conducted is called the "Little Boy/Little Girl Lodge" or "Young Men's Lodge," and is very gentle. The elders of Cheyenne/Arapaho tribes passed down this traditional ceremony to encourage teenagers and young children to participate in lodges so they could begin to learn from this amazing healing ceremony early in life. DURING THE LODGE CEREMONY: No items are brought inside the Lodge besides a towel and natural sacred non-metal items. (no water bottles are to brought inside the lodge). A Sweat Lodge ceremony usually begins with prayers being said around the sacred fire, followed by an offering of tobacco. After the conclusion of prayers, participants enter the lodge one at a time. After everyone is in the lodge, the fire-keeper will bring in lava or granite rocks, called "Stone People," or "Grandfathers," that have been heated. There are usually seven stones brought in at the beginning of each "round". Sacred herbs such as sage, cedar, sweet grass and bear root are burned on the Grandfathers for cleansing, and we bless ourselves with the power of these medicines. When we close the door to the Sweat Lodge, everything (whether positive or negative) about our lives, is intensified. Sometimes beautiful thoughts and memories arise, and sometimes symptoms from an uncomfortable or difficult time will rise up within us for healing. We pray and sing together to the four directions, focusing our attention on the great mystery of life, as we surrender ourselves to the Great Spirit, our God Creator. As our hearts begin to open, we experience the healing powers of Fire, Water, Earth and Air. The power of these four elements keeps us and All Our Relations alive, and the teachings of the four directions-the East, South, West and North-bring us knowledge and wisdom. It is suggested for entering into this Lodge the "womb of the mother" that first-time participants serve the lodge from being 'around' her and interacting with her spirit to feel the power, heart and intensity of the creation process along with their own specific divine instructions on where and how best to serve the greater community, before placing themselves in the position of being allowed to enter the lodge to be deeply challenged by the "Great Mystery". If this is your first time and you feel called inside the Lodge, please speak to the Lodge Keeper and share your heart as we are only making a suggestion for this being a first time experience. Remember, everyone present during the lodge ceremony, whether 'inside' or 'outside' is said to be "In the lodge" or "doing the lodge", the ceremony is all pervasive. The lodge is after all a "way" of life. Our own particular medicine walk while here on earth. Our interpretation of the highest characteristics and qualities of what it means to be human. We would ask that the supporters assist people coming out of Lodge as they may be in need of water and guidance...."
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