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                          The Sweat Lodge

The Sweat Lodge is an old traditional native ceremony that is still in practice amongst various North American Indian tribal nations. The practice of sweating has historically been performed amongst many cultures including in Europe but the ceremonies and ritual practices have mainly been forgotten and disappeared with time.

The Sweat Lodge is similar to a sauna in that there is heat and moisture. That’s where the similarities stop and the uniqueness and the benefits of the Lodge begin. An atmosphere is created which is often referred to as ‘being in the womb of Mother Earth’; it is a place of safety, giving, sharing, receiving, releasing, cleansing, healing, caring, nurturing and creativity. Done with ceremony and ritual, it becomes a place where we connect with ourselves, each other and Mother Earth. Through this contact we come to a better understanding of our place in the Universe, our relationship to all things. It is a place of awareness, of re-energizing, of re-focusing and a multitude of other dynamics experienced individually and collectively.

North American and Central American Indian tribes have traditionally used the Sweat Lodge for purification, cleansing and healing of mind, body, emotions and spirit, contributing to a healthier individual. Through the use of traditional rituals and forms, it assists the individual in achieving balance, peace and harmony within themselves as well as with others and their environment. Many who participate in the Sweat Lodge find themselves rejuvenated and re-energised coming out feeling whole.

Today individuals are searching for their roots and trying to find the connections between themselves, each other and the world around them.  Knowing that our ancestors once had a special relationship with the earth, we look to find that relationship again, to re-connect. This has led individuals to explore various traditions around the world with a sharing of knowledge between peoples.

Through a combination of silence, singing, drumming, praying and sharing from the heart, Sweat Lodges become the other heart of a community. The Sweat Lodge experience is a truly 'holistic' experience.

Entering into the Lodge with an open mind, the individual is then prepared for cleansing of negative emotions, healing of physical ailments, clearing of mental concerns and releasing of spiritual blockages.

A properly run Sweat Lodge ceremony held in the traditional ways of the Native North American Indians (the practice of new age sweating (nude) is not a traditional Native Indian way, they are very modest!) is when the Sweat Lodge Leader has trained, studied and worked for many years under the guidance of Elders/Medicine Men or Women (as in most spiritual traditions there is a training which an individual goes through in order to be qualified). Through ritual and ceremony the Sweat Lodge Leader will guide the participants through different dimensions according to individual needs. No two people are the same, each individual comes into the Sweat Lodge with a different need or perspective and each will come away with a different experience.