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
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,
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,
This has led individuals to explore various traditions around the world with
a sharing of knowledge between peoples.
combination of silence, singing, drumming, praying and sharing from the
heart, Sweat Lodges become the
other heart of a community. The Sweat Lodge
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
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.