Sweat Lodge

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“Dark cave…open mouth breathing cool air in for a short time, door opened at the end of each of four rounds…door…three heavy blankets facing east,…closing out all light…circle, facing inward…above us, heavy branches lashed together…woven…bearing the weight of layers and layers of heavy blankets/tarps…hot rock filling up the center…four flags hanging down above the rock…four directions…the circle…the door is closed…pitch black…water is spashed onto rocks four times…the steam hits my face…a wall…I feel others near me…but we are silent…except for breath.  The prayers are spilling out from the gentle voice…he begins to sing…powerful…tears fall from the corners of my eyes…sweat drips from my nose…sweat moves down my neck and onto my chest…two female voices begin…the drum…the bright sparks on the stones…more water.  The sparks become the entire universe…I listen to my grandfathers…grandmothers…every one who has gone before me. I listen with the ears of my soul.”

Blessings on Hal Eagletail who introduced me, today, to the Sweat Lodge.  I thought that with my tendency to feel claustrophobic, I might ‘lose it’ in such a closed space, but it turns out that the sounds, voices and other sensory experiences within the Lodge, were so moving that I was completely engaged.  Yes.  I WAS pouring sweat and it was extremely dark, but my spirit was completely engaged at all times, so that I actually lost a focus on the body.

I thought that the folk who gathered there and the people who organized the event and participated in the ‘work’ of it, were so helpful and so kind.  Presently, I am filled with a grateful heart and relaxed bones.  This was an experience that I will always remember and it is sure to be one that I will plan to participate in again.  I wish that I might bring all of my readers the scent of the wood fire, the burning sweet grass and the remarkable view of the mountains and blue sky.  I am truly blessed by each of you.

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