(Sitting Owl's Sweat Lodge, almost completed 2005)
I am writing in response to your query about Sweat Lodges.
Of course, every individual has their own unique experience of Sweat Lodges but they all lead to the same place - a greater and deeper connection to Great Spirit.
When we reach an awareness of our deviation from spirit and the separation and pain it has caused us individually and universally; when we realise the beliefs and limitations that we have allowed to become our truths are holding us back. When this awareness is accompanied by a willing heart, we enter a place of surrender and this is when a Sweat Lodge becomes a powerful tool. It is however not to be used as entertainment, but with good intentions magic can happen.
Before my first sweat I was filled with many fears as I have always been claustrophobic. Would I be able to cope with the heat? What if I wanted to run out screaming? Would I cope with the blackness? I know I wanted to do it but my fears rose up. Upon experiencing these fears I did it anyway, only to discover that that was all they were, just fears.
I was in a sacred space, a place of unconditional love and the experience smoothed my ruffled feathers. I felt a real connection to all those that were in the Sweat Lodge with me. I felt that they were my brothers and sisters and I felt pleased that I had faced my fears and done it anyway.
Whist in the sweat I had the feeling that I had done this many times before in another time and there was a familiarity to it, it felt right, I recall coming out feeling purified and colours looked different. The world looked more beautiful.
Each time a sweat is experienced it takes us to deeper levels of forgiveness of ourselves and all others. Our hearts are filled with deep gratitude and oneness as our reconnection to Great Spirit intensifies. Consciousness is altered profoundly and it stays with us and we can bring it into our daily lives. We revisit our deepest essence, which is love and we see and feel it in every living thing with much more intensity.
Each time we enter the sacred space of the Sweat Lodge we enter the womb of Mother Earth and each time we leave we are reborn, our illusion of reality has altered and consciousness has shifted.
For four days after the sweat we are still adjusting to the new way of being. Great spirit becomes our greatest love, we see the oneness in everybody and the perfection in everything. We trust in the Great Mystery of life and feel grateful and excited for our part in it.
I hope this has answered your question about Sweat Lodges.
Perhaps one day we can experience one together with Sitting Owl. He runs beautiful sweats.
Yours In Spirit