How many times in a week do you stop, reflect, express gratitude and just BE?
How often do you ask yourself if there are more ways you can be giving thanks? If you find yourself on the side of the majority, the answer is probably “not enough”. We are human BEINGS, but our actions often reflect more of a “human doing”…doing whatever it takes to fulfill the societal expectations and striving for more. We can get so caught up in the busy-ness that we lose sight of the real meaning behind “how are you doing today?” The question is not “how many things are on your to-do list,” the question is “how is your heart today.”
We seem to have escaped from the piece of time that connects and binds us as human beings. That time where we used to stop and reflect, meditate and ask the real questions…the ones that can only be answered from within. However there are still parts of the world that continue to take part in a tradition designed to accomplish just that. It is the sacred sweat lodge ceremony …. often referred to as the great smoky mirror.
Our company, Full Circle, hosts the Awakening Your Authentic Self Retreat each and every year. The purpose of the retreat is literally to “retreat within” to find the answers stored deep within about who we authentically are and what we are here to do with our lives. We use the seat lodge as one of the many tools to facilitate this process of transformation.
The sweat is a sacred place and the teachings for each participant are destined to stay silent in the minds of the past participants, however there are some universal benefits that come out of this and we want to share them with you.
Here are the Biggest Takeaways & Lessons from inside the sacred chamber:
Self Awareness beyond any scope fathomable
Our facilitator Len Mackey says, “Honestly I have never found another method more effortless and powerful to bring people into a deep state of awareness and sensitivity than the sweat lodge. It works for everyone, which is why it has lived so long on the Earth. It is a pleasure and honor to participate in the sweat lodge and I would suggest that everyone try it at some point with someone they trust. It will change their life forever, and for the better. Love and thanksgiving is the focus of the ceremony.”
Insights From the Earth Mother
The indigenous stones are heated before being brought into the centre of the dome, these are known as the Earth Mother’s “Stone People.” The Stone People, the Lakota Indians say, are the first to energies to exist on the planet and will be the last. The fire bath brings them back to a remembrance of their birth from the cosmic plasma of the Earth Mother, making their memory and wisdom available to us. When I wonder how much wisdom is contained in a stone that is millions of years old, I sit in silence, listening to the eldest Grandfathers of the Earth whisper the language of the heart. It is said ‘They have no eyes or ears yet they see and hear everything.’
Meditative State of Clarity
The Stone People can heat a sweat up to 110 degrees celsius, which kills internal bacteria, releases heavy metals, melts joint pains and stimulates metabolism and cell nutrient distribution. After 20 minutes in the lodge, the brain waves slow: from beta to alpha and sometimes deeper into theta – inducing a natural anddeeply meditative state. To transition from (fight or flight) beta brain waves to arelaxed and lucid theta state, all you have to do is breathe. In this state of mind we have our most vivid dreams, we replenish our cells and neurotransmitters.
Disclosure: The sweat is one of the most sacred experiences one chooses to experience, and the lessons for each individual is sacred to that one soul. Therefore, the best lessons happen experientially and cannot be portrayed to lengths in an article. This is the tip of the iceberg (granted, this is not the best analogy to use for a sweat lodge) and we hope one day you experience a sweat for yourself full of existential lessons and self discovery.
Our Awaken Your Authentic Self Retreat are usually held twice per year and we commonly facilitate a sacred sweat. If you would like to experience the many benefits of this amazing experience, as well as the beneifts of the many other exercises we faciliate at those retreats, please send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org to see when and where the next one will be hosted or visit our website at www.drtompreston.com/upcoming-events and check out coming events.
**Written with help from Some Elan Vitale