Take a journey to the centre of our being. The sweat lodge encompasses both beginnings and endings. It is about birth, death and rebirth. We change as a result of participating.
Sweat Lodge is conducted on the morning of the first Sunday of each month at Avoca Beach, NSW. This is conducted under the auspices of the Spirit of the Earth Medicine Society (www.sotems.com.au) a national organisation, which has just celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Cost is $20 and please bring a plate to share for a post sweat light meal. Sweat attire is sarong plus bandana. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking.
What is a sweat lodge?
The sweat lodge is a sacred purification ceremony most often associated with Native American traditions. However, there are many such practices throughout the world…in South America and Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Siberia, Japan, Africa and Australia.
In all these cultures, the central action is the same: heated rocks are placed in an enclosed space. Water is then poured on the rocks to produce intense waves of heat. Sometimes herbs are burned or crushed in the lodge or added to the water to produce a soothing fragrance. Some ceremonies include specific healing procedures and rituals.
The lodge is often built out of pliable saplings, which are bent into a dome-like shape. The frame is covered with skins, tarpaulins or blankets, and then sealed around the bottom. Some sweat lodges are more permanent structures built of stone/mud.
During the ceremony, much will be asked of you. It may be very hot, dark, oxygen starved and claustrophobic. But each of us needs to call upon our inner strength (not bravado) and move into and through the discomfort with quiet dignity. Indeed, dignity is a central value in the sweat lodge.
Great richness flows from maintaining this focus. We chant to help us concentrate on the journey and not the uncomfortable physical environment and our fears. Chanting also helps us to breathe easily and to compose ourselves.1.
1. Source: http://www.sotems.com.au/sweat_lodge.htm