The Purification Lodge, sometimes called a Sweatlodge or Stone Peoples Lodgeis an ancient practice that pre dates recorded history. People long ago discovered the therapudic attributes of a good complete sweat, often followed by a cold water plunge. It is a powerful cleansing practice utilized to release the ego as fully as possible. The extent to which the practitioner can let go of the ego will determine the quality of the experience. As in all things your own perspective is the work.
So, we build a large fire in which we have placed a varying number of softball sized stones. The stones are then heated for several hours until they are red hot! As the stones heat and we gather, inner stillness and peace are encouraged in preparation to enter the lodge. It's best to not come late and rushed! The energies involved can be too intense for an overly anxious mind to process. The experience demands that one be present.This is the most important element to remember. The Lodge itself is a temporary enclosure constructed from 8 to 12 foot tree saplings collected locally, and formed in a circular shape. It is considered a feminine structure, while the hardness and heat of the stones are the masculine element. Always, balance is the key. We cover this frame in multiple layers of blankets and tarps to provide insulation. In the center has been dug a round hole to receive the red hot stones .
After a peaceful welcome and sage smug to release negativity, we enter the lodge one by one. We wear swim suits or old clothing, something to get dirty and wet in. We must crawl on our hands and knees as as we move through the entrance. As we do so, we give thanks to all of our relations past and future. In the lodge there is a great potential for timelessness to occur and this is why the experience of transformation can be so profound. In the absence of time all things are possible. Still, the act of being on the bare earth can be a bit much for some souls. Sometimes someone may ask to leave. That's OK we make way for that person. I repeat, there is no force or pressure used in this practice!
The stones are brought in one at a time, glowing red hot, so care must be taken. Now the moment of truth. When we close the door and it becomes as black as the womb itself the imagination will be challenged. That isthe point though. We will wait until the final round to experience the complete darkness. The first several rounds will be lit by candlelight.
We then proceed to pour water infused with the aromas of various essential oils over the stones filling the space with hot steam. This is the Sweat. Ahhh release and let go into the warmth. Allow yourself to relax into the earth as fully as possible and for the tug of gravity to be a comfort. We perform 4 rounds, or we open and close the door 4 times. Each round we bring in more stones, so the heat builds as the practice continues. At anytime if the heat becomes too intense, let me know and I will get you out ASAP! There is no force used here nor will you be asked to stay longer than is comfortable for you. This is a softening exercise.
In practice the heat will encourage you to bow low and fully embrace the cooling respite of the ground beneath you. This is where the deep exchange and rebirth may occur. As we heat up then cool ourselves by embracing Earth, a pulsation will buildas our energy and Earth's become one. The insights and inspirations that you experience will be your own. Please cherish them and keep them sacred.
When we emerge from the lodge for good, we do so with the intention of being reborn consciously. So stay aware. Our goal is to leave behind the thought forms and feelings that are no longer of service to us, returning all ungrounded concepts and ideas to Earth to be recycled into usable energies.
Now to balance out all the heat that has been absorbed a cold shower awaits! After clearing the mind with some deep and relaxed breathing we completely rinse off with as cold water, as we can stand. The cold water will close our open pores and stimulate a tremendous movement of feeling that can be extremely intense. Like a battery with a positive and negative cap the hot and cold experince will help bring your energy to balance. Only recommended for those with healthy hearts who know their limit!
This is a wonderful experience that if you are open, responsible and present I am sure you will love.