The most sacred ceremony, the Sweat Lodge of Native Americans,k and also of various indigenous groups around the world.
The small dome-shaped sweat lodge is a natural material hut, heated by using hot stones
Sweat lodges, also known as the sweat house structure, used previously by Native Americans for natural healing sources. It was understood that such structures provide the holistic approach to conduct traditional ceremonies, to serve and cure Abnormal people of any disease, physical or mental problems. Recently, several entrepreneurs started venturing to operate sweat lodges, as a summer camp for tourists. Almost every camper felt the lodge to be very comfortable and delightful, making it a highlight event of their summer. However, the drug abuse in this camp, while conducting spiritual rituals in the wheel of life ceremonies has provided enough testimonies, where the peyote consumption helped cope relief diseases and body pain in many adults. They consider Sweat lodges to provide a natural, instinctive spiritual technique of healing, by releasing the sweat particles and also wash out body impurities.
There are also mismanaged cases following the ceremony in a sweat lodge in Australia. A Caucasian person of 40-year died due to extreme heat in the Sweat lodge due to dehydration. The prolonged heat exposure in a comparatively uncontrolled elevated temperature environment, in the absence of an adequate hydration method, resulted in the loss of consciousness, and further interruptions in getting proper medical help were the main reason. Regrettably, the proper rituals and adoption of proper practices as per their culture proved to a completely unsafe mission. Participating members in this kind of ritual activity must be completely aware of the Sweatlodge atmospheric conditions and kinds of medical problems that can surface. In many cases, people suffered from cardiovascular disease, and those who are predisposed to hyperthermia have suffered. Such unhealthy people should avoid entering sweat lodges.
In fact, Sweat lodges are supposed to be the best source for natural healing and provide a definitive physical, mental, and spiritual revival. However, ANAI- American Indian, Alaska Natives have misused the events, by unreasonably abusing the substance use, while the native people with considerable health problems were not included in the ceremony. They are lacking a clear awareness, understanding, and purpose to use such a method. They are ignorant of the facts, hence they misuse the application. This clearly emphasizes the facts and the truth behind the value of sweat lodges, wheel of life testimonies, and the consumption of peyote in a real form, to substantiate the facts, and other issues that provide advanced, innovative science and technology to make the best use of Sweat lodges. Many different areas are identified, to properly understand and consider in such powerful field areas, by removing the knowledge and application gaps. These essential overarching zones are normally evaluated to provide identifiable attention to the mixed feelings within the local population, while they all aware that Sweat lodges provide adequate health benefits offering superior attention to community-derived and strength-built approaches, with proper understanding. They are responding to a major problem of citizen drug abuse and where our work environment requires improvement in such AN/AI communities by locating the problems and closing the gaps.
The answer was given by the Sweat Lodge Ceremony
Now known to be the central part of their culture, the most Native American has taken this as the major part of their spiritual life. Known as the Sweat Lodge Ceremony, it remains as a variation and modification in the sweat bath process where many ethnic cultures follow and normally observed in South and North America these days, along with within Africa, Asia, Western and Eastern Europe. It was promoted by the forced and lured influence of the European culture, which had an evil motive and an acute corrupting effect on the local native culture. The Europeans introduced alcohol along with moral degradation and the inhumane, uncultured treatment of native locals. In the process and the necessity to re-purify themselves from all evils, they found the way back to their traditional ways of following spirituality and their change of living became obvious, as those people were getting more and more poisoned by the strange European culture.
By using proper medicines, women and men could conveniently heal the damage and harm done to their disturbed minds, spirits, and bodies. The purpose of the formation of the Sweat Lodge was to place them in a spiritual refuge for cleansing the body and mind by healing methods of mind and the body, physical and mental. They formed a place to purify and get the requisite guidance and answers by questioning the totem helpers, spiritual entities, Mother Earth, and the Creator for the needed power, strength, and wisdom.
The main purpose and the aim of such a ceremony is the way to purify the body, mind, heart, and spirit. It is also considered as an ultimate, stand-alone ritual, which occurs whenever they feel that they need spiritual strength and purity. As per their tradition and culture, the Sweat lodge fundamentally transforms them and allows them to return to the womb to come back as an innocent child, to lead a further life from childhood. The lodge, where they enter is small, moist, dark, humid, hot, but safe. The entire darkness inside relates and depicts the human ignorance of the spiritual realm so much to the physical world.
There is some variation in purpose and in detail of ritual among and within Indian nations, but the sweat ceremonies have evolved within communities in an adaptive fashion. There is a need to narrow down the problem to grasp the mystery of American Indian drug abuse. American Indians are Spiritual people that can be drawn, based upon their belief system.
Sweat lodges perform as a natural and wonderful mental and physical healing, a real source to ultimate revival and the purity of the soul. When inside the Sweat Lodge, the person enters a teepee to pray to the centrally located fire, which generates steam, which in turn ignites and develops spiritual healing. The purpose and the goal of such a sweat lodge are mainly to cleanse off all bodily impurities and get rid of the entire particles of sweat, that resemble to erase bad and wrong emotions, restores a sense of purity and cleanliness of the mind. The wavering thoughts are subdued, restricted, and negated. It is a kind of going into deep meditation. Participation in such traditional ways is very essential and crucial to strengthen and uphold our spiritual belief and keep evil and damaging spirits away from our vicinity for the purification of our internal being, the soul, Chi. There may be certain variations in purpose, and the details of ritual among and within Indian nations, but all the sweat ceremonies evolve within these communities in the most adaptive fashion.
Common to every tradition, and to the ceremony of the sweat, it is an ideal form of spiritual cleanliness. Many sweat ceremonies begin with the participant fasting the entire day while contemplating in readiness for the sweat when they completely avoid alcohol, caffeine, and other unhealthy food intake. Before entering the sweat region, the requisite participants normally smudge with Sweetgrass, sage, and cedar smoke for an onward route towards the method of ritual cleanliness.
In the case of luminance glowing with red hot stones, the ceremony commences in a small lodge. The leader of the sweat ceremony plays and sounds Water Drums, calls forth spirit guides and offers heartfelt prayers from all the Four Directions. The sweat leader thereon pours water onto the hot stones placed in the pit. Normally, it generates a huge quantity of steam. It goes deeper in every direction covering all four sides until the spirit guide controls the situation to stop the process. They thereon start their prayers, chants, and songs, in the name of the spirit guide.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Shyam Gokarn