FROM THE CENTER OF THE SWEAT LODGE TO THE CENTER OF YOUR HEART
At Sound of Light, the sweat lodge ceremony is held as an accompaniment to support the healing journey of the Ayahuasca ceremonies. We facilitate the sweat lodge ceremony either before the Ayahuasca journey; as a form of preparation to cleanse the body and awaken our senses, or after; as a way of grounding and integrating the experiences we have had. Both are very powerful as this ritual is very intentional and liberating. It is designed to help us shed layers, connect deeply to the Earth and the elements, humble ourselves , integrate the group and help us find new strength and courage, as well as our voice.
In sweat lodge ceremonies we also include San Pedro or Peyote. These Plant Medicine Teachers are invited to help open our perception, bring new clarity and are very grounding after the Ayahuasca, giving the body extra strength, opening the heart and clearing the mind.
About the Sweat Lodge
The sweat lodge is a purification ceremony originating from Native American cultures of the North America down to the pre-Hispanic Indigenous peoples in MesoAmerica. Different tribes all have their own traditions and use slightly different sweat lodges. In the Lakota tradition it is called the I-ni-pi and in MesoAmerica tradition it is called Temazcal. Our sweat lodge is built from bamboo, the stones we use are volcanic, coming from local volcanoes in Costa Rica.They are ‘stone people’, we welcome them as Grandmothers. These stones are heated for a few hours before the ceremony begins in the Sacred Fire. We cover the lodge with blankets and we sit inside the darkened lodge with men and women on opposite sides. Before the ceremony begins, a sharing, explanation and instructions are provided.
There are four rounds to each sweat lodge ceremony. Each round is dedicated to one of the four elements. We sit inside, around the glowing rocks, we sing, pray and share wisdom. Different herbs are used in the lodge and water is poured onto the Stones, creating the purifying steam. Between each round the door is opened and the air is circulated and we welcome in more stones from the fire. Each round may last 20-30 minutes. We often have a break in the middle during which participants can cool off in the river. Our lodge is located in the forest beside the river, providing easy access to most refreshing swim ever! As time slows down and we really tune into nature, the whole ceremony may take 5 hours.
The lodge represents a return to the womb, the womb of Mother Earth and the rhythm of the drums is her heartbeat. We go into the womb to pray and purify our body, heart and mind. Our sweat is an offering to the Earth, and the steam carries our prayers, intentions and requests to the Great Spirit. The elements of water, fire, air and earth are invoked, their presence deeply felt in the physical and in the metaphysical realms of our perception. The lodge teaches us humbleness and surrender by pushing us out of our comfort zones, gives us strength, courage and endurance to overcome obstacles, and offers the opportunity to collective feel and pray for ourselves and our relations.
As we go out from the lodge, we re-emerge into the world reborn.