Monthly Archives: April 2018

Part 2 Building a New Sweat

2016

The sweat is a place of community. People come to it like going to church. It is a temple for some. Respectfully, the conversation can be overridden by a request for silence. It is about prayer and meditation first.

The silence may be overridden by expression of prayer. In this place anything goes. Hindu chants, didgeridoo and drums, old time hymn., Traditional Native American songs with a shaker gourd or water drum maybe accompanying this. A flute may just be played and someone may join in with a pretty female voice. Prayers, confession, sorrows, grief, hopes and oneness may show up, sometimes with tears. Always with the support of the community, words sometimes, sometime just a hug.  People generally join in when music is the focus. At times, it may sound as if the natives are restless in exuberance. It may be quite beautiful and talented.

The body cleanses and so does the soul and heart. Brushes scrape the dead skin and open pores. Compala, cedar and many other cleansing scents may be applied to the rocks. A towel may be violently spun around to circulate the air. A small alter decorates a corner.

We are bare, naked to be ourselves. Homeless hippies sit next to the better off, men and women, we share our bath and our humanity.

When the sweat closed in town, I decided to take a stab at filling the gap in my lovely desert setting in Tortolita. I had a few materials laying around, I had people longing for a place to continue the community, I had helpers and a few hundred bucks. Continue reading

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Part #1: What is the Sweat…why?

Shadows Before the New Porch Roof.

Most of the time, we used to frequent a rustic sauna style sweat, on Sunday afternoons. I mentioned this before, here:

https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2017/05/17/a-40-year-old-naturist-community-closes-the-door/

There, visitors might be doing anything in and out of the sweat in a spiritual manner. There is a pool (cold plunge in colder months). People did Chi Gong, Yoga, or just laid about in the sun. There was community there, sort of like a Sunday church afternoon. Sometimes food was shared a musician played.

Inside, there was a variety of spiritual expressions that seemed to pop out spontaneously. It might be quiet and meditative, vibrational like a didgeridoo or two, drumming w/ rhythm instruments, chanting, prayer, verbal prayers, song, etc. Any tradition might be expressed at any time, Native American, Hindu, new world/new age something, raw expressive prayers to God, hymns of grace, etc.

We like to take it in rounds. On Sundays, it is dry at first, then wet. There are those who like it quite hot at times. A part of it is the cleansing. The condition of the heat causes the body’s detox to come out of the skin with better efficiency. So for healthy living, we sweat this stuff out, to augment the process. Crap builds up and passes through, skin breathing, pores open. There are of course all those things that nudity and air-baths are about. A couple or three rounds feels better. It is giving love to a body.

I get in a calmed altered state from a sweat after a while. I relax, becoming quiet and even spacey at times. Thoughts are fewer and this is a very good thing. It doesn’t last long, but seems to cleanse the tensions of life out, Native American style.

The desired results are a relaxed, meditative state, in spirit. There is a sense of place stepping outside into the air and stars. A good relaxed sleep will come that night. A peaceful state in calm, maybe reflection occurs. Sharing with friends, naked, interacting with abandon, the gathering has a sense of family.

I scrape my body with a harsh rag, like a luffa would and something filmy comes off. I’m left with a feeling of being cleansed and my skin seems to feel healthy, fresh and balanced. There is no soap.

There is also, the sensual feel of being naked in hot, cool, air, soil, walking under the moon, sun and shade, all that is naturism.

The sweat that had been there for us for over 30 years closed…No sweat…

…What follows, is what we have done about this, the planning, construction, ceremonious consecration of sacred space and the intention.

 

I’ll publish Part 2 of the story in a couple of days.

 

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Expanding the Liberation of Mt. Lemon

2013-09-18

DF had Wednesday off. She wanted to do some getaway free range naturism. It is still in the high nineties F here in the valley and up the sky islands it is about 30 degrees F cooler. She just got back from a week in the Colorado Rockies, but this was somewhat spoiled by the disastrous floods and continuous rain. She had spent her time stranded in a 4400 square foot “cabin” on 68 acres butting up against the national park, stocked with an incredible wine and liquor stash. There was an extra refrigerator for the craft beer collection. Horrors, the cell phone service was out! She couldn’t see the magnificent mountain views for the clouds and walking was limited to a few hours when the rain got lighter, on one day. Much of what they had planned to see had disappeared. My point is that after spending a week in the Rockies, it was hardly redundant to go up Mt. Lemon and explore.

We are going straight to the place where DF had her first nude hiking experience, six or seven years before, a glade that had yet to be photographed by us, because of technical problems.

We have slept out under the stars at my place. This time we briefly slipp on some cloth, grabbing a sandwich and gassing up on the way up the mountain. The drive up is beautiful as always. Even though the valley has been experiencing weird rain patterns, the monsoon has accumulated on top of this mountain nearly every day for the last six or seven weeks. It is green and the vegetation is well matured. Many flowers are in bloom.

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Out to see the Ironwoods in Bloom

2017 May

We drove out to the Ironwood National Monument to see the blooms. The ironwood tree has a stunning flowering each year in May. When they flourish they can put the cherry blossoms of Washington DC to shame.

The trees themselves can be many hundreds of years old. There are just two intact ironwood ecosystems left on the planet. A third one is just west of my home, but was bladed to become a golf course with houses beginning in the late 1990’s. It was hard to see trees several hundred years old and venerable saguaros being bulldozed into a mass graves.

Ironwood are commonly found throughout the southwest. They can be found solitary in washes, surrounded by an ocean of creosote, where nothing else can live. Young ironwood is rare to see. They grow extremely slowly in harsh environments. This monument is thick with ironwood, a desert forest. Saguaro, mesquite and palo verde share this place with an amazing diversity of life.

A Saguaro is about to Tap Me on the Shoulder

The Ironwood Monument also preserves a group of Bighorn sheep.

A cooperative democratic plan was drawn up between the ranchers, mining interest and all other parties concerned with the area over years of process to create the monument. Bill Clinton signed it into law at the end of his term. The monument is now being considered to go onto the chopping block by the current administration. Please, write, particularly congress, to continue its existence.

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