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