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Readers Respond: Sweat Lodge Experiences

Responses: 23


From the article: Purification Sweat
Share Post: Have you ever participated in a sweat lodge? Or have you ever been a lodge leader in a sweat event? What was your experience? Would you do it again if you had the opportunity? Share Your Experience

Weekly Sweat for Stress

I am Indian and I sweat on a weekly basis. Sweating for me is used to gain mental toughness and help with stress. I believe that sweat does have alot of healing benefits despite the fact that its not considered "detoxifying" by the medical community. Furthermore I do recommend the sweat lodge to anybody that includes Indian and non-Indian. Thank you have a great day.
—Guest micah m.

Inipi Ceremonies

I have experienced many Inipi (sweat lodge ) Ceremonies. My first lodge was with a Native family in S. Dakota on a rez. Every year that I attend the Sundance Ceremony there are many Inipi (sweat lodge ) Ceremonies. It is a tradition of these good people. My experience has been a good experience of prayer and cleansing of mind body and spirit. I am very grateful to Creator for guiding me to the good people who still practice the traditions of a old and good way of life.
—Guest sioux green

Native Sweat lodges for NA Prisoners

This Spring the Federal Prison located in Berlin NH will be constructing a native sweat lodge on the prison grounds as a Native American Spiritual Advisor I was asked and honored to bless the grounds and then bless the sweat lodge itself when construction is completed. I know how important it is for Native prisoners to have access to our traditional ceremonies, I can think of no population that needs the sweat lodge to stay on their path more than our people that are incarcerated. For a human being to be caged like an animal it is hard for them to live a spiritual life while in such a hostil enviroment, the sweat lodge within a prison enviroment is a way for the very soul of a man to reach out and reconnect with the Devine Creator and his love. I have never met any group of people more grateful to be able to have the comfort that the sweat lodge provides than those who's freedom has been restricted. I am a tribal member of the Northern Blackfeet Nation. Thank you.

Profound Effect

I participated in a sweat lodge in Montana. Since I'm not especially fond of hot weather, I wasn't sure that I would be able to withstand the heat. However, I did manage to get through each round. I don't know think that I can actually share what I experienced, as it would be difficult to describe. I'm sure it's different for every individual. I think it had a profound effect on me and might have even changed me a little bit forever. I thought it was interesting that I could focus on anything other than the heat and that somehow I knew the words to the songs and could even sing along. I now feel that my father is at peace. Another interesting thing happened at our sweat. My daughter was afraid of insects and after she attended the sweat and facing that fear, she is no longer afraid. In fact, a butterfly landed on her and it was like closure. I loved it.

I believe in my spirit guide

I went to a very hot sweat, led by a Midewin elder who was very calming and trustable and I really needed to get bad feelings out of my mind and soul. I thought I would have to get out, it was so hot, I was dripping so much fluid out of my skin, my nose. The smell of the cedar thrown on the hot rocks, the prayers and songs, I couldn't believe how much I needed this type of healing, to cry and pray for my mind and heart to be cleansed. As I prayed, I heard, then felt the flapping of wings over my head; I had to duck to keep away from it. I thought everyone could hear it. After, one person said he heard growling; I didn't. I went with my aunt to a different healer because she was obsessed with a man, and she needed to clear her mind. In a pitch dark basement, her, I and this man sat on a blanket. He said 'Oombe Miskwe Pinoshe Quay'. In English, he said I am talking to you. Your name is Red Thunderbird Woman, and he told me I was free from the guilt I carried in my heart. I just cried
—Guest Marie Fontaine


I have participated in a Sweat Lodge on at least 5 occasions. They were all very spiritual experiences, leaving me with a consciousness of that we are all related... children of Mother Earth. I recommend that each human experience this event at least once in their lifetime. Mitakuye Oyasin
—Guest Jheree


I am grateful for the grandmother stones, who are at the center of this ceremony. They have been around for millions of years and have seen, known, felt it all. They are in sacred union with the fire created by the standing ones (trees), who give themselves to this sacred ceremony. It is a blessed union between the elements and trees and stones. The heart of the ceremony is the calling and workings of the grandmothers and the spirits that come to do the doctoring. This happens through the songs and the open hearts of the people. As my elder says as a water pourer we are simply a janitor with keys opening the door to the spirits through our heartfelt intention, through creating the sacred geometry/configuration of the ceremonial space (fire altar lodge). We call and pray to the spirits and they do the work. when we pour water on the stones, the grandmothers speak to us and imbue us with their wisdom. The steam cleanses us and we take in their wisdom into our lungs as we breath the steam.
—Guest grateful water pourer

pony woman

I'm going to my first sweat and am anxious for the experience. There has be a lot of bad in my life and it is time. The gggdaughter of Chief Little Turtle.

Drifter/on a Spiritual Journey

I've read the articles, I've heard some stories, I respect the traditions and would like to have a sweat lodge experience for myself. I am native, and I am not afraid to be anymore. For the longest time I was so confused about my identity. Caught between conspiracies and lies. And believe it or not my confusion and doubt came from the Catholic Church. I believe in the higher power, I believe that there is one Creator and the Creator hears my prayers no matter where I pray to thee.


I am a Yakama. I have been to many sweats hosted by all of my relatives. This experience is a journey should not be disrespected and ran like some sideshow at the circus.
—Guest Les Olney

Inside Lodge

I have been in lodge each month for 12 yrs, lodge singing for 8 yrs, pouring lodges for 6 yrs. I pour lodges for my shamanic community (LightSong School of shamanic studies) and for friends of Hidden Lake retreat, & on my extended Lakota family land. As a water pourer it is our sacred responsibility to track the energy of each person in lodge throughout the ceremony. It is our sacred duty to invite & channel the power & wisdom of the spirits that we humbly invite in to the ceremony, to promote purification & healing of the people. No other agenda should ever exist for the pourer. Every ounce of attention and intention is invested in creating & maintaining a sacred, safe container that will support a healing experience for each person. the songs, the altar, the firetenders, the spirits of the land, the spirits of each person who comes in all contribute to the ceremony. I have witnessed long-lasting miracles in & as a result of lodge, I live a life of lodge, & am healthy because of it!
—Guest Lauri Shainsky

Respect the traditions - and yourself

I've been to one sweat, many years ago in Scotland. It was conducted very carefully, with full discussion of health problems, what to expect, the connect attitude, etc. It was built by the group, held the correct rocks, and conducted in respect for the sacred traditions of all the world's nations. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. If you attend a sweat, make sure the leaders know what they are doing and provide for all eventualities. Most of all, go Within and ask if it is right for you. xxx
—Guest Lorraine

My experience as a Mixed Blood

I am a mixed blood American (Native, German, Scot)and I have attended two Lakota sweats in the passed few years. Both were poured by a Native (different man each time) who had earned that right/priviledge. In both cases, there were four "doors." Each door grew hotter and more spiritual for sure. There were 5 people in the first sweat (Built on my land following the Lakota tradition) and the second was in MN. and was in a permanent structure that held about 12 of us. My first experience was in the one at my home with just 5 of us. We had all prepared as instructed, wore the proper outfits and knew what was expected of us. The experience was unbelievable. I was amazed at what happened to me as an individual and was really amazed that as the sweat pourer sang his songs I just "knew" then and was able to sing along in ther Lakota language. Both events were remarkable and very fullfilling. These are not meant to be fun saunas, They are spiritual events.
—Guest SpiritMooseWoman

No spirits?

Okay, so I'm just looking through here, but I'm not seeing something important being mentioned... and also, it seems to be the big indicator if the sweat is being conducted by a true shaman. Namely, the visiting and physical manifesting of the spirits. I've gone to 2 sweats, they were both conducted for healing. It was conducted by the same shaman, and spirits, spirits lights, and physical touches, and even the playing of the rattles by the spirits were part of each sweat. Isn't this someone else's experience? Just curious. It is a powerful ceremony, not just a bunch of people sitting around and sweating. This is NOT something to be done by amatures.
—Guest Woman


I am always astounded at the number of testimonials and all the people that are lining up to show the world how much they know about these ceremonies. Also the red and white wars are amazing. I am non-native and have sweated and so forth. I do not go around announcing every little detail of my experiences or trying to guide people through sweats that I have not attended. Ceremonies are not identical and it is maybe not such a good idea to exploit these experiences. I did it without internet guides. It has worked out well overall for me. The grandfathers never said I was the wrong colour to be there either. Any negative experiences have been with human beings... and please do not assume what colour. I wonder where all this will lead. You pray, you ask, you connect, you join in, you earn your way, you share, you are made vulnerable, you share your vulnerability. You pray with all your heart. What more is there to say. The rest you have to do.
—Guest Jamie Hume

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Sweat Lodge Experiences

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