Sweat Lodge Leader: Mike Chirobokow- Na’ To’ Win’ Niso (Sacred Warrior Coming Down) is invited over to the UK to run the sweat lodges; he is a pipe carrier and for over 20 years has lived, studied and learned amongst various North American Indian tribes primarily the Cree and the Blackfoot Indians. Connecting and working with the Blackfoot tribe, he became the first non-native to become a Sundance leader.
While setting the foundation and supporting other individuals in
their growth, this lodge has grown and strong leadership has
evolved. A community has merged together to support this lodge and
all those who participate. Each lodge is held and carefully led by
pipe carriers and other members of Wind Spirit Community.
The sweat lodge is an old traditional native ceremony that is still in practice amongst various North American Indian tribal nations. The practice of sweating has historically been performed amongst many cultures including in Europe but the ceremonies and ritual practices have been forgotten and disappeared with time.
The sweat lodge is similar to a sauna in that there is heat and moisture. That’s where the similarities stop and the uniqueness and the benefits of the lodge begin. An atmosphere is created which is often referred to as ‘being in the womb of Mother Earth’; it is a place of safety, giving, sharing, receiving, releasing, cleansing and healing. Done with ceremony and ritual, it becomes a place where we connect with ourselves, each other and our Earth Mother.
Through this contact we come to a better understanding of our place in the universe, our relationship to all things. It is a place of awareness, of re-energizing, of re-focusing and a multitude of other dynamics experienced individually and
collectively. Many North American and Central American Indian tribes have traditionally used the sweat lodge for purification, cleansing and healing of mind, body, emotions and spirit.
Spiritual sweating cleanses the mind, body, emotions and spirit, contributing to a healthier individual. Through the use of traditional rituals and forms, it assists the individual in achieving balance and peace within themselves as well as with others and their environment. Those who participate in the sweat lodge find themselves rejuvenated and re-energised coming out feeling
whole. Today many are searching for their roots and trying to find the connections between themselves, each other and the world around them.
Knowing that our ancestors once had a special relationship with the earth, we look to find that relationship again, to re-connect. This has led individuals to explore various traditions around the world, with a sharing of knowledge between
peoples. Through a combination of silence, singing, drumming, praying, and sharing from the heart, sweat lodges become the other heart of a community. The sweat lodge
experience is a truly holistic experience.
Entering into the lodge with an open mind, the individual is then prepared for cleansing of negative emotions, healing of physical ailments, clearing of mental concerns and releasing of spiritual blockages.
A properly run sweat lodge ceremony held in the traditional ways of the Native North American Indians (the practice of new age sweating (nude) is not a traditional Native Indian way, they are very modest!) is when the sweat lodge leader has trained, studied and worked for many years under the guidance of elders/medicine men or women (as in most spiritual traditions there is a training which an individual goes through in order to be qualified).
Through ritual and ceremony the sweat lodge leader will guide the participants through different dimensions according to individual needs. No two people are the same, each individual comes into the sweat lodge with a different need or perspective and each will come away with a different experience.
Our main lodge is held at Braziers Park, Ipsden, Oxfordshire, which is about 7 miles north of Reading. The sweat lodge preparation starts early in the day with smudging (cleansing) and preparing the fire. Participants are encouraged to attend early 10.00hrs to help with preparations, join in the fire lighting ceremony at 11.00hrs or to be there by 13.00hrs for greetings and introductions.
After changing into appropriate clothing we enter into the sweat lodge finishing sometime in the evening with the pipe ceremony. After changing into dry clothes we then gather to talk, laugh, share food and our experiences.
Lakota elder Black Elk tells us: "The sweat lodge utilizes all powers of the universe: earth, and things that grow from the earth, water, fire and air."
All My Relations
Contribution for the day is £40 For booking information and further instructions please contact:
07707 389907/01235 512872