Saturday, February 27, 2010
Sweat house part four: Inside mothers' loving kindness
The rocks were red hot and glowing like they were alive. Changing colors as if they were inviting us to the beginning of all things. The time had come to enter the sweat. Wilson told me to crawl down inside, go clockwise, (the way of the sun), and sit and be still. He was going to bring in the rocks. When I crawled down into the earth, I felt as if I was somehow returning to the womb of my mother. As I sat motionless, here came the first rock. Wilson had dug it out of the coals with a short handled pitchfork. I found out later that you have to get really low to get that close to be able to retrieve the rocks or you will singe off your eyebrows and look pretty funny. As he laid the first stone in the little recess off to the right of the doorway, he said to greet your grandfather. "Yah aah ta eh shi chei", "It is good my grandfather". Each rock gets the same greeting, because no matter how smart we think that we are, NOBODY knows the true age of a rock. He's older than us by far and that's all that matters. The rocks were placed in all four directions and another in the middle. Having finished, Wilson climbed down with me into the sweat and threw the blanket over the door. It was DARK! Dark as I've ever experienced. My eyes began to adjust, and I could see the glow of the rocks and was already feeling their presence. Wilson began to speak very softly, like you would do at the bedside of someone who was sick. He was telling me things that were important enough that I needed to understand in order to live without the feeling of impending doom. Like failure comes when you hurry and there isn't enough time, or so we think, and we are frozen with inaction and fear... the only "clock" we need is the one that rises and falls every day. He said many things that were like living bread, and I was hungry, so I ate, and was filled up. After awhile he said that we were going to start sweating and I thought that we already were! It was beginning to get Really hot in there. There was a pail of water in the middle of the floor. In it was a tea like brew that Wilson had made of different kinds of sage and other plants. It was for putting on the rocks and for drinking. He said it would help with flushing me out. He said that I was full of poison, and had to get clean if I wanted to be able to think clearly. He also made a great point in which is this: toxins from the things you eat or drink are easily gotten rid of. It's the toxins that are created by the way we think and feel that are extremely difficult to get rid of. Those are the ones that we should continue to rid ourselves of, you know, "stinking thinking." By this time I was feeling better already, but that was all about to change. Wilson threw the first water on the rocks and it sounded like an rocket just took off. Hot steam billowed out and rolled up the walls and back down on us. I felt myself about to come unglued, when that same soft voice said "It's alright, this is not the end of the world, it's the beginning. With that he began to sing. Singing is VERY important in life. Listen and you will hear natures' songs from everywhere and every thing. Mostly while under duress and change ( listen to the wood while it is burning, the rocks when water is poured on, all things have a song to be sung and be heard by us.). The song that he sang was simple, and to the point. Basically here we are, listen to us. Even though Wilson didn't wear a watch he was very aware of time, just didn't worry about it. We were inside for what he said was only about twenty minutes... seemed like a couple of hours to me. He swung back the door and said let's go outside, gettin' hot in here. When we got out I felt a sense of relief, not from the cessation of the suffering, but from the words that I was fed. The sun was already below the horizon, and the sky looked as if were ablaze! Wilson gave thanks for the picture that we had been shown by our living mother the Earth. Was time to go back in and more rocks were brought in and greetings were made and the door was closed again. Wilson began to speak once again, but it was different this time. I realized that he was revealing himself to me in all his human weaknesses, and asking if I would pray for him. Being aware of things doesn't make you totally immune to their influence. After he had finished he said it was my turn to turn myself "inside out", in doing so a person gets a view of oneself that one doesn't normally get. This is the point of "special sweat". I will suffer for YOUR wants and needs and you will suffer for MY wants and needs. Sacrificing comfort for someones betterment. This time it was even hotter than before. He began to pray in Navajo, with what sounded like great earnest. He was obviously suffering for me. Pleading with the Creator of all things in my behalf. Wow, it was all clear, the same way that I prayed for others in the name of Jesus, he took one step further. Becoming the likeness of the One who had suffered in my stead. Great awe and wonderment filled my heart as I prayed in a manner that I had never before. Giving every fiber of my being over to the prayers themselves. Several times Wilson poured water on the rocks, and several times made me keep drinking to stay "wet" inside too. It's VERY important to keep the balance of water leaving and entering. Out with the bad and in with the good. At that point my concept of who God is and who the son Jesus is, completely changed. They both got MUCH bigger. Also that we are the same as the Son. With the same possibilities! Healing each other through loving kindness. Anyway after about twenty minutes or so he threw back the door again and just sat there for a minute, Wilson thanked me for my effort in prayer and I returned the feelings. It was getting cold outside, as it does at night in the high desert. Steam could be seen rising from our bodies. Wilson said that it was the things of this world that are leaving because they can't survive in a host that is waking up from a dream state, into what is real. We went in two more times, each time it was hotter than before, more prayers and thanksgiving, and yes, more singing. The songs that were sung were handed down through the millennium. Being true to the words and even down to the way the words were sung. After all it was the spoken word, first word, that created all things. Words have the power of healing, as well as being very destructive. That is why it is of the utmost importance to speak to each other with loving kindness, and beauty. Because they are words of life! After the last round, we gave thanks for a good sweat, went and rolled in the sand to clean ourselves up. Sounds funny but it works. We went back into the hogan were the only light was a small lantern, and the moon shinning through the roof. It took me awhile to soak it all in. I had just participated in something VERY special, and felt so much better than I had before hand. If I could let go of this thing that I had tried so desperately to control, than it would carry me with it, dancing to a new rhythm, that is from everlasting to everlasting. Deep down I think everyone has the same fear, "Will I last?" Well of course we will! How can a life that has always been and always be, be stopped? Don't even give it a second thought, enjoy this part of your journey, for this journey is without beginning or end! I am what I am.