The Inipi (Lakota sweat lodge) is a ceremony involved in cleansing the body, mind, emotions and the spirit.
The process of the ceremony begins with a fast of 24 hours, then a coming together of the participants in the starting of the fire where the Grandfathers (the rocks) are heated. Prayer ties are then made bringing together the thoughts, goals, intentions and prayers for each Individual’s needs for the ceremony they are about to experience. Participants enter the sweat lodge and sit in a circle in the dark where hot rocks are brought into the centre.
The sweat lodge ceremony is made up of 4 rounds, each round bringing in more hot rocks, building up the heat. The leader of the ceremony will take the participants through a journey connecting them with the elements, with the Elders and with the Spirits who are working with each individual ceremony. Water is poured on the rocks creating steam and heat. This intensity is the catalyst to the cleansing process. Between each round there is a breath of fresh air when the flap of the sweat lodge is opened to allow more rocks in.
There is no pressure to complete the whole ceremony if any individual is unable to.
The sweat lodge ceremony is a unique way of getting closer to Mother Earth and to Spirit and also in connecting deeper with your own spirit. It should be remembered that to the Lakota People, this ceremony is a way of life and at times would be experienced at least twice a week.
It will be different for each individual who participates, just as the goal or the intention for each Inipi ceremony can differ.
As the guide of this ceremony, Matthew does not profess to be Native American, though he does bring to the ceremony the teachings and wisdom that have been shown to him by the elders he has worked with on Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota, while spending time there over the last 11 years.
Matthew will be holding community sweats for those who are interested in experiencing this Native American tradition, in learning some of the teachings passed down from Lakota elders, in growing in self connection, connecting with spirit in turbulent times, working through any physical, mental, emotional or spiritual blocks, to pray for someone or a cause in need or for healing.
Please use the contact form below to get in touch with Matthew about upcoming Sweat Lodge ceremonies.