Our temazcal Ceremony
A temazcal is a type of sweat lodge which originated with pre-Hispanic Indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica. In ancient Mesoamerica it was used as part of a curative ceremony thought to purify the body after exertion such as after a battle or a ceremonial ball game. It was also used for healing the sick, improving health, and for women to give birth. It continues to be used today in Indigenous cultures of Mexico and Central America that were part of the ancient Mesoamerican region for spiritual and health reasons.
The sweatlodge in Mesoamerica is usually a permanent structure, unlike in other regions. The temazcal is usually constructed from volcanic rock and cement and is usually a circular dome, although rectangular ones have been found at certain archeological sites and this shape is also used. To produce the heat, volcanic stones are heated (volcanic stones are safe because they do not explode from the temperature)and then are placed in a pit in the temazcal, located in the center or near a wall.
On our final day in Puerto, we wanted to experience a ceremonial temazcal experience. It took an hour to build the fire to heat the stones. We were first clensed with the smoke from the sap of a sacred tree and then entered the lodge one by one. This lodge is designed to hold up to 16 individuals. the three of us, and our guide, were the only ones inside today. Hot stones were added to the center circle, more sap, and the door was closed with thick wool blankets. The heat began to rise and a special tea of rosmary, sage, water, was dipped onto the stones. During the first session we became aware of ourselves, in our bodies, aware of our thoughts and gained control and gave up control. The door was opened. Rocks were added. The door was drawn. During the second stage we drummed and sang and welcomed. Welcomed High, and welcomed low, and welcomed in a medium tone. Welcomed all. We became closer to the mother earth, safe within her womb. The curtain was drawn and we were given a tart tea to drink. To drink in and swirl and drink down with purpose and to breath and to feel. to taste the drink and the air and the energy of the drink. And the rocks were added, red hot and sizzling, and the curtain was closed. And we meditated. and we became the earth, and we though of good, of happiness, surrounded ourselves of happiness, and i thought of my grandmother as she had come to me in a dream many years before, dancing down the aisles, radiently happy even as she was saying goodbye, and how pure and simple her love had been, and how now it is my turn to pass on that pure and simple love. And we breathed in, smelling and breathed in tasting and the tea was added and added and the heat grew and was fanned on us, was intense and yet chilling, and i sat bare upon stone, now in a puddle of water, my skin dripping and hot, shaking and crying without actually crying and breathing, and the curtain is opened. and the light pours in, and slowly the intense heat escapes, and i feel strong yet defeated and elated yet devistated and know without a doubt that this has to be the catelyst for something in my life.
This energy, this reminder, this direct contact with the path that i am meant to be on makes the path that i have been following feel so plastic and fake, ornamental when all i need is simplicity. This entire fellowship, my three weeks spent here, has reminded me of what is important, what SHOULD be important, and has made me see how so many little things get in the way of the pure simplicty of simply existing in the moment, of loving the moment that you exist in. I realized today that i have to find that balance again. Not just for the 6 weeks of my "summer", but i have to find this balence and bring it into my life everyday. this is what i am missing..... what keeps me from being me to my full potential. And the journey begins, as this fellowship draws to a close, another chapter of growth will follow.
Posted by Angela J.