benches and creekTime to Sweat

by Walter Bachteler

I have often been asked how long is a sweat lodge. This like anything else depends on your commitment. Let’s look at the general times.

One round in and out is about a half an hour. Real good for some quick prayers and mild cleansing. Possibly sing a sacred prayer song, and to support other peoples prayers. [This can  vary a lot, based on the ceremony leader’s tradition, their style, medicine, or altar, number of participants, or any other specific circumstances. Be prepared to be flexible. – Kurt]

To do all four rounds is about two hours. This showssome commitment and you have time to make prayers to all four directions . Each direction may have a different focus. There are more prayer songs. There is the ability to support the heartfelt prayers of others. From my experience they come out in the later part of the lodge. You also can focus better on how spirit has been guiding you.

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 Sweat Lodge at Four Quarters

 The Sweat Lodge ceremony, is older than recorded history and is practiced in some form by every culture in the world. We heat ancient rocks in a fire and bring the glowing hot rocks into the center of the lodge. When the lodge is closed, we pour water on the rocks and pray. Through prayer and sacred songs we ask for support and give thanks for what we have already received.

Our sweat ceremonies facilitate personal and inner cleansing and healing. The lodge brings us into connection and harmony with the Mother Earth and all of Creation. This ceremony is open to all people of all beliefs and remains a gift and an offering to those who are open and willing to further their own personal journey, and who want to participate and experience the beauty and wonder of this most powerful and healing ceremony. It is a place to repair your spirit, of refuge and healing, and to obtain personal answers and guidance Our ceremony leaders represent a number of sacred traditions and we follow the same interfaith view as Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary. All are welcome to come pray

sweatlodgesketchwebRevised* 2020 Lodge Weekends:

Summer Solstice Weekend ~ June 19 - 21
Flower of Life ~ June 27
Drum ’N’ Splash ~ July 1 - July 5
Honcho ~ August 22
Stones Rising ~ September 2 - 7
Big Dub Sweat Camp ~ September 30 - Oct 4 - New Date!
Samhain ~ October 30 - November 1

The Covid-19 Emergency has forced us to revise our schedule. There may be other events added to the schedule, or other changes, please see the News Page for announcements. Call the Office at 814 784-3080 or email us at office@4QF,org with any questions.

*Subject to change and the needs of ceremony
** We are considering offering some Sweat Teachings at Beltaine, and/or The Members Weekend.
please contact Kurt or the Four Quarters Office if interested.
† Tentative Events, please contact us to verify.

Sweat Lodge 2020 Covid-19 Policy

By Kurt Griffith, and the Sweat Lodge Team

The Ceremony team has determined that we shall provide Sweat Lodge ceremony in the 2020 season subject to “Extreme Informed Consent” of all participants, based on the principle of Shared Responsibility, Shared Risk. We feel that It would not be appropriate to not provide ceremony in a time of crisis out of fear. But we recognize and have to articulate, in no uncertain terms, that there is risk involved. Everyone who participates in sweat is at some risk, and shares that risk with everyone in the ceremony, and furthermore risks everyone in the ceremony.

The two physical principles in play, beyond the physical challenges of the ceremony itself, are people in a small, enclosed environment with limited ventilation. On the other hand, the heat and humidity are somewhat hostile to the virus, as close to an autoclave as humans can tolerate. The ceremony leaders understand this, every participant must as well. Covid-19 mitigation protocol guidance will be provided at the time of ceremony.

All participants agree to abide by The Five Agreements as described in our Health and Happiness policies.

Ceremonies shall have a maximum limit of ten participants, to limit crowding and exposure. Priority shall go to people who assist in preparation. We expect people who are Covid-19 Positive, symptomatic, or under quarantine limits, to refrain from ceremony, same as people under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or substances. All participants shall read and sign a sweat specific release form. Legal name and contact information shall be collected against potential need for contact tracing.

Policies subject to revision and Ceremony Leader's discretion.

Growing a Sweat Lodge Tradition

by Valerie Haag, Kurt Talking Stone, and the Lodge Team
Wheel of the Year Calendar 2017

The Sweat Lodge Site is a beautiful and sacred place on the land at Four Quarters and we invite you to come by to pray and sweat with us! The sacred fires will be continuously burning, and at any time you are welcome to come in to meditate, visit with the helpers and facilitators, chill out, talk with us, and reconnect in this area.

The Sweat Lodge ceremony is older than recorded history, and is practiced in some form by every culture in the world. Our sweat ceremonies facilitate personal and collective inner cleansing and healing. The Sweat Lodge at Four Quarters holds to the same interfaith view as Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary and does not follow a single tradition or path. Our Water Pourers represent a number of sacred traditions including Navajo, Lakota, and others. All are welcome. From time to time, we have had visiting Elders and ceremony leaders offer ceremony for our community.

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