Tag Archives: sweat lodge

I Went To An Indian Sweat Lodge And Didn’t Die

As someone who has attended an Indian sweat lodge and thoroughly benefited from it, I was deeply saddened to hear about the ritual gone terribly wrong in Sedona, Ariz., last week. Self-help guru James Arthur Ray is being investigated for his “Spiritual Warrior Retreat” that left two people dead and 19 others hospitalized. There was allegedly a 36-hour fasting period before 60 people were crammed into a makeshift sweat lodge at the Angel Valley Retreat Center, where he’d rented facilities for his five-day retreat. Inside, 38-year-old surfer Kirby Brown and 40-year-old father James Shore dropped dead. Ray has made no public comments, but he did update his Twitter account to say, “My deep heartfelt condolences to family and friends of those who lost their lives, I am spending the weekend in prayer and meditation for all involved in this difficult time; and I ask you to join me in doing the same.” I bet the last thing participants and their families want to do is meditate on how this whack job stole their $10,000 and nearly killed them. Ray had said the retreat would “absolutely change their life.” Oh … he changed their lives all right. [CBS]

I was so angry when I heard about this because I know it will mar the public’s perception of the sweat lodge ritual. People already think they’re kooky, but now they’ll add dangerous to the list. A sweat lodge ritual can be a beautiful thing when done safely, properly and with good intentions. Any sane person should know that 60 starving people shouldn’t be crammed into a synthetic, overheated tent and made to pay $10,000 for the torture. My experience was so different. Keep reading »

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