Our last Temazcal ceremony took me by surprise.
Sitting in the steamy dome, along with 5 other participants, a tremendous fatigue fell over me. I entered a state of trance. This probably allowed me to remain in the earth dome in spite of the heat.
I was feeling some of my resistances, and tears came up while my head wobbled hardly staying straight and stable over my neck, which had been hurting for weeks prior.
When the abuelitas (the scorching rocks heated in the fire) were brought in for the 3rd time, as more water was poured on them the hot steam became too much for me to handle. I asked for permission to leave the Temazcal…
Outside, I breathed fresh air to cool myself off. I was glad I went out but was anxious to get back in next to Glen worrying that, with a history of seizures, he might stretch himself thin in the steaming heat.
I was feeling agitation in my chest awaiting a break in the chanting to ask for permission to re-enter the Temazcal.
When the door opened for me, I bent through the frame inside the steamy space.
I was indicated the spot right of the door next to Gustavo. Patti had been moved left of Glen in my absence to balance energies. I sat on the dirt ground and breathed in the steam.
This is when anger exploded in my chest; uncontrollable, powerful, bitter…
I felt abandonment, resentment, envy, jealousy, rage; all pounding and screaming against the walls of my chest in an internal cacophony.
Thankfully, I was aware of the power of the Temazcal; I remembered Gustavo and Patti’s words “leave all the baggage in the Temazcal”… My body has been eager to heal; my mind has resisted powerfully.
I breathed in the steam again, I sat in the great discomfort I felt. Uncomfortable within and without. I didn’t know what to do with my body. My dress stuck to my skin, I felt the wet pebbles digging in my legs, my lower back was hurting and my butt cheeks weren’t fleshy enough to support my weight, my bones painfully pushing into the ground.
The inner struggle went on and on…
I hated the heat and loved it at once as, with the chanting, it distracted me and was taking me into a light trance again. All I could think of was the awaited end of the ceremony, but I knew I was unloading right there.
I leaned into my own discomfort.
I was loosing the strength to fight it….
Why should it be so hard?
We all have our style and different ways we agree to heal, or resist healing. I wanted to heal so badly. I wanted to feel peace with what is, to accept my own path and feel free from the power of comparison.
Yet, the mental processes I had been experiencing often took me to the very places I wanted to avoid… Right there, in the steamy dome, the heat was pushing me outside the limits of my comfort, weakening my system and distracting my mind from my own resistance.
The chanting and powerful fragrances overwhelmed my senses, exacerbating my emotions and confusing my mind enough to detach me from the sempiternal many thoughts fueling my resistance.
There was no longer any place for rationalization, my mind was relinquishing its control over my body… I could feel without the need to make sense of my emotions and could “be” for a moment…
This Temazcal ceremony had been planned to welcome the full moon, yet another symbol of a new beginning.
In just the first 2 weeks of our arrival in Colima, Glen and I participated in 3 Temazcal ceremonies. This has been no small experience for either of us.
The first Temazcal ceremony we attended in “El Lobo Blanco” was quite soft. I felt a bit claustrophobic but it was bearable. I felt safe enough and found comfort in Glen’s presence.
I remained in the Temazcal its entire duration and I appreciated that Inti, leading the ceremony, went light on the hot steam. It felt fairly soft for the 2 hours we spent in the earthy dome, rejoicing as we welcomed the “abuelitas”, the burning stones, in the center pit of the Temazcal.
We chanted and shook our wooden rattles between blessings and expressions of gratitude voiced at each door.
Arriving in Colima, our friend Lucero introduced us to Inti. He was to be our host and he immediately made us feel comfortable, and wanting to know more about him.
The Temazcal is a traditional sweat lodge, an earthy dome in which red hot stones are brought and water poured to create a dense steam meant to purify and cleanse those who enter it. Natural fragrances are rubbed on the burning stones, adding strong scents and healing properties to the steamy air inside the dome. When the door of the Temazcal is closed, blankets are added to seal the entrance, keeping the hot steam inside and preventing any light from infiltrating the dome.
The shape of the Temazcal represents a sacred womb from which participants allegorically exit reborn and renewed, leaving behind emotional, spiritual and physical baggage.
Each Temazcal is named and Gustavo, aka Inti, named his “El Lobo Blanco”, the White Wolf.
El Lobo Blanco is fed the red hot stones from a big fire outside the dome. The intense fire is set ceremoniously by the attending members and the rocks brought in with a heavy fork for each of the four spiritual doors we ask to pass…