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This is a powerful memoir of a near-death experience. After a Native American sweat lodge, the author loses control of his body and then his life. He begins a passage that leads to a personal hell. He discovers a way to escape and emerges into an amazing exploration of the soul’s journey. In this intense adventure, there are insights into stages of consciousness and encounters of blissful perfection. This spiritual, inspirational book is meant to be an aid to removing the universal fear of the final journey we are all taking.
It was the evening of a cold Sunday on the thirteenth day of December in Los Angeles, California, The United States of America, planet earth, the Milky Way. It was the day before my birthday.
My whole body was sweating. Every pore was oozing. I had never been this hot. I could barely breathe. Would I survive?
I was in a sweat lodge. These ‘sweats’ are purification rituals where you join a group of people, often strangers, and you all enter a dark enclosed space that gets very hot.
I had done sweats before. In the darkness I had shared wishes, confronted issues of life and death, and I had sweat. A lot. In these previous sweats, I had been able to deal with the discomfort. Later I learned about an infamous case where people died in a sweat that was improperly prepared, poorly led and overcrowded. I wonder if I would have gone to this particular sweat had I known people died in that one. But you can die anywhere.
Sweats were always a test for me. A lot of my life has been about passing tests.
The test of a sweat is to be present. In the heat. To be honest. In the heat.
I was in one of those transitional phases in life where I figured I might learn something from this kind of uncomfortable encounter. It seemed like a good way to sort some things out. Join in a circle of other humans in the dark. In the heat.