Mayan Sweat Lodge in Tulum, Mexico 7/27-7/28/2022
(Correction due to system error.)
We landed in Cancun Airport in Mexico (aeropuerto). We took a shuttle to get our car rental. We spent 45 minutes not understanding what we thought was a deal for the car was only the insurance. We went back and forth with bad internet reception and finally was able to get the insurance canceled and get the rate for car rental and insurance coverage. The insurance was a bit higher than the car rental. Their money is in pesos but they are happy to convert the amount into USD (United States Dollars). They have a system where you video tape all around and inside the car any marks even though they had it already in the system and the mileage of the car and gas for your records and everything is done by QR code. They gave a receipt but to exit you get a slip of paper with QR code to waive in the scanner which is not working clearly and the tech will come and do it.
We booked a week in Cielo Maya Hotel in Tulum in an oceanfront room with a pier where hammocks are on the pier and a relaxing nap beckons you as boats come to pick up people for scuba diving and excursions of small groups of 6. There is kayaking available and the beaches in Mexico are short and the water’s edge nearby. People from Europe and other Latin countries were mostly tourists. Low number of people from the USA. It was hurricane season but the rains come in tropical downpours in small amounts of time and then dry out. There was a cenote which is like a sinkhole or water hole where you can rent kayaks, usually fresh water not salt water bodies of waters and some have caves or can dive into one. There were many people that day since it was the season where so much seaweed comes ashore and from 7 a.m. to evening there is a crew at each hotel taking wheelbarrows of seaweed to the other areas near the jungle or trees. The water had many rocks. Their gardens were beautiful and basket weaving with vines hanging chairs in the small wading pool and played my travel didgeridoo. The staff seemed to enjoy it. This is a haven the LGBTQ community would love as Mexico embraces this community.
I wanted to do something we’ve never experienced before and found a wellness center…Yaan Wellness center in the Bohemian and nightlife area for a sacred Mayan Sweat Lodge. We arrived and the next day we had issues on the internet until we managed to print the form and pay from the hotel. The spa was amazing and had the smell of copal. They burn a lot to keep mosquitos away everywhere where outside dining is in buckets. There was a volcanic and cement sweat lodge they built upon Mexican adobe tile and the center had sand where the Grandfather rocks were being heated in a fire pit by the fire keeper with logs around the stones and I smelled the fire burning from the reception area. The reception person was named Carlos and he was Mayan descent and told us about the traditions and cultures of the Mayan. He gave my husband a tip on restaurants to eat called “Hartwood” , a restaurant filled with love and reciprocity and food and drinks of perfection and good vibes to visit after the sweat. We found out the resort across the street used this spa and were tied somehow in friendship to the restaurant.
Back to the Sweat Lodge. By this time, it was time to follow the assistant to the sweat lodge and she was all dressed in white and held a copal burning chalice of stone. She had Mexican colorful embroidery on her dress and we were told to follow her. There were a total of 8 strangers they said would become a ‘family’ . The Shaman and his wife were dressed in white..Mayan tradition and the Mesa of spirituality included corn, skulls, stones and other offerings for our full moon sweat lodge. There were pillows we sat on in a circle and palm leaves held the deer antlers that would be used differently. They would not be used to carry the hot stones once the fire keeper put the hot stones one by one to welcome and say ‘Welcome Grandfather” that held ancient history of the light wisdom. Then the Shaman took the shovel and carefully walked and put the stones in. It would be 4 rounds again and 10 to 15 minutes each. The wife and the male Shaman took turns chanting Mayan language and we repeated as best we could after them. They drummed and played flute and he handed two people the one deer antler each. Each time black copal in the beginning stone was handed for each person’s verbal intention each person each round and touched the hot stone of the Grandfathers as we said it and passed the copal around. The deer antler people always changed each round and lifted the intentions of each person up to the Universe/Cosmos towards the sky. We chanted and sang and water was outside and handed when asked. People would be allowed to walk out since this is a resort area. I stayed in with two other Asian women as well…My husband’s first sweat in his life and it was most spiritual and liberating yet powerful for each of us. I was instructing before each round what it may mean but I only experienced another tradition, how not to be shameful to walk out each round for cool air or get down to ground in the womb we entered for death and transformation and rebirth. To ask for water when needed. It was amazing and felt so detoxed emotionally. We were told to wear our swimsuits only and no shoes of course and asked if we took any substances and you were not supposed to and we all said ‘No.” Some I could feel did a little small amount and they were a little low on endurance and went out each round and they did things to help them focus like put a burning candle to focus on and cool off more.
In the meantime, I was a woman of purpose, I had intentions of being in my truth, by releasing anger and sadness from not feeling loved. I wanted more of myself in truth forward. Other’s intentions were powerful and beautiful. My husband and I were parallel as we were in a circle before entering the Womb of the sweat lodge & why we were there. We were to release our families and low vibrations of people in our life who didn’t accept us or were the walking dead I call. My husband was very clear at times you want to punch people to wake up but I wouldn’t really physically punch them but you know what I mean and the Shaman acknowledged and agreed to talk about releasing toxic emotions especially from the pandemic tests of our strength. We drank lots of water and fasted having vegetarian light salads or meals 4 to 5 hours before. I was proud of my husband not taking alcohol or cigars, etc. and he said it was all worth it.
When the Shaman said to explore our emotions and go to the scene in our minds of pain, anger, hurt, etc or toxic emotions to become aware, recognize and feel and release either crying, shouting, etc. I saw my molester and saw my parents at hurtful times that they refused to believe me when told. I felt the anger and pain when accused I caused my own molestation. I thought I passed this studying Shamanism at 38 years old but there was more to do obviously to let go. It was time for me to let it go and forgive. This was the intention I set to feel loved. I shouted in anger and anguish and cried to release it all and inside the Mother’s Womb of the Sweat Lodge was dark during the rounds and in the womb I became birthed again.
The ancestors were asked at some point and we asked for their support. The deer antlers and white copal was used and they gave us herb bundles of fresh plants local to the Maya and aloe vera the 3rd round and more to rub on our face and skin we felt hot. Finally, my Mother came and she was 30 years young and she was there walking in. I do miss her alot…her bright smile despite all the pain and abuse and sadness…she wore white to respect the lodge.
After the round we gathered and had cold showers and tea and fruit. The spa had enclosed private bamboo wall showers with spa body wash and shampoos and towels and lockers. We placed things before starting to gather and afterwards. I brought my didgeridoo to play as a maybe according and out of respect for the Shamans afterwards after showers, tea and fruit. We shared what we experienced and I cried saying I thought I was healed from my parents and molestor and my mother’s death from covid but she finally came to visit me. I was grateful and others shared what they needed to say.
I and a few others were disoriented even though the last round the Shaman threw water on each of our heads and faces to keep cool. This lodge didn’t allow the ground to soak up the water so you had to walk carefully not to trip or slip on the water and sweat gathering each round.
My husband asked the Shaman if he could drum or look at his drum. He was asked if it was okay for me to play didgeridoo and he said it was okay out of respect. He drummed first and then Jim did the same on a heavier larger drum as the fire keeper watched. I played my didgeridoo for the lodge, the 7 directions and the mesa and to the Shamans and group in gratitude. We thanked the Shamans and Fire Keeper and gave a tip to the Shaman and put my hands in ‘Namaste’ and nodded to each of them acknowledging the beautiful work they were doing.
We left so clean in spirit, mind and body and heart and were hungry and walked the Bohemian street where life became more alive for us. Music, restaurants and shops to go to. The restaurant as mentioned “Hardwood” changes it’s menu and everyone smiles even the chefs as we applauded the waiters, manager and my husband walked up to the chefs and we applauded their work. The angus ribs in tamarind cooked for 7 hours and the octopus grilled and honey pie and alcohol virgin drinks were all amazing even the cold coffee. What a day to end in such elation and appreciation. It was a perfect evening indeed filled with blessings.