Here are some  of the questions and answers people ask about our sweat lodge:

Do I have to make reservations?

What do we wear in the sweat lodge? 

What time should I arrive?

How long is the sweat lodge?

What do I need to bring?

If it rains will you cancel? 

Will we eat a meal?

How much does it cost?

Can I bring my dog? 

Can I bring my child(ren)?

How hot does it get?

Does it matter that I take a medication?

Do I need to drink a lot of water before the sweat lodge?

Pregnant?

This sounds so cool, can I tell all my friends so they can experience a sweat lodge too? 

I live more then 90 minutes away from Malvern, are there hotels nearby?

Do you have a web page with directions to your home?

Is it true that the sweat lodge is a good way to rid the body of toxins?

Who makes up these questions?

Do I have to make reservations?  YES!! Do not come without a reservation.  All attendees must register for sweat lodges using the online reservation system.  Do not bring anyone that has not directly contacted me and made a reservation for themselves.  Click here -How to be invited to make a reservation to attend a Sweat Lodge   If you can't use email and are going to call, please be respectful of my home and don't call late at night.  And please, don't expect us to return your call if you call the day of a sweat lodge - plan ahead. 

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What do we wear in the sweat lodge?  Modesty is a valued virtue.   At all ceremonies we dress with modesty in mind.  In the sweat lodge, men wear shorts or trunks and women wear sweat dresses or shorts and t-shirts.  Women's bathing suits might be okay if they are modest but many are not.  Usually if a person asks if a dress or swim suit is modest they already know the answer. By the way, everything that is worn into the sweat lodge gets soaking wet.  Most people arrive early and change into their sweat lodge clothes in the changing rooms in the house or barn.  And definitely be sure you have some dry clothes for after the lodge.

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What time should I arrive?  Come early for sweat lodge ceremonies.  For our regular lodges we enter the lodge around 7 P.M. and everyone needs to be present by then. But the ceremony actually starts with laying the fire a couple of hours before.   All are encouraged to be here for the entire ceremony but definitely be present when we go in. Definitely plan on being here by 6:30 P.M.

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How long is the sweat lodge?  We suggest that you don't try to fit a sweat lodge into a busy evening.  We are usually in the lodge about 60 to 90 minutes but with the pot luck and other stuff you can expect to be here for 3 to 4 hours. The pot luck really is part of the ceremony so if you don't have time for the pot luck, wait to come to the sweat when you do have time.  Most evenings of the regular lodges the place is cleaned up and folks have left by 9:30 PM. 

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What do I need to bring?  You need to bring clothes for the sweat lodge, towels, and clothes to change into afterwards.  Also, you need to bring food for the pot luck feast.  Sometimes we drum before the lodge so bring a drum or rattle if you like.  

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If it rains will you cancel?  So far we have been able to keep ourClick here to see larger image commitment to the scheduled lodges since 1996.  We have never canceled for rain, snow or heat.  There have been times when travel was not possible and we had the lodge with only three people, but we still had it.   Here is a picture of some men tending the fire for a lodge in the snow.   

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Will we eat a meal? The Sweat Lodge Ceremony we do is a community prayer and sharing a meal is an important part of the Ceremony.  Bring a dish to share.  It is usually best to bring the kind of food you eat for your dinner.  The folks who come to our sweats have a variety of dietary styles and there is usually plenty of  both meat and vegetarian foods.  We emphasize the luck in pot luck and rarely have we had a lack of balance, like the famous dessert sweat of 1999. By the way, the pot luck is not a donation, it is sharing a meal.  

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How much does it cost? : There is no charge for this ceremony. The Sweat Lodge Ceremony is our prayer and you can't buy it at any cost.  And if you asked this question it tells me that you may not be thinking right about the sweat lodge.  

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Can I bring my dog? :   Please do not bring pets with you to our lodge.  We love animals but they are not part of our ceremony.  

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Can I bring my child(ren)?:  Our regularly scheduled  sweat lodge ceremonies are not appropriate for children so please do not bring them.  Their presence will likely be a distraction to the prayers of you and the other persons attending.   The question does arise as to when a child is old enough to attend one of our regular sweats.   Most children are old enough by the time they finish high school.   Some high school aged children are very mature and some are very immature so it is difficult to draw a line. If you are not sure it is likely the child is not ready yet.  Don't hurry your children to leave their childhood sooner then they need.

On occasion we have special ceremonies for teaching children about the sweat lodge.  We also have ceremonies for initiating young adults which may include a sweat lodge.    These might be at menarche, a graduation, or any other biological or social milestone. 

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How hot does it get?  It gets as hot as any sauna I have ever been in.  The rocks are glowing red and the steam is at least the boiling point of water. We can think of two reasons why people ask this question.  One is that they have health concerns.  If your doctor gives the go ahead for you to go to saunas then I expect the sweat lodge will be okay. Some medical conditions and medicines do have heat interactions and your concern is important.  Do ask your doctor.  

But if the reason you ask this question is that you are afraid of being uncomfortable, then the sweat lodge may not be for you.  The sweat lodge is uncomfortable.  We crawl on our hands and knees on the earth, sit for an hour or more in a tight cramped position, and have heat and steam pour over us in the complete darkness.   All the while we pray.  This is a very physical way to pray and it is not for everyone. 

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Does it matter that I take a medication? Let me say it again, some medical conditions and medicines do have heat interactions and your concern is important, do ask your doctor or pharmacist.  The transdermal patches are affected by heat and can cause an over dose under some conditions.  So, please take care of yourself and ask your doctor.

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Do I need to drink a lot of water before the sweat lodge? NO, in our opinion it is best to be at normal hydration levels before a sweat lodge.  Hyper-hydration can be a very dangerous medical condition.  We know that some folks recommend drinking extra water before a lodge but we disagree and suggest only to drink as you normally do to ward off thirst.  Listen to your body and drink water if you experience thirst.   After the sweat lodge, at the pot luck feast is the time to drink some water along with food, maybe even an extra glass or two.   But drinking exra before the sweat lodge only increases the probability that you’ll be uncomfortable due to the need to urinate.   And we discourage people from bringing  water with them into the sweat lodge.  Remember that the sweat lodge is supposed to be a little discomforting and we don’t think having some thirst during a ceremony is too much to ask of ourselves.  And check with your doctor, maybe the sweat lodge is not for you.

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Pregnant?  Do not come into the sweat lodge if you are or might be pregnant.  That is not just our idea, everyone that we ever asked this question of, without exception, has said that the sweat lodge is just too dangerous for an unborn child.

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This sounds so cool, can I tell all my friends so they can experience a sweat lodge too?  May we suggest that you come to a sweat lodge yourself first, maybe come with one friend and tell the others later.  While I would like it if everyone could get a chance to come to the sweat lodge we are not in the business of providing “experiences” to folks looking for something cool.  Remember, the sweat lodge is a sacred ceremony.  It has been our experience that when people who know each other come together in a group, they tend to stick together and don’t really mix all that well with the “regulars.”  If one or two people come they get chance to “join” our prayer and not merely “experience” a sweat lodge.   Who knows, you might even find that this way of praying works for you and you become a “regular.”  And consider that you can ask for a specially scheduled sweat for a group.  

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I live more then 90 minutes away from Malvern, are there hotels nearby? The sweat lodge is physically demanding and driving a long distance late at night after a sweat lodge is not a good idea.  There are hotels nearby and sometimes, when it seems appropriate, folks can take advantage of my guest room.  But this raises a bigger question that should be considered.  We are a community of people that come here to pray together in the sweat lodge and while we welcome new people to our community, we really aren't interest in merely providing "a sweat lodge experience."  If distance makes it unlikely that you would return and be a part of our community, perhaps it would be better if you found a sweat lodge closer to your home.  Having said that, we do have some folks who are part of our community that live hours away, and though they are not here as regularly as others they are members of our sweat lodge family.  

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Do you have a web page with directions to your home?   You will need to contact us, email or call, for directions.  We are located in Malvern, Pennsylvania and we will give directions when we talk to you to confirm your reservation. 

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Is it true that the sweat lodge is a good way to rid the body of toxins?

Yes and no.  Yes the body sweats and sweat carries out toxins in the sweat lodge but probably not at a rate exceeding what you might from a hard game of racquetball or running a couple of miles, or even a hot bubble bath.  But this question hints to us that you might be missing the main point of coming to a sweat lodge; the sweat lodge is one of our sacred ceremonies.  The sweat lodge is prayer.  Yes, it is a very physical way to prayer; we use the discomfort of the heat to focus our prayers.  We hope you come join our prayer in the sweat lodge and if it also supports a more mundane purpose, great! . 

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Who makes up these questions? These are all questions that people have actually asked, more than once.  

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