Native America Studies
Vision Quest - Typically a vision quest is a solo journey into the wilderness for a few days. It is usually without food and sometimes water. The purpose is to get in touch with yourself, your spiritual helpers and to start the process of finding out who you are and what your purpose in life is. My first was at age 19 in the Los Padres National Forrest. It was life changing.
The Purification Lodge - It is called Inipi in the Lakota language. It is a way of cleansing physically, mentally and spiritually. A series of heated rocks are placed in a half dome structure typically made of wood saplings covered with blankets. The effect is similar to a sauna. When I finished my first lodge, I was overwhelmed. I was filled with a sense of peace and felt as if I had been reborn. I was absolutely squeaky clean physically, mentally and spiritually. It was unlike anything else I had ever experienced.
The Tipi - This was the primary housing for many of the plains Native Americans. We have a small (approximately 12 ft. in dia.) one that we primarily use when teaching Native American ways of life to children. It provides a very peaceful environment.
Chanunpa - This is the Lakota word for the sacred medicine pipe. There are specific rules for its care and use. You have to ask permission from the Chanunpa in order to use it. It is very powerful and very sacred.
Chumash New Year Ceremony - I had an opportunity to work with native Chumash in their New Year ceremony which is very profound and moving and is performed at one location during the winter solstice for a four year cycle.