Now that we’re well into the new year, it’s time to get down to business. On Sunday, February 4th I entered a sweat lodge for the first time and what a way to start the Chinese Brown Earth Dog New Year! Dog’s auspicious gifts are unconditional love and loyalty to all living things. According to the “solar” calendar, February 4, 2018, marks the beginning of a Chinese New Year and also is the season of spring (Li Chun). However, Chinese cultures all over the world will follow the lunar calendar and celebrate Chinese New Year on February 16, 2018. Participating in the sweat lodge ceremony was a great way to connect with Mother Earth. Everyone was in their bare feet which allowed for physical contact with the Mother Earth and we also sat on the ground inside the lodge. We were blessed with a beautiful mild day with no rain and it was so easy to enjoy the warmth of the participants and the fire.The ladies entered the sweat lodge first and sat to the right of the elder and the men followed and sat on the opposite side. Once inside the sweat lodge, the elder “White Bear” opened the ceremony by taking offerings of tobacco and prayers for the ancestors. The ceremonial pipe was passed around to all the participants to touch their heads and hearts and to cleanse any area of the body or etheric body with the smoke. Bear grease was rubbed on areas of the body that needed healing and medicine were inhaled to release any sickness from the body. The ancestors were invited in the form of heated rocks and prayers were chanted and sacred songs were sung as water was being poured over the rocks (ancestors). The steam from the heated rocks represented the breath of the ancestors and this continued for about four hours. I entered a state of tranquility and remained in that state for the remainder of the day. When asked about my experience, I had no words to describe the love and appreciation that I felt. Almost all the participants reported experiencing some healing and/or purification effects. The next sweat lodge ceremony will be on February 18, 2018. In the meanwhile, stay grounded.