Incorporating various spiritual practices in my life has always been very rewarding for me on my quest thus far, so this week I switched up my typical connective practices and took part in a smudge. One of my close friends who also strives to connect with God, Universe, or Creator allowed me to take part in this beautiful practice with him this week, and it was amazing!
Native elders have taught us that before a person can be healed one must be cleansed of any bad feelings, negative thoughts, bad spirits or negative energy – cleansed both physically and spiritually. This helps the healing to come through in a clear way, without being distorted or sidetracked by negative “stuff”. The elders say that all ceremonies, tribal or private, must be entered into with a good heart so that we can pray, sing, and walk in a sacred manner, and be helped by the spirits to enter the sacred realm. It is customary to remove any metal, rings, watches, glasses, etc. prior to the use of smudge.
What Happens During A Smudge ?
To do a smudging ceremony; burn Sage, Sweetgrass or Cedar (dried), rub your hands in the smoke and then gather the smoke and bring it into your body. Rub it onto yourself, over eyes, ears, mouth, hands, heart and body, and areas of the body that are in need of healing. We burnt our sage mixture in an abalone shell.
Prior to the smudge I was told to focus my attention on prayer, aligning myself with whatever positive force or consciousness that I wanted to bring into my life (God, Consciousness, Creator, Allah, Buddha, whoever you please). As the smudge began it seemed that all the background noise that I have been carrying around that day ceased and the smoke clouds seem to float around my body in slow motion, a unique wave of stillness that swept through my body. An internal grace that seem to unlock itself within me and this peace remained with me for the rest of the day.
Why Do We Smudge These Areas Of The Body ?
We cleanse our heart – to cleanse it of resentment and ill will, and to open it to compassion.
We cleanse our mouth – so that what we will speak be truthful and honest and said in a caring manner.
We cleanse our eyes – so that they will see that Truth in the world, the beauty of Mother Earth, and the gifts of the Creator.
We cleanse our ears – so that we will clearly hear the messages of others and understand the truth.
We cleanse the small of our back – so that we will release anger gathered there, opening ourselves to positive energy.
We cleanse our feet – so that we will walk the Truth Path, walking with close friends and families, easily allowing us flee our enemies with ease.
For those of you who have already had the opportunity to take part in a smudge, please elaborate on your own experiences below!