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Delve Deeper

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sometimes When You Follow a Guru...Things Like This Happen

I've always wanted to go to a Native American sweat lodge to cleanse myself and have a spiritual experience. But check out this story:

(CNN) -- The two people who died and the 19 others who fell ill at a central Arizona resort after spending time in a sauna-like "sweatbox" were attending a program by self-help expert James Arthur Ray, authorities said Saturday.

Nineteen others were treated for injuries sustained in the sweatbox, a dome-like structure covered with tarps and blankets. Hot rocks and water are used to create steam in the enclosed environment.
Waugh said investigators are looking into evidence that "may turn this into a criminal prosecution."
Fire and rescue officials received emergency calls Thursday night from the Angel Valley Resort near Sedona saying three people were not breathing and another was burned.
The victims were transported by air and land ambulances to medical facilities; two of the injured were pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the Verde Valley Medical Center, the sheriff's office said in a release.

Ray is the author of the best-selling book "Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want."
Ray, described on his Web site as a "personal success strategist," has appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" and on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," and is featured in the self-empowerment film "The Secret."
Neither Ray nor his representatives could be reached Saturday to comment.
Angel Valley Resort advertises itself as "a place to relax and heal ... where powerful earth energies are present and active." It was founded in April 2002 by Michael and Amayra Hamilton, both of whom are teachers and counselors there.
The resort is on 70 secluded valley acres 20 minutes from Sedona, surrounded by thousands of acres of national forest, according to the Web site. It has Internal Revenue Service nonprofit status as a religious organization, its Web site says.
"There are twenty marked vortexes and angel sites to experience connection with Earth and spirit, deep relaxation, and balancing," an online brochure says. "Angel Valley offers two labyrinths and an Angel Wheel for going inward, finding answers and getting insights."
No information about the sweat lodge could be found on the Web site Saturday morning, and numerous internal links were not functioning.
The use of sweat lodges for spiritual and physical cleansing is a part of several Native American tribes' cultures.
A traditional Native American sweat lodge is a small dome-like structure made up of willow branches carefully tied together and covered in canvas. Rocks are heated in a nearby fire pit and placed inside the lodge, and water is poured over them to create steam.
"We are curious to find out what happened there," Richard Moreno, a member of Pira Manso Pueblo tribe, told KPHO-TV. "I've been participating in the sweat lodge since the age of 3 and I've never recalled being sick from being in the sweat lodge."
Moreno told the station he has never been to a lodge that held more than 20 people.

James Arthur Ray has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM. His bio on the Coast site is as follows:
Known as a "practical mystic," James Ray grew up the son of a minister, immersed in traditional Christian religion. He later expanded his studies to include a multitude of other spiritual traditions and has been initiated into three shamanic orders from the Incan culture and the supernatural Huna tradition of ancient Hawaii.
James is one of the few spiritual teachers who has achieved top honors in the corporate world and has succeeded as a thriving entrepreneur. His background in behavioral sciences and entrepreneurship along with his spiritual quest give him an unique and powerful ability to address life issues from an integrated and comprehensive level.{source}

I don't know who was in this hut and how anyone could get burned. I don't think people get burned in sweat lodges. It'll be interesting to find out what happened. Check him out in action:

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