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International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Abstract

Interviews with 30 experienced non-native practitioners of the Native American sweat lodge

ceremony revealed 184 reports of transpersonal experiences. Interview questions sought to (a)

disclose how practitioners discern or critique their own experiences, (b) consider alternative

explanations for practitioners’ experiences, and (c) critically reflect on the sweat lodge

ceremony per se as a spiritual practice. It was found that practitioners generally (a) interpreted

their experiences as trustworthy interactions with a spiritual reality, (b) did not seriously

consider alternative explanations for their experiences, and (c) neglected to reflect critically

on the sweat lodge ceremony per se as a spiritual practice.

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