There is an ancient ritual called Temazcal. It predates the Spanish here in Mexico. Today we took place in this ritual. We went to a place called Temazcalli, here in Puerto Escondido. Before the Temazcal, we each had a one hour massage. The massage was very relaxing as we listened to mystical music. Like everything else here, the rooms were of the open air type. Afterwards, the three of us met with the man who was to perform the ritual. We stripped down to almost nothing. I wore a wrap that is the type you can tie various ways around swim suits, etc. Tina wore the same Angela wore a different type of wrap. Each of us stood before the man and he shook smoking leaves all around us. We then got down on all fours and crawled into a stone and brick dome. We sat against the wall of this small dome as a nother man shoveled hot rocks into a pit in the center. Once their was a sufficient amount of rocks, our guide put resin from a special tree onto the rocks. A scented smoke began to rise in the room. Eventually he began pouring small bowls of water onto the rocks and the steam rose and filled the room. There was a small hole at the top of the Tezcal and a small door we had crawled into but both of these were now covered. The water contained various herbs and combined with the resin from the tree it smelled like a purifying steam. Our guide lead us by telling us about the origin of the ceremony and also used guided imagery... encouraging us to envision the molecules of water vibrating as we breathed them in. He spoke about how before there was much oxygen in the earth there was this type of energizing air to breathe and that the cells in our bodies remember this and welcome it back as healing. He lead us in specific breathing, thinking, listening and feeling. At one point we were brought a special herbed tea, which tasted slightly citrusy, and we drank it, being told to pay attention to how it felt in our nose, lips, tongue, throat, belly, as we drank it. We then were each asked how to tell how we were feeling or what we were thinking. More rocks, resin and herbed water were added and we did some more guided visualization. Meanwhile our bodies poured sweat, we did some chanting to honor the stones, the herbs, each other, etc. This whole experienced lasted about an hour and left us all feeling enlightened, exhausted, rejuvenated, thoughtful, happy and joined to the earth. We want to build one of these domes in our own yard now. It was a wonderful way to end our trip to Mexico. tomorrow we get on a plane and head back home. My wish is that I will be able to retain all the wisdom and feelings of peace and joy that I gained here when I return to my normal life.