The Sweet Medicine SunDance path is unique in the support it provides for self-healing and self-growth. Spiritual growth is fueled by personal growth, and personal growth is a process that unfolds day-by-day as we overcome our shortcomings, refine our characters and learn to better handle—and even embrace—the challenges that life brings our way. The Sweet Medicine SunDance Path offers a wide array of concrete, practical tools that help us facilitate our personal growth by giving us wholly new insights into what we need to change in ourselves and how we need to change it. Along the way, we learn how to achieve balance among our five human aspects—our emotions, bodies, minds, spirit and sexuality—and gain answers to our deepest questions about life.
In essence, the Sweet Medicine SunDance path gives us a blueprint for sacred growth and sacred living—a roadmap for the journey to higher consciousness—that we can implement in our daily lives and use to improve ourselves in ways that are individually determined and limitless. As we achieve personal growth, the door to our spiritual growth opens ever wider and we move closer to becoming Sacred Humans.
Our Red Lodge Program
The knowledge embodied in the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path is taught in the context of the Red Lodge Longhouse Program. Red Lodge is a structured educational program that takes students through the first three gateways, or levels of learning, of the path. Red Lodge Longhouse is a four year program. Each year builds on the previous years, and has its own distinctive flavor and focus. Students commit to one year at a time, and are guided by experienced instructors who are dedicated to this path and have spent decades studying it. The teachings of Red Lodge progress as follows:
YEAR 1 introduces the circular paradigm of the wheels and keys that hold the teachings of the Sweet Medicine SunDance path. Using these wheels and keys, we learn about our connection with the universe and all forms of life, and how to identify and change our unproductive behavioral patterns.
YEAR 2 focuses on our physical selves and what makes us tick. We learn how our personality and character structures work, and how the molding of our youth conditions us to behave in certain ways. In addition, we study the energies associated with the human body.
YEARS 3 and 4 introduce and delve deeply into the Healing Paradigm of the Twisted Hairs, a sophisticated set of teachings that help us identify the causes of illness. We learn how to apply these teachings in healing ourselves and others, and how to use them in addressing other life challenges.
The Red Lodge experience is also rich in ceremony, which helps students integrate the teachings and accelerate their personal growth. Each of the first three gateways includes ten ceremonies, many of which are done on a solitary basis out in nature. Once a year, Red Lodge students camp out together in nature for a full week to devote themselves to ceremony.
One of the joys of Red Lodge is that it brings you together with like-minded people from many walks of life. The Red Lodge community, students and teachers alike, is made up of people who are dedicated to reaching for their highest potential. Many of them study this path in conjunction with other spiritual traditions.
Challenges and Rewards
Arizona Red Lodge Longhouseand the Sweet Medicine SunDance path are for serious seekers who recognize that their spiritual quest is their life quest. The work is challenging and will require a great deal of energy and dedication on your part. The path can empower you and provide you with a roadmap for the great journey toward enlightenment, but you must do the walking. You must be willing to change—to take the risk of changing—in order to engineer your self-growth. If you step up to this challenge, the rewards will be great. You will heal your old wounds and surprise yourself with your capacity for positive change. You will fill your life with even more happiness, harmony, health, hope and humor. Most important, you will realize the greater consciousness, awareness and purpose that we all hunger to know.