Spiritual pools at the Monastery in Slavsk
Imagine my surprise when Andrey`s mom handed me a brand new nightgown – for swimming! To say that I was confused was an understatement. But let me start at the beginning.
We were invited to join Mom and a group of elderly ladies from her veteran club to visit a monastery in a town called Slavsk. Both Andrey and I have never been to this little rural town and we didn`t really know much about it. All we knew, was that the town has a natural mineral pool and that we will be visiting a new monastery. The monastery opened two years ago.Mineral Pools in the Russian Town Slavsk, Kaliningrad Oblast.
I was under the impression that we would be swimming in the natural mineral pool in town and when Mom asked if I was going to swim I said yes. Little did I know that swimming was not on the agenda.
I will talk about the monastery and its history in a separate post, but now I would like to tell you more about the `swimming`.
On the premises you find a couple of small houses. Some are made from wood and others from bricks. The inside almost looks like a sauna. There are wooden benches where you can sit, religious icons and instructions mounted on the wall. In the one corner is an enamel bath and in the other corner a hole in the ground, filled to the brim with water. It looks like a very small swimming pool and I guess that is what Mom meant by `swimming`.
what is a spiritual pool?
So, what is this for? Women visit the monastery for different reasons. Mostly they come to pray in the church. But they also visit one of these spiritual pools with natural mineral water. It becomes a spiritual journey for many of them. It is a sacred place where you bathe yourself. You do it for many personal reasons – purification, spiritual ailments or healing . Bottom line you go to the pools for a specific reason. The water is also very healthy and good for you.
I think Mom was a little disappointed that I didn`t go for a `swim`. If she was, she didn`t say so. To be honest, I felt a little uncomfortable because I wasn`t used to the customs and it was also something new for Andrey. Men were previously not allowed at this monastery. It was something that I had to do alone and I wasn`t ready for it. I realized that this is something that you do for yourself.
There are many spiritual sanctuaries around the world. To name a few: The River Jordan, The Dead Sea, Sea of Gallilee, The Golden Summit,Mount Kailash and Grotto Spa. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a pool, it can be any place where you find tranquility and the possibility to heal yourself spiritually. Many Russian people find it at the Monastery in Slavsk.
Monastery Martyr Princess Elizabeth or Монастырь Преподобномученицы Княгини Елизаветы, Slavsk,Kaliningrad Oblast,Russian Federation.
When: 16 June 2012.