This past weekend, Richard and I traveled to Sedona, Arizona, where I had the honor and blessing to officiate the wedding of our dear friends Beth Ann and Travis.
The wedding was scheduled for 5:45pm on Saturday evening, so Richard and I had the entire morning and afternoon to discover parts of Sedona we hadn’t explored before.
I googled “Top Things to Do in Sedona” and scrolled through the list…Cathedral Rock, Chapel of the Holy Cross, vortexes, hiking trails. We already visited most of these places on our last trip.
And then I saw it…Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park, a place “for prayer, meditation, healing, and the experience of peace in a sacred space.”
I had never heard the term. This was a perfect opportunity to learn, and I’m always open for some prayer, meditation and peace.
After breakfast, we put on our hiking shoes, got in the car, and drove up a hill through a neighborhood of houses.
Google Maps then veered us onto a dirt road. We parked our car in a lot made up entirely of Sedona’s infamous red dirt, got out of the car, and spotted the sign to follow a trail through the trees.
Immediately, I had a feeling of calm and peace wash over me.
Have you ever entered into a space and innately knew it was sacred? This is what I felt upon coming to this place.
Along the dirt trail, prayer flags were strewn across trees to guide our path.
If you’re not familiar with prayer flags, they’re used in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Each flag has prayers inscribed on them. The flags are colorful and rectangular in shape, and are held along a string so they can hang in the air.
The Tibetan belief in hanging the prayer flags is that the wind blows the prayers and mantras in order to spread their blessings into the space.
As I walked, I saw the words Compassion, Love, Peace, Joy and others written on some of the flags.
A gentle breeze greeted us.
The wind infused the air with the prayers and mantras of the flags.
After a short hike, I spotted a large structure ahead. This must be the Stupa!
A leveled clearing housed the dome-shaped structure, and at the entrance to the clearing were metal cylindrical Prayer Wheels, that I placed my hand on and spun to offer my own blessing and prayer to the space.
A nearby sign described the Stupa and the park:
In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, a Stupa is a shrine that contains relics and prayers.
This particular Stupa housed millions of prayers, as well as holy texts and sacred objects.
The purpose of the Stupa is to multiply and broadcast the power of prayer, and to aid in meditation and spiritual transformation.
The sign also instructed us in how to interact with the Stupa, through circumambulation or pradakhshina, which we followed.
Richard and I slowly walked clockwise around the Stupa three times, offering heartfelt prayers for ourselves, our loved ones and the world.
Afterwards, we sat down, closed our eyes, and meditated.
At my spiritual center, the Global Truth Center in Westlake Village, CA, one of the weekly rituals we engage in at our Sunday service is called the Flames of Faith.
For the Flames of Faith ritual, we light a candle to recognize the faith and the teachings of each of the world’s major religious traditions.
We also acknowledge the faith traditions that are yet to emerge, and we light a final candle to reflect our own ongoing and unfolding personal faith journey.
Especially in these times that we live in, it’s important to learn about various faith traditions.
As we learn about the multitude of faith traditions, we cultivate a greater respect of religious diversity.
We also recognize both where our beliefs and ideas converge, and where we may have a difference of understanding.
Sometimes, when we learn about another religious tradition or spiritual practice we may not be familiar with, we become clearer about our own path and what we truly believe.
After sitting in meditation for a while, Richard and I spent another hour or so walking the trails, encountering many more prayer flags, another smaller Stupa and a Medicine Wheel.
By the time we left, my heart felt full.
I expressed gratitude for the feeling of reconnection with myself and with Mother Earth around me.
This feeling lasted throughout the day and into the night.
I brought this fullness of Joy and Connection with me to the wedding ceremony, and shared it with everyone present.
And I’m sure that same feeling of Joy and Connection passed on and continued.
Where in your life are you willing to explore a path you’re not familiar with?
Are you open to learning? Are you willing to be surprised?
You don’t even have to travel all the way to Sedona, Arizona.
An adventure could be had right in your very city, waiting for your own discovery.
Abundant Blessings and Namaste.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about today's article. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
A little about me...
My unique ability is helping people figure out what’s really holding them back and to fully support them in a safe and sacred space, with the result of people feeling excited about life and believing they can claim the driver’s seat of their lives. I've been called the "Aha Whisperer."
If you’re feeling the need for support in creating a life filled with more spaciousness, purpose and joy, I offer a complimentary life coaching consultation that may provide you with the insight and resources you need in this moment. To learn more about this, click here.
Joselito is a spiritual life coach helping people create a purposeful, spiritual path to career and financial freedom.
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