I just went on a spiritual pilgrimage to Sedona, Arizona. And now that I am back, I can reflect on my experience. I ask myself the questions: What is a spiritual pilgrimage? What was I seeking? And what did I learn?
According to eHow, a spiritual pilgrimage is a physical journey toward a place of sacred or religious significance. Sedona attracts people from all over the world to experience its vortexes and holy land. Many people travel to Sedona for healing and to evolve their consciousness. The red rocks contain minerals of copper and iron; both hold healing properties. Copper magnifies energy and opens up the chakras. And iron, like in our blood, creates balance in the body and mind.
I traveled with three other spiritual seekers: Sister Lucy is a Franciscan nun, Joe studied Shamanism in Peru, and Trina is a Vietnamese energy healer and medical interpreter. Our group theme for the trip: trust and let go. We trusted God to guide us.
What was I seeking? I was seeking spiritual transformation. My first transformation was at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This beautiful, little Catholic church was built in the red rocks. When I entered the chapel, I felt the presence of God. I could feel the energy of thousands of past visitors. As I sat on the simple wooden bench, I felt the mercy of God. The love and forgiveness of God swelled in my heart. God has mercy for all.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
My next transformation was at the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park. A stupa is a Buddhist shrine. The park holds a large wooden statue of Buddha, a medicine wheel, and two Stupa’s; one masculine and one feminine. As I walked the grounds, my heart opened up like never before. I could feel my heart chakra – it was turning and turning. I couldn’t help but to cry. I could feel every wound that I have ever experienced in my life. I was grieving and letting go at the same time. I was purging everything that no longer serves me.
I had to walk by myself to process my feelings. I walked down to a ravine. I sat and meditated. As I sat on the grass, I could feel spirits all around me. I was not alone. I am never alone.
After spending some time by myself, I joined the group. We walked the medicine wheel. I connected with the energy and sacredness of our group.
That evening (after visiting the Stupa), in my hotel room, I had an unusual experience. I was sleeping until a loud bang woke me up. The noise seemed to come from the wall. I thought maybe it was the pipes. Then I heard another noise near the bathroom. The noise was loud, and my body jumped when I heard it. Then I heard it, again, near the television. It was like energy was bouncing off the walls. The last bang that evening was two feet above my head near the headboard. I have never experienced anything like this before. I was scared. I had to breathe deeply and call on my guides.
I did not hear any banging noise during the rest of the trip. It is a mystery – I don’t know what was banging. I did feel challenged, and there is one lesson that I learned from this: I need a strong mind. I can develop a powerful mind through meditation and breathing exercises.
When I was on this trip, I thought a lot about relationships. It’s interesting that no matter where we are in life, our relationships come first before anything else. I remember hearing a story about a counselor who went to Haiti after the earthquake. She was there to help people process the tragedy but all the people wanted to talk about was their relationships.
At the end of the trip, I started to miss my husband. I realized that I have one person who cares about me and is there for me. Sedona has opened my eyes. I now see that I have taken my marriage for granted. I treasure my husband, and I want to become a more loving wife.
My next spiritual transformation was with a Native American guide. Joe, Trina, and I hired a Native American guide to talk about the land and lead us on a shamanic journey. We laid down on the warm, red rock as the Native American guide drummed for us. He told us to envision a bridge to a mountain. And when we got to the mountain, we would see a cave. He said that there was a bright light coming out of the cave, and inside the cave was a gift.
During my journey, I imagined a rope bridge that was partially invisible. When I arrived at the mountain, I saw the rock cave and a bright light coming out of it. I walked into the cave and saw a red, rectangle box on a table in the middle of the cave. I opened the box and a cosmic egg made of light surrounded me. This light balanced all of my chakras. Then I saw my wolf guide standing by the box. I asked the wolf his name. The wolf took his paw and wrote in the sand: SHIVA.
The Native American told me that it is a blessing to have the wolf as my guide. The wolf is a protector and leader. The wolf is good medicine.
Mitakuye Oaysis – All my relations
Now that I am home, I am still in spiritual transformation. My heart is still opening up, and I can feel the holy fire of love igniting in my heart. I need to let this fire warm up my whole being and allow myself to feel. As one Sedona resident said to me, “It’s okay to feel.”
I trust God. Even though there is heartbreak in life, there is also beauty. I ask myself, “What do I want to see?” I am the artist of my life. What am I going to paint?
Sedona is a sacred place, and the vortexes are real. This energy of the vortex spins the heart chakra open. There is no hiding in Sedona. This holy place wants you to feel – to your core.