Experience

Explore Sedona’s Best 5 Vortex Trails by ATV!

In his book, The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee describes the wonders of Sedona’s many vortex areas. Although he has explored these spectacular trails on foot, adventure lovers can now experience these amazing energy centers following a short ride on an ATV (all-terrain vehicle). The ATV can take you places you might not otherwise attain as you create a journey discovering the vortexes and energy of the land.

Sedona ATV Rental

But first, “What is a vortex?”

Vortex energy can be experienced strongly in Sedona, especially in certain areas. These areas are known for healing, calming, or energizing sensations which may be experienced when you visit. The staff at Vortex Healing ATV Rental, featured in this article, offers a free vortex energy orientation help visitors understand and feel vortex energy along with maps and helpful guides for meditation and energy self-healing.

Although there are many options to experience the energy of this land, here are 5 of the best vortex trails in the Sedona area which can be explored via ATV as well as on foot:

Schnebly Hill

Schnebly Hill: This lookout is one of my personal favorites. In fact, I once timed this just right and was able to see both the setting sun and the rising moon from our vantage point! The very rough dirt road ascends upward using one of the oldest original roads in Sedona and is great fun in an ATV.

Dry Creek Road

Dry Creek Road

Devil's Bridge

Devil’s Bridge

Dry Creek Road with hiking to Devil’s Bridge: If you’d like to combine a short ATV ride and some hiking, Dry Creek Road and Devil’s Bridge are a good choice.

Shaman's Cave

Shaman’s Cave: Ilchi Lee’s description of this beautiful vortex in The Call of Sedona is enough in itself to make you want to visit this amazing cave for quiet reflection and meditation. Shaman’s Cave is visited by Native Americans and spiritual teachers and leaders for inspiration.

Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain

Black Mountain

Black Mountain

Black Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain: A very exciting ride into the pristine countryside where you’ll enjoy unusual red rock formations and spectacular desert views as you change elevation.

Greasy Spoon

Greasy Spoon Trail: This trail offers a very bumpy, rugged drive as you traverse rocks and enjoy scenic views on your way to a truly amazing view of Secret Mountain. This one becomes more slippery and difficult when wet.

And here are a few practical tips for your Sedona adventure: Remember to dress appropriately, including hiking shoes, hats, sunglasses and layers of clothing that can be added or removed. Take along plenty of water. Take your camera to capture your impressions and your experience along the way!

Most of all please treat the land with respect as you visit Sedona’s sites. Travel in designated recreational areas and avoid doing damage to local plants. Never ever carve or damage rock faces and please, take only photos and leave only footprints on marked hiking trails. Never throw a cigarette butt from your vehicle and pack a small bag to contain your trash as you drive and hike to protect wildlife and help keep Sedona beautiful!

For more information and help with planning your adventure, visit Sedona Vortex Healing ATV Rental.

Lynn A. TrombettaBy Lynn A. Trombetta: A freelance writer on nature, creativity and wellness, Lynn is also a visual artist, professional flutist, recording artist, and published author.

Like Ilchi Lee, Retreat to Sedona to Find Yourself When You Are Feeling Lost

Ilchibuko Todd in Sedona AZ

Ilchibuko Todd has recently moved from the beautiful islands of Hawaii to Sedona to teach energy healing and to spread the message of love with more people. As the new director of the Sedona Meditation Center, Ilchibuko shares her thoughts on discovering new energy, direction, and vitality in Sedona.

LAT: Please share a bit about yourself, your passion and the work you do at the Sedona Meditation Center.
IT: I feel deeply connected to Sedona, especially since I experienced a big awakening at Sedona Mago Retreat. Since then, my main goal has been to share what I have experienced—a profound feeling of oneness with people and nature, and with the entire universe. I want others to experience that same awakening, so I do my best to bring that energy to them. My wish is that they will experience it themselves. That is my vision and my passion for every moment of my life!

LAT:Many people are drawn to Sedona Meditation center because they are seeking greater health and energy. How do you deliver these to them?
IT: An important part of my role here at Sedona Meditation Center is sharing important principles with members. The main principle I want them to realize is that they already have health existing inside of them and that their true self is already alive and well inside of them. What they have been looking for, what they want—all of that is already inside of them. Everything they seek is about their inner journey.

LAT: What tools or techniques are used to bring this message to the members of Sedona Meditation Center?
IT: I lead workshops, meet people individually, and guide them to meet their True Selves. Members, to me, are very, very precious, so for every single person who walks in here, I have the mindset that they are able to experience their True Selves. They might do that by going out to the trails around Sedona, or they might experience it in the classroom. Wherever they are, it is always the same for them—all they have is themselves. And they themselves are the only people who can make them change and grow. So, my job is to guide them to let them feel that for themselves.

LAT: Are people sometimes surprised to discover that what they’ve been searching for has always been inside, right there all along?
IT: Yes, definitely. Often they have been searching all their lives, so it can be a surprise. Some of them already have the mental knowledge that it exists inside, but they have never known how to access it. Other times, there are people who don’t necessarily feel the need of it. They might even feel like they already know, but in reality they have not truly experienced it. It’s all about awareness and consciousness and being open-minded about it in order to see the possibilities for oneself.

Even me, I have had many different awakenings, but I still don’t say I know everything. If I were to believe that, I can’t experience any more. The key for them is to remain open-minded so that, however awakened they might believe themselves to be, they can continue to deepen their awakening.

So, yes, it can be surprising that everything they want and need, everything they’ve been yearning for, already exists inside. Most people nowadays have some idea or knowledge that it exists. The problem is that they cannot believe it completely. Also, ideas and preconceptions about themselves can prevent them from really experiencing it. And that is what Brain Education, which we share at Sedona Meditation Center, is all about. It provides concrete steps toward the experience of meeting oneself. It helps people see potential that they didn’t see before.

LAT: Why is Sedona so important to you? What is it about Sedona that helps people on their inward journey?
IT: That’s a really good question, and it’s not easy to understand because it’s invisible. Anyone can see the beautiful red rocks and nature, but the power of Sedona is beyond that. It’s the sacred energy of it—something that’s indescribable, but that everybody can feel. With the special energy and the vibration Sedona provides, it’s easier here for people to open up and let go of all the business of life. Here they can more easily experience oneness with energy and with nature. Ultimately, you can do that anywhere, but because of the special nature of this place, it’s so much easier to do in Sedona.

LAT: Ilchibuko, how do you guide people who may be feeling lost on their search to find their True Self?
IT: It’s all about the internal journey, or, as we say, “being mindful.” But what does “being mindful” mean? It’s about being in the present moment. That sounds easy, but it can be very difficult during people’s busy daily lives, where they live every day according to busy work schedules and following the routines of life. When they come to Sedona, it’s easier to be in the present moment.

So how can people be in the present moment? It’s a matter of feeling one’s body, feeling one’s breath. In the center, people learn to utilize the five senses fully—smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing—through breath, and they take time to experience the energy of this place. Through their five senses, they can start connecting and feeling. Breath is an important aspect of that, too.

Also, slow walking is one of the types of meditations we do. Sometimes we take socks and shoes off because we have so many senses in our feet, and our feet are connected to our whole body. In particular, there is a special point in the foot, the Yong-chun in the middle area, that allows us to feel the energy of the Earth.

We also do slow moving meditation, called Dahnmu, or energy dance. And we do Qigong movement, too. Through these slow movements and connection to energy, we can gain awareness of our oneness with the energy of nature. As we do this, we can release old energy that we’ve been holding and receive new energy for healing and renewal. Release of emotions and reflection about the self then flows naturally from this.

In meditations, there are four key phrases for purification of the soul that we use: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” It may be easier to say one than to say others. Slowly, we can melt away all of the things we are holding on to. We can start the releasing and purification process. And that’s all about energy—receiving and releasing. That is the principle of Tao, and that’s what we teach.

LAT: So the journey of self-discovery is also about understanding of the way that energy flows—within ourselves and within all things.
IT: One thing that is unchanging is that everything is changing. So, if we try to hold on to something, we become blocked, and we become sick. Continuously letting that energy move is the only way to release old energy and old consciousness, and that is the only way to discover yourself.

LAT: In The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee writes about meditating in several special places around Sedona and about the feeling of oneness that arises through the energy of nature.
IT: We can also do meditations with the tree, the creek, the bright sun, the red rocks. There is so much that we can experience about ourselves through communication with nature. We can purify, and we can receive. We can discover some voice inside of us that continuously talks to us, a voice that was always there but we ignored. And it can start talking to us more. And we can hear that voice more. At that time, we can be touched by ourselves, and we can recover.

Whether in the classroom or outside with nature, how we guide people is the same. They can reconnect to the self they really are, and once awakened to that, it’s unchangeable. In other words, no one can “un-awaken.”

So people come here, and they change. As their awakened self, they go back home, and they see everything in a different light. That is our mission. There are so many visitors here, and although we want to help them all, that’s hard to do. Many are visitors to Sedona from all over the world. For them, it’s a gift that they can take back home.

LAT: What message would you most like to share with those who dream of coming to Sedona?
IT: If you dream of coming to Sedona, that means your soul is calling you to experience who you really are. Listen to your heart and come to Sedona. You’ll have the experience of a lifetime!

LAT: Thank you, Ilchibuko!

Lynn A. TrombettaBy Lynn A. Trombetta: A freelance writer on nature, creativity and wellness, Lynn is also a visual artist, professional flutist, recording artist, and published author.

5 Ways to Make Your Sedona Trip More Eco-friendly

Eco-friendly Tourism in Sedona, AZ

It is likely you have heard term “ecotourism” and are familiar with the phrase, “Take only pictures, and leave only footprints.” At the heart of the philosophy of ecotourism is a deep respect for the earth and a desire to protect and to keep it clean for all who share this beautiful planet. Whether you’re planning a Sedona vacation to see the red rocks, enjoy the sparkling creek waters, or visit a vortex and meditate among the crimson canyons, it’s the perfect place to practice traveling in an eco-friendly manner. Here are five practical tips on how to help preserve the stunning natural beauty of the area.

1. Conserve Water: Arizona is located in the Upper Sonoran Desert, which means awareness of water usage is always important. Help conserve local resources by consciously taking shorter showers and turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth and shaving.

2. Limit Your Energy Use: If you are renting a room in Sedona, turn off the lights, air conditioning, or heater and TV as you leave or whenever not in use. Reusing towels and linens for multiple days instead of having them changed daily is another way to help save both energy and water.

3. Reduce and Recycle: Many Sedona hotels and resorts offer recycling containers for the public. A little extra awareness can help keep recyclables out of landfills. Bring your own BPA-free water bottle to carry while hiking and refill from larger containers. Go all out and visit one of the local water stores to purchase reverse-osmosis, distilled water, or structured waters and refillable quality plastic hiking bottles. Return or recycle any pamphlets, newspapers, and magazines you collect along the way and consciously reduce the number of bags, cups and napkins you use at fast food restaurants.

Mnimize eco footprint

4. Leave only Footprints . . . and make sure those footprints are on marked hiking trails to avoid harming native flora! You can obtain free advice and maps from local stores that sell hiking gear and supplies, and guided tours are always a great option. Pack a small bag to contain your trash as you hike, and also consider picking up anything left by others along the way. This not only helps keep Sedona beautiful, but also protects wildlife from ingesting or becoming tangled in the trash as well.

Be mindful to use the hotel restroom or facilities at the trailheads before you depart. Dispose of sanitary waste properly and please, to avoid contaminating Sedona’s beautiful creek waters, never ever leave diapers or other waste along the trail or worse yet, place them in or near the creek’s edge.

5. Be a Traveler, Not a Tourist: Sedona has much to offer so take time to explore the region, visit the dynamic rock formations, and learn about the extraordinary diversity of plants, birds, and animals, including many rare species present here. At times, the area can be extremely dry, so be sure to light campfires only where permitted, extinguish them well before you leave, and never throw a cigarette butt from your car.

Sedona’s recreational areas and historic sites should be visited with the utmost reverence and respect. As Ilchi Lee states in The Call of Sedona, “Every land has a sacred mountain or a place of wonder where people gather, drawn by the extraordinary energy there . . . I have traveled to many places around the world . . . but I have yet to encounter a place that draws the heart as does Sedona.”

Love Sedona as if she is your own and leave her as you found her; a rare jewel indeed! Remember, consciously being an eco-friendly traveler and paying attention to how you travel helps conserve our beautiful planet for the enjoyment of generations to come.

For more information on how small changes in our behaviors as individuals can add up to big results for Earth, visit the Earth Citizens Organization’s website at earthcitizens.org.

Lynn A. TrombettaBy Lynn A. Trombetta: A freelance writer on nature, creativity and wellness, Lynn is also a visual artist, professional flutist, recording artist, and published author.

Slacklining the Canyons of Sedona: Calm Mind Prevails for Wilson Cutbirth

While others picnicked in Oak Creek Canyon, 23-year-old Wilson Cutbirth tightened the rigging on the a narrow, springy rope he had strung between two trees and settled into the grass with his laptop computer. We had just missed “the show,” when he traversed the line, but my curiosity was piqued. At my inquiry, he shared photos of himself, high above beautiful canyons, balanced on a line that spanned the width of each photo. I soon discovered that, driven like Ilchi Lee to experience some of the highest points of Sedona’s landscape, this young man has seen Sedona from a holistically different view. Here is the story of his exciting sport and how Wilson heard his own Call of Sedona.

Wilson Cutbirth Slacklining in Sedona

LT: Wilson, the photos you have shared are amazing! It’s difficult to imagine the breathtaking feeling of walking on a line over a canyon. Please tell us more about this fairly new extreme sport.

WC: Yes, it takes you to quite an unreal mental state! When I have the line lower to the ground it’s called Slacklining. So, Slacklining would be at ground level, like what you saw me doing at the park that day . . . . Highlining would refer more to rigging it, like the Slackline, but high off the ground.

LT: You do some outrageous climbing in addition to the Highlining. How did you get started?

WC: Highlining ties into a way to exhibit that adventurous lifestyle at a different level than climbing. I lived in Maui for 3 years after I graduated high school. I got into it there—just starting by rigging a little 50 foot long slackline [between native trees] on the beach in Hawaii, and then that grew bigger to rigging them high off the ground between valleys, enjoying the aesthetic features of the land. I was also doing it high&mash;like above waterfalls.

LT: What called you to Sedona?

WC: Since I grew up in Cornville, I knew the kind of aesthetics that are here in Sedona. Areas such as the Spires, and there are some different mountains and wild rock formations that exist around here that have perfect gaps between them to put a slackline between. They are uniquely different than anywhere else in the world. After doing it in Hawaii for a while I came back, moving into Oak Creek Canyon, to start Highlining in Sedona.

LT: When you are on the line, crossing a canyon, there’s no safety net, correct?

WC: No safety net. There’s a safety leash that attaches to you . . . a normal climbing harness with a 10 foot long leash. So if you fall, you fall 10 feet and then dangle on the line.

LT: Wow! So if you fall, you climb back up, work your way back up onto the line?

WC: Yes, stand back up on the line.

LT: Is this a really popular sport? How many people would you estimate are doing this?

WC: At this point, the population of actual Slackliners is very small compared to other extreme sports. It’s certainly growing, but it’s fairly new. It hasn’t been around for very long at all.

LT: Do you have a group that you go out with—where all of you are into doing this?

WC: Yes, I have friends, although not many local people, that I go out with. Since there is such a small community of Slackliners around the country, most of the people I do it with are from other states. We all meet in a specific location.

LT: What other locations, besides Sedona are popular for Highlining?

WC: Yosemite National Park is a popular one. Others are Moab, Utah and Smith Rock State Park in Oregon.

LT: So, what rock formations are your favorites for Highlining here in Sedona?

WC: Spires Canyon, but others too. You’re kind of looking for something that appeals to you—like two points you can go between that you’d just enjoy to be “in that space” with it.

Wilson Cutbirth highlining in Sedona AZ

LT: As if words could ever describe what it feels like to be poised high on a line, between two towering red rock formations overlooking Sedona’s magnificence, would you please tell us what it’s like?

WC: People generally assume that it’s an adrenaline based sport, but really it’s kind of the opposite. If you’re on [the] line and you get to the point where your adrenaline has kicked in, that’s the point where you lose concentration and then you fall.

It’s more of a meditative, very focused, very calm mind state. All the euphoria and adrenaline and all that, that all kicks in the moment you step off line on the other side of the gap you’re walking.

LT: Thank you, Wilson!

by Lynn A. Trombetta

Song of the Summer

blue jay

“In summer, the song sings itself.”
– William Carlos Williams

What a beautiful sentiment to wrap around a summer day! Arizona days are quite warm, and Sedona is no exception. Yet even when the desert sun, as Ilchi Lee says in The Call of Sedona, “has been scorching as though it would bleach the whole world,” the scene is alive with the “song” of nature.

Nature’s song is so full and so present that as quickly as you isolate the pleasure from this desert breeze or that exciting flicker of a blue jay’s wing, something new captures your attention. We are like children in a candy store—a delight at every turn!

As we settle in to the scene, quieting our mind and stilling our body, we become a part of the great beauty that surrounds us. Nothing has changed . . . this presence was always here, we just were going too fast in our mind to notice the gift of the moment!

And there is no greater time or place than this to ponder the idea of contrast. In the heat of summer, we can recall the cold of winter. In the brightness of day there is the darkness of shadow. In our most difficult times, there is the glimmer of hope.

The concept of contrast is good to remember as we soak in the beauty of a place, and recognize ourselves as part of the song.

By Lynn A. Trombetta

Trail of the Month: Chapel Trail

In his book, The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee devotes an entire chapter to the area of the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This chapter is titled, “The Land Where Prayer Comes Easily,” and he suggests visitors make time to see this Sedona landmark, which sits between two stunning red rock ridges.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

There is a moderate hiking trail that can be taken to explore this intriguing area. Known as the “Chapel Trail,” this rocky, narrow trail begins with the Little Horse Trail and is approximately 2.1 miles each way. Parking at the Chapel to hike is not permitted, but you can hike to the Chapel using the Little Horse Trailhead.

How to get to Little Horse Trailhead to connect with the Chapel Trail:

Beginning at the roundabout on Highway 179 known as the “Y” near Uptown Sedona, travel south on Highway 179 for approximately 3.6 miles (5.8 km) and turn left at the Little Horse Trail parking lot. Turn left here crossing northbound SR 179 to the parking area.

Check in at the trailhead signage. The Little Horse Trail connects to Chapel Trail. Follow the directions to begin your hike from the Little Horse Trailhead, which is lower and in the trees. After about 1.5 miles (2.4 km), you will intersect the Chapel Trail at the base of Twin Buttes. Stay alert to follow the trail. Soon you will see the Chapel of the Holy Cross in the distance.

The trail goes up a bit in elevation here and you can enjoy views of Cathedral Rock to the west and Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte to the south along the way. Enjoy the magnificent cliff faces of Twin Buttes to the right from this close vantage point. Stay on the high part of the trail, avoiding the gully. The trail ends at the lower parking lot of the chapel. The Chapel is usually open daily from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, although the hours may vary.

FAQs

  • Trail open year round.
  • Difficulty: Moderate. Rocky trail crosses small, usually dry washes. In cold weather there can be ice on the trail. Stay alert, you may find you are sharing the trail with trail bikers.
  • A Red Rock pass is mandatory.
  • Usage: Moderate to heavy but there is ample parking (as well as restroom facilities).
  • Elevation gain: Up to 300 feet
  • Length: about 2.4 miles each way
  • Facilities: yes
  • Dogs allowed on a leash.

Special Tips:

  • Hiking shoes or boots are recommended.
  • In springtime, the weather on the trail can be sunny and warm, or cold and blustery, so plan accordingly. In summer, this trail will be hot, so hike early.
  • This trail is not recommended for very small children. A walking stick is a nice way to stabilize your balance along the way, but is not necessary.
  • Always take plenty of water, especially in warmer weather, and possibly a snack, but please remember, “Leave no trace” and take what you brought along home with you.
  • Take your camera and binoculars to capture the views.
  • Parking: Early in the morning is a good time to avoid the rush and a full parking lot, especially on weekends and holidays.
  • Don’t hike alone and let others know where you’re headed – just in case!

Canyon Fire – A Reminder of Impermanence

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
Rachel Carson, American biologist and writer

Slide Fire

We citizens stand by, nearly helpless, as fire burns in the canyons and forests of Sedona, the land that Ilchi Lee so lovingly speaks of in The Call of Sedona. In fact, it is Oak Creek Canyon where he suggests a contemplative “Water-Sound Self-Healing Meditation” in his book.

So now these canyon lands will offer another kind of contemplation: one that inspires us to share healing energy with the earth, the water, the birds and animals, the humans, and the air that are all affected by the fire.

And perhaps, the fire will offer a contemplation of the impermanence of things as well: We can drive by a place a hundred times, believing it has always been there, and will always be there, just as it is. But impermanence is our constant companion as we travel through life, and any perceived loss can serve as a reminder to look with eyes that “see” and to feel gratitude for all that life on this beautiful planet offers.

In these contemplations, and during this time of dismay, may we each find the “reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”

By Lynn A. Trombetta

Trail of the Month: An Easy Walk in Any Weather – Lower Chimney Rock Trail

Here’s an easy hike that’s a favorite walking trail of local area residents. Just 45 minutes round trip, Lower Chimney Rock Trail is close to town and can be enjoyed for a good walk in nearly any type of weather. Not a lot of great views here, but a pleasant trail that affords an up close look at Chimney Rock and Thunder Mountain.

Area-of-Lower-Chimney-Rock-Trail-1-web

This trail is designated on a map to be found in the parking area when you arrive. Follow the main trail and when you reach the trail junction at 0.1 miles (0.16 km), go straight. (The adjoining trail to the right is the Thunder Mountain Trail.)

Area-of-Lower-Chimney-Rock-Trail-2-web

At the top of a little pass, 0.35 miles (0.56 km), you will reach a second trail junction which overlooks homes in the Dry Creek Road area. You’ll be traveling a pass that is a saddle between Little Sugarloaf on the left and Chimney Rock to the right. At this junction, the Chimney Rock Loop Trail heads off to the right, while the ‘Lower Chimney Rock Trail continues straight ahead, down the north side of the ridge into a flat area below.

As you descend, the impressive Chimney Rock comes into view. To your right is Thunder Mountain. This large butte has also been known as Grey Mountain, Capitol Butte, and Shadow Mountain. (After you leave the area, you may be able to pick out Thunder Mountain from different locations around Sedona, since its greyish coloration and sheer size stands out against the red rocks.) Just ahead and slightly to the right you will see another well-known landmark, Lizard Head, in the white-colored layers.

Area-of-Lower-Chimney-Rock-Trail-3-web

Once on the valley floor, you will be walking through a juniper forest. To your left is Dry Creek Road, which the trail will angle toward. At 0.6 miles (1.0 km), the trail turns left. At 0.75 miles (1.2 km), you’ll come to a trail junction. Ignore the one on the right (a private drive), and take the left fork.
As you proceed around the west and south faces of Little Sugarloaf, at 1.5 miles (2.4 km) you return to the parking lot.

How to Get to Lower Chimney Rock Trail
Beginning at the roundabout in Highway 179 known as the “Y” near Uptown Sedona, travel southwest on Highway 89A toward Cottonwood for 3.2 miles (5.1 km) to Dry Creek Road. Turn right and proceed to Thunder Mountain Road, at 3.78miles (5.9 km). Turn right on Thunder Mountain Road and drive 0.6 miles (0.96 km) and turn left into the parking lot. (Total driving distance is 4.3 miles (6.9 km). Total travel time is 10 minutes from the “Y”.)

FAQs

  • Open year round. Good all-weather hike.
  • Difficulty: Easy, pleasant walking trail, but it can be hot at midday, especially during the summer.
  • Usage: Light to moderate
  • Elevation gain: 50 feet
  • Length: Approximately 1.5 mi each way
  • Dogs allowed on a leash.

Special Tips:

  • Hiking shoes or boots and hats are recommended.
  • This trail is recommended for older children.
  • Always take plenty of water, especially in warmer weather, and possibly a snack, but please remember, “Leave no trace” and take what you brought along home with you.
  • Take your camera to capture the views.
  • Parking: Just a short drive in from the Thunder Mountain Trailhead Sign.
  • Don’t hike alone and let others know where you’re headed—just in case! Remember, the responsibility for good health and safety while hiking is yours!

Nature Shares Her Pure Potentiality

By L.A. Trombetta

“To see things in the seed, that is genius.” – Lao Tzu

How often does our ego mind try to rush us and make us impatient with “what is?” Nature doesn’t rush! As we gaze out over the landscape of our lives with an eye toward the lessons that Nature has to offer, we develop awareness that we have within us the seeds to recognize the pure potentiality of each and every moment.

This is the antidote to our harried lives! Break away to spend time outdoors and let the stress melt away, allowing the soul nourishment to fill your senses. In The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee commented, “With the help of Sedona’s energy, we have a meeting with ourselves in a state where our various defensive walls surrounding us have come down.”

Call-of-Sedona_dandelion_blogpost_20140131

It is in these moments that we clear our vision enough to see the potential of things early on. Whether that potential is in someone or something, although not yet realized, this is the first step on a path that leads us to bring it to our reality.

Although we cannot know the future, we can understand how our thoughts and actions are energy that travels outward, like ripples on a pond. And how, at the center of these ripples are our thoughts, the seeds for our future. To sit quietly in the center of this knowledge, and listen to our soul’s own knowing is another kind of seed that will grow and flourish within.

[Trail of the Month] The Famous Bell Rock Offers a Friendly Experience of Sedona’s Red Rocks!

By L.A. Trombetta

If you’ve read Ilchi Lee’s The Call of Sedona, you are already familiar with his impressions of Bell Rock. Here’s an easy hike that will allow you to experience the magnificence of the area as you work your way up on any one of its numerous trails. Parking for this hike is right off Highway 179, and you’ll be up on the north face of Bell Rock in no time enjoying panoramic views and possibly even a little vortex power!

Ilchi Lee - Bell rock

A View from Bell Rock (Photo by L.A. Trombetta)

This area can seem busy, as it is very popular with visitors, but it’s not difficult to find you own trail and enjoy a peaceful experience in spite of any crowds. Wind your away around the formation at almost any elevation of this sunny and warm trail and you’ll easily experience the feel of the red rocks of Sedona in a way you’ll never forget. How far up you’ll go is up to you, but be sure to look out over the spectacular views as you go and watch for medicine wheels and other artifacts left by others along the path. Going all the way to the top is not recommended unless you are quite experienced and equipped. Bell Rock’s conical slopes and ledges seem to offer steps in places and there are plenty of spots along the way that will call to you to pause and reflect or meditate as the energy of the place soaks into your soul!

How to Get to Bell Rock – North Face:

Beginning at the roundabout in Highway 179 known as the “Y” near Uptown Sedona, go south on Highway 179 for approximately 5.2 miles to the left turn out that crosses oncoming traffic and leads you into the parking area. Once parked, gather your gear and head south toward the large bell-shaped rock to begin the moderate climb up Bell Rock where you’ll find wonderful views and great spots for photos!

FAQs

  • Open year round.
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate.
  • A Red Rock pass is mandatory, especially since this is a heavily used area.
  • Usage: Moderate to Heavy and finding a parking spot at the trailhead can be difficult.
  • Elevation gain: Up to 430 feet.
  • Length: about 1 mile<./li>

  • Hiking time: Up to about 45 minutes one way.
  • Facilities: none.
  • Dogs allowed on a leash.

Special Tips:

  • Hiking shoes or boots are recommended.
  • This trail is not recommended for very small children. A walking stick is a nice way to stabilize your balance along the way, but is not necessary.
  • If you have a fear of heights, enjoy the lower areas of Bell Rock.
  • Always take plenty of water, especially in warmer weather, and possibly a snack, but please remember, “Leave no trace” and take what you brought along home with you.
  • Take your camera and binoculars to capture the views.
  • Parking: Early in the morning is a good time to avoid the rush and a full parking lot, especially on weekends and holidays.
  • Don’t hike alone and let others know where you’re headed—just in case!