A Sacred Celtic Journey (Part 1): Ireland

Sacred Celtic Journey: Ireland

Thursday June 27

My husband (who had not flown in over 20 years due to experiencing a near crash in Reno) and I departed on a night flight out of Orlando, Florida for a life-affirming, adventurous 18 day spiritual vacation to the British Isles. This was quite the big deal for us, since it was also my first 2 week vacation from work in 40 years! For more on what prompted me to take this trip, and why my husband went–click [placeholder for link to come later].

But I digress for a moment. Prior to the sacred sites package part of our trip beginning, we arrived in Dublin, Ireland on Friday, June 28 to have a free day exploring Dublin city centre and prepare for a full day Game of Thrones tour on Saturday.

Our GoT tour did not disappoint! It was amazing! Our tour guide, Eric, had been an extra on the show for 8 seasons and totally knew his stuff. He gave us inside information about the show, behind-the-scenes, making of, the locations, and much more! He brought every location to life! He brought 8.5 x 11 inch laminated photos for us all to link the locations to scenes from the show to give us a point of reference, and to enable us to relive our tour whenever we rewatched the show! Excellent!

We had not expected it to be so physical, but we walked and hiked over 14,000 steps (equating to about 7 miles) over hilly terrain. We were pleased that we had the stamina to do it though, as it was quite the extraordinary experience! For more specifics on that day tour–click [placeholder for link to come later].

Our Sacred Celtic Journey tour included:

  • 12 night’s accommodations; we tacked on additional nights (before and after) to really make the most of it. Ultimately, we were so glad we did!
  • Transportation to/from airports and hotels to magnificent sites
  • Several meals with our group
  • Entry fees to parks and exhibits

Locations / Itinerary of our Sacred Celtic Journey:

Sunday, June 30

In Dublin, we visited St. Stephen’s Green and attended the opening ceremony “get-to-know-you” meeting with our group at a covered pavilion in this lovely city park. After hearing everyone’s intro stories and reasons for being on this trip, I resonated with unbounded JOY!

We stopped by this bench, the story of which I knew nothing about, held hands and said prayers for the historical women who had been so maligned and mistreated.

We walked through the city to an Irish pub for lunch–The Bankers Bar, where a sweetheart of a guy sang an Irish song to Susan when she ordered the Irish coffee, and Patricia (Patricia McGivern, certified hypnotist, author, and speaker and amazing leader of this tour) joined our table to hear Richard talk about UFOs.

Next, it was off to Trinity college to see the Book of Kells.

I was in awe of the whole place and had so been looking forward to this! However, the book was nice, but not as stupendous as I had expected. And similar to Disney, when you exit downstairs, you can’t leave without going through the gift shop. I made a mental note to look online later for souvenirs.

Don’t get me wrong, I was totally enthralled with the upstairs library and was told that students of Trinity college could check out books from it. Some of these books are worth a lot and are hidden!

After leaving the Book of Kells, our group walked through Dublin to dinner, seeing many sights such as the Ha’Penny bridge and taking photos along the way.

We dined with our group (well, part of our group) at another Bankers restaurant (not related to the lunch place), The Bank on College Green, which was fine dining and gorgeous. We sat in separate rooms (it’s not always easy to get 15 people seated together) and made the most of it by playing “table wars” with the other members of our group that weren’t seated near us.

It was a blast and our servers had a lot of fun taking part in that with us too! 😉

This light and fluffy strawberry cheesecake and sorbet dessert was like none I’d experienced before! Not too sugary. Yum!

This particular evening, we stayed at the lovely Trinity City Hotel. Note: Before our group had all arrived, my husband and I stayed at the modern Gibson hotel, which was a luxurious treat! (More about that on the next post.)

After dinner, a few of us met outside the hotel bar and heard lots of stories from an Irish tour guide, Amon (who was Scottish and not one of our guides), whom Pharon had met at the lobby elevator. He was lively and we all enjoyed his company. I kept looking up at the skylight because it was so light out at 10:30pm!

Monday, July 1

The next day we met Tony Corcoran, our tour bus guide and driver (of Wild Irish Tours), who took us to Westmead to meet a local named, Marty, who would give us all the ins and outs about Uisneach.

Uisneach, known to many as the spiritual center of ancient Ireland, was grand and magnificent. With soft grass, cows, and spectacular views of the countryside, it was even more spectacular to have it all to ourselves for a few hours.

At Usineach we walked many hilly acres, while Marty told us stories about the land and the annual Bealtaine Fire Celebration that occurs here.

I felt a heavy energy when I approached the circle where British soldiers had placed a stone marker. I acknowledged the powerful energy and when I walked away, it dissipated. On our way to the Catstone (a huge rock that not every visitor is allowed to see), my husband and I held back from the group a bit and spent some time with the trees, stones, and land. I loved the stones buried in the earth, the lush windswept grass, and the large clover.

At the Catstone, my first thought was, “I am watching you, rock. Don’t you move, rock.” from one of our favorite shorts, Dug’s Special Mission from the Pixar movie, Up. Mostly, I fondly admired the daisies growing up and out of the Catstone like hair. 😉

To help show the immensity of the Catstone, I’ll include a picture of our group:

While walking, Tony had told us a friend of his had died the night before and I expressed my sympathy and told him about my dad. As we walked together, I talked about the 200 acres my dad’s father had farmed in West Virginia and how this place reminded me of it. He patted me on my back and expressed his sympathy for me. Is that what Connection is all about?

Oh, and I had a “conversation” with the happy cows we saw. I felt connected with them too!

During the time I walked the lands of Uisneach, I thought of my family (my uncle Jim because he’s a woodworker, and my first cousin Greg because he’d love this place for the annual festival they hold and the cool vibe), and I took some pictures for them.

After leaving Uisneach, Tony knew of this aWEsOMe place for lunch called, Red Earth. It was a delicious food stop and store, where grabbed some snacks too! I loved it as much for their mouth-watering food, as I did for their butterfly logo! 🦋

I had the vegetarian green curry, which was the best I’d ever had!

And yes, I had to snap a quick selfie. LOL

And my husband really enjoyed his tantalizing burger too!

After an enjoyable lunch, it was on to Loughcrew. Since, for us, it was the second day (after our 7 mile GoT hike on Saturday, and our 10,000+ step day on Sunday) and the day our legs were the most sore, Richard and I stayed behind at the cafe while the group hiked to the stones. We shopped a bit, read about the place, and enjoyed carrot cake, coffee, and wine at the splendid Loughcrew cafe.

I was happy to have a break from the walking and realign my energy with a glass of delicious dry red wine. The name of it started with a U, something like “Undone” or “Unbroken” and it was from Chile.

I loved our group, especially Patricia, our fearless leader and organizer. She really had put together a most spectacular journey for us. And this was just the first of three countries! For me though, a spiritual journey means peace, quiet, slow, and time to “just BE.” And I was happy that Patricia encouraged us right from the get-go, to take care of our bodies. NOTE: From my NOW perspective, I understand why sometimes a spiritual journey must be a pilgrimage. Ahh, learning all the time!

Later on, Tony drove our group to the town of Kells, where we stayed one night. Kells is said to be the place (at the Kells monastery) that the monks kept the Book of Kells hidden and safe (during times of raids and wars). Tony told us a bit more about that and suggested we walk back up to the monastery (that we rode past) from our hotel, but hubby and I were too tired.

A nice thing about being in a group is that if you miss something, like the High Crosses, someone else will take a picture or video. I took tons of little videos on our trip because we really did see a lot!

In Kells, we stayed at the Headfort Arms hotel. It was a nice place, but the bathtubs have a very narrow bottom (they kind of slope inwards) under the showerhead. Perhaps they were made more for soaking than showering. And I don’t mean to complain, as overall, it was lovely. 

We ate dinner together as a group and talked a lot! Getting to know everyone in our group was one of the best parts of traveling this way! One of the coolest parts was learning of new shows and books to dig into. I was amazed how we all came together for this journey from so many different traditions (directions).

Tuesday, July 2

We visited Knowth and Newgrange, and both are noted to be older than Stonehenge & the Egyptian pyramids! Newgrange was the place of the blue light and spiral stone carvings that had magnetized me to take this tour!

Knowth was really amazing! The size of the mounds, as well as the number of them, really surprised me. The views from here were also grand. We could see Newgrange from Knowth.

We got to go inside and explore the megalithic tombs at Newgrange–they wouldn’t let people in the tomb at Knowth anymore. It’s sad and frustrating that some people carve or mark these ancient artifacts and ruin it for those who come later.

I FELT the Energy at Knowth. It was palpable! And I sensed a strong connection both for my mom and myself here when I saw the small white stones that looked so much like the Georgia white marble stones my mother just had to have in the home she and my dad built in West Virginia in the 1970s.

The construction of the mound at Newgrange was different than the mounds at Knowth. But many of the carvings were similar. Plus, we got to go inside the mound at Newgrange and experience a short light show (which simulated the sun coming through) and historical talk. Photos were not allowed inside though.

Later that day, we went to the Hill of Tara to visit its Stone of Destiny. Another bit of a hike, but we all wanted to see it.

Tony told us amazing Irish folk stories (that are passed down verbally within families) while we sat near a special healing tree at the Hill of Tara. I was moved to tears while he told a story about a midwife that had been told to children to scare them away from digging under the tree. It was so multifaceted and layered that it touched my heart deeply and I felt cleansed and wiped out afterwards.

Synchronistically, as Tony was telling the story a young girl walked behind him (like a scene out of a movie) and I thought of my granddaughter, Jennifer, and how intricately interwoven our lives are.

Before we left, Tony also told my husband, myself, and John, an amazing story about his Keyes/Keays lineage, and also about bog Myrtle (which calms nerves and can be put on skin to clear acne). We loved all the wisdom stories we heard and soaked it in. 

Afterwards, Tony (of Wild Irish Tours) drove us to Glendalough in the Wicklow mountains and told us about the trail across the street from the hotel. Our group said our thanks and goodbyes to Tony and he was on his way. We felt very privileged to have met him and hope to see him and meet his wife when they travel to Florida.

We experienced gentle healing, emotional support, and peace in Glendalough our entire stay. And we genuinely loved the Glendalough hotel–our room was lovely with a view of the beautiful grounds, the restaurant was fantastic, and the bar was comfortable and fun!

We spent two nights here, but felt we could have stayed 4 or 5 days, as it was that important and special.

From our hotel room window, I watched this hawk! And I fell in love with these trees.

I walked the labyrinth and spotted a family of deer. I experienced an emotional healing at St. Kevin’s well and was stung by stinging nettle. Synchronicities being as they are, stinging nettle tea is very good for the lungs and I had been drinking it for about a year, since visiting my girls in New Hampshire!

Wednesday, July 3

While in Glendalough we had our first of three past life group regressions with Patricia. Plus, Patricia had arranged for our group to meet and learn about the softness of Celtic Spirituality from Mary Meighan. And Mary was exceptional. We all wanted to bring her home with us!

Celtic Spirituality, as turns out, was an outgrowth of Paganism (though not the same, and not what we expected). We learned the history of Brigid, the softness and gentleness of Celtic Spirituality, and that it’s all about an invitation to walk the “tread easy upon the earth” path–giving more than taking, versus a hell and damnation fear-based faith.

Before Mary left, she gave us an Irish blessing and taught us an easy chant. And we all took turns holding and connecting with her ancient carving of Brigid, as shown next.

 

My past life regression–Glendalough

If you haven’t had a past life regression, the following may seem outlandish to you. But this was only one of a series I’ve experienced with Patricia, and she’s masterful. Even if you don’t believe in reincarnation, think of it as a creative writing exercise. You breathe and allow your mind to flow along with Patricia’s words and become deeply relaxed. I won’t explain it away though, as for me, it is a profoundly personal and metaphysical experience. And even if you’re “making it all up”, what’s the impetus for it?

I was already in a meditative state upon sitting to begin our group regression. My field of vision (with my eyes closed) had become filled with the indigo and cobalt blue color (which has been a thing for me since my first one-on-one regression). However, before we actually got started, one of our group, Dave, asked if we could go around the room and offer comments about our experiences thus far. I could have nudged him, as he was sitting beside me, but in the state I was in, I easily let that all go. And by the time three or four had spoken, someone (I later learned it was Trudy), shared something that sent gentle tears flowing freely down my cheeks. John shared, and then Carol. Carol’s father had passed and her emotions were raw. I don’t remember the exact words she said, but they resonated thoroughly within me. When it was my turn, still from a meditative state, I offered words that both Carol and Trudy told me later were healing for them. I don’t know what I said, but I remember the whole feeling of thanks that reverberated through me. I was in utter Gratitude for life, and for this TIME.

As Patricia started the regression, my conscious mind followed Patricia’s voice, and now in a deeply relaxed state, I looked for my feet. But, I didn’t have any! I was a sea creature with an eel-like tail (instead of feet), a long thin body and long angular face. But the best part? I had these brightly colored, cellular deep, spinning, “all-the-way-through my translucent body” chakras, (but I had just watched Aquaman on the flight over, so one might say my subconscious picked up cues from it). However, I watched Aquaman again, after we got home, and no, what I saw was much grander and more detailed than what the creatures looked like in that movie.

As this underwater creature, I wasn’t able to cry, and it was made known to me (in my regression) that is why I had came back as a human. You see, underwater you can’t feel tears against your skin. For work, I was sitting in a field of labradorite stones! And in my real current life, I love those stones! They had a kind of hieroglyphic type of carving on them. But, I’ll share more about why this is important in a later post. Stay tuned!

After our group experience inside the hotel conference room, we went outside to the well and healing tree. I tied a blade of greenery to the tree in memory of my dad (who passed away in March of this year). Mary told me to ask my grandmother (spiritually) to comfort me both for that and the nettles sting. And she did!

Thursday, July 4

I woke up at 5:30am and by 6:45am, I was hiking alone on Wicklow Way (across from the hotel). This is where I fortuitously saw a deer family. The baby even tried to nurse, but mama deer saw me and nudged her away–or she was weaning it. Nonetheless, I felt quite special witnessing this family of three, and before I left, another deer appeared also. Then in a flash, they ran off through the thicket. I thought of my mom, dad, and me. Because this was a family of three, just as we had been. And I remembered my dad telling me in recent years, how he couldn’t shoot deer anymore. He’d been a deer hunter most of his life (skilled with both bow and arrow and rifle). He told me that he could see the natural beauty in them. I knew he had a soft spot for them because as a teen he’d shared that he couldn’t eat the venison of deer he’d killed and cleaned.

I loved the purple flowers, which Beverly told me were foxglove (a type of digitalis). I also loved the ferns, thatched roofs, moss, and stone walls (some with little faerie holes in them).

I also meandered through the cemetery. I went back to the room to get hubby for breakfast and after that, we walked through the cemetery again and to the lake.

We departed at 11am for the Dublin airport to fly to Bristol, England. Stay tuned for my next two posts about that. I have so many pictures to share. And you will be stunned by our pictures and experiences of Stonehenge (inside the stones)!!!

“Whenever a knight of the Grail tried to follow a path made by someone else, he went altogether astray. Where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s footsteps. Each of us has to find his own way, and this is what gives our Occidental world its initiative and creative quality. Nobody can give you a mythology. The images that mean something to you, you’ll find in your dreams, in your visions, in your actions – and you’ll find out what they are after you’ve passed them.” — Joseph Campbell

An enchanting soul retreat in Sedona Arizona: Journey Into Self

Soul retreat in Sedona, Arizona

At least once in your life, take a vacation to nourish and soothe your soul! That’s what I did, and what this blog post is about… that which I will forever call my “soul retreat.”

When I first got the email from Alania Starhawk that she and Patricia McGivern were planning a “Journey Into Self” retreat in Sedona Arizona, I didn’t know if I could get the time off work, find the extra money to pay for it, or even, what my husband would say (as I’ve never taken a vacation “just for me” before)… But above all else, I KNEW that my SOUL wanted to go!!!

How did I know?

History

I had been to Sedona only for a few hours, 26 years ago with a few girls from my Speech class in college. We had been in Prescott Arizona, not far from Sedona, to put on a play at another campus of my university.

sheila preparing for ERAU play 1990.jpgsheila and girls day out driving during 1990 AZ trip.jpg

Having had some free time one day all those years ago, a couple of us girls decided to drive our rental car from Prescott to Jerome and Sedona.

On that drive, we had stopped at a little old roadside bookstore where I met an precious elder Native American Indian man. I fell in love with the Indian history he began telling me about, and all the books in that store. But because I was with other girls, and we were short on time, I politely told him I’d have to go. However, then I said three little words that have haunted me for years. I told him, “I’ll be back.”

While I never forgot those words, considering them as important as a promise, life got in the way, family vacations, reunions, and work trips, so for many years Sedona had to stay on the back burner. Although, Sedona was always calling me.

Invitation

So, the particular morning I received Alania’s email invitation, I wanted to leap to my feet! My soul resonated with such vibrancy at the very thought that I could travel back to the enchanting land of Sedona… my intentions roared and I knew I had to go–no matter what!

Logistically, it would mean that I would have to get on a plane, perhaps two, because it’s quite a distance from where I live to get to Sedona and the airfare was not included in the retreat fee. And then, there would be all the explaining I would need to do, as no one in my family had ever even heard me talk about taking a vacation on my own. Plus, I’d have to take time off from work, and the date the trip began on was an important calendar date for my family also!

Normally on this particular date, I’d be in New Hampshire visiting my beautiful daughter and wonderful granddaughter for my granddaughter’s birthday. But in a flash I realized that blessedly this year my daughter’s father and his wife were going to visit our girls in New Hampshire. So, MY schedule was FREE! Wow!!! What perfect alignment! I began to become aware that destiny was calling…

And so it was. I kept my promise. I went back to Sedona. Boy, did I go back!!

The drive

miles-of-cactus

Even the drive from Phoenix to Sedona had it share of sights! I was curious about the cacti (plural for cactus) that we were seeing along the highway. I was told that many of these cacti were over one hundred years of age! Because it takes at least one hundred years for one to produce an “arm.” Though I was riding in a car with several other ladies, I managed to grab a few pictures of these intriguing plants.

I must say that I had the opportunity to buy a new camera before going on this trip, but I chose not to because I didn’t want “taking photos” to get in the way of my experiences in Sedona. Lesson learned! I took pictures anyway and they would have been so much better had I bought the iPhone 7 Plus that I’d wanted. Oh well! At least I wasn’t worried at all about dropping my old iPhone down a crevasse!

Hiking

For five days, I hiked, breathed in the amazing cool dry air of Sedona, touched many rocks along a variety of hiking paths, hung out with like-minded ladies for spectacular sunsets, dined in exceptional restaurants, and immersed my soul in a deep and expansive process! My heart seemed to grow larger and open more to the world with each passing day! My “sisters” for the retreat seemed to teach me something every day! While my feet were totally grounded, my head and heart would fly along with the puffiest of clouds in the sky… dancing in the heightened energies I was feeling and “knowing.”

Our journey took us to many of the major energy vortices ~ including Airport Mesa, Boynton Canyon, Buddha Beach, Cathedral Rock, and Dry Creek Canyon. Sedona impressed us all! I hiked up five mountains in five days and the energy was running high to be sure! I only left thinking of perhaps two things I had not done while in Sedona, but I had been part of so much, and had written much more in my journal, and talked with so many of the gals in our group–yes, even on deep subjects–that in no way was I feeling disappointed.

Airport Mesa

The dirt was so red here at Airport Mesa–it took my breath away! I couldn’t quit looking at it, even as I climbed. And this was my first climb, just hours after getting off the plane in Phoenix Arizona!

look-at-the-red-dirt

Our group spread out and some of us sang, played shakers, rattles, and drums. Many of us went our own way for awhile, then regathered up the mountain a little way, for Divine Blessing, and more singing, etc.

The view with the rain in the distance was exhilarating! Sedona even gifted us with our own Sacred Sedona Sisters rainbow!

our-rainbowim-hiking

airport-mesa

a-magical-energy-tree

Sunset seemed to be the very best time that we could have climbed and sat in the glory of Airport Mesa! I would come to learn that every time I took my eyes of the red rocks even for a moment, as the sun would deepen in the sky, the colors of the rocks would mystically change, blazing ever so many new hues and shades!

red-orbs-native-american-spirits-here

Note the red orbs in the picture of the sunset that I happened to grab. Ancestors, ancestors, we are calling! Come, come, come.

The artist in me was perplexed in trying to capture just a small portion of this bewitching magnificence with my mere old silly iPhone! Haha!

As is usual for me, my thoughts turn to our Divine Source… and I thought, this must be akin to what God thinks of us… we’re each so immense and powerful, yet we can only see such a fraction of our extraordinary essence! Ohh, we are but fractals of the light of the Divine–yes?

life-always-finds-a-way

During one of my moments of just “be-ing” I looked down and noticed this small plant growing inexplicably, on its own, in between rocks! I thought, “life always finds a way” and truly, life does! When at times we wonder where a plant like this little guy would get its nourishment from, ah, there it is anyway, just being it, doing it, amazing us. Isn’t it fascinating? How that happens I mean?

This little plant has no seemingly apparent means of life support, yet, here it is anyway! Brilliant! And we get to live on a planet like this! So nurturing, even in the subtle ways when we cannot or choose not to see all the invisible means of support that it gives to us all! Ahh!

Also, as a writer, I see that the word “plant” is contained within the word “planet”… hehe, my mind is dazzled by the way our English words are put together!

Boynton Canyon

climbing-boynton-b

This was the site where I climbed the highest. However, once I got almost to the top, I suddenly realized, whoa there Betsy! What the heck did I think I was doing?!? Uncannily (and Blessed Be) I made it to the top and was totally energized!!

I met several people on my hike also. One man in particular told me to repeat the words to myself, “feet like glue” and that actually did help me, especially on my way back down!

Another gentlemen told me exactly where to walk near the twisted Energy tree, and point my dowsing rods near it for a fascinating experience.

sheila-dowsing-by-energy-tree

I could see the energy whirl one of my dowsing rods a full 360 degrees spin! Over and over again! It was mesmerizing!!

The tree is turned and twisted, supposedly, due to the amount of energy it receives.

I was having so much fun up here! I was certainly “in the moment” experiencing Energy as never before! At one point I remember noticing that I hadn’t had any vertigo during this climb, and I must say that I was shocked to realize that! As I had climbed Airport Mesa the day before, I had gotten near the top and suddenly realized there would be nothing stopping me if I fell, so I sat down and just “enjoyed”–and that’s when I had taken a lot of pictures, sang, and shook the rattle.

It seems to me that when I am caught up in a moment of JOY that I do not even consider any of my so-called “limitations.” Is that true for everyone? If so, then, I say, let’s stay caught up in our joyful moments, yes?

Know this: Joy is our natural state of be-ing.

We’re so drawn to be in JOY!

Joy is why we love hanging out with our children! They show us that in nearly every moment–well, after their immediate needs are taken care of, like food, liquid, warmth, and so on.

the-energy-tree-and-the-hanging-rock-that-i-was-mesmerized-by

Here’s another picture (from my friend Carolyn) of what I guess is the “secret” rock atop Boynton Canyon. It so mesmerized me because of the way it just sort of hung there!

Speaking of being mesmerized, every where you look while hiking the Sedona red rock trails, you can find a way to be in awe of nature! From the way the light dances on the rocks, to where and how the plants grow, to the variety of foliage, and how the air is just filled with a certain sense of peace!

Even when it drizzled the rain there, I noticed the air still felt dry. An odd dichotomy!

Zen Den space

Our little group of fifteen soul sisters went to this place, sort of a little community meeting space primarily made up of one large room, where groups could rent it and meet for yoga, meditation, or the like. We had two sessions here during our five day retreat. Here is a link to Zen Den.

Here, we had time for meditation, conversation, and a guided regression session. While technically speaking, our guided “regression” session is called a past life regression, some may choose to see it as exactly that (if they believe in reincarnation), while others may choose to see it as a reconnection with one’s soul, DNA, ancestral visitation, or in many other ways.

Zen house.JPG

Since, as you know by now about me, if you’ve been reading my posts, I do not limit the Divine (God, Universal intelligence, life force, Energy, All that Is) at all, so I get into, or love to play with and in, anything that brings me into conscious unity with God. We are to live life fully and abundantly and this is just one of the myriad of ways of living that I find appealing and resonating with my spirit and soul.

We had two regressions with Patricia here, inside, and though I will write in another post about my experiences during the sessions, I will tell you, and show you, what I saw when I stepped outside of the Zen house… it knocked my socks off! Hello wizard Merlin!

wizard-in-the-rocks

Just in case you couldn’t see him, here’s a zoom of a close-up!

wizard-in-the-rocks-closeup

And the following is a drawing (by my husband) of a wizard that I thought was appropriate.

wizard drawing by Richard

This was the tranquil Zen garden labyrinth (I am in the middle) where some of us chose to get our walking meditation in… ahhh!

walking-the-zen

Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park

Look at the  top of the smaller of the two Stupas. Oh, it looked just like an angel on top of a Christmas tree!

stupa1

It was certainly true for me that once I stepped foot on the land at Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park, my mind quieted down quickly, and a holy reverence lit upon me, much as it had years ago when I would enter a church building. But out in nature, this was the very essence of “church” that I have always known exists, and I’ve hinted about in previous posts (that we do not need buildings in which to “hold church”, but that we have our own body temple for this purpose–no other “things” are required in order to pray, meditate, worship, etc.) and I had quite a knowing of this truth, being in this park.

my-deep-abiding-love-and-sadness-for-all-the-worlds-religionsThe deeply moving “religious” zone I was in, fell on me quite profoundly as I walked three times around each of the Stupas (as it is suggested you do when you visit–there are informative kiosks that explain it). I am also sure that I will continue to write about my thoughts on this in future blog articles. I was very, very moved–and quite unexpectedly too!

To put my experience at the Stupa in the deepest yet most brief way, I was saddened to my soul for anyone who could not find beauty here, could not find the sacred reverence, the divine knowing of this place and what it means to have it here, in America.

stupa-sizeI watched people of many different colors and nationalities come and walk around the Stupa in silent reverence, and I was oh so moved! You can see how large the main Stupa is in comparison to this gentlemen as he reverently walks around it.

One of my new sisters on the trip prostrated herself before the Buddha and I could feel the tears well up in my eyes and I witnessed her devotion. And though this is not my religious practice, I was moved to tears!

It seemed as though I was feeling the tears of many saints and guardians who yearn for us all to understand the transcendent importance of such a place as this!

I felt God’s Spirit move through my body! I felt an immense and abiding sense of wanting to protect this place… so much so that it startled me! I resonated with the reason all military have fought to defend our nation for–the right for our freedoms, especially for our freedom to practice different religions. (It’s probably also why free speech is so important to me too!) We just cannot take any of our freedoms for granted!

Amen. Namaste. OM

Buddha Beach

buddha-beach-water

buddha-beach-cairns

sheila-at-buddha-beach

my-feet-at-buddha-beach

Between seeing a lady do Tai Chi upon our arrival here, being blessed and attuned in the water, as well as all wandering around all of the magical cairns people had placed here, Buddha Beach was quite the treasure!

buddha-beach

I wrote a bit in my journal here, sang to the trees, and shook a rattle.

We met a lot of people on our walk here… some of us even got out picture taken with a couple who were traveling the world carrying a penguin statue! (I’m not kidding!)

Dry Canyon

We had our last regression session in the middle of a mandala that we all built, which included our own artwork and words for peace, love, joy, bliss, etc. that we left here:

sheila-in-middle-at-mandala

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And I was gifted a bindi for my third eye, which I embraced wearing. When the sun was overhead, I pulled my scarf over my head as a wrap, not even thinking about “why”– but oh, I was stunned when I saw the photos later! I love Indian food, music, and dance, and now I think  I know why!

Also, going back to my childhood for a moment, my mom would always take a picture of me standing on a big rock at Blackwater Falls WV, so I had to jump up for this fun tribute to her!

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Sunset on the Cathedral Rock trail

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You can get a little idea of how rocky of a path we had to climb on the Cathedral Rock trail.

Our group of Sacred Sedona Sisters had a time of song and blessing on this flat area of the trail. I still hear our voices singing the enchanting songs! It was one of the most special times of our journey for me.

my-view-now-feet-over-edgeAs I sat,  probably mid way up the Cathedral Rock trail, I hung my feet over, appreciating the hiking shoes my dad had given me (they still had a bit of West Virginia dirt on the soles too) but now, they had this noble red dirt embedded in them as well. Ohh!! I love these red rocks! If I could live the rest of my life here, I cannot imagine getting tired of this dirt, these rocks, and the majestic glorious vistas!

I am dreaming of a day when I can bring our whole family here, especially my amazing granddaughter, Jennifer. Oh, what bliss that would be!

But, I can hold them dear in my heart as I sit here and look at the world. Because it sure feels as though I am on top of the world!

Saying so long…

Not long after I woke up on the last day in Sedona, I put my moccasin booties and went for a hike up the mountain behind the resort one last time. I wanted to feel the rocks under my feet, pebbles and all, similar to how my grandparents, great grandparents, and other ancestors from my Native American Indian lineage would have walked. Living my grandmother’s quote, “before judging others, walk a mile in the other person’s moccasins.”

Even the view from our resort was breathtaking, all the way around! Had we done nothing else but stay at the resort, I would have had a magnetic time!

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I learned several new natural healing modalities that I continue to practice daily. Plus I met my protector guide, Screamin’ Eagle (thanks to my wonderful roommate, Kim — who I will introduce you to in my next blog post).

Each of the attendees, or rather “Sacred Sedona Sisters”, received an “Attunement to Divine Frequency”, sacred blessings, and regression sessions (read more about that here: Releasing “past” hurts or traumas to heal current ills in the body). We enjoyed, relaxed, and had fun, but oh YES, we can allow our body to heal NOW by releasing stored cellular memories from the past!

I want to soulfully thank Alania Starhawk and Patricia McGivern for brainstorming, planning, and facilitating this aWEsOMe and transformative, yes, life-giving retreat!

We absolutely packed a lot into 5 days!

For me, I loved every moment, every trail, mountain, and vista! We hiked, climbed, shopped, ate, sang, took photos, had deep conversations, sat in a hot tub, and around a fire pit. I’ve never done so much on a vacation before!

Stay tuned. I am sure to be updating this page (especially with the other blog links when I get those written)!

Thank you Sedona!

OM Shanti OM – May the peace that passes all human understanding be yours.

For fun

Check out this original song, Dogma. It’s one of my favorites, written by my husband and performed and recorded in a Nashville, TN studio. You can download it (it’s Track 1) from this link: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/chevyfordb26

A BIT ABOUT ME:

An Amazon bestselling author of two co-authored books: “Transform Your Life Book 2 Inspirational Stories and Expert Advice” and “Energy of Receiving”, available on Amazon.

Plus, the brand new book that’s been in the making for 13 years, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, is now available for online sale and distribution (PDF format).

Buy it here: https://beingwhollyvibrant.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/book-launch-take-it-upon-yourself-to-live-a-wholly-vibrant-life/

Be the best version of who you want to be.

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

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