The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart
The Native Americans called Sedona “the land where Mother Earth’s energy, which gives eternal life, comes out.” Furthermore, they believed that “great souls” inhabit the red rocks, and that they make the people who come and find Sedona awaken to their true dreams and yearnings.
BY: Ilchi Lee
I couldn’t tell whether that was true or if those were the only rocks my eyes could see, no matter where I looked, but my initial feeling was very good.
After a simple breakfast, I wandered about Sedona, here and there, wherever I felt like going. It seemed like the entire city was embraced by arms of red rock. The green of the junipers and cacti that dotted the red turf proffered a dramatic contrast of color. The sky of Sedona, wrapped around the red burnt earth, seemed clearer and bluer than any sky I’d seen. There was a sanctity circulating in the air between earth and heaven. Though it was winter, warm sunlight was shining down through the clear air. As I looked at the dazzling beauty of Sedona’s earth and sky awash with the morning sun, my heart skipped a beat, and it occurred to me that this just might be the place for which I had been searching for so long.
I came to the US from Korea in 1993 to share the traditional Korean mind-body training methods known as Dahnhak (which became Dahn Yoga in the US). At the time, the Dahn Centers that I had established in Korea had increased to around fifty and I was sharing a modernized and systematized form of Dahnhak with many people.
I handed over the management of the Korean DahnCenters to my students and started anew in the US with a pioneering spirit. The place where I first settled with my students was NewJersey. It was not easy, however, to put our roots down in a land where the culture and even the language were so unfamiliar. Our first attempts were ones of trial and error.
During that time, I would sometimes walk on the banks of a lake near Bear Mountain, New York. One day, as I gazed out across the surface of the lake reflecting the light of the setting sun, I asked myself, “What should I do?” What occurred to me then was that I should get to know the US inside and out. I felt that I really needed to experience the US for myself, with my own two eyes and feet.
I decided to get a car and travel across the country from east to west. Our itinerary would take us from New York to California, along the western coast up to Vancouver, through Toronto, and then back to New York. For several months, I wandered through the beautiful mountains and valleys of the US. I went inside the busy metropolitan areas as well, and felt the confusion of their people’s hearts. It was a good opportunity for me to feel the energy of this massive land with my own body, mind, and senses.
As I crossed the country, there was one thing I waslooking for: a new land where I could put down my roots and thrive. The moment I saw Sedona, I felt a strong intuition that this would be that very place. However, although I stayed in Sedona for three days, I was still unable to make a final decision.
One of the reasons I hesitated was that Sedona wasa desert. According to the Eastern practice of fengshui, a harmony of the five energies—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water—is essential.
Certainly, wood energy was coming from the forestsof juniper trees and shrubs; there was obviously plenty offire energy since it was a desert where the sun beat down strongly; judging by the power pouring from the ground of Sedona, nothing needed to be said about earth energy; and since it was iron that gave to the earth its deep red color, it was also full of metal energy. However, since it was a desert terrain where water was scarce, the thought that water energy might be insufficient kept bothering me.