Though Sedona has a population of about 10,000 people, more than three million tourists come here each year. However, unlike the usual tourist locations, Sedona is a very quiet city. Most of the restaurants and stores close by 9:00 p.m. It’s a city that couldn’t be more boring for people who are looking for nightlife. But for people who know the joy of communing with nature, it’s a place that often gives them the irresistible urge to pack their things and move here at once. Actually, a considerable number of Sedona residents first came as tourists and fell in love with the place.

Sedona was registered as a city in 1902, taking its name from the wife of the white settler who was head of the first post office.

According to archaeologists who research ancient Native Americans sites, the Native Americans who lived in northern Arizona for thousands of years have long regarded Sedona and its surrounding Oak Creek Canyon as an especially sacred place. The Native American sites discovered here are not centered on Sedona; instead they encircle it.The Native Americans visited Sedona only when they were conducting rituals or religious ceremonies. Even today, just as Hindus make a pilgrimage to the Ganges River, several Yavapai and Apache tribes come to Sedona to perform traditional ceremonies and blessings.

Sedona is also a haven for artists and art lovers. It hostssome forty art galleries. From galleries to studios, art is everywhere in this small town. Sedona is truly the perfect city for artistic inspiration. In Sedona, everyone naturally feels the urge to paint a picture or play a flute. Standing before a display of the beautiful artistry of nature, human beings want to dance and sing and demonstrate their own creativity as well. Although I had never played music, evenI learned to play the flute and do calligraphy here.

One of the things you can never leave out when speaking about Sedona are its vortexes. A vortex describes the energy field of an object rotating in a spiral around a central axis. Examples include a tornado, or water forming a whirlpool as it goes down a drain. Actually, from the smallest atoms to the Milky Way, we find that our universe is full of vortexes.

Vortex sites in Sedona are powerful energy spots that facilitate self—awareness and various healing experiences. They say the red iron rocks generate this kind of energy, as well as the massive crystals buried beneath them. Bell Rock, Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, and Boynton Canyon are known as four major vortexes. But in my experience, it’s not just these four places; Sedona itself is a vortex. Every time I return to it, I am surprised to feel how much energy is here.

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.

I believe these legends are not merely wishful thinking.That’s because I, too, have met with great souls from the red rocks of Sedona, and have cultivated here my yearnings and dreams.

Read more about the amazing Sedona.

Excerpted from THE CALL OF SEDONA: Journey of the Heart, by Ilchi Lee.

Copyright © 2011 by Ilchi Lee. Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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