Meeting the Buddha in Sedona

story + photos by Suzanne Marriott

 

My husband was lying in the hospital bed, dying. It wasn’t as if I should be surprised—he had been in and out of hospitals many times that year, suffering from complications of multiple sclerosis. Yet, I was. I was in shock.

I had been his caregiver for the last ten years, and now, at the time of his death on January 1, 2006, I couldn’t stop. I still had to take care of him. Less than a minute after he drew his last breath, I began reading a Tibetan Phowa, or prayer, to Amatabha Buddha to guide Michael’s transition. It was a long and beautiful poem that guided him as he experienced the stages of death and the many levels of transition. Amitabha is a Sanskrit word that literally means boundless light and boundless life. He is the Buddha in the Land of Ultimate Bliss (Pure Land), in which all beings enjoy unbounded happiness. He can provide a “short cut” to enlightenment. By reading this phowa, I felt still connected to Michael, still able to care for him.

Nearly six years after my husband’s death, I hardly expected to meet Amatabha Buddha again in Sedona, Arizona, and this was not the only surprising thing that happened there.

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What's So Spiritual About Sedona?

by Jan Myers

Don't Believe the Spiritual Hype of Sedona. 

When I first decided to go to Sedona, Arizona with my mother, Judy and my 10-year-old daughter, Maggie, I was curious to see if our three generations would have the spiritual encounters I had heard often occur in the vortex-rich Red Rock Country.  I am certainly open to receiving more positive energy, but I do tend to be a bit skeptical until I experience something for myself. Maggie wasn't buying any of the 'spirituality', but was excited that we planned to visit the Grand Canyon.

We spent nearly two weeks in Sedona soaking up all the energy we could, along with the extreme July heat.  I was a bit disillusioned the very first day when I drove into uptown Sedona in our Hertz rental car. I was apparently not taking the roundabouts quickly enough for the driver behind me and after he blew his horn at me, I glanced into my rearview mirror just in time to see him give me the finger before he made his turn.  "Wow! What a spiritual place this is!" I remarked to Mom and Maggie. 

To be honest, that was the most negative thing that happened to us during our stay.  I did master the roundabouts by the time we left Sedona, and for that I am thankful. We heard all about the many psychics and the UFO activity in Sedona. I'm pretty sure that one fellow we kept running into was 'left behind' to study us earthlings.

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