Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday notes

It's that time of the year when heartful wishes and thoughtful gifts are exchanged. Holiday vibes is evident in every corner; at the workplace, in the shopping arenas, around the travel hubs, at the food joints, the schools, the places of worship and many more. Family re-unions happen everywhere to celebrate Christmas festivities and the upcoming New Year; Houses are decorated with creative fixtures and innovative light-work. Theme parks and other public gathering areas are spruced up with Christmas trees, colorful lights, festive activities, musical bands and parades. Cinema halls feature several kid-friendly movies that are themed on the festivities. Cities, towns and villages sport an energetic and a lively atmosphere. With that, 'Urbancell' wishes its readers, a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with joy, energy, happy anticipations and fulfillment of many dreams. Please look forward to more exciting posts in this space in 2008. Till then, cheers and happy holidays !!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Red rocks and the holy connection

Sedona in Northern Arizona is not just famous for its amazing red-rock formations; its even more popular for its Vortexes as they call in Sedona. These Vortexes are spots of high energy and are found in abundance in the red-rock town. The doses of high energy emanating from the several Vortexes, combined with breathtaking scenery, the sounds of oak creek and year-round mild climates sort of create a natural healing effect. It's no wonder that Sedona's residents are highly spiritual and religious. Most of the shops are filled with aroma of incense sticks, sounds of cosmic music and stocked with new-age religious material. Psychic readings, aural pictures, and healing massages are quite a common ritual. Visitors are intrigued by the mysticism in the air.

In a region that is teeming with such high energy levels and spirituality, its also natural to find several centers of worship. Two of the most enchanting ones are the 'Chapel of the Holy Cross' and 'Kunzang Palyul Chöling'. Chapel of the Holy Cross is an impressive architecture perched on the red rocks and among more red rocks. A small drive up the hill on the Chapel Road leads to this stunning building in a very serene setting. The panoramic views from the hill and the naturally-lit church rejuvenates the body and the soul while inducing a powerful sense of holy presence. There is also a small gift shop attached to the church that sells religious items.

The Stupas of Kunzang Palyul Chöling in Sedona is in a secluded residential area of Sedona; providing a perfect spot for meditation and prayer. Access to the actual Stupas are through a gate and a small hike up the hill. Tara Stupa is about 6-foot tall and was the first one to be built in Sedona. This is also the first stupa the visitors would come across in their walk. The second Stupa is a towering 36-foot one and is called the Amitabha Stupa. A Buddha statue on top of a small hill near Amitabha Stupa radiates a sense of calmness. These Stupas, rightly located in Sedona harmonize the energy of the environment similar to its famous Vortexes.