Another Day in Sedona

Not long ago, I visited the Amitabha Stupa in Sedona, Arizona. Stupas originated in India nearly 2600 years ago. They represent the Buddha’s presence and, therefore, the mind of enlightenment. The Amitabha Stupa carries on this powerful tradition in a few specific ways. It’s 36 feet tall and filled with rolls of prayer mantra, grains, medicines, objects of beauty, and even meteorites, all to protect and replenish the five elements of earth, air, fire, water, and space. Consecrated and sacred, the stupa and its surrounding peace park serve as a beacon of compassion designed to overcome the misery and delusion of attachment, all while casting healing prayers for the betterment of mankind.

Following traditional observance, I walked three times clockwise around the stupa and focused my thoughts. Then, I sat in front of it on a low platform and reflected on my life, from birth to that moment. The location didn’t feel like a tourist destination at all, but for whatever reason, the experience didn’t feel like a journey of discovery, either. Everything around me seemed familiar and tranquil, like I had been there before. I let my mind flash through a sequence of ruinous and beautiful events from my past. I realized how lucky I was to be in the moment, and how improvement means looking back, noticing what you did wrong, and deciding not to be that way anymore, but also deciding not to allow guilt to poison the time you have left. The Golden Rule became the only thing, and I offered a whisper of thanks to the pinion pines, crimson rocks, and fresh air filling me with a deep sense of serenity.