Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bali and Sedona: A Yin and Yang for Seekers of the Vortex

Bali and Sedona: A Yin and Yang for Seekers of the Vortex

If you don't know much about Sedona and Bali, or even if you do, it is hard to imagine two more disparate places. While Sedona occupies a desert location in northern Arizona, Bali is a lush, tropical island in Indonesia that is halfway around the world from America. Yet, for many, these two sites have much in common: they are spiritual havens, places where one can be open to new sensibilities, new experiences of self, and deep connections with others who are on similar quests. And, of course, both locations are bursting with natural beauty.

Sedona has been inhabited for at least 10,000 years by ancient tribes, and was subsequently the home of Yavapai, Apache, and Hopi groups, many of whom were killed or forcibly removed by white settlers in the 19th Century. Much like Bali, Sedona has been crafted into a tourist and retirement village and in more recent times, it's beautiful Oak Creek Canyon settings have been the setting for many Hollywood westerns. Such films have highlighted Sedona's striking red rock sandstone formations, massive structures dramatically eroded by wind and water over eons, long predate any human settlement.

As well known as Sedona is now, it remained relatively undiscovered until the early 1980s, when Page Bryant, under the influence of her spirit guide, "Albion," identified seven "vortex" sites in the region that she believed emanate electric or magnetic energy that inspires, invigorates, or calms. Since that time, Sedona not only boomed in terms of the number of visitors (and subsequent development, for better or worse), but also took on a new identity as a home of those seeking a deeper spiritual understanding -- much like what is happening in Ubud, Bali today.

Starting well over a century ago, and since the 1950s, when Bali was a major stop on the "hippie trail" of global destinations, the island has long been sought by international visitors who are undeterred by long flights and jolting time changes. Ubud reached its peak of tourism in 2012 after the movie "Eat, Pray, Love" launched. Spiritual seekers from all around the world flocked to have the same experience as Julia Roberts portrayed. Moreover, Bali is also known as a vortex for worldwide energy, as described in a video from last year's BaliSpirit Festival. In light of Bali's own spiritual traditions, it is hardly surprising that both Sedona and Bali, are high on the "must do" lists of many spiritual seekers. Today's visitors to either place can participate in gatherings in natural settings, have readings taken, experience massage, healing, yoga and meditation and explore important dimensions of their selves, while many feel the intense energy of the vortexes.

To regular visitors of Bali, the breadth of Bali's spiritual offerings and natural settings are well known and impressive. Bali's tropical plants and creatures, its sacred volcanoes, and its natural hot springs may seem to make it a different world from Sedona's dry and stark desert beauty. Yet, to the knowing, those differences are merely superficial. To those who seek deeper understanding, who are open to experiences of all kinds, and who appreciate beauty in its many manifestations, Bali and Sedona are both alike and different, both foreign and familiar. They are truly the yin and yang for spiritual seekers from across the earth.

Written by Bill Dingfelder. Bill is an occasional freelance writer and a full-time freelance grantwriter:  www.grantwritingconsultant.com

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