Earlier this year, I desperately needed a retreat from my daily grind of the same old worries and concerns about career, love, money and a worsening knee injury. In other words, I needed a haven from the mundane world. I had lost touch with what mattered most to me: my soul’s journey. When I first heard about Dean Taraborelli’s Sanctuary at Sedona, images of a standard “spa” filled my mind’s eye. I knew that I wasn’t keen on a luxury spa per se (of which there are many to choose from), but when I examined the Sanctuary’s website, it became immediately clear that this was no ordinary spa. In fact, it’s no spa at all, but a genuine retreat center, replete with an on-site shaman, Mr. Taraborelli himself, who, along with a staff of stellar healers, work their unique magic on every individual who enters this enchanted high-desert land of red earth, flowing creeks and endless blue sky.
Here, the Sanctuary at Sedona offers an eclectic and highly personal program for guests to reconnect with their spiritual paths. For a week, a month, or a year, participants mine their personal stories for recurrent themes and patterns in their lives; these stories comprise a lifetime of both wounds and gifts. Make no doubt about it: soul excavation and spirit retrieval are tough work. The Sanctuary at Sedona focuses on physical, emotional and energetic rejuvenation and therefore, keeps its guests busy from early morning, with group meditation, yoga, energy sessions, journeywork, and Nature offerings, through the afternoon with labyrinth walking, massage, body movement, and wisdom teachings, and into the evening with fire ceremonies, and spiritual cinema. To chronicle these transformative activities, daily journaling, an expected component of the Sanctuary experience, is a must for self-revelation and self-knowledge. This kind of effort demands bodily nourishment, and The Sanctuary delivers in this arena as well by offering organic, primarily vegan fare (much of it grown on-property), served family style.
The dining room also serves up something else: a famous Einstein quote found on a wall here which succinctly reflects The Sanctuary’s philosophy: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”