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Lighting lanterns for world peace. 

By Ilchibuko Todd
President of Sedona Mago Center for Well-being and Retreat

Everyone has a wish. There’s something simple about the idea of wishing that bridges cultures, races, ages and borders— dreams for yourself, your loved ones and our futures is what makes humanity…well, human!

At Sedona Mago, that’s why our World Peace Ceremony Sedona Lantern Festival was born. It’s an event we hold in Sedona that calls out to the hearts of the people, inviting them to experience a connection together (or wherever they are) —a connection to the land, the heavens, and most importantly, to themselves.

This ceremony is about intention. Like many of our programs at Sedona Mago, this event is about healing, loving yourself and discovering the connections to who you truly are inside. When you leave, you’ll have a clear mind, full heart and your sights set on manifesting a better world.

So let’s dive into the World Peace Ceremony Sedona Lantern Festival, what makes it a special yearly event for us here at Mago, and—with any luck—you’ll be planning your trip before you finish reading.

The Lanterns
By now, you’ve likely noticed our photos of paper lanterns associated with the World Peace Ceremony. There are a number of reasons why we include lantern lighting at this event, the first and foremost of which is their beauty. The land at Sedona Mago is simply stunning at any time of day, but to see a wave of lanterns floating on our Healing Garden lake is a sight unlike any other.

While they are gorgeous, the lanterns we light have a deep cultural significance for all of us at Mago. Paper lanterns have been used in Asian cultures for thousands of years! They’re used in common celebrations like New Years’ gatherings, but they’re also found in culturally unique ways as well.

The act of lighting a lantern is often seen as an “invitation” of sorts—we think of our ancestors and the spirits of loved ones who have left us, inviting them to “come home” and visit us. Lantern festivals can also be traced back to different legends and religious tales. Many of Mago’s faculty hail from various Asian cultures, but lantern lighting is a commonality among them all and has inspired us to incorporate it into this timeless event.

Prayers and Wishes
Traditionally, at Sedona Mago, we talk often about “praying,” but this word carries a unique religious context in American culture. A more appropriate word for our praying is “wishing” or “manifesting.” We think about the things we want and how we can make them a reality, but it’s greater than riches, career goals or material gain—we focus on manifesting a better state of being for us and those around us. That level of sincerity connects us to cosmic energy and to the world, sharing vibrations across continents and cultures to people we’ll never meet.

When people gather at Mago for this ceremony, our prayers, wishes and manifesting is amplified under the stars. Guests often write their dearest wishes on their lanterns before floating them in the water, connecting their thoughts directly to the healing lake.

Most important of all, however, is when we pray together. When everyone at Mago joins in intention with people around the world, we raise our “collective consciousness.” We give our energy to the idea of world peace together, amplifying our vibrations to a level that truly makes a difference in the energy of our world.

The Land
The World Peace Ceremony sounds grand. In a way, it is—we hope to influence the energy of people around the globe.

But we at Sedona Mago know that we can only control our sphere of influence: what’s immediately in front of us. This ceremony is about inviting people to the northern desert, helping them connect to their True Selves and send them back into the world as ambassadors of peace. When our guests leave, they’re energized by the breathtaking red rocks and energy vortexes of our one-of-a-kind space.

The magic of Sedona is a big part of that process.

Our retreat is a place of healing and beauty, harnessing energy vortexes to empower our visitors. Here, people learn about the divinity that always exists inside them. We believe anyone can understand this anywhere, anytime—but the unique vibrations of our special northern desert home make this discovery truly unique.

So what is the World Peace Ceremony Sedona Lantern Festival? It’s a time for us to gather, pray together and shift the vibrations of our planet. Even if you can’t join us in person, your intentions and prayers are not bound by distance. When we connect and unify our spirits, it represents something far greater. This ceremony is a reminder that our intentions start inside each and every one of us, and nothing is stopping us from being present every day.

We hope you’ll join us for this year’s ceremony and see the benefit of nature’s reverence, no matter your age, career, place or time. You can create the life of your wishes—not just for you, but for all.

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