Cathedral Rock is a must for any explorer where if taking enough breaks can be a moderate hike. However, be forewarned that there is one particular area that is basically a steep hike up a narrow crevice in between two large boulders. There are adequate foot placements but do require some lower body strength.
Appropriately named, Cathedral Rock offers a spiritual experience unlike any hike, or travel destination, that I have experienced. The almost 360º view offers stupendous views of the neighboring red rock Sedona Mountains. I arrived at the hike at roughly 6:15am, the Sun was warming the lush landscape flowing with a glowing green from the daily night monsoon storm (apparently occurs July through August). The early sunrise reflected a silver shine off the non-red mountains beautifully brightening the view of the Sedona red rocks. You will feel the wonders of nature just within a few minutes of this hike, especially if there are not that many tourists visiting.
What seemed to be a few minutes was really almost an hour of my time that I had simply sat sheltered within Cathedral Rock. The feeling was surreal and my logical mind made many attempts to interpret, define, or find some metaphor to explain the experience. The first comparison was to the Amitabha Stupa visited the prior day near the Boynton Canyon trail. Eastern traditions have used the shapes of mounds or mountains for their religious structures known as Stupas, where the pillars of Cathedral Rock somewhat felt similar. However, it was the placement of the Bodhisatva Amitabha within the Stupa monument that I found myself most reflecting. The Bodhisattva was surrounded within a cave like structure with a Stupa mound on the top. On Cathedral Rock, I was surrounded by the pillars cave like structure where the pillars crown is reminiscent of the Stupa. Hence, I felt like I was sitting somewhere that a Bodhisattva would use to reach enlightenment or simply call home.
Therefore, Cathedral Rock lived up to its name where my inner sanctum felt at peace. The hustle and bustle of the city and the illusion we call the past and future played no role in the present. Even a dragonfly decided to sit by my feet while I was in meditation position, undeterred by the human ego of nature domination. As was described to me by a relative the prior night (synchronicity), the dragonfly has 360º vision where comprehension of such vision is unfathomable by the predator human eye set. However, this delicate creature may have been simply attempting to tell me to use my inner eye for complete vision.
Overly educated and continuously exploring and revealing more behind the veil.
"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions