Are you looking for a travel experience that will totally transform your life? Justine Kim explores the best spots to satisfy your spirit.
Since the beginning of time, man has worshipped gods. Throughout the world, there is plenty of physical evidence that traces the history of man’s quest to reunite with the divine: ancient stone circles, majestic pyramids, gothic cathedrals and mountaintop shrines. People have visited these sacred sites for healing, inspiration and guidance.
Mainstream western scientists may scoff at suggestions of water from holy wells curing illnesses and the like, but the concept of powerful places has been known to many cultures for thousands of years.
Regardless of what religion you adhere to, or even if you're not religious, there are certain places that evoke feelings of awe and wonder. These places may not move you to suddenly believe in an unseen power, but the sheer beauty and depth of history can be enough to take your breath away. Here are ten of the most holy places that you can find on the globe.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
On the Corcovado mountain high above Rio de Janeiro, you will find one of the world’s most visited holy statues, the Cristo Redentor or Christ the Redeemer. In 1931, the statue was inaugurated as an icon of faith to celebrate the Centenary of Brazilian Independence of 1822. The statue has open arms, a gesture of blessing, protection and power.
Mount Fuji, Japan
Japan is a very tranquil and picturesque country with a lot of religious and cultural history. The elegant Mount Fuji is a mysterious and spiritual landmark that has inspired art and literature throughout the ages.
For generations, Mount Fuji, also called Fujiyama (“everlasting life”) has been considered a sacred mountain that pilgrims climb as a religious experience. An estimated 200,000 people climb Mount Fuji every year, about 30 per cent are foreigners.
You don’t have to leave North America to find places known for miracles. Sedona, especially the Navajo region, is a noted spiritual hotspot. It has been a pilgrimage destination since prehistoric times. Long before the Europeans settled North America, the indigenous Navajo aboriginals and natives from Canada and Central America journeyed here for healing and learning.
Sedona features rich red sandstone buttes and monoliths. These rocks are said to emit a powerful energy, which may be because of their high concentration of magnetic iron. The spiritual pull is palpable, especially at sunset when the mountains catch fire with reflected glow.
If you ever get a chance to visit Egypt, witnessing the absolute wonder of the ancient pyramids is a must. West of Cairo, the three pyramids of Giza rise from the edge of the Nile’s west bank in perfect geometric form. They are thought to be the work of Egyptians from around 2500 B.C. The pyramids are the only remaining of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Each year, over 65,000 backpackers make the 25-mile hike up the 500-year-old path. Machu Picchu (“ancient peak”) is found amid the Andes mountain range, just northwest of the former Incan capital of Cusco. For centuries, it was buried in Peru’s jungle and was discovered in 1911 by a Yale historian. The spectacular ruins include staircases, towers, fountains, terraces and a temple. The magic here is unmatched.
There is no dearth of spiritual destinations in India. The country is overflowing with them. Goa is located on the west coast of India and thanks to nearly 500 years of Western influence, it represents an entirely different landscape compared to the rest of the country. The region is embraced for its quiet and peaceful atmosphere. It is known for its architecture, including the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Perhaps the most interesting trait of the area is that for the most part, Hindus and Catholics coexist.
Tibet and Nepal
These bordering regions are epicentres of religion and holiness. Tibet is the traditional centre of Tibetan Buddhism and the homeland of spiritual and political leader, the Dalai Lama. A journey here with the monks will certainly change you.
Nepal is a small country between the People’s Republic of China and India. More than eighty per cent of its people practice Hinduism. Trek to Nepal to see the Himalayas and Mount Everest.
Vatican City and Rome, Italy
This list wouldn’t be complete without the Vatican and Rome. They make the cut not only for their religious history, but also for their magnificent past as a capital for the arts, literature and culture.
Don’t miss St. Peter’s Basilica, the heart of Vatican City and the home of the Catholic Church. Even if you aren’t a Catholic, the church’s design will stop you in your tracks.
Mecca, Saudi Arabia
It is the centre of the Islamic world and the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad. It is located in the Sirat Mountains of central Saudi Arabia. Every Muslim hopes to make a hajj, or pilgrimage, to its shrine at least once in his or her lifetime. When they pray, Muslims face in the direction of this city no matter where they are in the world.
It can be argued that no other city comes close to Jerusalem in terms of historical and religious significance. Judaism, Christianity and Islam can all trace their roots back to the Holy City. It is also the home of The Dome of the Rock, a shrine completed in 691 A.D., and is believed to be where the Prophet Muhammad began his journey to heaven. So if you want to visit the site of the three monolithic religions, then Jerusalem’s the place.
By Justine Kim
10 ways to control your anger - Professional expert’s advice
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order to understand the anger phenomenon I decided to investigate the nature of anger, reasons of its appearing, key factors and anger management.
What does it mean this anger? Anger is a strong indignation feeling of our emotional sphere that is attended by self-control losing. Anger is a signal of our state. Glands produce an array of hormones that have a great and deep effect on all our body. The main participants of this process are adrenaline and cortisol. They activate cardiovascular system and consequently all organs. Adrenalin causes fast heart beating, rising blood pressure. These rich oxygenated blood streams to the places are responsible for reaction. Thus some extra energy is released.
There are 4 basic ways of anger expressions:
1. Straight and immediately (verbally or nonverbally) to show your anger. It gives an opportunity to free from the negative emotions.
2. To express anger in an indirect way. In this case usually suffer persons that are weaker, not dangerous and those ones who “come to hand”, usually they are our family and close relatives. Thus we hurt our dear ones. One of the best ways is to express your anger to the person who is the source of this very anger. If it is impossible- better find some compromise.
3. Restraining anger you “drive” it deep inside. So, negative emotions store will provoke a big stress sooner or later.
4. You may foresee situation of anger feeling, try not to expand this feeling but get to know the reason, understand and solve it. A Roman philosopher Seneca said: “When you are feeling of ascending “volcano”- stand still, not doing anything- not speaking, not moving.”
Anger is a normal and natural human feeling, especially nowadays as life is really fast and we have a huge amount of information to accumulate (in comparison with our previous generations). The range of anger is rather wide: from a slight annoyance to impetuous fury. Anger can be quick and long, lasting for years in form of bitterness, vengeance or hate. Anger can lead to health issues like depression, high blood pressure, hearth diseases, stresses, alcohol dependence and obesity. If you are anger- express it. If you feel discomfort from these “negative splashes”- then we can give some techniques how to manage your emotional anger:
- 1. Take a deep and continuous breath. Count up to 50 or imagine your aggressor just naked, only in socks. This will help you to calm and smile.
- 2. Have a walk. Look at high sky. Continue to breathe deep and easily. So you appraise the situation and calm down.
- 3. Do some physical exercises. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough. If you stretch your muscles it will relax your body, as you will spill out all your negative energy into action. Your brains will get more oxygen and it assists to clear your thoughts.
- 4. Write down all your thoughts. Write down that you are mad and why. Avoid being rational, logical or laconic. Write on paper all you are feeling this moment. Try to write all in details. The function of this technique is to shift all your anger out of your head on paper.
- 5. Be grateful. Find someone to thank. Do you not forget about yourself. Thank that you have woken up today, thank that that the Sun is shining for you, that the sky is blue and the grass is green.
- 6. Prayer. Ask God to be with you during this anger moment and lead you.
- 7. Meditation. Close your eyes, look into solar plexus, and be all your anger, breathing deeply.
- 8. Change of places. Move yourself on your enemy’s place. And look at situation from his point of view. Better look at the situation from the ceiling. Focus on details, especially on funny and absurd ones. Strive to forgive your enemy as well as forgive truly yourself.
- 9. Go back to your childhood memories. Recollect state when you were angry. Hug this child and say: “All is ok. I am here. You are good child. I love you and I will not leave you.”
- 10. Your values. What is the most significant thing in your life? Who are the most important people in your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Think and accept that point that you are living your life, and you are living your values. There is a good man inside you that wants to help you. I wish you good luck!
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