Alive and rich in daily ceremony, prayers, celebrations, and deep sacredness, all swaddled in a blanket of contrast, this is Bali. Daily offerings are everywhere, on sidewalks, in the streets, at the beaches, the plethora of temples, temples for every prayer, sacredness exudes wherever you look in Bali. All of these rituals are a constant reminder to pause, to breath, to be grateful… and then… hop onto a scooter to navigate tiny streets where there are no signs and no rules. Complete stillness of mind, sacredness of soul merges gracefully as you step directly into the hustle of relentlessly streaming street life. Without rules, signs, or guidance on the road, there is the feeling that no one is at fault, we are all a part of this effortless pulse of helping/supporting one another to move forward in life. Tiny scooters carrying everything from newborns to a wide load of ceremonial 12 -15 foot bamboo decorations to adorn the streets for yet another celebration. Traffic at first seems to be utter chaos, then you ease into the flow of it, you begin to understand the beeps of the horns, the main form of traffic communication, “I am here” and “I see you.” Reminding us we are one, we are a pod of scooters moving about our day, we are connect by offerings, prayers, rituals and beeps, all of us craving a deeper connection, to be fully seen.
With the pace of “hurry slowly” you somehow feel completely seen by the Balinese. All greetings and farewells are with a sincere Namaste, hands to the heart, deep bow of the head as you gaze deeply into one another eyes, past the physcial body, past the cursory, traveling deeper into one another’s soul to catch a true glimpse of each other.
We visited the birthing clinic that we support, Bumi Sehat, a safe haven for entire families to receive medical care completely free of charge. Each month 40-50 natural births are all supported by generous donations and Bumi Sehat’s reach is far beyond the mothers and babies. No one is turned down. Again, we are all one. The acupuncture room was full and included a male that was suffering from partial paralysis, a mom seeking relief from allergies and a room full of others suffering with varying dis-ease within their body. Bumi Sehat believes it is fruitless to only support mother and child if the rest of the family is not in good health. A little love goes a long way here and this clinic is full of pure, raw, LOVE.
We thoroughly immersed ourselves in the spectacular full moon prayer at Ulu Watu Temple. Praying together regardless of religion, running my hands through the smoke of the incense as an offering, again all as one, pausing, honoring, and embracing. As I knelt down before the temple, I brought forth my first offering between my palms, a beautiful flower petal giving thanks to Mother Earth. My second offering, another petal, as I prayed to my God, knowing even in the silence, all prayer is graciously accepted. My third and final flower petal was offered as I asked for what I desire. As we left Ulu Watu that night, the air thick with smoke, scent, and moisture, we brought back our basket of fruit that was steeped in the blessings and prayer, tasting all the more delicious, reminding me of this divine experience with every juicy bite.
At Bali Malas, it is our desire for each of you to feel the sacred prayer of the temple, the smell of the incense and potent fragipani blossom, the love of Bumi Sehat, the support and acknowledgement of the scooter tribes, the glimpses of each other with each Namaste greeting, and the hurry slowly pace of life that is Bali, that is Bali Malas. We truly are one.