Reflections on Bali

You can’t escape the spirituality of Bali. And hen you’re there, you welcome being submerged in it. Not imposing but literally everywhere, offerings of flowers and burning incense line the streets, welcoming you at the entrance of restaurants, driveways of guesthouses, and strewn across temples. People come here to get away, to immerse themselves in yoga, meditation, or some other form of cleansing, wellness, awareness, and mindfulness. The island is in many ways a paradise, with sunsets coaxing you to admit they may be the most beautiful in the world, and landscapes both natural and agricultural, all adding tranquility and life everywhere you happen to be.

 

Hindu ceremonial offerings - Bali
Hindu ceremonial offerings – Bali

 

Hindu offerings, Bali
Hindu offerings, Bali

 

Leaves of the lotus flower
Leaves of the lotus flower

 

The cities are dense, but uniquely Balinese, with their culture infused in every bit of architecture. Nature and the habitat of the locals are in harmony, with plants growing and nurtured everywhere. Unfortunately, the use of plastics and the influx of tourists has had a negative impact on some of the nature, the rivers no longer clean enough to drink from, and often too polluted to bathe in.

 

Rooftops - Ubud, Bali
Rooftops – Ubud, Bali

 

Temple and the street in Ubud
Temple and the street in Ubud

 

There is a lot of time for reflection; to step back and take in the bigger picture, as well as observe the microcosm of things.

 

Circle of Life - Bali
Circle of Life – Bali

 

Dragonfly at the Buddhist temple (on a mostly Hindu island)
Dragonfly at the Buddhist temple (on a mostly Hindu island)

 

Raindrops on a lotus leaf, Bali
Raindrops on a lotus leaf, Bali

 

The things which hold one meaning in the west hold very different meaning here. The swasti, one of the oldest symbols in humanity, represents fortune and prosperity, and auspiciousness.

 

Swasti at the Hindu temple, Bali
Swasti at the Hindu temple, Bali

 

Temple and courtyard of Grey House - Ubud, Bali
Temple and courtyard of Grey House – Ubud, Bali

Then again, there are many things that aren’t quite the same in the west.

Dragon fruit, mangostenes, and mango amongst some shells - Bali
Dragon fruit, mangostenes, and mango amongst some shells – Bali

 

Sandat Bali - Ubud
Sandat Bali – Ubud

 

Traditionally decorated boat - Bali, Indonesia
Traditionally decorated boat – Bali, Indonesia

 

I often found myself paying more attention to the details around me. My relationship with the natural world always felt more intimate.

 

Ladybug on Bali
Ladybug on Bali

 

Got our eyes on each other - a spider and I on Bali
Got our eyes on each other – a spider and I on Bali

 

Life as an ant - Bali
Life as an ant – Bali

 

Dragonfly on Bali
Dragonfly on Bali

There is so much to observe and absorb, in the way things look as well as the simple way of life. A lot of this is changing, with modernization and westernization having a great impact on he desires of the local people. But Bali is still very much living in an old world style, a pace that hopefully will never disappear.

 

Primitive kitchen - Bali
Primitive kitchen – Bali

 

Cutting block
Cutting block

Bali has many volcanoes as well as natural hot springs, where people often go to bathe and cleanse, the waters thought to have healing powers.

Jess and sharon enjoying the warm waters of the natural hot springs - Bali
Jess and sharon enjoying the warm waters of the natural hot springs – Bali

 

Jess cleansing in the natural waters of the Balinese bath
Jess cleansing in the natural waters of the Balinese bath

 

Sharon enjoying the warmth of the waters at the spring
Sharon enjoying the warmth of the waters at the spring

 

Dragon bath of natural spring water, Bali
Dragon bath of natural spring water, Bali

 

Things are magical on Bali. More magical than expected. If you just let them be.

 

Jess and a dragonfly on Bali
Jess and a dragonfly on Bali

The temples are welcoming, intended for prayer, reflection, and meditation. We spent many hours sitting and practicing mindfulness, listening to the sounds of birds and bells, praises both natural and conjured.

 

Hindu temple, Bali
Hindu temple, Bali

 

Temple gate
Temple gate

 

And then of course there are the sunsets…

 

Sunset from our bungalow - Ubud, Bali
Sunset from our bungalow – Ubud, Bali

 

Sunset from Ubud, Bali
Sunset from Ubud, Bali

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