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.
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.
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.
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.
Then again, there are many things that aren’t quite the same in the west.
I often found myself paying more attention to the details around me. My relationship with the natural world always felt more intimate.
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.
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.
Things are magical on Bali. More magical than expected. If you just let them be.
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.
And then of course there are the sunsets…