Today was a special ceremony day. Festivals here are very common and it is not at all unusual for businesses or offices to be closed because of one kind of ceremony or another. The amount of spirituality interwoven into the culture and everyday life is amazing! On this day I would get to participate in some of this magic.
I was invited by a friend to join her and a Balinese healer/Shaman for the ceremony. I thought we would go to the temple but I had under estimated what an adventure we would have! We met at 8 am and drove to the trailhead near town. I was wearing a traditional sarong and flip flops and not prepared for any sort of hike. The trail went through lush green hills and jungle. The view was gorgeous and it was nice to be in nature so early in the morning, the dew was still on the leaves. We walked down to a river, plants growing over the path. This was not a trail used recently.
Down at the river three men and a young child were bathing nude. We waited to give them privacy then crossed the almost waist high river by foot. There was a holy spring on the side of the mountain and this was our destination. I received a holy water blessing. There was a small temple above and we spent some time there. On the way back I was drawn to the spring again and sat under the falling water fully dressed. The feeling was intense! As the water rushed over me I felt such joy! I smiled, giggled and had a great time. It's hard to describe how special the experience was.
Getting back to my home, the child next door was drawn to me. He is usually a bit cautious with me and doesn't come very close. This morning was completely different! I assume that being blessed head to toe by a Balinese holy spring had something to do with it!
Later the same day we went to local temple about 10 miles outside of town. The gate was locked and we managed to manipulate the lock to get in. Breaking into a holy temple was not on my list of things to do that day but there we were! The Shaman knew people there and said it would be OK. The temple was amazing. It could accommodate a lot of people but there was almost no one there. Old offerings were wilting and rotting, statues of gods were decorated with grains and pig fat, red and yellow flags were vibrant against the gray rainy sky. I was there to meditate. The rain poured, ducks and chickens walked around eating bits of offerings. It was a surreal experience!
Today was another magical day in Bali! I am very grateful to have the opportunity to have an adventure such as this!
Caption: Grain decorated creature at local temple.