1st December 2012
Asia… where have you been all my life?
That question has been going through my mind all day. My first day in Bali has already been an unforgettable experience. Everything around me inspires me, the scents, the colours, the culture, the incredibly friendly people,… I keep randomly shouting out ‘this place is sooooo awesome!’
I think what I love the most is that everywhere you look, you see how the Hindu religion is everywhere amongst the people. Little offerings are put on the floor everywhere you go. I love how much meaning the Balinese have in every action they do. Whether you’re religious or not, you can’t help but be amazed.
Arriving in the yoga retreat has just been amazing. This place really is paradise. It’s perfect. Awesome roommates too, they put all us Brits together, and it’s nice to see some familiar faces. This place is so inspiring. Salt water swimming pool, organic veggie food with home grown vegetable and rice, detox juices, morning yoga, open air dance studio,… Desa Seni definitely is paradise. God, I am such a hippy… who would have known?
We have an opening ceremony today to cleanse everyone from negativity etc, before the retreat with Colleena Shakti starts tomorrow.
The ceremony that is happening today is called an ‘upacara penglukatan’ in the Balinese language and an ‘upacara pembersihan’ in the Indonesian language, both meaning cleansing ceremony.
The cleansing involves the use of holy water which comes from the Tirta Empul Temple in Tampaksiring, Bali, a natural spring considered to be a holy source of water for the Balinese Hindu; as well as rice, a very strong symbol of luck, fertility and prosperity.
The holy water is sprinkled on each person to cleanse the spiritual aura and remove negativity. The rice is placed on the temples in order to achieve balance and in the centre of the forehead representing the third eye and as a blessing and gift from the Gods.
The ‘canang sara’ or offering is a gift to the Gods to ensure good health, happiness and prosperity. The offering trays are filled with symbolic items such as flowers, rice and often a small sweet or coin. The Balinese also make daily offering to the Gods using these ‘canang’; morning offerings are to the heavenly Gods and evening offerings are to the earthly Gods.
The ‘dupa’ or incense is used to help transmit our prayers, thoughts and wishes to the Gods. The movement of the smoke from the incense symbolizes our prayers traveling to the Gods.
The ceremony is a traditional Balinese Hindu ceremony used on auspicious days of the year, according to the Balinese Calender before significant events.