Paradise is the best word I can use to describe Bali.
Not only in its physical appearance, as Bali is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, but in its spiritual nature and laid-back feel as well. Stress wasn’t easy for me to find in Bali (except while snorkeling), and I basked in the beautifully unique ways of Balinese Hinduism, easy living with breakfast delivered to our rooms which felt like a garden oasis, and to enjoying some of my Western cravings.
Bali’s beauty is in everything: the nature, the gates leading to homes, the people, the food… It’s genuinely everywhere.
Bali is a small mostly-Hindu Island in the country with the highest population of Muslims in the world. Being so isolated has made the physical representations and expressions of their Hindu beliefs a bit different. We spent a day jungle & terrace trekking and our two guides explained more of the worship and beliefs to us and I was so happy to learn as much as possible.
The temple stops were especially spiritually enriching to me. So many of them were surrounded by the most beautiful natural settings. Walking up and down hills, over streams and through rice fields gave you so much time to think, to reflect and to meditate. My most moving experience was definitely Tirta Empul / Tampak Siring / Holy Spring Water Temple (I’ve truly seen all three names used).
Even as we moved away from Ubud and to the coasts I was amazed by the dedication of the Balinese people. Every morning there were offerings placed in our Homestay’s gate-shrine and when we came back from dinner a new offering had replaced that one. I loved smelling incense as devotees placed offerings along the street in their family temples and I loved my silent meditations (even the brief ones) I had walking out onto the beach to take photos of volcano and the sunsets and taking a moment to be grateful to be where I stood.
I think that is one of the lessons Bali taught me more than any
of the other destinations of this trip so far. To be grateful, in
each passing moment, to be exactly where I am.
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