We have just arrived home after eight days on retreat in Bali.
This was our fourth retreat and each one seems to get better and the connections we make get deeper.
Look out for...
We spent the first four days in Ubud. Each year Ubud seems busier and the market a little crazier. Be prepared to have the stall holders tell you a price then bamboozle you with the different currency and the number of zeros. A couple of times they tried to sell me something for $75 instead of $7.50.
The monkeys in the monkey forest have also multiplied. If you’re walking alongside the forest walls with a white plastic bag, the monkeys will try and rip it open, expecting food. Keep everything in your backpack with sunglasses and earrings hidden from view.
Luckily for us, the place we stay is out of the way and we can come in and out of the bustle as much or as little as we want.
As always, the water temple is a must. I have been here every time I go back to Bail and I feel privileged to enter the natural springs. Each fountain represents a different chakra, or success, good relationships and happiness. Each part is cleansed and blessed in the water. We again got to meet the Holy Man and have a special blessing – organized by our amazing driver Wayan.
The highlight for me on this trip was Bingin. It’s a village built on a cliff right beside the ocean. We had never stayed there before. Our Villa was amazing. Our own Yoga Shala, 25 metre pool and everything looked after by the host family.
While at Bingin, we made our own Radaksha mala beads. We learnt the Radashka beads have a special meaning and they emanate a peaceful energy. If all people were to wear Radaksha beads there would be no war – according to our host. Mala beads are used for chanting (japa). There are 108 beads so you chant 108 times. There is also a ‘God’ bead. This is where you start your chanting. You allow the mala to move between your fingers and when you get back to the start, turn the beads around and go the other way – never crossing the God bead. It was quite serene to sit in silence and design then make our own beads. The beads were then blessed and placed on us.
For the first time in Bali, we got on surfboards. I must say I was nervous, but our guides made the process very easy. They took us through the process of how to stand on a board and one or two from the group managed to get up – well done ladies.
I always feel spiritual connection when I am in Bali. Spirituality is everywhere, in everyone’s daily lives. They make offering daily, puja three times a day (it’s played on the radio). Statues and carvings of the many deities are everywhere. It’s a place to connect to and heal your spirit. I always feel more grounded and connected when I return.
Looking forward to seeing you again next year.