House of oneness
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Our gorgeous new bamboo villa was situated right up against the jungle, so we could see nature right outside our door. Every shower felt like an adventure, since it was nestled in the foliage. It felt amazing to embrace nature while getting clean and fresh every morning!
The villa also had some secrets (in addition to the bonus second bedroom). It was naturally cool, so it didn’t need an air conditioner. It’s natural shape let us feel connected to our surroundings. And it featured a hidden staircase that led into an overhead loft with an amazing view. It was the absolute perfect place to take pictures of the dense jungle below.
Right outside, we had a jacuzzi facing off a sheer drop. I took a dip in the pouring rain and couldn’t believe how relaxing and cleansing it felt.
That night, I couldn’t get over the way our villa’s lights glimmered through the jungle greenery. We also really enjoyed the beautiful cinema space in the villa loft. We could connect with nature while connecting with the art of film.
The morning we got up to attend the water blessing, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it. I’d done the ritual plenty of times before. But I figured it was a good idea to reconnect with the spirit of Mama Bali, as they say. And it’s said to bring you good luck. Besides, I wanted to show it to you all!
I was asked to put on a sarong before entering the temple, then sat down to meditate and drink in the sounds, smells, and sensations of the ritual as chimes, drums, and smoking incense washed over me. We completed a ritual to the god Shiva, a water blessing, then another prayer.
While the experience felt amazing, it made me realize I don’t feel like I need a temple to pray and practice my spirituality. I don’t need to enter a specific building to live a spiritual life. To me, it’s an everyday practice. If I feel grateful, I give thanks. If I want to pray, I pray. I can be in conversation with God all day, every day.
It was nice to do the ritual, but it’s not something I feel called to do every day. Spiritual men pray to the gods three times a day. The rest of the local people do important ceremonies like full mon ceremonies. While I appreciate what they do, it’s not for me to do religion in this way.
I closed my time at the villa with a feeling of gratitude and some reflection on what traveling means to me. Sometimes in life when you want a new adventure, the best thing to do is just to go someplace you’ve never been before.
The amazing thing about traveling is that life will always play a movie that is new and inspiring when you open yourself up to new experiences. And it always adds a new dimension when we create something while we’re traveling, because we as humans love to create – it’s part of what makes us who we are.
In my next blog, you’ll see the new location and new house I’m heading to. I’m looking forward to this new chapter and have been enjoying every single moment!