Monday, May 28, 2012

Mt. Batur festival, Kintamani, Bali

Volcano power... I spent my weekend dancing at a small festival on the active volcano called Mt. Batur. It was a magical weekend of dance, hot springs, good people, good music, and not such good food (we can't have everything). There is always something special about camping at a festival.. Somehow this seemed even more.. I think it was a combo of being on the powerful island of Bali and then mixing that with being on an active volcano with it's amazing view. It was full power! I danced til my knees hurt and stayed up til I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. I had interesting conversations and when the music got to be too much (it didn't stop), I got a ride on the back of a motorbike to the local hot spring just next to Lake Batur, with an amazing view of the volcano, and soaked in the healing volcanic waters with families from the area. One family and I sat together and sang Indian mantras.. We knew the same mantras and we sang and sang and laughed and laughed. While I was changing into my dry clothes the family came up to me and thanked me for singing and gave me a wonderful gift of crushed ginger with special herbs in it.. It's good for digestion, memory and liver problems.. I had some with my tea this morning. It was wonderful.

It is moments like that I cherish and hope to remember for the rest of my days.

Friday, May 4, 2012

island life!

Sometimes, when traveling, time is like a vortex. I get lost in each moment and forget all the rest. It’s a peaceful place to be. In the zone,  focused on the present. I woke up this morning to the sounds of the ocean, the waves making sweet music.

I’m on a tiny island called Gili Air, off the coast of Bali. There are no motorized vehicles here, only horse drawn carriages and push bikes. The water is an aqua blue and today I plan on snorkeling with turtles.. I can’t wait! He he he…. I left Bali a few days ago to do a little traveling.  I was feeling a bit stuck in Ubud, a magical place, hard to leave. Since arriving on these small islands, I’ve been sucked into the calm steady way of island life. Slow moving, shanti shanti shanti.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Goa Gajah, magic!


Travel… Oh my.. So much to say. Within all the movement, all the new experiences, new faces, new places, there is some sort of stillness in the beauty of the present moment. I find magic in these moments.. Here is one that will never leave me.

Goa Gajah: elephant caves
Bali, Indonesia

A tourist location. Interesting, as they are (tourist locations). Wide open, roar, the entrance to a cave, an intricately carved stone mouth, monster, or whatever it is. I didn’t do my research before going (or after). But that doesn’t matter, the feeling is strong, the energy is powerful. That’s all that is important to me, really, or at least in this instance. The impressiveness of the entrance was muted by the dullness of the cave, a small, dark open cavity, with 2 small statues inside. Ganesha, om gum ganapate namah and Shiva, om namah shivah.. But this is not my story.

After leaving the cave and wandering down the path towards the jungle, I saw an old man sitting beneath a magnificent Banyan tree. He was wearing all white and was dirty, as in hasn’t showered in ages. He was glowing, as well and I like that.. A beaming light of being, a true Bodhisattva. Baba Gushti is his name. As I approached, he stood up with a radiant toothless smile, his hands were shaking and his shirt was splotched with red dribble from his betelnut habit. He took my hand and lead me into the river beneath the tree. A magic little spot, with spring fed water and Buddhist ruins from an earthquake in 1917. He surprisingly spoke a little English.

As we left the river, He said. “Mediation cave, long walk?” I, of course, followed his lead through the mysterious jungle. He laughed. I giggled with joy in the magnetic attraction we had for one another (you know what I mean). We walked deep into the jungle coming to a serene and secluded tropical river flowing through the jungle. We crossed, a precarious bamboo bridge and he lead me to the cave in the jungle. We sat and meditated. I sang some mantras, we shared a magical silent moment in the midst of the buzzing jungle. After several minutes we departed, I jumped in the river and smiled, Big. Really BIG. Feeling particularly blessed by that moment. Letting paradise soak into my skin.

A few days later, I returned to visit Baba Gushti. Again, we went to the cave, again we meditated and again I swam in the river. He told me, sometimes he sleeps in the cave. He doesn’t eat much, he likes to chew on betelnut.. I thought to myself, food isn’t the only fuel to keep us alive.

Open to the moment. Open to experiences of travel. Magic happens.