BmlAZxha8Pw This past Sunday I had the opportunity to hear a story about Bali. I am enthusiastic about different parts of the world, but Bali is on the top of my bucket list. A couple was blessed to take a journey there and the word they used was “miraculous.” The following is just a little information on Bali.
The island of Bali measures roughly 55 miles wide and 86 miles long and is surronded by the Java Sea in the north and the Indian Ocean in the south. A mountain chain splits the land in two, with Mt. Agung, an active volcano and the tallest peak, rising about 952 miles above sea level.
The typical plants are banyan trees, tamarinds, acacias, palms and bamboo. Monkeys, small deer, civets and three hundred species of birds are some of the native animals.
There are three million people residing there primarily Hindu, with 370,000 living in the capital of Denpasar. Most of the Balinese practice farming, with fishing, crafts and trading as secondary professions.
The culture of Bali is unique. People say that the Balinese people have reached self-content. It does not mean that the Balinese resist changes. Instead, they adapt to them to their own system. This goes far back in history. Prior to the arrival of Hinduism in Bali and in other parts of Indonesia, people practiced animism. When Hinduism arrrives, the practice of Hinduism is adapted to local practices.
Almost every day there is a festival, celebrating the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
The temples outnumber the homes in Bali. Many temples are really shrines, but the number of religious compounds in Bali is said to be over 10,000. These temples are normally peaceful and uninhabited, but can transform into scenes of great activity and are ornately decorated during festivals with traditional dance performances, cockfighting and gambling. Each of the temples are facing towards the mountains, sea or sunrise.
Bali shares in the gamelan and various other Indonesian musical styles. However, Bali has it’s own techniques and styles, including kecak, a form of singing that imitates the sound of monkeys. In addition, the island is home to several unique kinds of gamelan, including the gamelan jegog, gamelan gong gede, gamelan gambang, gamelan selunding and gamelan semar pegulingan,the cremation music angklungand the professional music bebonangan. Modern popular styles include gamelan gong kebyar, dance music which developed during the Dutch occupation and 1950’s era joged bumbung, another popular dance style. Metallophones, gongs and xylophones can also be heard in Balinese music.
It is a part of Balinese culture to bring offerings-which are called banten in Balinese. It may have come from the Sanskrit word bali, which means tribute, obligation or gift. Or may be derived from the word enten, which means to wake up or be conscious. It is a consciousness of the gods.
The offerings are a means of giving something back. Of course, gifts obligate the recipient and so the system creates mutual obligations and favours even between humans and spirits. However when offerings are brought to the demons, the offeror does not expect a gift in return just the favour that the demons will go away.
From just the little bit that I heard, I had the understanding that the people of Bali were a peacful and loving community with a zest for life and all it’s treasures. I imagined what our side of the world would be like if we were always happy, offered gifts of love, gratitude and peace to one another on a daily basis, not expecting anything in return. Life is a precious gift that is worth cherishing and to be treasured as sacred each day that we are breathing in this universe.
All one soul, one mind and one spirit to love and care for one another.
Why not do something kind and compassionate for another that you would not normally even consider doing? You would be surprised by just saying “hello” to someone how that may brighten their day or even their whole week.
Love is an experience of oneself within oneself. ~Yogi Bhajan~
As always, peace, love and light to all! Namaste