Photo du Jour: Into the Wild Blue Yonder – Uluwatu Temple, Bali

 

Perched on a column near Bali’s sacred 11th-century Uluwatu Temple, a wild Balinese Macaque gazes out over the Indian Ocean. This critter’s serene stance could be misleading, however, given the mischievous nature of many of the monkeys on Uluwatu’s scenic grounds. Continue reading “Photo du Jour: Into the Wild Blue Yonder – Uluwatu Temple, Bali”

Photo du Jour: A Balinese Balancing Act in Ubud

With baskets of rich soil balanced on their heads, three Balinese women ascend the stairs of a performance theater in Ubud, Bali. The graceful stance of the laborers is reminiscent of the dancers who perform there regularly in the evenings.

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Photo du Jour: A Red Hibiscus in Buddha’s Hand – Ubud, Bali

Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
-Hans Christian Anderson

At our home away from home in Bali, Indonesia, this Buddha statue greeted us daily with a splendid flower in hand. The flowers — quite often hibiscuses or frangipanis — had been carefully selected and placed by the homestay’s hostess, Ayu. Like the practice of making canang sari, Ayu’s ritual is another example of the spiritual offerings regularly performed by residents of this gentle island. Continue reading “Photo du Jour: A Red Hibiscus in Buddha’s Hand – Ubud, Bali”

An Evening Ablaze: Attending the Kecak Fire Dance at Bali’s Uluwatu Temple

The setting for the Balinese Kecak Fire Dance was dramatic.

First, we passed a swarm of mischievous macaques (monkeys) that spirited away visitors’ sunglasses, water bottles and sandals before our very eyes. We’d read warnings about these cheeky monkeys prior to arriving at the Uluwatu Temple, and the guidebooks advised visitors to stow away any removable accessories before entering the monkey zone. Continue reading “An Evening Ablaze: Attending the Kecak Fire Dance at Bali’s Uluwatu Temple”

A Lesson in Making Balinese Canang Sari

On a quiet and serene morning in Ubud, I was invited to learn how to make beautiful Balinese canang sari. These floral spiritual offerings adorn Bali’s temples, streets, home entrances, and any place that the Balinese people believe to be sacred. You might even spot some on trees and statues.

The setting for my lesson was the rice paddy-encircled home of a gentle woman named Nyoman.

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An Afternoon with “Eat, Pray, Love’s” Ketut Liyer in Bali, Indonesia

Eat, Pray, Love ’s footprint is everywhere in Ubud, Bali, where the best-selling book’s author, Elizabeth Gilbert, spent her love chapter. From the plethora of single women who pound Ubud’s streets, to the clichéd tours and Balinese people who name-drop locals Ketut and Wayan, who were featured in the best-seller, the book’s influence is ever-evident.

Having heard what a character the spiritual healer Ketut Liyer is, Shawn and I thought it would be fun to spend a few moments with him.

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