Picture this: Midnight. The light of the full moon. Temple. Holy spring water. Local Balinese.
This was the scene of my first holy water blessing located nearby Ubud, Bali. I am staying at the warmest little hostel – Lagas Hostel – and have bonded really well with the extended family that runs the place. I came here completely by chance – they are not even online yet! – as I was put onto a scooter and driven here when another place down the road had double booked. When planning on going to a temple for a holy blessing, the owner who we call Chief, invited me and two other guests along with him and his extended family. They decided to go at night when it would be quieter, as the springs have been really busy over the past few days with the full moon approaching.
After a dark and rainy +-45 min drive on the back of a scooter driven by my German friend Florien, our convoy arrived at the temple.
I had no idea what we were going to do. I was dressed in traditional clothing, a sarong around my waist, and my shoulders covered. We started the ceremony by giving an offering of flowers and incense, sitting silently in prayer and circling the flowers around the line of incense smoke.
We then got into the water and at each spring.
One at a time, we rinsed our mouths out 3 times, then dunked our heads under the water, repeating as many times as years old we are. Therefore for each spring, I washed my head 23 times. There were about 15 springs in total! It was a lot of head-washing. Afterwards we sat in silence for a bit, and the “priest” wrapped some rope around our wrists – right wrist for men, left for women. It was a surreal experience. I am not religious, but the energy of the evening was amazing and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel somehow blessed.
We stopped at a little outdoors food stall on the way back where Chief treated us to some Balinese food.
I had a warm milk and ginger drink; it was like drinking an embrace as warm and familiar as my mother, something I have been needing for a while. It came at the perfect time, we were still cold and wet from the ceremony. Sitting all together at 1am on the side of the road, the full moon lighting up the sky, was the perfect end to an incredible evening. We joked that we were at the McDonald’s of Indonesia as they stay open until +-3am.
I have been going through a bit of a challenging time lately.
I knew it would come with throwing myself into the deep end in Asia, but that in itself is not a reason not to do it! Through all adversity comes growth, and much of my personal development has been born through the toughest of times. The silver lining is often bigger than the cloud.
You must be thinking “How the hell can somebody struggle when they’re sitting in the tropical paradise of Bali?” I won’t go into the details of it, but this has just been a big time of change on many levels. I arrived at the hostel feeling overwhelmed and out of balance, and knew I just needed a couple of days of downtime to adjust to my new environment. When it came to last night’s ceremony, all I can say is that my internal harmony has started its restoration. I woke up feeling radiant this morning, full of energy for the day. Chief sat with me by the pool earlier and told me that my energy is on a new level and that I look like an angel! Very sweet 🙂
I cannot thank Lagas Hostel enough for being my home away from home.
Chief is preparing a little farewell party for us this evening. His cousin Nick, who I fondly call Uncle Alcohol, will be preparing a traditional cocktail with rice wine, arrack, and all sorts of wonderful things. The energy here is so good, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of my trip in Bali.