Live Ravenously with Dr. Marina Kostina
5 Magical Lessons from Bali
Bali is an Indonesian island that looks like a turtle resting in the waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans. It has been written about in various travel blogs and numerous aspects of its culture, cuisine and tourism have been highlighted in other publications. Today, I would love to focus on the magical aspects of Bali that we learned about in our Spiritual Adventure Retreat to this enigmatic island in January 2020. I hope that the five lessons that I share here will help you change your life and create more positivity, abundance and flow.
From the first encounter Bali might appear chaotic in its unorganized traffic, half naked tourists mixed with dressed up locals, wild nature, poverty and monumental temples creating one grand cacophony.
However, very quickly you start noticing that this chaos has its own rhythm and harmony. It creates a unique atmosphere where time is no longer linear. Here every day becomes a separate universe, and every thought can be materialized in a matter of seconds. Every part of Bali is filled with love and kindness, and you feel accepted, understood, and cared for as if you were laying in gigantic cradle where the whole island is signing a lullaby to you.
A feeling of female love and protection penetrates the entire space, and not by chance. The legend of one of the biggest mountains, Mt. Batur, has a perfect explanation for this magical feeling. It is believed that Mt. Batur is a center of SHAKTI—feminine energy force that moves throughout the universe and can both create and destroy. Once, a queen who was wrongfully accused of betraying her husband was sent to this mountain as an exile. Since she was pregnant, she had to give birth to her son all alone and died during the process, but her placenta was buried on top of the crater and protected the island from the volcanic eruption. This boiling feminine energy allows those who reach the top to ascend to the divine.
This feminine energy lays the foundation for the main principles for the Balinese people—principles that once mastered, can create magical shifts in your life.
#1: Daily Gratitude
Balinese people spend a third of their very modest income on religious rituals. Five times a day they give offerings to various spirits and gods (there are over four thousand of them on the island!) These are spirits of the roads, fields, abundance, etc., and each of them gets a beautiful offering in miniature baskets filled with rice, sweets, flowers and incense. But the most incredible thing is that the citizens do not ask anything from the spirits. They THANK THEM for yet one more day of being alive, for their protection, for the ability to work.
#2: Focus on Serving
In our ego-centric, selfie-driven society, it is hard to imagine how to focus on anything else but our own lives and well-being. Balinese people, on the contrary, are focused on serving others. They are kind and accepting, loving and giving, and if something does not work in their lives, they do not point fingers, but try to find the answer in themselves and repair their connection with their divine. This seemingly selfless lifestyle is not toxic, as the whole country follows this principle, thus creating a perfect balance of giving and receiving.
Their main philosophy is simple yet profound:
- Be grateful for every day. It will not come back.
- Our deeds like boomerang come back to us threefold.
- Give away what you have. If you give, do it with a light heart.
- Think of your karma and what legacy you will leave after yourself.
- Appreciate your place and work as it clears your karma.
- Meditate daily. This cleans your energy and connects you with the Universe, which can heal your body and your spirit.
#3: Living with the Divine
On the island where even the smallest, poorest village has its own temple, local people live in congruence with their spiritual beliefs. While we in the West often live compartmentalized lives (now I am at work, now I am in my spiritual practice), in Bali, spiritual, business, and personal lives are interwoven together. You open your business by giving offerings to gods, and you have your house with ancestors buried in the family temple located in your backyard, so you can talk to them daily and honor them. Spirituality IS life, life IS spirituality. This complete alignment fills this entire place with quiet power, power that does not need to be proved, power with no force.
#4: Honoring Your Body
Despite the spiritual focus of Balinese people, the body is seen as a true temple. They take care of their body and have developed the most magical healing lotions, scrubs and masks. Balinese massages and spas are considered to be the best in the world and their daily rituals include taking care of their body as much as of their spirit.
#5: Cleansing Your Spirit
I don’t know how many times we have been soaking wet during our retreats. Most spiritual practices involve a cleanse with water or juice from a freshly cut coconut!
For example, during our purification ceremony in the magical Tirta Empul Temple, we had to go through many fountains and drink from each of them, then wash our faces and heads under each in order to be purified of our wrong deeds: uncompleted promises, negative words and thoughts towards others, etc…it seems like a good daily practice to adopt.
Praying, meditating, spending time alone in nature, following traditions and creating magic every day helps Balinese people clean their souls. You can sense the higher frequency of these people as they lift you up just with their presence, just with their look.
Practice these five lessons and you will see a tremendous shift in your consciousness and in your life. If you want to join us for new adventures to the places of power, sign up to my mail list and you will be the first ones to know of our next retreat.