Biker Baby!

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Meet sister to chat about teaching yoga and happily agree to start next week. I get a quick motorbike lesson and off I go! Freedom. Life is expansive as it should be. I am smiling from my belly.

Go to free talk about LOVE at the Yoga Barn studio by a Jungian psychotherapist and dream analyst named Jeremiah Abrams.  I leave early. His messages are beautiful and true although I feel not called to remain. As I am strolling home singing mantras I am approached by an Aussie guy on a motorbike who insists I hop on and join him for a cocktail. I bite. A cocktail has not passed my lips in so long, I need balance it seems. He is a star brother shifting from his life as a police officer, one who has seen some of the most horrendous crimes of humanity. Our conversations are quite nourishing for I learn much from such a grounded soul. Sometimes I float with such naivety; I will believe still that the world is becoming brighter and more harmonious daily, a place where the power of love will win. Bed at 3 am.

Sacred Shower (April 24th)

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Meander to Penestanan to the Yellow Flower café snuck among the rice paddies and lush greenery. It is quite hot today. I seek water acutely and find myself creeping into snazzy hotel for a swim and a shower. The towels are the most plush and I am bothered by none. The resort is on the Campuan river, the sacred meeting of two waters.

Dinner with the fairy sister and a new yet quite familiar feeling sister from Australia. We manifest, formulate plans, hug. Thank you creator for bringing us together again.  Gratitude to the Goddess.

Rewind: April 23rd

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Shit. I am so behind in my blog that I may just share brief summaries of the last week plus with a lot of pictures, a children’s book version of my less than adult life. Life is beautiful, jam-packed with so much magic. Creator is holding my hand on a roller-coaster ride of light. I surrender to all, the bumps and lack of seatbelt included. All is perfect.

(If time allows I will go back and write proper details of the journey although it seems as if every time I sit with the intention to write a post I am generously pulled into amazing event, accosted by a traditional Balinese healer, plopped on the back of a motorbike, dunked in a sacred pool.)

April 23rd…In my bungalow I feel as if I am crawling in my skin still, a feeling present often in my childhood when I would attempt to go to bed. There are unhappy spirits here I am certain. I try to transmute the energy by calling in all the assistance that I can.

Ubud is a vortex of powerful kundalini energy, a high vibrational hot spot. It is said that people either remain here for a long time, those who can match and exercise the energy wisely, or leave rather quickly for Ubud (aka “medicine” in Balinese) brings all one’s karmatic and emotional baggage to the surface. Some days I see spaceships in the night sky. Everything is happening so fast; flying I am barely in my body.

Bathing, the grace of water, will bring harmony.

Dine at a new organic restaurant. There are so many places in Ubud to get one’s daily dose of spirulina, a heap of chia seeds, or a plate of raw zucchini “pasta”. I don’t often eat at these places for the prices are for those with more cash flow but I do sometimes sit in such environments for the loving atmosphere. Meander. Meditate. Make-out with Ganesha.

Back to Ashram Munivara for donation yoga taught in Balinese mostly. Hitch back to town with a local woman and her kid. The Balinese are skilled motorbike drivers often carrying three people per ride along with all the goods from the market, etc. Sometimes women also transport goods on their heads as they travel. Crown chakra exercise.

Asked to teach yoga for a non-profit organization that provides high school education and dorms for poor teens. Yoga for kids will be a new experience. I am pumped!

Chat with Cancer/jewelry maker originally from NYC and living the last forty years in Indonesia. He is decorated like a gaudy Christmas tree and glows with creativity. He has found International love with a Javanese woman and may be the only Jew in Java. L’Chaim!

Be of the Light

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Morning sun salutations on the beach greet the day with ease. The Love Space troop heads to snorkel as I choose to meet again with the dark lord. We chat further, more tea and countless cigarettes. He eagerly wants me to return to his house and something strongly pulls me back. I decline politely, candidly expressing how I do not trust his intentions or use of power. A wave of intuition leads me to conclude that he seeks sex with my spirit; he wants to gnaw off a portion of my soul.

He becomes very defensive, telling me how I can call countless clients for confirmation of his purity. I ask my guides to assist him as I leave with gratitude. The angels will embrace him with light, he will receive love when he is ready. As I head towards the southern end of Amed I am approached by a musician brother from the following evening, he shows me his homestay that he works at and offers me a huge discount if I choose to return. It is not only low season but the kindness of Balinese to please that allows for such generosity. Walking along the main road I hitchhike on the back of a motorbike for a bit before the driver takes me to a fancy yet empty rental on the top of the ridge with a pool that I am encouraged in dip in.

Instead I saunter to the natural sea, blessing the water and placing smooth rocks between my toes. Seeking shade from the midday heat I head to an organic paradise with homemade kombucha and a shell sanctuary, served by the partner of the goddess of the garden who also does astrology, tarot, and ayurvedic consultations. Out-dated dusty books encouraging vegetarianism, holistic lifestyles, etc., are scattered on each table. Her partner is an intense German guy who insists on “no smoking” rules among other seemingly evident guidelines for the space. I can abide easily. The bungalows for rent on the property require an interview it seems, a pair of ladies who too entered the compound to review the menu and the potential place to slumber didn’t seem to make the cut.

Back to meet group to collect our belongings and head out of Amed with a stop at Titra Gangga, the water palace. It is a holy site, the water from a sacred spring located under a Banyan tree, with a gorgeous temple and mazes of pools and fountains surround by lush gardens and stone statues. One hops on stone steps like a frog leaping from lily pad to lily pad on a path leading from the first pool to the fountain flowing with glistening water.

We all swim in the baths, meditate, honor the water gods.

The boys:

Gorgeous flowers line the pools:

Our driver takes us via a scenic route, passing through salak (snakefruit) plantations and dense forests of bamboo and a stop for dinner at a place with the most loving Ganesha statue.

Arriving back at the queen’s compound late I chat politely for a moment for I am eager for slumber.

Yin and Yang

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Ahh. The roosters. I am trying to learn to love you but it is barely 7 am. I greet the sun and many of my fellow brothers and sister whom have been awake since sunrise. They are more eager souls than I to rise so early. In general everyone is up at dawn here in Bali, harmonious with nature. Morning markets begin around 4 am, yoga mysore classes at 6:30 am, meditation at 5 am. I am part yogi, half NYC cat. I would love to be asleep by 10 pm and will work harder to accomplish this goal.

At the beach again we swim, enjoying the soft warm water. The local warung across the street delivers a pile of coconuts for us to hydrate, the sun already intensely strong in the early morning. For $0.80 per coconut we cannot refuse. I hack open a coconut for the first time, flattening the base first for stability and cracking open a small hole through the top to prick with a straw. It is no easy feat, my guns strengthened well as I slash the inner hard core with a mildly dull sword. Alas the young green coconuts are enormous and filled with the most delightful juice. I could live on coconuts alone I believe.

I stroll along the main road and am accosted by a man in the driveway of a neighboring homestay who invites me into his compound. I am intrigued by his call, following behind the pony tailed peculiar male. We sit on the porch of one the bungalows as his staff brings tea and coffee, he knows that I do not drink coffee without asking my preference. Cigarette after cigarette he smokes as we drink the hot beverages, he is the owner of the homestay and a gifted intuitive. I question his energy and intention privately in my mind but am fascinated still. He says my chakras need clearing and that I need some help, which is why he beckoned my call. I don’t agree with his diagnosis, working daily to maintain crystal clear chakras through singing and color visualizations.

We talk about yin and yang, the darkness and the light and the need for balance of the two. I feel as if I hold something energetically that he seeks. Or that he is a sex magician. Our spiritual banter is interrupted by an offbeat and friendly Aussie couple who seeks accommodation. He is burly crinkly faced, red-headed truck driver from Perth and she an adorable Taiwanese-born sister with very prominent braces. She takes my picture as if I am a historical site. I suppose my lounging on the floor outside of one the bungalows with the kooky chain smoking Balinese guy wearing all black is equally as odd as the sight of the two. I convince them to stay for the place is actually quite nice, tidier and more modern than most other options in the area.

The dark lord offers to do a healing session for me, stating he does free sessions for all needing assistance for he is “in service to creator”. Not so sure he isn’t self-serving first but I will suspend judgment. Like most Balinese I personally encounter on this small island, he is a multi-dimensional business man and Balian. I am guarded but will go to his home to his sacred room that he claims is filled with exotic found item that have turned up on beach outside the bungalows. On the back of his mighty and loud motorbike we fly outside of Amed, approximately 10 km outside. He drives wildly fast; it is exhilarating yet idiotic sans helmet on the pot-holed strewn road. We bolt as if traveling on a witches broom.

Twisted bamboo vines, anomalous skulls, countless swords hang from the walls of his temple. He fights the shadows of the night often he shares, the evil spirits that are combating the light, the old energies; he claims to be able to make the universe rain. I can [mildly] believe it for he knows all in my mind with ease.  We sit on the porch as his sister provides hot beverages and cold chunks of papaya and I am educated further about the energy on the island of Bali, the spirits that inhabit the land, the importance of ancestors and caste, and the present shift of the universe as we speak.

I am requested to sit in the crazy room alone as he chats with his extremely fair skinned wife, the space filled with incense lit strongly and an open glass bottle of yellow liquid that smells unpleasantly intoxicating. I call in my angels and guides to surround me, a bubble of light formed for protection. As I squat on the straw mat energy creeps up my spine and into my throat. It doesn’t feel completely pure and holy but invasive and strong. There is moment I feel as if I am choking.

I return to sitting outside with the black magician and his compatriot and am questioned about my experience, which I share with honesty. He reminds me I need healing to allow the energy to travel more freely, offering to do a session with me on the following day for he claims he wanted me to first test the frequencies of the space. A day is required for integration.

The China doll faced wife drives me back to the beach bungalow, carefully in a manner quite contrary to her man. She speaks little English making the ride a bit silent, a time allowed for digesting. With the kind warung owner/coconut collector I practice driving a motorbike. His daughter follows alongside on a push bike, giggling as I sit in front of her father as he holds my hands on the controls. I am ten years old again, sitting in between the legs of my own father as he allowed me to assist steering the wheel from the cul-de-sac into the driveway of our home.

Love Space family play time pictures:

Acroyoga class on the beach with the Love Space family leads us into a tribe dinner at another warung with the most refreshing turmeric lime honey drink special. The cook specially prepared an abundance of vegetarian curry for our large number of plants loving sisters and brothers. We are many, alcohol eschewing with the preference for produce. The food, ambiance, company, everything is delicious.

The kids do acro too:

Dinner time:

Around a roaring beach side fire we sing, dance, and play. A younger sister seeks a private chat, messages of assistance flow with ease. She returns the love by flying me under the stars. Acrobatic movement is so liberating, so fun! Balinese musical brothers from the evening before join the circle, oneness. Love and light.

Love Space Travels

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The Love Space rocket-ship blasts off at 10 am for Amed. We are a tribe of seven and will be met by five more at our destination. The ride takes approximately two and a half hours to the quiet beach town of Amed located in East Bali, a short stop for fruit and snacks in a local market and through the green fields of this godly island.

We walk around for a while perusing homestays, it a great opportunity for us to learn how to work together, to balance our own desires and needs with others. Community is the focus. All I crave is to play on the black sand beach. I care not of the location where to crash, whether there is hot water or a pool or wifi. The group splits among three different homestays within walking distance of one another, I choose cheaply. Ketut’s homestay has little ambiance, five simple huts missing toilet seats in the bathrooms and a yard filled with trash but is planted directly on the quiet beach. A solo goat roams happily on the sand.

We all bathe in warm water, the current of the afternoon waves quite strong. I eagerly jump in for I love the sea. Water and dolphin blessings.

I begin a cleanup brigade of the garden after the dip, placing the Bingtang beer and coke bottles, the cigarette butts, plastic nonsense, etc. in a found bucket and am quickly joined by a group of eager young boys who too lovingly assist. With a pile of rocks I construct a heart garden aided with beautiful creative souls.

A red tapestry pulled off my homestay wall, I’m pretty sure the queen won’t mind, along with my crystals and other sacred huacas I pull together an altar in the center of our garden of love. With my new drum I beat to the directions, ceremonially opening the weekend. We call to the seven directions, the east, the south, the west, the north, the sky, mother earth, and the center, the one heart of us all. Family is united with Gaia. We are one.

Via a previous evening’s dream I am gifted an activity of making intention bracelets with red, white, and yellow ribbon that I too have carried on this journey. Representing the fire, water, and air (the same cloth colors used in Balinese Hindu conversion ceremonies) we close our eyes and braid our prayers into our consciousness, some of us holding the ribbon in our mouths, some by our toes. Let the fun and healing commence!

Across from our friendly abode we dine together, supping on Balinese specialties such as nasi campur, a plate of rice covered with different vegetable stews, a fried egg, stupid prawn crackers, and spicy sambal, mie goreng, a Balinese version of Chinese fried rice, blended fruit juices, shaved ginger and lemongrass tea.

Our bellies satiated the live music begins, three local guys singing classic reggae songs and American rock. Fairy sister and I dance for all, blissfully shaking our shakti with bare feet. Later on the black beach again we stroll, mesmerized by the splendor of the glistening stared sky over the quiet sea and concluding the evening with a few other sisters and brothers from Australia who are barbequing freshly caught fish on the sand. Slumber time.

Plate of the Gods: A Gado-Gado Review

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 Life has been deliciously full, it has been a bit challenging to find time to write. 🙂 In honor of the bounty of Bali bliss and this being post number 101,  I will switch up the posting style and just share about the glorious local dish called gado-gado. The name of the plate speaks wonders alone; it is the Balinese version of salad for they don’t eat much lettuce here, a typical dish found everywhere from street markets to classy eateries. Basic recipe includes blanched vegetables with peanut sauce. Sometimes there is tofu, sometimes there is tempe, often it is topped with a fried egg and garnished with rice and/or prawn crackers. I lean towards the vegan, no egg, no shrimp crisps. Let’s eat!

1. Atman Cafe: New eco-conscious restaurant that bans plastic straws and plays Krishna Das among many other popular kirtan musicians. High points for the ambiance and the hot beverages served with complimentary heart shaped shortbread cookies. The owner is often present, a kind sister who prays often to the altar in the center of the room. As for the gado-gado the blanched vegetables are fresher than most, a wide mix of water spinach, long beans, snap peas, sprouts, carrots, and cabbage, the tofu chunks lightly steamed are moist and the peanut sauce perfectly smooth. The portion is a bit small for the price of the plate, which is around $3.25.

2. Bali Buddha: Organic popular yogi/yuppy hangout with the best plush purple cushions to chill (although no wifi to discourage the lounging) and homemade kombucha tea. The plating of this dish is fun with individual piles of veggies and the sticky rice squares quite filling but the peanut sauce is most bland, this version is healthy but boring. It could use some more color, no? Perhaps a tomato garnish or a slice of chili. Cost is $3.00. We travel on to the next…

3. Warung Ijo: Tiny local warung (restaurant) on the main road with no windows and little draft. Loud tv noise is complimented by the most adorable young Muslim girl cooking traditional food only. No tourists in site and beverages for $0.30 make this place worthwhile for quick, cheap nutrition. The gado-gado is mostly pressed rice circles and potatoes sprinkled with a few fried tempe pieces, cabbage shreds, long beans, and diced carrots. Could use more legumes than carbs but the fluid peanut sauce has strong notes of coconut milk and the chili sambal served alongside is divine. Spicy love. $1.00 per plate.

4. Warung Taman Curry: Also a local joint on the main road but with better ventilation. Outdoor seating with loud motorbike traffic noise and pesky mosquitoes but attentive staff. Blanched veggies are a decent assortment and the dish includes both toasted tempe and tofu (hail to the protein gods!) although they are both a bit dry. Many crackers, which I personally don’t enjoy for they taste like cardboard (Balinese rice cakes I opine), make the plate pretty along with the splash of black rojak sauce (similar to Chinese hoisen) and the price fits the quality at $2.00. MSG additive a strong possibility. (Burp). Continue the gorge…

5. Warung Igelanca: Local yet with a strong promise of no MSG. Super friendly waitresses and a mixed crowd of diners. Raw cucumber and lettuce mixed with steamed cabbage makes an interesting texture combination. Lots of juicy tempe and mediocre peanut sauce that could use another round in the blender. China is cute as is the complimentary jasmine tea. $2.25. Ehh. Moving on…

6. Shekinah: Ok. So this isn’t really gado-gado but for all intensive purposes is the same concept. Here we share another Balinese “salad” called lotek. The ingredients seem to be the same, the sauce simply a bit thinner (due to the addition of coconut milk) and is mixed in with the steamed vegetables instead of gracefully poured on the top. Tons of bean sprouts and crushed peanuts make this dish crunchy and fun. The tofu is overcooked and the annoying crackers merely picturesque but the price is perfect at $2.00.

7. Gado-gado a la Malaysia: I had this my one evening in Kuala Lumpur, I can’t recall the local name of the dish but it was one of the more memorable. The portion was huge, the pressed rice tabs uniquely smooth, the water spinach filled with needed iron. No silly crackers and plenty of prostitutes offering services on the street outside the eatery. The peanut sauce wins the prize of being a perfect balance of spice and creaminess, one can drink it solo (which I did happily). $2.00. I am stuffed!