Nyepi New Year


On Nyepi every street is quiet, no one is preparing breakfast at the house, everyone is observing. I am told the evening before by a local woman that traditional Balinese security men control the streets to ensure all follow the sacred holiday. No traffic is allowed, not only cars but also people, who have to stay in their own houses. Lights are turned off as are TVs, the airports are closed. Nyepi is intended to be a day of self-introspection, a time dedicated to cultivate more compassion for the following year to come.

I chat with the other house mate, a yoga teacher and healer from California with the most magnificently strong energy. She is singing mantras before I rise and we quickly learn that we have mutual friends. I smile from my belly. She benevolently assists me in creating an extensive list of the best restaurants, shops, yoga classes with specific teachers, beaches, attractions, etc. to visit, also notifying me of the community events of Ubud, kirtans and the like, and an ecstatically free yoga festival in the south of Bali coming up on Sunday. Blessings everywhere. I want to live here for an extended amount of time.

I head to the gorgeous lounge area for some asanas and time alone, a short shower of thick rain gracing the thatched roof ceiling followed by bright sunshine. It is as cleansing as the burning of Ogoh-ogoh.  I relax with the three cats that too recline on the lush pillows; I meditate and practice some postures. I couldn’t be in a more serene home to rejoice in a day of prayer.

The celebration of Nyepi makes Bali a truly exceptional place to be.

Wayan and Nyoman come to join me, staff at the villa. Every man here is named Wayan or Made or Nyoman, based on the order of one’s birth. The first male is Wayan, the second Made, followed by Nyoman, and then Ketut. If there is a fifth child, the cycle repeats with Wayan. It is simple yet confusing for if you were to call out Wayan in the middle of a crowd of Balinese people, you would grab the attention of most. The men enjoy practicing English, chatting about Nyepi and culture. All the guys learn traditional dance and music in school and have no clue how to use a computer. Life is certainly different than in the US. The emphasis on family and community is of the upmost importance as is one’s connection to God. Nyoman shares that he meditates twice daily. Bali is entitled “The Island of Gods” for good reason for all here carry a beautiful energy and walk with intention from a place of truth stemming from one’s heart.

I am dressed with the traditional head piece and sword of Wayan. We are all giggling.

Back at the main house the yogi housemate and I play with some acroyoga before I create a large leafy rainbow salad of bok choy, tomato, yellow pepper, cucumber, raw almonds, black sesame seeds, coarse sea salt, cayenne, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, one of the first times I have prepared any nourishment in the last few months. I arrange the food, energizing it with love and gratitude, and sit with the yogi housemate. We play with crystals, read Osho tarot, pass time easily. The most gracious host joins and his cards are read as well, many messages flow. Abundant lessons for all.

Life is beautiful.

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