Early rising to the sound of roosters and the ecstasy of the shining sun. Rainy season is over for sure.
There is a batik painting school a few meters from my homestay where I watch the women pull the color across the fabric. Classes are offered regularly and I may bite. One meditates and then draws the outline of the sacred visions before adding watery paint. The fabrics are then baked, the dyes set. They are all stunning.
I walk up and down the hills of Perastanan just outside the center of Ubud and duck into a Japanese style deli café for tea. It is amazing how many foreigners here speak Bahasa Indonesian, more aliens communicating in the local tongue than anywhere else I have traveled thus far; I am inspired by their intelligence and level of respect.
More exploring of the lush bridge area connecting Perastanan to Ubud, a place with dense mangroves and a rushing stream of water. It is a gorgeous walk into town. Men and women carry supplies on their heads in woven baskets across the bridge, presumably to head to the market.
The town is bustling in the midday filled with throngs of Japanese tourists and international yogis. It seems like more people have arrived in Ubud since I have a week ago. The energy for the festival is growing! I will be present in some form for the universe will provide. I add an offering to the bountiful pile of spirit gifts.
I return to the meditation center for the hour long session followed by my second class. I am joined by another American, a spiritual brother who has been in India for the last 20 months. His energy is divine and I am curious to see his impression about the Brahma Kumaris practice. We sit under the red glow, guided again with music, English and Bahasa Indonesian support for an hour. Men sit on the left of the temple and women on the right, which we both comically reverse and confuse.
We chat for a while and I begin my one-on-one course 30 minutes late. The kind sister instructing is good-naturedly waiting. I am educated further in generic forms; there are three worlds: the physical, the subtle, and the soul. The soul dimension is nirvana, perfect light represented by the color red. I ask the reason behind the particular color, she shares that she will further explain in later courses. I listen further. Baba= God or Siva (Shiva) or father. There is no significance to the gender for this formless supreme energy can never be in human shape. We practice meditation together, she sitting directly behind me again. There is clearly reason for this, I feel her energy strongly. She is a mysterious medium and perhaps if I was a full member of the tribe my questions would be fully satisfied. I will make up my own story based on my suspicions…the Brahma Kumaris are intergalactic messengers of light led by women and use their channeling gifts to spread love. They have secrets but are harmless.
I am given homework to use the “golden time”, the first five moments of awakening to set my intentions/mood/thoughts for the day. I will practice this always.
Another evening of gado-gado in my belly. The range of quality and ingredients in this traditional dish are remarkable. Tempeh and tofu were absent on this plate of blanched mixed vegetables although the serving of peanut dressing was generous, the cutely cut produce swimming in sauce and garnished with fried lemongrass.
I exercise my homework before bed, setting my dreams to the frequency of gold delight.