I admit, I am not good at packing. I take too many of the wrong things and too few of the clothes I will wear. For some reason I can’t seem to balance; too many tees, not enough skirts. Too many jeans, not enough tees. The essentials I can manage – yoga mat, moleskine, toothbrush, hairbrush, bathers and the like. I often pack a whole heap of makeup and I seldom, if ever, wear anything other than lipstick. Shoes are another area that is fraught. I’ve packed a pair of thongs (slip slops to those of you who are not Aussies) and walking shoes. I’ll wear sandals on the plane and it is likely that I’ll wear those most of the time.
So, I’m off to Bali on another Yoga Retreat run by my good friend and teacher, Michele Hendarwin. We will be there for Balinese New Year (Nyepi) when all of Bali stops for 24 hours. No traffic, no noise, no wandering about, no shopping. Nyepi means no aircraft coming in or going out. It is a time for meditation and reflection. It is a sacred time for the Balinese.
Leading up to Nyepi there are amazing processions with Ogoh Ogoh parades. These huge effigies are mounted on platforms and are carried through the streets by teams of men. Last year, I nearly got hit by the scaffolding holding up one of the Ogoh Ogoh but my friend Corrinda pulled me back out of its path. Truly, once these massive Ogoh Ogoh’s are moving, there is no way they can suddenly stop or turn.
According to Wiki, the purpose of the Ogoh Ogoh’s is the purification of the natural environment of any spiritual pollutants emitted from the activities of living beings (especially humans). And, this is particularly relevant now, “The imperceptible potentials of nature cannot be thoroughly explored by anyone. Philosophically, civilized men are required to manage the natural resources without damaging the environment itself.”
Donald Trump’s unpopular bid to purchase huge tracts of sacred land in Bali (to build a golf course and resort) and the Ogoh Ogoh being considered a symbol of modes of nature that form the malicious characters of living beings, I don’t doubt that there will be many Ogoh Ogoh depicting him in his worst colours. I’ll let you know!
Saturday, 25th Mar – Melasti | Nyepi festivities start, Sacred temple objects are being carried to the sea for blessing and purification
Monday, 27th Mar – Nyepi Eve | Ogoh Ogoh Parades all over the island starting late afternoon, till late at night.
Tuesday, 28th Mar – Nyepi Day – Day of Silence – complete 24h shutdown of the island beginning 6 am, including airport!
Wednesday, 29th Mar – 6.am life goes back to (almost) normal, temple ceremonies and celebrations everywhere.