It's been about a month since my last post and a lot has happened. I found spirituality underwater through scuba diving- something about being intimately connected to your breath down deep, it's beyond words. Not only are you reliant on the air in the tank strapped to your back to keep you alive, but you also mindfully use the air in your lungs to precisely control your buoyancy- fill your lungs to rise and exhale to sink. It's such a simple, magical interaction between what is outside (air and water) and what is inside (awareness and mindfulness) that provides the one of the most sublime experiences I've yet to enjoy.
I wish I had underwater pictures of all the amazing life we saw down below, here are a few surface shots:
Then it was off to Bali, where I met my good friend and surfing buddy, Alan. We surfed and explored the island for three weeks. Fortunately, the surf gods were good to us and we had consistent, overhead clean waves for the majority of our days. Besides surfing our brains out on Bali's Bukit peninsula, we did a four day mission to Lombok, where Alan had a small scooter accident which kept him out of the water for a week. Much has been written about the spirituality of surfing, so I will not delve into it too much except to say that there is an illusive rhythm that surfers occasionally get into- where waves appear to come right to them magically, where time slows down, where muscles relax and the water has a particularly vicious quality. I was fortunate to get in this rhythm in two of the many sessions we had over three weeks. They were deeply spiritual moments where after riding a beautifully tapering wave the length of the sharp reef below, I couldn't help but wonder as I paddled back out “Is this real?” Sitting out there simply waiting for a set of waves to come brings me such joy and contentment- the colors of the sky reflected on the silky surface of the water seem to be brushstrokes of the divine.
Sincere gratitude to Mother Nature and to all that has transpired in my life to give me the opportunity to ride those gorgeous walls of water and energy. Truly blessed and thankful for each moment.
Here are some photos of some coastal scenery from Bali and Lombok, hardly does these moments justice :
Now I sit poolside in Ubud, a bustling tourist area in central Bali where rice fields are rapidly being swallowed up by hotels and resorts like the one I currently reside in. What used to be a sleepy village of farmers and artists has been transformed to a destination for shoppers and yogis who come for serenity and salvation. Riding a scooter out of town and into the rice fields is breathtakingly exhilarating and wonderful, not quite spiritual because you are at constant attention to the road as the traffic and road conditions warrant careful vigilance. This afternoon I embark on what presumably will be an experience of monumental physical, emotional and spiritual transformation. I will be participating in a one month residential yoga teacher training called Radiantly Alive. Beyond learning the poses and sequencing to become a certified yoga teacher, the program involves mentoring, meditation, communal living and a completely raw, vegan diet. I am open and willing to let this process of transformation move me to new places and I hope to finally find the inner self-discipline to truly become the person I know I am capable of being. I am certain this month will be full of challenges and hardship, along with joy, laughter and deep spirituality. I am ready to blossom …. Namaste
I recreated the same shot at same location from three years ago, scooter mirror selfie
Ubud is full of hidden places of quiet and lushness
Barong street art
Sadly, this sign in the rice field may not be true
Traditional Balinese Legong dance, Hindu temple ceremony
Sunrise this morning
Sunset with rice farmer last night
Amed, northern Bali- great views of Mount Agung, and great diving !