Bali was on the list. A place to see. And just like the power of intention, the opportunity came thru one day. Taz Rashid, a transcendental + yogi DJ, was in the studio with Sandy. He had just finished the process of his first Intention Bracelet and Sandy was in-person with him guiding him through his first ceremony. Later when talking about his upcoming travel schedule, he said the magic word: BALI. Sandy and I asked more questions and found out that he was playing at the Bali Spirit Festival. Quickly we pulled up the website and discovered the festival was happening just after Sandy's 60th birthday (March 19). The intentions were set: Intention Beads would be a part of the Bali Spirit Festival and we would travel there early to celebrate Sandy's milestone. So, fast forward: Intention Beads was to sponsor the Bali Spirit Festival and flights were booked for a week and a half early arrival!
Arriving in Bali, we first stopped in the Kuta area: a big city with buzzing cars, quickly swerving motorbikes, and a hustle that excites. We stayed just outside the city limits in a quiet rice town called Seminyak at a private villa. There we reveled in the beauty and honesty of the town: the people were warm and welcoming, the food was hand delivered by the local farmers themselves, and everything had purpose. There was hardly no waste. Glass bottles were recycled to hold gasoline for a quick fill-up and the saying of "if it ain't broke...don't fix it" was widely accepted. We befriended many during our short morning walks to our favorite Bumbak Coffee, and had a Balinese 'friends-giving' feast before we set off to our next location: Ubud.
Ubud is the mecca for artisans. Nearly every storefront shows an open facade with the hard-at-work artists with their craft at hand. We saw everything from Teak wood sculptors, painters, potters, healers, farmers, and cooks. In Ubud, we discovered the people's connection to their land, ancestors, and deities. Everyday (and multiple times per day) the store owners/artisans/residents would give offerings outside of their stores and homes: collecting fresh flowers from trees, lighting a stick of Balinese incense, and placing it all (with a treat) on a woven plate made from palm. During which they would bow and meditate on their desires and gratitude (sounds familiar!). The mindfulness that we witnessed from the people was palpable and contagious. Before we had left, a mentor told me, Bali is a place where you don't have to meditate. The meditation is simply there. And he was exactly right!