Posts Tagged ‘Margot Anand’

Oh so much to do to get to Bali!

May 22, 2011

Little did I know how much there is to do to prepare for my three-month holiday in Bali. But I am doing it! Bringing all of my bank, credit card, and charge accounts on-line so payments can be made directly from my MacBook Air while I am in Bali. Doing this task took several hours. Then, dashing to San Francisco to the Indonesian Embassy to apply for my visa and realizing I had not brought with me a bank statement which they require for my two-month visa (which will be extended for an additional month while I’m in Bali), so I dashed back home and faxed the bank statement to the Embassy. By no means am I complaining … I am willing to do whatever it takes to finally be in Bali. And every little or big thing I do takes me closer to the island of my dreams. I want this blog site to be informative to future travelers to Bali as well as sharing the beauty of this journey.

Now back to Bali. On my first trip to Bali I attended Margot Anand’s workshop. Waking up in the morning and walking down the garden path to breakfast in the open-air dining area was a very special part of each day. The Balinese people are so sweet. Their great pleasure is to take care of you when you are in their country. Pampering is as natural to the Balinese people as breathing in and breathing out. Arriving for breakfast and seeing the smiling faces of the staff at Sacred Mountain made my heart sing. The food was always very healthy, fresh, and delicious. Mangos, pineapples, and papayas were part of each breakfast. The Balinese coffee is excellent and smelling the coffee as I walked to breakfast sure did quicken my steps.

One very special day I was able to offer Reiki energy treatments to a few workshop participants as well as Ken Ballard, one of the owners of Sacred Mountain. Ken and his partner Emerald Starr were wonderful men whose relationships with their Balinese staff was loving and mutually respectful. I was very sad when it was time to leave the spectacular Sacred Mountain Sanctuary. My stay there had been such a beautiful experience for me and I looked forward to returning one day. Unfortunately, Sacred Mountain has since closed.

I went from Sacred Mountain Sanctuary to Penestanan, a village in the hills above Ubud. Ubud is in the mountains and is the art and cultural center of the Island of Bali.  I lived for a week at a home-stay with a beautiful couple named Ketut and Made and their family. What an honor it was to live in their home. This was the real Bali! … and it set the standard for my future relationship with the Balinese people, the main reason I continue to go to Bali. They are so sweet and I love them so much! A very special part of my day was sitting on the front patio with the women of the family and weaving little offering cups out of palm or banana leaves. The Balinese have a daily morning ritual of making offerings to the Gods in the courtyard temples of their homes, on the sidewalks in front of their businesses, and inside their actual places of businesses. The offering cups are filled with flowers, cakes, and rice. It is a beautiful tradition, which embraces the relationship the Balinese people have with the Hindu Gods. I see the distinction between the Balinese people and people in the West with regard to spirituality is that we “do” spirituality while the Balinese “be” spirituality. It is as much a natural part of their lives as sleeping and waking. I look very much forward to learning even more about the Balinese culture when I am there for three months.

One of the saddest experiences I’ve had in Bali was one morning when Made, the wife at the homestay, invited me to walk with her to the next village to meet her mother. I was very happy to accept her kind invitation. As we walked through a rice paddy to her mother’s village, I looked down and dropped to my knees, crying, when I saw a plastic Coca-Cola bottle lying in the rice field. My heart was broken … what are the Westerners and Australians doing to beautiful Bali?  Are we ruining Paradise? I will write more about this in future blogs.

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My first visit to the Paradise that is Bali

May 16, 2011
walking along the path to my villa

walking along the path to my villa

May 16, 2011.  It has been ten years since my first visit to the island of the Gods and Goddesses. At that time I was working as Personal Assistant to Margot Anand, the famed creator of SkyDancing Tantra and author of several best-selling books including the book that is known as the bible of tantra, “The Art of Sexual Ecstasy.” Through a series of magical occurrences I was able to travel to Bali and attend a week-long workshop Margot was conducting at Sacred Mountain Sanctuary in the Village of Siedemen in the shadow of Mount Agung, the largest mountain in Bali.  The moment my plane set down in Denpasar, Bali and I left the airport, my breath was taken away by the beauty of Bali. It was very late at night and I stared wide-eyed through the window of our transport vehicle, through the darkness, through the trees, and into the soul of Bali. I was blown away! My heart was beating so fast … I was actually in Bali! It took a couple of hours to drive to Sacred Mountain Sanctuary and even though it was nighttime, I realized it was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. Walking along the path to my villa, I saw the loveliest tropical flowers and plants. I felt like I was in Paradise, that heaven could not possibly be more beautiful than this place. My villa was made nearly entirely of bamboo, including the four-poster bed, the desk, the dresser and the chair. Thus began my love affair with all things bamboo! The commode and sink were outdoors … oh, my God! I had never experienced anything like this. I looked around and saw a shower and a beautiful claw-footed tub in the middle of this magical setting, totally surrounded by the most luscious vegetation one could imagine, providing total privacy. Even though I wanted to stay up and never go to sleep, my tired eyes and weary body demanded that I go to bed. A sheer mosquito cloth surrounded the bed, with an opening for me to crawl in and revel in the wonder of my experience. I dreamt the sweetest dream, the one I had been dreaming since I was a child growing up in Conneaut, Ohio where I spent my summer days swimming in Lake Erie and laying on the beautiful beach, competing with my girlfriends to see who could get the darkest suntan. My recurrent dream throughout my life was that I was living on a tropical island where I could get up in the morning and pick fresh fruit from a tree every morning for breakfast. I gave myself one little pinch as I drifted off to sleep. Yes, indeed, I truly was here on this beautiful island. Dreams do come true!