When I discovered the amazing story of Bali culture, I made a video about it.
Bali is the remains of the ancient Majpahit Empire. Based in Java, this Hindu – Buddhist civilization ruled the Malay peninsula for centuries. When a Javanese king converted to Islam and required that all his people do the same, many Hindu upper class left Java for Bali, in order to maintain their old sacred ways of living. A major exodus of princes, priests, and royalty around 1527 CE established Bali as a safe haven for ancient Hinduism, and their traditions continue to this day.
Who was Gajah Mada? Javanese epic poems and myths speak of this powerful king of the Majapahit civilization who brought the empire to its peak of glory. Gajah Mada (c. 1290-1364) made a solemn oath called Sumpah Palapa, in which he vowed to live an ascetic life and sacrifice all spices in food, until he had conquered the entire Asian archipelago of Nusantara.
Gajah Mada is now revered as an important national hero, a symbol of patriotism and national unity. During his reign, Hindu epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata became ingrained in the culture through epic poems performed with leather puppets, called wayang kulit.
This is the Tanah Lot Temple in Southwest Bali. It is one of the sacred directional temples for Balinese Hindu divine beings. It is said to have been built in the 15th century by the revered Majapahit priest, Dang Nyang Nirartha.
My discoveries about the amazing history of Bali led me to make this video. I’m busy learning new skills under lockdown, since we know the 21st century requires multi-media communication. Now iMovie is no longer a mystery to me, although I’m still at the very beginning stages.
Lama D’s English is improving rapidly. We discovered a great way to read, speak, and listen simultaneously is with audiobooks! One of my favorites is “What Makes You Not a Buddhist?” by the famous brilliant Bhutanese Rinpoche Kyeuntse Norbu, who uses an American narrator.
We enjoyed a day of utter glee when my package arrived from the USA. It took many weeks to research how to ship these supplements! And just a few days to arrive via DHL, thanks to my dear friend Carol and Pak Mail in Santa Fe. Since homes do not have reliable addresses here, there’s no delivery to homes, and thus they cannot receive mail. We had shipped it to DHL at the airport. Although the package was opened in Jakarta to check for drugs, it arrived in perfect order.
I enjoyed Taichi today before breakfast in front of our house.
Breakfast was black beans cooked with local red rice and vegetables with fresh cheese. Lama D has become very skilled at cooking beans. We soak them 8-12 hours, then cook in the rice cooker.
A friend down the street makes donuts, and gave us a box of every flavor! Although my body strictly prohibits all forms of sugar, Lama D can eat anything. Here he enjoys a snack of donuts and dried fruit with our friend and house owner, Yoga Wastra.
Lama D and I are searching for accommodations for our upcoming retreats. This reclining Buddha is in a friend’s hotel, Imani Suites near Al Diwan Lebanese restaurant in Seminyak. Amazing place!
We drove an hour to Eastern Bali yesterday to look for a site to hold our future retreats. This place is a possibility. We hope our first retreat will be after the holidays 20-2021. Stay tuned!
Everywhere you look you can see the remains of the great Majapahit empire. This 7th century temple in East Bali has been owned by a family for centuries. The huge stone temple guardians protect the complex from negative energies. This is part of the Keramas Sacred River retreat where we stay in Bali.
On the way home we stopped at the black sand beaches on the Bali’s East coast. The ocean is peaceful and immense. The black sand glistens under our bare feet.
Thanks for stopping by! I send you so much love and best wishes. I am always delighted to hear from you. I invite you to reply to this email to say hello and tell me how you are. Please stay safe. Blessings! Sri Jana