A Week in Paradise

Every day is a gift in Bali. This week we actually found an inexpensive apartment so we can afford to stay. We’re taking one step at a time as we lay the groundwork for a series of online classes on Buddhism and healing. We went exploring in Ubud, Seminyak, Denpasar, and Nusa Dua beach areas.

We’re following the global news of the corona virus. We pray for everyone all over the world, especially our dear friends in Italy. Please check out my article link here on Corona Virus Precautions. Stay calm and healthy. We are fine. It is very quiet here. There are no virus cases in Bali, although there is active testing going on, and we have been temperature-tested on entering official offices.

We took a taxi to Ubud, a city one hour away from Denpasar, to check it out for a possible living area. We saw Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, the Temple of Death. It was a rainy day and a powerful downpour all afternoon. This temple was amazing.

Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, the Temple of Death, is located in the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in the southwest part of Ubud in central Bali. It is used for worshipping the God Hyang Widhi, the personification of Shiva. This is one of the three temples in the Monkey Forest.

Standing at the door to the Temple of Death. The Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal temple complex is the refuge of the powers of darkness and evil spirits. The entrance is guarded by statues of the witch-widow Rangda. Everywhere we see sculptures symbolizing the world of the after-life.

The spiritual purpose is not to frighten. On the contrary, it is to invite humans to stare into death without any fear, to accept it as part of life, and to understand that everything we see with our senses is impermanent.

Pura dalem, the Temple of Death, was built in the fourteenth century during the Pejeng Dynasty. The temple plays a central role in community life. It is dedicated to Rangda, the Demon Queen. She is the personification of evil, often depicted with pendulous breasts, fangs and ratty hair. Rangda, the Demon Queen, loves to snack on innocent babies.

This temple is in the sanctuary and natural habitat of the Balinese long-tailed monkey. About 1049 monkeys live here. It was raining pretty hard so we didn’t go into the forest to see the monkeys.

When I innocently ordered “coconut water” at the Earth Cafe, I expected a glass of coconut water. I did NOT expect a whole coconut with a straw. Wow! It was super-refreshing, and a universe apart from the canned coconut water we buy in the supermarket.

I’m trying vegetarian sushi at the Earth Cafe in Seminyak.

Canang Sari (pr: chaNANG sarEE), is a sacred Hindu offering that Balinese people make every morning to the gods. These beautiful offerings are everywhere in all homes and businesses.

Today we’re on our way to Nusa Dua to look for an apartment to rent. Lama D. waits in our hotel lobby.

We arrive in Nusa Dua, perhaps the most beautiful beach in Bali. But it is empty. The whole world is quiet. We have the entire beach to ourselves, except for a few Australians, Russians and Middle Eastern visitors. The staff anxiously awaits customers, and cheerfully serves us lunch.

We searched for an apartment in the Nusa Dua beach area. The average price of an apartment in this area is around $200 per day. Eeek! Today I brought a list of the very least expensive places from airbnb, ranging in price up to $30 per day.

After visiting several apartments, we chose a very clean furnished room with kitchen on the edge of a jungle. We’ll try it for a week and extend our stay if it works. The unbelievable price is $8.50 per day, or $10 per day including electricity. We will be able to cook and live in peace five minutes from the beach and 30 minutes away from the crowds of Seminyak and Denpasar. Fortunately Lama D is an wonderful cook! Oh yes, this will definitely be an exercise in simplicity.

One of my last breakfasts at our hotel consisted of traditional Balinese sesame chicken, stir-fried tofu with veggies, fresh peas. And the bok-choy wraps with sesame seeds were amazingly delicious!

Morning time always includes a Canang Sari, sacred offering in every temple and home.

We bought a tripod in a camera store so we can do videos and classes online. Not sure yet what they will be – stay tuned! This tripod is tall enough to do a standing video. And it will fit into a suitcase!

Lama D gets a haircut in chic area of Seminyak. I requested a “Bruce Lee” look.

Well, he came out looking more like Jackie Chan. Now he’s at the Earth Cafe, tasting coconut ice cream for the very first time.

The temple Uluwatu is located in SW Kuta area of southern Bali.

As soon as we get settled, we will to resume working on books and planning our future classes. We”ll be able to take walks, do yoga and qigong every day at our new home. I have a list of important reading materials online using iBooks and books from Kindle on my iPad. Well find vegetables in Nusa Dua, to eat wonderful unprocessed foods. We’ll be able to turn off our Wifi every night, so sleep will be deeper and healthier. And we’ll spend careful time in the sun every day, which is so important for health. Lama D is following the US Democratic primaries with great interest, and looking forward to watching the Bernie-Biden debate Sunday night (that’s Monday morning for us).

Lama D’s brother took this photo at the Bhutan airport. As chief of traffic police, he assisted in caring for the needs of an American group in which one person had the corona virus. This person is better now, and is being transported onto a plane to return to the US, amid careful precautions. After this Bhutan is now free of the virus.

Thanks for checking in! Please take care of yourself and be well. See you next week. Srijana

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