So what exactly is in store for you on this retreat?
Each morning we will have a ‘Morning Meet Up’.
This is where we come together as a group and do some sharing. Some days it will be easy to share what’s going on in your world, other days will be more difficult. But know that it will be a safe space and everyone else is in support of you and your own processes, just as you will be for theirs.
We will start with a general check in, often relating to what we did the day before. Then I will introduce the day’s theme and lead a meditation in support of creating some space for exploring that theme. There may be a short related activity, but that will depend on time and how the group is flowing. The themes will vary depending on the activity we will be engaging in that day.
None of the Meet Up activities are confronting, difficult or designed to trigger anything too deep. These are gentle nudges towards encouraging you to do some kind introspection of your own beautiful self.
PLEASE NOTE: This is not a therapy-based retreat, more a gentle reminder of different ways you can bring more joy and harmony into your own life.
Silver Jewellery Making
Ubud is home to many talented silver artisans.
For this workshop, we are taken to the home of a friend of our Retreat Driver, Made to make our very own piece of jewellery – a ring, a pendant, earrings or a bracelet.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a design worked out, the artist will work with you to create something that is functional and beautiful.
Morning tea is provided while we are there.
You will be ‘hands on’ for every aspect of the process, from design to making to polishing your finished artwork. Just as you will be supported each step of the way.
(thank you Leah, Lauren and Kaye for permission to use your gorgeous pics!)
We are collected early this morning to be taken to a traditional Balinese food market where we will be sourcing our own ingredients for our cooking class later in the day. I simply cannot wait for the hustle and bustle and the sound of the locals bartering and exchanging laughing stories. I’m going to predict we will be the only westerners there and I absolutely LOVE that feeling!
Made will then take us to a coffee plantation. There are many of these scattered around the rural area near Ubud. They are famous for the nocturnal marsupial called a Luwark. This cat like animal eats the coffee beans left out for them. Then the digestive juices work their magic before nature takes its course and the beans are naturally expelled (yes, they are pooped out haha). The droppings (containing the coffee beans) are collected in the morning, WASHED carefully, and then roasted before being ground into a delicious tasting coffee.
We will get to see the Luwark (may be asleep!), it’s natural habitat, and all the processes which go into making this first class coffee.
We also get to taste other coffees and teas while admiring the view.
Then we will get cooking! We will learn how to prepare the ingredients we bought at the market to make a traditional Balinese Sate and Sambal.
We leave after breakfast to head to the Pyramids of Chi. These two replica pyramids are located just outside of Ubud and have been built by a Perth couple, Peter and Lynn McIntosh. I have been going to sound healings here since they opened in 2017, and I am so proud to call them friends.
A ‘sound healing’ is an experience where you are immersed in incredible sounds within one of the pyramids. There are many different instruments which are used by the facilitator, ranging from crystal bowls to a large gong and a large drum. Sometimes we are gifted with an incredible voice as well.
You can choose to drift off to sleep and let the sound healing wash over you, or try to stay alert and experience the wonder of each instrument as it weaves its notes around you. Either way, a sound healing in this ‘Sun’ pyramid is like no other you might have ever experienced.
Generally speaking, a sound healing will balance the body’s chakra system, resulting in a body that is more relaxed and centred. It is a gentle and yet deeply moving experience which has a different effect on every person who attends.
We will then have a yummy lunch at the on site café where – if we haven’t already – we can chat to either Peter or Lynn – or both!
They usually have rescue dogs to fuss over too!!!
Then we head back to our accommodation around 2.30pm where the afternoon is your free time. You also have the option of being dropped off in the centre of Ubud where you can do some shopping if you wish.
In your welcome pack you will have a map and instructions on how to return to the accommodation from town.
Making our own Offerings
If you have been to Bali before, you would have seen the little baskets woven out of leaves with brightly coloured flowers and a stick of incense.
We will have the opportunity to learn how to construct one of these little baskets and learn the symbolism of the different coloured petals and of the lit incense which is placed with the basket.
Every Balinese woman and girl has been making offerings since she was five years old. They are extremely adept at the craft and make our feeble western attempts look clumsy and labourious! However, a new appreciation of tradition, patience and responsibility is gained by understanding the process and it’s meaning in the every day life of the Hindi Balinese people.
We will then take our offerings to the water temple the next day.
Water Temple – Water Blessing
Water is a sacred element in Balinese life. Every ceremony and aspect of daily life contains the element of water. The Balinese people regularly attend ceremonies and blessings as part of their religious devotion. A water blessing is one of these regular activities.
There is a well-known and large water temple near Ubud called Tirta Empel. This is the water temple where I partook in my first ever water blessing in Bali. It now gets extremely crowded with tourists and queues are often a regular occurrence.
We, however, are lucky enough to have been introduced to a small temple which is still frequented by mostly locals. We are privileged and honoured to have been shown this temple.
As with any visitor to the temple – local or tourist – it is respectful to have our shoulders covered and to wear a sarong with a sash. This is for men and women alike. Made is well used to helping us with our sashes!
We descend many steps – this is the most vigorous of the activities on the retreat – and gather around the central alter / temple. We light our incense and offer our prayers.
Then the men go to the left and the women to the right. We enter the water and ceremoniously offer ourselves to each of the four water spouts in succession. It is up to you if you say a prayer, a wish or simply express gratitude.
The ‘changing area’ is not very glamourous, however should you wish, you can get changed when we arrive at the restaurant for lunch.
This experience can be as simple or as earth moving as you make it.
One of the drawcards of Bali is indulging in receiving a traditional Balinese massage. They are so therapeutic and at a fraction of the cost of what we pay at home, it is a treat to be repeated as often as possible while on holiday in Bali!
Our spa day extends this luxury even further by adding the element of a full body scrub after your massage, followed by a rinsing shower and then the ultimate heaven – a petal bath.
And because that is not quite deliriously wonderful enough, you also have the option of either a facial or a manicure or a pedicure just to feel like the royalty you are!
Massage therapists in Bali are not restricted by the protocols we have at home surrounding modesty, so be prepared to either completely let go and surrender to the experience …. Or speak up and politely let them know what you do or don’t like.
There are few activities more delicious than soaking in a warm bath covered in flower petals. Ahhhhh total bliss!!!
“Take some time and breathe."