I’ve been here in Bali now for three weeks leading our Pure Joy Culinary Academy here in Ubud at Villa Gaia retreat center. This last week (week 4) we are on our liver/gallbladder flush and green juice fast detox.
What a great month this has been! I’ve met so many beautiful women and men who started out as students, and as the weeks progressed, have become my friends. There really is something magical happening here in Bali, especially in the town of Ubud. It’s not any one thing in particular, although there are so many wonderful people, places and things I could talk about which would fill pages. It’s when you add all the things together, along with all the synchronicities and instant manifestations that seem to happen constantly here, you end up just falling in love with this place and its people and all of the visitors who are now calling Ubud home too. We all call it, “The Magic of Bali”.
I am really in love with Bali. There is something about being here that is so sweet, sereneand heart opening. Here is one example: Last Sunday here (my day off) I started the day by heading to a water temple at 6 am with my roommate, Jeanie. Our driver, Putu, is a sweet 23-year-old young man who I feel is like a son to me. He always has a big white, bright and happy smile on his face. We arrived at the temple with our offerings which I had bought the night before from a woman selling coconuts. When I told her I was going to the temple on Sunday morning she lit up. She started running around her shop putting cakes and rice and fruits into a basket. Then she added incense and matches. She told me to add money in the morning (for the priest). She tightly bundled it with string and I put it on my scooter to take home for the next day. After our arrival at the temple, the first thing we did was to go into the water. It was a long pool about waist deep, and many people were lined up at the fountains praying and blessing themselves, their families, etc. We got started at the first fountain at the far end. It was cold in the water at 6:30 am. The women are required to be fully dressed with long sarongs and a long-sleeved shirt. It was quite an odd feeling to be going into water with so much clothing on. We were the only westerners there, and the Balinese were all smiling and laughing with us as we went to each fountain to submerge our heads and splash ourselves while asking for blessings, forgiveness or praying for others. By the time we went through all the fountains, we were fully drenched and all smiles. Then it was time to go to the temple to present our offering. We dressed in dry sarongs and entered the temple. Again, all the Balinese women were so helpful, smiling and pointing to us where to put our offerings, where to sit, which flower to use for which prayer to which god, etc. When we had finished thanking the sun god, the earth goddess, all the gods and the One God, we were then anointed with white rice grains on our foreheads and throats. I felt so special and clean! The best church ever!
After that our driver dropped us off at Radiantly Alive Yoga to take a 1 ½ hour intense class with Daniel Aaron, the founder. We already knew many people there because we had been going for a couple of weeks and because some of the Pure Joy Academy students were there as well. After class, I hopped on my scooter and zoomed over to an 11 am Ecstatic dance where you dance freely to great music for 1 ½ hours with other open-hearted people. After that we sat and had green juice with some of the other dancers and made some great connections. I gave an impromptu talk to them about the amazing power of green juice. I had to meet someone at 1:30 pm so I needed to fly, so one of the guys asked me if I would come back next week to share more. I said, “Yes!” After meeting with Asha at Kafe for 1 hour, Jack arrived to pick me up to go out to Soulshine to scout out the center for a retreat we are doing together in January, 2014. It will be a Bliss out in Bali – A heart opening yoga and cleansing retreat and will include a detox, slimming raw foods and lots of yoga, singing and connecting for one week. I had a great raw meal at Soulshine which was prepared by two happy, smiling Balinese women who so wanted to please and make us the best meal they could. I was happy!
At 5:30 pm I tore myself away for yet another adventure, and the day went on from there. This is just one day. It seems like most days could be like this here if one wanted. Full of fun, adventure, amazing people and lots of rides on scooters through the Balinese streets which are full of dogs, chickens, fried food vendors, shops, children playing along the side of the road, rice paddies and too many smells to even begin to describe.
I wake up at 6 am with no alarm clock every morning to a bird chirping outside my window, it almost seems like one particular one comes and sits on my roof top just for me to say “Wake up Elaina, it’s a beautiful day.” I arise to a perfect temperature of 80 degrees and stretch, meditate, do some yoga then head over to the Academy for a great day of being with the students, making and eating raw vegan gourmet creations made by a group of 20 beautiful chef students.
My time is almost done here in Bali this time. But I plan to return soon for perhaps a prolonged stay this fall and who knows? This could become my other home.
Bringing Pure Joy and Gourmet Bliss to the Planet,
Elaina Love is the Owner/Director of PureJoyPlanet.com and is also a professional Chef, Instructor, and Detox Counselor at Pure Joy Culinary Academy. She is a Lifestyle Counselor, co-owner of Pure Joy Academy.