Below are just a few photos I have taken during the first week. They will improve, I promise! I am going to have to get better at taking time to use my camera. It is so lovely to just get caught up in the moment here. The ease of being present comes as such a treat, as usually I find myself needing to make a conscious effort to do so within the ‘normal’ every day hustle and bustle of Western living.
Time easily stands still in the midst of the rice fields as I watch two dragonflies whisp by, entangling themselves in an ecstatic dance of lust and play. As I walk through the lush greenery of the land, early in the morning, I take a moment to stop and close my eyes. The voice and rhythm of various insects, birds, dogs and roosters melt together creating a symphony of nature arising to the morning sun. In the evening, as the full moon ascends into the night sky, fireflies begin to entrain together, the beat of their pulsing glow coming into alignment with an entire field of fireflies. In the backdrop I hear buddhist chanting and music celebrating and honoring life.
The city of Ubud is bustling with street cars, motor bikes, locals and tourists. The energy is high and pumping. Yogis, musicians, energy healers, dancers, wood carves, shamans, buddhists, hindus, children, party animals and surfers in their prime, locals who could be 150 years old (and probably can still stand on their head!), all line the streets engaging in conscious conversation. As I walk back to the carless, small village of Penestanan, where I reside, the rhythm of life settles in, I begin to feel more grounded. I can feel my heart rate settle and release. There are no street vehicles, very few humans…just wild dogs, fireflies, birds, bats, lizards and an abundance of curious insects. The energy here is so calm and soothing, like a mother holding her child in a loving embrace, my home space takes me in for the night. As I take a shower under the stars, I find my gaze intently fixed on a long line of ants as they traverse the vertical cement wall of which my shower head is afixed to. Have you ever watched ants?! After a few moments, my mind begins to seep back in as I ask myself the same question. I quickly sluff the monkey mind chatter away and continue observing. Their communication is quite interesting. I don’t know much of anything about ants. As I fix my gaze on one in particular, I watch him start at the beginning of the line and travel the opposite direction, intently touching the nose of each ant he passes, then continuing on to the next. The ants don’t appear to be carrying anything with them. But they are certainly doing something! This particular ant, makes his 10 foot journey all the way to the opposite end of the wall, where the cement reaches the straw thatched roof, touches noses with another ant and quickly turns around to start the journey back. I could have watched this go on hour hours possibly, but I realized I was wasting water and needed to finish my shower!