On 9 & 10 December 2017, I attended the West Bali experience, a trip created in collaboration between Dojo Coworking as part of their Co-Giving programme and Five Pillar Foundation (FPF), a community development organisation and social enterprise.
The aims of FPF are first to develop the full potential of villages and communities using an integrated approach that considers the five pillars of economic, social, environment, educational, and cultural development. Second, to develop and curate sustainable eco- and community-based travel experiences that create economic opportunity for local communities while also raising international awareness around local Balinese values, hence our weekend away.
For me, it all relates to building bridges between people, cultures and countries.
How to describe in a few lines what this magical experience was about?
Well, I will start by saying that every single word used hereafter will be an understatement of the reality. Right now, I just wish there would be a technology enabling us to relive experiences and to make you, my reader, dive into what I saw, felt, tasted this last couple of days in this paradise that is the Jembrana region of West Bali.
The trip started by uniting four women. Four women from different nationalities and backgrounds. A powerful European square. The fact that the feminine energy was very present made this trip even more special. Bonds were created and a real intimacy was shared. 4 female participants. 3 male guides into the traditional Balinese culture from West Bali. A balance. This trip was all about balance. Balance between feminine and masculine energy, between water and earth, between the sea and the jungle, between sweet and spicy, between teaching and learning, between giving and receiving, between the mind and the heart.
Who could have known that a two-day trip would lead to so many doors opening on new perspectives and new dreams?
Swimming in a secluded river surrounded by trees and nature spirits. Eating organic chocolate locally grown by a cooperative of dedicated farmers. Tasting so many fresh fruits just picked from their respective trees. Learning about local agriculture and pisciculture. Discovering the traditional Subak system – the ancestral way of ecologically and sustainably manage water irrigation of the rice fields and distributing it from the temples, the art of Canang (Balinese offerings), Tri Hita Karana aka the philosophy of life Hindu Balinese people have, which is composed of three pillars: Harmony among people (community), Harmony with Nature and the environment, Harmony with God (The Universe, Spirit, etc.) and so much more.
The content was dense, but we spent our time absorbing every little piece of information like it was a precious crystal we were holding in our hands.
Because in reality, it was precious.
What villagers/kids/farmers/our guides gave us was precious. They opened their homes, their lives and their hearts to us and we kind of did the same. It was beyond a touristic experience. It was a human exchange, filled with humour, cultural differences, patience, understanding, respect, and most of all, love.
Talking to local kids about our culture and showing them photos of snowy Europe was nice. But the best was to feel how they were eager to connect, how they really wanted to get to know us, beyond the language barrier.
For example, I had the pleasure to teach a young woman the power of trust and letting go when learning how to swim and sharing about my own experience with water.
On a lighter note, I did many Insta stories and selfies with the kids, ate a lot of Dadar Gulung (my favourite sweet Balinese treats --> google it), burned my whole mouth more than once with their very spicy dishes, got sunburnt a few times despite sunscreen but managed to find refuges such as an air-conditioned chocolate factory and even receive a free massage from a divinely guided coconut oil manufacturer (with her own magical and healing organic oil).
But my most unexpected and beautiful encounter was with I Putu Susana, aka “the mushroom man”.
Putu started growing organic oyster mushrooms several years ago. Largely self-taught, he experimented with growing spores and developing his own unique machinery and production process. He is a real inventor and autodidact engineer. I was blown away by his capacity to make research and materialise his visions and dreams into proper tools and machines, made from various recycled and assembled materials, this in the middle of the jungle of Jembara, West Bali, where he lives with wife & kid but no internet.
This was only the beginning.
You know that feeling when you receive and experience something, but you have a deep and intense inner knowing that there is more than meets the eye. You are patiently waiting for things to unfold naturally, expecting magic to happen. Tension and excitement are building up. You know that something is coming but have no idea what, you can’t put words on it.
Well the what came to life when Putu showed us the homemade water-purifying device he created. He basically received the information on what and why and how through dreams a few years back. He channeled this from Spirit and created this system after a few years of research. The result is a water with a PH of 8.98. A water purer than Kangen water. I had the chance of drinking some of that water, also used to cure people from the village when they get sick. It felt like an elixir affecting all parts of my body to the smallest cell in my system. The fabrication process is magical.
My heart started to open widely and I suddenly remembered all the knowledge and information I had gathered on water purification systems, structure of water and how to positively affect it with energy to raise its vibration and use it as a cure. From Emoto and Copernic’s researches, to the Water Code, to the Aquadyn system in Auroville, etc.
I couldn’t believe that here, then, someone as simple and genuine was doing such an exceptional work and actively contributing to raising the vibration of the planet without any expectation. His warmth and passion talked to my heart. In that moment, I knew that I would be back and that I wanted to collaborate with him, learn from him.
I also became aware of all the fears and sabotaging thoughts I hold of never working hard enough or on a big enough scale to impact as many people as possible to make the world a better place. Those fears lost a great deal of their power on me in an instant.
By seing Putu there, happy and fulfilled, it brought me back to the joy of simplicity and living from the heart.
I realised all my dreams and channeled visions could indeed come true, that I do not have to rush anything, that when the fruit is ripe, it is ready to fall from the tree on its own.
The most beautiful moment was when we shook hands and he said that he felt a great warmth, the energy of the Universe coming through my body from my crown, to him. We deeply looked into each other’s eyes and we recognised each other. We simply knew even if we didn’t speak the same language, we both spoke the language of the Universe.
This West Bali trip has been truly magical and I am so grateful for it. We had the privilege to discover an untouched region, a kind of Bali from the 70’s.
I am now thinking of ways to be involved with Five Pillar Foundation on a regular basis as I fully support everything they are doing and have some time to give.
It was a powerful, intense and wholehearted weekend.
Thank you Wira, Ngurah, Yudis, Dojo & Five Pillar for this opportunity. Thank you to all the people whom we crossed paths with.
It truly made me reconnect with the beauty of serendipity.
More information on Five Pillar Foundation, their work and how to book a tour with them or be actively involved: https://www.fivepillarfoundation.com/