And It’s a Wrap

In our final writing class session, I read this quote from Joseph Campbell: “You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”

Then I asked everyone to think about something they wanted to let go of and one thing they wanted to integrate from Balinese culture into their lives at home. We wrote together on this subject for ten minutes.

Then I led everyone on a silent walk around the outside perimeter of the hotel property, past workers high up in clove trees collecting the harvest of cloves, up those tiny bamboo ladders. We walked silently along the edge of the Bali Sea to a wonderful bale (outdoor pavilion) where we completed a final letting go and manifestation ritual.

One by one we got up in front of the group and read our piece. Each person touched on something different. I wrote about wanting to embrace ceremonial time:

“What I want to embrace from the Balinese is their deep belief in order and interrelatedness, their deep reverence for life and the world. And what it means to live in ceremonial time. When you arrive, when you gather, there is no time clock on the wall, no beginning, middle and end, no hurry about what’s next: the next thing to do, the next person to be treated, the next thing on the agenda, the next square in the calendar, the habit of trying to squeeze in one more thing, as if busyness was some kind of reward, rather than the biggest impediment to pleasure and presence in our lives. I want to practice living that way as if there is all the time in the world to see what arises, what happens, to celebrate, see and listen to the ones I love. I want that spaciousness in my life, to say yes to time expanded rather than chopped into millions of self-important little blocks.”

As each person stood up to take their turn, they expressed something different—something personal, intimate, an insight about life, something that had had awakened something inside them and touched their soul.

It was a beautiful ceremony, and when it was her turn, Maria placed the offering she had made in her offering-making class yesterday on the edge of the bale and dedicated it to all of us to send our wishes to be supported by the spirits. It was a beautiful moment and a wonderful way to cap our little ritual.

Maria’s offering.
Here I am talking about re-entry and what it’s like to return home after a big journey like this one.
Our sacred community of writers.
And… It’s a wrap!

After the ceremony and a celebratory dinner, we had one last music and dance performance to inspire us before we all head home tomorrow. Here are some of my favorite moments.

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