Week 23: Handmade Offerings and Tirta Empul Temple
"I am not this hair, I am not this skin, I am the soul that lives within" - Rumi
What did I do:
An opportunity came for me to spend some time in beautiful, mystical Bali with 15 amazing souls. While there I had a chance to experience many new things, some of which I will be sharing with you on this blog. One of the most memorable things we did was make offerings and visit Tirta Empul, one of the largest holy water temples in Bali. It was a magical day. Titra Empul is also one of the busiest water temples of Bali but we got lucky and the sacred pools were empty! Unbeknownst to us, we visited while most of the locals were at a ceremony so we got to take our time going through the purification process. It was dream!
Who was with me:
The group of individuals with me were all part of my soul family. We all decided to take a chance and go on a yoga retreat in Bali while there were threats of an active volcano upon us. Our families weren’t very happy about it. In fact, two people who were planning on attending backed out the day of their flights. It was not part of their journey because the people who were supposed to be there showed up. I can go on and on about my trip to Bali but let’s get back to this specific adventure.
What did I learn:
I always thought of Indonesia as a Muslim nation and had no idea that the Balinese people were Hindu. They are a spiritual people and very devoted to their gods. The women of the household make offerings every day and place them around their home, on their streets and at temples. While at the retreat center, I’d wake up to offerings left outside of my door. It was a true blessing and made me feel so welcomed and cared for.
While at the holy water temple, our guide Dewa, explained the process to us. The Jaba Tengah part of the temple is the most visited. It just happened to be empty during our visit. It contains 2 purification pools filled with water that is believed by the Balinese people to have magical powers. We changed into green sarongs and entered the pools as local worshippers do. Dewa asked us to say a prayer before dipping our heads and bodies under each of the 30 water sprouts. I was very deliberate about my prayers starting with prayers about myself, then my family and friends, and overall humanity and our world.
Would I do this again:
I am in no way opposed to visiting this temple again but I know what we experienced that day was sacred. I can’t imagine another visit would top it. If I am in Bali again with a different set of friends, I’d happily show them this temple.