Dharma Condonum, Drama Continuum

Posted on April 12, 2010


Finally I made it to go to BaliSpirit Festival (held from 31 March – 4 April) with objectives: to recover from several lost (purposive ones as well as unfortunate ones), to supercharge my post-resign syndrome, and to polish my selfhood to be able to adjust the uncertainties. So I left Jakarta that evening after giving back anything that shall be returned to the office including the new Macbook and sad flutter in my stomach, bringing along inconveniences, anxieties and deep desire on particular things; to be drawn in spiritualism, mysticism, aestheticism and other possible ‘isms’ dwelling in Ubud.

I was picked up by this very chatty and funny Balinese at Seminyak to get to the hotel. He knew almost everything I didn’t have to tell on behalf of my arrival (apparently he had the kiss and tell session with each of my friends who arrived at hotel earlier and spy on us). He guessed if I was a Buddhist, and that I’m not, disappointed and jumped to the halal/haram rulings of yoga, (not to mention the latest political and celeb affairs). I told him: having born in a rather esoteric faith family familiar with tasawwuf, shikhism la-di-da, that I’m not into those neo-ulemas and I have my own version of ‘Recognized Authority’ as well as separated views on spirituality vs religion. And despite the jurisprudence or particular mindset of worshiping, of course I favor the teaching of single, cross-cultural truth, a simple faith with limitless depth. And if it means uniting the best of Dharmic and Abrahamic religion, what’s so harmful about it? World religions influencing each other *uhuh?*. Then a conclusion made afterwards: ‘Aah, yes.. young people are no longer interested in religion.’ *goes flat faced :/ :/*

In the world that offers many religions overrun by dogma, I’m increasingly convinced and life is too short to be everything. I think as long as when we can filter something aggressive, harmful or lacking in tolerance or social intelligence; at least we’re still sane. Even in this case for person like me who lacks of experience and historicizing (but soon or later will dive into that)..

Then I went to Siam Sally to meet up with my friends and Stefan Sagmeister. Of course coincidentally. And delightfully tacky, because I was challenged to talk to him and take photo with him (I assume you’ve seen ‘Shameless Content’ warning sticker on this blog). Our hotel was nice, we stayed at a pavilion with 2 rooms where I could hear the universe communicating (read: birds chirping, chickens clucking, dogs barking, my friend’s heavy snoring, showering and everything else, ha!).

When somebody mentions ‘holiday in Bali’, do you tend to come up with such kind tableau in mind, a montage of sensual self-indulgence party, booze, packed in pseudo traditional exoticism in a posh tropical beach culture? Quick del that now, this time as though I was transported to another hemisphere. With teachers and people from around the world, I joined as global student and let myself caught up in the exquisiteness of the dramatic sensation enveloping body, mind and soul with the hardcore sessions in the mornings, meditation in afternoon and dance and music in the evening. Although I’ve dosed myself with lots of exercise two weeks before but still, the next morning I felt like a tractor just ran over my body. Thankfully, the next two days classes were taken as most powerful drugs. Since I won’t give up exaggerating things, let me express this incessant beat of excitements equals to celebration of the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

And the whole organic food are oh so tasty and yummm; like chocolate chili energy ball, vegan brownies, Mediterranean crunchy salad, pretty clever by putting on V word on everything ;) Actually I think it was very human guessing on these people. But then you just don’t give a damn, that they are some new age hippies who want to bring about a better world, celebrities or victim of consumerist explosion, or even someone just like you. I recalled the first time I had a crush on yoga, 6 years ago when I was in senior high and wasn’t quite aware of the practice. Then I made it into routine during my college years in Bandung and continue practicing until now. BSF gave me magnificent days, such an education by proximity and experience. It strikes you the feeling of clinging onto door handle before you leave and asking yourself, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to be here?’

Day 1, April 2nd.
We were late 30 minutes and could only see Twee hugging her teacher, Shiva Rea in the cooling down part of her Prana Flow workshop at Ampitheatre. But we made it to join Duncan Wong‘s class which got me super stoked as our first workshop with the union of yoga, martial art, and energetic dance movement (plus the tricky hip hop hand wave) making Master Wong’s “Healing and Killing” class very fun, indeed. He slid from the front line to back and told me ‘Now it’s only you and me, dear’ and I turned blue. I thanked (and took a picture with) him, ‘Otsukaresamadesu.. Namaste’, before adjusting my mat for the next session by Joseph Lee: Unblocking the Gall Bladder, Kidney and Liver Meridians. Yin Yoga, amazingly, always gives that tingling sensation and pacifying effect by gently stretching your tissues and muscles (imagine feeling sleepy and lethargic while curving in impossible pose), and afterwards, you can feel the magnificent, close connection between body and mind. In the end of this session we chanted along Om Asatoma mantra.
असतो मा सद्गमय
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय
मृत्योर् मा अमृतं गमय
ॐ शांति शांति शांति
We took a quick rest and as sound of West African Drumming called in and watched people dancing before we went to grab a lunch followed by performances from Tara Boddhisattva and Sachiho Kojima, followed by pouring melody from Mamadou Diabate‘s kora demonstration.

Day 2, April 3rd.
Again, we’re late to catch Katy Appleton‘s Hot Apple Yoga. Although it wasn’t hard to get up from a deep and quality slumber, yesterday we got back a bit late and my friend was in a precaution of catching cold. Then we joined the very challenging Anusara Yoga by Patrick Creelman. As results, I succeed in the radical headstand *thumbsup*. In this heart opening back bend poses, Patrick also shared us the profound meaning of yoga which isn’t only about physical poses. Then I went straight to Gwyn Williams‘ Zen Thai Shiatsu to give up halfway and continued to Daphne Tse & Ellen Watson‘s performances before moved to the canceled Expressing Yourself Through Hip Hop class (Samian shared history of Hip Hop, though). In late afternoon, it’s a shame to admit advertising agency produces slackers cos I almost fall asleep in Danny Paradise‘s Asthanga Yoga (however, two of my friends did, tck tck..). This second day was the toughest.

Day 3, April 4th.
I realized I almost haven’t touch Ubud outside the BSF location so we strolled the peaceful town until noon before we then joined the very liberating Tina Nance’s dance session (where we can danced eyes closed and able to shout and express ourself in in feral movement, just like serpent), learned to play Didjeridu with Ganga Giri and the charity Yoga Mala. That night we went to closing at Arma with fine, light rain falling.

Two more days were spent in Seminyak, Legian and Kuta whereabouts, hoping from one to another cafe, meeting up with dear friends, cyling alone from Simpang Siur to Kuta-Legian-Drupadi-Seminyak-Kerobokan (almost 1/6 the longitude of the island), losing tasteful eyes by not shopping anything *cha-ching!*. We celebrated my friend’s birthday at Khaima Moroccan cuisine, and also got myself farewell gifts from my beloved boss ;) and the next day we took a night flight.

Midnight, as I got picked up at airport, I remembered the wondrous state I had in Bali. The feeling of mind and soul blown away by the access the bycicle was giving me, the spirit of adventure I was gleeful to discover, the clandestine feeling of joy I hid behind my chest, the secret language I was trying to articulate..
I put Daphne Tse’s Mata into the CD player and I knew I was ready and I knew where I am ‘saving up to go to’.

Posted in: sport, travel, yoga