We rose before dawn and went out from Lovinia beach in little wooden fishing boats that looked like spiders. Only 4 people per boat, plus driver.
There were dozens of these little spider boats, which was alarming, as I had visions of it just being us and the ocean and the sunrise and the dolphins, but everyone else had the same idea too. Eventually because we persuaded our driver to take us away from the crowd – then it was gorgeous.
The water was flat.
As the sun rose the horizon line disappeared and the sea merged into with the sky. There were thousands of dolphins. Pods and pods, lazily feeding alongside our boat. Every so often there was a spectacular jump, One gorgeous little show-off did a triple twist for us in the white rays of the morning sun.
We could see the reef below with coral, little fish, and electric blue starfish. But most special of all were hundreds of little baby dolphins slipping through the water alongside their mothers. They were so tiny and cute with little tiny fins and little tiny tails! I was just beside myself with joy.
So to backtrack, we left Nirwana resort some time ago, I think it might have been a couple of days ago, and journeyed here to Lovinia. En route we stopped at a lakeside temple at Lake Bratan and here Robbyne lead us through a ceremony about water; water gives life to earth and its beings (when combined with sunlight), water represents our dreams from which we create our future (combined with action and purpose), and water is also a healing mechanism through which we clean wounds of the past. If the water is poisoned then we are poisoned. Actually Robbyne told us something interesting, water is so powerfully cleansing that if humans can just leave it alone it will cleanse itself! She describes water as having an intelligence. On our first day Robbyne showed us the effects of sound and vibration on water, by pouring some water into a bowl and then rubbing the edge of the bowl so that it vibrated with sound. We could see the water rippling and making its own formations in the bowl when she did that. Our bodies, at cellular level, are composed primarily of water, and we live on a planet that is predominantly water. So the effect of sound (and vibrations, meaning sound’ not audible to human ear) on our bodies, and on our planet, is real. That is why if you hear a sound that does not agree with you it is best to get away from it, as it is making all the cells in your body ripple unpleasantly. It would also explain why you might sometimes feel uneasy in a particular place because there could be some kind of sound waves in that place which your ear is not able to hear but which are making the cells in your body vibrate in a way that is not pleasant. Same goes in reverse for pleasant sounds and places that feel pleasant. So that was really interesting.
Yesterday we went to a waterfall at a place called Munduk, further up in the hills in a jungle. We had to walk down on a jungle path for quite a way downhill. Our guide pointed out trees to us, including cocoa, two different types of coffee, exotic fruits, a plant that has sap which you can put on a cut to seal it, and some spunky little clove trees. (I also met a cashew tree at a Buddhist temple later in the day). In this jungle they have little wild black cats that eat the coffee beans and then poo them out. The poo is a delicacy because they make a super duper coffee out of the beans contained it. Cat poo coffee!. I don’t think I will try it. We saw the dried out cat-pooed-coffee-beans laid out on little mats for sale. Funny.
So the waterfall. We did not get there immediately because running off the waterfall is a tumbling stream and so for those of us who got down the hill first it was shoes off and in we went- paddling about, with the cool water rushing past our ankles, and our feet sinking into the gooey rich nutritious jungle mud. We were surrounded by vibrant green foliage, some plants had leaves almost as big as us! Then as the others trickled down the mountain path they followed suit.
Gradually we moved to the waterfall itself and we held another ceremony there with the vapour from the waterfall misting about us. Some other tourists saw us and asked if they could join in so that was spontaneous and nice. The ceremony was about healing ourselves and enquiring about our purpose in life and how we could serve others.
There were dragonflies zipping around, electric blue and electric magenta. Robbyne explained magenta which has a particular healing vibration. When you join two rainbows to make a full circle here is another colour that shimmers where the red and violet meet – and that colour is magenta. So how cool that these magenta coloured dragonflies turned up, iridescent in the mist.
The ceremony created a real atmosphere, and when it was finished, three of the girls went off into the waterfall because they wanted to swim under it. However, as they plunged in, it turned out to be much colder, and stronger than they thought, and their involuntary shrieks and then hysterical giggles as they got tossed about, and then tried to help each other stand up, triggered something and we all laughed and laughed and laughed from the bottom of our bellies until we had tears in our eyes.
Just to add some extra water, then skies opened up and we sat there by the waterfall in the jungle with torrential rain streaming over us, while thunder rumbled and lightning cracked, and all the trees and plants watched over us. It felt like a blessing. Some people put ponchos on but I didn’t as I loved every minute of it. Then we gradually worked our way back up the mountain path, and created a mini flood in our bus.
Off to a restaurant booking for lunch, some of us looking like little waterfalls ourselves as the water streamed off our clothes. One of the girls had nothing dry to change into and the restaurant gave her a chequered tablecloth to knot about herself like a sarong. It was hilarious and prompted some amusing discussion about the many possible uses of a tablecloth, and whether it should be an essential addition to any travel pack.
On the solemn note of forgiveness, the next temple was a Buddhist temple. Robbyne shared a very emotional and humbling story about her visit many years ago to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, where there is a Buddhist temple. She managed to be there more or less alone and had prayed at the temple to leave the past behind and to become a vessel of love. As she was leaving the temple there was a figure of a woman hobbling towards her. As the woman got closer she could see that she was hobbling because she had no feet, she was walking on her ankles, and as she got even closer she could see that she had no hands. The woman stopped next to her and put the stump of her wrist against Robbyne’s heart and looked up at her with very beautiful eyes and Robbyne burst into tears because of all the love that came flowing from the woman. Later one of the temple guards told her the woman had been a Buddhist nun who had been tortured in civil unrest and had seen countless hundreds and hundreds of other people tortured and killed. If anyone had the option to choose to hate it was her, but she had chosen not to hate and had chosen to keep loving. So we all ended up crying at that story.
I wasn’t fussed with the temple ceremony itself, the monk gave us a sermon saying that we are all going to die and when that happens we will be stuffed if we are not Buddhists. It made everyone (except Robbyne) fidget and twitch. I couldn’t wait to get out of there, and kept thinking about the lovely luscious rainy jungle. I am sure he meant well, but the story of the Buddhist nun in Cambodia was much more moving. Robbyne told us afterwards that her take on what he said was that, yes we are going to die, so she interprets that as we could use every available moment to live and work in joy and to prompt others to live and work in joy, and not to be so serious all the time. She said even the Dalai Lama has a sense of humour so no reason why we shouldn’t have one. It was also an interesting lesson for me about how a message can be delivered in different ways, one of which is empowering and the other disempowering.
To continue the water theme I might mention that where we are staying has an infinity pool, overlooking the sloping hills down to the ocean. Last night it was just me out there swimming in a pool of inky black water. I stopped counting stars when I got to 47.
Another day I was in the infinity pool before dawn and watched the morning light blooming on the horizon and listened to hundreds of roosters crowing, while a call to prayer wafted up the hill, and a Buddhist chant wafted down the hill.
So the theme for the last few days has been lots and lots of water.
7 December 2012, Lovinia, Bali – Indonesia