112. Stumbling towards enlightenment.


O is for oblivion?

Desa Seni has been taken over by white people, like 40 of them.

I’m not being casually racist. Each of them is literally and compulsorily dressed head to toe in white.

There’s a 30-day Kundalini Yoga training programme on at Desa Seni. Called by practitioners ‘the yoga of awareness’, it aims ‘to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others’.

To achieve this they’re all up and wafting by 430 every morning. I have no doubt, there will be plenty of remarkable new awarenesses happening in the pavilion this month. And don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for them all.

But so far this is what I’m aware of: put 40 people in a small space together and within 12 hours they lose all awareness that there are people here who are not on the same ride.

I was in early yoga yesterday (put me in a white robe why don’t you) and I could hear primal screaming in the distance. Righto, I though, bit of an over reaction to a stubbed toe.

When I came back to my small poolside community, however, the stories were of the white-robed zealots high on new awareness, oblivious to anyone else. Apparently, there was chanting, howling, screaming, hugging, gong bashing and a full-scale pool side takeover of multi coloured emotion. At 8 am – exactly the time you’re looking for scrambled eggs.

My friends were outraged. I was a bit sorry I missed it.

Although that said, I was not keen on scrambled emotions being on the breakfast menu all week, so I meditated on the problem for 35 seconds and took a little quiet action.

I suggested to the manager the awareness people could possibly be made aware there were others here not on their journey who were being made very aware they were now outnumbered. And perhaps they could practice the compassion and consciousness needed to allow us the continue to have the holiday we came here for. And they could practice it every day.

I skipped out of early yoga this morning for an early walk around the streets pre-scooter takeover, so I missed their breakfast break. Let’s hope a little ‘noble silence’ was on the menu. Or is that mixing movements? Fuck me, this enlightenment business is complicated.

110. To be a DOGGESS.


This morning I went for an early walk on the beach. It has to be early for a redhead or I’d come back crispy fried.

The Bali dogs are a signature of any outing around here, but the beach dogs are something special.

To watch a dog decide to hit the waves, cavort and swoon and thrill then run back onto the sand with a massive toothy grin is to witness the meaning of happy.

Release. Own. Be thankful.

But on this particular beach, on this particular morning, I found out why so many of them are so stoked to be alive – and healthy.

I met a beautiful lean blond Canadian girl standing around with a wee puppy on a rope leash. The puppy was shivering and shaking and lying prone on the sand, while she stood serenely.

Turns out she has a whole Bali movement to take care of the dogs; she is literally a DOGGESS.

She was working with the wee girl to get her used to a lead, to grow trust. The aim is adoption, especially for the puppies that don’t look like they’ll survive on their own wits, so an understanding of social manners is important.

While we were talking, some foreigners walked by with a poodle, a Labrador and a shaved chowchow. The street dogs went ape shit.

“They don’t understand the domestic pet,” my DOGGESS friend said calmly, as the dogs established the pecking order.

With that many homeless dogs in Bali, I have a hard time reconciling to the need for a shaved chowchow myself.