Ashram & Galungan Celebration

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February 2nd 2012
Published: February 2nd 2012
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Yoga at the Ashram
Hello friends and family,

I recently spent a very relaxing week on my own at the Gandhi Ashram in Candi Dasa (East Bali). I really like their vision statement:

To translate Gandhian ideals of living into action and to promote a life of simplicity (which also implies sustainability and care for our environment), self-sufficiency and service to the community. Thus while ahimsa (nonviolence), satya (truth) and karuna(compassion and, by extension, universal brotherhood) are its guiding principles, in practice it isswadeshi (self-sufficiency) that shapes the Ashram's economic and productive activities.

The Ashram is located on the sea and doing yoga outside to the sound of the waves is very amazing. The Ashram runs a small kindergarten, so we all enjoyed the sound of children's laughter in the mornings. The guests and members of the Ashram all ate our 3 vegetarian meals together outside on a bale (platform). It was inspiring to meet people from around the world and share our stories. Chokey the puppy in residence always joined us and brought lots of laughter. Other than the optional yoga, prayers and chanting at various times of the day, my time was my own. Being a mother, this doesn't happen
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Enjoying our meals together at the Ashram with Chokey - the puppy in residence!
very often, so I really took the opportunity to read, reflect, write in my journal, swim in the sea and get lots of rest. I recommend this kind of retreat for all esp. mothers! My goal is to bring this feeling of peace and a life of simplicity back to my life in Canada.......

Back in Ubud, we've been fortunate to be able to celebrate one of the biggest holidays/ceremonies in Bali - Galungan and Kuningan. February 1st is Galangan, which celebrates the return of the Balinese gods and ancestors to Bali. It lasts for 10 days. There are many special ceremonies in the temples and every house and temple is decorated and the people are dressed in their traditional clothes. The men prepare the panjors which are decorated bamboo poles that are displayed outside every home and temple. The women are busy preparing the special food for the offerings and of course the food their families during the holidays. This holiday symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Kuningan is on February 11th and signifies the closing of the new year holiday when the spirits and the gods return to heaven.

We continue to enjoy our life
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The children at the Ashram Kindergarten sharing lunch together
here in Ubud and feel a sense of community. Gemma has joined a ballet class and we've hired a young Canadian teacher to work with her on her homeschooling.......not sure what our next steps will be, but I'll keep you posted.

Love, Kevi, Jeff and Gemma

Additional photos below
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Men making a panjor
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Jeff and I on our way to the special Galungan ceremony at the local temple
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Walking to the temple
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Beautiful temples on every street in Ubud
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Gemma enjoying an elephant ride at the Elephant Safari Park

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