Bali is such a beautiful place. One of my favorite parts is the culture (and Hindu religion). The Balinese see God in many forms – in the natural world around them, in their families and ancestors, in flowers, and incense.
Having the opportunity to participate in a sacred ritual was really a blessing.
The Tirta Empul Holy Spring Water Temple is located outside of Ubud. My trip to the temple was booked through the Ubud Botany Interactive. By booking with our friends at UBI, we got the Holy Water experience + a private cleansing ceremony called Melukat. This was lead by a Pedanda (Hindu High Priest).
The temple itself is beautiful, constructed in 926 A.D. The story behind the natural spring is also very interesting. Today, I just want to share my feelings surrounding the experience.
ALL THE FEELS
From the very beginning, it’s like you could feel something special in the air. We changed into traditional Balinese sarongs and began the ceremony with prayers and offerings. I’m a Christian, so during this time I prayed to God as I know Him. The beautiful thing is our group shared different beliefs, but we were all together in this moment giving thanks and being cleansed as one.
After the offering, it was time to take a dip in the pool filled with Holy Water and koi fish. The water was extremely cold, but refreshing. At each fountain, we washed 3 times and prayed. I believe in the power of prayer, and there’s something magical about adding the physical action of cleansing with the water. (Almost like baptism.) My soul got a little lighter with each wash.
At the last fountain, on the 3rd splash, I let something go. A burden I’d carried for so long began to “wash” away. I was reminded in that moment, through the tears and relief, of the blessings we receive daily. New mercy and a chance to start fresh…EVERY DAY.
After leaving the pool, we changed into dry clothes (traditional dress) and went to receive our blessing from the Pedanda. He was very old, and personally I think it’s so beautiful. Can you imagine how much he’s seen in his lifetime? Living history. Anyhoo, we prayed and were blessed with more water (which is sprinkled on the head and taken orally) and rice. The rice is placed on the forehead, chest, and three grains are eaten. This represents the notion that you will live with a clean mind, soul, and always speak kindly.
Have you ever experienced something spiritual while traveling? If so, leave a comment below & tell me about it.