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Meme means grandmother in Balinese, and that is how I remember her even though she is gone from us.  She was the mother at the ancestral homestead in which I lived for 6 mos. last year.

The last I heard was that she had fallen, broken her elbow and was going in for surgery. Her son-in-law notified me almost immediately.

Her passing brings up the time I spent in Bali.  It was one of deep reflection, of having the time and space to meditate, do qigong, walk and be with a community that treated each other like family. Life is very basic there, one of the oldest villages  – Kerambitan – in Bali that has not changed with time.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Motorbikes abound with even young children zipping along the country road. And, they do have several public internet places – my only connection with the outside world.

It has, however, retained its community life where people not only help each other out, they depend on each other for their survival as well as for their overall well being, something unheard of in the West.

Remembering Meme brings up memories of my time there and with her. Meme was the epitome of a village mother.

When I first met her, I thought she was older than she was. In fact, I was surprised to learn that she was younger than me. I realized then how nutrition can play such an important role in one’s physical and mental development.

She stood not 4’9″, thin to the bone, her small body bent over, and shuffling along slowly so that she would not fall. She would have to sit on the stairs to come down each step. She had chronic diabetes.

Meme had a perpetual frown on her face, showing the scars of living a hard life where finances are scarce. Yet, I have come to know her in quite a different way. Read the rest of this entry »

Photo of all the friends I made in Kerambitan Village, Bali. My head is sticking out in the last row, grinning from ear to ear!

Hard for me to believe that I am leaving Bali! It’s a place and a people,  who have nurtured me while I took the last 6 months to reflect on my life, to see honestly and clearly who I am, who I want to become, and where am I to go from here.

Bali has been many things – magical, mystical, simple, idyllic, challenging, different – from anything I’ve ever known. More than anything, it has been the perfect setting for me to do the hard work of looking into myself, warts and all.

It is the “all” that has surprised me the most! Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t ever think that we can get away from unresolved issues. I am learning that loud and clear in the mystical land of  Bali.  It feels like Spirit saying, “O.K., now you’ve had your fun and I’ve given you some unexpected gifts. Now, it’s time to see how much faith you’ve really developed, how much you’ve learned”!

Just when I thought that I had my life in Bali all figured out, Spirit throws a monkey wrench into the mix!

I  am living as a guest in Wayan’s home, busily planning with him to bring retreats and tours into the village, setting up qigong healings and teaching qigong exercises to the villagers.  Wayan’s and my agreement is that I  buy his mom a refrigerator, and I  stay as long as I want.  Because we are developing a business here, my initial 2-3 months is turning into more like 6, but I’m a guest here, so I figure, “No financial worries, I can stay here and we can continue to make our plans.

Naturally, Spirit had other ideas. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy New Year  to  everyone!

The new year always comes with much celebration and hope for the future, that whatever trials we endured the previous year are over. And, we can look at the new year to start a new life. Especially since I am so far from home, I look forward to a future unlike one I have ever known. Read the rest of this entry »

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