Balinese Etiquette and Respect

Dear Fellow Travelers and Kindred Spirits,

We often hear talk about eco-sustainability but we want to propose that before you think about the earth you first consider human sustainability, the people part of the earth. We define an eco-conscious commitment to green travel as promoting the culture of the areas to which we travel and never leaving having made things worse.

Indonesia has easy to follow etiquette to help us all avoid being disrespectful travelers. We are going into their home and as such should respect their culture and customs. Together we can be model peaceful travelers! Thank you for your consideration and politeness.

With lovingkindness,
Alchemy Tours

Daily Etiquette
1. Body language: it is rude to point with the index finger. Use, instead, your thumb and always your right hand (left is seen as impure). The head is seen as sacred, so avoid patting children’s heads, and refrain from displaying the bottoms of your feet (also seen as impure). Talking with your hands on your hips is a sign of contempt, anger or aggression.
2. Hospitality: handshaking is customary for greetings (again, use only the right hand). A common method when greeting in passing is to press your palm to your friend’s palm in front of your chests, fingers point upwards.
3. Visitors: always welcome with refreshments, but refrain from eating or drinking until host says ‘silakan’ (please begin). When eating with hands, first wash hands, then use right hand only. Sandals and shoes may be left outside the entrance the home.
orangedoormonkeys4. What to Wear: When visiting rural villages, skimpy attire is not considered appropriate.
5. Public affection: touching between members of the same sex is seen as friendship affection, but affection between members of the opposite sex is seldom seen in public.
6. Bargaining: in a Balinese market, haggling over price is not considered impolite, but be pleasant. Bali is not one of those places where making an agitated display of negotiations is considered part of the process. Smile, and insist on the price you want to pay, and if they refuse your price, smile, say ‘thank you’ (terima kasi) and walk away.

Temple Etiquette
1. For both men and women, when entering a temple, wear a sarong around the waist.
2. Please ask permission before taking pictures.
3. Please avoid pointing the soles of the feet towards the shrines if sitting on the ground.
4. And when in doubt just in case you find yourself not knowing the etiquette learn how to say ‘ma’af sekali’ (very sorry).
5. Women on their cycle are not allowed in the temple, nor are women who have recently given birth

Names
Basically, the Balinese only have four first names:
First child: Wayan or Putu
Second child: Made or Kadek
Third child: Nyoman or Koman
Fourth child: Ketut
Fifth child: Start over with Wayan or Putu, and so on….
So don’t get confused if you feel like everyone you meet has the same name!

Balinese Social Structure
Balinese follow the caste system, and there are four castes in Balinese society. Intermarriage between castes is prohibited. Balinese live in villages, and the family is the basic unit of the Balinese society. A society of families who live in a neighborhood village is called a ‘banjar.’

Castes
BRAHMANA – priests, scholars
KSATRYA – warriors, nobility
WEISYA – merchants
SUDRA – farmers, laborers (primary population)
girlnamaste

Bali: Where everyone walks around smiling ear to ear

Hearing from our clients, in their own words, about the incredible experiences they have traveling around the world are always inspiring to us. Here below Lexi shares her personal insights on traveling to Soulshine Bali.

We will be there next September 22-29, 2013 and October 6-13, 2013. Read on to hear what Lexi gained from her trip and keep manifesting your next adventure!

“Imagine a place so beautiful and mystical. A place where lush vegetation and fields of rice patties fill the mountainous landscape. A place where everyone walking around is smiling from ear to ear. Food so incredibly fresh and delicious that you can’t wait until the next meal. That was my Bali and staying at Soulshine was even more of a slice of heaven. I couldn’t have imagined a more serene environment. Everywhere I turned there was a new scene of lush beauty, whether looking out of my cozy bedroom, the open air yoga room or lounging by the infinity pool, I was constantly seeing and breathing in the tropical environment. Wayan, Agung and the staff were so friendly and accommodating, from the first ginger mint smoothie to dinner with Agung and his family, I felt as if we were all lifelong friends and I was staying at their home. Bali was the most invigorating and transforming trip I had ever been on…it’s no wonder I lost track of time and worries, or as they say in Bali, “Kin Kin.” I already can’t wait until I go back.”

Bali Yoga Retreat Filling Fast!

KIND BALI UPDATE “Art of Adventure Retreat”

ONLY Lotus Villas and Koi Room remain for Sept 22-29, 2013.

Investment: Lotus Villas $1495 Double $1795 Single and Koi $1625

Details: http://www.alchemytours.com/2011/01/bali/

Purification Meditation

Purification Meditation
*Mantra: “I deserve all that I require.”

A recurring theme in detoxification practice is one of purification. It focuses on the changing of our ways of thinking. When we constantly see ourselves as negative or impure, we become just that. A depressed, low, or negative self-image gradually absorbs our behavior and outlook on life. We feel inadequate and limited and never give ourselves a chance to change. We can cultivate a more positive self-image by recognizing the potential for perfection within all things and earnestly putting energy into developing it. The first step in becoming pure is believing that we are basically pure. Therefore, what needs to be purified is our tendency to identify with our negative energies, our lack of self-confidence, as well as the negative energy itself.

This is a simple meditation that contains the essential elements of purification: letting go of mistakes and problems by seeing them as temporary obstacles rather than intrinsic parts of our nature. This helps us to develop our natural good energies by getting in touch with them.

The practice:

Take a few minutes to settle your mind into the here and now. Be comfortable and relaxed.

Motivation: Remember the beneficial reasons behind performing this meditation. This can include wishing to become freer from negative energy in order to be more helpful and less harmful to others.

Breathe normally and observe each cycle of inhalation and exhalation. Place your full attention on the breath.

When the mind has become calm and quiet, imagine all the positive energy in the universe entering your body in the form of pure, radiant, blissful white light each time you inhale. Picture this bright light flowing into every part of your body. It fills every atom in every cell of your body. You become light, relaxed, and blissful. Repeat this visualization with every inhalation.

Once you have become comfortable and familiar with briefing in the purifying white light, begin to breathe out dark smoke with every exhalation. Picture all of your past mistakes, negative energies, distorted conceptions, and disturbing emotions exiting your body with the breath in the form of a dark foggy smoke. This smoke rises out into space where it disappears completely. Don’t worry about harming your surroundings-imagine that the smoke becomes completely nonexistent. Allow yourself to feel confident that you have freed yourself of every trace of negativity or faults.

Put your full concentration into this experience-breathing in the white light of good aspects. And breathing out the black smoke of your problems. It if you are distracted by other experiences or thoughts, calmly observe them without getting involved or reacting. Transform these distractions into dark smoke and breathe them out when they arise.

Dedication : Conclude the meditation session by dedicating the positive energy you have cultivated to the benefit of all beings, that they may find everlasting happiness and peace of mind.

Bali Yoga Retreat September 22-29, 2013: The Art of Adventure

Bali | Yoga Self-Discovery In Paradise
September 22-29, 2013
1 FEMALE ROOMMATE SPOT LEFT $1495 CALL US 206-495-7232!

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