A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about meditation


Padang Padang, surfing, Uluwatu, Pendawa Beach, and pushing comfort zones.

sunny 88 °F

My friend Trey and I journeyed down to the Bukit Penninsula in search of some surf.
The ride down was a bit tough with my stomach still aching from the day before but later in the afternoon is settled down.
Trey knew a driver who took us down the coast and we found a nice place to stay in Padang Padang. A very nice place , with my own room no longer dorm style bunks! Our own bathroom, beautiful gardens and a gorgeous clean very private pool. All for about 8$ a night. We don't have A/C but I have a fan, and there's a nice outside shower too.

Right down the road is a yummy cafe called Buddha Soul with an amazing amazing chic pea feta salad but the first day I couldn't eat any solid food yet so I ordered some fresh green tea kombucha and iced ginger tea drink. The perfect hangover or sickness cure.

I thought Valentines Day was a commercial Americanized Holiday but right across the street from us the restaurants are decked out. We decided to explore the area and rented a motor bike and get away from all that nonsense. This area of Bali is much more spread out than Sanur and Seminyak and Trey knows his way on a bike so I put my helmet on and trusted him and all is well.

The first day we explored Pendawa Beach Balis best kept secret. It actually had some good surf, epic views, and lime stone statues everywhere of Hindu Gods. Throughout our stay in this area we found an awesome cheap local Warung to eat at (Warung means 'place to eat' but usually means a place with authentic local indonesian food for very very cheap) .
Throughout the week we surfed another beach right next to Pendawa, Padang Padang, and Uluwatu. I didn't think I was going to surf any of these areas but this week the swell is pretty small for Bali and I woke up every day and checked it and didn't count myself out. I even surfed at Uluwatu and all we had was a 6'2 tiny short board (which I never ever ride) and I went out there in a super crowded line up and hung in. I know to some of you surfers I sound like a total dork right now, but I'm very proud of my willingness and progress in my surfing abilities :). But more surf and time in the water means more sun, and sometimes my body is too burnt and worn out to be as fully dedicated to my yoga practice as I should be. I am brushing it off because the last two weeks of my trip should be yoga non stop.
One day was pretty small and we rented a SUP to surf and do some yoga on and did some snorkeling.
I like to challenge my practice on the SUP because poses that normally I take for granted and can always do are suddenly so much harder. Head stand was quickly accessible for me, forearm stand took a while longer but I am now comfortable with, and I am still getting used to the handstand. But it's still quite scary because if you drop back into wheel you can slip and slam your back on the board, which I've done and it hurts. But fear does not prevent death it prevents life! Right? So I kept trying And that day I did catch more hang time on the SUP than I ever have. My falls are getting more graceful, but I did take one that some limbs landed on the board and that's when I called it a day haha.

In this area you can get caught up in the single surfer almost club like scene and spend a whole lot of money or you can motor bike around and find the chill surfer vibe. After paying for a watermelon mixed drink at the Single Fin Uluwatu that cost more than the place I am staying, we decided to stick with the Warungs.

Haven't done much yoga in the past few days because I am so sun burnt from surfing, but I must say this area has been my favorite thus far.
One of our last nights here We put on our purple sarongs to cover our knees in the sweltering heat and caught a beautiful sunset at the infamous Uluwatu Temple. This temple was smaller than Tanahlot but it was more about the view, a long walk on giant cliffs over the ocean. If the breath taking view wasn't enough this temple gets its character from those meditating around it and the little monkeys running around that look and act so human it reminds you how much we are all connected. We shared some quiet moments with the monkeys as we all watched the sun the energy source that supports us all, lower over the Indian Ocean.
I said thanks to the sun for all the energy I am given, for growing our food and providing us warmth and light. Feeling so grateful for the life I am given but also proud of myself for choosing to live it. For choosing to go out in the water, to come to Asia alone, to follow a spiritual path and sometimes dare to be different than the average. Because life is not happening to us, it's responding to us, and only I can create the life I want to live. I must be true to myself and what I want. And respect others and what they want to do. Because in the end we are all connected by the same sun that warms us all and the same love that we all seek.














Posted by rachaelob 03:51 Archived in Indonesia Tagged monkeys bali nature indonesia temple meditation surfing snorkel yoga uluwatu sup connection spirituality bukit_penninsula pendawa_beach buddha_soul padang_padang Comments (0)


sunny 88 °F

I arrived 6 am feb 7th. Shared a cab with a new friend after bartering with the taxi drivers at the airport and got dropped off at my place. I had forever been thinking I arrive February 8th and not 7th and of course I messed up my booking. So when I showed up I got a room for the first night as well. The room I originally booked was full so I got another one with air conditioning. It is a little pricey compared to what I'd like to be paying but I do have my own room and porch and bathroom it's very private, but it is still not quite the American hotel which is fine and to be expected. ( Ashley there were spider webs all over my shower ! ;) )
I settled in and started to explore, it took me a while to get my bearings. I had an Indonesian health tumeric juice and breakfast. I forgot my lock and light and charger adapter I was supposed to bring so I did a little shopping . (Mom you'd be so happy the only flash light they sold at this market comes with a built in tazor for self defense if you charge it ) I feel pretty safe anyway, although I stick out as a tourist like a sore thumb, the Indonesians are harmless people, they just can be a little tricky and want to sell you something every five minutes.
I made it down to the beach and the waves were pumping and the beach was hot. I took my first dive in the Indian Ocean and watched some skilled surfers mixed in with plenty of beginners on surf boards, I contemplated going myself a few blocks down were it was a bit smaller and there is no reef, but decided I didn't want to get beat up my first day and I had spent enough money today.
I wandered my way back to my hotel looking like a total lost 'shoobie' as we would say. I had Been wandering around looking for a yoga teacher olap, a friend told me to find in seminyak, but was sun burnt already, dehydrated and had been up for two days, so I gave up on the first day. I could have paid a cab driver to take me but like I said I spent too much money because of my own forgetfulness that day and I figured I should meet this talked up yoga guru in a more refreshed state. It was only about 12 o'clock then and I was feeling discouraged, I wanted to stay up for the sunset but could do nothing else but pass out in bed by 2pm. I woke at 10 pm disoriented thinking it was the next day, and realized it was night time. Went back to sleep till 5 am today.

Today I wake up refreshed and calmed. I open My Daily book of living your yoga, yesterday's passage says you cannot get to grandmas house if you do not go through the woods, similarly, you cannot have the paradise bali is, untill you travel across the world and deal with the chaos that it also is. Today's passage is about patience . Yesterday I lacked patience, I expected myself to have it all figured out in one day. I was not connected, or confident. Today I will watch anytime feelings of frustration or anger come up and recognize that I am disconnecting from myself....
Morning meditation and chanting
108 x Ganesha mantra
Ganesha is the ruler of the root chakra, our seat of confidence, groundedness, feeling at home. He is the remover of obstacles.
... Fast forward 8 hours...
This time yesterday I was a mess. Today I have gone for a run, know my way around town a bit, had some Indonesian black rice coconut milk porridge, surfed in seminyak, made some new friends, found olaps place thanks to a free motor bike ride from a kind local surfer and now am going to watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean for the first time. Life is good ❤️ phew. ?






Posted by rachaelob 05:12 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia travel meditation fun surfing yoga patience ganesha Comments (0)


Universal Force

sunny 57 °F

There's some moments in which I can just feel god.

(First let me add a disclaimer; I have never been a religious person, ever. I went to church on Christmas and Easter. God is the word I am using here to refer to the universal spirit whatever it is you may believe in any kind of higher power, I do not mean to promote or offend any type of organized religion here. Hell I still don't classify myself as anything or really know for sure what I believe in, But I do believe in something, something bigger than myself, and so for now I will refer to that something as god, because to me it feels most personal. )

There's some moments in which i can just feel god. I feel signs, I feel that there are absolutely without a doubt no coincidences in the world. I trust that the troubles I am put through are a part of the greater plan. I trust that there is some universal force working in my favor. The way that I happen to find a flight at less than 1/2 of the average flight to Indonesia as I got accepted into a world renown Acro Yoga program, not a coincidence. Now I seem to be just making it by with enough to make this trip really happen, even with all my indulging this year in celebrating, eating, Chicago, Florida, Vermont ect.

  • *Side note; when I say year I am referring to my birthday July 18th on. I've realized that my brain thinks of a year differently than Jan-Dec. because to me the whole winter is kind of the same.

Today I was thinking about how I set three goals for myself this "year" ; 1.To spread my teaching of yoga and message to more than one studio.
2. To travel to a country outside the US with a different language by myself.
And 3. To complete another teacher training or certification of some sort while I am not in school to show something for my year, preferably in Holistic health or yoga of some sort.
For the record, I am traveling to Indonesia on my own, completing an acro yoga certification 100hrs. ( I know,I know, I'm getting repetitive and you already know this if anyone's reading, forgive me I'm just very excited. ) and over the past year I have taught at The Zen Den, on the beach, to the ac high swim team, ItsWell Yoga in Wildwood, The JCC, Yoga Dog in Linwood, LivingWell Crossfit Northfield and Sunday I will be teaching a Yin Yoga Workshop at Stone Harbour Yoga!! **NOT TO LATE TO SIGN UP =)
Now allot of this is thanks to the 'SaltWater Yoginis' group started by myself, Lindsey Westcott, and Lindsey Salerno. I am eternally grateful for the birth of this trio for it has given me the confidence to branch out with two best friends by my side.
(Feel free to follow us on Instagram ; Saltwateryoginis and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SWYoginis )

Back to those goals. So I'm not sure exactly when I set them, if it was your typical January- December new year goal setting I would have missed the cut off since Indonesia is happening in February. Plus, last spring I was still in school, completing my training, and had no idea what I wanted this winter. I think I consider a year more like July to July. Or even just September to June. Where I live in Southern New Jersey, life sort of pauses during the summer time, well actually it speeds up incredibly. But what I mean is that there's not as much growth and change for me. It's always the same, we work, allot, and party, allot during our tourist season. I come back every summer to the beach patrol and people ask "how was your year?". They don't mean January to now, they haven't seen me since September. They don't give a shit about June, July and August, they were there for all of that. When they ask how was your year? They mean September -June. So I suppose that is the mindset I adopted. And in that sense, a year being September - June I am going to complete all of those goals.

For the entire fall I thought that my country I will travel to alone would be Costa Rica. At first I considered returning to Puerto Rico, Rin Con to be exact, and spending a winter there. But there were some cons to that plan, too many people from New Jersey, many connections, and Dad's friends, plus it is considered still in the US. You would think having connection would be a good thing, but to me, PR felt like settling and wasn't going to give me the experience I need to one day goto India alone, which is a plan for the future and part of the reason for this goal. Then I had my heart set on Costa Rica, so long story short all fall I've been studying Spanish. Which of course won't be helpful in Indonesia. Now, rather I will start learning one word a day in Indonesian Hoping that will help once I'm there. Today's word; taksu. Which is what the Balinese call gods energy. Known to Christians as the Holy Spirit, the Chinese as chi. The life force or energy. TAKSU.

So, Tonight my example of Taksu. I showed up to swim practice. Helping out with the AC High swim team since my old coach billy has been sick has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience. The girls invited me to their team dinner in brigantine . Now I love team dinners, so of course I accept. (Hoping that I would stick to more salad than pasta and skip the brownies and garlic bread. Kiiiind of worked ) We are tapering for a big meet Saturday and got done practice fairly early, so in the mean time I have two hours to kill in Atlantic City or Brigantine. Luckily I have brought my book I am currently reading, Eat Pray Love. I just got to the 'Pray' section last night where main character Liz goes to India to stay in an ashram and participate in hours of daily meditation. This inspired me to restart my own meditation practice which has fallen off a bit lately. Last fall, winter and spring I was quite diligent, but in summer I fell off with the fast paced tourism season, and this the fall picked back up again a bit but the holidays intervened with all the parties and sleeping out and what not .
So this morning I clear out my almost dusty meditation space, reorganize, burn some sage to clear the energy. Choose a daily yoga mantra. And sit. Although I had a bit of unconditioned monkey mind as you may call it, it felt good to take this time to myself before my day and get used to sitting again so that I hopefully keep up this practice while traveling.
I used to avoid restarting my meditation practice because I felt guilty for ever stopping it, it brought me shame looking at that unused altar. But today I thought to myself. One more day with meditation is better than nothing, and I don't think god ever closes his door on you. No in fact, he's very happy to have me back knocking at his door and will always open for me. And so I sat.
And here I am again sitting in my car In Brigantine. While driving here I had noticed a side street with a beautiful view of the bay with the casinos in the background and some marshes, snow, and boats. So I parked my car there as I saw the sun slowly start to dip and thought, I have an hour until sunset this will be there perfect place to watch it. I took a picture with my I phone then laid in my back seat reading more about Liz in India. All of a sudden about an hour later I heard a knocking on my car door, like someone was playing a trick on me. I thought maybe it was stones hitting my car or an animal but felt alarmed and got up to check, just then I saw the sky. The most beautiful Sunset I have watched in a while, filling in the sky around the casinos with pink, orange, blue , yellow. I had caught it just in time. The pictures do it no justice, but here they are anyway.

I got out and looked around my car but didn't see any stones, animals or people. So I snapped another picture of this beautiful sky canvas , and thanked god for knocking back.

Posted by rachaelob 19:10 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes sunset indonesia meditation god yoga faith believe new_jersey goals eat_pray_love stone_harbor_yoga Comments (0)

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