Bali Silent Retreat
Bali Silent Retreat (Balisilentretreat.com) is peace, pure and simple. Located in Tabanan, surrounded by a sea of rice fields. I arrived at reception, got my bag of items needed and walked through the gates into silence. I walked down a path surrounded by exotic flowers to my single jungle room. The room is small with a dividing wall between the shower, toilet and sink and the bed. It was totally open to the jungle on the other side. There was a grass and bamboo awning that you could pull down to close the room off, but I never used it, I enjoyed sleeping open to the jungle and all of its sounds. Even the rats who screech like a prehistoric bird. I slept comfortably confident in the mosquito netting around the bed. I loved listening to the volume of the jungle crescendo in the evenings. I was there in October it was dry and there were very few mosquitos.
I would awaken to the gong at 6 a.m. wash up and head to meditation for a hour. The gong would sound again for all meals. The food is absolutely delicious, vegan, picked from their own gardens. They even made chocolate from their cacao trees. The food blew me away. I found it refeshing to eat in silence and not feel the pressure to make small talk with your fellow reatreaters. The dining room has 360 degree views and so its quite nice just to look out. I spent the evenings after dinner reading in my jungle room and went to sleep pretty much after the sun went down.
Some days I would participate in yoga after morning meditation but I spent a lot of time wandering the grounds, walking the labrinth, the jungle walk, I really enjoyed the water meditation and found it to be a very powerful way to meditate. I attended a offerings class, one of many cultural classes offered. We learned how to make the offferings and their meanings. Quite interesting and enlightening to learn after seeing so many offerings all over Bali. Bali Silent Retreat is near some hot springs and they have shuttles going there almost daily. The hot springs are nice, a few pools with varied heat going down to a river. Rusty colored water, a light sulphur smell. The resturant at the hot springs has wifi, which was nice after being out of service at the retreat. I also found it nice to be able to chat with my fellow silent retreaters during these outings. The ratio was generally 2 men to 10 women when I was there, and people were from all over the world.
I highly recomend Bali Silent Retreat if you are in Bali, so peaceful, I walked out of there refreshed, nourished and with a strong meditation practice.