I remember the moment I woke up to being present in stillness… It seemed that time stopped… that all the smells, the textures, the embodiment of spiritual culture in my surroundings, my teacher, the food, the 3 in 1 coffee…. All burst into me at once. There I was, just sitting breathing, feeling, actually feeling a part of something somewhere that meant something to me… Knife in hand, repetitively honing the sides of the bamboo in front of me, focusing my attention in; I was at ZUF, a wwoofing/HelpX host place in Bali. My teachers Supri and Arief made me part of a family… with the beautiful Anik, Arief’s wife, and cyclone Tasha, the insightful creator of this place and provider of space for people to come and learn and help build with natural materials.
It was the first time in a long time I had just sat and focused and felt totally immersed in something… it felt like the first time ever that I found a place where I could BE and feel connected and engage with people at a level that felt meaningful to me. I am a kinaesthetic and visual learner so it felt perfect for me to see something demonstrated and then be able to try my own hand at it. Feeling like a clumsy stupid Westerner and seeing how these guys could manipulate their tools and materials and CREATE boosted my awe and fascination. It wasn’t like a “class”… I was just THERE learning from them… following their instruction til I ‘got it” and then practicing it until it synthesised with me, and then adding my own creativity/slant/error to the process.
I felt so humbled to find these caring souls who transported me and transformed my awareness; who made me feel so at home. … My daughter was in Philippines at the time staying with a family there and going to a local autism school… so I actually could zone into a place of focus that I hadn’t been able to be in before… (usually every few minutes I would have to check on her and all my time was taken up organising things for her… always something on my mind, something to do; something to take care of… like “most people” in the “modern world” I guess).
It was totally different to any other school or experience I’d been in… it just felt natural. There was no pressure or agenda… Here I just felt “included” in a natural way of being with other people… And I guess entering another country and another world pretty much, I got to experience life in a way that unified my heart, my hands and my mind… In amongst a chit-chat and humour/banter that permeated the day; all my ‘life’s meaning’, worries and cares seemed to fade. These are the moments that inspire me, and when things become chaotic, “anxious” or just plain impossible, I just remember, nothing can be rushed… that I can pick up my knife, focus, point to nowhere, and feel rational logic subside… as I feel into what I’m doing and just become part of the dust particles blowing around on our planet. A state of observance maybe – but activated observance… I like to call it Bamboo Yoga.
At Bamboo Creative Hostel, we bring village vibes to the city streets and invite visitors to join our days crafting and building with bamboo… Book your stay on Booking.com or contact us directly. We provide individualised workshops on request and would love to make your experience in Bali an epic one. We are able to co-ordinate supported accommodation for individuals and families with special needs. Join our upcoming Outreach Tours to Java, Lombok and Sulawesi… Click here for more info.