by: Jennifer Richardson on
Nyepi, a day of silence. a day of quiet reflection, a day to discover who you are, according to what a Balinese man said the night before.
I lay down relishing in the sounds of nature. Pure uninterrupted sounds that are mesmerizing. Sounds of water moving through the fish pond, gurgling, splashing and jumping fish. Birds whistling, chirping, frantic sounds of two sets of wings flapping around each other darting in and away from each other faster and faster then departing from each like they had never met. Slight rustling of leaves and more chirping.
The sound of my own breath in and out through my nostrils and then a sigh.
Sari the cat meows briefly for food, eats disappears to sleep.
The dog, Rooney knows the rules so it seems. Not one bark today, not one arrrhoo only the scuttle of her long claws on her delicate paws on the floor after she changes to another sleeping position reminding me she needs a manicure and pedicure.
Another bird sounding like a pigeon warbling and chirps from further afar. A cacophony of sounds.
Back to the breathe and a heart beating.
The night comes, no lights are on its dark moon and so quiet. Occasional pulsing rhythms from frogs, different pitches get louder and fade away. The stars come out to play and so do the fireflies, I take a glance and at first cannot determine which is the sky or firefly closer to earth. Stillness on the land. No human interference of sound. No one can be heard. Quiet. The whole island of 3 million people plus tourists are quiet.
Rest oh how glorious it is.
What if everywhere in the world stopped just 24 hours and meditated. Long enough to think about what quality their relationships were with people during the year, long enough to rest their bodies and simply be. Long enough to rest their frantic minds and just listen to nature.
The month before Nyepi male youths in all the 100's of communities around the island design and build monsters, Ogah ogahs', based on Hindu mythical monsters. Each community trying to outdo each other with the biggest, the scariest. The night before Nyepi the monsters were brought out, lit up and fought each other, among thousands of people screaming and frantic clanging and banging.
Evil spirits were cast off the island. It was then followed by everyone
going indoors and keeping dark, no lights were on, no cooking, no flames
were lit. The island goes quiet to prevent the evil spirits re
The day of contemplation follows.