Mysterious stairway to a mossy and secluded Water Shrine near Tabola
Jumpstart your understanding of the culture and way of life of the people of Bali
hidden Bali off the beaten track
a Bali much as it was before tourism and towns
insight into the roots of Balinese culture in the land
a way of life fundamentally oriented towards balance and wholeness
how the Balinese ‘Way of Unfolding’ might enrich your own way
Your English speaking guide/instructor will introduce you to features
of the local way of life, generally through a short walks in and around
Nirarta, and the Sidemen area, explaining the meaning and significance
of what you see, and interpreting for you as you chat to locals
Hidden Bali gives you deep insight into the Balinese way of
life, particularly its foundation in the village and countryside, to which
most families, even if working in the city, maintain a connection.
Balinese natural balance and Wisdom
Participants will learn about the fundamental principles and practices
supporting the natural balance and wisdom that sustain Balinese culture
in the face of dramatic change.
As we see how these principles and practices are reflected in practical
daily life, we, too, will find ourselves growing in a spirit of respect
for, and connection with, what is Unfolding in and around us.
Besides meeting the Balinese, at home and at work, we will get a sense of
the richness and wholeness of a very rare way of life.
We will experience how the Balinese very naturally use ritual and symbolic
cleansing, as a complement, or in preference to, traditional forms of
meditation and prayer.
We will experience how sacred sites of power and beauty in nature provide a source
of healing energy and inspiration.
And finally, we will see how Balinese art, music, and dance form part of
a way of ife in which beauty is both an expression of, and a pathway to,
our deepest Source.
- Begins with arrival and registration before lunch on Day One.
- Ends with breakfast on Day Five
A Typical Day
- 08.30 Breakfast
- 09.30 Morning Session
- 12.00 Lunch
- 14.00 Afternoon Session
- 19.15 Dinner
Day 1: Roots of Rural Life
- Arrival, registration and lunch
- Walk across the river valley, through the rice fields to the village
- Country life in the Sidemen valley:
- Observe current farming practice, meet farmers
- See the ‘Subak’ rice irrigation system
- Learn at first hand how for the Balinese Man, Nature, and
Spirit are part of a seamless whole (‘Trihitakarana’)
- Discover village life as it unfolds at the cross-roads
of time, place, and circumstance (‘Desa-Kala-Patra’)
- See at first hand how home, shrine, temples, social centres
connect people to each other and to spirit
- Meet a Balinese family in their home
- Visit timeless temples, where man, nature, and spirit intersect
in beauty and mystery
- After dinner, enjoy a lesson of Balinese masked dance,
with a trained dancer and get a sense in your own body of
a different way of being and moving through the world.
- Learn how the arts fit into Balinese spiritual and social
Day 2: The Power of Ritual
- Overview of the Sacred Geography of Nirarta, visit
- our family temple and understand its meaning
- the key shrines in our garden and homes and learn about their function
- places of beauty and power where the Visible (Sekala) and
Invisible (Niskala) worlds intersect
- Learn about the role of ceremony and offerings in Balinese daily
- Help prepare the offerings and content of the offering basket for
a traditional cleansing and blessing (Melukat) later in the
- Visit the home (‘Griya’) of a Balinese Brahmin family
and receive a blessing from the high priest
- Learn more about the traditional Balinese home and family structure
- See Balinese ceremonial ‘Songket’ weaving being made
at home with synthetic and natural dyes
Day 3: Village Life - Tabola and Sidemen
- Early morning visit to the Sidemen market food market
- Meet traders and help purchase fruit and other daily supplies for
- After breakfast walk to Tabola and Sidemen, exploring some of
the back alley ways
- Learn more about the social, economic and spiritual structure of
- Opportunity to visit one of the following:
- school(s) (primary, middle, or secondary) and meet teachers
- health centre and meet health practitioners
- local government offices and village and district administrators
- ‘banjar’ tradition community centre and elders
- After lunch, enjoy a refreshing walk, visiting a forest community
above Sidemen and see the secret stills for making Balinese ‘hooch’,
a potent palm-wine spirit, called ‘arak’
- Our walk includes some beautiful wooded shrines and temples.
Day 4: Healing and Harmony
- According to weather and your fitness, in the morning, you will
enjoy either a
- bracing hill-walk to the peaceful Pura Dewangga temple high above
Sidemen, key to balance and harmony in the valley below,
- visit to the shrines and temples hidden around the Pura Puseh and
rice fields of Tabola.
- In either case, enjoy a chance to practice the simple and
sweet form of Balinese prayer and understand something of its
- Afternoon, we offer as free-time to relax and enjoy Nirarta,
to wander, perhaps bathe in the river and where you feel attracted to
explore something that interested you during the programme in more detail.
- It is also possible to do one of the following:
- take one of the Nine Directions Walks,
- visit and shop in the market town of Klungkung
- visit a traditional healer
Extra charges for the above apply.
- Your formal programme concludes with a session of massage or reflexology
after dinner with local healer, Widé
Day 5: Departure
- Breakfast and departure, at your leisure.
It is also possible to extend your stay if one or more of the various Getaway
or Retreat options attract you.
It will be possible to adjust your programme, if opportunities
arise to participate in a temple festival or ceremony that coincides with
Traditional 'songket' weaving in the Sidemen area
Villagers bringing offerings for a temple ceremony
'My heartfelt gratitude to both of you. I stayed in the very spiritual and soothing Gangga. I still hear the river rushing over the rocks.
Dayu, you are a perfect hostess. I felt well cared for every moment of my visit largely because of your overseeing of my program and the delicious food and caring staff.
Peter, your meditation sessions and our brief chats have made an enormous impact on my life. I am going through a very turbulent period yet feel calm and safe most of the time.
I practice meditation daily now as you taught me. I know this is the reason I feel a sense of serenity in the midst of the storm. I believe my brain has actually changed! It is almost non-reactive to the outside chaos. You are a precious gift to us mortals! You are the best!!! (Please say hello to Komang and Ketut for me, two very fine humans, and your wonderous cook who is likewise. How very giving and caring they all are.
These words feel very inadequate to express what is in my heart. Please know I will always think of you and Nirarta as a monumental experience in my life. .'
– Cheryl Nelson, (USA), 2009
Nirarta Centre for Living Awareness
Address: Sidemen, Karangasem 80864, Bali, Indonesia
+62 811 388 0065
+62 81 246 52 123
For general email enquiries:
Paying by credit card? We accept Visa, MasterCard, or
American Express. Transactions will appear on your statement under the
name Nirarta. Your charges will include an additional 3% for credit card use.
Paying by bank transfer? Please include your name as
reference, and add €5 to cover bank charges if from outside Indonesia.
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Your booking is not complete until full payment is received.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you must cancel after registering, please notify us by email. The following cancellation fees apply:
For Individual Programmes and Bookings to Scheduled Programmes:
- 30 to 16 days prior to arrival – 25% of contracted price.
- 15 to 7 days prior to arrival – 50% of contracted price.
- 6 days or less prior to arrival – 100% of contracted price.
For Group Bookings:
- 45 to 30 days prior to arrival – 25% of contracted price.
- 29 to 15 days prior to arrival – 50% of contracted price.
- 14 days or less prior to arrival – 100% of contracted price.
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