Bali for the second time in as many years hosted the International Bali Meditator’s Festival from November 12-14, 2010
Bali for the second time in as many years hosted the International Bali Meditator’s Festival from November 12-14, 2010. The event was inspired by Anand Krishna, one the very few Osho sannyasins in Indonesia, who has popularized meditation as a way of life, free of all denomination. The theme was ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: Living in Peace, Love and Harmony through Meditation’. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam means ‘This World Is One Single Family’.
Panel sessions and workshops on meditation and yoga were run throughout the two days, a bazaar and community events were colorful additions. Margot Anand spoke during a panel session about ‘Life is Joy: The Bliss of Everyday Meditation’, and also facilitated a workshop on meditation, entitled ‘The Nature of Meditation and Bliss’. She said, “I so appreciate the Balinese who are creating a field of consciousness based on respect, meditation and kindness; and being consciously present, in every moment, is a blissful meditation.”
I enjoyed being part of a panel session, speaking about Osho, sannyas, and meditation. The audience was delightfully active with many inquiries about meditation, religion, identity, mind and spirituality in Bali in particular. A renowned Balinese healer and spiritual teacher, Ketut Arsana, and Prof. Dr. Lu Ketut Suryani, an eminent psychiatrist, and the founder of the Gandhi Ashram in Bali, Indra Udayana were among the speakers.
A very respectful and loving sparring went on between Nurul Arifin Husein, a Sufi who stands for human rights values and is very concerned about the freedom of embracing religion or belief, and me. When I wrapped up the discussion with the statement that all what humanity needs is religiousness rather than ‘religion in boxes’, he gave me a double thumbs-up.
I was surprised to see that so many people from the mainly Indonesian audience know about Osho. One of the Balinese participants showed me the screen of his mobile phone – displaying a lovely picture of Osho. Ode, as he is called, told me that he loves to read Osho’s books and is very taken by his teachings. Rani, a female journalist from Jakarta told me laughingly, “I’ve read every book by Osho!”
The King of Ubud who hosted the lunch spoke with Anand Krishna about making the festival venue available for more programs and workshops about meditation in the future.