There was a time when people went to music or cultural festivals, burned themselves out, and then needed weeks to recover from the madness. Like the growing Wanderlust festival, BaliSpirit is a relatively new phenomenon, a festival where you are built-up rather than burnt-out. With health and wellness presenters from around the world (and participants from more than 50 countries), be prepared for a beautiful experience that will engage all six of your senses as the lovely, lush Ubud has done for visitors for hundreds of years.
You’re likely to find yoga teachers from more than a dozen countries and, yes, yoga is a foundational part of the Bali Spirit experience, with a variety of classes offered throughout the day and evening. Meghan Pappenheim, a Manhattan transplant well-known in Ubud for running a few different restaurants and creating the Yoga Barn, created the festival in 2008 as a means of connecting people to each other, to themselves, and to the vibrant and life-sustaining Balinese bliss. There are music and art classes, tours of local temples and spiritual sites, nutrition and health workshops, and a collection of family activities like Balinese dance for kids, circus tricks, and storytelling. The daytime activities occur in the Purnati Center for the Arts. At night, you’ll move to ARMA (Agung Rai Museum of Art) and be serenaded with everything from local gamelan orchestras to well-known world music stars and Balinese puppet shows. Expect everything from electronica to indigenous to Bhakti/Kirtan but all with a soft edge as the whole flavor of the festival has a yin energy.
The theme this year is “Return to Source”. On a literal level, the festival returns to our beloved original venue, Bali Purnati – a lush tropical garden of manicured terraces, cool shade trees, and secret wellsprings to delight the senses! On a deeper level, Bali Spirit’s “Return to Source” is a recognition of the unified inner life of all living things, the Being from which all beings arise, the consciousness that sees through every pair of eyes. It is the sacred silence found in deepest meditation. And it is the music that streams from heart-centered awareness to bless all with ears to hear.