Jake Borden

Bali - Sacred Water

With water becoming an ever scarcer resource, it is increasingly important we acknowledge and respect the liquid which is responsible for life on Earth. On the mystical island of Bali, water is not only a force which shapes the rugged volcanic terrain, it’s an element which plays a sacred role in the many spiritual practices of Balinese Hinduism. In ceremonies celebrating birth, marriage, village festivals and death, the ancient religion incorporates and pays respect to the sacred liquid in almost all its forms. High Priests surrounded by the faint tinkling of bells offer blessings with cascades of holy water from palm fronds, and spirits are released into the afterlife through traditional cremation ceremonies, where elaborate funeral pyres are then set out to sea. A multitude of ancient water temples, cut into the deep crevices of river valleys and perched high on mountain cliffs, offer a space for quiet reflection and meditation. Ancient lakes perched precariously in volcanic calderas above the clouds feed a fractal web of lakes, rives and streams, which flow through the ancient irrigation network of Subaks, flooding tiers of rice paddies before cascading out to the open ocean.The whole island and it’s people flow with the giving qualities of water, offering the rest of the world a glimpse into practices which truly appreciate the force for which we derive life.

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