Bali Spirit Festival, Ubud Bali May 1-5, 2024

Yoga Dance Music Healing

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Bali Sound Healer’s Collective & Kirtan with Kevin James

Diving deep into the Bali Spirit Festival for 5 days of yoga, dance and empowerment workshops and wanting to stay Zen through the buzz of a festival with
so much going on… I will in particular be covering the highlights of the “One World, One Stage” evening music concert series,

Today was my first day of really getting into the festival and exploring the grounds and the scene.I meandered through the slightly muddy terrains (a surprise
tropical downpour in the early morning luckily hadn’t put dampner on things) It was fun to float through the festival, noticing local Ubud superstar
Fio shaking a Shamanic rattle and guiding a large crowd through an astral travel meditation. The place was filling up with healthy, fit looking yogis
and beautiful people from around the world.

I wandered past Marcus Rainbow Yogi and Danny Paradise jamming on stage whils tstopping to eat the most delicious mocha “Sacred Scoops” vegan ice cream,
kindly bought for me by Howard (no sirname that I know of, but I do know that he was once quite a hotshot photographer and music video director).

I cruised down to one of the larger studios where The Bali Sound Healer’s Collective were putting on a big interactive healing concert. It was exciting
to get there as they were setting up, to sit and watch the ritual of each healer as they setup their array of instruments including many world percussion
and sacred sound makers.

I have attended many sound healing concerts in Bali and each one is so different. I have also blogged about my interviews, photoshoots and interactions/experiences
with the various members of The Bali Sound Healer’s Collective.

I love how their concerts all feature a mix of world musicians and an improvised jam with guided meditation where I have often received inspiration or information “downloaded from spirit”. The Sound Healer’s are Ubud’s Rock Stars, local musician icons. I love how a Sound Healing concert resonates with the intention of each perfomer to give to the audience, to inspire and to shift any energetic blocks. This is so different from pop music which is mostly fame and or ego-driven and often draws on the adoration of a fan based audience.

The concert began with some Sufi swirling led by Punnu Wasu alost joined by his brother for the first time performing in Bali. The concert also featured
several insturments plus vocals from Shervin Boloorian, many instruments from Pepe Danza and Tibetan bowls from Larissa Israel.

After being guided through forming a circle, holding hands, breathing and oming together; we all broke into our own spaces to swirl for what seemed like
ages and then stop and feel the energy and diziness the swirling had created.

I certainly felt my mind had been wiped clean of any mental clutter I might have been carrying. Then everyone was invited to lie down and “receive” the
healing sounds, a truly blissful experience highly recommended if you ever get a chance to experience sound healing as a concert in Ubud or elsewhere.
even more powerful and unusual is to experience a one-to-one sound healing session which I have experienced via things such as sound acuouncture with
tuning forks by Tama Do healer Larissa Israel.

I then hopped over in a sonically/energetically blissedout state to join Danny Paradise’s yoga workshop. I try to grab every possibility to train with
Danny because he is such a cool dude and his style of teaching is fun, funny and seriously challenging, I always feel so much stronger after just one
class with him! I found it very cool of him to also invite other yogis up to teach us different and very advanced moves such as Nanapat Tanapatita,
Anastasis and Marcus Rainbow Yogi.

With Marcus’ help I got myself into a very challenging “Shadow Yoga” kung fu inspired twisted pretzel prayer pose for the first time which was demonstrated
by an angel called Bebe who I adore and who has large wings tattooed on her back.

Later that evening I made my way to the stunning watergardens at ARMA Ubud’s Arts & Culture Museum, to catch world renowned kirtan singer Kavin James
in concert.

I arrived at the wrong entrance so fortunately had to take a long windy path through the beutifully lit gardens and past the main stage which was being
technically tested for tomorrow nights big world stage concert series to kick off.

I also wandered into an incredible open air art gallery and sent a text to Dustin Thomas saying “found an amazing location to shoot a music video for you”.

For this evening though it was “Bahkti Night and Kevin JAmes was the starm performing for hundreds of people getting all ecstatically awoken by the chanting.
It was interesting to see how KEvin and his band all sat on the floor, not on the stage. That meant that myself and many others got to sit on the stage
looking down at the band and across at the rest of the audience. I had a wave of bostalgia to the first time I cam to Bali a few years ago and attended
the Bali Spirit Festival. I remembered walking into the same venue and being blown away by the surrealnes of hundreds of people singing kirtan with
Dave Stinger. Here I was this time sitting on the stage and feeling quickly ecstatic with my hands on my heart chanting away.

As I looked around the venue I caught glimpses of many sweet faces I have interacted with out here, on the dancefloor at The Yoga Barn or in inspiring/influential
conversation. I began to feel a large lump in my throat and was tuning into wether it was sadness or happiness. I decided it must be happiness, partly
because today is International Happiness day and partyle because I just feel so much gratitude to be here in Bali and to be here now.

Throughout the kirtan I heard the occasional person bursting into sobs or lauging and shaking hysterically, so I knew it wasn;t totally wierd that several
times I felt like cryng but somehow held back the tears for a slight fear that it might be like opening the floodgates- ot knowing how much sadness
or deep gratitude was there and wanting to flow out of my eyes like a river..

It was a magical concert and I enjoyed every minute of it.

At the start of the day, I had read a post that Jamie Catto put up on facebook (he always shares interesting and thought provoking ideas on there). So,
this recent post was setting a challenge to anyone reading it and I do love a challenge, especially one that I feel certan could make me a better version
of myself. So I feel it makes sense to include this challenge here as it may reach an even larger audience and affect even more positive change in
the world…

“Enlightenment?? How about let’s just start with not having reactive tantrums day after day – or enjoying 24 hours of the luxurious abundance we’ve been
born into without ruining it with endless worrying and complaining? How about starting with a single day of non-stop kindness and non-judgement to
ourselves and everyone else? Could you?

Let’s try a week of never once painting our predicament as some victim scenario or focusing on the ‘version’ of the events where we frame life as unfair
or unjust to us?

Could we maintain a perspective of gratitude and optimism for 7 full days?

Enlightenment?? Give me a break”

So with that slightly cynical but very poignant challenge set, I consciously embark on a week of celebration and a P.M.O “positive mental outlook”. I already
failed twice today on this challenge when I caught myself one telling someone a story about a recent event then realising it was very much told in
a way that made me seem victimy or hard done by- but at least i caught myself quikcly realising what was going on. Secondly I judged someone this evening
as arrogant for possibly insulting/definitely criticising some creative work I had done/telling me he didn’t like it. So in both instances I switched
around fast and just thought “blessings to you- you are good good good”.

Now I dont feel great about the inauthenticity of this experiment, when for the last few mnths I have been working on being more authentic, speaking my
truth, saying no more and worrying less about being liked, loved, respected, wanted, needed. So, for me to now start being uber positive, optimistic
and to eliminate worrying or complaining…seems like it would definitely be worth the experiment, as it would definitely mean less drama possibly
even no drama but definitely less interesting blog posts.

I’m up for it though so bring on this week of optimism, a can do attitude and a renewed trust in life, knowing that the Universe has “got my back” that
anything I might have previously judged as nasty/negative is just another persons suffering manifesting in an awkward way and believing even, that
others are possibly conspiring to help me step into my power and greatness and that a really wonderful superior man is thinking of me and on his way
and when he does show up I may even be too happy to notice 😉


Written by : The Conscious Hipster




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