Always when I come across a little offering tray here in Bali, it feels to me like the whole cosmos is in these little baskets, called ‘canang sari ‘.
The more special it feels, to find them in front of my door and around the house, when coming home this afternoon. The ritual of Offering is something that I experience as especially beautiful and understand more and more the importance of it. I would like to share a little bit more about it with you…
Three times a day the Balinese are basically performing a ritual of giving back what has been given to them by the Gods. It is a sharing that is based on gratitude towards the fertility of life. Balinese Hinduism is strongly influenced by animism and naturalism, where all objects and elements of life are housing a spirit and all elements of nature are manifestations of the Supreme Spirit.
All basic beliefs in Balinese Hinduism revolve around gaining balance and harmony between the different elements in life and afterlife. Having spent a year in Bali, I have learned a lot, just by observing the locals and their pleasant relationship between the spirits, other human beings and nature. Seeking harmony seems what life is all about, and can here be seen in all aspects of existence. The smallest gesture has an impact on maintaining a balanced relationship to all that is. (I personally believe that this is one reason for the beautiful smiles of the locals, which Bali is so well known for.)
I can say I have gained a greater sensitivity for a harmonious life and daily gratitude. All that you can read about in hundreds of spiritual self-help books, seems here to be almost a logical procedure to support a healthy and happy life.
These little Balinese woven dishes with flower offerings are a perfect metaphor for the simple act of Giving, Kindness and Gratitude. I contemplate every person should practice these acts at least three times a day in order to sustain a harmonious life.
Like Mother Teresa said,
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
LOVE itself is already an act of giving! Love not only for others, but for yourself. Smile at people! Forgive! Hold a door open. Say thank you to somebody who made a difference. Dance to the beat of your heart. Cook for someone. Give compliments. Giggle and laugh with children. Breathe deeply. Write poetry. Pet an animal. Donate a meal for a person in need. Listen to people. Encourage someone. Photograph tourists. Be present. Pray.
Oh we all have so much to ‘OFFER’. A humble heart and clear intent are all that matters. The experience created by this little routine of daily offerings, can be a fountain of immeasurable beauty for your life and of others.
Place little imaginary flowers trays on the doorstep of your heart and I am sure, this will act as an antiseptic in your life. It can heal, cleanse and protect your spirit and soul.
“For it is in giving that we receive.”
― Francis of Assisi
Here are a few of my favourite Indonesian moments
that are like the cosmos in these little offering baskets: