On a recent visit to a Hindu temple in Bali, dressed in my sarong and scarf, I was carrying a large offering basket on my head. I was with Ron, Sudi, and Nyoman, so of course, I was carrying the basket, men don’t carry offering baskets on their head.
We walked up several stairs and into a beautiful temple overlooking the beach. A few steps after I had walked under an archway leading to the temple, a big monkey jumped out of nowhere onto my head. It had one claw gripping my ponytail-bun and was pillaging the offering of food, flowers, and incense.
It was the most bizarre feeling since I couldn’t see him because of the large basket and the monkey had total control of my head with my hair.
I said to Ron “I need some help, there’s a monkey on my head”, being the daring, brave man that he is, he quickly swat it away, and saved me. I had to laugh because it was such a strange encounter, but he had gotten away with a handful of our offerings.
We went on with the blessing, and walked away with a feeling of peace, connection, and several pieces of rice on our forehead for prosperity.
Offerings are given to the temple several times a day. It is a ritual of appreciating what has been given to you by the Gods. Balinese Hindu would not dream of starting their day, or doing business without first making an offering.
It is truly seen as an honor to connect with the natural and spiritual realms. All that they do celebrates this connection.
The ritual of offerings and blessings are so prevalent in the Balinese culture. It is no wonder that the people live with such joy and harmony. I love how more and more I hear of similar practices are taking place in the western world.
When I was doing the interviews for Cultivating Radiance, all of the radiant people that I interviewed had a practice of appreciation and gratitude. Their offerings showed up in several ways; personal ritual, prayer, offering of self through giving of talents, mantras, connecting with nature, and in their being. Radiant people don’t have to remember to be grateful, they just are.
Really, it comes down to appreciating everything as a gift. We are not entitled to anything, everything can change without warning, so it is important to be grateful for who and what is here now.
Recently, a dear friend and radiant soul, Kal Malik, author of Active Enlightenment, had to leave his home of 12 years and move to a new town for his job. He has allowed me to share the words of appreciation for his home.
“I love my home, it has given me so much and I have often neglected it in my gratitude ceremonies. Thank you so much for being all the things a home should be”
By choosing to honor what we typically take for granted, we open our heart to be more radiant. By making an offering of our appreciation to the people and things in our life today will bring us more joy and prosperity.
So, even those days when the monkey is on your head, you still have plenty to be cherished and blessed.
• What are you grateful for today?
• What will you offer to honor your gifts?