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Bali Living / Living abroad diary

My First Nyepi in Bali

Have you experienced or heard about “Nyepi” – the Balinese day of silence? 

This is not an article about Nyepi itself or its definition but it’s about my personal experience of Nyepi during a pandemic. 

For those who have never heard about it, Nyepi is a day of silence, fasting, meditation and introspection in Bali. Therefore, anything that would cause a distraction is not allowed: no wifi, lights should be kept a minimum at night (preferably a small lamp or candles), no entertainment, no working, and people can’t go out of their houses as travelling is not allowed. The airport is also closed. 

This year (2020) Nyepi was observed from 6am on 25th March until 6am on 26th March. 

I had heard a lot about Nyepi and I was so much looking forward to experiencing my first one in Bali. However, destiny had it planned differently. 

My original plan was to work half day on Nyepi’s eve and then leave the office early to experience the “Ogoh-Ogoh” and the parades; while also avoiding the road blocks. 

What actually happened: 

I ended up Working from home that week as a self-isolating initiative from my office.  

All parades in Bali were cancelled because of Covid19. A few still took place but in way smaller groups and we were anyway practicing social distancing…

On Nyepi day itself: 

I had planned it (yes, I am a bit of a control freak) as a day for:

  • Sleeping-in
  • Detox (I had ordered a 24h detox from Heyy juice Bali and I received it on the eve; with all the instructions)
  • Meditation
  • Introspection and My 2020 Vision (I know it’s a bit late but as the saying goes: “better late than never…”) 
  • Learning Watercolor 

Here is how my day ended up being: 

By latest 10am: I finished the first drink which was called “Green Detox” – with spinach, cucumber, celery, kale, parsley and apple.

I spent some time decluttering (I don’t like messy places…) and then unpacked my new painting material that got delivered from Bartega studio and Bali Arte Media on the eve. 

Time for Meditation: I am currently in the learning phase and therefore practicing guided meditation via the Calm app but I forgot to download anything. I therefore used the song “Sa Re Sa Sa” by Nirinjan Kaur; a sequence I learnt in Kundalini Yoga class some time back… I just love the beats; it is so relaxing!

Here is a YouTube video of how it is done in case you are wondering what I am talking about.  

I did some journaling and then started to write this article; enhancing the moment with an “acoustic” playlist and also burnt some essential oils.

12 Noon: The second detox juice was called “Slimming” and it tasted awesome as it had lemon, apple and cayenne pepper.

I listened to some soothing music, read part of a book and nad a nap…

2pm: It was time for the third juice of the day, “Sweet” with carrot, ginger and apple.

I then started doing some watercolor tutorials that I had previously downloaded from YouTube. 

I had my fourth green juice by 4pm: it was called “Lean” with cucumber, celery, parsley, apple and watermelon. 

The temperature started going down a bit and I was happy to move outdoors, sitting in the garden to continue painting. I enjoyed some chill pool time by the end of the day. 

Time was running so fast and it was already time for the fifth green juice by 6pm, which was called “Passion” – made from beetroot, carrots and apples. It tasted lovely. 

I love scents (scented candles, incense sticks, oil burners, essential oils, linen spray and the list goes on…) and I just need an excuse to light a candle for example…

At Sunset; I burned some rose-scented incense sticks around the villa and then practiced Yin yoga and stretching.

I prepared my camera and tripod for later. I had heard that Nyepi would be the perfect time to see thousands of stars… 

It got dark around 7pm and we kept the lights really low.

8pm called for detox juice number six “Light green” with apple, kale, spinach and lemon.

I tried shooting stars (I had never done it before and it was such a challenge. There was no internet connection and therefore Google could not come to my rescue either!

We stayed outside, without any lights, watching the stars for a long time and it was simply magical… 

I continued journaling at night.

Last drink at 10pm: it was called Milky Way with almond milk, dates and sea salt.

It was then time for some more star gazing as I could not get enough of the clear skies. I ended the day with some more soothing music and meditation before retiring to bed early.

The good thing about doing the detox was that I got more time to focus on things that I wanted to do instead of cooking and doing dishes etc… 

The amazing thing about Nyepi was the “no wi-fi” part. We are always connected; we receive work messages all the time and we never really disconnect from it all – from the negativity that might surround us, from the constant notifications on social media, the news and so on…

For me, Nyepi is the perfect example of being disconnected while connecting with myself

chaya kowal

It felt amazing! I loved it so much that I wanted it to last one more day. I think Nyepi should be practiced everywhere in the world…

Let me know if you have experienced Nyepi in Bali before or if you are planning to experience it during one of your travels… I will be happy to hear from you. 

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