Jade Blog 2: The Circle of Life

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

In preparation for this trip, I could have never anticipated the things I have experienced so far and we’re not even halfway through it yet. Before this trip all I knew about the Balinese culture was what I could find on the internet, and that did not even scratch the surface compared to what I know now. In addition to knowing next to nothing about the culture, I was not previously involved in the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at Florida State. With that being said I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, but now in such a short amount of time, this trip has already opened up my mind to this culture, this field, and life in general.

One of the very first things we did during this trip, but undoubtedly one of the most memorable for me, was our visit to the Tirta Empul Holy Water Spring Temple. Dressed in our Sarongs we navigated through the three gardens of the temple. In the middle of Tirta Empul you come along a few pools with water spouts that flow into them. In total there are thirty different spouts, each with different significance. Local Balinese come here to purify themselves by bathing under each of the spouts. Two of the thirty spouts represent death, which are used to honor and keep peace with the dead. These particular spouts stuck out to me because this part of the Balinese culture is what makes it so interesting and unique.

During one of our very first lessons with Pak Budi we learned that the Balinese view life as a circle. That didn’t make much sense to me until he explained that in the United States, we often see life as a straight line starting with birth and ending with death. In contrast, in the Balinese circle of life birth is not a beginning, nor death an end. It continuously flows. This outlook changed my entire perspective and made me realize just how deep and rich this culture truly is.

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