Journals of Conscious Travel & Lifestyle

Category: Conscious Travel (Page 1 of 4)

Conscious travel includes treading lightly, staying in eco accommodation, slow travel where possible, getting to know the locals rather than rushing through, being conscious of the communities we travel through, being open to learning and exchanging customs and local ways of doing things.

Bali Silent Retreat

Bali Silent Retreat is a place to unplug, unwind and reflect. Set amongst peaceful rice fields in the rural and less travelled western part of Bali with views of Mount Batukaru, Bali’s second-highest volcano, it’s a truly special, serene and unique experience.

I was there this time last year, and with limited travel due to Covid-19 have been looking back through my photos and thought I’d share my experience.

Bungalows amongst ride paddies

Accomodation options

There are private bungalows and shared dorms with various pricing options. I’m fussy with accomodation so I stayed in the private bungalow – the most expensive option – but it’s worth it. It was quiet and private with a cute verandah overlooking the ride fields above.

Bali Silent Retreat Lounge
The Communal Lounge and Dining Area

The overall experience, location, activities of yoga, meditation etc and most of all the incredible meals – healthy vibrant (mostly vegan) flavoursome food that’s grown onsite. I’ve wanted to go to the Silent Retreat since hearing about it on my trip to Bali in 2015, and finally went in July 2019.

Meditation at Bali Silent Retreat

The style of meditation is relaxed, unstructured silent introspection and reflection. There are daily optional structured activities including yoga, meditative walks and other classes. The rest of the time you’re free to wander through the tropical gardens or sit and contemplate the world.

Tropical Gardens Bali Silent Retreat
Lush Tropical Gardens

Bali Silent Retreat seemed like the ideal gentle intro to silent meditation to me. I love the idea of silence and reflection, yet Vipassana meditation retreats I’ve heard about sound quite intense and formulaic with the 4am starts and rules, and I was looking for more holiday style relaxation this time.

The yoga and meditation octagon bale

Yoga Classes

Daily yoga and meditation classes are held in an open air structure with a fabric roof (above) called the ‘Yoga and Meditation Octagon Bale’ surrounded by trees. Classes are suitable for all levels and lead by different international yoga instructors. You can choose morning, afternoon or both.

The veggie gardens at Bali Silent Retreat

Tropical Gardens

Tours are available of the impressive productive sustainable gardens which use permaculture principles and have some fascinating tropical plants, fruits and vegetables. the garden tour was a real highlight – we tasted the sweet pods of raw cacao trees, and put the bright peachy-coloured sap of the ‘lipstick tree’ on our cheeks and lips!

Bali Silent Retreat Gardens

The whole grounds are surrounded with well kept gardens. Dozens of ripe passion fruit overhand the chillout hammock zone ripe for picking.

What It’s Like at Bali Silent Retreat

The Retreat really is a breath of fresh air, a chance to reconnect with yourself, reflect, relax and unwind from constant stimulation of everyday life. A reminder to be gentler to yourself and closer to nature. It has a really special energy.

Bungalows from the ride paddies at Bali Silent Retreat

Described as a “five star ashram”, Bali Silent Retreat is certainly therapeutic and relaxing with ashram principles. Guests can do as they feel, participating in as much or as little as they wish. It isn’t linked to any particular discipline or philosophy; this agnosticism really appeals to me!

Photos of Bali Silent Retreat

Given the ‘silent’ subject I decided a photo essay is the best way to share my experience. I wish I’d taken more photos but I switched my phone off for most of the trip in line with the recommendations and purpose. Some fo these pics are from a lovely girl I met there.

Lush green rice fields with volcano backdrop!

Enjoy! Let me know what you think in the comments section below, and if you have any questions. Or if you’ve been to this or a similar retreat I’d love to hear about your experience.

Bali Silent Retreat Flowers
Flowers in the entrance – one of many thoughtful details
Bali Silent Retreat Ashram
Ashram entrance
Bali Silent Retreat Cushions
Cushions in the lounge
Bali Silent Retreat Dining Tables
Dining Tables
Bali Silent Retreat Kitchen
Kitchen: Delicious teas, treats and meals await!
Bali Silent Retreat Daily Steps
Bali Silent Retreat Daily Steps
Bali Silent Retreat Medicine Herbs
Medicine Herbs
So green!
One of the team in the rice fields
The gong that calls everyone to yoga and meditation each day

Day Tour to Mt. BatuKaru Holy Temple

One of the day trips we did included the stunning old temple below. The history and culture are fascinating.

Water blessing ritual
Temples in the mist
River next to the temple

Day Tour to Hot Springs

We also visited some hot springs with pools to swim in,. They had a swing – I love a swing!

Natural hot spring pools near Bali Silent Retreat
Hot spring pool
Swing at the hot springs
Swing overlooking hot springs
Cute bungalow at hot springs
Sunset Bali Silent Retreat Ricefields
Sunset Over Bali Silent Retreat Ricefields

For full info and programs see the Bali Silent Retreat Website.

Confest Easter 2019

Photo Essay: My Confest Journey April 2019

“What time is it?” “daytime”.

Losing all sense of time with a dusty digital detox at Confest.

Smiling friendly open souls, naked muddy bodies, yoga in the trees, deep workshops, river swims, wood fires, drums, laughter, dancing, stars, fairy lights, and of course, chai. πŸ’–β˜•πŸŽΆπŸŽͺπŸŒ³πŸ„πŸŒž

Managed to arrive after Sunset Again
Stalls at Confest
Food stalls
Morning Confest People Sitting
Morning Confest
Confest Maze
Confest Maze
Confest Workshop Tent
Confest Workshop Tent
Confest Workshop
Confest Workshop
Space Van Confest
Space Van
Confest Variety Show
Confest Variety Show
Chai Tent Confest
Chai Tent
Confest Time
Confest Time
Chai Tent Chats
Chai Tent Chats
Good night Confest
Good night Confest

Sleep at Confest

For anyone who’s a light sleeper I’d recommend camping in the area called “Listen to the grass grow” Next time I will camp there for sure.

I had an awesome time at Confest but definitely didn’t get enough sleep being a light sleeper. It’s not that it’s super noisy, but I did get woken a few times. I had a sore throat and was stressed about getting more ill so I think that compounded being noise sensitive. I also didn’t drink.

If you’ve been to Confest I’d love to hear your experience in the comments!

If you’re thinking of going and you’re apprehensive, just go! The long journey there is part of the whole experience. Open your mind and be free!

Billen Cliffs Eco Village

Billen Cliffs eco village is a tranquil sustainable community set amongst bushland and cliffs 1.5 hours drive inland from Byron.Β  I spent a week there helping to build an eco house through Help Exchange (HelpX) Being offline and offgrid in the lush green Aussie bush had a real impact on my state of mind and ability to reflect and learn. Doing hard physical labour meant I felt fit fast and slept really well.

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Narara Eco Village Open Day

As part of our research into sustainable living Bobby and I went to Narara Eco Village Open Day on Saturday. Why would we spend our weekend traipsing round an eco village? Well, it’s all part of the research phase of our future plans!
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