March 26, 2013

Unity in Diversity: In Celebrating our Differences We Become One.

Courtesy of BSF media team

It is not our differences that create dis-harmony. Rather it is the large un-willingness to accept, honor and celebrate them.

As the Bali Spirit Festival, held annually in Ubud, Indonesia continues to evolve and grow from strength to strength, it brings together a kaleidoscope of people all of whom are traversing the path of re-discovery and enhancing self awareness through yoga, music, dance and a whole host of related healing modalities.

This festival is like no other, synergizing a global cultural collaboration through wellness and the arts.  Purnati, where the daytime aspects of the festival takes place, provides the perfect organic setting for soul inquiry, invoking positive change.

Imagine this: four persons, from four seemingly different backgrounds. As we shared the story of our journeys, it became immediately apparent that in honoring the richness of our differences, that we are able to invoke the positive changes that the world craves at this pivotal moment on planet Earth.

Many of us who embark upon the path of yoga have been brought to it by some calamity—physical, emotional, psychological or otherwise. Yet once we arrive, we’re able to recognize ourselves in each other.

The notion of I see you takes on a whole new meaning for in seeing the other, I also remember who I intrinsically am.

Over time, as we fine-tune our unique craft, at some point we are moved to share it with others.

Such was the awe-inspiring press conference themed Unity in Diversity that I am honored to have been a part of.

As Shervin Boloorian shared the story of his former years working in the NGO world, we looked across the table and felt a deep kinship.  In recognizing that his whole life had become one big reaction, he stepped away from this high stressed world to re-create a renewed, responsive self.

His healing work manifests itself through sound healing. He spoke of how his collaboration with an Israeli led to the development of his craft that he now delivers through facilitating workshops across the world.

My heart smiled when I heard this as yet again, it demonstrated that what the world needs now are different, innovative solutions to old dilemmas.  An Israeli and an Iranian exchanging through political dialogue seem hardly likely to bring these two nations together. Yet within the healing modality, not only have they re-created themselves, they have given birth to a wonderful healing tool that may be shared with others.

Indrawati, of Indonesian decent and currently based in Shanghai, China, re-affirmed that what the world needs now is love, even more so than money.  As she shared her own heartfelt journey, so too my heart was warmed. Ill health brought her to the mat initially.  “Me too,” I thought as I listened to her and felt my heart warmed by her beautiful aura and smile.

Simon Park’s yogic journey began when he was invited by a friend to try a yoga class. Being open, he walked into a class one day while attending UCLA where he met his teacher, Shiva Rea. The rest is his-story. When asked [how] has yoga changed his life, this gentle, motorbike loving ‘bad boy’ responds with a wickedly charming smile, “No.”

He continues to roam the world in his quest is to seek out radical and revolutionary characters—just like me!

Thank you Bali Spirit Festival for inviting me to be a part of this unique forum, standing firm in Oneness solidarity.

And so it is.

Click for more about the Bali Spirit Festival.


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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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