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Liburan di Bali Mewah dan Murah Dengan Mobil Alphard

Liburan di bali anda tentunya akan semakin terasa berkelas dan mewah jika menggunakan kendaraan yang tentunya berkelas juga.

Salah satu mobil berkelas yang paling populer adalah Mobil Alphard.

Mengendarai mobil alphard dari luar daerah bali bisa jadi sangat melelahkan dan mengganggu nikmatnya liburan dan bisa jadi biaya yang dikeluarkan jadi lebih banyak.

Jika anda tetap ingin berwisata di pulau dewata dengan kesan mewah namun tidak ribet ada baiknya anda sewa mobil alphard di bali saja alih-alih membawa dari luar daerah.

Tak perlu khawatir, sebab biaya sewa alphard di bali sudah sangat-sangat terjangkau.

Contohnya Di CV Palugada Trans, mereka menawarkan biaya sewa mulai dari Rp. 900.000 saja untuk 6 jam sudah include sopir dan Rp. 2.000.000 untuk sewa seharian ( 12 Jam ).

Kalau ingin lebih leluasa dan lebih murah lagi, anda bisa request untuk sewa alphard lepas kunci selama 24 jam yang dihargai hanya dengan Rp. 1.900.000 saja.

Bagaimana? ini sih keterlaluan kalau ada yang bilang ini gak worth it.

Keunggulan mobil alphard untuk liburan di bali

Karena selain untuk alasan “Naik Kelas”, ternyata ada beberapa point yang menjadikan mobil alphard ini sebagai pilihan kendaraan untuk liburan di bali bersama pasangan dan keluarga.

  • Kecantikan dan kemewahan interior
  • Desain yang lebih radikal
  • Mekanisme baru
  • Semakin Nyaman dan Aman

Namun, jangan asal sewa ya.. ada baiknya anda mengenali dulu perusahaan rental mobil tempat anda akan menyewa mobil untuk menghindari penipuan atau layanan yang kurang memuaskan.

Berikut tips menyewa mobil untuk wisata di bali:

  • Pastikan perusahaan rentcar tersebut memiliki kantor fisik yang bisa anda sambangi.
  • Pelajari review-review tentang perusahaan tersebut di sosial media. Beberapa review mungkin dibayar atau diendorse, namun anda pasti bisa menyadari mana yang benar-benar review dari pelanggan.
  • Pastikan sopirnya profesional dan memiliki surat izin mengemudi lengkap.
  • Test drive dulu untuk memastikan unit yang akan anda sewa memang dalam kondisi prima.

Demikian tips liburan di bali mewah dan murah dari kami, semoga bermanfaat..

Inspired by Gede Parma | Inspired Bali

Every so often we meet someone who stops us on in our tracks. It could be their work, their passion, or simply because of who they are.

Often they’re not the big stars, the famous, the fancy.

They are driven by a deep calling to follow their passion, and work hard regardless of public perception or approval.

While at times we are all guilty of labeling things we don’t know much about, we are wise to stop and carefully consider those who bravely and courageously transcend culture, spirituality and gender: inspiring change and paving new paths.

Meet Gede Parma.

The son of a Balinese father and Australian mother, Gede was raised primarily in Australia, spending summer holidays here with his father’s side of the family.

As a child he became interested in witchcraft, bridging his father’s world of Balinese Hinduism with his own spiritual interests.

He has spent over thirteen years formally studying and practising witchcraft and had his first formal initiation in 2007.

In his 20’s he dove deeper into questions of gender and sexuality and now chooses to identify as genderless, referring to himself as both male or female and often goes by the name Fio.

He teaches seminars and workshops internationally in witchcraft and shamanism, and works one on one as a healer.

Gede is a busy witch but Inspired Bali spoke to him during Bali Spirit Festival between the workshop he was leading.

Where did it all begin?

My mother came to Bali when she was young and fell in love with my father, and they married. I was born here in Bali, in Singaraja, then we moved to Australia where my sister was born in Queensland.

My father is very traditional, very religious and very spiritual, so his whole compass of the universe is situated here in Bali.

When he moved to Australia it disrupted everything. My mom actually sent him back to Lovina, on the north coast, to live because she knew he couldn’t live contently in Australia.

My parents remain happily married and monogamous to this day, however they continue to live apart for ten months of the year.

Recently with the move of both me and my sister to Bali, my mother has also been spending more time here. So I grew up away from my father.

For this reason, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually I was really raised by my mother.

My father loves and supports what I do. He’s very proud of me. He loves that I’ve written books, that I teach and travel.

Do you feel Balinese?

Well, ummm…I’m not culturally Balinese. It’s confusing. I don’t speak Balinese and only speak some Indonesian.

I mostly live in the expat world here, whatever that means. But when I go and spend time with my father and his side of the family I do have a deep connection to him and his family.

I just had this very interesting revelation the other day when I realized I would probably now say I’m a child of Bali.

And what that means is that there is a spirit on this island which is unlike any other land in the world. And it’s a part of me. It’s in my blood, heart and spirit.

So how does the exposure to your dad’s world influence you?

Well, I was raised with magic as being normal here and I think that had a tremendous effect on my life.

Also, my father’s father and mother were all what people call ‘balians’.

I was exposed to all sorts of ceremonies and rituals during my holidays here that most kids just don’t see.

Where did you train and study to become a witch?

Well when I was eleven or twelve I heard the word witch and I knew it was my word, without ever understanding what it meant.

I quickly embraced myself as Witch and opened to Wild Nature and the Limitless Cosmos and the techniques and material I was learning from books to ‘train’.

And you train by going through a crisis – in the shamanic way. It’s excruciating and challenging, and complex to explain.

For some it’s like a mental illness or it looks like that anyway, or for others it’s actually a physical illness.

Regardless, everything you learn in this process (from the spirits and the human teachers), teaches you about Witchcraft.

We’re rebels! When you look at the history of witchcraft you’ll find many examples of when it was a rebellion against institutions, like Catholicism.

The Catholic Church feared us so much that they killed hundreds and thousandsof us.

So, as this issue is on communication, how do you communicate with the spirit world?

Okay, well I make a circle, because a circle is a container and a compass, it means you have directions with east, north, west, south, above and below.

Directions are important for my tradition. We put lots of emphasis on the direction of things, like the Balinese.

In the Craft, like in physics, we have six directions.

Once the space is created I induct people or myself into a trance or altered state, by beating on a drum or shaking on a rattle, chanting or something.

Then I stop and wait and see what happens. I don’t do guided meditation scene-by-scene, image-by-image.

I don’t want to influence what is happening but prefer to allow people to have their own experience.

Walk me through a typical day with Gede Parma.

I have had to learn to resist looking at my phone first thing in the morning, which took some self discipline.

Now I start my day by going to my altar, or if I am too tired I just stay in bed. Either place, I have a breathing practice which is similar to yoga pranayama.

I praise the mother of the earth, I praise the ancestors, and I give thanks to the magical and mysterious world we live in.

Then the rest of the day is spent working on various things. I’ll read cards, do a ceremony, write, maybe lead a workshop or do a little spell for people around town.

I have many friends who have businesses here and they’ll say something weird is happening and ask if I can come over and lend a magical hand.

I travel a lot to America and Australia to teach in places like Pagan shops, mystic academies and sometimes I teach at universities, for an Anthropology class or something similar.

I am invited to Pagan gatherings, often those around High Priestesses or training covens that often take place in peoples homes.

I earn a living doing readings and leading workshops.

How does your identity as transgendered intersect with your spiritual practices?

I don’t really hold to any gender identity – this can be encompassed by the broader term of ‘transgendered’ which is different to ‘transexual’ in which a chemical and physical change between sexes happens.

I am biologically male, but my narrative, my feeling, is that my gender is wild, ever-evolving or rather that it doesn’t matter; that it doesn’t have bearing on how I live my life.

For others gender means a lot, and that is a sacred experience as well.

For me being non-gendered, or genderful, means I find it very easy to change my consciousness at will – one classic definition of magic.

Someone asked me once if I believe in life after death, expecting that I would say something profound, and I said ‘I don’t know’. I mean I talk to the dead, but I don’t know about afterlife.

You were recently invited to teach at Bali Spirit Festival. How did that go?

Bali Spirit was a delightful experience.

I don’t usually teach magic or shamanic and witchcraft technique to people who aren’t already completely in the flow of their own practice or identify as witches.

Everyone was very “in for it”, engaged, and vividly present. I admired this greatly – the willingness, joy and daring – important to journeying with magic!

Inspired by Pak Man the balian | Inspired Bali

Bali is rich with indigenous healing traditions. Movies, books, articles, blogs, Facebook and now “tweets” are full of information and revelations shared by tourists and expats in Bali about their “Balian healing experience”.

As is well-known, a local Ubud healer (Balian) made headlines some years ago with Julia Roberts’ portrayal of Elizabeth Gilbert in the Hollywood movie “Eat, Pray, Love”.

The result was a lucrative business born for a Handful of healers who have benefitted financially from the thousands who have sought them out for answers.

Yet, against all odds, these healers have maintained their course, despite a foreign influx that could have compromised integrity, boosted egos and cultivated greed.

Balinese healing is now on the radar of international spiritual tourists and health seekers alike.

Traditional Balinese healers have been a fixture on this island for thousands of years. It is estimated that there are 8,000 healers working tirelessly, day and night, to help their communities heal.

Blending elements of Hinduism and indigenous healing traditions, Balian healing encompasses a number of different modalities, depending on the specialty of the healer and, in some instances, the sex of the practitioner.

For most foreigners, the tradition is wrapped in mystery in regards to how it works, what it does and what exactly the Balian is doing.

Ultimately, it requires a deep understanding of Balinese culture and spiritual traditions that many of us will never grasp.

But, the attraction to seek these unique healers out is on the rise and therefore, so is our responsibility to educate ourselves as best we can about the process.

The guiding principle in creating balance in Bali is the concept of Sekala and Niskala which could be translated (respectively) as the tangible and intangible.

Good and evil, dark and light, north and south, and east and west must be honored through ongoing offerings, many of which you see on streets, in homes and in the many temples.

Keeping this balance is a big part of Balinese Hinduism and is believed to be the key to healing the body, mind and spirit.

According to the Balinese, there are two qualities that may affect your health. Some can be seen and measured, and are called Sekala.

This is more like western medicine. A broken bone would be under the category of Sekala.

Balian healers do treat these problems, but more and more locals will head to the closest rumah sakit (hospital) to deal with such issues.

Opposite to the more scientific Sekala is Niskala, a more subtle force that cannot be seen.

Stress, blocked chakras, angry spirits or disharmony with ancestors are some of the things that dominate this realm.

When Niskala is out of balance it can create all sorts of health problems, even issues like gambling addictions or scooter accidents.

If you plan to see a Balian, it might be helpful to have a better understanding of how a session might unfold…

As is common in Balinese cultural etiquette, a session would not begin by getting straight to the problem, but rather, by sitting down first together, to share a drink and have a friendly chat.

Typically the Balinese bring family members or friends to these appointments which gives the healer a chance to get to know them and offers an opportunity to observe the patient with other people.

Locals bring an offering of either money or palm leafs, but if you are a foreigner your offering will likely take the form of Indonesian currency (Rupiah).

The Balinese approach to healing differs from a westerner’s approach of “pay and go”, and often the completion of a session is just the beginning of the entire healing process.

Female clients are discouraged from visiting a healer during menstruation.

In some indigenous healing traditions around the world, a woman who is menstruating is considered ‘unclean’ and forbidden to enter places of worship. In Bali, this is not the issue.

However, as women are often considered more sensitive at this time, both emotionally and physically, it can be challenging for both parties during a therapy session.

To avoid any miscommunication during a treatment about what hurts, or what one feels, it is considered best practice to do the healing work at other times in a woman’s cycle.

Furthermore, healers have kamar suci (holy rooms) which are on par with temples. This energy is powerful and sacred and can bring up difficult memories and feelings.

Never give the healer money directly, but place it in an envelope, a box or on a table at the end of your session.

Some healers will see you privately by booking an appointment while others do walkins.

This can take a few hours of waiting and the appointment can be as short as five minutes.

Many healers see their clients in public, so be prepared to share your story with others.

“Pak Man” Arya Dunung is a Taksu Balian with decades of experience. Originally from Tampaksiring and now based in Ubud, he welcomes all types of problems from cancer, strokes, diabetes, broken bones, bad backs, migraines, digestive disorders, drug addiction, depression, stress to black magic.

He uses therapeutic massage and his own crafted oils and medicines to heal.

Pak Man’s focus is to help patients find the root cause of their suffering and learn to heal through the cultivation of their own wisdom, responsibility for their own health and honesty.

He believes that it is then that people can peacefully move on to enjoy life’s challenges, be they physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.

To make an appointment with Pak Man in Ubud please contact his wife, Lucinda, by mobile: 0813 3893 5369

By Janet Nicol | Cover photograph by Carol Da Riva

Bitcoin in Bali | Inspired Bali

bitcoin in bali
Cover Photo by Vitto Christaldi

WELCOME to Bali. You’ll need cash.

New adventures take one to far-off lands where everything is fresh, exciting and novel.

People dream of travel- ing to Southeast Asia to experience the breeze and lush jungle settings.

This is especially true when landing for the first time in Bali, where art, music and architecture infuse the entire island landscape with a sensory experience like no place on earth.

What a pity that today’s traveler has no choice but to confound this beautiful experience with the hassles of money.

In Bali, you need cash. The island’s shops, restaurants and home-stays run on colorful Indonesian rupiah banknotes and coins.

Credit cards are accepted but coverage is spotty and transaction success is anything but certain. Cash is unavoidable.

The largest denomination is the pale pink 100,000 rupiah note worth roughly USD $8. You will need a pile of them for your stay in beautiful Bali.

We live in a connected, modern world full of immediacy and convenience in all areas of life.

This is true in Bali as well, with many places advertising free WiFi and Internet.

We can shoot photographs with our phone and send them to mom halfway around the world in a second.

We can chat with friends or even video conference from a café overlooking beautiful rice fields.

So why must we carry around a wallet full of unhygienic, insecure, un-modern cash?

The sad truth is that today’s international traveler does not have many good options when it comes to money.

Carrying large amounts of cash can be quite dangerous in any tourist destination and Bali is no exception.

So one is forced to use ATMs which charge fees; travelers checks, which are antiquated and inconvenient; or credit cards which are expensive and not accepted everywhere.

Every option available to the traveler skims a little off the top.

Anytime money is exchanged and spent, one loses 2 -3%; and in some cases much more in hidden costs.

It’s the modern world of money but it is anything but modern.

It won’t be long before people look back with incredulity at the antiquated and expensive analog money we still find ourselves using in the 21st century.

It will become painfully obvious that paper notes or even plastic cards did not leverage the power of the interconnected world that furnishes so many other conveniences.

One might even wonder why we put up with the old system for so long when many better options were technically possible, yet still delayed or unavailable.

Deep in our heart we all know that money could work in a better way. Money could be modern and digital.

Money could work everywhere without the need to exchange it. Money could be secure in a digital wallet—for example on our phone where we already store everything else digital.

It could be instant, cheap and convenient, available 24/7 with no middleman and no crazy fees or hassles.

Picture a world where you don’t need local currency and where moneychangers don’t take advantage of you.

Where you don’t leave the country with a bunch of useless coins. Picture a world of money that just works, anywhere, like all other aspects of our technology-enabled lives.

I’m a big fan of Bitcoin. Regulation of money supply needs to be depoliticized.

Al Gore, former US VIce-President and winner of Nobel Peace Prize

What if we had Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the technological answer to the aforementioned problems of money.

Bitcoin is transnational, apolitical, totally transparent, secure and nearly instantaneous travel-money.

Bitcoins are created and tallied by tens of thousands of computers cooperating to provide a system of money.

These computers voluntarily run the bitcoin software which is free for anyone to use.

Computers running this software miraculously synchronize to maintain a global ledger that effectively replaces the worldwide banking settlement system we normally rely on for international money transfers.

MP3 was to the music industry, and what Skype was to the telecommunications industry. Bitcoin replaces the entire banking system for a fraction of the cost.

Amazingly, Bitcoin has no employees. No buildings. No impediments to innovation. As a consequence, bitcoin is faster and cheaper than any alternative.

Reducing these costs opens up whole new economic possibilities for emerging markets like Indonesia.

And it’s all beginning here in Bali where tourism ties this country to the international market.

Building a Bitcoin Economy in Bali

Bali is poised to inspire the world to adopt Bitcoin. Over the past six months, Bali has gone from zero Bitcoin adoption to capturing the world’s attention as a Bitcoin-friendly destination.

A small group of dedicated Bitcoin enthusiasts has been growing on the island. Through steady community outreach and education, the Bitcoin economy is taking shape.

Business owners and community leaders meet every week to talk about the latest developments in Bitcoin and how they can be leveraged to help local commerce and local people to serve the global traveler.

An effort is being spearheaded at bitislands.com, to create a friendly environment in Bali for Bitcoin. It is now possible to begin using Bitcoin from the time you land at Ngurah Rai Airport.

Digital currency is growing, however, it is still early for Bitcoin in Bali. There is a buzz on the island and the world is taking notice.

By next high season, Bali will have well over 100 merchants who accept the currency and will be recognized as one of the global destinations in which the burgeoning new world economy is made up of digits not dollars.

As more merchants and tourists participate, network effects take off and a new economy is born.

Where to spend Bitcoin:

Your bitcoin (located on your mobile phone) is accepted at a number of places on the island including:

For updates on participating locations see: www.coinmap.org

Learn more about Bitcoin here: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Main_Page

Bitcoin education resources can be found here: http://coinacademy.co

Buy bitcoins in Indonesia here: https://www.bitcoin.co.id

What is Bitcoin? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U- m63OQz3bjo

Gratitude: the missing link?

The academic study of happiness has gathered a lot of momentum in the last five years.  

There’s Bhutan’s Gross Happiness Index,  Canada has its Index of Well-Being, and the UK is working on its own national happiness measurement.

In the wealth of research that now surrounds happiness, gratitude is emerging as a vital missing link.

Research is showing what spiritual and religious practices have long known: it is good to give thanks – good for the body, for the mind; it’s good for one’s community, and it’s good for the soul.

One pioneer in the research boom is the Greater Good Science Center, which has a $3 million grant to expand scientific understanding of gratitude and its role in health, development and social well-being.

Researchers are looking into gratitude and its effects on stress, sleep, health, aging, community and resilience, its role in children and youth, ways to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude,” the list goes on.

There are results already showing how an attitude of gratitude reduces stress hormones in blood, improves sleep, encourages physical activity and is helpful in the face of adversity.

But what is gratitude? Robert Emmons, a leading researcher in the field (and whose work this article is based on) defines it as “a sense of thankfulness and joy in response to receiving a gift, whether the gift be a tangible benefit from a specific other or a moment of peaceful bliss evoked by natural beauty”.

It is an emotion or emotional trait, and Emmons calls this trait a tendency towards gratitude, or an “attitude of gratitude.”

In this definition there is a distinction between feeling grateful to someone for something and feeling grateful for more abstract things such as life or nature.

The first is the gratitude one feels towards specific people for help they have given, specifically help that has been given intentionally.

The second is a general sense of appreciation for the positive aspects of life. Both involve feeling like the recipient of unearned benefit, which is in contrast to a victim mentality or a sense of entitlement or deservedness.

Emmons suggests that it is actually impossible to simultaneously feel both entitled and grateful, and that gratitude is therefore a way to combat negative emotions.

Deepak Chopra agrees that ego and gratitude cannot be held in mind simultaneously; however, when feeling grateful to someone or something, there is an important distinction between gratitude and indebtedness.

One study suggests that people who feel grateful to someone are happier and healthier compared to those who feel indebted by the same kindness.

Gratitude is a cognitively complex emotion that involves appraising the intent of and cost to the giver and the benefit of the receiver.

It is thought to develop between seven and ten years of age.

One study of Halloween “trick or treating” found kids under the age of six thanked an adult for giving them candy noticeably less than kids over ten.

Another study with children showed that five-year-olds, after being shown a vignette of a new student being picked to join the basketball team by the captain, were equally likely to award the captain a gift regardless of whether it was a kind gesture (intentional) or a team rule (unintentional);

however, ten and eleven-year-olds were more likely to give the captain a gift only if the new kid had been intentionally selected.

This suggests both the age range of the development of gratitude and the relationship between seeing a benefactor’s act as intentional and feeling grateful.

Another study shows that as they age, adolescents become less egocentric and more able to empathize, and the ability to empathize is a strong factor in the development of gratitude.

As we begin to realize how helpful an attitude of gratitude can be for health and well-being, the question becomes: where does a tendency of gratitude come from and how can we become more grateful?

One final hypothesis about the foundations of gratitude suggests that a tendency towards gratitude has its roots in infancy, but only if envy does not overpower its development.

Both envy and enjoyment (thought to be a foundation for gratitude) have their roots in the mother-child bond.

Whereas a child who is deprived of physical or emotional nourishment develops envy, a child experiencing adequate love and nourishment develops a capacity for joy.

This is a somewhat controversial hypothesis because it lacks empirical support.

And, while some consider infancy a plausible stage in the development of gratitude, others disagree and suggest that gratitude emerges over time through a child’s interaction with its environment.

What is not controversial and is shown in many studies is that we can, at any age, cultivate in ourselves a tendency towards gratitude.

The Benefits of Gratitude

In several studies, participants were split into three groups.

The members of the first group kept a gratitude journal in which they would write five things each week they were grateful for.

Those in the second group recorded five observations, and those in the final group recorded five hassles or frustrations per week.

The results showed that within three weeks, the group practicing gratitude benefitted from positive changes in physical and mental health.

Emmon’s talks of “practicing gratitude” as training one’s mind to see the positive things. It’s a practice and needs to be cultivated.

His studies of over 1,000 people have found physical, psychological and social benefits.

They include:

Physical benefits : a stronger immune system, less bothered by aches and pains, lower blood pressure, greater tendency to exercise and maintain health, better sleep and feeling more refreshed upon waking.

Psychological benefits : higher levels of positive emotions, more alert and awake, increased joy, increased optimism and happiness.

Perhaps the most interesting are the social benefits he has found, with people who practice gratitude being more helpful and generous, more forgiving, more outgoing, and feeling less lonely and isolated compared with his other study groups.

Emmons and his research group place the main benefits of gratitude in four categories:

1. Grateful people celebrate the present.

2. Gratitude blocks toxic negative emotions. For example, it is impossible to feel grateful and envious at the same time.

3. Grateful people are more stress-resistant. Many studies show that grateful people recover from trauma more easily, perhaps because it gives a perspective from which to perceive events.

4. Grateful people have a higher sense of self-worth. This comes from a sense that someone else is looking out for them, so they must be worth something.

Another interesting angle on the benefits of gratitude is the way it challenges dominant psychological patterns.

We are often taught to believe that we get what we deserve, or, in other words, if something good happens, we’ve earned it.

There is often a self-serving bias in this, that if something goes wrong we blame others (or perhaps we blame ourselves and refuse to forgive ourselves).

Gratitude works against this by broadening our perspective to include the people and events that have helped and supported us.

Getting more Grateful

The next question is how to become more grateful, or how to practice gratitude.

Luckily there are a number of resources, one of which is the “Ways to Become More Grateful” list that Robert Emmons published on the Greater Good website.

Here are a few of the tips:

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal. Set aside time, ideally a daily practice, to remind yourself of the gifts and good things you enjoy

2. Remember the Bad. It can be helpful to remember the tough times you’ve had. These can remind you how far you’ve come and encourage gratefulness.

3. Learn Prayers of Gratitude. These are considered by many spiritual traditions to be the most powerful form of prayer.

4. Come to your Senses. Through touch, taste, sight, smell and sound we are reminded what it is to be human, what a gift our bodies are and the miracle it is to be alive.

5. Use Visual Reminders. The two primary obstacles to gratefulness are forgetfulness and lack of mindful awareness, so use visual reminders – other people are often the best reminders.

6. Make a Vow to Practice Gratitude. Research shows that making an oath to perform a behavior increases the likelihood it will be done, so write a gratitude vow: “I will count my blessings every day”.

7. Watch your Language. Grateful people often use the language of gifts, blessings, fortune, abundance, focusing on the good things others have done for them.

8. Go Through the Motions. By going through the motions, the emotion of gratitude should be triggered. Grateful motions include smiling, saying thank you, and writing letters of gratitude or thank you letters.

While some argue that scientific research on gratitude is a waste of time, others suggest it is the missing link in discussions about happiness and is well worth researching.

As the results come in, it seems that looking closely at gratitude and its influence in our lives is highly fruitful.

And as the research around gratitude grows, it will be interesting to keep an eye out for further techniques to nourish gratitude and create environments that stimulate it.

The Greater Good research center has some great resources and I highly recommend it for further reading.

It is a great way to stay abreast on the latest developments.

Greater Good: the Science of a Meaningful Life http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/

The following is especially interesting: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/gratitude

Desak Yoni: looking back | Inspired Bali

WRITER DESAK Yoni was born in the early 1970s and grew up in a small village near Ubud. She has lived, loved and learned in Australia and Bali.

Her cross-cultural training included two decades of living between the two islands and earning a Masters degree from an Australian University.

Since her return to settle here, Desak says she is able to put theory into practice here in Bali.

Desak’s new novel “Reflections of my Soul – The Story of a Balinese Woman” is based on her experience of love, marriage and sex.

The book highlights challenges that arise between different ways of life not only in faraway lands but also amongst the rapidly changing cultures of Bali.

Inspired Bali sat down with Desak to hear her reflections on love, relationships and traditions in Bali and the west.

What messages about love, sex and/or marriage did you grow up with in Bali?

Love grows once we live withthe person long enough and reconcile our differences,learn to accept one another and live everyday withoutany specific plans, just slogging along through asimple life.

Messages about sex – I grew up without any talk about sex. It was a taboo topic. There was no sex education at our schools.

(I’m not sure whether the schools offer sex education now in villages.) Growing up in the village, I learned that sex was more like a wifely duty to fulfill whenever the husband wants sex or having sex simply to have kids.

It was a man’s world in a patriarchal society in small villages of Bali. Men were getting their satisfaction from home and elsewhere.

The wife was to accept that extramarital affairs were normal in villages. Wives were even expected to agree to polygamy.

People were very open about who was having an affair with whom, as long as the affairs didn’t end up as a marriage.

Most wives tended to accept their fate in my village neighborhood.

What was your parents’ model of marriage and love?

My mother was more concerned about her duties as a Hindu woman than her marriage and love life.

Being from a poor family, she used to say, “I have two kids now. I’m happy as long as my husband feeds us.”

Mom and Dad used to fight a lot, as my dad would have an affair and spend his money on the affair instead of us.

If only the money was staying in the family, mom would not complain about an extramarital affair.

Now that my parents are old, I think they seem to be happy. Dad seems to focus on family, such as their grandchildren (my sister’s kids).

Mom is quite happy with day to day duties as a housewife such as taking care of cooking, offerings and ceremonies.

Love is devotion to her god. In their model of marriage, the husband is free to do whatever, as long as he brings food home for their children, ceremonies, and so on.

What were your mother’s teachings about love and sex? How (if at all) did she talk with you about these matters?

We don’ttalk about these things openly.My mom always said, “Let yourhusband have his way, and stayquiet for the sake of the kids.”She only ever talks about love towardsthe kids, never about lovetowards the husband.

I have neverseen my father and mother beingaffectionate towards one anotherin an open space. Balinesepeople don’t hug (my parents’generation especially), let alone kiss in front of otherpeople.

There is no emotional expression of love thatI can see. We often see other emotions like sadness,happiness and anger being displayed in the familyand surrounding neighbourhood.

My parents neverhold hands in front of me or my sister or anybody. I preferwestern cultures with lots of emotional expressionsof love towards one another.

We can hold hands, kiss in public, and be affectionate to our partners/husbands.

How have other members of your family coped with the developments in Bali around love, marriage and relationships?

There are a lot of challenges for younger generations like my little sister as she has been overseasbut continues to live in the village with my parents.

She has seen lots of western movies and westerners beingaffectionate towards one another around Ubud.

She wants to be affectionate towards her husband, but theyalso want to maintain culturaltraditions and respect in the village.

It is a huge difference from my life, as I no longer live with my parents but instead in my own private villa in the middle of rice paddies, away from villagers.

What has been your experience with extramarital affairs? HIV/ AIDS? Domestic violence?

Extramarital affairs alway createfriction for any marriage. Life isdifficult enough with all the usual daily activities, commitments,work that each individual has todeal with.

When a husband/wifeis seeking love elsewhere, thenthe marriage is broken.

There isno longer a bond in the relationship; the attention is being divided; the money is being divided; then the worry of catching HIV and trust disappearing.

It is very hard to keep the marriage together in onepiece.

It is one fight after another, which often turnsinto violence and rage, which is very bad for the children to witness.

It is dangerous for all involved and certainlyvery damaging for everyone’s mental condition.

The neighbours deserve some peace as well! Whenthere are extramarital affairs, then the marriage bondis no longer a solid commitment amongst two people with the same goals.

How do you or your generation cope with these differently from your parents and their generation?

Mygeneration is less accepting towards their husbands’affairs. Balinese women have careers and are ableto look after their own children financially.

I see a lot of them put up a fight in court these days to win the rights with regard to their children and their right to be respected as human beings.

Balinese women in my generation are becoming more independent and educated.

We’re working on compromise instead of simply following orders from men.

In my parents’ generation, there was no such thing as divorce. If the woman dared to leave, then they would never see their children again.

In some cases, if she was going to leave her husband’s family compound, her own original family would never accept her back.

What was the woman supposed to do, other than accept her fate? In my mother’s generation, most women couldn’t even read or write.

How has your understanding of yourself and your place in the world evolved?

We certainly have the strength tocontinue growing and understand the human dilemma.

I realize we are complex and evolving creatures.There is no way we can all conform to traditional culturalnorms.

Returning to my roots and revisiting my childhood in Bali certainly gave me some clues regarding my choices in life.

Looking at my mother’s blind devotion to spiritual and social matters helped me realize that I’m so lucky to have choices by being both an insider and an outsider at the same time.

I can live in both worlds in Bali – traditional and modern at the same time, each and every day.

I discovered forgiveness. I forgive myself in a lot of ways and forgive people around me and have a deeper understanding of why things are the way they are.

I have become more patient, less angry with the world and with people.

I feel less burden on my shoulders knowing that no matter what country we live in, there are always struggles to deal with.

“Renditions of My Soul – The Story of A Balinese Woman” is available from Ganesha Bookshops (3 branches in Bali: Ubud, Sanur and Kuta) and can be purchased from their website, Ary’s Bookshop – Ubud, Kafe – Ubud, many Periplus location, Books & Beyond (2 branches Ubud and Kuta).

An online version is also available from www.smaswords.com.

50 years in Indonesia | Inspired Bali

The 1965 massacre

In 1965, a massacre estimated to have killed between 500,000 and 2 million people occurred throughout Indonesia.

The victims were suspected communists, farmers, feminists and trade unionists.

When the killing was over, the memory of it was buried along with the dead; the perpetrators had taken power, stigmatized the victims and their families and suppressed historical memory.

It is a painful wound from which this country has never healed. In Bali, the violence was especially severe, where an estimated 5% of the population was killed.

The village of Petulu, just north of Ubud, has a particularly dark history.

Stories of villagers brutally killing one another and the rumored existence of a mass grave has clouded the area’s history for many years.

To rebalance, a cleansing ceremony was performed in late October 1965.

Within days, the town was flooded with egrets that many believe arrived to protect the village from further tragic events.

To this day, just before sunset, the birds can be seen flocking into the village and nesting in the trees of Petulu next to the grave site.

For further reading check out:

“The Dark Side of Paradise” by Adrian Vickers or “Pretext for Mass Murder” by John Roosa.

For more general information:

National Commission of Human Rights: www.stopimpunity.org and a woman’s support ground that formed after the massacre: www.institutungu.com “The Act of Killing”, an extraordinary documentary by Canadian filmmaker, Joshua Oppenheimer, is opening up conversations about this sensitive issue.

The 2002-2005 Bombings

On October 12, 2002, 202 people at two nightclubs (Sari Club and Paddy’s) were the victims of a violent terrorist attack by the Islamist group, Jemaah Islamiyah.

Said to be in retaliation to the US “War on Terror”, and Australia’s role in the liberation of East Timor, two bombs targeted the nightclub district in Kuta, and a third the U.S Consulate in Denpasar.

The island’s tourist economy was decimated overnight, and took years to rebuild. Then on October 1st, 2005, terrorists detonated bombs at Jimbaran Beach and once again in Kuta, claiming the lives of 20 people.

One of the most inspiring initiatives that came out of the two Bali bombings is the Annika Linden Foundation, now called Inspirasia.

Named after a young British woman killed in the 2002 tragedy, and set up by her British boyfriend, Mark Weingard, the foundation’s mission is to help the disadvantaged in Indonesia lead fulfilling lives and have better access to health care, education and new opportunities.

The Annika Linden Center in Tohpati was built in her honour, and serves as a hub for charities that help people with disabilities.

For more information visit: www.inspirasia.org

For more information on this subject:

Films:

“The Healings of Bali” by John Darling, “Fool me Twice” by Glen Clancy

“Long Road to Heaven” by Enison Sinaro.

Books:

“In the Arms of the Angel” by Kim A. Patra

“After Bali” by Jason McCartney.

Music:

Bali Bombing/Jason’s Accident by Bruce Rowland.
Compiled by Janet Nicol

A day in bali | Inspired Bali

A day in bali
Cover photograph by Carol Da Silva

We’ve all experienced too much stress as a result of too many family obligations, looking after an elder parent, a newborn baby, 60+ hour work week, and of course the one that tops the list, financial worries.

Our fast-paced, unstoppable life has finally caught up with us and it seems as though there’s never enough time in the day.

The everyday becomes the mundane, your body slowly loses energy, becoming emotionally and physically exhausted.

You’ve gone full throttle until you eventually burnout. Now is the time to slow down, shift gears and simplify your life.

The island of Bali is in itself, a natural detox destination. Bali is a tranquil setting, perfect for healing, restoration, recharging your batteries and awakening your senses.

Everything about this mystical land is intoxicating, yet calming.

The fascinating Balinese culture, Hinduism, myriad of ceremonies, beautiful people and stunning landscapes will take your breath away.

Take a day to begin your recovery with an early morning walk along the Campuan Ridg, gazing at exquisitely terraced, emerald rice paddies and passing farmers tending to their harvest.

Get lost in thought – pick a tiny, dirt path and begin meandering.

Don’t worry about where you’ll end up; it’s the joy of an unknown destination that will pique your curiosity.

Breathe in the crisp air and smell the dew as it gently rests upon each stalk of rice.

Just as the sun rises, you may catch a glimpse of the legendary white herons soaring above Ubud as they make their daily flightpath.

Unwind, slow down and bring in a renewed sense of well-being into your life.

Afterwards, head 20 minutes northeast to Tirta Empul in Tampak Siring, a natural spring known for its holy water.

More than a thousand years old, the Balinese still make pilgrimages to bathe in its sacred water.

Join devout Hindus as they immerse themselves in the water to purify themselves.

Cup your hands together under the myriad of water spouts and ever so-slightly, splash water over your head or symbolically bathe your head, to experience this age-old ritual.

Legend states the water has magic healing powers and by undergoing the purification ceremony, you will feel its healing properties.

For a town no bigger than one square mile, Ubud proper has a multitude of healthy eating options.

Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, raw foodie, or just want to eat wholesome food, conscious eating is what it’s all about.

Since recovery begins from the inside out, it is important that we start with fresh, organic foods that are full of vital nutrients.

From wheat grass shots and macrobiotic salads, to a rainbow medley of fresh juices and organic Indonesian food, the choices are limitless.

End your meal with a tantalizing array of homemade raw chocolates and desserts. Eating well is the most important ingredient for good health and energizing yourself.

No visit to Ubud is complete without yoga.

There are three main studios in town (Yoga Barn, Intuitive Flow and Radiantly Alive) that should all be sampled for their excellent selection of teachers, styles and glorious views of town.

Consider taking a Restorative Yoga class, a slow paced style that uses yoga props – blankets, pillows, blocks and straps – to support and open the energy body.

You won’t sweat, but instead, will be guided through a number of longer held poses for up to 15 minutes.

Your only challenge is to surrender to gravity and allow the earth to support you.

Lastly, indulge in a little ‘me’ time at one of Ubud’s traditional massage centers or healing spas.

Massages are an amazing antidote to stress and a powerful, yet calming way to relax. They literally soothe our nerves and produce a sense of well-being.

Not only are there are many types of massages – head-to-toe, luxuriating, healing, four-hand, cleansing and invigorating treatments – but the venues are unforgettable.

Imagine a massage alongside a trickling river, or under a thatched roof amongst the dense cover of palm fronds in the jungle.

Massages run the gamut from traditional Balinese, deep tissue, reflexology, hot stone, or mandi lulur, which begins with a body scrub, followed by a soothing massage.

Lastly, there is Ayurveda, the ancient science of healing.

One of the most restorative treatments is Shirodhara, a traditional method where an ever-flowing stream of warm oil is poured over your forehead.

The feeling is pure bliss and the end result is a total sense of wellness and mental clarity.

During your journey here, tune out, unplug and leave all the gadgets behind. You will be awestruck by Bali and all that has transpired during your visit here.

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Inspired by Vikram Gandhi

Director Vikram Gandhi recently came to Bali to screen his movie, Kumaré – A True Story of a False Prophet.

In the film, he impersonates a guru named Kumaré in order to test the limitations and find the origins surrounding the cultivation of positive personal growth.

Vikram began this process as an average artist, then became a fake leader, and then exposed himself as just an average artist.

In doing so, he created a work of art that gained him great notoriety and influence as a leader.

After his artistic and spiritual journey brought him full circle. Who better to sit down with and talk about leadership in the spiritual community?

Q: Who were your leaders growing up, people you looked up to?
A: I think my father was the main leader I saw in my life, but my mother was also very much a leader.

Q: What about spiritual leaders?
A: The first real guru or spiritual leader I was exposed to in a major way was in an ashram in Pennsylvania.

There was a Swami there called Swami Dayananda [Dayananda Saraswati, founder of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam] that teaches Vedanta.

I probably started going when I was seven. He was like a grandfather figure. He was the leader but you never actually saw him leading.

He was just the person in charge who kind of had spiritual authority, but it wasn’t dogmatic or anything.

I had no objections with the way he acted; there was kind of a family vibe.

Q: What are your thoughts on political leaders?
A: I’ve been skeptical of political leaders my whole life. I haven’t had really too much interest [in politics] until Obama.

That was a really big deal for anyone who’s not white in America. I mean – to have somebody who’s a brown man become President?

That changes your whole perspective on the world in a major way… Then after a few years it’s like, “Oh well, it’s just politics again…”

Q: Have your opinions about leadership roles changed since making your film? A: Being a film director and being a spiritual leader are very similar in a lot of ways, especially when you are

making an independent film. Part of it was leading people by example, even if it didn’t make any sense.

If I didn’t have producers who believed in the project, no one was going to show up. They were like, “I believe in this guy.” 

Then, when the assistants came to audition, they were like, “Well, it’s a crazy fucking idea, but if those guys believe in it…” It’s really the first people who believe that get the other people on board.

Once that happens, at least in the spiritual leadership sense, that’s how it takes off.

It’s like the Dalai Lama – if he just calls himself “The Dalai Lama,” he would be just a dude who dressed in a robe.

But, because there is a system that says, “ This guy’s the Dude,” then all of a sudden he can play that role.

It’s not about the person who is leading; it’s about the first person who decides to follow.

Q:  Is it easier to see the relationship between authority and corruption after having made this film?
A: I think if you are a spiritual leader, you have absolutely NO motivation or ambition that’s justifiable other than to help other people.

The majority of people in the “spiritual industry” have to make a living and that’s honestly what’s going on.

I think that’s what’s funny about spiritual leaders to me: it’s about them leading, not about where they are leading people to. It’s supposed to be about where…

Q:  After being Kumaré, did it seem like it would be easier for someone in an authority position to take advantage of people?

A: I couldn’t because I was making a movie. I was documenting everything. If Kumaré was real, he could do

whatever he wanted. But I’m Vikram so I couldn’t break any rules because I’m not the person they think I am.

The point was, I’m put in a situation where all these things are at my fingertips in this movie and the audience feels uncomfortable because they know.

These people feel a certain weight of his [Kumaré’s] authority or his presence that has nothing to do with anything he said.

It’s just that he is in a position and looks the part, and that has created the opinion of so many different people, including the audience.

Q:  Didn’t you talk about those boundaries in an interview with Stephen Colbert?
A: Yes, I told him that the rules of a fake guru are a lot more strict than the rules of a real guru.

Q:  Were there different reactions between men and women to the Kumaré film?

A: Men might be excited to be that spiritual leader that I’m playing – that’s their excitement about the movie.

Perhaps the excitement for women is how it has exposed spiritual leaders as frauds.

I had a great reception from a very strong women’s group called Off The Mat, run by Seane Corn and some other people from L.A.

They showed it in a Yoga Teacher Training and the feedback was that it was about not giving your power up to gurus and other people [or] to men in positions of power.

Some women have interpreted [the movie] as a way of exposing male spiritual teachers who take advantage of women, which is totally accurate.

Q:  Do you still practice yoga?
A: Yeah, I do. I’m just not as obsessed with it as I was for the movie. I think modern yoga is an invention, a complete fabrication.

Very much like Zumba, maybe more than people want to admit.

You may say that this teacher has the answer to my problems. If I can catch something he is giving, maybe I will find happiness. You see, this is an illusion.

You do not need anyone outside yourself to be happy. But that does not mean you should not seek happiness, and that does not mean you should not find teachers.

Often, it is through illusion that we create our greatest truth.

Sri Kumaré

VIKRAM ON OSHO

On creating a fictional guru
I watched YouTube videos of Osho speaking when I was preparing for this part.

He was a fashion inspiration as well because basically he said, “You can dress however you want.

Dress like an alien, like Sun Ra Arkestra, like Parliament-Funkadelic if you want.” Osho dressed like a fucking crazy person and people were like, “Oh, he’s from outer space or something. Cool.” Beyond that when he spoke – he didn’t blink.

I watched a fifteen minute lecture – he doesn’t blink once. His focus is so ON. I don’t think he’s a charlatan; he’s just a trickster. He’s an interesting and smart person and he’s playing with it.

People expected him to be magic. Everyone wanted him to be magic so he was like, “Cool.

I know that you think I’m magic, so I’m just going to play on that.”  With Osho, it’s like, “You’re so wise, but are you fucking with me?” Everything is a joke, but it’s also deeply serious.

On Osho’s popularity in the Spiritual Community

Well, Osho is made up. The word Osho is nonsense. He just made up his name. His name was Bhagwan Rajneesh.

Nobody in India was ever practicing Zen, so he incorporated Zen.

Then, he put Ecstatic Dance and Twirling and all this kind of thing, and he opened the door to saying anything is valid.

Anything could become “spirituality” and that was something slightly new. Also, he didn’t take things too seriously so he was able to constantly contradict himself.

In fact, he always talked about contradicting yourself and how important that is.

The beginning of Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic starts off with him saying that he runs a circus.

What has appealed in America has often been performance oriented.

The first cult leaders in America – yogis with Ashrams – the first [leader] was a complete charlatan named Pierre Bernard who had an ashram in upstate New York… and it was like a circus.

He pretended he was from France but really he was from Middle America.

Don’t confuse information with wisdom. Don’t confuse interaction with connection. Don’t confuse disorder with flexibility. Don’t confuse confidence with strength. Don’t confuse what you think you are with what you are becoming.

Kumare

Suki Zoe ran away to NYC after finishing art school in London.

Film views: addiction flicks in the age of recovery

IF MOVIES about alcohol and drug addiction are hard to watch, why do we do it? The answer is personal and varied for each of us.

Perhaps there is common ground in the human desire to better understand our fellow beings and ourselves.

Interestingly, several psychological studies of empathy development have found that people who read novels behave more compassionately and feel less lonely than people who only read nonfiction.

This empathetic expansion from the realm of make-believe into the real world is attributed to the fact that readers who had engaged emotionally in the fictional character’s inner psyche are better able to put themselves in another’s shoes.

Movies are a contemporary progression of storytelling and are effective agents in forming sentiments in an involved audience.

Being safely scared, or even horrified, for a few hours in the darkened room is stirring and entertaining, even if it is not exactly fun.

We are curious beings and yearn to experience more than our limited individual lives can encompass.

The writer, Joan Didion, made an astute observation when she wrote, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” But don’t we need other’s stories in order to live broader, deeper and more varied lives?

Embracing Addiction

Nicolas Cage garnered a best actor Oscar for his performance as an alcoholic hell-bent on destroying himself in the 1995 film, “ Leaving Las Vegas” At the start of the film, Ben Sanderson (Cage), a failed Hollywood agent, is fired from his job but given a generous severance check.

As we watch Ben dance down the aisle of a mega liquor store loading his cart with bottles of booze, it becomes both sad and humorously evident that he is a man getting ready for a date with a death, a fate he has decided to embrace.

The movie offers no miserable childhood backstory as explanation for his alcoholism.

We tell ourselves stories in order to live.

Joan Didion

On the first viewing this film nearly 18 years ago, I was angry with Ben for giving up on his life and embracing addiction.

Recently, I watched it again and realized that his determination to drink himself to death was the one thing about him that was repugnantly heroic.

In fact, it is what makes Leaving Las Vegas such a disturbingly compelling story. Ben is not interested in recovery.

In Las Vegas Ben meets Sara, a lonely prostitute with a heart of gold.

Elisabeth Shue, who plays Sarah, was also nominated for an Oscar for her remarkable performance where she shattered that cliché to smithereens.

When Sara and Ben begin their relationship, Ben, who is incapable of an erection, sets their boundaries by firmly stating, “You can never, ever, ask me to stop drinking.

Do you understand?” Sara replies, “I do. I really do.” He realizes she truly understands when she gives him a silver hip flash as a gift,.

Ben calls Sara his “angel” and, when he isn’t passed out, treats her kindheartedly, something she has never known.

Leaving Las Vegas is an unlikely love story between a modern day Adam and Eve, and Las Vegas is a dystopic paradise for addicts of all kinds.

The movie offers no uplifting ending in the usual sense but it is not merely bleak either.

Even if Sara’s love cannot save Ben from self-destruction, the story is not without hope as she discovers her capacity for unconditional love him.

Implicitly the film posses the question–what is unconditional love? The eternal battle between Thanotos (Death) and Eros (sex/life) are played out through Ben Sanderson.

Thanatos wins but there is a tender holiness to Ben’s last moments when miraculously he is able to make love to Sara before he dies.

His last word is a gentle “wow.” The New York Times film critic, Janet Maslin, has written that Leaving Las Vegas “ has the daring to suspend judgment about Ben’s downward spiral.

This film simply works as a character study, pitilessly well observed and intimately familiar with its terrain.”

“Write what you know” has long been the dictum for creative writing.

Director/screenwriter Mike Figgis’ choice to stick close to John O’Brian’s semi biographical novel may well be the reason for the movie’s unsettling veracity.

O’Brian knew the alcoholic terrain all too well. He shot himself in the head two weeks before his novel was to be made into a movie.

O’Brian’s father felt the book was his son’s suicide note. Figgis said the book inspired him as he had long wanted to do a film about manic depression.

Often inter twined with addiction, and a condition he thinks is more prevalent in highly creative people.

He was nominated for best director and best screenwriter.

In preparation for the role, Cage spent two weeks binge drinking in Dublin while being videotaped by a friend so he could later study his impaired speech patterns and drunken body gestures.

For her demanding role, Shue interviewed Las Vegas prostitutes.

After watching this classic addiction genre film, I recalled Leo McGarry, the alcoholic Chief of Staff on The West Wing, poignantly wondering why addiction is part of the genetic makeup of people in the first place.

Why do the demons of addiction imprison some of us in our own craving bodies, making us our own worst enemy, while leaving others content to sip just a glass of wine with dinner?

Recovery

“Rachel Getting Married” (2008) is a movie about the rickety road to recovery.

Rachel (Rosemary De Witt) may be getting married but the movie is about Kym ( Anne Hathaway), the difficult and rather off–the-wall sister who is given a furlough from a rehab clinic for the wedding weekend.

Kym is both a junkie and an alcoholic but the movie does not wallow in used needles or empty bottles.

Instead, it focuses on the complex relationships in families, especially the bonds between siblings.

Director Jonathan Demme treads an experimental but restrained line, which keeps the movie from slipping into melodrama.

Occasionally, it felt like a home movie in which a few well-known actors move among ordinary people who go about their celebration in a large old family house.

There is a transparent yet rosy vale of optimism floating over this interracial, multicultural wedding, where the bride and her maids wear Indian saris instead of traditional white wedding dresses and Rachel’s intended husband, Sidney (Tunde Adebimpe), an African American classical musician, sings his vows to Rachel.

World music and jazz weave throughout the nuptial celebration, but there is no atmospheric soundtrack. Viewers hear only the music the characters hear.

Demme’s event-specific audio approach coupled with his home filming style made me feel like a wedding guest.

Rachel Getting Married has utopic undertones as the movie presents a multicultural vision of harmony in diversity along with Kym’s recovery story.

When a snarly and defensive Kym arrives at the family house I feared the movie would slip into melodrama and she would ruin Rachel’s wedding.

But it doesn’t and she doesn’t. Kym goes to AA meetings, and crashes a car but pulls it together to show up bruised and humble as maid of honor and a member of the family.

My favorite scene takes place during the rehearsal dinner when Kym gives an over-extended AA style apology speech as a toast to Rachel that is embarrassingly self-centered, and inappropriate yet cringingly fascinating to watch.

Gradually family guilt and buried secrets emerge.

Kym’s accidental killing of her younger brother while driving high on drugs is a story you pray never crosses your doorstep.

Secret accusations about who is responsible for the tragedy tumble out during a family quarrel.

Yet, the film focuses on the power of family love and the necessity of accepting your own as well as each other’s foibles. In the end, ‘Rachel Getting Married’ is soberly uplifting