|Photo by Pahala Basuki on Unsplash|
There was a point in our masterfully facilitated Bali pilgrimage where I was reminded of the universality of story. Nestled in our gorgeous landscapes, Dr. Edward Viljoen narrated and magically brought to life important sections of the great epic Hindu poem – The Ramayana. Two scenes stood out to me – the first is when Rama, the avatar of Vishnu who is destined to become king, is instead banished into the forest. His response to the news is devoid of pity and blame and instead accepts the verdict with dignity, taking his leave.
The other was Manthara, the handmaiden who never stopped manipulating the King’s third wife Kaikeyi with her relentless gossip and calculated mental poisoning to get all that she could for herself.
We each have the dignity of Rama as well as the manipulative fear mongering of Manthara within us. Our life unfolds, and mental patterns are established based on which of these traits we become most devoted to.
What I witnessed throughout our time with Jim Cramer, William Abel, Evan Dow-Williamson, and Edward Viljoen, was pure Rama consciousness. Learning of Jim’s ceaseless years of gaining the trust of the Indonesian Temple authorities so those of us on the journey could be welcomed into temple ceremonies where typical tourist are not, was a remarkably unexpected and selfless gift for all of us to experience.
I was humbled by his devotion to the Balinese culture and the way in which we each benefitted from the ripple of effect of his decision. And like Rama, when there were criticisms, Jim never wavered from his dignity and did his best to accommodate demands.
Too, William, Evan, and Edward gave of themselves with such high-level courteousness that I cannot imagine an introduction to Bali with anyone else.
In times such as these, we are all called to bring to the light our inner Rama - not just on special occasions but as a way of life.
I am reminded of the quote, "How you do anything is how you do everything." I know that this trip fueled my devotion to allow everything within me to be like Rama.
I have had the great fortune of experiencing much of the world in my lifetime, but I have to say that this trip nurtured me deeply and I am grateful to Spirit Tours and the Santa Rosa team for this lasting treasure. My lasting, heartfelt thanks!