EMILY CAPOUYA WRITES– This year, the Bali Spirit Festival was to take place March 29- April 5 (2020) in Ubud, the uplands of Bali, Indonesia in stunning lush green rice fields with a river flowing down below.
Every year at this time, crowds of people come all around the world in search of a transformative experience. The BaliSpirit Festival focuses on wellbeing in all forms. The festival is a celebration of ‘east meets west’ through world arts, dance, and colorful concerts and performances. In addition, there are workshops in yoga centres in Ubud, featuring various health fulfilling and wellbeing opportunities. The atmosphere of the festival embodies the core mantra of Balinese Hinduism, or Tri Hita Karana. These teachings guide partakers to live in harmony with our spiritual, social, and natural environments.
Premiering in 2008, the Bali Spirit Festival was established and appreciated as a holistic destination event. It was founded by Meghan Pappenheim, Kadek Gunarta and Robert Weber. Meghan Pappenheim, the Director of the Bal Spirit Group and the Executive Producer of the BaliSpirit Festival, is credited for enhancing the holistic scene of the festival by encouraging the practice of yoga. The initial catalyst for the festival was her strong belief that an increase in people’s energy is directly correlated to recurring yoga practice. Another fundamental component to the BaliSpirt vision was established by Kadek Gunarta, who is responsible for the festival’s connection to the community. Kadek comes from a long lineage of socially minded Balinese. He gained respect from the community after he launched a reforestation project in which he planted hundreds of trees, creating a safer and leafier home for the indigenous, long-tailed macaque monkeys of the forest, whom the Balinese regard as sacred. The last co-founder, Robert Weber, acts as a Musical Director at the BaliSpirit festival, where he creates healing sound journeys in the earth-reverent spirituality community in Bali.
The founders’ mission is to improve ecological health, cultural vibrancy, and the overall vitality of Bali and greater Indonesia. Over the years, the celebration expanded into spiritual diversity through yoga, dance and music, as the founders’ aim is to awaken and nourish each individual’s potential for positive change within the traditions of yoga, dance, and music embodied by the Balinese Hindu concept of Tri Hita Karana. Exceeding expectations from soul-searchers all over the world, the Bali Spirit Festival remains a healing experience that has created a global community.
According to a testimonial from Ciaran Caulfield, owner of Body in Balance SKYTV, Europe’s leading Wellness channel, “In just a few years since its birth, the BaliSpirit Festival has quickly become one of the premiere lifestyle festivals in the world. In the yoga and wellness world, this is the festival that everyone is talking about!”