After bustling Ubud, Uluwatu is silence, sea, and surfers. Hot, winding, dusty roads with bush and dry forest everywhere; a house here, a villa there. The air is steamy from the evaporating surf.
We dressed in saris and sashes, removed our jewelry and sunglasses so they would not be snatched by the mean monkeys, and walked down to the cliffside where the Uluwatu temple perches above a 70 m drop down into the ocean. The wind whipped our faces and the spray of the surf wet our hair even if the sea was far down below. Such a magnificent place can only be considered one thing: sacred. The Uluwatu temple is one of the most sacred temples on Bali, alongside Pura Tanah Lot, the other temple ravaged by the sea and the wind.
As I stood on the cliffside, the wind in my face, I pondered at how we humans link awe to a spiritual experience. When we are struck by something intensely beautiful or impressive, we call it “otherworldly”, and sometimes we even have what can only be called a spiritual or religious experience. Yet, even if a place like Uluwatu is sacred, it is still of our own world. Our own planet is this beautiful.
Perhaps it would help if we saw our own world as more sacred? Not just breathtaking places of natural beauty like Uluwatu, but all of it? If we consider life in general sacred, and this planet is all we have to live on, how could it be anything else than sacred?(Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia; August 2016)