Driving Presence in Bali

July 27, 2014

You will understand the following if you have ever traveled through a developing country. Transporting myself around Bali is always a wild adventure. My choice of transportation is riding a motorbike, which takes my blood pressure up a few notches. Traffic in Bali comes from all directions with no stop sign or stoplight in sight. My heart rushed as I maneuvered around less than ideal roads conditions, inundated with wondering pedestrians and street dogs. I found myself zipping through the main roads of Ubud (central culture area of Bali) just inches away from everything from oncoming cars to giant tour buses.


What I find to be fascinating about my Bali motorbike experiences is discovering order in the insanity through the practice of presence. The method of movement on the roads of Ubud has no hesitation; it keeps flowing like multiple intersecting rivers. After surrendering a bit of control and a lot of fear, I experienced a powerful trust of the surrounding drivers on the road, and a connection to the natural flow of traffic. I found myself expressing compassion for everyone on the road by being present enough to not get distracted and crash. Driving in Ubud can be a very profound experience because the Bali culture has a way of supporting everyone on the road. The locals will smile, wave, and honk only to let you know that they are there. I start to imagine how driving would be in California if we focused more on taking care of each other. I start to fantasize about one day everyone placing the safety of others over the need to bully our way to a destination. The practice of presence has a way of setting the ego aside. A big lesson to take home from Bali: learn to move as one and emphasize the value of life through the practice of presence.

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