Balance from Indian and Balinese perspective
Various traditions all over the world have realized for a long time how important it is to stay in balance in order to live in harmony, with good health and a sense of fulfillment.
In Bali it is the philosophy of “Tri Hita Karana” that creates a base foundation for human life – three pillars that need to be in harmony and balance: harmony between people, harmony with nature and surroundings as well as harmony with the divine. It is about creating harmony in daily life, especially as Balinese live together in communities, living in harmony with nature and creating a balanced connection to the non-material reality. Balinese strongly believe that following this concept is the basic foundation of one’s well-being. There are many rituals and ceremonies showing the importance of the three pillars such as daily offerings to both Gods and demons and various ceremonies that keep the social communities strongly bonded.
Ayurveda is the Indian „science of life“ that aims to keep body, mind and soul healthy and in balance. The basic foundation is a concept of three different bio-energies (doshas) that are composed of the five elements and need to be in balance within us. There are various remedies and suggestions how to keep them in balance or treat an imbalance such as herbal medicine, massage treatments as well as dietary suggestions and lifestyle recommendations depending on the individual constitution.
Yoga aims at creating balance between body, mind and soul with physical postures, breathing techniques, meditation and self-inquiry. When we look at the Indian Yoga history and philosophical scriptures Yoga goes way beyond the physical aspects and can become a spiritual path towards freedom and enlightenment. As we engage in the Yogic practices we can explore balance between polarities such as movement and stillness, strength and flexibility, effort and ease, control and freedom. The new insights and realizations can then be transferred from the Yoga mat or meditation cushion into our daily lives.
In the western world we hear a lot about the term “work-life balance” which is quite sad when we have the notion that we have a division between work and life. It seems that we need to make a living for a sense of security in our lives. Very often there is not much time left for spirituality in daily life and as we cope with constant stress we tend to neglect our self-care. Many people, especially those who live in big cities, have lost their connection to nature, live alone in their apartments and use social media as a means of connection to other people. Of course this picture is a striking generalization and not true for everyone. Nevertheless we are left with the question if the lives that we live in the western societies are truly balanced and if there is there is more out there that we can learn from other cultures about balance and harmony. I truly feel that this is an important topic to discuss about and to bring more awareness into our lives.
Taking an inventory
We are already on the right path as soon as we reflect upon the question if we are in balance and what it needs to stay balanced. The first step is to realize how balanced we are in different areas of our lives: Is my physical body in balance? Does my body give me feedback when it is out of balance? Do I listen to this feedback? How, when, why and what am I eating? Do I have balanced weight? How is my energy level throughout the day? What kinds of emotions and thoughts are present? Do I have a positive outlook on life and future? What are the situations that tend to bring me out of balance? Can I change the situations or can I change my attitude towards them? Is my work fulfilling? Are my relationships loving, stable and respectful? What are my values and do I live according to them? Do I value freedom over security? Do I take enough time for myself or am I constantly on the move and ticking check-boxes from my To-Do list? Can I take enough time-out from Doing and come back to Being? How important is it for me to connect to nature? How does my lifestyle affect the ecosystem? Is spirituality a significant part of my life? Do I listen to my rational mind only or do I take the voice of my heart and soul into account?
When we sit down quietly to reflect upon these questions and find honest answers, we realize when it is time to change something our lives and what we can do to stay more balanced.
Tools and Paths towards Balance
When we like to create balance between body, mind and soul there is not one quick-fix that works out for everyone and solves all problems at once. It takes time to become more aware, to change habits and take small action steps in the right direction. We do not need to completely turn over our lives in one go. Start with a first step to change something small in your daily life that can create more well-being and harmony.
Getting to know wisdom of other cultures can open up new perspectives about different mindsets, tools or remedies and lifestyle choices. It is not about completely adapting a foreign culture but to find out what feels good for you, what you can integrate in your western lifestyle and what brings you long-lasting effects to stay in balance.
As we want to stay balanced in all areas of our lives we need to address them separately: making healthier choices about the food that we take in, taking enough down-time for ourselves, reading inspiring literature, signing up for courses or seminars, meditating regularly, moving our bodies with Yoga or other physical exercises, creating rituals as an anchor, going out in nature and taking time for introspection and reflecting about the deeper meaning of our lives.
My personal experiences about balance
In fact, I feel much more in balance in the last years and realize more quickly when I’m out of balance. I realize that balance is not a status quo that once reached will always last. Life is about change and about accepting these constant fluctuations. I have a much more positive outlook on life compared to the times of my early adulthood. Spirituality and Yoga have become and important part of my life that give me a strong foundation and sense of well-being in my body and mind. It helps me to be more at peace with the polarities of life and find more meaning and fulfillment in what I do.
The fact that I’m living in Bali makes it easier for me to stay in balance. I am exposed to and inspired by the Balinese culture and lifestyle, take more time for self-care with regular massages, take in lots of healthy, fresh food, have access to alternative healing modalities, practice Yoga and meditation regularly and have a job that I like and that is meaningful. Living on this tropical island with lots of sunshine and lush nature and being surrounded with lots of inspiring people makes me truly grateful and raises my overall sense of well-being and living more and more with ease and grace.
I truly wish that more and more people find their own way to bring more balance and harmony into their personal lives, relationships and connection to the source. It is your own job to be happy in your life and nobody else can do this for you.