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OCTOBER 9, 2000 VOL. 156 NO. 14


Driving Yourself Around the Bend in Bali
The island's famous terraced rice paddies, solitary temples and active volcanoes offer a brilliant backdrop for a simple road trip

For those looking to delve deeper into Balinese spirituality, many resorts offer classes in yoga or meditation

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For those looking to delve deeper into Balinese spirituality, many resorts offer classes in yoga or meditation. Some even allow visitors to immerse themselves in a spiritual existence for an entire holiday. Imagine letting your worries dissolve in a pristine paradise, free from real-world distractions. One option is the tiny village of Banjar, located southwest of Singaraja and Lovina, along Bali's north coast. Banjar's Buddhist ashram, Brahma Vihara, is remote (about 30 minutes by car from Lovina) but lovely. Inside are a number of statues brought to this predominantly Hindu island from Thailand.

Throughout the year, Bante Titaketuko, an English-speaking monk from Jakarta, visits the temple and offers meditation courses. This year, he has scheduled instruction at Brahma Vihara through the end of October. To arrange a visit, call him at (62-21) 92954. Lodging is provided at the temple, with simple vegetarian meals served up by an English-speaking cook. Perched on a breezy hillside with yucca plants, hibiscus, bougainvillea and other flora, the setting is conducive to deep thought.

A little closer to the island's center is Ubud Sari Health Resort, tel: (62-361) 974-393. For $1,350 a week, the garden refuge takes care of all your needs, earthly and otherwise. Aside from vegetarian meals and bungalow accommodation, the fee includes sightseeing trips, daily yoga or tai chi plus five spa sessions, including mud bath, mandi lulur, deep-tissue massage, herbal steam and a daily colonic for those hard to reach spots. The resort's structured day includes guided meditation—it's well worth having a companion—and lectures by local Balinese teachers on Hindu practices and lifestyles.


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