Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sacred Water Ceremony in Bali with Ida Resi Alit

Re-post by request -- February, 2013:

When we arrive, the high priestess is about to begin her mid-day prayers, and graciously invites us to meditate while we wait. Afterward she will do the water purification ceremony for us. We sit and meditate with eyes open so we can see her Hindu-Buddhist rituals -- holding a vajra, ringing a bell, flicking water and flowers into the air, chanting for 30 or 40 minutes. We are entranced.

She turns toward us with a radiant smile, motions us over and explains: we will be completely wet with water and afterward we will change into dry clothes. Of course, we didn't know, so brought none. When my turn comes, I step up to the high platform  where she sits. Her young niece fills many water bowls. Ida Resi Alit asks me to pray. I put my hands in front of my heart and bow my head. 

The water begins to cascade over me. I tilt my head down to avoid breathing water. Rushing water surges over me. She tells me to wipe my head. I brush the water through my hair many times, feel tension release, yield to water, then raise my hands high above my head, receptive.

Drink, she says, and I cup my hands right over left and drank the sacred water she offers three times.

She invites me to pray. I hold my hands near my forehead Balinese style and feel an expansive wholeness words cannot describe. 

On my next visit, two European women come along with me and my friend Yolanda from Mexico. This time, many Balinese families are there also.

Many people respond strongly, with motion, cries, and laughter releasing as the water pours over them. Ida Resi gives instructions to help move the energy: stamp your feet, breathe deeply, pull the energy up into your heart.

There we are—Balinese, Mexican, Belgian, Hungarian, Romanian, American, and British all drinking in the ineffable healing transmitted in Ida Resi Alit’s own star language, the mother tongue we all share.

Of all my journeys in Bali, all the ceremonies that raise my spirit and awareness, these water purification ceremonies are the ones that touch me most deeply because they affirm the sacredness of water.

Through all our water woes and water wars, this is the reason we struggle and fight—because water IS sacred. Most of us have forgotten, but some still remember and offer water blessings to anyone who appears at her door.

After these three ceremonies,
I am moved to make a vow:
To learn more about healing water
to balance all I’ve learned about water ills.
Asmara (my Indonesian name)

You can enjoy my documentary "Sacred Waters of Bali" at

Ida Resi Alit's unique story:
From "A Little Book on Ida Resi Alit:" Ida Panditha Mpu Budha Mahaseri Alit Parama Daksa, also known as Ida Resi Alit, was born I Komang Widiantri on March 14, 1986, in a small farming village in the central highlands of Bali. She lived as an ordinary girl for the first twenty years of her life. At the age of 20, due to external events, she fell into a deep depression. Ida Resi Alit’s uncle, a village Mangku, concerned for her well being, introduced her to meditation and yoga to soothe her. As she started practicing, the girl who had no previous spiritual training or deep desire, began to have out of body experiences and download information during her practice. She was instructed to perform a special ceremony, the meaning of which she did not understand. At the ceremony she fell into deep unconsciousness. She stopped breathing and her pulse was gone. Her family wailed, crying and reacting hysterically, scared that she had died. Ida Resi Alit has no memory of this time. At 2am she started to regain consciousness, to be able to blink but not to talk. Then she saw a laser, like a bolt of lightning in the sky, and found herself able to fully return to her body. She slept until the afternoon and when she had awakened spiritually. She was able to recite mantras she had never been taught. High priests were called in to confirm this. Not only were the mantras valid, she knew many more that the priests had not yet learned. Soon after she was ordained by the highest authority, the Hindu Dharma Council, and she became Bali’s youngest and only female High Priestess.

Another article about her:


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"Sacred Waters of Bali" video online

Enjoy Mara Alper's documentary "Sacred Waters of Bali"

             We enter the beauty of Bali without a word, witness the connection to water that transcends the practical. Water is sacred in Bali, not taken for granted. It graces every offering and ceremony, purifies each prayer. Sensual, poetic rhythms and images layered with music, chanting and natural sounds reveal rich Bali Hindu traditions that endure amidst modernity.
Deep interconnections with each other, nature and the gods are expressed in a cremation ceremony, water purification ritual, new year water blessing for sacred statues and daily life.

New Year Melasti Ceremony

Ogoh-Ogoh Procession

High Priestess Ida Resi Alit