If “eat, pray, and love” is what you are looking for; if that is your definition of life, religion, spirituality, or whatever – then, it really does not make any sense for you to come all the way to Bali.
Can’t you do all that in your own country? Sure, you can. So, why come to Bali?
Eating and loving are very, very basic human needs and instincts.
Whereas praying is most often motivated by our fears of the unknown.
The point is: You don’t have to be in Bali for all that.
Is it because Bali is still cheap? If that is your reason – then, perhaps you have chosen well.
But, if you are really looking for “spiritual experience”, then you must first of all get over with “eating, praying, and loving” business.
Get ready for something “beyond” all such normalities!
Spirituality is not confined to ashrams, places of worship, ceremonies, rituals, robed hermits, gurus, shamans, and so on and so forth.
Spirituality is not withdrawing from Life, it is living amidst the madding crown of the world, and keeping to your sanity, and not getting carried away by them.
Spirituality is also not always “going with the flow”. If necessary, it can go against the tide.
Ashrams are meant to function as retreat points. Retreat unto and into the deepest recesses of your own being!
Ashram is a place where you can spend time to do some self-reflection and introspection, to go within.
If you are looking for a shaman to perform some seemingly magical rituals to take care of your problems, then ashram is certainly not a place for you.
Ashram is a place, where the whole atmosphere, the whole clime, the space itself is conducive to lead you within. The presence of a Guru in the ashram, in any ashram, works as only a catalyst.
A Guru has nothing to do with magical mumbo jumbo to eliminate all hurdles from your life. No.
A Guru is only pointing you the way to the Source of All Strength within you, having accessed which, you can take care of all your problems by yourself.
Spirituality is Self-Empowerment and not leaning upon a guru or a shaman.
Spirituality is not being restful while your next-door neighbor sleeps on an empty stomach.
Spirituality is not sitting in silence, working on your self-realization alone, but utilizing whatever little self-realization you may already have to work vigorously and dynamically to serve the ailing society.
Ashram, then, prepares you for this very venture!