“But I know every rock, and tree, and creature… has a life, has a spirit, has a name…” – Pocahontas.
Stepping into the Monkey Forest in the heart of Ubud, central Bali, is like stepping into another world altogether. First of all, the forest itself draws you in immediately, it’s so dense and lush. Then you look around and notice the stone statues, instilling a spiritual atmosphere. You realise you’re standing in a religious sanctuary steeped in tradition and significance. Even though the temple lies within the forest, the whole area enclosed by temple walls and the forest surrounding it is one sacred entity, essential for maintaining contact and harmony with the spiritual world. The Balinese live in acute awareness of this, constantly giving offerings and prayers to the gods and the ancestral spirits. Being there, simply bearing witness to this reverence, is quite enlightening.
Photos by Arnold Hozana