Doug von Koss walks with large procession of Balinese youth carrying a splendorous ritual alter in front of temple towers during a traditional cremation ritual in Bali, 2005.

Adventures in BALI with Doug

Thanks to all the people who have traveled with me to BALI and fallen in love with The Morning of the World.

Many people travel to India seeking a guru or guide to a spiritual practice, a daily observance to sustain and inspire. I have not been to India but I have traveled many times to Bali over the last 25 years and the island in many ways has become my India. The daily blessings of both observing and receiving the gift of lived rituals in Bali have changed my life. The people, the culture and the island itself have now become my teachers and I am often the pilgrim. Ah, the beauty of it all!!

When I sojourned with friends across Bali I was always aware of the indivisibility of the Balinese Hindu Culture and the impossibility of separating out any activity to have it stand alone without a God or two. My intention was to get us to places and events where we can take a close look at the connections and participate in the culture whenever possible.

Their rice culture is connected to their calendar and the raising of children and temple offerings and music practice and dance forms and history and mythology and animism and Hinduism and languages and dress and manners and architecture and rituals of birth and coming of age, and cock fights and rituals of death. White magic and black magic. Healers and diviners.

Their class system is connected to the priesthood and warriors and peasants and water and land and clothing and on and on. Like a good story….you can enter into Bali on any detail and you are rapidly into the entire culture.

We went to incredible sacred sites, temples and villages to watch mask carvers and weavers. We visited a gamelan factory to see elegant instruments created out of metal and logs, We received traditional blessings by a Pumanku (4th class priest) and hopefully a Pedanda. Spend time with some learned teachers. Sacred bathing sites. Storytellers. Painters. Flute makers. Attended dance performances. Art markets. Jewelry makers. …and on and on!!!

Of course there was always beauty, joy, laughter, tears, sorrows,
story-telling, poetry, singing, great food, good conversations and the shared wonders we encountered with our fellow outer world travelers and inner world explorers. Oh! Where did we stay? Try this. (Purnati in Balinese translates as pure heart).

Currently there are no plans for trips this year. Someday again!

“Ah Bali. Traveling there with Doug is like dancing within a great myth, because the people there all live within a common spiritual view and context. Doug helps us participate in the heartbeat of this wondrous island – the people, the land, the temples, the arts, the music, the rituals, the laughter. Under his guidance, we become a golden bowl which resonates and sings with the Balinese soul.”

Richard Naegle


“Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.”


Doug von Koss receives a traditional blessing from a Balinese elder during his 2005 tour of Bali.
Doug von Koss with a group of men wearing traditional Balinese head wraps wait to recieve a ceremonial blessing during his 2005 guided tour of Bali.