Raw and tender warrior heart

The wind is very strong now, making the bamboo screens that keep the weather outside clapper, I hear roosters shouting (what is the English word for the sounds a rooster makes?), the sun is coming up. Mike is still asleep. It is very early morning.

I have just woken up in about the most amazing place a guy from Amsterdam can wake up in. We are at The Organic Farm & Stay near the remote and tiny village Munduk Lumbang. (EDIT: I wrote this on the 16th. I’m posting this in Seminyak on the 17th, we had no wifi at the farm). The farm has only two small guesthouses. They are actually traditional Balinese huts with the only differences that we have electrcity, the bed is really nice and has a mosquito net. The bed is about the only thing that fits in what traditionally would be the living room of a family, I assume.

What makes it so awesome is that the hut is situated on top of a hill, quite a far walk, a crossing of two streams and a bit of a climb way from the farm. But it is totally worth it. We have 360 degrees view over rices fields, mountains, valleys that is more than stunning. We have to walk 10 minutes down to the stream to wash ourselves or walk 15 minutes to the hot springs to wash ourselves. The water is so pure you can drink it. No white people nor a trace of tourism as far as the eye can see: we are now in the middle of traditional Indonesian life.

Yesterday we saw a lot of that rural life. We made a beautiful and physically extremely intensive mountain biking trip  through the rice fields (litarally biking in the fields through the mud) followed by an 8 kilometer climb towards Batukaru temple that destroyed our sweet guide Wayan. We meditated in the temple, received blessings from the priest. Wayan had us picked up by a 4×4. Mike and I had energy to go by bike but Wayan was affraid he wouldn’t make it. Actually, it was a good decision plus it was great fun to tease him for the rest of the day, a win-win situation. We recovered in the hot springs, meditated under the cold waterfall next to the spring, went to a cock fight afterwards and have the pictures to proof it. How good can it get?

Maybe it can get even better. Because I feel also sad. Everytime I arrive at a place that is even more beautiful than the previous one I wish I could have shared these moments  with the girl I love. Now it is the sadness and the desire to share, love and be loved that make it real. This realness combined with the realness of the astonishing view, the experience of the goodness of nature makes me feel tender and raw. Walking away from that rawness would make me live less than my truth. I just can’t make a conscious effort to betray myself anymore, it is just not how I want to live. Sadness is a part of me, allowing myself to be sad makes my heart soft. Realizing that made me see that my sadness makes this experience even more beautiful.

And now it’s time for some synchronicity: I brought with me the birthday present Mike gave me. It is a book called “Smile at Fear, Awakening the True Heart of Bravery” by Chogyam Trunpa. My eye just fell on this quote:

“Warriorship is so tender, without skin, without tissue, naked and raw. It is soft and gentle. You have renounced putting on a new suit of armour. You have renounced growing a thick, hard skin. You are willing to expose your naked flesh, bone and marrow to the world.”

Reading that brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Simultaneously.


  1. says

    wow mooie post. ik kan de omgeving bijna voelen en ruiken. vind het knap hoe je uit het dagelijkse nieuwe inzichten en lessen weet te destilleren. you make me proud. en die foto kan zo bij de hotshot 2011 kalender 🙂 succes op je tocht en een kampala-kiss

  2. Freddy Jo says

    Atalwin, you are one really lucky guy! Do you have any idea how many of us, Indonesians, dream to have an experience like this? Definitely myself! I left this beautiful country and now raise a family in Canada. I was born in Sulawesi, one of the main Islands among thousands in the area. Your story makes me really missed the bounty of nature I could explore if time allowed! I did many trips like this one in my time, before 1988, and believe me, those trips had crafted me as a person now, we could only truly appreciate nature, a heaven on earth, after a personal and a close encounter with IT. Good luck with your journey, there are thousands more to experience in Indonesia. One day in the near future, I will visit that farm myself. Did not know Mr. Sukerta yet, but I very much envy his wonderful life, the one and only one life that we all have. I also travelled the world when I was young, I just truly feel that life is just way too short. Salam.

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