Bali MEDITATES is initiated by Anand Krishna, the most prominent spiritual humanist of the Indonesian Archipelago. He is one of a handful few who promoted meditation as a way of life, free of all denominations, when the word “meditation” itself was not yet popular in Indonesia. Indeed, as he has written in one of his books (almost 180 to date), meditation at that time would always be related with Hindu or Buddhist faiths. Hence, other religions scoff at it.
It was hard, but he never gave up. He researched all major religions and faiths, including the local beliefs to find the common roots of meditation in all of them. He wrote about his researches and shared his findings through books, interviews with both print and electronic Medias and public talks. Some of his writings can be accessed by clicking here (www.aumkar.org)
Bali MEDITATES envisions an ENLIGHTENED SOCIETY, based upon spirituality or religiosity, based on personal experiments and experiences, not on religious dogmas and doctrines enforced by any institutions.
To realize its vision, Bali MEDITATES promote a Meditative Way of Life, Meditation as a Way of Life. Bali MEDITATES is presently preparing itself to connect with and collect the various meditation groups based in Bali and elsewhere in Indonesia to jointly organize an annual meet, or rather FESTIVAL OF MEDITATORS. This, then, is the mission of Bali MEDITATES.
The festival known as International Bali Meditators’ Festival (IBMF), has been organized by Anand Ashram Foundation annually in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia since 2009. It has gained increased interests and great responses from many people from different traditions, faiths and circles all over the world. Thousands of participants have joined the festivals.
The festival aims to bring together all meditators in the world to:
- Spread spiritual values and develop public awareness regarding the importance of applying meditation/yoga as a way of life
- Share experiences, knowledge, techniques and cross-cultural understanding about meditation/yoga among the world societies
- create networking with like-minded people internationally
- create an enlightened society
The first and second festivals in 2009 and 2010 were held at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod and Astina Field Ubud, then the third and fourth ones in 2011 and 2012 at Museum Puri Lukisan, with the wonderful opening ceremony at Ubud Palace.
Opening Ceremony at Ubud Palace
During the fourth IBMF in 2012, Global Harmony Monument at Anand Ashram Ubud (www.ubudashram.org) was inaugurated by distinguished and renowned speakers from different faiths including a United Nations representative from Jakarta. Since then, the festival has taken place at Anand Ashram Ubud (www.ubudashram.org).
Inauguration of Global Harmony Monument at Anand Ashram Ubud
The programs included plenary and panel discussion session, meditation and yoga workshops, bazaars, evening of devotions (Bhakti yoga) filled with devotional songs from many cultures or traditions and night celebration filled with music, poetries, songs and dances. Samskriti Sindhu (world culture celebration) has been performed since 2016. However, evening of devotion and night celebration as well as bazaars could not have been held during the pandemic situation since the 12th IBMF in 2020.
Evening Devotion & Night Celebration
The speakers for panel discussion and facilitators for meditation and yoga workshops were varied from different traditions and faiths, from different places in Indonesia and many countries.
Panel Discussion, Meditation and Yoga Workshop
In 2020 (the 12th IBMF) when the global pandemic of Covid-19 happened, the first online festival was carried out.