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Meghan Pappenheim co-founded the BaliSpirit Festival not just because she has a passion for great yoga, dance and world music, but also because she believes that an inspirational and ecstatic event can have the power to awaken its participants to their own expansion.
Some might call it New Age idealism, but even modern evolutionary science embraces concepts that suggest change can happen spontaneously.
Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge coined the term “Punctuated Equilibrium” to challenge Darwin’s idea that a species must go through slow and gradual biological shifts over many generations. And historian Arnold Toynbee believes that history is engineered by leading-edge visionaries who he calls “Creative Minorities”: those who provide new ways of looking at the same problems.
Weaving together an increasingly diverse tapestry of forward-thinking entertainers and genre-bending leaders every year since 2008 has, arguably, established the BaliSpirit Festival as a fresh and fast growing community-building institution.
Held from March 28 – April 1st, 2012, Meghan and her partners will this year welcome a new batch of leading-edge pioneers to their Festival; from Reggae (Rocky Dawuni), Hip-Hop (Luminaries), Kirtan-Rock Fusion (Dave Stringer), Dance (Vinn Marti), Yoga (Simon Low), business, and alternative medicine fields; as well as world renowned figures in health and wellbeing fields to the line up.
“Something special is happening in Bali,” says Daphne Tse, singer-songwriter and Festival Ambassador. “I don’t know of any other event that inspires a fresh approach to life while attracting such a variety of committed agents of change.”
Highlights for yoga enthusiasts include workshops in many types of yoga including,Forrest, Hatha, Anusara, Yin, Prana Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga, Acro and Kundaliniwith visiting teachers from all over the world participating. Workshops covering different elements of Balinese musical culture, Taoist Qi Gong, Nia Dance, West African dance, and theatre, among other disciplines, are also on offer.
As Bali’s arts capital, Ubud is a naturally ideal backdrop for the Festival’s non-stop yoga, wellness and high-energy live music elements. Still, every year the Festival seems to apply its formula of awakening change in an innovative way to a wider audience, introducing more visitors to a fuller and more stimulating Festival experience.
For the first time, the 2012 Festival will stage a Holistic Speakers Seminar series for guests who seek a fresh approach to healthier and more practical lifestyle choices, directly from the experts.
The Festival is strongly committed to community causes, with three official community outreach programs to its name and a section of the daytime grounds dedicated to local non-for-profits. “Hari Cinta Keluarga,” is the free family day for Balinese children and their families. Now in its second year, the Ayo Kita Bicara HIV/AIDS outreach initiative managed by the Festival, raises awareness about the risks and social fall outs that go along with the shocking jump in HIV/AIDS infection rates among Bali’s most impacted communities. Launching in 2012 is a new program started by the Festival, Bali ReGreen: a bamboo reforestation program working to plant bamboo saplings to restore essential forest canopies in the most arid and economically savaged areas of Eastern Bali.
“We’re part of a worldwide movement in Ubud, and the Festival is at its heart,” says Charley Patton, Co-founder of the Yoga Barn, an affiliated yoga studio in the Ubud area. “Bali is spreading seeds of change everywhere, we saw it with Robin Lim’s CNN World Hero status, and that was just the beginning. It’s exciting to be a living part of this new shift.”
Patton believes the global attention Ubud is receiving thanks to the exemplary work of resident midwife and Festival supporter, Robin Lim, can be part of a larger chain reaction. (Robin Lim founded a local natural birthing clinic, Bumi Sehat, and was singled out as CNN World Hero of the Year in December, 2011)
Cell biologist and author, Bruce Lipton, reasons that “survival is predicated on awareness,” and describes the urgent need for today’s creative minorities as essential to humanity’s progress, “We’re looking for the creative minorities out there in the world to come forward at this time,” says Dr. Lipton, “to offer us the new insights and the new ideas to help us survive the challenges we are currently facing.”
Maybe Meghan’s vision of uniting groundbreaking talent, leading-edge masters, and inspirational holistic leaders together in Bali is just the kind of atmosphere that Festival guests can profoundly benefit from.
A FREE BaliSpirit Festival sponsored concert to support the Ayo! Kita Bicara HIV/AIDS program, will be held on Saturday, February 18th, 5 p.m., at the Ubud Soccer Field. Several well known Indonesian and Bali-based musical acts will be featured, including Ubud’s homegrown KIS Band. BRING YOUR WELLIES!
To learn more about the Ayo! program and the free outdoor concert – click here.
For tickets or more information about the BaliSpirit Festival – balispiritfestival.com
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