Balinese Principles for Harmony and Joy

The Balinese live by three principles they call Tri Hita Karana. They are simple. Honor the connection between humans and God, between humans and humans, and between humans and nature. Love and respect of nature are evident throughout every aspect of this colorful and beautiful expression of this on the island of Bali. The deep reverence for life, nature, humans and divinity is evident everyday through the offerings made at temples and at thresholds of shops, hotels, houses and at work. Small leaf trays are filled with rice, flowers, and a variety of offerings meant to appease and please the gods. Everything is considered to be vibrantly alive with the life force. Even inanimate objects like stones.

Women sit inside shop doorways weaving the little baskets and local markets sell tropical flowers to fill them. Mandalas of flowers in water filled bowls greet visitors at the entrance to restaurants and temples.

Gratitude to nature permeates the culture. Twice a year they celebrate the equinox with ritual offerings to the plants and animals, bringing papaya, water, frangipani flowers and rice and burning incense to say thank you. Because of its deep connection to nature, it’s a very feminine, intuitive culture that opens up the powers of intuition, insight and vision like no other place and it invites the imagination to experience paradise on earth.

With its open houses wearing thatched roofs made of local grasses, nature is what supports all of life in Bali and its people live very close to it. The abundance of multicolored orchids, frangipani, and lotus growing from temple pools shower the senses with beauty and fragrance. And the gently rolling hills and fields of rice paddies sport shrines and offerings to appease the gods and invite in prosperity and a good harvest. The country relies on the natural abundance of its waters and its rich fields for rice and coffee to sustain it.

The Balinese live so close to nature, which they consider inseparable from divinity, that it is the same as their heart beats. The waters are their blood. The air moves freely in and out of their open houses suspended off the ground by poles.

Live like you’re in Bali today and practice the three principles. Cultivate a reverence for nature in whatever form you find it. Appreciate the people around you and see God in all. This will bring paradise to you and to everyone around you.

Be sure to catch the interview with Chicco Tatriele, co-founder of Fivelements in Bali, Indonesia, as he talks about Tri Hita Karana as a priciple to practice in life and business. Check out the details on and  Photos courtesy of

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of “Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life”, “Garden of Bliss” and “Riviera Stories.” A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at

Copyright Debra Moffitt, 2011. No part of this blog may be reused without prior written permission.



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