Bali’s Spiritual and Healing Traditions



Bali is a tropical island located in Indonesia and is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant spiritual traditions. For centuries, Bali has been a hub for health and wellness tourism, attracting visitors from all over the world who are seeking to rejuvenate their bodies, minds, and spirits. This chapter will explore the spiritual and healing traditions of Bali, highlighting the ways in which they have been woven into the fabric of Balinese culture and daily life.


The Balinese believe that their spiritual and physical health are inextricably linked, and they have a deep respect for the forces of nature and the universe. This belief is reflected in the island's many ceremonies and rituals, which are performed to honor the gods, ancestors, and balance the energies of nature. Balinese spirituality is deeply rooted in Hinduism, and the island is dotted with temples and shrines that are dedicated to the gods.


One of the most important spiritual practices in Bali is offering and prayer. Offerings are made to the gods and ancestors every day and can range from small arrangements of flowers and rice to elaborate ceremonies that involve music, dance, and feasting. The Balinese believe that offerings appease the gods and keep the balance between the physical and spiritual worlds in harmony.


Another important aspect of Balinese spirituality is the practice of meditation. Balinese spirituality encourages mindfulness and inner reflection, and meditation is seen as a way to cultivate peace, harmony, and wisdom. Many visitors to Bali are drawn to the island's spiritual retreats and workshops, which offer opportunities to deepen one's spiritual practice and explore the island's rich cultural heritage.


In addition to its spiritual practices, Bali is also renowned for its traditional healing practices. The island has a long history of using natural remedies and therapies to heal the body and mind, and many of these practices are still in use today. Some of the most popular healing practices in Bali include massage, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and spiritual healing. These practices are based on the belief that health and wellness are not just physical states, but are also dependent on spiritual, emotional, and mental balance.


Balinese massage, in particular, is a highly valued healing practice that combines physical massage with spiritual energy work. The massage is performed in a peaceful and serene environment, and the therapist uses gentle and rhythmic movements to release tension and promote relaxation. Acupuncture is another popular healing practice in Bali and is based on the belief that health is maintained by the balance of life energies in the body.


Herbal medicine is also an important aspect of Balinese healing and is based on the use of plants and herbs to treat a range of physical and emotional conditions. Many Balinese healers are skilled in identifying the plants and herbs that are best suited to a particular condition, and they use this knowledge to create effective and natural remedies.


Finally, spiritual healing is a powerful and transformative practice in Bali that is based on the belief that all illness and discomfort has a spiritual root. Spiritual healers in Bali use a range of techniques, including energy work, meditation, and visualization, to help individuals heal their physical and emotional problems.


In conclusion, Bali's spiritual and healing traditions offer a rich and diverse tapestry of practices and beliefs that are deeply intertwined with the island's cultural heritage. Whether you are a spiritual seeker, wellness enthusiast, or simply looking to relax and rejuvenate, Bali offers a wealth of opportunities to explore and experience the beauty of its spiritual and healing traditions.


Cyprus – Traditional Cypriot Vegan Moussaka – Layered Eggplant, Potatoes, and Spiced Tomato Sauce


Moussaka is a traditional Cypriot dish that is typically made with layers of eggplant, potatoes, meat and a béchamel sauce. This vegan version of the dish is a delicious and healthy alternative that is perfect for those following a plant-based diet. The eggplant and potatoes are thinly sliced and layered with a flavorful spiced tomato sauce and topped with a creamy cashew and herb mixture. This dish is then baked in the oven until golden brown, making it a hearty and flavorful meal that is perfect for any occasion. It's a perfect dish to serve as a main course, and it's sure to be a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike.




2 eggplants

2 potatoes

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours

1/4 cup of parsley, chopped

1/4 cup of mint, chopped

1/4 cup of dill, chopped

1 tablespoon of olive oil



Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).

Slice the eggplants and potatoes into thin rounds and set aside.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic until softened.

Add the diced tomatoes, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Drain the cashews and blend them with the parsley, mint, dill, and 1/4 cup of water until smooth.

In a baking dish, layer the eggplant and potatoes, and then spread the tomato sauce on top. Repeat the layers and finish with a layer of cashew mixture.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the top is golden brown.

Let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Iceland – Traditional Icelandic Vegan Skyr and Potato Stew


Experience the flavors of Iceland with this vegan twist on a traditional dish. This hearty stew combines creamy vegan skyr, a traditional Icelandic yogurt alternative, with tender potatoes and flavorful vegetables for a satisfying and nourishing meal. Perfect for a cold winter evening or as a comforting lunch, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your vegan kitchen.



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups diced carrots

2 cups diced potatoes

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup vegan skyr or yogurt alternative

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

Salt and pepper, to taste



Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until softened.

Add the diced carrots and potatoes to the pot and stir to combine.

Pour in the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and let the stew simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the vegan skyr or yogurt alternative, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until the skyr is heated through.

Serve the stew hot and enjoy!

Optional: you can garnish with chopped parsley or chives before serving.


Note: You can adjust the quantity of vegetables according to your preference. You can also use other vegetables like leeks, celery or broccoli.


A taste of Macedonia: Vegan recipe of traditional Bean Stew (Tavce Gravce)


Tavče Gravče, also known as bean stew, is a traditional Macedonian dish that has been enjoyed for generations. This vegan version of the dish is made with hearty kidney beans, and a medley of vegetables like onion, garlic, carrots, and potatoes, all simmered in a savory tomato broth and seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices. Whether you're looking for a comforting meal on a cold day or want to experience the rich flavors of Macedonian cuisine, Tavče Gravče is sure to satisfy. This dish is a perfect hearty vegan and gluten-free option, and can be served with a side of rice or a slice of bread for a complete and fulfilling meal.



1 lb dry kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large tomato, diced

2 cups vegetable broth

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley



In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add the onion, garlic, and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the carrots, potatoes, and tomato and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the soaked and drained beans, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper, and stir to combine.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans and vegetables are tender.

Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Remove from heat and top with chopped parsley before serving.

Tavče Gravče is a traditional hearty stew, vegan and gluten-free, typically served over rice or with a slice of bread, it's perfect for cold days.

You can use different type of beans or lentils, or add other vegetables like peppers, zucchini and spinach to make it more colorful and nutritious.