Breaking ground, ceremonies and eco-friendly construction
Each and every phase of construction and planning of Floating Leaf was executed in strict accordance with Balinese tradition and culture. We would like to share with you a bit about Floating Leaf’s journey to what it is today.
Putu and I completed the arduous, circuitous and seemingly Sisyphean task of obtaining all of the permits, permissions and certificates necessary to build and operate our eco-retreat 100% in accordance of Indonesia’s laws and regulations. This process alone took two years, numerous headaches and the patience of Gandhi, but we are thrilled it is behind us as it’s estimated up to 80% of Bali villas and accommodations like ours have not secured these permits and are operating illegally. The government is now cracking down and many have been closed down, fined and even bulldozed.
We met with our local village many times as it is important to us that we are active participants in village life and we support the banjar. Floating Leaf will offer free English, yoga and permaculture classes for our surrounding villages and we will work together to create cultural events and community outreach programs.
Balinese ceremonies, purification and blessings
It was then time to begin an important series of Balinese Hindu ceremonies for the land. When a new dwelling or temple is to be built in Bali, several ceremonies are undertaken in order to purify the land and establish balance and harmony between the environment, humans and Gods. We met with our Pemangku (village priest) to determine an auspicious day for the ceremonies. Abundant traditional offerings were prepared consisting of flowers, bamboo, holy water (tirta), fruits to name but a few.
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The first ceremony is called the Ngeruak Karang ceremony. This ritual is designed to give thanks to the land for all it has provided and to ask permission for a change of function. For example, our land has been used as a rice field for generations; we now ask that it be used for a home and a place that fosters learning and spiritual growth.
The second ceremony is to honor the rice Goddess Dewi Sri and to seek her permission to relocate from the rice fields to the village temple. A third ceremony, Banten Nasarin, consists of the Pemangku wrapping the bricks of the foundation in a white cloth, anoints them with holy water and places them into the foundation of the building.
The breaking ground ceremony for Floating Leaf took place in late December 2012. Our team toiled to create this unique and challenging structure. We built with environmentally friendly materials and methods. Each aspect of the villa, yoga center, pool, spa, kitchen and gardens have been carefully created to be eco-friendly, comfortable visually appealing. Art, science and Balinese tradition have been combined to make Floating Leaf an example of sustainable living in a traditional Balinese village setting. Click these links for more on our green initiatives and eco-friendly construction.
The final purification rite is called Melaspas and gives thanks to the materials that were ‘sacrificed’ in the construction of the building. Previously they were separate entities such as stone, wood, bamboo, etc. They will now be reincarnated into a united living being. For more on this Balinese Hindu concept click here.