Day Six, Saturday, March 21
Whereas the night before Nyepi is raucous, rowdy and fun, Nyepi itself stands in stark contrast. Nyepi is the Balinese New Year and is known as the Day of Silence.
At 6:00 AM, the entire Island essentially shuts down for 24 hours. This is the day to apply what you have learned in your White Tantra practice. Everyone, including visitors and guests, stays indoors, no one is allowed out on the streets. No fires or cooking are permitted. All outside lights are turned off and inside lights are dimmed and concealed. TV and radio stations do not broadcast and there are no flights in or out of Bali’s international airport. Both working and sexual activity are prohibited. That’s right, you really can’t do anything.
For most Balinese, Nyepi is a day of fasting, meditation and prayer. It is a day of going inward and renewing the spiritual connections with the gods and ancestors.
Very quickly, you realize that the Day of Silence is actually the day of human silence. The wind still soughs through the palms. The roosters still crow and the ducks still quack and squawk. Frogs and insects heed no prohibitions and maintain their boisterous chorus. Nature is noisy!
What is different, however, is that all human sounds have ceased. No buzzing motorbikes or traffic noise, no airplanes droning overhead, no work sounds or music from the neighbors. Only the sounds of nature. And the chattering thoughts inside your own mind.
Today is your day to go inward. To pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. To strengthen your spiritual connection. You and the rest of the group are asked to honor the spirit of the day by observing silence and the other prohibitions. You may choose to fast today but if not, you will have a silent dinner together.