1 Giant Mind Bali experience 2012

1 Giant Mind | March 10 2012


The 2nd Annual Bali Experiment, staged out the front of Bali’s most famous temples on Petitenget beach was ready to go to the next level.

Thanks to Ron and Leah Anderson from Vigor Events and Jo McFarlane from Soul Sanctuaries, we were able to really step up our staging, light, sound, PR and overall organization of the event.

This year Steve Gorrow, a genius artist among other things, came up with the idea of a huge 1 Giant Mind cut out logo on the beach… and what a hit!

Gary Gorrow and I were pretty chuffed with the whole thing… It was like being at Disneyland where everyone had to get a pic with the big beautiful 1 Giant Mind… a stroke of genius Steve! 

The event was set for another magnificent Bali sunset, the weather was perfect and there was a buzz of anticipation in the air. Many of the people who came last year began to arrive and it was fantastic to see so many locals present again. 

I welcomed the enveloping crowd and ushered them front and centre to take an up close seat for a special event. 

This year we were graced with the presence and divine music of the acclaimed Kirtan music duo, Edo and Jo. Having these guys as the opener, drew in the crowd like moths to a flame.

After a sublime 30 minute set, the crowd was well primed for the deep dive into eyes closed silence that laid ahead.

Once again we were blessed with the enthusiastic support of Indonesia’s preeminent meditation master, Pak Merta Ada. This year he organized for thousands to sync in with us from Jakarta and London and estimated that 30,000 others were ready to join us in the mass meditation experience. Pak Merta has a weekly radio show with an estimated 4 million people that tune in every Monday. Huge!

Gary, Pak Merta and I, hit the stage. Pak Merta gave an insightful and inspirational take on the value of the collective practice of meditation, from the perspective of the ancient Balinese tradition. This is something that has been practiced for over a thousand years on the Island. He spoke of his excitement to support 1 Giant Mind as it’s meaningfully supporting the revival of the ancient practice on the Island.

The 1000+ crowd soaked up his wisdom and humorous anecdotes. 

Gary Gorrow took to the mic and offered the non-meditating audience the 1 Giant Mind meditation technique.

The sun was close to setting and there was a profound tranqulity in the atmosphere even before the meditation began. I would attribute that mostly to Edo and Jo’s music set. It was the perfect way to set the mood.

As the sun set, we closed our eyes and collectively slipped into the expanse of Being.

Edo gently pulsed his harmonium for the first few minutes into the meditation which was sort of like a sweet gentle sound hug that encapsulated the group.

Within a very short time that familiar sensation arose; a pulsing wave of sweet bliss emanating from the group. Intangible, yet so real, the experience of feeling connected to everyone in the group. This was definitely the most powerful mass meditation I have ever experienced.

As the Sun went down, the group seemed to fall deeper into the precious zone. 

At around the 20 minute mark, Edo and Jo brought the group out with the soft subtle chanting of ancient mantras in a melody that moved you to your depths. The crowd was instructed to keep their eyes closed whilst they consciously connected to the group and the sense of the effect the group had generated. We went through a simple exercise of expanding the awareness of the effect beyond the group, throughout the Island and eventually throughout the entire world.

The atmosphere was blissfully electrified. Everyone was asked to slowly open their eyes and look around and take each other in. Strangers sitting amongst each other looking at each other with these powerful feelings of connectedness.

You would think that for many, this would be quite confrontational and there were many in the crowd that were not meditators and were certainly not accustomed to anything like what they just experienced (validated by many reports). Yet everyone there seemed so comfortable and at ease with what was taking place.

From my position on the stage, I had never seen such a large group of people so connected and aware of everyone around them. It was a fine example of what we aspire to create on a global scale.

It never ceases to amaze me how profound the simple act of collective meditation can be, uniting people despite their cultural, religious, ethnic, socio/economic and everything else differences. And let me tell you, this Bali crowd was a serious mixed bag of goodies.

But the party wasn’t over yet! Through a stroke of good fortune, we were able to lure the queen of Indonesian pop/traditional fusion music, Ayu Lakshmi, to perform a 40 minute set. None of us had seen her perform before, so we had no idea what we were in for. She rocked up with an 8 piece band and 3 back up singers. Something big was about to go down.

Ayu’s sound and stage presence was huge.

Her music was a fusion of Latin / Funk / Ancient Balinese with a traditional ceremonial performance. She is truly world class this woman. I remember turning to one of the organisers and asking ‘Tell me, how did we get her here again?’ He laughed.

It was off the hook spectacular. What she did with that little stage was mesmerising. It was so theatrical but the sentiment was so raw and real. Everyone loved it. She had the crowd eating out of her hand all the way to the end. 

Ayu and her band ended up playing for and hour and half and the bulk of the crowd stuck around for the whole thing. It was the perfect way to finish a perfect event. 

A huge thank you once again to Tiana Wallace for her organisational brilliance and creative input. We’re looking forward to witnessing this evolve to new levels in the future!