The Philosophy of Holy Water*)

In the midst of fire, what we truly need is water. In the middle of the burning age (long pandemic, war, natural disaster like earthquake in Syria), what the world truly needs is the philosophy of holy water. That’s the main reason why I spread this local genius of Bali island to the world.

Another reason, it’s easier to grow for frangipani if we plant it in dry land. It’s easier to grow lotus if we plant it in a wet pond. In the same way, it’s easier to be spiritually connected to people who learn spirituality in Bali if you deeply understand the local genius of Bali island.

Previously it was only written in the ancient scriptures of Balinese, it’s also shared from one generation to another generation that the original religion of the Balinese is the religion of holy water (Agama Tirtha) ***). After spending years meditating in North Bali especially, I saw with my naked eyes. As soon as I opened my eyes after meditating or praying, I looked up into the sky. It happened more than once. Light appears in the sky in the form of sprinkling holy water, exactly above my head.

It confirms to me that the core of Bali’s local genius is holy water. That’s the main reason why I never tired of sharing this idea to spiritual seekers in Bali. As part of my effort to make the world much more harmonious. To make the story brief but deep, let’s dive deeper into what I mean by the philosophy of holy water.

1. The intelligence of flowing.

This cycle of time is full of dangerous turbulence. From the long pandemic, war in Ukraine till touching earthquakes in Syria and Turkey. It will be dangerous if human beings respond using rigid intelligence (by which read: life must be like this, or should be like that).

It’s far safer if people respond using the intelligence of flowing 1). Especially because health, happiness and peace are not the fruit of what happens outside but the fruit of how we process it inside. And inner intelligence plays a very important role in this case.

When I was young, I spent years researching brain and heart harmony. And how it will impact the behaviour of the leaders. It’s very clear to me, the gate of health, happiness and peace can be easily opened when people combine a flexible brain (flexible between left hard brain and right soft brain), and a wise or compassionate heart.

The reason why Nelson Mandela in South Africa became one of beautiful light in our age because he combined between flexible brain and wise heart. The most important reason why HH Dalai Lama became another source of light in our time, is because he combines a flexible brain and compassionate heart. As one of HH Dalai Lama’s students, I also use the same intelligence, that’s why I can save  my family, I can save many students as well. I will come into that explanation later.

2.  The psychology of the flow

Emotion is one of the human mysteries, and one of the inner diamonds as well. It can be the source of fire if one fails to manage it. Emotion can be the source of health, happiness and peace if we are able to take good care of it.

The problem with the suffering souls, they only want happiness and do not want any sadness. They only want joy, but do not want any sorrow. In fact, happiness-sadness, joy-sorrow are like day and night which keep flowing. You begin to heal your emotions when you learn to flow perfectly.

Happiness is like the peak of the tree, but sadness is similar to the root of the tree. Joy is the time to meet the inner light, sorrow is the time to learn from inner darkness. If you grow deep in this case, you will understand through personal attainment, darkness is not here to threaten the light, darkness is here to brighten the light.

That kind of attainment will be possible if you apply the psychology of the flow 2). Sad-glad, joy-sorrow, pain-pleasure are like clouds which come and go. You are not the clouds, you are the witnessing sky. Another analogy, pain-pleasure, bad mood- good mood are waves. But you are not the waves, you are the great ocean. That’s the root of the psychology of the flow that heals not only emotion, but also body, mind and spirit.

3. Water logic

As I personally witnessed in meditation classes, all suffering souls use hard rock logic. Deep inside they are dictated by the dangerous belief: “I am right the others are wrong. I am wounded and the others are bad. I am suffering because of the wrongdoing of others”. The logic is like rock which is very solid and creates both inner and outer conflicts. Giving birth to countless diseases as well.

The beautiful thing about the philosophy of holy water 3), human beings are invited to use water logic. When rock meets rock, there will be conflict. But when water meets water, they will embrace each other. To put the idea more practical, we are like three blind men who touch the same elephant. The blind man who touches the trunk will think that this is a snake. The one who touches the body will conclude that this is a wall. The last blind man who touches the leg will say that this is a tree.

The problem with hard rock logic, it raises the wrong and misleading question: “Which is right? Which is wrong?”. The beautiful thing about water logic, the question is not which is right or which is wrong, but what is the “connection” among the three. What kind of animal in certain parts is like a snake, in another part is similar to a wall, in another part is like the trunk of the tree. By then there’s the possibility of finding the right answer which is elephant.

The same thing happened with the war in Ukraine. If people raise the question of “who is right? who is wrong?”, we will be far from a solution. We will be closer to a solution if we focus on the “connection” among the conflicting parties. And the “beautiful connection” among conflicting parties is simple yet deep: “We all want to be happy. We all do not want to suffer”. If we focus on the “connection”, there’s the probability of finding a beautiful solution.

4. Putting the idea into practice

There were three dangerous things that happened in 2002 that made me quit the corporate world. First, the human tragedy of the Bali terrorist bombing that made me cry for more than 2 weeks. Secondly, it was the first time I was hospitalized five times in a year because of a pain attack around the heart. And the medical doctor found no disease. Thirdly, I faced challenging problems in my family. My youngest son was bullied in school. Eight out of ten characteristics of schizophrenia appear in the life of my youngest son. At the same time my wife was full of stress and tension in dealing with this problem.

Thank God for my research on brain and heart harmony. It makes me flexible in dealing with this problem. When challenging emotion came, I keep reminding myself to keep flowing, flowing and flowing. In the moment of crisis especially, I never use hard rock logic to both my son and my wife. I never put myself in the position of being right, and putting my son and my wife in the position of being wrong 4).

At the same time, I concentrate on finding the “connection” between conflicting problems. It was hard and difficult as well. Thanks to my long and deep meditation practice, I can pass this challenging “exam of life”. Within one year my youngest son will hold a Ph.D degree from one of the well-reputed universities. My wife is now healthy and happy in her 60s.

In short, learn to make the brain and heart into harmony. Learn to practice the flowing emotion. In this realm, everything is impermanent. Wastes today will become flowers on another day. The same thing happens to sadness, sorrow and pain. They are in the process of becoming soul flowers. May all beings be happy, free from suffering.

*) This is the summary of my presentation in the spiritual family of “House of Home” in Ubud Bali March 31st, 2023. I have a dream that this presentation will be delivered in the UN forum and World economic forum as well. Simply to sprinkle the holy water of Bali to the world leaders, in order to make the world more harmonious.

**) I was born in the northern part of Bali but educated in the west (UK and France), spending 27 years of my young age in the capital city of Jakarta Indonesia. At the age of 38 years, I was a president director of a company with thousands of employees. But one year later committed career suicide in the corporate world because of Bali terrorist bombing in 2002, and began long spiritual journey. At the age of 49, I completely stopped my material life, fully spending my whole life as a servant of world peace. Not only serving people, but also serving mother earth by taking good care of 20 hectares of my personal wild forest in northern Bali.

***) In my presentation I will not use the terminology of religion, because religion can easily separate us, but philosophy which originally means lover of wisdom can easily unite us.


1). The international journal which keeps repeating the importance of the intelligence of flowing is the journal of Psychology Today.

2. The international health journal which keeps writing the importance of psychology of the flow for the benefit of health is Harvard Medical School journal.

3. The late Dr. Edward de Bono wrote a beautiful book in 1980. The title of the book is Water Logic. It’s an inspiring book.

4. I found the Harvard research on adult development in the last 10 years, which is the longest research on human happiness in our time, concluding that the most important factor in attaining an old and happy life is “the quality” of relationships with the close people. I was surprised after reading Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz’s book “The good life and how to live it: Lessons from the world’s longest study on happiness”. Far before I read this deep finding, I had already practiced it with my family.

About the author

H.H. Guruji Gede Prama

Gede Prama started his spiritual journey through a dialogue with his symbolic Guru in a village at the north of Bali. The journey is then being enriched with his experiences of studying abroad, his meetings with the world greatest spiritual Gurus: His Holiness Dalai Lama, The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as Professor Karen Armstrong; and also being deepened by his intense meditation practices.

Despite the fact that he was once a CEO of a large corporation with thousand of employees, and was traveling abroad frequently for the purpose of teaching, yet, being deeply moved by the Bali bombing incident in 2002, he then decided to leave everything and went back to his home island.
He has never leave Bali for the past few years. In fact, he rarely leaves the silence of the forest where he lives, except for the purpose of teaching at the sacred sites within Bali.

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