The First Trip
I first visited bali in 1991. A 21 year old , just out of the Army on my way to University, with a heart and soul that was going to conquer the world! I was so enchanted by the most beautiful ladies making their morning offerings. Touched by how their day was dedicated to God. The music of the Gong and the movements of the Legong dancers are the grandest productions made for heaven. I was forever changed after that first trip to Bali.
The Onion was seeded in in the darkest times of my life.
Somewhere along the way i grew up. Lived the life of a “responsible adult”. Trying to meet the social expectations of society. I was lost in my personal lie. Fearful of letting down the ones I loved. So far way from the gong filled, Ubud nights where i would watch the beautiful Legong dancers.
Deep down inside i knew there must have been another way (the faint echoes of a distant balinese gong still rang in my ears). There was a “disconnect“. I was living an illusion, a lie? lost in all my layers, I had to find my way back, but how? who was I? It became my mission to start discovering what this “disconnect” was. MiracuIously once I had set my intent to discover my self, the right teachers and resources began showing up in my life. I discovered “mindfulness” I read books, attended seminars and programs. By learning to pay attention to my thoughts and feelings I began to bridge the” disconnect“. I was un-learning all the layers of my Onion. The layers of illusion I had created around my inner most being. This is the journey of the Onion, the journey within to the very core of our being to our “no-thingness”. I am still on my journey if you are wondering but I have had had fleeting moments of arriving at this destination.
The Onion Experiment 2007 (moving to Bali)
In 2007, I returned to Bali’s shores to test out and apply the concepts of “mindfulness” I followed my joy, a thought, a book, surfing, studying, reading, moving to Bali, wanting to stay in Bali, starting a restaurant as a means of staying, touching peoples lives, sharing the journey and so on and so forth… 13 years later… the Onion seed has blossomed into an albeit small yet potent centre for personal growth and learning. Having touched thousands over the years by planting little Onion seeds in the minds of the ready. The Onion Collective is a collection of all those small little joys and we continue to grow in this way.
What started as an experiment in a new way of mindful living has turned out to be the best thing i have ever done in my life! This new way of thinking made it ok for me to acknowledge my feelings, leading me back to my core. A one-ness with spirit and God. The journey has led me back to Bali where the spirit and the physical world exist in harmony.
“The Onion Collective is my Offering and dedication to God to serve as a place of refuge, healing and re-birth.“- Mark Kuan 2020
Wayan Eve says
Yes, i recognize the feeling very well.
Been there, done that, so to speak.
This does however not mean i have no dark moments anymore, but i know how to fight them.
Mark Kuan says
Thank You, Eve, yes our mindfullness allows us the way to our peace. I am so glad you are here.
Love this story Mark. A personal testimony to our ability to transcend the lows life invariably places in our path. From such dark places we can arise to bring more light into being. You have certainly inspired many of us.
Mark Kuan says
It’s such an honour to be in a position to help light the path for others… something i am eternally grateful for. Thank You Diana.
Wayne Oliver says
So proud and happy for you Mark. Though brief my times spent at the Onion are both peaceful and full of happiness. The Onion has a safe welcoming feeling attached and feels the perfect place to comfortably reflect . Thank you.
Mark Kuan says
Wayne so glad to hear from you sorry for the late reply… hope you are well and happy. Blessings from Bali
I remember staying at Onion Co in my darkest moments of my life. I was deeply unhappy in life, struggling in a loveless marriage and was on a short holiday with “friends” in Bali when I had the chance to speak with Mark. We had a brief conversation and his words stayed with me for the next few months, and sparked a fire in me. It gave me the courage to do what I needed to do, and from there, I spent a few more years on my own journeying through a divorce, leaving my comfort zone in Singapore and traveling around the world. I left everything and began a new life with absolutely nothing. But…I finally felt free. 3 years later, I now have a great job in an industry I would never have dared to venture into, and I’m traveling around the world with my lovely partner. I’m now back in Bali with fresh new eyes and a loud beating heart. I’m grateful to you Mark, because you chose to put forth your spirit and energy into this place where wandering lost souls can find rest in. Can’t wait to visit Onion Co again soon! In just a few days. See you soon, Onion Co