About:Bali has a long tradition of Bali Usada, also known as Balinese traditional healing. The Balinese live equally in two worlds: the seen or conscious world called sekala, and the unseen or psychic world, called niskala. In traditional Balinese healing, both of these elements need to be addressed in order to truly heal.
What to expect:The experience will be very public. The healer may make magic, create fire, use mudras, draw patterns on your body & spit wads of chewed herbs on your skin.
Day 17, 12/05/12: Rediscovering Spirit - Bali
Pockets of mist shrouded us as we crossed the volcano heading to Pemutaran, on the North West shore of Bali. The high lake itself was clear; it was interesting to catch sight of its sheer size.
On arrival we ate lunch and lounged on giant bean bags by the pool. In the late afternoon we made our way to the Kwan Yin temple where we were to meet Ibu and her community. As we were sat holding prayer all the elements blew through. We had water, wind; fire. The wind unnerving at times as a solitary gust was expelled, synchronous to the exact moment we held up our flowers in prayer. To our backs the sky above the Javanese volcanoes had become a cascade of molten lava.
From the Kwan Yin temple Ibu led the community down to the shore. There we sat on rocks as Ibu was embodied by Ratuniang. The energy tonight felt different, it almost felt as if Ratuniang was making a point; giving some poignant sermon to all who had arrived from her community. There were tears. A local girl seated next to Taina began to sob; Taina reached out and stroked her in comfort. The energy felt distinctly joyless, almost as if something else was going on; something we were not privy to.
The second temple we visited was already occupied by a mass of roaming monkeys. Once again as we offered prayer the wind unexpectedly paid visit; solitary gusts leaving us all revelling in a state of awe.
The monkeys grew more and more impatient; they too wanted to offer prayer. As we sat they charged one at a time straight for us stealing our offerings. They fought and screeched; it was an intense environment to be in, especially given the prevalence of rabies out here.
After a short bus ride we were in yet another temple; the sky now dark. As we offered prayer a ginger cat appeared at the foot of the altar, its gaze fixed on a giant cockroach like bug. With one foul swoop it had been caught. The quiet temple filled by the sound of slow crunching.
The final temple we found ourselves in was the place of abundance. Seated in a shelter leading the mantra and prayer was an elderly Priestess. It just felt so appropriate; as she turned she had the most wonderful of faces. Her lines etched with a lifetime of tales; as she made contact her smile lit a torch deep inside. I love so much to see elderly woman laugh and smile; it brings me so much joy.
As I danced Ratuniang once again entered. Lurched over I was given the leaf which immediately sent my lips and teeth numb.
On a couple of occasions I could feel the presence of two Balinese men holding me up. I believe I may have had an arm wrapped around each one of their necks; my feet dragging along the floor as I attempted to walk.
As the trance was broken the old Priestess smiled and took both of my hands in hers. A tall Balinese man came over and thanked me; holding my hand he said he loved my spirituality and hoped that I would continue to bring through this energy and work with spirit for the good of all; including all of them in Bali.
It was a really touching moment, I have valued being with these people so much. Tonight was the last time we would dance with Ibu and her community. We all paid thanks and bid our goodbyes. For some reason I have a sense this will not be the last time; once again I am clear of my intention to return to Bali and continue to trance and dance with these people. The experience has and continues to touch me that much.