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  • 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.

  • Journal:Click here

Day 7, 02/05/12: Rediscovering Spirit - Bali

Up and out to Yoda's home this morning. The girls had their diagnoses which raised into consciousness some amazing synchronicities. After being assigned a number of flowers the Melukat waters were set. As we sat waiting the energy had shifted; there was a real sense of excitement, apprehension; a sense I could physically feel.

As the waters poured over and into me I felt light, I no longer felt trapped in my chest cavity as had been my previous experience. My body and emotions had transformed from a sense of self-oppression to a sense of inner freedom.

As I watched the group one by one sit in front of their assigned urns I felt my emotions surge, my synapses sparked. At times as the water deluge came I found myself breathing with them; a kind of symbiosis. In witnessing each Melukat I felt I too was receiving those blessed cleansing waters, again and again.

I asked Ken if there was anything Yoda could do for my toe. He signalled to his wife who appeared with a concoction of mashed shallots, garlic and palm sugar. Whilst it stank to high heaven it also appeared to be bringing the bruise out incredibly quickly; whilst it stayed wet it also soothed. Once dry I was still, at this point unable to bend my toe.

After a traditional Balinese lunch we headed back to Ibu's ashram; the atmosphere was welcoming and friendly.

When I entered the ashram and the music began I felt slightly on guard; protective. I was so fearful of letting myself move into trance; letting myself be free. I felt like I had to guard my toe; like I had become a guardian to my outer bodily experience. Amazingly this is one of the few times when I have truly stayed connected to what it actually feels like to be in my body. A million what ifs began to float around my head; what if someone were to stand on it; what if I were to bang it again... what if I can't cope; what if I break down...

My energy or perhaps more pertinently my ego was putting up a passive fight against me being here. I was being contained in my own body and subsequently any slip into movement somehow felt amiss; irresponsible and careless. I was bearing witness to an internal battle of judgement versus acceptance; containment versus spaciousness.

As I stood lost in the space between ego and essence I noticed a dull pain, or rather an ache rising through my heel and right calf. Whilst stood in a place of slight discomfort I was beckoned to bring in the energy of Ratagaday. I could feel the child in me react, "why me?"

Met by my sense of disinterest Ibu kept blowing on me; each time I immediately fell. I felt the circling and rising presence of Durga but not in the same way as I've experienced previously.

A piercing light radiated through my third eye; it was painfully bright and yet so very clear. With my hand stretched out before me I could feel my body being walked around; my hand being placed on the head of everyone present. My ego like a petulant child had remained present through-out, "why are you making me do this, leave me alone". The trance it would seem had not been fully able to enter; somewhere just outside of my consciousness I had a sense that a different dynamic was unfolding. As the water was splashed onto my third eye and I fully returned to my waking state I felt somewhat disconnected.

As the group talked and shared laughter I found myself pulling away; I had neither the desire nor inclination to engage. Instead I seemed to be drawn, captivated somehow by the peripheral fields and the neighbouring island of Nusa Penida.

As I gazed out I could feel my body begin to sway, slowly at first but building rapidly with a forceful momentum. As the perpetual circling grew bigger and bigger, I grabbed on to the railing of the ashram. In a space of deep connection I felt the power of Gaia, the absolute power of the universe course through my body. It felt like I was hooked into the railing and that in an instant I could crush it; rip it from its base.

My eyes remained closed, I could sense the presence of someone at my back; at my sides. As they held me I could feel the energies infusing; the power within growing bigger and bigger. Within I felt caught in a battle; there were two distinct energies at bay. One building with a circular motion the other trying to force that said motion out of rhythm. It hurled me forcefully back and forth; as if one energetic force were trying to expel the other from my body.

Then as I began to walk it was like my feet had become claws. Clenched and tight they dragged along the floor; at times I felt physically unable to support my own weight or movement. I had become hunched, frail; old. Yet obscurely throughout the duration of this episode I never felt weak.

As to what happened next I'm not entirely sure; the following is information extracted from my own moments of consciousness and the words of those that were able to reflect back to me.

In this apparent decrepit state I was seated on a chair. My belief is that my body may have flopped forward. Something was handed to me; straight away I put it into my mouth; on some level I felt like I was teasing; like there was a sense of child-like but elderly fun within me. What I had put into my mouth was tobacco.

I could feel my face contorting, yet I wasn't in pain. Instead my sense was one of fun, teasing, there was a deep resonating sense of compassion and a nurturing love; was this a motherly love? Having no experience of this I'm not entirely sure; on some level it felt motherly, nurturing but it also felt all encompassing; like it was in no way limited or bound to one person or energy.

Someone began rubbing the tobacco onto my teeth and gums; I later discovered this had been Ibu herself. Throughout she was sat close by my right side. A leaf was then presented to me; again it went straight into my mouth. The taste was bitter; really bitter. My third eye continued to light up with an array of shape shifting patterns; colours danced.

I could feel Ibu's weight fall into my lap; it triggered some sort of bodily response in me and the top half of my body went limp, collapsing and moulding with her. I can't describe the openness I felt, to experience that sense of expansiveness still makes it a challenge, even now to sit and write this.

I felt revealed and protected all at once. On some level it was like I had my great, great grandchild cradled in my lap. Like this was a person I had deeply missed, I had longed for and the sense within me was of a deep gratitude for finally being able to have this moment together.

I could feel Ibu sobbing, the tears seeping into my lap and resonating in the light that danced within. This at no point felt like a sorrowful, desperate exchange but instead like a gift had been delivered; a gift that had been an eternity in waiting.

As Ibu continued to sob my hands wrapped around her; stroking her back as they did so. Words; words began to grumble out of my throat. When they met my lips they left with a whisper. Just an odd word pieced together here and there, delivered in a start stop nature; what came out were just noises.

The moment was so incredibly humbling. Then I could feel my hand being placed on the heads of the others. The energy of each person so unique and different; through sensing I could recognise that it was this and this alone which held the identity; it was like I had a direct line into the essence of each person.

I wanted instead to hold my child; a powerful urge enveloped me, the deep longing to brush her hair; to soothe and hold her for an eternity. As more words struggled from my throat I had the sense I was telling Ibu that it was going to be OK; that all was OK and as it should be; that there was nothing to fear. When she spoke back it was as if I understood; no more needed to be said, it was beautiful in all its simplicity.

She was wiping my face; I could feel her cheek pressed against mine. I turned and spat the tobacco onto the floor to my left; allowing it to dribble from my chin. Never did I have the urge to clean myself up. As I struggled with wanting to brush my child's hair I began to feel nauseated.

When the trance was broken, I noticed everyone was sat around me, at my feet. The energy had shifted somehow and now as I sat I felt exposed, uncomfortable. I left the chair on which I was seated and went to the edge of the ashram to get some water.

When I returned to the group I sat on the floor, unable to make eye contact. I felt like a part of me was caught in a vulnerable child state. I have such a deep sense of gratitude for all that unfolded, but at the same time I also felt like an imposter; like I needed to hide myself.

Was this channelling? I have no idea.

As Ibu sat with us it was clear she had been touched; the energy around her had distinctly altered. As she spoke she kept breaking into tears; tears of joy and sadness; we were all emotional. Through Ken she began describing each one of her emotions. Ken commented time and time again that this simply hadn't happened before. Ibu had said that when she channels the Ratuniang energy people come to be healed; they come to feel the love of the universal grandmother. She however has never been able to experience how that feels for herself. She has never experienced what it's like to be the one receiving; the one in Ratuniang's lap.

With hands together I bow in gratitude. I am so grateful for this return to Bali; for this group coming together and for this impromptu visit to Ibu's ashram for before yesterday none of this was planned. It was almost as if she had sensed something was to unfold. I feel so grateful for whatever it was that came in because it allowed this beautiful being to experience that which every soul should.

My heart broke as I heard her say that she had not before been on the receiving end. When her tears continued to fall I felt each one of them as if they were falling through that same void of longing which exists within me. Was this my ultimate mirror?

On the way back we stopped off at a 1,000yr old cave; a shrine to Shiva and Ganesh. The temple grounds were completely empty and under a dark, starry sky Sam & Dharma ran ahead to light our paths with small tea lights. The place was sumptuous. I wanted to fully enjoy it but whirling around in my head were a million questions about what had happened earlier, questions I just didn't feel in a position to ask. Though with hind sight I wish I'd have just pushed aside my own patterns and been authentic; who knows the result of doing so may have deepened the experience for everyone. Instead I chose to tone myself down; I chose to keep quiet.