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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 8, 03/05/12: Rediscovering Spirit - Bali

Went to a Ganesh temple located in the foot well of some paddy fields. Ken spoke to me about what had unfolded between me, Ratuniang and Ibu yesterday. I was grateful he took the time to open this up for me and make the invitation for me to discuss and be curious about it with him. Part of me is feeling shy and somewhat guilty about the whole thing.

He said that he believed this had something to do with the bigger, greater picture and that everyone in the ashram including him had a sense of excitement around it. He asked specifically if anything had come up for me. I mentioned the hair brush; my longing to brush the hair of the child on my lap and how when I didn't respond to this sense I immediately felt nauseated.

I still can't decide, with Ibu sobbing in my lap, whether the desire to hold her, stroke her and brush her hair was Ratuniang's or mine. I wonder if I was reliving an old pattern of sitting and brushing my own Mother's hair.

I expressed to Ken that tonight while we're at the ashram I just want to sit back and observe.

Ibu met us en route at a temple which was situated in an incredible forest. At times I felt like I was in Fern Gulley and all around the trees had their own spirit; their own voices. Huge banyan trees domineered the skyline; connecting the roots of Gaia to the hands of heaven.

After holding prayer Ibu came over and blew into me, I was conscious that I was unable to make any form of eye contact with her. I felt ashamed.

As we climbed the steps a monitor lizard crossed Karen's path. The energy around Ibu has transformed, somehow blossomed; she is radiating more than before if that is at all possible. Strangely there is also a deep humility which I haven't previously noticed. I felt nervous around her; as she reached for my hand I felt myself shrinking away inside my own body; like I want and don't want something all at the same time.

The higher we went towards the top temple the more potent the energy matrix grew. Whilst sat on the raw, unkempt natural ground surrounded by trees we found ourselves at the entrance of a small cave. Ibu entered with Ken close by. Immediately Ratuniang had embodied her. Whilst I was struggling with the biting little ants that were now occupying my underwear, Taina said, "is that Ratuniang... it doesn't sound like her, it sounds different".

A couple of the local people also dropped into various; intense forms of trance. The energy had shifted; Ibu had been embodied by Ratuniang's more ancient ancestor.

As we were seated in the ashram, more and more of the local community began to arrive. Before long we were trancing and dancing.

Whilst I sat, trying to conceal myself at the back I was called up to dance in Durga as the local men danced in Ratagaday. Again I felt a reluctance, "why me". As the music began I closed my eyes, as I did so everything else, every thought and feeling left me. I was alone in a sea of bodies, my movement finding its own form; its own expression. I was completely unaffected by the bodies around me, the growls; the shouts. It was almost as if I was drawing something in from the collective energy; it felt good, on some level it felt intoxicating. I was amazed at how I could move freely around; I was actually moving from the spot.

To begin with I bumped into and off a few of the men, then before long I found myself moving around them. It was as if I could sense where we all were in relation to each other. An unfamiliar sense of freedom flowed through my body as if I had been given unlimited and uninhibited permission to move. My body at times felt aggressive, determined; at times my movement and expression felt angular. There was a sense of power and purpose about what was moving in and through this space.

As the trance was broken we were all again seated. Ibu was now positioned in the middle on a chair; maybe she had brought in the Ratuniang energies but I'm not completely sure. Once again that sense of disinterest or maybe distraction had me hold. My attention and intention was again drawn to the space outside the ashram. Within no time I was gone again. The next thing I recall was the sense of my body being dragged; it felt like I was being dragged through people; bodies?

I was completely limp. My ability to support any of my own weight was gone. As they sat me down in front of Ibu my head and neck fell completely and effortlessly into her lap. Again I was given the leaf and again it tasted vile.

Then the brightest of white lights erupted in front of me; just slightly above my eye line. It was so bright it caused me to squint and frown even with my eyes closed. Then I felt my hand make contact with someone's head, as I made contact the intensity of the light grew only this time not quite as clear. The only feeling I had was love; again it was not limited in any way but expansive.

My hand then made contact with another head. The energy distinctly different though I can't articulate why; it's more of a sense I have rather than any form of knowing. As the energy in the connection built I felt sadness, I felt like I wanted to go in deeper. At times there was a sense that I wanted to crush something, to squeeze it free. I placed both hands one on top of the other, this felt as if it required more of me or perhaps less of me and more of the other if you get my point.

As the energy swirled I found myself beginning to circle, like I needed to spread the energy flow across by connecting the two fields. My head or more significantly, my crown wanted to make contact with the head of the person sat in front of me; as it did the light seared.

With heads touching the circling motion continued. At times it felt like it was as it should be but then I could also feel distinctly where there were blocks; where a conflict set in and the motion was no longer fluid. Was I sensing or meeting the blocks/limitations of the other person; realistically I have no idea but at the time that was definitely my hypothesis.

At the point where the obstruction/conflict in combined motion occurred I experienced a strange desire to cradle this person's head into me and blow directly into their crown chakra. This was clearly a step to far, more and more I could feel the obstruction, more and more my own ego was surfacing, "what are you doing?"

That nauseating sense I experienced previously again came over me, only this time it came with a greater urgency; I actually felt as if I wanted to purge. Perhaps with hindsight that is exactly what I needed to do.

When I was splashed and awakened from trance I was surprised to see Paula in front of me. We were in the middle of the room. Ken was supporting my back; Ibu was at my side to the right; a local man was in front and a bit to the right and Bronia was sat to my left, smoking I think?

Sh*t so much for having a quiet night just watching from the back.

After the locals had received their golden coconut Melukat from Ibu we were once again called to dance. The energy was as alive and vibrant as the people who moved within it. Before my eyes I was witnessing the coming together of east and west; a beautiful tapestry of colour and essence. As the Gayatri Mantra and Om Mani Padme Hum played I felt like I was floating, whirling around in the spaciousness of my own body. As I opened my eyes I was met by the smiling faces of some of the local people; I looked across at our group; moving, dancing; intermingling - how blessed do I feel.

As I seated myself to watch people move and dance I was once again filled with a sense of love; before my eyes I could see the essence of grace; I could feel the true power of transformation and visibly see that transformation make manifest; taking form in the physical body. The interchange between energies was fluent, without construct or limitation.

Sat with Paula and Ken the energy felt immense, as I looked up the girls continued to dance with the community; dancing with their fans in hand. As the energy built once again I could feel my sacral chakra pulsating, alive; awakening. Once more the serpent of Kundalini was igniting a fire that coursed up through my body. I felt hot, really hot. At times I had to shuffle away from Paula who was close at my side; an aspect of shame/embarrassment had crept in.