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, apply scented oils, poke you with sharp sticks and/or give you a deep tissue massage or manipulation.
Day 11, 11/11/11: Discovering Spirit - Bali
Today we made our way to Pemutaran on the Northern shore of Bali, driving directly passed the volcano. As we headed up and passed the mist fell all around us; through the fog monkeys could be seen seated by the roadside.
As we pulled into our hotel I was once again blown away by Kens' sheer class and his love for indulgence. This place was divine; we even had outdoor bathrooms. The little houses opened out right onto the sea front. It was breathtaking and something I could definitely get used to.
Early evening we headed out to a temple. A grey stone structure built high on the cliffs overlooking the sea; in the distance stood the striking silhouette of Java's volcanoes. As the sun began to set the two temple nagas looked hostile and threatening against the darkening night sky.
As Ibu and her community arrived we were seated in a prayer ceremony. Overhead a monkey paid visit, yawning midway to reveal an impressive pair of tusks.
This was the temple of Guanyin (compassion) and as I stood before Ibu I again fell backwards, flat on my back. Hmm this is becoming quite a theme.
After the practice we moved in to a much smaller temple which was concealed by a stone wall. Whilst all crammed in Ibu was embodied by Ratunia, the ancestor. After a moment of utter stillness, an unprecedented gust of wind swooped through the chamber. Immediately my eyes were on stalks, what or who was that?
From outside the small containing wall a woman could be heard wailing; inconsolably so. She was accompanied in and positioned in front of Ratunia; both women in an obvious state of trance. A second local woman, a young girl began sobbing, she too was helped in.
As we left the small enclosure the full Buddha moon of 11/11/11 could be seen like a beacon of intention, a pure white tunnel unifying hope with hopelessness.
I feel such a deep seated sense of love and gratitude as I sit here with Jo and Paula. How grateful I am that we voiced and set in motion an intention that has enabled us to walk together once more shoulder to shoulder.
As we entered the third temple enclosure we were once again seated in prayer with our community. Again we each found ourselves stood in front of Ibu and again she blew into us. This time however was different. This time the minute she released her breath she was herself swept over by spirit. Her body was now a full and uninhibited expression of dance; her movement erotic as she bent and twisted around a pole. If I didn't know better I would have said this was the form of a devadasi. Her movement was captivating; highly evocative.
As I found my body being lured and danced with I was aware of a conflicting force. Something by my side felt erratic, it felt like it needed my immediate and full attention. As I turned to my right I saw Bpae, frenetically convulsing as the red naga turned and jolted his body.
This episode looked more painful than the others. He'd fallen hard onto the stone slabs and when the water was splashed onto his third eye he looked visibly shaken. I felt greatly for him as he stayed seated on the floor with palms together and head bowed. I wanted so much to sit with him; hug him. As I watched in admiration of his courage Paula dropped behind me, convulsing slightly as she fell. Her face this time looked different, this was not a face filled with grace as before but it appeared as if something was passing through her, passing out of her.
In an attempt to block out everything I found myself greatly challenged. My dance was a struggle, my ego had regained the upper hand, my insecurities and fear were being used in a battle of will. The energy was being blocked out.
People pulled and pushed, grabbing at me, I was overwhelmed. The feral noises, the tears, the sobbing, the yells, the shouting it all built and built. I felt like I was spinning, suffocating in a vortex of mayhem. Everything it would seem was hooking onto my fear; I felt vulnerable, exposed; i felt small.
Protection was the most important thing, I needed to protect myself. I tried so hard to stay present, to step towards and recognise the moment of dissociation but in doing so my mind was no longer open, it was no longer free. As my body closed off I became shackled. My fear had become my prison and in it I lay trapped.
As we walked through the temple gates lit only by the light of the full moon I felt silenced. All my efforts were now directed inwards. Somewhere deep within an integration process was unfolding, shifting my internal satellites. If still waters run deep then I'd just fallen into a well. Pandora's Box had once again been shaken wide open.