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 15, 15/11/11: Discovering Spirit - Bali
After breakfast we made our way to Yoda's family home in the countryside. We walked through woodland and across heavily stepped paddy fields. At the base of the valley we came to a place where two rivers converged; this it would seem marked the spot for our river Melukat.
As Yoda lit the incense I became entranced by a thin trail of smoke. It was like I'd suddenly become hyper-sensitive to my surroundings, each particle of light and pixel now visible. The smoke with the movement of a dusky serpent danced and twisted yet never once moved forward; suspended in space.
The first river ceremony was one specifically for Rob & Lisa. After the prayer had been delivered we each clambered into the icy cold water. With an offering and burning incense held to our heads our intention was set.
'What is it that no longer serves me, what is it I want to let go of, what is it that I want to cast down the river without a backward glance'.
Like a tsunami I was enveloped by a surge of thoughts. Release the hate, the anger, the sense of worthlessness, the lack of confidence, the insecurities, the doubt, the fear. As I stood with the incense burning above me I realised that all's I was doing was standing in a river with a shopping list. There were just too many items on it and I didn't feel emotionally connected to any of them. Eventually I settled on the idea that if I was going to let go of anything then I had to let go of everything; the good, the bad and the ugly.
With an almighty in breath I released my offering flinging it behind me down the river, as I did so Yoda shouted at me, "dive; dive". Under the water I went, upstream I swam.
The next section of the river was linked to abundance. Now, I'm sure it wasn't meant to be but this was comedy gold. I wish I'd had a video camera. As each person dived under the water and surfaced at the waterfall of abundance their sarong inflated. Seriously there was no way to keep the bloody things down, I think between us all we must've tried every technique going. As each person went under, up came the sarong; talk about an impromptu reveal - I'm so glad I ignored Jo and kept my bra on.
It was actually incredibly hard to stay focused on 'intention' when, after watching every one else my sole priority became the ways to maintain even a shred of dignity. Having just themselves experienced the 'great sarong reveal' Jo and Paula were already laughing at me as I prepared to go under... they're good like that!
The final section of the river was linked to the process of letting in... health, happiness, joy; love. This time I was prepared, I had discovered I could tie my sarong between my legs similar in style to a giant nappy - vanity went out the window but hey, there were no floaters!
We then followed Yoda up to a natural spring; this water was significantly cooler. One at a time we had to submerge our heads and backs under it eleven times; the water was so cold I developed brain freeze, my crown ached.
After drying and changing we walked out across the paddy fields. The setting was one of a textured oil painting, the colours vibrant and lush, every shade of green captured on a natural canvas.
After an evening meal at the hotel we set out on foot. It was a dark, dark night and we were about to visit the temple of the dead. Random fireflies danced before our eyes and we were soon met by Ibu.
As I raised my incense to my third eye all of the temple lights went out; the air was eerily still. There was an invasive feel to this outdoor temple and I for one felt on alert. Then as the energy grew Bpae began convulsing, twisting and recoiling from side to side. Once again he had been entered by the naga.
Paula and I moved quickly out of his way as he squirmed and writhed. The movement of his body had changed, this time its passing seemed more rhythmic. At times it was like his body was a ripple of water.
As I began the dance people started to fall all around me. I felt Ibu in front of me, her breath blowing into me as I felt a gentle force pushing me backwards. This time was different, this time the force was met with something far more potent. Something had me up straight and there was no way my body was going down. I was holding my ground with a firmness that both impressed and surprised me.
Ibu and Ken guided my body to the main temple alter and as they did so my body began to dance. Durga had returned only this time it felt powerful. It felt like within me I was containing the strength of the universe. It felt disturbing, destructive but at the same time it was immensely seductive.
At times I could feel my face contort, my jaw clench. This was without doubt a physical struggle, something from way up above was calling to me, raising me higher and higher. I thrust my right hand to the heavens, it connected with something and suddenly I was plugged in. I was hooked and caught up in something far bigger than me.
It felt like a tug of war. My hand was literally wrapped around something which felt tangible, it felt forceful; it felt electric. With everything I had I tried to lure it in, to pull it down. As it started to move in towards me my lower body began shaking. At times the struggle was painful but at the same time I didn't want it to end. I wanted it, whatever the hell it was, I wanted to bring it right on in.
My arm felt like it was growing longer, it felt strong like there was no possibility of letting go or losing my grip. It was like I had been pulled into a central channel, like everything sped down passed me but that I was fixed; I wasn't going anywhere.
As the dance continued the power grew more and more potent. The struggle more intense, yet obscurely I was captivated. I needed more time, time to explore; time to comprehend; time to see, time understand what I was supposed to be doing; what was I bringing in?
As holy water was splashed on my third eye I came to; everyone had long been seated; everyone was sat watching... wow!
As we sat in prayer my right arm still felt connected somehow, hardwired. It felt as if it wanted to move, contort, guide something in a way that was not physically familiar to me.