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 6, 06/11/11: Discovering Spirit - Bali
Up early to go to our bathing ceremony at the sacred fountains. Dress etiquette for today was full temple wear; sarong & white blouse. As soon as we arrived we were met by Ibu who gently sat us each down to read our energy.
As she took my hand it felt easy to be in her company, there was a real warmth and richness that flowed from her. While keeping hold of my hand she rested my head upon her shoulder, as she did so she began to speak whilst Ken translated.
She said that I was beautiful both inside and out and encouraged me to let that beauty radiate. She spoke of a special ceremony and blessing which will be held on the 10th to welcome in grace, and during that time and thereafter to let grace be my protector and guide.
Warmth radiated; her face a mirror of the moon, her curvaceous body a symbol of the absolute feminine. As her hand held mine I felt touched by the divine Mother and all's I could do in response was watch as my filters caught each one of her words and batted them away.
When I returned to the group Paula & Jo asked what had been said; straight away I felt guarded, embarrassed. Pah, how could I possibly share that, me beautiful... her words just didn't connect with how I feel about myself and because of which I felt foolish to share; I felt ashamed. Instead I kept what was said to an absolute minimum preferring to divert the attention onto what had been said elsewhere.
After a moment in prayer we entered the pool of the sacred fountains. One by one we stood before the spouts. The water was so cold, my bones ached; Bpae looked as if he'd turned blue.
There was a great atmosphere all around, local people young and old, male and female were sharing laughter and ceremony.
Situated in the middle of the pool were two Naga spouts symbolising death. To them people brought items to be blessed after the passing of their loved ones. We took a wide birth around these. As each spout was visited my intention was set; as the water fell upon me I was intent to let the sacred waters cleanse and wash away all that no longer served me.
After leaving the icy pools the sun came out to warm our skin; a quick dry and change into our new sarongs and we were ready for prayer. From a raised platform the Priests' deep voice rung out in mantra, his bell jangling as it swung back and forth blessing all as he did.
When we met again with Ibu she tied a white temple sash around our waists. After lunch we headed to her ashram, and whilst sat on a raised covered platform music began to play; including of course, 'om mani padme hum'.
Ibu visited us one by one; as she approached me she held my hand and looked into me with intent. As I looked back she kept twitching; the nature of it reminded me of how my left leg responds and it's also something I had noticed in Master Wan.
With Ken now positioned behind me, she blew into me; the air passing over, into and through me. This took a second maybe a minute, the exact time I cannot be sure of for the minute her breath was delivered my head felt weighted. My body like a pendulum was gently pulled back and forth, and whilst aware of the draw I could do little to stop or limit it in anyway.
It was as if my body had been plugged in, its momentum was steady; consistent. As my body moved back and forth, back and forth my head was being pulled down to the right.
As holy water was splashed upon my third eye I sat in amazement; wow that was pretty weird, especially given this is our first official day of practice. As we sat looking at each other in a bit of a daze Sam & Bpae were asked to stand in front of the ashram. Whilst stood there she visited them one at a time; looking at them with intent before blowing into them. She stroked the energy close to but not touching their bodies; it was a dance.
The gateway to the other world had been opened; the cast of many now began to descend upon us, into us. There was no running for cover, no shelter to be found, here before the ashram the veil between Niskala and Sekala had grown so thin that separation no longer existed.
As her breath met Bpae his eyes immediately rolled, in an instant he had dropped heavily to the floor, his whole body jerked and contorted while the guardians attempted to shield him from physical harm. It was frightening to see this gentle soul taken in such a fierce and unrelenting way. After a minute maybe less his body ceased writhing, the red naga had passed through leaving Bpae in a state of daze.
Watching Mary was like witnessing a live scene from the exorcist as Ratunia, the ancestor moved into her. First her eyes rolled in her head then she immediately fell backwards to the floor. From the floor she leapt up quite literally like she was possessed.
In mid flight her head and neck jolted violently back and forth, like she was caught in a mid air struggle. The strength of the movement was frightening. This was far more powerful than anything that could've been generated from within Marys' own body; this was without question of another world.
As her mouth opened loud noises erupted; wails, shouts, and from within her tiny frame a deep voice exploded in a language I couldn't even recognise. As the intensity grew Jo and I looked at each other with a nervous smile, "do you think anyone will notice if we just leave now?"
It really scared me; I mean sure I've done some practices over recent years but nothing like this.
As Jo and I were nervously giggling at the back Paula stepped forward. Transfixed, we both moved closer, entranced by the potential for what was about to unfold. Our gaze was focused after all we knew Paula well enough to know without question how authentic this was.
As Ibu leant towards Paula I felt a strange desire to stand next to her; a tiny voice within echoed, 'please don't hurt her'. Immediately Paulas' eyes rolled and she fell back onto the floor. As Jo and I watched nervously Paula appeared to levitate; we were spellbound.
From her slightly raised position Paula looked blissful. As Ibu stroked the energy around her body she contorted and squirmed moving with imp like mannerisms; giggling, laughing, rolling and tussling. It was as if her body was being played with. The white naga was passing through Paula and as it did so she looked radiant; completely blissed out.
To watch a friend step up and surrender her physical form to spirit was frightening but at the same time it was so totally captivating.
Only a few days ago Ken had said to Paula and me, "by the end of this journey everyone would have fallen at least once". During that conversation I remember smiling, thinking, 'yeah, everybody except me'.
As Jo moved further and further back I was becoming more and more apprehensive, there was only one thing for it. I stood up and entered the arena, my stage was set.
As I stood in front of the ashram Ibu began weaving me with her breath, soon enough I could feel myself fall backwards without struggle. My body was caught and I was laid out on the ground.
Whilst there it was like I was being danced with. In a state of semi-consciousness I felt completely aware of what was happening but couldn't do anything to limit or stop what was manifesting. Granted a couple of times my ego chirped in, 'what on earth are you doing... get up', but the energy was far too potent, it continued irrespective of my own limitations.
As I danced on the floor they kept opening my mouth, soon enough like charming a snake I could feel my tongue move. Once again my ego came in, this time it was more powerful than before.
Slowly, slowly I could feel the gentle pull of my tongue. It felt like a separate entity, like a little animal afraid to come out of its hole. My arms began to move as if they were being played with, for a split second I was nothing more than a puppet on a string.
As my hands danced in the air my body started shaking in quick successions, as the energy passed through I felt droplets of water hit my third eye.
I sat back down in somewhat of a daze. Ken said, "The energy of Durga, consort to Shiva has passed through strongly. She represents the feminine; she is the embodiment of assured femininity who has the strength to either heal or destroy".
Wow... so why'd she come through me?
Next up was Jo, who rather begrudgingly entered the fray. As I watched her I was once again captivated by the pureness of the movement, how natural it appeared. Jo didn't fall but instead maintained a vertical dance with the skies above. As the energy passed through Ibu tied her own red sash around Jo's waist. Jo it would seem had been embodied by Guanyin, compassion; the goddess of mercy.