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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, apply scented oils, poke you with sharp sticks and/or give you a deep tissue massage or manipulation.

  • Journal:Click here

Day 9, 09/11/11: Discovering Spirit - Bali

Up and out to Ibu's house this morning. As we entered the ashram she took us into the back room where we were shown various images of the deities, there was the sea goddess, the nagas (white/red); Guanyin.

As we stood in the ashram Ibu put on the music and as we closed our eyes she visited each one of us. First I felt her hand on the back of my neck; then she gently blew into my face. Before long we were each dancing in a very unique style. A couple of people fell backwards, flat on the floor including our driver Agung; who at first was somewhat fearful of participating.

After a period of movement Ibu herself fell backwards, caught by two guardians who sat her on a chair. As she re-awakened something was amiss, she looked different... completely different.

Before our eyes sat a very different person; the full, soft face that we knew to be Ibu had transformed into one that had aged. Her face was now drawn and haggard; she grimaced as she spoke. Her voice too had transformed, it was rough and sharp, demanding chewing tobacco, cigarettes and coffee. It was weird to see someone else in her body; this was Ratunia, the ancestor.

One by one we were called to sit in front of her. As I knelt before her, my hands were positioned on her thighs. She pulled my head in close, touching the back of my neck and blowing into me as she did so. Immediately my head dropped forward, my neck limp; with the momentum of a pendulum my head felt weighted pulling me forward and down to the right. Through Kens' translation Ratunia spoke, "there is a connection from deep within the centre of Gaia, a connection which runs right through you, way up to your third eye".

As she spoke Durga re-entered my body only this time there was no ego interruption, this time my body was open in surrender. With little coaxing my tongue came out. Like a carpet it rolled, growing longer and longer. I felt as if it were being pulled down and up at the end.

As she continued to speak I was conscious that I wanted my tongue back. I wanted to retract it or do something with it but instead I was powerless, I had absolutely no control over it. As I sat completely exposed Ratunia wrote upon it a fire mantra. Each time I tried to retract it my tongue grew longer and longer; jeez now I know how Pinocchio must've felt.

Ken translated that the power of the feminine (yes, I know...me?!), Durga was strongly in me. In fact, this time it would seem a whole community had shown up, Durga, Shiva, Shakti and Gaia.

After water was splashed onto my third eye and crown chakra I stood up; tongue still hanging like a horses' erection. As I crossed the ashram one of Ibu's guardians came over to help retract it. He gently pulled my chin forward until something released between my jaw and the base of my head. My tongue, thank goodness withdrew... rapidly.

I returned to the gathering as the unfolding continued. In rejoining the group I found myself drifting in and out, clouds kept passing in front of me and my eyes were beginning to roll. I'd also developed an uncanny twitch. Every now and then as I sat there my head would jolt to the right, scaring me in the process. Jo came and sat next to me asking if I was ok and if I needed any water. Bless her, I must've looked as disjointed as I felt.

As we each found our feet we were handed a golden coconut. Whilst stood in front of a tiny shrine Ibu began a Melukat ceremony. As I stood before her she was radiant. Gently but firmly she pulled me forward, her intention was set. Again I found myself drawn to her as she again blew into me. Immediately I fell backwards and was caught by Dharma who gently laid me out on the stone floor.

I felt water droplets hit my third eye; with a jolt I was helped back to my feet where the blessing continued and the golden coconut was poured over my crown chakra. Jeez I'm starting to think I need to get a grip on this impromptu falling, it's so flippin' inconvenient.

Tomorrow night is the Shiva full moon and we will be returning to this ashram to spend the evening with Ibu and her whole community as they trance and dance. Now on the one hand that fills me with a sense of unadulterated excitement, however it also fills me with a significant amount of apprehension.

I can't help but observe that of all of the healers we've worked with Ibu is really hooking me like no one else. Around her I feel an unfamiliar sense of trust, like some aspect of my exterior melts away in her presence. I am completely entranced, enamoured by her curvaceous figure. I feel that whilst around her I am sucked in; I'm warm. The energetic connection feels symbolic; the archetypical mother? It really has me curious, there's something about the absolute feminine that is hooking and pulling at me whilst here.

As I sit pen in hand I can't shake the image of Ibu's full face, her soft skin, twinkling eyes, mischievous smile; it's like she's here with me, encouraging me. Day by day my enquiry is becoming more focused, the questions clear, 'what will it take to actualise the potential of this lifetime, what will that look like and how can I bring myself into things more?'